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Experiments With Flex

ease my flex dip pen nibs affordable flex bobje

182 replies to this topic

#161 wetlines

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Posted 21 September 2017 - 20:12

There is a feed you can already buy that will work with Zebra G nibs. It's the Ackerman Pen. You can buy the feeds separately. I have a bunch and use them in my Gold 992s see image. Oddly enough, the actual feed + spacer fit perfectly in a 992 with no modding at all. Zebra + Ackerman + 992 is a trifecta! 
 

992-gold-s.jpg

 

I've also modded one to fit a Lecai! NOTE: Seems as tho Ackerman has modified the feed, there is a new feed and an old one. The older one fits perfect in a 992 with its own spacer. The new ones, you'll have to find an extra spacer to wrap around the nib and feed to friction fit it tight into the section.


Edited by wetlines, 21 September 2017 - 20:16.


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#162 Nail-Bender

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Posted 21 September 2017 - 22:55

Is this the item?

 

https://ackermanpens...erfeed-standard



#163 wetlines

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Posted 22 September 2017 - 01:13

 

Yes that is the item. NOTE that there is new version. The newer version doesn't fit as well in a 992. If you are going to order the feed specifically for the 992 you have to specify the "old" feed in the notes section and/or email him after you place the order. For the 992 you will need 2 things.

 

Feed (old style)

https://ackermanpens...erfeed-standard

 

Spacer

https://ackermanpens...roducts/spacers

 

Place the nib on feed, then place spacer on top of nib. Then place whole "unit" into 992 section. Done.

 

It is also possible to do this without ordering a spacer and making your own "spacer". You can cut like a piece of thin rubber tubing or heat shrink wrap tubing. I was able to use this technique to fit a "newer style" feed into an Ahab, and it works great.

 

Final note: The most important part about this, is the ink. Not all inks work. EoC works. Noodlers black does NOT work. Noodlers black always railroads on me. You need wet ink. There are some inks that 'almost' work (with little railroading), with these inks you can add a surfactant to the ink and it will flex beautifully with almost no railroads. 


Edited by wetlines, 22 September 2017 - 01:16.


#164 Pen_Ingeneer

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Posted 30 September 2017 - 06:04

You may have noticed that my photo has changed.  When I saw the photo, I was very surprised, thinking I was looking at myself.  It's a Northern Garnet photographed by Raymond Barlow (great website with many free photos)  :)

 

xxxx

 

Inspired by this forum I almost finished writing an article on the function of flex nibs.  I am at a point where I try to explain why fps still write after the front of the flex nib has lifted off the feed and I realised that I am making too many assumptions (I have some ideas  :rolleyes: ).   The point of focus is the Pilot Falcon because I have some overall photos and I like its nib.

 

In order to understand the function of a flex nib combined with a Pilot Falcon I would need some photos of the feed only... or if someone has a spare one (just the feed)... it does not need to work, only the front end needs to be undamaged... to have it in my hot little hands. 

 

Another possibility would be photos of any other WORKING flex nib - feed combination with photos of the feed by itself.   B)

 

Thanks, help very appreciated  ;)


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#165 Pen_Ingeneer

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Posted 30 September 2017 - 06:11

Has a look at that one... gives me an idea about how it works... could anyone get me close up photos? 


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#166 Pen_Ingeneer

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Posted 21 December 2017 - 00:16

Not much to say... the Flex nib article is published!   :rolleyes: 

 

I want to thank all the people who have contributed to this forum and allowed me to use the information.   :thumbup:

 

 

You know how to get there.  Check it out, help me to improve it and let's get this forum going again!  :P


Edited by Pen_Ingeneer, 21 December 2017 - 08:55.

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#167 Nail-Bender

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Posted 23 December 2017 - 19:23

...let's get this forum going again!  :P

 

I started playing with stainless nibs again.

 

I've pretty much given up on #6 nibs entirely because of mediocre results (FPR & Noodler's)

I also stopped trying to do anything with the FPR #5 for the same reason.

 

My greatest successes have come from stuffing a #2 Creaper nib (Noodler's) in the Himalayan & Triveni (Both FPR)

No flex modifications have been necessary when properly set-up & only minor grinding of the tip is necessary to produce hairlines.

 

It makes for a practical carry pen that doesn't have to have its nib pulled every night.


Edited by Bordeaux146, 23 December 2017 - 19:32.


#168 Pen_Ingeneer

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Posted 17 May 2018 - 10:39

I was thinking and hoping that writing a paper on flex nibs would accelerate this forum like booster rocket... comments and discussions, why this, why that... and I wonder why not.  :rolleyes:


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#169 Bo Bo Olson

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Posted 27 May 2018 - 21:18

Do you have a link to that part...I took another glance at your great site, but superflex nibs didn't jump out at me.


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#170 Pen_Ingeneer

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Posted 29 May 2018 - 09:38

Do you have a link to that part...I took another glance at your great site, but superflex nibs didn't jump out at me.

Assuming you are talking to me...  :rolleyes:

 

I am still battling with all the different expressions for kinds of flex  :unsure:   but here is the link

 

https://fountainpend...ibs-experience/


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#171 AAAndrew

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Posted 29 May 2018 - 16:26

I have read your writings on flex nibs and it's clear you are focused on gold fountain pens. I have some experience with those, but much, much more with vintage, flexible steel dip pens. 

 

I have a few responses. 

 

1. you say "the shape of nibs and their tines is intricate" and this is even more the case for dip pens than for fountain pens, but even fountain pens have a wide range of shapes, including long and short tines, wide and narrow shoulders, etc... I'm assuming your thought is the shape is fairly irrelevant to the measurements you're making of flexibility. The shape is very important to attaining different levels of flexibility, as you point out later on, but initially the measurement should measure the same regardless of the shape. 

 

2. Useful Line Width: I propose that useful line width is not a characteristic of a nib, but is instead a characteristic of ink, paper and feed if there is one. With steel dip pens there is no difference between useful line width and maximum line width. Because there is no feed, with the right ink and paper, you can make a line as wide as the tines can be separated. If we're talking about the characteristics of the nib, then this is not relevant, but if we're talking about writing with ink, on paper, with a nib on a pen, then it becomes a relevant, if adjustable, characteristic. Then it's more like maximum speed of a stock engine vs. maximum speed of an engine when you modify it. 

 

3. In chapter 8, you talk about the technical means of determining a nib's characteristics: the spring constant and the preload. If I understand the difference correctly, one (the preload) is how much force is needed to begin the separation of the tines, and the spring constant is how much force is required to continue to spread the tines from that point? To me, while it would be extremely tiresome to measure, I suspect this line of spread vs. force would illustrate the most interesting variation across materials. With very flexible steel nibs, my anecdotal experience tells me that the pressure needed is not linear, but more of a curve. It starts out requiring greater force to overcome the friction keeping the tines together, then the force needed drops until you approach maximum feasible spread when it quickly rises. With less flexible nibs the line is more constant as there is a much smaller point of spreading. Now, this is based purely on my experience with steel, dip pens. I suspect gold responds differently. My much more limited experience with gold is that the force is more linear, but that may also be a function of the sharper tip on a steel pen, thus creating greater friction to begin the spread, than a round tipped gold nib. 

 

4. In Chapter 11, bending, I can extrapolate from your diagram, that adding slits, piercings or cut-outs along the shoulders of a pen, you reduce the breadth, b, as well as reducing the resistance from the curved profile by effectively making the center of the nib more of a flat surface by separating it from the curved sides. 

 

5. In Chapter 17A you show a dip nib with a complex piercing and cross grinding. (photo 9). First off, the grinding was done to steel nibs to reduce the thickness and increase flexibility. I'm not so sure of the actual effectiveness of these grinds, but they were considered important enough that after hand-grinding disappeared, it was replaced by machine-stamped grooves perpendicular across the nib in imitation of the grinding. There can sometimes be an additional straight grinding that is parallel to the axis of the nib, but those are more for decoration rather than function. (see my discussion of grinding and my description of how nibs were made to see the deliberate nature of the grind had nothing to do with de-burring) They do not have any impact on ink, as you speculate, because the grinding is on the top of the nib, while the underside, where the ink is held, is smoother. Gold dip nibs, on the other hand, are generally roughened on the underside to promote surface tension to keep the ink from sliding too quickly off the nib. (gold being "slicker" than steel) With a dip nib that has no feed, you are relying on surface tension to keep a pool of ink clinging to the surface of the underside of the nib, and the ink is drawn down the slit through capillary action from that pool of ink. The hole in the nib has very little impact on the amount of ink a nib is able to hold, and often the ink will gather on the back of the nib surrounding the hold but not bridging it. 

 

6. In Chapter 17 B. - Wing Scallops, in your discussion you start to approach a complexity of terminology that is not talked about very much anymore: flexible pens vs. soft pens. With scallops cut out you add to the softness of the nib without appreciably impacting the flexibility of the nib. You can see some discussion of this here

 

7. In Chapter 17D, towards the end, you show the Principality again. I think you are still under the impression that the hole in a dip pen actually has some kind of function. The only function holes have are to narrow the width of the nib at a point that may or may not impact flexibility. On this Principality, this narrowing has a great impact. On most standard pens, it has little to none. (I can show this by providing two pens with the same shape and hole placement but which have very different flexibilities) 

 

The holes on steel dip pens cause a lot of confusion. Basically, they weren't really needed once makers started using less brittle spring steel, but were kept out of tradition, and because that's how they had always been made. On a steel pen you do not need the hole to prevent splitting, like you do on a gold pen. There is also no "breathing" done with the hole since there is no feed. As I mention above, the hole doesn't hold much, if any, ink on a properly prepped steel pen, and most capillary action takes place from the sides of the tines where the ink actually lies. The ink does not flow from the top down. If that was the case, a nib would hold very little ink. This is why wider nibs, like the Falcon or Spoon nibs can hold huge amounts of ink as they have wide sides. 

 

There are whole classes of dip pens, usually made out of "pinchbeck," an allow of copper and zinc, that have no holes at all. They usually have very little flexibility (the material is not flexible) so the hole provides no advantage at all. And many old gold dip nibs have no hole either. 

 

Overall a very interesting read. I suspect if you get yourself some good, vintage dip pens and examine them, I suspect you might learn a thing or two more about how to make truly effective flexible nibs. Just make sure you prep them correctly first, and you'll see what I mean about the capillary action and irrelevance of the hole. 

 

Thanks for sharing

Andrew



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#172 _InkyFingers

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Posted 30 May 2018 - 16:20

A most valid point by Amadeus and Andrew.

Surmising on just one principle is very misleading. The grinds on the writing point or lack of is also important. Better feedback or scratchy pens are favored by some and some not.

Invariably by the look of a pen does not tell you its flexibility.

And you dont really need a flexible nib pen to create variable line width. Padded paper with a pencil, a nice biro, an edged nib, or even a nail can create variable line width depending on the lightness or pressure of writing.

A lot to explore.

Keep em coming...

Edited by _InkyFingers, 30 May 2018 - 16:22.


#173 Pen_Ingeneer

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Posted 01 June 2018 - 05:42

A most valid point by Amadeus and Andrew.

Surmising on just one principle is very misleading. The grinds on the writing point or lack of is also important. Better feedback or scratchy pens are favored by some and some not.

Invariably by the look of a pen does not tell you its flexibility.

And you dont really need a flexible nib pen to create variable line width. Padded paper with a pencil, a nice biro, an edged nib, or even a nail can create variable line width depending on the lightness or pressure of writing.

A lot to explore.

Keep em coming...

"What is an owl for some, is a nightingale for others."  North German proverb.  

 

There is no right or wrong but an expression of experience... and after some time we have preferences.  How wunderbar that is!

 

Like with many other "handtools" similar results can be achieved in various ways.  An Australian saying: "There are many ways to skin a cat."

 

"A rose does smell as sweet by any other name."  You know who.

 

And Dometrius: "There is only matter (atomos) and space (kenon), the rest is opinion."


Edited by Pen_Ingeneer, 01 June 2018 - 05:47.

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#174 Pen_Ingeneer

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Posted 01 June 2018 - 05:49

I have read your writings on flex nibs and it's clear you are focused on gold fountain pens. I have some experience with those, but much, much more with vintage, flexible steel dip pens. 

 

...

 

Thanks for sharing

Andrew

Yes, I will reply.  Bussy right now.  :)


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#175 Frank66

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Posted 01 June 2018 - 07:33


And Dometrius: "There is only matter (atomos) and space (kenon), the rest is opinion."

 

I presume you mean Democritus instead, the ancient Greek philosopher who formulated the atomic theory of the universe: ''..The first principles of the universe are atoms and empty space; everything else is merely thought to exist.''.. (link: https://en.wikiquote...wiki/Democritus )  Sorry for the correction, but we Greeks are very thoughtful of our predecessors and are quite sensitive to be quoted in a proper manner.  Regards, Frank66


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#176 Nail-Bender

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Posted 01 June 2018 - 13:06

Just make sure you prep them correctly first, and you'll see what I mean about the capillary action and irrelevance of the hole. 

Hybrid pens are another story.

The hole size & location can really be hard to design a feed for.

 

I've basically given up on the traditional one channel for everything (ink down and air up) when making a feed for a hybrid.

My most success has come from the ink down the channel & air up underneath the feed where an overabundance of ink in the feed blocks the passage.

 

It's a long explanation so I'll just say that holes in dip pens are irrelevant but when used in hybrid pens, they can be a major source of problems.

 

Also, you don't have to "stick the potato" with a hybrid nib before use :D

And sometimes it's better if you do not (looking at you Zebra-G & your annoying drip habit)

 

The traditional "two way street" type of feed seems to work well with stainless flex nibs like Noodler's & FPN that don't have breather holes.


Edited by Nail-Bender, 01 June 2018 - 13:40.


#177 AAAndrew

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Posted 01 June 2018 - 14:17

Interesting. I can see why most modern flex nibs are missing holes.

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#178 Pen_Ingeneer

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Posted 02 June 2018 - 02:53

 

I presume you mean Democritus instead, the ancient Greek philosopher who formulated the atomic theory of the universe: ''..The first principles of the universe are atoms and empty space; everything else is merely thought to exist.''.. (link: https://en.wikiquote...wiki/Democritus )  Sorry for the correction, but we Greeks are very thoughtful of our predecessors and are quite sensitive to be quoted in a proper manner.  Regards, Frank66

Yes, for sure, I meant him.  My apologies to you, all the Greeks and Mr Democritus, especially.  I have studied Mr Democritus's work and written about him and consider him one of the world's greatest thinkers.  I am devasted about this mistake.  My limp reason: it was late at night... 

 

I am glad that Greeks have this respectful relationship with their predecessors, we older Germans have it, too, to our ancestors.  History, real history, not the collection of dates, is the greatest source of wisdom.

 

Thanks again for letting me know.


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#179 Precise

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Posted 04 September 2018 - 06:09

This thread should interest you all.

 

http://www.fountainp...es-when-spread/

 

The enlarged central hole, in the current thread and the lateral slit of my thread have similar results, and work better to spread the tines apart, than notches in the sides of the nib. 

 

That's because taking material out of the center leaves metal on the arched sides which are not parallel and naturally result in spread.  But cutting notches in the sides of the nib, leaves metal in the center, which is nearly parallel and thus doesn't spread much when flexed.

 

Alan


Edited by Precise, 05 September 2018 - 04:20.


#180 _InkyFingers

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Posted 05 September 2018 - 02:15

Hammer to chisel.

That is berry true. The weakest point will give.

Vertical cuts (elongation of the split in the thines) helps the metal to bend.

Horizontal cuts have two folds advantages. Helps the thine to flex by spreading the thines apart. And the other is flexing the nib for softer writing but not for shading.

Curvatures: dip pen steel pens have a rounded curvature. The smaller diameter, the more responsive. If you want responsiveness, give the nib a nice curve and not the flat nib of today. Note also the nib is slim and long, the longer the softer the flex.

If possible...try out a dip pen...wont cost you much.

Edited by _InkyFingers, 05 September 2018 - 02:23.




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