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Favorite Cursive Italic Pen Or Nib?

cursive italic

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66 replies to this topic

#21 kestrel

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Posted 23 January 2019 - 04:07

My best pens with CI or stub nibs were all custom ground.  I prefer to find a pen I like and then do what is necessary to get the type of nib I want.  Pendleton Brown is amazing.  He has customized nibs for half a dozen of my pens including TWSBs, Levenger Truewriters, and two vintage Esterbrook 9668s.  Shawn Newton ground a really nice CI on a Kickstarter pen he made for me. Both Shawn and Pendleton were a joy to work with.  The best CI nib I own, in use every day for almost a decade (except for an extended visit to Indy Pen Dance after a cat played with it*) is a Binder 0.9 mm Italifine on a Pelikan M800.  The nice thing about the custom grinds was that they all came with a guarantee that they would be right or the nibmeisters would make them right.  Most of the original manufacturer CI and stub nibs I bought required some tweaking to make them perfect for me.

Enjoy the journey on this one.  These are some thoroughly enjoyable nibs to use.

 

*Pen left uncapped on desk for a few seconds while owner answered phone.  Cat saw pen and decided it was a toy.  Cats are proof that the earth is not flat because, if it was, cats would have knocked everything off it long ago.  Linda did an amazing job repairing the nib.  Yes, the cat is still with us.  I bought her a Pilot Varsity of her very own which she ignores.


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#22 corgicoupe

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Posted 23 January 2019 - 17:34

Esterbrook 2442 and 9314-M.


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For love of it. And yet not waste time either.

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#23 icevic

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Posted 23 January 2019 - 20:01

Yes, you are right about custom italics being the best.  I have never seen a factory italic that was much more than a stub.  Only the custom grinders will take the time, and trust their customers enough, to sharpen up a nib to a real italic.

 

I am sure there are some exceptions, and no doubt someone will promptly provide them, but I have never seen a factory italic that could hold a candle to my Binder, Mottishaw, Minuskin or other custom italics.

 

My best pens with CI or stub nibs were all custom ground.  



#24 Andrea_R

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Posted 23 January 2019 - 20:06

top to bottom: oblique, CI, Stub

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Edited by Andrea_R, 23 January 2019 - 20:07.


#25 Rose Nibs

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Posted 24 January 2019 - 02:13

It's not difficult to grind a medium kugel tip into a cursive italic - flatten the top, angled down a little, flatten the bottom with an upward angle, soften any sharp edges.



#26 cattar

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Posted 24 January 2019 - 07:00

... Yes, the cat is still with us.  I bought her a Pilot Varsity of her very own which she ignores.

 

Take the cap off.



#27 madeline

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Posted 25 January 2019 - 02:02

top to bottom: oblique, CI, Stub

 

Great samples!  What kind of pen is your CI?


Moderation in everything, including moderation.     

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#28 madeline

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Posted 25 January 2019 - 02:07

My best pens with CI or stub nibs were all custom ground.  I prefer to find a pen I like and then do what is necessary to get the type of nib I want.  Pendleton Brown is amazing.  He has customized nibs for half a dozen of my pens including TWSBs, Levenger Truewriters, and two vintage Esterbrook 9668s.  Shawn Newton ground a really nice CI on a Kickstarter pen he made for me. Both Shawn and Pendleton were a joy to work with.  The best CI nib I own, in use every day for almost a decade (except for an extended visit to Indy Pen Dance after a cat played with it*) is a Binder 0.9 mm Italifine on a Pelikan M800.  The nice thing about the custom grinds was that they all came with a guarantee that they would be right or the nibmeisters would make them right.  Most of the original manufacturer CI and stub nibs I bought required some tweaking to make them perfect for me.

Enjoy the journey on this one.  These are some thoroughly enjoyable nibs to use.

 

*Pen left uncapped on desk for a few seconds while owner answered phone.  Cat saw pen and decided it was a toy.  Cats are proof that the earth is not flat because, if it was, cats would have knocked everything off it long ago.  Linda did an amazing job repairing the nib.  Yes, the cat is still with us.  I bought her a Pilot Varsity of her very own which she ignores.

Thank you for all of these examples. Your Pelikan sounds particularly wonderful.  And I have been admiring the TWSBs done by Pendleton Brown. 

 

I've never had a nib wider than a medium. Is a medium nib a good candidate for becoming a cursive italic nib?  (Or is a medium considered too narrow to really notice the beauty of a cursive italic?)


Moderation in everything, including moderation.     

                                                                                     --Mark Twain


#29 kestrel

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Posted 25 January 2019 - 03:09

Thank you for all of these examples. Your Pelikan sounds particularly wonderful.  And I have been admiring the TWSBs done by Pendleton Brown. 

 

I've never had a nib wider than a medium. Is a medium nib a good candidate for becoming a cursive italic nib?  (Or is a medium considered too narrow to really notice the beauty of a cursive italic?)

The best width for you depends on the size of the letters in your handwriting.  I have used CI and stub from 0.7 mm up to 1.5 mm and decided I really liked the 0.9.  1.5 is far too large for my writing, 1.1 is good if I increase the size of my letters a bit, and I don't usually see the line variation enough with 0.7.  Richard Binder had an online questionnaire on his website when I ordered the nib that led me to the 0.9 width.

 

This post might give you a better idea of what different nibs produce.

 

http://www.fountainp...-nibs-compared/


Dave Campbell
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Every day is a chance to reduce my level of ignorance.

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#30 madeline

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Posted 26 January 2019 - 02:06

Thank you, kestrel!  My script is not large so that may be why I have stayed with medium nibs thus far. (I have a Pilot Custom 74 medium which actually seems broader than most mediums). 

 

And thanks for that additional thread.  It was great to see more examples of stub, CI, and what falls in between.  I feel like I'm getting closer!


Moderation in everything, including moderation.     

                                                                                     --Mark Twain


#31 sansenri

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Posted 14 February 2019 - 23:10

auzzUEI.jpg

 

 

 

Is it copper or rose-gold?  What kind of Aurora is it?  Very beautiful (script and pen!)

 

The owner of the pen has not replied, but I would say that it's just the lovely lighting the picture was taken in that makes this Aurora 88 BIG look like it's rose gold, while it's probably a 925 solid silver finish (with gold trim).


Edited by sansenri, 14 February 2019 - 23:11.


#32 A Smug Dill

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Posted 15 February 2019 - 02:22

Lamy makes stub nibs for their Safari and Al Star pens which are easily interchangeable,

... which are sadly mis-labelled and marketed as Italic nibs.
 

it would be very interesting to hear what your favorite cursive italic pen(s) might be, either vintage or modern.


Without question, the Extra Fine nib on my Pelikan M600 that Dan Smith customised to a crisp italic for me (and to my specifications).

If you're going down the custom-grind path, you may as well decide what you want your custom nib to deliver, and communicate your specific requirements and expectations to the expert nib technician (expert craftsmen, 'nibsmith', or 'nibmeister').
 

It sounds like a stub nib might be easier to get used to but a CI might provide more line variation and possibly more potential for shading?  (given the right paper, ink, etc).

I've never had a nib wider than a medium. Is a medium nib a good candidate for becoming a cursive italic nib?  (Or is a medium considered too narrow to really notice the beauty of a cursive italic?)


A more relevant question is how do you want to 'see' shading, sheen, etc. (and please don't say, "With my eyes!") I can get shading and sheen from an ink like Pilot Iroshizuku kon-peki (on Rhodia Dotpad No.16 80g/m2 white paper) from an Extra Fine nib, but it won't be smack-in-the-face apparent. Your ability to detect shading and sheen with your eyes unaided is certainly going to be a factor, and obviously the narrower the line, the more focussed you need to be to see such characteristics in your handwriting (with the right paper, ink, etc.).

I was doing some testing yesterday, and I can draw eleven parallel horizontal lines inside a 5mm square with the PenBBS 308 (with F nib, writing in upside-down orientation) I have, and still see shading and sheen from Sailor Shikiori souten ink with my eyes unaided. However, would that effect be enough for you, and would it manifest in your particular style(s) of handwriting?


Let's give each other due respect, and approach discussion rigorously. We're all peers and equals here as fellow hobbyists, with common interests in the acquisition and use of fountain pens, but not necessarily any shared values, and no obligation to offer each other moral support for one's narrative or position.
 

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#33 Honeybadgers

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Posted 15 February 2019 - 02:45

I've yet to get a factory CI nib that I didn't kind of hate. The only stubs I've ever liked from the factory are nemosine 0.6 and 0.8 and my few vintage stubs/obliques. Every other factory stub I've ever had has been scratchy or skipped like hell and all have required major tuning. I don't even like my Mr. Pen italix cursive italic or oblique.

 

That said, a well tuned pilot steel italic nib in a wing sung 698 is a great tool.


Edited by Honeybadgers, 15 February 2019 - 02:45.

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#34 A Smug Dill

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Posted 15 February 2019 - 02:47

I've yet to get a factory CI nib that I didn't kind of hate.


Have you tried a Pilot steel CM (Calligraphy Medium) nib, which I've seen available as factory options (or the only nib supplied) for Prera, MR and Plumix pens?

Edit:

That said, a well tuned pilot steel italic nib in a wing sung 698 is a great tool.


Oops, sorry, of course you have.

The three I have used all wrote OK without skipping out-of-the-box (without tuning on my part).

Edited by A Smug Dill, 15 February 2019 - 02:50.

Let's give each other due respect, and approach discussion rigorously. We're all peers and equals here as fellow hobbyists, with common interests in the acquisition and use of fountain pens, but not necessarily any shared values, and no obligation to offer each other moral support for one's narrative or position.
 

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#35 Honeybadgers

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Posted 15 February 2019 - 02:59

Have you tried a Pilot steel CM (Calligraphy Medium) nib, which I've seen available as factory options (or the only nib supplied) for Prera, MR and Plumix pens?

Edit:

Oops, sorry, of course you have.

The three I have used all wrote OK without skipping out-of-the-box (without tuning on my part).

 

I've had two CM's and both had a damn burr on an inside tine that made them shear paper horribly. Both have been ground by me into cursive italics with the edges just barely broken and they're my favorite stubs. One is in my wing sung 698 which is ALWAYS inked. I use it for the headers in my journal. 

 

I went through three stub bexley 18k's, all were duds (I gave up and just accepted the last dud from vanness because I felt bad that kevin kept sending me nibs that seemed to write well on dips but as soon as they were under the feed's flow, the baby's bottom appeared - it's a lovely soft thing that I'm just going to have custom ground into a CI someday)

 

my pilot VP stub was unusable - Jetpens let me try to fix it but one tine had severe baby's bottom halfway up the slit so I was never going to be able to fix it without eating past the tipping into the gold.

 

I'm also just not someone whose cursive really likes wide nibs, and I don't print often enough for the magic of a stub to show through. Fine stubs are an exception, so when I do get around to ordering my conid, the steel nib I have it come with will be a 0.6 stub. I'm much more like you in my preferences towards very very fine stuff. The more needlepoint the better for me, honestly.

 

I also tend to be prone to a touch of rotation so I have to slow down noticeably to write with a stub, not a ton, but enough that it's not a nice feeling, and I don't think the line variation really adds to my handwriting, so I don't really pursue stubs that often or ink the ones I have apart from the WS 698.


Edited by Honeybadgers, 15 February 2019 - 03:02.

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


#36 Purplecate

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Posted 15 February 2019 - 08:26

As a newbie, I'm a little hesitant to join this discussion where you've had such great info but I can add that at the cheaper end of the spectrum, I've found the Plumix nibs are a great starting point in a quest for finer stubs. I have a set of all the sizes and all write well, nice and smooth but with a lovely bit of line variation. I have also used the Nemosine nibs and find the Plumix as good - but better for me as the Plumix have finer sizes. The Plumix can be swopped into many other pens in the Pilot lineup - I have mine in a Metro. I use the F all the time and with some inks it shows shading and sheen on Tomoe River paper. Perhaps a try while you're waiting for something more expensive?

These are not as crisp as a custom ground CI nib I recently got from fpnibs.com - but I also find this needs more care when writing - and ink makes a difference, with some of my inks feeling more scratchy than others. I'm heading into serious custom-grind territory as soon as I can afford it - thanks to everyone above for the info on nib customisers, I was just starting to get this info together so it's a real help.

#37 Misfit

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Posted 15 February 2019 - 09:14

I’ve had good luck with the Pilot calligraphy M nib. You can try it on the low priced Pilot Plumix, or the Prera. Franklin-Christoph has Mike Masuyama cursive italic and stub nibs (cursive italic shows more line variation). Nemosine, Lamy, TWSBI are all good.

Unfortunately for me, my Italix nib was not working well, and I tried different inks. I ended up buying an Edison 1.1mm italic, and it is a nice crisp one.

Higher priced, the Visconti 1.3 stub is good with line variation.
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#38 madeline

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Posted 16 February 2019 - 03:49

I'm thinking now about the Platinum 3776 as a good candidate for a custom-ground italic. (But that changes by the day... and by my pocketbook : )    

 

Thanks for the continuing discussion!  The above ideas are fantastic.  Especially the discussion about fine vs broad.  I am just beginning to learn about sheen and shading and how very much variety there is among the different inks.  So so much to take in here.  I realize that a bit (or a lot!) of experimentation may be needed, just to determine what my own preferences might be.  What a lovely way to spend the snowy winter...


Moderation in everything, including moderation.     

                                                                                     --Mark Twain


#39 Honeybadgers

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Posted 16 February 2019 - 03:58

a custom CI ground from a 3776 C nib would be a super great pen. I already love the C nib.

 

there is already a stub with the music nib.


Edited by Honeybadgers, 16 February 2019 - 03:58.

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#40 brunico

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Posted 16 February 2019 - 06:52

I'd suggest getting a Pilot Plumix or Pluminix and seeing if you want something sharper/blunter or broader/narrower. It sounds as though you've not used an italic before, and some people don't get on with them for whatever reason. (If you can use a William Mitchell broad-edged dip pen on laid paper, of course, you can get on with anything.) Like Purplecate, I also have the other Plumix sizes outside the M and find them all good. While I prefer a crisper italic nib, nothing about the Plumix nibs makes me turn my nose up at them.

 

I have a Sailor Sapporo with a music nib - not unlike your 3776 - custom ground to a relatively crisp italic. I went that route because once you go beyond the price range where Lamys, Twsbis, Plumixes and Osmiroids sit, hardly anyone bothers to offer italic nibs. And where they do, few shops stock them. This is the reason that I, perhaps regrettably, don't have an Omas 360 vintage turquoise or several other pens I'd otherwise have sprung for. Aurora does offer very good, proper italics, and possibly Stipula (which I've never tried).

 

I like my modified Sailor a lot. I went for Sailor simply because I liked their inks so much.







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