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Flex Journey - Pilot Custom 743, Fa Nib With Flexiblenibs Feed

flex flexible pilot custom 743 falcon fa nib

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6 replies to this topic

#1 MichalK

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Posted 09 March 2019 - 16:06

Well, I did not know where to put it - nibs&tines, pen reviews or else ;) 

So this seems a good forum. 

 

I pursue flex almost from the beginning of my fountain pen journey. I was fortunate enough not starting with modern flexes, but with a vintage one. I fancied a vintage pen, and bought one just because it was cheap, looked nice and I knew the brand. Parker Slimfold - in terms of size it was a disappointment (i didn check its size or asked the seller), - but the nib was fantastic. Right away i fell in love with "flex". Bought another vintage (Wyvern) - also great. Then started looking at moder ones - Conklin Omniflex, Ahab etc but nothing compared. 

 

Alter some time I learnt more, bought and used much more pens. Realised that flex is quite a wide idea. soft, semi, regular, wet noodle, modern, vintage. Waterman 52 flex vs vintage MB 146 flex vs flexible Pelikan nibs in 140, 400 etc. Soft nibs in M1000 vs japanise SF nibs. 

 

Pilot Custom 743 with FA nib is another part of this journey. I got to know and like Japanese nibs only recently. I knew about Pilot Falcon but did not like it, then "discovered" 912, 823, 742, 743 etc. And definitely wanted one with FA nib. 

 

So I ordered one. Pilot Custom 743 to be exact. In Europe they are not sold at all, so for the first time I took a risk and ordered from Japan. The price was incredible, good seller, but he sent it with the economy not expedited as I ordered, but any way 10 days later it was home ;) I did not pay any duty or taxes (typically for import from Japan its est 28% total, but not this time - customs missed it?) .

 

Pen is very nice, very well built but nothing especially interesting - just another cigar shaped, black rather large pen with gold trim. And 14k gold nib, in an unusual shape - with cutouts. 

 

It is not a vintage full flex but is much better in this area than any of modern so-called flex nibs I had a chance to try. I'm not a calligrapher, I'm still working on my handwriting. But I can appreciate a good nib. 

With a light touch, it puts a thin line, Japanese fine, and is smooth. but even slightly pressed it goes medium, broad and double broad quite easily, but at the same time, it becomes scratchy. I'm not sure it should work like that.

 

The only problem I had was railroading then I flexed it too much or for too long, or was writing too fast. I investigated and wound aftermarket feed at flexiblenibs.com  - 4 versions to be exact for my pen !!! Actually also for 823 and probably 845 pens too. Japanese ebonite, CNC cut, two colors (black and red) and two versions (2 slits, and 3 slits one for wet inks or not to aggressive flexing, the second one for dry inks and heavy pressing. I ordered both versions in black and several days later herre they are. Fixed the problem like a dream. 

 

The feeds are PERFECT. They are super high quality, shapes matches the original with 0,2mm precision. I really recomend one for any FA nib user on 743/823 (#15 nib) pen. 

 

Pictures and writing samples below. 

 

 

MG_3583.jpgMG_3584.jpg

MG_3585.jpg

MG_3586.jpg

MG_3590.jpg

 

 

 

 


Michal 

>40 pens, >30 inks, beginner nib grinder ;)  

3xMB 146, MB 149, GvFC Classic ,, Pelikan M800, M815, M400 white tourtoise, 2xM250 old style, bunch of vintage Pelikans 100, 140, 400nn, vintage Mabie Todds, Watermans, Wyverns, Onotos, Parkers. Sheaffer Valor and Legacy, some TWSBIs,  Pilots, Ranga, etc, etc, etc - more: http://www.fountainp...the-collection/

recent review: http://www.fountainp...-metal-striped/


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#2 Marten

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Posted 14 June 2019 - 13:04

Glad you are enjoying that combo!

I have been contemplating these feeds for this pen as well. I have not purchased the 743 as yet as I have been concerned about the reports pertaining to railroading etc. I have a 74 in a SM and whilst this is a totally different nib of course, I have been really impressed with the pen.

This might then just be the answer I think...

 

Thank you so much for posting and sharing your findings. Much appreciated.

 

#3 Wolverine1

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Posted 14 June 2019 - 14:17

Michal- you might want to post this report in the sub-forum that is specifically for Japanese pens. A lot of people with experience with  this pen will chime in and give you their opinions on this pen and the things you have discussed. Best of luck!!! :):)



#4 Honeybadgers

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Posted 14 June 2019 - 15:36

I got both the 2 and 3 slot feeds as well and went with the 2. Joey recommended the 2, but I figured the 3 would be on hand for art projects.


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


#5 Bo Bo Olson

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Posted 14 June 2019 - 16:34

vintage (Wyvern) - I had one that I swapped for a Osima Supra...a maxi-semi-flex nib. Beautiful pen, great nib.....Easy Full Flex.

 

""" Realised that flex is quite a wide idea. soft, semi, regular, wet noodle, modern, vintage. Waterman 52 flex vs vintage MB 146 flex vs flexible Pelikan nibs in 140, 400 etc. Soft nibs in M1000 vs japanise SF nibs."

 

I've a couple wet noodle 52's....and a Soennecken. And more Easy Full Flex nibbed pens that I lucked into. Must be 8-9 of them.

I do have a first stage Pelikan superflex....Easy Full Flex, Pelikan 100n. Will spread 5 X, having read Richard binders fine article on metal fatiuge, strive to stay at 4 X and under.....same with my rare 7 X superflex nibs, strive to keep them at 6 X instead of maxing at 7 X.

 

The '50-70 era German pens, I have quite a lot....29 semi-flex, 16 maxi-semi-flex........outside of the Osmia....(small diamond mostly with a size number which is semi-flex. The ones with Supra are maxi-semi-flex....the steel ones are = to the gold ones.)

Outside of the Osmia, to get a maxi, is pure luck, in they are not so marked. I have maxi-semi-flex in MB....have a '50-60's medium-large 146, Pelikan 400nn, Ibis and a 500, and a Geha 790 and a few no name types.

 

A long time ago, I tested a 1000 vs a semi-flex pen in my B&M. Later I got a 1005 that was regular flex............regular flex use to be a normal nib issue, by Esterbrook, Wearever and some Sheaffers. There is a rarer semi-flex Sheaffer from the '50's that I never got, in I lucked into an Australian made Snorkel with a maxi-semi-flex in a factory BB stub.

I think that the 1000's made by Bock are the semi-flex ones. Bock made Pelikan nibs from 1998 to some 12-15 years later. (Pelikan wanted in gold nibs different, stiffer (outside the 1000) blobby double kugal/ball nibs. There were many complaints about the Bock nib....Pelikan took them back In-House....and the very same complaints continued. It was not that Bock made worse nibs, it was Pelikan changed it's nib philosophy from the semi-vintage pre'98 nib which was regular flex. Or what Japanese pen users call 'soft'.

My 1005 is regular flex.....which is shat I think folks mean when they talk about a 'soft' Japanese nib.

I don't have any Japanese pens. Won't be getting any either. They are outside my collection area, which is mostly German; and used at that. Semi-vintage and vintage. I have only two modern Pelikans.

 

I have a '70-80's Large 146, and it's nib is 'only' regular flex. I have a Virginia Woolf, which has a 'springy' nib.....like an un-modified Falcon, good tine bend but only 2 X tine spread.

 

"""flexible Pelikan nibs in 140, 400 etc.""" :angry: :wallbash:...........calling the semi or maxi-semi-flex which have a max of 3 X tine spread, the word flexible can lead to a noobie disaster, when thinking they are flex pens......spring the nib trying to do Olympic Splits with 'flair' nibs. 

 

Yes I am aware of folks in the middle of springing their vintage Pelikan nibs swearing they can get 4-5X......but they won't listen .....there is that word something-flex...so they overstress their nib....and then sell them. One sees that all the time on Youtube and superflex spread tines when selling one of those 'flex' pens on Ebay....................hey it said flex.......what small print???

 

My system of 1/2's for flex rates starts with a regular flex....or Japanese 'soft' nib. That can be mashed to 3 X................one can't write with it but the tines will spread that far with out springing the nib.

Semi-flex requires half that pressure to reach it's max of 3X.

Maxi-semi-flex, half of that or 1/4th the pressure needed to max a regular flex to 3 X.

 

Superflex is 4, 5-6 and rarely 7 X tine spread. ...except on Youtube and buy your already sprung nib on Ebay.

Easy Full Flex requires half of maxi, or 1/8th of a well mashed regular flex/'soft' nib.

 

Wet Noodle half of that, or 1/16the the pressure needed to mash a regular flex.

 

Weak Kneed Wet Noodle.....a term invented by John Sowoboda(sp) the English nib grinder, requires less than that. I don't have one....don't want to chase one, in I'd really have to learn to write. (I can scribble just fine with my superflex nibs.... :happyberet: )

I did test a '20's MB Safety pen with such a nib at a live auction.............looking at a good dip pen flex.

 

This system in superflex is good for those new to superflex..........Mauricio who deals with superflex don't like my simplistic division of superflex rates..............he is right there is very much variation in superflex. However, for someone who has worked his way up the flex ladder so they have some idea; my system works fine ...if one don't have a lot of superflex pens.

The more you have the more flex variation superflex has.

How I ended up with so many superflex pens, I don't know.....luck?? in many were not being chased as superflex.  

I have a few pens where one moment I'll say it's Easy Full Flex, the next I think it may have edged into Wet Noodle. One of my Waterman 52's starts out Easy Full Flex then half way through the flex range turns into a Wet Noodle.

 

 

I'm glad you were able to find a fast feed for your pen. Old superflex pens are from my limited experience flat feeded, with out buffering combs, which was needed on stiffer nibs to slow down the flow of ink.


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.

 

 

 


#6 Bo Bo Olson

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Posted 15 June 2019 - 09:13

This is an example of what I think is over stressing a semi-flex nib....the the fancy super wide X's.

This was a picture I stole, in someone asked me what I thought of the nib, he was thinking of buying.

Like much of the Youtube and Ebay selling of sprung semi-flex.......all is thought is the nib is a 'flex' nib. :headsmack:

The don't know semi means almost and almost if very far from superflex.

uh0c0kL.jpg

The rest of the script that is wider, is OK, if one is 'drawing' letters. But I see semi-flex as a flair nib, wider first letter of a word, wider L loops or a b loop, a crossed t or an trailing skinner line of the e of the end of a word.

The second quick fox is about max in my books. The X's are overstressed.

 

If one wants to draw letters, do a Pilot mod to an Ahab, that will take that nib from Hard Semi-flex to a nice Easy Full Flex, the first stage of superflex. Or other modified nibs, which seem to work well.

AdtsC9R.jpg


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.

 

 

 


#7 sidthecat

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Posted 16 June 2019 - 17:50

That thing they do to take a picture of the nib is probably what breaks it. I’ve gone to absurd lengths to achieve high levels of flex without spending high levels of money, because I have a very light hand.
Sticking a nineteenth-century gold dip nib into an early twentieth-century pen has been my solution, and one nibmeister has been amused to hybridize a few of my ringtops.
Another solution has been what I might call scavenging: picking up broken pens with intact nibs (that’s how I got the flexible vintage Bock nib that lives in my interwar Reform ringtop). If you can get the sizes right, it’s a very viable strategy for making modern pens more fun to use, and in the end, that’s the goal.





Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: flex, flexible, pilot, custom, 743, falcon, fa nib



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