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Desiderata Daedalus

flex fountain pen desiderata daedalus line variation

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#1 Neverposter

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Posted 29 April 2017 - 02:04

First off, pics and more detail in my post here: https://www.neverpos...derata-daedalus

 

Introduction: Hello, friends. I've got an interesting of product that has only been discussed a few times on here: the Desiderata Daedalus. As I think most of us are aware, we want flex, but there's no replacement for vintage flex, Pilot FA nib railroads, Noodler's Pens are semi-flex, etc. So what do we do?

 

Well Mr. Pierre Miller founded the Desiderata Pen Co. with the intention of producing pen bodies for the Zebra G, every fountain pen lover's favorite dip nib. For the most part he succeeds.

 

Appearance: Simple, utilitarian, even minimalist. I like it. There's not a whole lot going on; that is, it's more tool than art piece. But I don't think anyone would call it ugly, and I've grown quite fond of the sight of my Daedalus on my desk.

 

Functionality (how the pen works outside of writing): The converter I got with mine was pretty much pointless. This pen guzzles ink, so I quickly decided to eyedropper it. It's a foolproof eyedropper with about an inch of tight threading. The nib isn't stainless, so it does need to be replaced, but the pen comes apart easily and the nibs last plenty long enough. A ten pack can be had for 13.50 on Jetpens and will last a year, easily.

 

Also, the feed is cavernous, so shaking the pen will cause large droplets to go flying every time. This is probably the biggest problem, as it somewhat negates the portability of dipless dip pen.

 

Writing: Honestly, this pen could have the build quality of a matchstick and I would still be interested if it could replicate vintage flex. The answer is that it pretty much does. You get hairlines, you get BBBB lines, and all with relatively little effort. Railroading is minimized, and with a controlled hand is a negligible problem. Honestly, if anything the pen is too wet. The lines end up looking a little blobby and the dry times are unreasonable.

 

Now, this isn't something I've mentioned in my blog post, but I will add that I find myself reaching for the Daedalus only when I want to practice my laughable attempts at calligraphy. For casual flex writing, I think the hairlines are too thin.

 

Conclusion: Worth it if you want to do serious calligraphy.  I mean, sure you could always use a dip pen, but this is a neat product.


Stay unposted, friends.


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#2 sciumbasci

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Posted 29 April 2017 - 11:16

How well would this pen hold up if I decided to main it?

I'm sort of a follower of the one man, one pen philosophy. Is it possible to use it in a everyday basis, or the nib wears out too quickly?

#3 inkstainedruth

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Posted 29 April 2017 - 15:24

Sciumbasci, the nibs are dip pen nibs, without any tipping on them  So, they will have to get replaced fairly often (and may take a bit of getting used to if you don't have experience with non-tipped nibs).  I have one of Pierre's prototype Daedalus from a few years ago when he was looking for people here to beta-test them and give him feedback on the pens.  I had a Zebra G nib on mine and it was terrible -- it tore into even good paper like Rhodia.  But it turned out I just had a bad nib: I've since tried some others (including somebody's Icarus a couple of weeks ago at a SCN meeting) and they were lovely to write with.  One of these days I will see about getting a package of Zebra G nibs (maybe the titanium ones) and give the pen another shot (mine was a blow filler and I couldn't get it to work to fill that way -- so I just used mine as an eyedropper).

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#4 Nail-Bender

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Posted 29 April 2017 - 16:48

Pilot FA nib railroads, Noodler's Pens are semi-flex, etc. So what do we do?

 

Let me add that very expensive, vintage wet noodle pens rarely have the needlepoint size necessary for Spencerian. ($400-$800)

 

My Pilot 912 FA Mottishaw Custom Spencerian does not railroad with the correct ink (point size .1 mm) but it was $366.00

 

The silver Zebra-G nib will corrode overnight in the Desiderata and be ruined.

The gold one will suffer ink flow problems if left in overnight but will not be destroyed.

 

Either way, you will have to pull the nib+feed & clean it every day.

You can leave the ink in the pen with it pointing up and the cap on to make it easier.

Just slide the nib & feed in the next day.

 

Adjust the Desiderata for flow/wetness by moving the feed forward or backward depending on ink & writing style.

It can be adjusted for all the inks I've tried so far (about 24 from 10 different companies)

 

The Desiderata is very much worth the trouble because it is an absolutely glorious pen to use. (0.1- 3+mm) ($100)

The Mottishaw 912 is my Spencerian pen of choice (line variation of 0.1 - 1.0 mm) and you don't have to clean it much.


Edited by Bordeaux146, 29 April 2017 - 16:57.


#5 Neverposter

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Posted 30 April 2017 - 00:04

 

Let me add that very expensive, vintage wet noodle pens rarely have the needlepoint size necessary for Spencerian. ($400-$800)

 

My Pilot 912 FA Mottishaw Custom Spencerian does not railroad with the correct ink (point size .1 mm) but it was $366.00

 

The silver Zebra-G nib will corrode overnight in the Desiderata and be ruined.

The gold one will suffer ink flow problems if left in overnight but will not be destroyed.

 

Either way, you will have to pull the nib+feed & clean it every day.

You can leave the ink in the pen with it pointing up and the cap on to make it easier.

Just slide the nib & feed in the next day.

 

Adjust the Desiderata for flow/wetness by moving the feed forward or backward depending on ink & writing style.

It can be adjusted for all the inks I've tried so far (about 24 from 10 different companies)

 

The Desiderata is very much worth the trouble because it is an absolutely glorious pen to use. (0.1- 3+mm) ($100)

The Mottishaw 912 is my Spencerian pen of choice (line variation of 0.1 - 1.0 mm) and you don't have to clean it much.

 

I agree pretty much with everything you've said. Only thing I've found is that when I use Parker Quink I can leave the nib in and it still lasts for quite a long time. I just wipe off the tipewith a paper towel before capping. Seems to work just fine.


Stay unposted, friends.


#6 bitterwonder

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Posted 30 April 2017 - 00:28

I differ, the design of this pen is elegant, beautiful, elental design.

#7 Goudy

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Posted 30 April 2017 - 01:36

The silver Zebra-G nib will corrode overnight in the Desiderata and be ruined.

The gold one will suffer ink flow problems if left in overnight but will not be destroyed.

 

Either way, you will have to pull the nib+feed & clean it every day.

You can leave the ink in the pen with it pointing up and the cap on to make it easier.

Just slide the nib & feed in the next day.

 

That would be true of a bare steel nib like the Brause Rose. I've used the standard (chrome-plated) Zebra G nib in a Desiderata for several weeks before noticing any signs of wear/corrosion. I didn't extract and clean it every day. The titanium version of the nib is supposedly 4 times as durable.


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#8 Feanaaro

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Posted 30 April 2017 - 15:27

 

That would be true of a bare steel nib like the Brause Rose. I've used the standard (chrome-plated) Zebra G nib in a Desiderata for several weeks before noticing any signs of wear/corrosion. I didn't extract and clean it every day. The titanium version of the nib is supposedly 4 times as durable.

 

I have had the same experience. It lasts for a while, it most certainly would not corrode overnight if left in the pen.



#9 Nail-Bender

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Posted 07 May 2017 - 19:10

It happened again :(

I had an unintended overnight after a flight and could not return home to flush the pen.

 

This is less than 24 hrs with PR Ebony Brown.

It was a glorious nib that was super smooth and wasn't upset with the clockwise spinning that I have a habit of doing.

 

The next day it would railroad and shred Rhoda.

It looks 3 weeks old but I assure you that it is 3 DAYS old.

 

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Edited by Bordeaux146, 07 May 2017 - 19:16.


#10 ac12

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Posted 08 May 2017 - 21:32

@Never..

Well as for what to do, if you want flex, and if you are REALLY into flex, do what some of us have done.  Switch to a dip pen.  I did.

 

If you are righthanded and write with tripod grip, when you flex, you are probably flexing on a diagonal stroke, not a down stroke in line with the nib.  When you do that, you are flexing the trailing tine, and likely not at all or little of the leading tine.  So, when you flex the nib 1mm, it is like you are doing a 1-1/2 to 2mm flex, because most of the flex is on the trailing tine, not the leading tine.  This puts a LOT of pressure on the trailing tine, and shortens its life.

 

So with a dip pen, you would use an oblique dip pen holder, not a straight holder.  This aligns the nib with your downstroke, and makes for a better flex.  When I want to write flex, I don't bother with my flex fountain pens, I pull out my dip pens.  And this is not for serious calligraphy, but for letter writing.

 

"... shaking the pen will cause large droplets to go flying every time."

So don't shake the pen.  Why would you be shaking the pen anyway.?

 

 

@B

What ink are you using?  It does seem odd that your nib is corroding so quickly.


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#11 Nail-Bender

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Posted 08 May 2017 - 22:17

@B

What ink are you using?  It does seem odd that your nib is corroding so quickly.

 

PR Ebony Brown this time but I can't remember what I was using other time.

 

I'm ok with 2 nibs per week.

I have a Waterman 52 noodle that I hardly use & it would buy more than 4 years worth of nibs at this replacement rate.

The Desiderata smokes it & all the expensive pens I have.

 

I'll probably be using the T-coated ones after burning through this box of chrome Zebra-Gs.

The PR ink is fantastic and I'm not interested in switching back to Bungubox or Iroshizuku.


Edited by Bordeaux146, 08 May 2017 - 22:19.


#12 TDolce

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Posted 25 October 2017 - 04:46

Sadly for me the pen I received from Pierre at Desiderata just never really worked out well. It leaks like a sieve every time I put the cap on and has frustrated me so often of late that I just simply emptied it out and tossed it in my junk drawer. Even if I laid it on its side when not in use, I would see an inky mess where it just oozed out.

 

I find that my own dip pens with my custom reservoirs work more reliably at the end of the day anyway.

 

Pierre is a nice guy and I really wanted to like his pens but after a few successful outings with it, the honeymoon ended abruptly and it just became more of an exercise in frustration when trying to use it.  Personally it may have to do with poor fittings (weak threads) or the lack of a breather hole in the cap. I have no idea as to the underlying cause and at this point do not care since I have moved on.

 

No need to broad brush it because obviously others have had great success with theirs so I may just have a dud. It happens.

 

If you purchase one that works then you will most likely love it as much as I did the first few months. When it worked it was a beautiful thing.

 

 

 

td


Edited by TDolce, 25 October 2017 - 04:47.


#13 Nail-Bender

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Posted 25 October 2017 - 10:53

 ...It leaks like a sieve every time I put the cap on... 

All my dip nib fountain pens will leak when oriented cap down.

I wouldn't even fully trust them horizontal.

If I'm going to take a break from writing, I replace the cap and stand it tip up.

 

I have 4 of them and they have completely different personalities.

It took me many hours to figure each of them out.

But nothing else writes like a Leonardt Principal or Zebra-G in a FP.


Edited by Bordeaux146, 25 October 2017 - 10:55.


#14 sciumbasci

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Posted 25 October 2017 - 18:42

I had thought Pierre would look into his pens, if they were malfunctioning.

 

And it's a damn shame you're so far away. I'd gladly beg for one any day of the week :P



#15 TDolce

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Posted 26 October 2017 - 23:50


Yeah, sadly for me, my pen doesn't care how you store it or lay it down. It just hates me and leaks bad. I spend more time cleaning a mess than I do drawing. I went from loving it to detesting the sight of it in a 4 month period. LOL.

 

Its hard to beat a vintage flexible dip nib with a good reservoir. When I'm done with it....a couple of squirts of Windex, a quick wipe and no leak worries; EVER.

 

 

I'm glad it is working for you though! When they do function properly they are a joy to draw with.

 

td


Edited by TDolce, 26 October 2017 - 23:55.


#16 TDolce

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Posted 27 October 2017 - 00:04

I had thought Pierre would look into his pens, if they were malfunctioning.

 

And it's a damn shame you're so far away. I'd gladly beg for one any day of the week :P

Just buy one.  Not sure if Pierre has streamlined his manufacturing process to increase his production or if the cadence for his releases is still as slow as it was before. He's a one man operation so I totally understand his release schedule but it still doesn't make it much fun when you have to wait months for a few to become available.

 

BTW, I did see on his site that he does have a few pens available as of this writing. You may want to purchase one of those.

 

Trust me,..you would not want mine.

 

td


Edited by TDolce, 27 October 2017 - 01:46.


#17 Nail-Bender

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Posted 27 October 2017 - 11:09

... It just hates me...

 

Another thing you can try and it won't cost a lot.

 

I have one Desiderata dedicated to using the Leonardt Principal EF nib.

It works great even though there is a small gap between the ink channel and the bottom of the nib.

I slide the feed just forward enough to cover the rather fancy looking breather hole.

Slide the whole thing in until about 7/8" is sticking out and adjust from there (usually in further)

 

The LP is much more flexible so I don't know if you would like it.



#18 TDolce

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Posted 28 October 2017 - 00:02

I love the flexibility but so long as it is still manageable and not overly scratchy.

 

I will try it and see what happens. Maybe I will try more Silicone around the threads too.

 

td



#19 Nail-Bender

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Posted 28 October 2017 - 17:38

I have 2 of the Icarus model and have never found it necessary to convert to eyedropper.

 

The LP is very scratchy but once you get on to it he Zebra-G will almost feel like a rollerball.

(well not quite ;)



#20 TDolce

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Posted 28 October 2017 - 22:01

OK I spent all morning with the darn pen and the leakage is coming form where the nib and feed go into the pen. I adjusted the nib and feed to many different positions and NOTHING helped. Basically this pen is a confirmed troublemaker. Sorry to be so blunt but for what I paid for it...it should not do that, period. These pens are not cheap (at least in my book) and I understand that sometimes adjustments are needed just by nature of the pens mechanisms etc. But I'm done here. I gave it my all and I have had pens for many years that did not require such work and were far less expensive. (exception being the Noodler's Ahab which took several months of tweaking...but I did finally get it right to where it was perfect). 

 

I had no choice but to toss this Daedalus into the garbage can this afternoon. Its best this way. It only causes me stress and heartache....Don't need or want anymore of that! LOL!

 

A good dip pen with a quality reservoir is just hard to beat for art and I guess that is where I will stay. 


Edited by TDolce, 29 October 2017 - 03:27.






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