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Experiments With Flex

ease my flex dip pen nibs affordable flex bobje

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#41 kethiemann

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Posted 12 July 2017 - 21:28

Bob, I'm excited about the progress you are making!  Even if the process only results in some simple ways users can reliably modify these steel nibs to produce more flex that would be awesome.  But I also find myself wondering if you might stumble onto something that could be produced at a manufacturer level, in other words a new nib design with feed combination that could be mass produced.  Boy wouldn't it be something if it were possible to find a combination that would approximate vintage wet noodle flex in a modern steel nib pen for under $50!  This all definitely makes me want to put my thinking cap back on about this possibility.  Keep up the good work!

 

I think I'm about to head over to my desk and try out some of your mods and see what I can come up with myself.

 

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#42 Nail-Bender

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Posted 12 July 2017 - 21:48

I just started working on the FPR #6

IMG_0561.JPG

I'm trying to decide how much pressure I want at 1.5 mm.

By the looks of it, I think the thing could do 2 mm but I don't want to un-snap it.

Baby steps. :D

 

Still working on the #5.5

Going to try converting the pen to sac & grinding to XF.


Edited by Bordeaux146, 12 July 2017 - 21:51.


#43 Drone

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Posted 13 July 2017 - 02:03

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)

 

Great pics, thanks for the link. So is the pen itself a Ranga #8, or is the pen newly turned? Is there a thread with more discussion about these new Zebra G compatible pens? I don't want to contaminate this fine thread with OT conversation.



#44 Bobje

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Posted 13 July 2017 - 18:19

Wow, Kevin, what a terrific goal to strive for. Thank you for weighing in here. One of the great things about Fountain Pen Network is that enthusiasts, beginners, tinkerers, manufacturers, and retailers can come together in one place to think through problems that are important to all of us. 


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#45 Bluey

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Posted 13 July 2017 - 18:36

Interesting.

I think I may try something on one of my old Bock or Jowo nibs in my Twsbi or my Jinhaos. The expanded breather hole is not something I'd seen before. If it makes any difference.


Edited by Bluey, 13 July 2017 - 18:40.

Mediterranean blue, Asa Goa, China blue, Royal blue, Sapphire blue, Indigo, Washable Blue....the colours of the rainbow.


#46 Nail-Bender

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Posted 13 July 2017 - 19:28

I'm basically done with the #6 FPR nib.

I finished the ebonite 6.3 mm FPR feed last night & have been doing tip smoothing.

 

The Mottishaw shaped  tip is my gold standard for non-dip flexy pens.

If I can't get .1 mm, I consider it a failure.

I paid huge money so I could look at his tip under 60X :wub:

BTW...It's not as easy as it doesn't look :D

IMG_0563.JPG

I'm getting variation from .1 to a monster 2.3 mm (heavy pressure)

It prefers to cruise along between .1 and 1 but will go to 1.5 without much trouble.

Max flex is Very S..L..O..W 

I did sort of cheat a little and added 1 drop of Liquitex to 5 ml of PR Black cherry when I filled the pen.

 

Happy flexing!


Edited by Bordeaux146, 13 July 2017 - 22:48.


#47 kethiemann

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Posted 13 July 2017 - 21:22

Wow, Kevin, what a terrific goal to strive for. Thank you for weighing in here. One of the great things about Fountain Pen Network is that enthusiasts, beginners, tinkerers, manufacturers, and retailers can come together in one place to think through problems that are important to all of us. 

I'm just happy to get to play a role in your flex mod adventure Bob.  Thanks for the opportunity.



#48 Nail-Bender

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Posted 13 July 2017 - 21:59

 

Great pics, thanks for the link. So is the pen itself a Ranga #8, or is the pen newly turned? Is there a thread with more discussion about these new Zebra G compatible pens? I don't want to contaminate this fine thread with OT conversation.

 

Joey is thinking about supplying a #6 Jowo unit that will drop into any pen that accepts them.

He wouldn't be selling them to us end users but we could get our hands on them through a retail vender.

 

There is a long list of pens that use the Jowo #6

(Bexley, Conklin, Edison, Faber Castell, Franklin Christoph, Goulet, Taccia, TWSBI & more)

 

So far as ink requirements for the Zebra-G,

I'm surprised at what you can get away with.

An itty-bitty converter and cheap plastic feed work surprisingly well.

You're not going to be able to stomp on the gas or throw 2+ mm lines all over the place but it isn't that hard to eyedropper most pens.


Edited by Bordeaux146, 13 July 2017 - 23:36.


#49 Bobje

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Posted 14 July 2017 - 16:26

This is additional photography of the Airmail Wality 71J used in Test No. 3, with an FPR flex nib modified with a 5/64" vent hole at the end of the slit, and a stock Airmail Wality ebonite feed. (Unfortunately, there is no "e" in Ann Patchett's first name.)

 

fpn_1500049003__fpr-flex-nib-patchett--u

 

fpn_1500049091__airmail-wality-71j-uncap

 

fpn_1500049025__fpr-nib-flex-mod-hole--8

 

fpn_1500049049__fpr-flex-nib-scroll-samp

 

 

 

 


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#50 Bo Bo Olson

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Posted 14 July 2017 - 20:59

Weak Kneed Wet Noodle...a term invented by John Swoba/Oxnard here on the com.

I checked a nib of a MB 20's Safety pen in a live auction....in there were 5-6 old men (didn't have my mirror with me) knew I'd not get it........before this so called 'depression scrape gold dust' nibs.....and that was a nib :notworthy1: :notworthy1: :puddle: .

 

I have a Pelikan 100n, after the war, green ink window....gold nib, superflex first stage, Easy Full Flex...will go to 5 X a light down stroke but I strive not to take it over 4 X....do something similar ever since reading Richard Binders article of how to Spring your nib in three easy lessons.

I've never really heard lots of mention of Pelikan Superflex nibs........Heard more about Soennecken ('50's) than either MB or Pelikan.

I don't have any '20's Osmia's just a '30's and after the War ones....and the max I have is some maxi-semi-flex................which are not even first stage of superflex....but nice.

 

Some astute poster posted some info by Waterman from the '30's....and it appears that what they were wanting to do was make the nib bend real easy, while having @ a 3X tine spread......so from what I read we are all over stressing any of the '30's Waterman Pink nibs, taking them out to the 'normal 5-6 or hunting for the rare 7X nib.

 

:) Good thing my '52 must be from the '20's. :P....And for me it is very, very hard to write at XXF...have to think about EF....often just write a F.....and do strive not to take it to max of BBB.

Richard's article impressed me.


Edited by Bo Bo Olson, 14 July 2017 - 21:00.

What is the true face of Alec Guinness?

www.nibs.com/blog/nibster-writes/nibs-germany      Info on Bock nibs

 

The cheapest lessons are from those who learned expensive lessons. Ignorance is best for learning expensive lessons.


#51 Nail-Bender

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Posted 14 July 2017 - 21:51

I've decided to give the #6 Jowo nib unit a try with the the Ahab feed & Zebra-G.

The Ahab & FPR feeds are almost identical except Ahab has the vent hole & tube.

IMG_0564.JPG

L>R Nood'er's #6 flex nib & feed...FPR #6 (in pen) & ebonite feed...FPR #5.5 nib + plastic feed + ebonite feed...Noodler's music nib & feed.

Edison nib & plastic feed...Lower right Nemosine nib & plastic feed.

 

In the center is the Jowo #6 screw in nib holder & the Zebra-G

 

BTW...Neither the Noodler's Ahab or Music nib will go in the Jowo #6 nib holder without deforming it.

You can screw the nib holder into the section and THEN put the nib & feed in.

It works fine that way.

 

The Nemosine nib & plastic feed goes in so well that it appears to have been made for it.  (Never tried inking it)

 

So the 2 nibs on the right of the picture go right in without modification.

The Nemosine & its plastic feed - AND - the Edison & its plastic feed.

 

I think Peyton Street Pens uses the Jowo #6 nib holder a lot with their branded nibs and the same plastic feed as the Edison.


Edited by Bordeaux146, 15 July 2017 - 02:45.


#52 Bobje

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Posted 15 July 2017 - 01:22

BoBo, this is an interesting topic, the limit on flex. With these experiments, the nib feels comfortable at up to 3x, but that's about the limit.


Reviews and articles on Fountain Pen Network

 

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

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#53 Nail-Bender

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Posted 15 July 2017 - 03:17

Some astute poster posted some info by Waterman from the '30's....and it appears that what they were wanting to do was make the nib bend real easy, while having @ a 3X tine spread......so from what I read we are all over stressing any of the '30's Waterman Pink nibs, taking them out to the 'normal 5-6 or hunting for the rare 7X nib.

So if my nib goes from .1 mm to 2.3 mm it is a 23X nib?

That would make the Zebra-G a 30X nib because I can get it to 3 mm if I stand on it.

 

I honestly don't get why people are always talking about these things.

s-l1600.jpg

Any more than $25 and you're paying for a pretty handle.

 

Stainless steel was invented in 1915

It doesn't rust and it flexes a whole heck of a lot better.

Ask any calligrapher.


Edited by Bordeaux146, 15 July 2017 - 16:44.


#54 Nail-Bender

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 21:42

An update on the FPR Triveni Jr.

 

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

 

This thing was a challenge but I finally got it to throw down a 1.5 mm line without falling on its face.

(I actually got 2 mm lines but I think that is over stressing the nib)

 

Now for the parts list...

FPR plastic (non-flex) feed

Noodler's #2 flex nib unmodified for flex...NO KIDDING!

Parker #51 sac. (cut top off ink cartridge and attach...Don't forget tiny little plastic ball)

IMG_0569.JPG

 

I'm getting 1.5 mm reliably without R/R issues.

I decided to only take it down to .2 mm because I'm going to be using it at work on some crappy paper.

 

For the nib grind, I did a flat top and took in the sides a bit.

The underside was just touched a bit using the "popsicle stick" and smoothed with Mylar paper.

 

I'm thinking that at $39 this has to be one of the greatest deals in ebonite.

This thing works great! :D  :D  :D



#55 Synnove

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Posted 20 July 2017 - 21:28

Stainless steel was invented in 1915

It doesn't rust and it flexes a whole heck of a lot better.

Ask any calligrapher.

 

-Stainless steel does rust. It rusts *less* than other alloys, but it does rust.

 

-The flex of stainless steel, in the standard alloys and geometries being used and discussed here, rarely flexes "a heck of a lot better". It's really difficult to make a stainless steel nib that can flex as wide as a calligrapher's nib or a vintage gold nib, with as little pressure, and still have it return to it's previous configuration with out plastic deformation. If you read my posts you'll see that I was able to get a stainless steel nib to flex as easily as a Zebra G given the same pressure, but it couldn't go near as wide without plastic deformation, and I occasionally had to bend the tines downward because the repeated flexing had slowly caused them to separate slightly.

 

-I suspect you're conflating carbon steel with stainless steel here; calligrapher nibs use carbon steel as their material (hence why they rust). Anything that looks different is due to plating. The difficulty of flexible stainless I mentioned above is one reason why carbon steel is still used.

 

Additionally, all this talk about how far you can splay the tines is worthless without quantifying the relationship between pressure and tine width; having to put down a ton of pressure does not equate with a pleasant flex pen writing experience in my mind.



#56 Nail-Bender

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Posted 20 July 2017 - 22:19

A 0.1 - 1.5 mm flexable fountain pen nib that is easy to flex and lasts at least a year is good enough for me. (Chromium steel)

 

I have the Zebra-G if I want to flex bigger/softer and pull the nib every day. (Carbon steel)

 

This is a Ranga Zayante that I use with a dip pen nib.

None of my vintage gold nibs go down to 0.1 and that is where I like to be.

 

IMG_0571.JPG

IMG_0570.JPG


Edited by Bordeaux146, 20 July 2017 - 22:33.


#57 siamackz

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Posted 21 July 2017 - 00:59

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.


FPR also offers feeds for flex nibs. I've used them - super duper ink flow, so caution is advised :)

#58 siamackz

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Posted 21 July 2017 - 01:14



 

I have the Zebra-G if I want to flex bigger/softer and pull the nib every day. (Carbon steel)

 

 

 

I adjusted my Zebra G nib to fit into my huge Guider eyedropper and enjoyed fantastic results. The nib rusted in 2 months though, so that's the shelf life if those chrome nibs are going to sit on the pen with ink in it. But, I think that's fair for the price we pay for the G nibs. 

The experience for me is quite different from my vintage flex. The Zebra is more flexible but its not fun to write with (rough), while the vintage 52 is super smooth and super soft. But again, when it comes to line variation, the Zebra trumps!

 

fpn_1500599354__screen_shot_2017-07-21_a

 

fpn_1500599617__screen_shot_2017-07-21_a



#59 Nail-Bender

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Posted 21 July 2017 - 11:30

 

I adjusted my Zebra G nib to fit into my huge Guider eyedropper and enjoyed fantastic results. The nib rusted in 2 months though, so that's the shelf life if those chrome nibs are going to sit on the pen with ink in it.

I had one chrome nib rust in 8 hours :o

Usually I can get a week if I pull them every day.

It might be that PR ink is very hard on them, I'm not sure.

 

The gold colored ones last until the tip gets scratchy and I have to pitch them.

 

I have a dozen pens, which is not a lot by what I have seen of people here on the forum.

I'm only really using the Zebra-G pen and the one that has the Creeper #2 nib.

 

I figure one gold nib per week at $2 each is just over $100 for a pen that is essentially unequaled in fountain pen performance.

My blue ripple wet noodle is worth 6 years of nibs and I mostly just look at it :huh:



#60 siamackz

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Posted 21 July 2017 - 15:38


 
I figure one gold nib per week at $2 each is just over $100 for a pen that is essentially unequaled in fountain pen performance.
My blue ripple wet noodle is worth 6 years of nibs and I mostly just look at it :huh:


Haha! That's one way to look at it - if flex is your primary criteria. for example, my G nib mod pen is definitely the most flexi nib I have, but it's still the least inked, only because I'm really a calligrapher and so flex is not my primary criteria. My oblique medium vintage nibs will see more use in general.



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