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Twsbi Vac700R, Full Flex Xxf 14K And Architect F From Fpnibs.com


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#1 Honeybadgers

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Posted 01 December 2017 - 22:55

Pablo hit another one out of the stadium. 

 

His basic stuff is really, really reasonably priced (something like $6 to customize a standard nib into an architect if you buy the nib from him) but this is approaching the absolute limits of what you can ask a nibmeister to do. Starting with a JoWo 14k Semiflex nib, he pulled the shoulders back so far that this thing is the softest, most delicate nib I've ever used. This thing is the wettest of the wet noodles, even the most minute writing pressure will change the line width. I love it.

 

He also brought it down to a 0.3 (think slightly finer platinum preppy EF) needlepoint XXF and added a keyhole breather for even more flex.

 

Resulting nib is nothing less than a work of art. The craftsmanship is astounding, after he tuned the feed it lays down rivers of ink and rarely railroads. It's a bit sensitive to rotation, but I knew going in that this was a pen that I had to learn to use.

 

His usual two day turnaround time was longer with this pen because he kept it and wrote with it for about a week while he tuned it, and the results show. Nothing in my collection writes this nice (except for maybe the semiflex F he made for me, but that pen was stolen)

 

Anyone who argues that we can't get a real modern wet noodle anymore is just wrong. You have to pay for it, but this thing will go to a BB-BBB without complaint, has excellent snapback, and this is softer than any of my "real" wet noodle vintage nibs. My waterman 52 Ideal noodles are almost semiflex by comparison to this in terms of softness.

 

The only downside is that this thing devours ink. Playing with it yesterday used almost half of a complete fill. But the VAC20A ink well makes the VAC700R a perfect home for this ink.

 

The VAC700R is just a glorious pen. It's like the baby brother to the Conid bulkfiller. With the new piston seal, no more ink starvation issues, the ability to shut off ink makes it a great traveling pen, a custom inkwell designed just for it (kind of ugly but very functional) and an overall just great, durable design. I love how it feels in the hand, the cap posts (though you do have to shift your grip back to the threads as it's immensely long) 

 

My only gripes with the VAC700R are that I like the look of the tail cap, but don't like the function, as it kind of makes it hard to slide into a pocket, but I like torpedo shapes, so take that complaint with a grain of salt. And the clip is a bit too firm, though not the worst.

 

My biggest complaint with the pen (and any TWSBI) is TWSBI's USA customer service rep, who's made every interaction I've had with him hellish. 

 

And on to my little easter egg, the architect nib. I asked Pablo to grind the F nib into something fun, a 45 degree architect. I misjudged my angle (which is very average) by about 5 degrees (I have a very typical writing angle, and 50 degrees would have been the money angle,) so I have to write with the pen a LITTLE lower than usual for the cleanest line, but this nib is a ton of fun, with XXF downstrokes and M-B cross. This is a very sharp nib, too, like a sideways crisp italic, and I think it makes my cursive look stupid, but printing is REALLY fun. I recommend getting an extra nib unit for this pen if you plan on having pablo make you an exquisite flex nib and custom feed, because you really don't want to be messing with that regularly, especially when the whole section just unscrews from the pen and nib units purchased for the pen come with a whole section. I'll likely leave the flex nib at home when I travel with this pen and bring the architect, which is just dry enough to be a great daily writer on things like checks and receipts.

 

I can't recommend FPnibs in Spain highly enough. Just stellar customer service and, for the price, he can't be beat. I don't know of a nibmeister anywhere in the USA that will sell you a nib AND customize it like this for under $300, and not only that, I got a whole VAC700R, customized feed, and architect nib on top of it!

 

My handwriting is still quite shaky with this pen as it's psychotically soft, so I'm still learning to use it properly. But boy is it fun.

 

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fpn_1512168858__vac700r_-4.jpg

 

fpn_1512168877__vac700r_-5.jpg

 

If I remember I'll try to upload a video showing just how soft this is in comparison to a waterman ideal #2 wet noodle.

 

 



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#2 Jamerelbe

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Posted 02 December 2017 - 00:38

Wow, that's fantastic!  I can't justify that kind of expenditure on a pen right now, sadly, but this is something I'd love to try out if ever I can find an excuse to outlay that kind of cash...

 

Pablo from fpnibs.com is a masterful nib technician, though: the grinds they offer on stainless steel nibs (and, yes, on gold nibs too) are outstanding value for money.  Might have to try the F architect nib while saving up for a full flex... 

 

Thanks for sharing this with us!



#3 Honeybadgers

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Posted 02 December 2017 - 00:59

The flex nib alone, shipped to the US, was about $200. He will do a semiflex (which is much more sensible or a daily writer, this REALLY isn't for fast note taking) for substantially cheaper, I think this full flex modification is much more labor intensive. But his work is every bit as good as Binder's.

 

*edit*

 

Just to confirm the price on a F ground semiflex (F-BB) from FPnibs, shipped, was $135.


Edited by Honeybadgers, 02 December 2017 - 04:03.


#4 fountainpen51

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Posted 02 December 2017 - 11:18

Does this take ebonite feed? I've been thinking about buying a "wet noodle" pen or this nib, for some time, so I still have questions about why to go. Do you really prefer to use this as a vintage "wet noodle"? Talking with Pablo, he told me that he can get enough with ebonita feed.

Can that XXF for normal typing be used? Without taking quick notes.

Do you write very wet when you flex? I have some nib that when I flex it leaves a real puddle of ink and I do not like that. How would you say that is?

 


Edited by fountainpen51, 02 December 2017 - 13:08.


#5 sundragon

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Posted 02 December 2017 - 17:50

That is amazing, is the full flex nib a custom order or can you do it off their website?

#6 akafridi3

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Posted 02 December 2017 - 21:34

very cool!



#7 Honeybadgers

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Posted 02 December 2017 - 22:12

Does this take ebonite feed? I've been thinking about buying a "wet noodle" pen or this nib, for some time, so I still have questions about why to go. Do you really prefer to use this as a vintage "wet noodle"? Talking with Pablo, he told me that he can get enough with ebonita feed.

Can that XXF for normal typing be used? Without taking quick notes.

Do you write very wet when you flex? I have some nib that when I flex it leaves a real puddle of ink and I do not like that. How would you say that is?

 

 

It's definitely on the wet side. Most flex nibs really require it. If you've ever used a spoon feed waterman 52, you'll know what it's like.

 

No ebonite feed. You don't need one. This feed is remarkably well made in terms of buffer, pablo just opens it up some more. It keeps up just fine. 

 

It can be, but the full flex is still SUPER soft. If you want a pen for more everyday use, the semiflex is better. this is way softer than a wet noodle, so you must be very delicate with your downstrokes to avoid laying down too wide of a line. Personally, now that I've had a few days of practice, I feel comfortable taking normal notes and printing with it. But does lay down a wet line, even under featherlight pressure, so a wet ink on good paper will still need a modest dry time (about 15-30 seconds on rhodia with monteverde fireopal, just tested, with the flexing taking about a minute or two)

 

I personally am quite happy with the full flex over the semiflex, and I really prefer needlepoint grinds. This is not the smoothest nib out there, but it's not supposed to be.

 

When I'm practicing spencerian, this is way better than a regular old vintage noodle. This is much closer to a dip nib, though even softer. I'd say it's closer to a brause rose than anything else, including the practice required to get it to start reliably on occasion. It's an advanced nib for sure. Get a semiflex if you're not confident you want a nib that will test your abilities every time you use it.


Edited by Honeybadgers, 02 December 2017 - 22:19.


#8 Honeybadgers

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Posted 02 December 2017 - 22:12

That is amazing, is the full flex nib a custom order or can you do it off their website?

 

 

For something this heavily customized, you need to email pablo at FPnibs so he can put together an invoice and talk to you to make sure you're getting something you will want to use.


Edited by Honeybadgers, 02 December 2017 - 22:12.


#9 fountainpen51

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Posted 03 December 2017 - 16:22

 

It's definitely on the wet side. Most flex nibs really require it. If you've ever used a spoon feed waterman 52, you'll know what it's like.

 

No ebonite feed. You don't need one. This feed is remarkably well made in terms of buffer, pablo just opens it up some more. It keeps up just fine. 

 

It can be, but the full flex is still SUPER soft. If you want a pen for more everyday use, the semiflex is better. this is way softer than a wet noodle, so you must be very delicate with your downstrokes to avoid laying down too wide of a line. Personally, now that I've had a few days of practice, I feel comfortable taking normal notes and printing with it. But does lay down a wet line, even under featherlight pressure, so a wet ink on good paper will still need a modest dry time (about 15-30 seconds on rhodia with monteverde fireopal, just tested, with the flexing taking about a minute or two)

 

I personally am quite happy with the full flex over the semiflex, and I really prefer needlepoint grinds. This is not the smoothest nib out there, but it's not supposed to be.

 

When I'm practicing spencerian, this is way better than a regular old vintage noodle. This is much closer to a dip nib, though even softer. I'd say it's closer to a brause rose than anything else, including the practice required to get it to start reliably on occasion. It's an advanced nib for sure. Get a semiflex if you're not confident you want a nib that will test your abilities every time you use it.

Thanks, I am thinking of seriously buying this, in front of the wet vintage noodle.



#10 Honeybadgers

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Posted 04 December 2017 - 10:24



#11 fountainpen51

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Posted 04 December 2017 - 20:27

One question I have, is this more flexible than a Zebra G, for example?



#12 Honeybadgers

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Posted 04 December 2017 - 21:20

Nothing short of a brause rose will be more flexible. You can get 4mm out of a zebra G. 

 

This will go to a BBB safely, and it's definitely -softer- than a zebra G, maybe softer than a brause. It's a crazy wet noodle. But we do have to be sane, the zebra G flexes that much because it's also disposable.



#13 fountainpen51

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Posted 05 December 2017 - 09:20

Nothing short of a brause rose will be more flexible. You can get 4mm out of a zebra G. 

 

This will go to a BBB safely, and it's definitely -softer- than a zebra G, maybe softer than a brause. It's a crazy wet noodle. But we do have to be sane, the zebra G flexes that much because it's also disposable.

Excuse me, I mean resistance to flex. Are both equally soft?



#14 Honeybadgers

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Posted 05 December 2017 - 22:21

Excuse me, I mean resistance to flex. Are both equally soft?

 

this is noticeably softer than a zebra G.



#15 fountainpen51

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Posted 06 December 2017 - 11:56

 

this is noticeably softer than a zebra G.

 

Sound great, thanks








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