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Help With Vintage Flexible Fountain Pen Hunting!

flex nib button filler crescent filler vintage fountains pens ebonite parker conklin

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#1 Edo98

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Posted 22 March 2019 - 05:49

Hello everyone at the fountain pen network. :)  :)  :)

 

Today as always I come to ask your advice and share your wisdom and opinions to be able to solve several doubts that I have in my head.
 
I love both modern and vintage fountain pens from the bottom of my soul, most of my feathers are modern and I only have one vintage that is my prized "51" parker.
 
And I've decided that it's time to get another vintage pen but an older one and I've always had the desire to get a vintage fountain pen of ebonite with flexible nib is a great historical piece that I wish to own in my little collection.
 
Now I have the money available to buy one but I have a lot of doubts about which one I should get. I have three ebonite in my sights that I want to obtain but at the moment I can only get one.
 
hese are the fountain pens that I want to get:
 
Parker Jack Knife Safety Fountain Pen - BCHR, Ring Top, Fine Full Flex Lucky Curve # 2 Nib (Excellent, Restored)
 
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Conklin Crescent 2P Fountain Pen - BCHR, Fully Flexible Fine # 2 14k Nib (Superior, Restored)
 
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Conklin Crescent 40 Fountain Pen - Large BCHR, Wide Cap Band, Flexible Medium 14k Nib (Excellent +, Restored)
 
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I like aesthetically more conklin but my biggest doubt to decide to choose one of these is about filling system of these fountain pens which is better?
 
button filler or crescent filler system or level filler?
 
I understand that both have to change the rubber bag every so often, but I ask about their internal mechanisms which is better, more reliable and robust and which pen is easier to maintain and change the bag.
I have already attached the links so that they can see them and help me to take my decision and that they can tell me the pros and cons of these mechanisms


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#2 Driften

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Posted 22 March 2019 - 06:29

Changing the sacs will be similar no matter the filling system. All three are basically a bar that pushes against the sac to work. The main difference is what pushes on the bar a button, a lever, or the crescent. I have never had a crescent filler so can't answer to that, but I prefer a button filler over a lever filler. The button is easy to push a number of times until it stops bubbling air into the bottle of ink then to keep raising and lowering a lever. Also the lever tends to get under my fingernail causing pain ;)

 

In theory a crescent filler would also be easy as you are just pressing down a raised metal hoop. The button filler is protected by the blind cap. The crescent is protected by a rotating collar that keeps the crescent from moving. You can see the collar in the pictures you link to. 

 

If you are not using high saturated inks, but inks that are safe for sacs you should not have to replace the sac anytime soon. You have to be careful with UV exposure with BCHR pens like those three. UV can cause hidden issue that if the pen is exposed to water it can discolor. You will see lots of brown pens that started out black from that happening. I am careful with the two I have to not store them in a way that will get sun light or UV as well as being extra careful when cleaning them.

 

You need to learn to write with a really light hand for full flex nibs. You don't want to spring a nib on such an expensive pen. 

 

The #40 looks to be the largest of the three pens and has the biggest nib. Pens that old tend to be really thing compared to the pens people use today. Depending on what you like, you might be happiest with the #40 pen. The seller is great so you are going with someone you can trust. You can always describe your situation to them and get their advice as well.

 

Good Luck. 



#3 Edo98

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Posted 22 March 2019 - 08:52

Thank you very much my good friend for taking the time to read my doubts and give me a quite accurate and quite informative answer.

 

So for what I got to understand the button filler and the crescent are quite easy to use that I like, and with respect to the lever filler that hurts the nail makes me think seriously that I think I could not use it as comfortably as practically I do not have nails XD I think I could not lift the level filler bar with my fingers I would have to use an object to remove it. :lticaptd:
 
I thank you very much for the information on the care of the ebonite, I believe that I will be able to preserve it for another 100 years XD, the good thing is that I always use my feathers in closed spaces and never outside.
 
About the ink that I will use in it I think it will be sheaffer skrip black since I understand that it is a safe ink for fountain pen and I saw the Vitta R review and the ink has some resistance to water and that is something that I always care too much about. an ink I am somewhat paranoid.
 
Here Vitta R review:
 
I think you have quite a reason that maybe it is a better choice the conklin # 40 has a larger size and remains flexible but without becoming super flex, I consider that I have a light hand and that I started to notice more since I started to use fountain pens because as we all know the pens allow us to write with a simple ease by touching the paper without dragging in a heavy way as with the ballpoint that I certainly do not like at all, I only like fountain pens and rollerballs .
 
Also I may not need as much flex as the wet noodles or superflex, my handwriting style is a palmer variant that I have been improving over the years and practice.
 
I look for the flex more than anything to decorate my capital letters and add some occasional flourish to add more character to my handwriting and the lowercase letters would make them as I normally do them, although I may occasionally decorate them a bit. :happyberet:
 
I think the conklin # 40 as you say may suit more what I'm looking for since not having such an exaggerated flex could also be used for daily use without using flexion.
 
And at the same time being flexible and not semi-flex I imagine that I would be less fatigued when using flexion.


#4 Edo98

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Posted 22 March 2019 - 09:01

fpn_1553245080__img_5276.jpg



#5 Edo98

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Posted 22 March 2019 - 09:08

fpn_1553245584__img_5277-2.jpg



#6 Edo98

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Posted 22 March 2019 - 09:09

These are the forms of handwriting that I'm used to and I like the most and it would not be bad to give them more ornamentation



#7 Bo Bo Olson

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Posted 22 March 2019 - 11:44

The Lucky S feed was an improvement of what when before, or it would not be so well known....still.

I don't know how flexible Parker was in that day.

Go to the Parker subsection and ask.

 

You do have nice grail pens.Mauricio deals in superflex pens. He says, there is a lot of fiddling work fitting the nib and feed perfectly into the pen.....in that makes a huge difference. (Wouldn't dream of fiddling with his work on my pens.

 

So just re-sacing a pen is no where near the end of it.

 

What Mauricio is selling is the perfect fit of nib and feed......not the close to perfect or good fit.

I have two pens from him..............52's and each of course different enough. One is a smooth 6X Wet Noodle, the other starts at Easy Full Flex (the superflex rate just under wet noodle) and then half way through goes wet noodle and a full 7 X.

(I sweat when I write XXF, have to think to write EF, so tend to scribble F on my superflex wet noodle pens. )

Then there was a post by someone 'mean' that said, Waterman was more interested in the '30's with nib bend, instead of nib spread....with all those Waterman Pinks and other super flexi nibs.....and we are all over stressing the nib....in Waterman was only aiming at 3X a light downstroke. :yikes: :unsure: :wacko: :lticaptd:

 

Do read Richard Binder's article on metal fatigue. So after reading that I only max a nib once to see where it's max is.....and I do have enough experience I'm not going to make a 5 X nib go 7X.

I strive to stay one width under max....4 X on a 5 X pen, 6 X on either of my two 7X wet noodles....and so on.


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.

 

 

 


#8 Uncial

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Posted 22 March 2019 - 13:32

The flexible Crescent nibs are an absolute delight, but my experience with them (four in total) are that they are profoundly fussy. I really don't know why, because it's a pretty simple set up after all. Burping and leaking are the major issues I've encountered and heat setting, plumber's tape and even new feeds haven't corrected the issues. I've also returned more Crescent's than I care to think on too long; always due to a cracked nib that has been pushed far too hard. If you buy one, check the nib with a loupe very carefully. Those cracks can be tiny and hard to spot. Despite the heartache they cause me, I do really like them. Caps can spotty - some will prevent dry out and some won't.

 

I've bought vintage from Peyton before and I've been very happy with them. Far, far safer than ebay.



#9 Edo98

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Posted 22 March 2019 - 17:25

The flexible Crescent nibs are an absolute delight, but my experience with them (four in total) are that they are profoundly fussy. I really don't know why, because it's a pretty simple set up after all. Burping and leaking are the major issues I've encountered and heat setting, plumber's tape and even new feeds haven't corrected the issues. I've also returned more Crescent's than I care to think on too long; always due to a cracked nib that has been pushed far too hard. If you buy one, check the nib with a loupe very carefully. Those cracks can be tiny and hard to spot. Despite the heartache they cause me, I do really like them. Caps can spotty - some will prevent dry out and some won't.

 

I've bought vintage from Peyton before and I've been very happy with them. Far, far safer than ebay.

 

I'm surprised I did not know that crescents could be so problematic :unsure:



#10 Edo98

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Posted 22 March 2019 - 17:34

The Lucky S feed was an improvement of what when before, or it would not be so well known....still.

I don't know how flexible Parker was in that day.

Go to the Parker subsection and ask.

 

You do have nice grail pens.Mauricio deals in superflex pens. He says, there is a lot of fiddling work fitting the nib and feed perfectly into the pen.....in that makes a huge difference. (Wouldn't dream of fiddling with his work on my pens.

 

So just re-sacing a pen is no where near the end of it.

 

What Mauricio is selling is the perfect fit of nib and feed......not the close to perfect or good fit.

I have two pens from him..............52's and each of course different enough. One is a smooth 6X Wet Noodle, the other starts at Easy Full Flex (the superflex rate just under wet noodle) and then half way through goes wet noodle and a full 7 X.

(I sweat when I write XXF, have to think to write EF, so tend to scribble F on my superflex wet noodle pens. )

Then there was a post by someone 'mean' that said, Waterman was more interested in the '30's with nib bend, instead of nib spread....with all those Waterman Pinks and other super flexi nibs.....and we are all over stressing the nib....in Waterman was only aiming at 3X a light downstroke. :yikes: :unsure: :wacko: :lticaptd:

 

Do read Richard Binder's article on metal fatigue. So after reading that I only max a nib once to see where it's max is.....and I do have enough experience I'm not going to make a 5 X nib go 7X.

I strive to stay one width under max....4 X on a 5 X pen, 6 X on either of my two 7X wet noodles....and so on.

Thank you for sharing your experience I just reviewed the Mauritian site and I saw some waterman ebonite wet noodle and a super flex and they look quite interesting.
 
I also noticed that the prices with it are somewhat higher than in other places and I imagine that it is due to what you told me in your comment that the feeder and the nib is perfectly adjusted,
In your opinion, if they are worth the ones that person sells?
Do you notice a big difference in their performance?

 

And which of your two feathers do you enjoy the wet noodle or the super flex for your daily writing?


#11 Sinistral1

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Posted 22 March 2019 - 18:19

I like all three pens that you are considering, have fun in making the final decision.  If I had to pick just one it would be the 2P - you can't beat a #2 nib for starting your journey into vintage gold flexible nibs.  By the way, your handwriting is beautiful!


Breathe.  Take one step at a time.  Don't sweat the small stuff.  You're not getting older, you are only moving through time.  Be calm and positive.


#12 penwash

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Posted 22 March 2019 - 23:06

Eduardo, flex nibs are my favorite, especially the vintage ones. Apart from the brand names like Parker and Conklin, you can also go the less known brands route. A lot of these has flex nibs that are as good, or better.

 

For example this one that I restored:

 

40018422833_66271e4809_c.jpg


- Will
Restored Pens and Sketches on Instagram @redeempens


#13 Edo98

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Posted 22 March 2019 - 23:57

Eduardo, flex nibs are my favorite, especially the vintage ones. Apart from the brand names like Parker and Conklin, you can also go the less known brands route. A lot of these has flex nibs that are as good, or better.

 

For example this one that I restored:

 

40018422833_66271e4809_c.jpg

 

Amazing your handwriting looks spectacular I have been impressed, it must be an excellent pen produced a line variation quite attractive. :yikes:



#14 Edo98

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Posted 23 March 2019 - 00:06

I like all three pens that you are considering, have fun in making the final decision.  If I had to pick just one it would be the 2P - you can't beat a #2 nib for starting your journey into vintage gold flexible nibs.  By the way, your handwriting is beautiful!

 

Thanks to my equal I like that pen but I am already thinking twice with what our uncial partner said of his same experience with several conklin that he had :unsure:  I also checked the pen well and I noticed that his locking ring has a corner broken and I'm worried that it spreads all over the ring and ends up breaking completely.



#15 Edo98

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Posted 23 March 2019 - 00:16

fpn_1553299892__jklc_ring_flex_2.jpg

Following the advice of uncial I started to review the nibs and discovered that the parker that I put seems to have a crack in the breathing hole.

 

I wonder if it is really a crack or a deep scratch and if it would end up in the nib


Edited by Edo98, 23 March 2019 - 00:24.


#16 Honeybadgers

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Posted 23 March 2019 - 23:39

that mark is just the slitting saw extending past the breather. that's not a crack. It's pretty common in hand cut vintage nibs, where the breather was always in the same place, but the slit was cut by hand machinist.

 

You shouldn't worry about that whatsoever.


Edited by Honeybadgers, 23 March 2019 - 23:39.

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#17 Intensity

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Posted 24 March 2019 - 02:01

Yet something to note about overshooting slit is that it’s a point of weakness for future cracks if overflexing. The breather hole provides stress relief over larger area vs. the pointy end of an overextended slit.

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#18 Honeybadgers

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Posted 24 March 2019 - 09:12

Yet something to note about overshooting slit is that it’s a point of weakness for future cracks if overflexing. The breather hole provides stress relief over larger area vs. the pointy end of an overextended slit.

 

Kind of. Sort of. Not really.

 

Yes, it is an increased point of stress. Sort of. Part of the breather is stress relief. Part of it is aesthetics. Part of it is to cover up an ugly slit cut at the end.

 

There are lots of ludicrously flexible nibs with no breather at all. I've also never seen an overcut nib fracture at that point. The stress is still being taken up almost exclusively by the breather,

 

If you (the "user," not pointing at you Intensity) are flexing a wet noodle so far that you fracture it at the breathers... You are the problem. Not the pen. The problem is between your ears.

 

We really need to teach people to stop hyperflexing a wet noodle. A 1mm-2mm shade is hugely dramatic with an EF or needlepoint normal line. Most spencerian wouldn't call for more than 1mm at its absolute most dramatic of flourishes. Over-flexed lines look chunky and inelegant. 


Edited by Honeybadgers, 24 March 2019 - 09:13.

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#19 Uncial

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Posted 24 March 2019 - 10:15

As said above, I wouldn't worry about an over-cut slit unless you can see a very fine hairline crack running out from it. A crack can be very difficult to spot and isn't usually as obvious as an over-cut slit. Looking at that Parker nib I would suspect the feed isn't set quite right. It's hard to tell from a photo, but it does look a little too forward in the nib. 

Vintage pens are a bit of a (bleep)* shoot in my experience. Others experiences may radically differ. You're dealing with something with age, possible shrinkage and no knowledge of what past owners have put it through or subjected it to. Be prepared to have to tinker a bit to get it to work to your preferment. Sometimes they are perfect and that is a great relief. Beware of any seller that shows pictures of a 'flexible' nib that produces something that even a dip nib can't. That is a sure sign of an abused nib. You'll see a lot of this on ebay.

 

* a gambling term, not a swear word, but for some reason it is edited out!


Edited by Uncial, 24 March 2019 - 10:16.


#20 sidthecat

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Posted 24 March 2019 - 17:16

You want a ringtop! Bless your little cotton socks. I notice a couple of such things on eBay this weekend. Since Parker nibs run stiff, you might want to ask the seller to do a thumbnail test for you. I recently bought a Moore ringtop on the strength of the seller’s description, and it turned out to be a very fine writer.
If you can deal with the uncertainty, and the possibility of sending it out for renovation, it’s a reasonable method for getting your hands on some interesting pens.





Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: flex nib, button filler, crescent filler, vintage fountains pens, ebonite, parker, conklin



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