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Bexley 18K Stub Nib Writing Really Badly


23 replies to this topic

#1 Honeybadgers

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Posted 21 December 2017 - 23:24

I'm trying to figure out why this thing just doesn't write for garbage. It's got a tiny bit of baby's bottom on one tine, but it's TINY, and yet it's writing really, really badly. The tine separation is good, I can't even see the rounding without a 60x loupe, and yet here's how it writes.

 

 

this is the second bexley nib for this pen (mike from vanness has been really helpful) the first was WAY worse. I've heard nothing but absolutely raving reviews about how good bexley nibs are, but this is my second dud! I really wanted an 18k stub...



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#2 Gasquolet

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Posted 22 December 2017 - 00:09

I'll preface this with a note that I've only ever worked on my own pens so am not a nib meister.  I have had a large number of pens though, a good number of which didn't write well. It's useful to know what paper and ink that is though.

 

I've never seen a stub with good alignment that was quite that bad but I have had two distinct problems on stubs in the recent past; one factory and the other 'meistered'

 

You mention there is only marginal baby's bottom, check that each tipping surface is either absolutely parallel or such that centre, tine gap is the first part to touch the paper though:  I had a stub that wrote a bit like yours that didn't show baby b at the gap in the tipping but the outside edges rode on the paper before the tine gap area did, result was the same.  I managed to straighten out the tipping surfaces and it came good - I went very slowly so it took a while.

 

The other case I had was simple overpolishing, whether this was made worse with baby b or not, it wrote okay on more absorbent paper, the polishing was so high on the large tipping area though that the ink just wouldn't flow in that contact surface when writing.  I got more partial lines than you show above, with less of the stop-start flow your pen exhibits but still, it was improved hugely with a very light swipe or two across 6000 grit mesh, gave the ink some texture on the nib to break the surface tension - that's my theory.  (it helped that I dislike glassy smooth nibs anyway)



#3 Honeybadgers

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Posted 22 December 2017 - 00:20

It's a good control for paper and ink - rhodia paper, waterman serenity blue ink. I've also tried pilot BB, lamy BB, and KWZ aztec gold, none of them were any better or worse. More absorbant paper made no difference.

 

Tine alinement is -perfect- The gaps are all really good. ONE tine is slightly rounded over, but it's so subtle it's hard to get a picture of.

 

Nib has been tested in another pen with a good feed, same issue, put a waterman #2 in the bexley and it writes fine, so the feed is not suspect.

 

You can see it best in this photo that the left tine is slightly overdone. It's most certainly overpolishing.

 

 

 

fpn_1513901807__stub_1.png

 

 

The alignment is a hair off in this picture but the feed was pushed to the side a bit. There's nothing here that explains such bad writing apart from that baby's bottom. I can see the ink in the slit.

 

fpn_1513901895__stub_4.png

 

fpn_1513902010__stub_3.jpg



#4 Honeybadgers

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Posted 22 December 2017 - 00:21

Looking at my pictures a bit more, it looks like the baby's bottom is a little more pronounced than I believed. That's 60x magnification.



#5 Gasquolet

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Posted 22 December 2017 - 00:30

Excellent pictures.

 

That is baby's bottom right there... I'm confident that's exactly the problem too.  Surprising that got off the bench when the nib was ground.  I've not seen one that bad in my hands. 

 

There is no way the capillary movement of the ink can defeat physics and willingly go down a widening path like that one.  I'm afraid it's another call to Vanness, I wouldn't attempt to deal with that, a lot of material will have to be removed to sort it.



#6 Gasquolet

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Posted 22 December 2017 - 00:49

It looks like it would write quite nicely upside down.  Does it?

 

I wish I could get that sort of photo but just can't, my most powerful loupe is 30x.  with that though I am looking at my Visconti 1.3mm which I think is a good example of it's type.  It has a bit of over-polishing but critically the gap area where the tip halves meet the page doesn't form a distinct triangle like it appears yours does.  This allows the ink to flow right to the paper surface and the capillary to draw it onto the paper, underneath the nib contact area.  It looks like yours is a classic case of too much polishing work at the tipping which leaves the ink sitting fractions too high in the nib gap to continue the flow onto the page.

 

I feel your frustration... 



#7 Honeybadgers

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Posted 22 December 2017 - 01:34

Yep, reverse writing is fine, though obviously a bit dry.



#8 jekostas

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Posted 22 December 2017 - 06:48

The baby's bottom/overpolishing on your nib is actually fairly pronounced and almost certainly *part* of the issue, but I don't think it's the entire problem.

 

I would suggest that if you're comfortable doing so, pull the nib from the pen completely and check that the slit is properly tapered from the base towards the tip.  Even if the tines are properly spaced at the tip, the nib slit could be pinched tight further down the tines.  That sort of issue often leads to the ink starvation issues you're having.



#9 Bo Bo Olson

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Posted 23 December 2017 - 15:09

Ship it to the maker..........if he was responsible for making the stub.


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#10 KellyMcJ

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Posted 23 December 2017 - 15:32

I read in a recent thread here that Bexley had a run of stubs with exactly this problem.



#11 siamackz

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Posted 28 December 2017 - 16:56

Babys bottom on my stub twisbi caused all sorts of skipping and hard starting. Once I ground it away, it was perfect

#12 Honeybadgers

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Posted 30 December 2017 - 07:19

Mike at Vanness is going to replace it again, he's testing a nib for a few days to make sure it works.



#13 jjlax10

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Posted 02 January 2018 - 19:35

Your tines are out of alignment.  You can't diagnose baby's bottom until that is fixed.


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#14 Honeybadgers

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Posted 02 January 2018 - 22:26

The tines are aligned properly, the pictures make it look off because of the overpolished left tine. Besides, if that were the extent of he nib's problems, that amount of misalignment is irrelevant, as even featherlight pressure is enough to correct that amount of misalignment.

 

I got a USB microscope on amazon that shows the problem nicely.

 

fpn_1514931937__microscope_2.png

 

fpn_1514931953__microscope_1.png


Edited by Honeybadgers, 02 January 2018 - 22:27.


#15 KellyMcJ

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Posted 02 January 2018 - 22:34

Yep. Wow that's bad. And cool microscope!

#16 Gasquolet

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Posted 03 January 2018 - 18:01

 

 

I got a USB microscope on amazon that shows the problem nicely.

 

 

It really does - as good as the photography was, that is excellent.

 

Could you share the details of the microscope?  I'd appreciate that as I've seen pictures from similarly described bits of kit that were nothing like as good as that.  I've held off getting one but seeing your pictures has changed my mind.



#17 jjlax10

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Posted 04 January 2018 - 19:19

The tines are aligned properly, the pictures make it look off because of the overpolished left tine. Besides, if that were the extent of he nib's problems, that amount of misalignment is irrelevant, as even featherlight pressure is enough to correct that amount of misalignment.

 

I got a USB microscope on amazon that shows the problem nicely.

 

fpn_1514931937__microscope_2.png

 

fpn_1514931953__microscope_1.png

 

A small amount of misalignment can give you flow problems.  


Edited by jjlax10, 04 January 2018 - 19:19.

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#18 Honeybadgers

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Posted 05 January 2018 - 05:01

 

A small amount of misalignment can give you flow problems.  

 

I know what you're talking about and that would be only present in a super nail-like nib or would make the nib more prone to rotation sensitivity. This soft 18k stub will align itself that much no problem as soon as it touches paper. it may give a quarter millimeter of one tine-writing, but this is more about the baby's bottom.

 

usb microscope was about $35. setup was easy and it works really well (though you should also have some way of holding the nib still, I have a set of tape-wrapped alligator clips on a soldering stand I got at harbor freight for a couple bucks)

 

https://www.amazon.c...0?ie=UTF8&psc=1



#19 Gasquolet

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Posted 05 January 2018 - 12:25

 

usb microscope was about $35. setup was easy and it works really well (though you should also have some way of holding the nib still, I have a set of tape-wrapped alligator clips on a soldering stand I got at harbor freight for a couple bucks)

 

https://www.amazon.c...0?ie=UTF8&psc=1

 

 

Excellent, thank you.  Available through the UK site too.



#20 Honeybadgers

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Posted 09 January 2018 - 07:55

And here's the third nib. An occasional hard start when I first uncap it, but I'm very happy.

 

fpn_1515484474__stub_final.jpg

 

Feed's off, I know. knocked it around setting up the microscope.





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