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Experiments With Flex

ease my flex dip pen nibs affordable flex bobje

166 replies to this topic

#21 Synnove

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Posted 08 July 2017 - 23:03

Just an FYI: due to the geometry involved, you'll get less splay by having the "pivot points" of the nib on the top (which is what happens when you cut material away from the side). You'll get more splay per pressure by having the pivot points on the side (which means taking material away from the top like the horizontal cut).



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#22 Nail-Bender

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Posted 08 July 2017 - 23:36

Just an FYI: due to the geometry involved...

 

Interesting.

What configuration would more evenly distribute stress and presumably permit more cycles before failure?



#23 Honeybadgers

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Posted 09 July 2017 - 11:37

how did you make the extended slit in the nemosine nib? Two drilled holes and a jeweler's saw?

*edit* durr. I can read.

Edited by Honeybadgers, 09 July 2017 - 11:40.


#24 Nail-Bender

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Posted 09 July 2017 - 12:45

With a jeweler's saw you can drill a hole and thread the blade through it.

The Nemosine already has a hole and it is size #61

 

A 5 blade size will go through it but it is .0158 wide and I'd rather go with as narrow as possible for the slit extension.

 

I'm going to try a 0/8 blade on the next one & a smaller hole just for esthetic reasons.

The order should be here tomorrow.

 

This is the saw I got off e-bay (you can find cheaper ones)

http://www.ebay.com/...353.m2749.l2649

This is the drill & bits

http://www.ebay.com/...353.m2749.l2649

These are the size 8/0 blades I have ordered

http://www.ebay.com/...353.m2749.l2649

(A 8/0 should be .006" thick or 0.15 mm)

 

 

Blade Size For use with:   Blade Thickness        Blade Depth                Teeth/Inch         Drill Size for Piercing

6/0                                     24 gauge .0070''          .0140''                             76.0                         79

5/0                                     22-24 gauge .0080''     .0157''                             71.0                         78

4/0                                     22 gauge .0086''          .0175''                             66.0                         77

3/0                                     22 gauge .0095''           .0190''                            61.0                         76

2/0                                     20-22 gauge .0103"       .0204''                           56.0                          75

1/0                                    18-22 gauge .0110''       .0220''                            53.5                          73

1                                       18-20 gauge .0120''        .0240''                            51.0                         71

2                                       16-18 gauge .0134''        .0276''                           43.0                          70

3                                       12-14 gauge .0140''       .0290''                            40.5                          68

4                                       10 gauge .0150''             .0307''                           38.0                          67

5                                       8 gauge .0158''                .0331''                          35.5                          65

6                                       6-8 gauge .0173''           .0370''                           33.0                           58


Edited by Bordeaux146, 09 July 2017 - 18:18.


#25 Nail-Bender

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Posted 09 July 2017 - 13:37

Here is a family photo...

IMG_0553.JPG

It looks like the right tines are misaligned on all 3 & that is generally the case for me.

I tend to ride the right tine rather hard and end up killing off Zebra-Gs after about 5 days.

For nibs like Noodler''s and such, I just bend em back and keep on truck'n  :D

 

BTW...The pens are all Nemosine Singularity 


Edited by Bordeaux146, 09 July 2017 - 13:39.


#26 Christopher Godfrey

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Posted 09 July 2017 - 14:07

I hate to sound like a spoilsport; but, while I admire all the research and expertise that is being expended, I must say that I am totally foxed by what you are all trying to achieve here (bobje, dms525 and Bordeaux146): why on earth would you spend money on tools and nibs when you could go out and find a lovely early-20thC Waterman, AAWaterman, Wahl, Conklin (or whatever) and have the most wonderful flex <and> spring-back -- and never need to do another thing (except -- perhaps -- some small, judicial smoothing, once)?

 

I very much see the logic in what Synnove wrote (implied) about the physics of cutting away from the shoulder -- it makes perfect sense to me -- and I <have> done that to an Ahab nib, myself, years ago.  Modern nibs can in no way offer the spring-back performance of nibs from 50-100 years ago.  They just don't do it!  It is so much more gratifying to write with an 80-90 year-old and experience the wonderful <response> that those nibs offered.

 

I own two beautiful Franklin-Christophs and must offer thanks to whoever it was that said he had not been impressed with their new (supposedly-)flexible nib -- I <had> thought to try those: I shall <not> now go that route and these two almost-unused pens will soon be seen in the classified section...

 

Just think of all that you could be <writing>, instead of...experimenting, playing!

 

I'm donning my tinfoil hat and making for the door, because I know I shall be castigated for this...sacrilege?  ;^)


Edited by Christopher Godfrey, 09 July 2017 - 14:11.


#27 Nail-Bender

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Posted 09 July 2017 - 14:22

I have 3 wet noodles from the time you speak of (and more loose nibs that go from nail to noodle to fit them)

 

A modified $5 nib can kick the ever-loving-snot out of any one of them without even breaking a sweat.

 

IMG_0554.JPG

 

Here is a Pink banded Waterman Ripple for sale. (the holy grail of pens)

Starting bid is $1,750.00

Its thinnest line is 0.44mm

Guess what?

Not good enough for Spencerian & I'd have to put that thing on a grinder!

 

http://www.ebay.com/...EEAAOSwAPVZMvlx


Edited by Bordeaux146, 09 July 2017 - 14:47.


#28 Bobje

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Posted 09 July 2017 - 17:52

Christopher, you raise a fair question. I'd like to think that nib innovation didn't end with Waterman 70 years ago, and that enthusiasts today can make a contribution to the field. Vintage flex is wonderful, available in increasingly rare quantities, and requires a non-trivial budget and a willingness to hunt for it. It's usually paired with a small, fragile, irreplaceable pen body. A modern flexible steel nib would make a daily, durable, calligraphic tool available to aspiring students and amateurs.


Reviews and articles on Fountain Pen Network

 

CHINA - Hua Hong Blue Belter

ITALY - FILCAO Atlantica | FILCAO Roxi

INDIA - ASA Nauka in Dartmoor | ASA Nauka in Ebonite | ASA Azaadi in Opal | ASA Bheeshma in Graphite | Ranga Model 8

UK - Italix Churchman's Prescriptor

USA - Bexley Prometheus

INK - Route 54 Motor Oil | Black Swan in Icedlandic Minty Bathwater | Robert Oster Aqua | Diamine Emerald Green | Mr. Pen Radiant Blue

EXPERIMENTS - Flex Nib Modifications with Nibs from Fountain Pen Revolution

 

 

 

 


#29 Christopher Godfrey

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Posted 10 July 2017 - 04:00

Alright, alright, I see what you are driving at, bobje (and Bordeaux -- though I do not believe what the latter says about "kicking the living snot" out of vintage nibs -- you should try some of my 1930's, 1940's and even 1950's Pelikans!)  I have <never> thought of my Pelikans as being delicate (quite to the contrary, in fact) and they are plentiful and reasonably-priced...but there we are: it's all about one's perspective, isn't it, and I shall continue to read about your exploits with interest!  Thank you for an enlightening thread.



#30 Honeybadgers

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Posted 10 July 2017 - 05:19

I hate to sound like a spoilsport; but, while I admire all the research and expertise that is being expended, I must say that I am totally foxed by what you are all trying to achieve here (bobje, dms525 and Bordeaux146): why on earth would you spend money on tools and nibs when you could go out and find a lovely early-20thC Waterman, AAWaterman, Wahl, Conklin (or whatever) and have the most wonderful flex <and> spring-back -- and never need to do another thing (except -- perhaps -- some small, judicial smoothing, once)?

 

I very much see the logic in what Synnove wrote (implied) about the physics of cutting away from the shoulder -- it makes perfect sense to me -- and I <have> done that to an Ahab nib, myself, years ago.  Modern nibs can in no way offer the spring-back performance of nibs from 50-100 years ago.  They just don't do it!  It is so much more gratifying to write with an 80-90 year-old and experience the wonderful <response> that those nibs offered.

 

I own two beautiful Franklin-Christophs and must offer thanks to whoever it was that said he had not been impressed with their new (supposedly-)flexible nib -- I <had> thought to try those: I shall <not> now go that route and these two almost-unused pens will soon be seen in the classified section...

 

Just think of all that you could be <writing>, instead of...experimenting, playing!

 

I'm donning my tinfoil hat and making for the door, because I know I shall be castigated for this...sacrilege?  ;^)

 

 

Because sometimes you really don't want to take your collectible, rare, vintage pens out into the world where they can be dropped, stolen or mangled?

 

That said, I do use my schaeffer statesman snorkel at work (breast pocket is a dangerous place for a medic that wrestles crazy people every day)

 

I love my visconti but it sure never sees usage at work. That's the realm of the cheaper, solidly built steel nib (and the lamy 2000)


Edited by Honeybadgers, 10 July 2017 - 05:32.


#31 Bobje

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Posted 10 July 2017 - 16:24

Christopher, great to know on Pelikan. What model would you recommend for an affordable flex nib, fairly easy to find?


Reviews and articles on Fountain Pen Network

 

CHINA - Hua Hong Blue Belter

ITALY - FILCAO Atlantica | FILCAO Roxi

INDIA - ASA Nauka in Dartmoor | ASA Nauka in Ebonite | ASA Azaadi in Opal | ASA Bheeshma in Graphite | Ranga Model 8

UK - Italix Churchman's Prescriptor

USA - Bexley Prometheus

INK - Route 54 Motor Oil | Black Swan in Icedlandic Minty Bathwater | Robert Oster Aqua | Diamine Emerald Green | Mr. Pen Radiant Blue

EXPERIMENTS - Flex Nib Modifications with Nibs from Fountain Pen Revolution

 

 

 

 


#32 Nail-Bender

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Posted 10 July 2017 - 16:34

...you should try some of my 1930's, 1940's and even 1950's Pelikans...

Yep...Been there

They make good wedges for securing hammer handles.

 

You should try this...

http://www.ebay.com/...sd=112282995332

 

For $14 (free shipping and one click ordering) you will look back on this day and remember when it all changed.

 

It happened to me.

Look at my name...Bordeaux146.

I haven't picked that pen up in months.


Edited by Bordeaux146, 10 July 2017 - 21:05.


#33 Nail-Bender

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Posted 11 July 2017 - 16:31

I've been playing around with a #5.5 FPR nib in a  FPR Triveni Jr.

https://fprevolution...-junior-ebonite

IMG_0555.JPG

So far as I know, Noodler's & FPR are the only 2 offering full slit stainless nibs to play with.

This makes the soft flex modification very easy.

 

FPR offers both a #5.5 and a #6 size nib (Noodler's is #6)

Both companies offer extra feeds in ebonite at a very reasonable price.

 

I'd put FPR & Noodler's both up there as the my 1st choice in modern, stainless steel flex.

I would probably go with a #6 nib because it's more portable.


Edited by Bordeaux146, 11 July 2017 - 18:06.


#34 Bobje

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Posted 11 July 2017 - 16:44

How is the FPR no. 5.5 nib performing for you, Bordeaux? I modified one for an Airmail Wality pen. It performs well, but the larger size of the FPR no. 6 nib make it a little easier to grip during the modification process, and I think the extra length helps make it flex. 

 

My modification was a standard scallop behind the shoulder. It looks like you've reduced the width at the peak of the shoulders themselves? 


Reviews and articles on Fountain Pen Network

 

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USA - Bexley Prometheus

INK - Route 54 Motor Oil | Black Swan in Icedlandic Minty Bathwater | Robert Oster Aqua | Diamine Emerald Green | Mr. Pen Radiant Blue

EXPERIMENTS - Flex Nib Modifications with Nibs from Fountain Pen Revolution

 

 

 

 


#35 Nail-Bender

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Posted 11 July 2017 - 17:38

How is the FPR no. 5.5 nib performing for you, Bordeaux?

I've got an epic, Neponset-ish, style battle on my hands right now.

Doing a lot of head scratching & covered in ink up to my elbows. :wacko:

(ink shuts off after flexing .8mm) 

 

So far as trying this modificaton for the 1st time,  I'd go with a #6 nib in a demonstrator that can be used as an eyedropper or a converter...Both.

The reason is ease of switching inks and testing (pushing ink w/ a converter is sometimes helpful)

Either a Noodler's or a FPR flex nib #6

 

I just checked, The FPR fits fine in a Singularity  with the stock Nemosine feed & a lot of adjustment room forward and backward.

The reason I use a singualrity is because I can see what's going on.

This is my 6th different nib in the same pen & they all work well. 

For some reason they provided extra space in the cap.

I can even put the cap on when having the Zebra-G nib fitted and it sticks out from the section 1 1/8"

 

IMG_0557.JPG


Edited by Bordeaux146, 11 July 2017 - 19:36.


#36 Bobje

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Posted 12 July 2017 - 01:05

TEST NO. 3 -- FPR NO. 6 FLEX NIB (ENLARGED VENT HOLE IN 2 POSITIONS) AND NO. 6 EXTRA FINE NIB (ENLARGED VENT HOLE ONLY)

 

A. WRITING RESULTS AFTER MODIFYING BOTH NIBS WITH VENT HOLES JUST BEHIND THE SHOULDERS.

VENT HOLES ARE APPROXIMATELY 5/64 OF AN INCH IN DIAMETER

 

Click pen (gray) with enlarged-vent-hole, no. 6 FPR extra fine nib, 6.3 mm standard ebonite feed

 

In comparison to the no. 6 FPR extra fine nib used in Test 2 (wing scallops only), this wing-modified nib provides some line variation (approximately 2x, from a line width of about 0.5 mm to 1 mm), with a stiffer but still smooth writing experience. The nib never railroaded. A conical-shaped Dremel grinder bit was used to enlarge the vent hole, which left crude workmanship (Graphic 2).

 

Click pen (green) with no. 6 FPR flex nib, vent hole enlarged in the center of the slit, approximately at the shoulders.  6.3 mm standard ebonite feed

 

A conical-shaped Dremel grinder bit created a vent hole at about the center of the nib, near the shoulders (see Option A in Graphic 4 below). This experiment was a disaster. Despite attempts to modify several feeds, I could never produce a nib/feed combination that applied ink consistently. All combinations flooded. This was probably user error, but I gave up after four feeds. Additionally, the nib modification was ugly and crude.

 

B. WRITING RESULTS AFTER DRILLING A 5/64-INCH VENT HOLE AT THE END OF THE SLIT - FPR FLEX NIB AND STOCK AIRMAIL WALITY FEED

 

Airmail Wality 71j  (orange) with no. 6 FPR flex nib, vent hole enlarged at the end of the slit, combined with the stock 6.3 mm ebonite feed used with the pen body's original Airmail Wality nib

 

Using a center punch, then a 1/32" drill bit in a portable hand drill, then a 5/64" drill bit, with the nib carefully clamped and supported from underneath, a vent hole was created at the tail end of the slit (Graphic 3) Unfortunately, in the Click pen bodies, I was not able to get the FPR flex feeds to work consistently with this modified nib. They all flooded.

 

However, the story changed for the better when I combined this nib with a stock 6.3 mm feed, scavenged from the pen body's original Wality nib. The nib/feed assembly performed amazingly well together, with lines varying 3X, from approximately 0.5 mm to 1.6 mm. The feed supplies ink in juicy quantities, and the nib rarely railroads. Additionally, the 5/64" vent hole looks acceptable.

 

I don't know if this is a wet noodle, but it's satisfying, juicy, and provides easy line variation. A writing sample is displayed below (Graphic 5).

 

fpn_1499819212__test-three-fpr-nib-hole-

 

Graphic 1 - The writing sample on the left (photo above) uses an FPR extra-fine nib, modified with a larger vent hole (Graphic 2). The first writing sample on the right (at the top) used an FPR flex nib with a vent hole created at approximately the center of the slit (see Option B in the drawing below). No wing scallops in either test. The standard extra-fine nib was somewhat successful. On the flex nib, the first experiment with an enlarged vent hole was a disaster, producing consistent flooding. The second experiment (Graphic 3) was successful, when the vent hole was drilled at the tail end of the slit and combined with a different feed.

 

fpn_1499819282__wality-test-three-extra-

 

Graphic 2 - FPR extra fine standard nib, with an expanded vent hole. This hole was created with a conical Dremel bit, with crude, unworkmanlike results.

 

fpn_1499819300__flex-nib-one-vent-hole-8

 

Graphic 3 - The photograph above displays a second FPR flex nib, modified with a 5/64-inch vent hole drilled at the tail end of the slit (see option A in Graphic 4 below). When combined with an ebonite feed from the stock Airmail Wality nib, and fitted into an Airmail Wality 71j pen body, this test was extremely successful. Additionally, a portable hand drill and a more careful process resulted in acceptable workmanship.

 

fpn_1499819261__flex-nib-vent-hole-creat

Graphic 4 - Option A was successful. Option B was a disaster, with consistent flooding of the nib/feed combination. This may have been user error.

 

 

fpn_1499819352__ortolani-inferno-800px.j

 

Graphic 5 - This is a writing sample of the Airmail Wality 71j pen, fitted with an FPR flex nib, modified with a single 5/64" hole drilled at the tail end of the slit. Feed was the ebonite feed supplied with the stock Airmail Wality nib. I am not a fan of stock Wality nibs, but the feeds are extremely useful.


Reviews and articles on Fountain Pen Network

 

CHINA - Hua Hong Blue Belter

ITALY - FILCAO Atlantica | FILCAO Roxi

INDIA - ASA Nauka in Dartmoor | ASA Nauka in Ebonite | ASA Azaadi in Opal | ASA Bheeshma in Graphite | Ranga Model 8

UK - Italix Churchman's Prescriptor

USA - Bexley Prometheus

INK - Route 54 Motor Oil | Black Swan in Icedlandic Minty Bathwater | Robert Oster Aqua | Diamine Emerald Green | Mr. Pen Radiant Blue

EXPERIMENTS - Flex Nib Modifications with Nibs from Fountain Pen Revolution

 

 

 

 


#37 Dr Dan

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Posted 12 July 2017 - 02:36

A fascinating topic. I personally do not flex any of my nibs. Metal is not elastic, and damage may occur. I remember when nibs that would flex first appeared in the 30's. My father and uncle were in the trade and were livid that pen manufacturers were "cheapening" their products. But it was the depression and it was one of the few ways to reduce cost and increase profits; they couldn't raise prices so Profits = Revenue - Costs meant reduce costs. The easiest thing was to reduce the amount of gold; "biggest bang" so to speak. I remember being shown the "flex" nib pens by my father who was livid at what "they" were doing. His fear came true, unfortunately, but his business of repairs increased. But, he didn't feel happy about it even with that.

 

Anyway. What I see being done is a reduction of the width and material in the tines. May I suggest that you try instead to reduce the thickness of the tines and leave the width as it is. That is really how flex came about, reduction of the thickness. This is best achieved by working directly on the nib. You could practice on a very inexpensive steel nib first. The Dremel will work well or you could try a fine stone used for sharpening knives.. Just be sure to constantly move the tool and do not "dig in" at any point. Start about one-half cm from the tip and continue to about one-third of the way below the breather hole (don't touch the area that needs it thickness to mount back in the housing of the pen properly). While teaching one of my great grandsons how to modify nibs (using my father's old equipment) we played successfully around with several nibs and did exactly what I have described. I should like to show you what I mean with pictures, but alas I am an Apple product user and I have had no success with posting pictures on this site. 

 

Again, a wonderful and interesting thread. I look forward to seeing your contribution in the Calligraphy thread as well.



#38 Drone

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Posted 12 July 2017 - 05:37

Here is something deserving 5 smiley faces  :D  :D  :D  :D  :D

 

https://www.instagra.../p/BWOd12pl2gs/

 

I'm on the list!

 

I know nothing about the person offering/making the pens in your link (Flexible Nib Factory LLC), but it looks to me like they are taking a Ranga #8 pen made in India which normally comes with a Jowo nib-unit and jamming a Zebra Comic G nib into it, something that is not trivial to do properly, but has been done plenty of times before. You can see an unmodified Ranga #8 pen here for comparison:

 

http://www.peytonstr...-converter.html

 

The person offering the pens does say however, "Just as an FYI, I probably will only offer this product in ebonite; acrylic can't provide nearly enough ink flow for a highly flexible nib like a Zebra G."

 

That statement is correct, however I do not see an ebonite feed anywhere in sight. The Ranga #8 pens are made in both acrylic and ebonite (mostly ebonite). But making the section out of ebonite isn't enough to increase  ink flow significantly, what's needed is an ebonite feed. Unfortunately all the Jowo feeds are plastic.

 

Speculation: So it may be that "Flexible Nib Factory LLC" buys a Ranga #8 pen from India, chucks the Jowo nib and plastic feed, turns an Indian or Pakistani ebonite feed modifying it to fit the Jowo nib unit, heat-sets a Ti coated Zebra G nib in the pen, and marks up the price to cover costs and labor for all the work done? I don't know. But if that is what's going on, it's an interesting idea. If it works, I wonder why Ranga isn't doing it already.

 

Long term, I recommend you get some spare ebonite feeds to go along with your "Flexible Nib Factory LLC" pen. Zebra G nibs don't last nearly as long as regular steel or gold alloy fountain pen nibs. So you'll be changing nibs fairly often which means repeatedly heat setting them to the feed. Eventually the feed will give out. Also if the nib ever rusts (it probably will at some point), that will damage the feed.

 

Keep in-mind a 10 pack of Ti Zebra Comic G nibs runs about $20 bucks. But careful, some sellers charge far more (e.g., $33.50 at Jetpens). I have not seen any Chinese fake Zebra G nibs yet, but you never know. Example:

 

https://www.amazon.c...K/dp/B00LUD4DAY

 

Let us know what happens,

 

Good Luck, David



#39 Nail-Bender

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Posted 12 July 2017 - 11:44

This link has more informative pictures.

https://www.instagra...iblenibfactory/

Joey at Flexible Nib Factory is quite serious & knowledgeable about what is necessary to pull off a drop in Zebra-G nib unit.

We exchanged several messages on the subject where we talked about the challenges specific to the Zebra-G.

 

My opinion is that ebonite is not necessary and neither is a large ink channel.

The "floppy noodle" that I made from a non-tipped Ahab nib uses a stock plastic Nemosine feed and goes from .2-1.5 mm with very little railroading using a tiny, single center channel.

The new idea is creating ink flow speed in two small capillary channels and not having a big puddle under the nib waiting to drip. (one feeds each side, converging just forward of the breather hole & a center vent line allows air to replace the ink volume)

 

Individual heat setting each replacment Zebra-G is not necessary but rust will be an issue.

My Tin plated ones last about 5 days if I pull them every day.

 

A picture of my Zebra-G/Singularity appears in posts 6, 25 & 27.

My "triple track" feed is "under development." B)

 

The one in the picture is a FPR 6.3 mm ebonite one that has been modified and works as well as the Desiderata.

It uses the "hamster style" glug-glug/vacuum system where the feed acts as a sponge.

 

The feed can act like a little carbonator where capillary action is the pump.

You have to mix ink with air so they can pass each other.

Air goes up and ink comes down.

No glug-glug...(tiny bubbles as opposed to one big bubble)


Edited by Bordeaux146, 12 July 2017 - 17:50.


#40 Christopher Godfrey

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Posted 12 July 2017 - 12:31

@bobje: I suggest you look for a 1950s Pelikan 400 -- some of those nibs are wonderful!

 

@Dr Dan: "Metal is not elastic" is an incorrect statement: of course metals are elastic -- to a degree and to <varying> degree, according to where they appear in the periodic table!  Go too far and of course you would be correct; but the above is a sweeping statement.  Secondly, you wrote: "I remember when nibs that would flex first appeared in the '30s..."  This, too, is a sweeping statement, witness many of my Watermans from the 1920s, which have <wonderfully> flexible nibs!

 

Excuse me: I do not wish to seem to be accusing you; but I cannot let those statements go unchallenged...  ;^) 





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