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Pilot Metropolitan <M> Hard Starting (Sometimes), Not Writing Downstrokes/upstrokes Or Dots Properly

pilot metropolitan hard start skipping downstroke upstroke

14 replies to this topic

#1 Rotring600user

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Posted 08 May 2018 - 03:51

yb9qNXZ.jpg

 

I've added a comparison with my fine nib Metro which works and writes beautifully.

 

Any suggestions on how to fix this?


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Rotring600user

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#2 Bo Bo Olson

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Posted 08 May 2018 - 08:24

Try a cartridge. Often converters are problems because of vapor lock.


German vintage '50-70 semi-flex stubs and those in oblique give the real thing in On Demand line variation. Modern Oblique is a waste of money for a shadow of line variation. Being too lazy to Hunt for affordable vintage oblique pens, lets you 'hunt' for line variation instead of having it.

www.nibs.com/blog/nibster-writes/nibs-germany & https://www.peter-bo...cts/nib-systems,

 

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#3 Rotring600user

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Posted 08 May 2018 - 09:04

Try a cartridge. Often converters are problems because of vapor lock.

 

Sorry, I forgot to mention that I'm using a syringe-refilled cartridge. Pilot converters (that aren't the CON-70) hold way too less ink for me to use. Plus, Pilot converters aren't readily available over here.


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Rotring600user

#4 flyingpenman

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Posted 08 May 2018 - 10:01

FWIW, the squeeze converter that comes with the Metro (if you got one) holds about the same amount of ink as a cartridge (0.9 ml).

If you squeeze the cartridge to flood the feed with ink, will the problem eventually return once you write through all the ink in the feed? Are you able to look at the tines through a loupe or magnification for any babys bottom or misalignment?

Edited by AK-47, 08 May 2018 - 23:58.

Whenever you are fed up with life, start writing: ink is the great cure for all human ills, as I found out long ago.
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Current Rotation:
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Pilot VP <F>, Pilot Metropolitan <F>, Pilot Penmanship <EF>

#5 loubapache

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Posted 08 May 2018 - 11:06

My Metropolitan "M" has the same problem while the two "F"s are perfect.  

 

AK-47 might have hit the target, i.e., could be baby’s bottom.  The "M" is incredibly smooth.  


Edited by loubapache, 08 May 2018 - 11:07.


#6 Rotring600user

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Posted 08 May 2018 - 12:28

FWIW, the squeeze converter that comes with the Metro (if you got one) holds about the same amount of ink as a cartridge (0.9 ml).

If you squeeze the cartridge to flood the feed with ink, will the problem eventually return once you write through all the ink in the feed? Are you able to look at the times through a loupe or magnification for any baby’s bottom or misalignment?

 

I'll have to look up what baby's bottom is again; I've read about it but have never understood what it exactly is.

 

EDIT: I watched SBREBrown's video on it and I'm not sure if I'm comfortable with taking micromesh (I have a nail buffer as a substitute) to this nib as I already really like it. I'll try to contact Luxor (the distributor of Pilot products in India) and see if I can get this pen replaced by them. I'll keep this thread updated.

 

EDIT2: Forgot to mention - I haven't checked with my loupe whether it actually is baby's bottom or not, but I'm 99% sure it is based on what I've seen online.

 

 

My Metropolitan "M" has the same problem while the two "F"s are perfect.  

 

AK-47 might have hit the target, i.e., could be baby’s bottom.  The "M" is incredibly smooth.  

 

I love how smooth the Metro medium is! Smoothest nib (and most expensive pen) out of all of my pens, save for a cheap pen (Camlin #11) that I tuned and smoothed. Though there are some Chinese pens that I have that rival the smoothness of the Metro medium...


Edited by Rotring600user, 08 May 2018 - 13:18.

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#7 SenZen

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Posted 09 May 2018 - 13:24

In my experience it's usually a problem with the feed, not the nib; you can easily take it apart, clean it and dry it. A converter primes the feed.


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#8 Honeybadgers

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Posted 10 May 2018 - 08:11

pilot squeeze converters can kind of suck. But pilot M nibs are more prone to baby's bottom than the F nibs.


Selling a boatload of restored, fairly rare, vintage Japanese gold nib pens, click here to see (more added as I finish restoring them)


#9 day

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Posted 16 May 2018 - 23:08

Just wanted to add that I also noticed that while Pilot's medium nibs are very smooth, they have the problems described above (sometimes skipping/hard starting etc.). Out of the 3 Pilot Metropolitans that I have, 2 medium ones have those problems while the fine one has none. Usually I test my pens by making horizontal strokes without applying any pressure so that the nib barely touches the paper. If the nib is good, then it is able to draw a continious line from the first point where it touches the paper, while problematic nibs don't draw at all, start drawing only after making some progress across the page or require a slight pressure. Fine Pilot and medium Lamy Safari pass the test, but medium Pilots do not.

 

As much as I tried to look under a strong loupe though, I didn't see a baby bottom. It seem to be that mysterious "partial" baby bottom, which is sometimes mentioned in various places. In my case it is definitely neither the feed's nor the ink's problem, since the feed was soaked a soapy solution for days at a time & cleaned multiple times, and I refill the cartridges with the same familiar and a well behaved ink (Pilot black 350ml) in all the pens (including in a fine Metropolitan).

 

As the OP, I am also very hesitant about trying to fix the problem with a nail buffer, but the problem should be fixed. Therefore I have a bunch of cheap Chinese pens on their way to me from an Ebay, along with many spare nibs which I hope will all be bad so that I will have on opportunity to hone my smoothing skills on them before trying to fix the Pilots.


Edited by day, 16 May 2018 - 23:11.


#10 Bo Bo Olson

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Posted 17 May 2018 - 13:09

When fixing your baby's bottom with the nail buffer, do rotate the nib or you will make a flat spot.


German vintage '50-70 semi-flex stubs and those in oblique give the real thing in On Demand line variation. Modern Oblique is a waste of money for a shadow of line variation. Being too lazy to Hunt for affordable vintage oblique pens, lets you 'hunt' for line variation instead of having it.

www.nibs.com/blog/nibster-writes/nibs-germany & https://www.peter-bo...cts/nib-systems,

 

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

 

 

 


#11 jekostas

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Posted 19 May 2018 - 03:58

Do not use nail buff sticks on fountain pens unless they are the Micromesh branded buff sticks.  You will ruin your nib.



#12 Rotring600user

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Posted 23 May 2018 - 10:14

Just got my pen back, the problem seems to have been solved. They replaced the nib, and the entire process took around 2 weeks.
 
 

Do not use nail buff sticks on fountain pens unless they are the Micromesh branded buff sticks.  You will ruin your nib.

 
Is there a way to tell if it's a Micromesh buff stick? I doubt mine is "branded Micromesh", since Micromesh isn't sold anywhere in India as far as I know. This is the one I'm using. By the way, I did try using this nail buffer on a Camlin #11 pen that felt scratchy to me and it worked wonders. It didn't make it as smooth as my Pilot Metro medium, but it was far smoother than it was before.
 
 

Just wanted to add that I also noticed that while Pilot's medium nibs are very smooth, they have the problems described above (sometimes skipping/hard starting etc.). Out of the 3 Pilot Metropolitans that I have, 2 medium ones have those problems while the fine one has none. Usually I test my pens by making horizontal strokes without applying any pressure so that the nib barely touches the paper. If the nib is good, then it is able to draw a continious line from the first point where it touches the paper, while problematic nibs don't draw at all, start drawing only after making some progress across the page or require a slight pressure. Fine Pilot and medium Lamy Safari pass the test, but medium Pilots do not.
 
As much as I tried to look under a strong loupe though, I didn't see a baby bottom. It seem to be that mysterious "partial" baby bottom, which is sometimes mentioned in various places. In my case it is definitely neither the feed's nor the ink's problem, since the feed was soaked a soapy solution for days at a time & cleaned multiple times, and I refill the cartridges with the same familiar and a well behaved ink (Pilot black 350ml) in all the pens (including in a fine Metropolitan).
 
As the OP, I am also very hesitant about trying to fix the problem with a nail buffer, but the problem should be fixed. Therefore I have a bunch of cheap Chinese pens on their way to me from an Ebay, along with many spare nibs which I hope will all be bad so that I will have on opportunity to hone my smoothing skills on them before trying to fix the Pilots.

 
Good idea - I personally practiced a bit on some cheap Camlin pens.
 
 

When fixing your baby's bottom with the nail buffer, do rotate the nib or you will make a flat spot.

 
Will keep that in mind next time I need to fix baby's bottom. Thanks for the reply!

Edited by Rotring600user, 24 May 2018 - 03:13.

Thanks, (or) Hope that helped,
Rotring600user

#13 day

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Posted 23 May 2018 - 18:53

Is there a way to tell if it's a Micromesh buff stick? I doubt mine is "branded Micromesh", since Micromesh isn't sold anywhere in India as far as I know. This is the one I'm using.

 

Usually micromesh buff sticks are explicitly marked as such, for example like those ones here. They not cheap though, and I have seen other people saying that they have had a good success with a kind of a buff stick similar to the one that you have (which is definitely not a micromesh) - some even use rough edges of cheramic mugs and say that it is good enough. I suppose that the only way to know for sure what works is to try by yourself: the final results are probably a combination of a person + a tool, and not of a tool alone.


Edited by day, 23 May 2018 - 18:54.


#14 jekostas

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Posted 23 May 2018 - 19:36

Do not use cheap sandpaper, glass, ceramic mugs, nail files, cardboard, paper bags, paper bags, pennies or whatever other garbage people spout as good for smoothing nibs.  You will get, at best, uneven results.  At worst, you can damage or even ruin nibs.

 

The problem is uniformity.  If you buy good quality abrasives you can be certain that the grit is closely graded for size and spread uniformly across the surface of whatever backing is being used.  If you're using something else, you can't be certain of it.  If even 5% of the abrasive particles are larger than you want, you will put scratches in to tipping material that are nearly impossible to see, but will become apparent when using the pen.  Those scratches will then require removing a fair amount of tipping material to smooth out.

 

And hey, I get it - Micromesh can be difficult to find, and you may need to order it online.  However, if you're really set on smoothing/adjusting your own nibs, you really need to use the right "tool" for the job.  You can also use 3M abrasive sheets.  4, 3 and 1 micron will be roughly equivalent to 6000, 8000 and 12000 grit sandpaper.



#15 Rotring600user

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Posted 24 May 2018 - 02:45

Do not use cheap sandpaper, glass, ceramic mugs, nail files, cardboard, paper bags, paper bags, pennies or whatever other garbage people spout as good for smoothing nibs.  You will get, at best, uneven results.  At worst, you can damage or even ruin nibs.
 
The problem is uniformity.  If you buy good quality abrasives you can be certain that the grit is closely graded for size and spread uniformly across the surface of whatever backing is being used.  If you're using something else, you can't be certain of it.  If even 5% of the abrasive particles are larger than you want, you will put scratches in to tipping material that are nearly impossible to see, but will become apparent when using the pen.  Those scratches will then require removing a fair amount of tipping material to smooth out.
 
And hey, I get it - Micromesh can be difficult to find, and you may need to order it online.  However, if you're really set on smoothing/adjusting your own nibs, you really need to use the right "tool" for the job.  You can also use 3M abrasive sheets.  4, 3 and 1 micron will be roughly equivalent to 6000, 8000 and 12000 grit sandpaper.

The problem is that micromesh (the set of pads) costs 37 USD + whatever value customs decides to throw on top. To me, it's just not worth it. I could buy a new pen or buy spare nibs for that much. If I had a more expensive pen, then I could justify importing micromesh since I don't want to mess up an expensive nib.

Usually micromesh buff sticks are explicitly marked as such, for example like those ones here. They not cheap though, and I have seen other people saying that they have had a good success with a kind of a buff stick similar to the one that you have (which is definitely not a micromesh) - some even use rough edges of cheramic mugs and say that it is good enough. I suppose that the only way to know for sure what works is to try by yourself: the final results are probably a combination of a person + a tool, and not of a tool alone.

I agree! I do have some 1 and 0.3 micron lapping film from 3M that I'll get soon. Hopefully that + the nail buffer will get me extremely smooth nibs :-)

Edited by Rotring600user, 24 May 2018 - 03:07.

Thanks, (or) Hope that helped,
Rotring600user



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