Something very strange happened today. I think the way I hold the pen and the angle that I'm writing is actually misaligning the tines!
It does not sound like it actually happened. Maybe it was just a coincidence. Let me know if this ever happened to you.
Today one of my ebay purchases arrived in the mail, a used Pelikan M800. This is my first Pelikan so naturally I was very excited. By the way, I'm very green to fountain pens, starting just in September. So after some messing around with the piston to see if it was working, posting some questions to the forum and then cleaning the pen I started to ink it up. I sat there admiring the fine nib and just kept looking at the awesome scroll work and the perfectly aligned tines. Shortly after, I started to write, it was more like doodle, just to see how it wrote and it was great. A little dry but I continued because I figured that the ink would continue to fill the feed and eventually it would normalize. After about 3 sheets of Rhodia A5 I noticed that the ink was still very dry. I was using Noodler's 54 Massachusetts. When I use this ink in a Platinum Preppy fine nib it was not dry at all, but just right. That was strange.
After half a page more of writing, I noticed that the nib was getting a little scratchy so just thought that it was the ink. I decided to switch inks and just pour the ink out into a tube to save it and then filled just filled it up a little with Namiki blue. It wrote the same, dry and light. "Why isn't the ink getting to the nib?" I thought. So I turned the pen around and wrote upside down and voila! It was writing normally; as if I was writing in the normal position. The line was nice and juicy for a fine, so ink was getting to the feed. Strange.
So I looked at the nib. Something was off. It seemed like the right tine was a little narrower than the left. Then I looked at the nib sideways and it suddenly occurred to me that the nib tip was actually higher than it was wide. Could the person who had sold it to me had it grinded that way. I didn't think much of it at the time. So I decided to send it off to Mike Masuyama to get it looked at. I only decided to do this because I was going to send him a Montblanc 146 that I also brought used and it arrived with a misaligned nib. The right side tine is a tad higher than the left. Weird, the Pelikan was like that too, the right tine was a little higher than the left. Not much only about one quarter the amount of the thickness of the tine.
Ok, so I cleaned up the Pelikan; washed off the nib and flushed the barrel then packed the pens in a box to be shipped off. Well, after all my kids went to bed I decided to practice some handwriting with another pre-owned purchase that had come in this week. (Had any of you gone through this crazy buying stage? I'm kind of embarrassed to admit it but I think it was kind of foolish to purchase so many pens in such a short time.) The Homo Sapien was going to be my sole pen that I would use while my other pens were being serviced.
So I inked up the Sapien and started writing with the Namiki blue. It was scratchy but not over so, so I continued. It was an extra fine nib so I just thought it was normal. This pen is also my first Visconti so I had no point of reference to compare it to. But as I was writing it got scratchier so I played around with the angle of the pen, the tilt of the pen. I hold the pen with a traditional tripod grip and the writing angle is around 45 degree plus or minus 5 degree depending on the word I'm writing. I noticed that if I rotated the pen 5 degree counter-clockwise that it got a lot smoother. That was weird. Of all the videos that I have watched of people writing I noticed that some wrote with the nib facing up and some wrote with the nib a little rotated counter-clockwise. I always thought that fountain pens were designed to be used with facing up with equal amounts of pressure put on the right tine as on the left tine. But now it was a lot smoother when there was more pressure on the left tine. I started to pay more attention to how the tine was touching the paper and after 2 more pages I discover what was causing or at least what I thought was causing the scratchiness. The RIGHT tine was actually slightly above the left one so as I write the inside part of the left tine was rubbing against the paper. So if I rotated the pen slightly counter-clockwise it even the tines out and that was why it was smooth. And this is the weird part. I remembered examining the nib when I open the box and the tines were perfectly aligned. Then it dawned on me! The pelikan was like that now the Sapien was like that. Could it be that the way I wrote was actually misaligning the tines. Could it be that at my writing angle I was constantly putting pressure on the right tine. I took my loupe out and looked at the misalignment. I tried to realignment them with my nail my the right one just sprang back into place.
What was going on. Then I saw it! The feed was preventing the right tine from aligning. It was actually in the way. Could it be that I would rotate the feed slightly when I write that it would lift up the right tine slightly.
Have you guys/gals ever heard of this or experienced it before???