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Advice Needed On Nibs - Newbie Search For Line Variation

stub italic

33 replies to this topic

#1 rdugar

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Posted 28 August 2019 - 20:32

I've only been using round nibs, and principally write cursive (right handed) during the course of a workday, which is not a lot of writing. I've been thinking about getting a stub or a cursive italic for my next pen - love the line variation. My handwriting is not great, and am a little hesitant about getting a sharp edged, not forgiving nib. So thinking of a (Italic) Stub or Cursive Italic, both of which, according to Richard Binder's essays on nibs, are supposed to be smoother and easier to use than a pure Italic nib.

 

I don't want to spend a lot of money getting a custom nib at this point until I am sure this will work for me. Thinking of getting a Pelikan M805 / M800 or Montblanc 146 as my next pen (when I can reward myself and justify it :) )

 

I read in several threads that Pelikan used to sell Broad Italic nibs as an option from the factory, but may no longer do so. Someone posted a link from Cult Pens which is selling an M800 with a Broad Italic.

 

- I write with a Medium Pelikan M605, and the line is just thick enough to suit my lettering. Will a Broad Italic Pelikan be too wide for medium sized cursive handwriting?

- Is the Pelikan Broad Italic as smooth and easy to write with as a round nib? I am no calligrapher, and need a tolerant nib.

- Does the MB 146 come with a CI or Stub? I'm going to buy used, so maybe the question is moot.

 

Thanks!


Edited by rdugar, 29 August 2019 - 15:26.


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#2 ENewton

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Posted 29 August 2019 - 00:21

If you want to experiment with something less expensive than a Pelikan or a Montblanc, you might take a look at Peyton Street Pen Works.

 

I have a PSPW prototype pen with a medium cursive italic nib.  So far it's the only steel-nibbed pen I've used in 2019. 



#3 Bo Bo Olson

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Posted 29 August 2019 - 07:31

You are the first right handed overwriter I can remember reading about here on the com.

Off the top of my head a CI would work better with an underwriting hold.

 

With your hold I'd be leary of advinsing you to get a vintage semi-flex pen, in left handed overwriters have problems with them.

If you change to a 'regular' underwriting hold, on German Ebay vintage German semi-flex '50-70 pens can be had @ 100+-, . A Geha 790 is the Best Buy in semi-flex. @ E60-70. I have three.

 

It's Semi-flex not semi-Flex; a mile from superflex the so called 'flex' nib. Semi-flex is a flair pen, giving you that old fashioned fountain pen script with out you doing anything at all.  It is a 3 X tine spread max, gives you nice flair and the German semi-flex is a stub. Not really for fancy calligraphy writing, but line variation is built in.

A good poster said, a Stub or a CI is 100% line variation, semi-flex is line variation On Demand.

 

 

But I think you'd have to change you grip as is for either of the three.


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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#4 Inkysloth

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Posted 29 August 2019 - 08:41

The one thing to be aware of with stubs / cursive italic / italic nibs is handwriting size. If you tend towards small handwriting your loops will tend to close up and legibility can suffer.

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#5 Karmachanic

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Posted 29 August 2019 - 09:05

The one thing to be aware of with stubs / cursive italic / italic nibs is handwriting size. If you tend towards small handwriting your loops will tend to close up and legibility can suffer.

 

So if, for example, I usually use a round M nib, and I order a CI M, my hand will now become illegible? This is not my experience.


Edited by Karmachanic, 29 August 2019 - 09:05.

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#6 ardene

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Posted 29 August 2019 - 10:37

The steel nibs of broad fountain pens for calligraphy are all essentially cursive italics, i.e. they are stubs with less curvature at the writing edge of the nib. As far as I know there is no fountain pen that is a proper italic because they are very scratchy and in all probability the steel would at some not very distant point begin to rust around the crisp-cut edges.

If you want to see how you write with one of these pens there are a lot of cheaper options. You might want to look for 1.1 or 1.5 mm calligraphy fountain pens (often marketed as "italics" but as I said they are not italics in Richard Binder's sense) or for a fountain pen with a stub nib. The calligraphy fountain pens are usually cheap. You can find new steel stubs at around $/€/£ 100. You will find older stubs cheaper but you will need to be patient to get one. Older stubs are also stubs in R. Binder's sense, i.e. the writing edge is noticeably more curved than that on a cursive italic. The stubs and (cursive) italics I have are all very forgiving, but I am not an overwriter.

On your questions: I do not know about Pelikan, but an old Parker M stub will produce a line which at its thickest is thicker than a Parker M width (old or new). That said, the letters I produce with the stub are not bigger in height and for the most part width than when I write with a regular M.

Montblanc fountain pens are no longer manufactured with stub or cursive italic nibs.

#7 Karmachanic

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Posted 29 August 2019 - 11:10

An option for your consideration.

Your M605 will take an inexpensive M205 steel nib, which you can get ground to a stub. That way you can use a pen you are already familiar with to gain some experience of line variation.


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#8 rdugar

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Posted 29 August 2019 - 15:17

You are the first right handed overwriter I can remember reading about here on the com.

Off the top of my head a CI would work better with an underwriting hold.

 

With your hold I'd be leary of advinsing you to get a vintage semi-flex pen, in left handed overwriters have problems with them.

If you change to a 'regular' underwriting hold, on German Ebay vintage German semi-flex '50-70 pens can be had @ 100+-, . A Geha 790 is the Best Buy in semi-flex. @ E60-70. I have three.

 

It's Semi-flex not semi-Flex; a mile from superflex the so called 'flex' nib. Semi-flex is a flair pen, giving you that old fashioned fountain pen script with out you doing anything at all.  It is a 3 X tine spread max, gives you nice flair and the German semi-flex is a stub. Not really for fancy calligraphy writing, but line variation is built in.

A good poster said, a Stub or a CI is 100% line variation, semi-flex is line variation On Demand.

 

 

But I think you'd have to change you grip as is for either of the three.

Thanks, and sincere apologies. I misspoke. I am a "normal" right handed writer, with my hand below the writing.

 

Very helpful!



#9 rdugar

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Posted 29 August 2019 - 15:18

An option for your consideration.

Your M605 will take an inexpensive M205 steel nib, which you can get ground to a stub. That way you can use a pen you are already familiar with to gain some experience of line variation.

Thanks, great idea!



#10 A Smug Dill

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Posted 29 August 2019 - 18:15

I don't want to spend a lot of money getting a custom nib at this point until I am sure this will work for me. Thinking of getting a Pelikan M805 / M800 or Montblanc 146 as my next pen (when I can reward myself and justify it :) )


I'm pretty sure if you order a Pelikan M805 or M800 (or even a cheaper M600 other than the Vibrant Orange) from Nibsmith.com, Dan Smith will do almost any nib customisation you request without additional charge.

 

No affiliation but just a satisfied customer here. Dan ground the EF nib on my M600 Vibrant Orange to a crisp italic and I love it. (Mind you, at the time of ordering he wasn't charging extra to customise the nib on the M600 Vibrant Orange pens he sold.)


Let's give each other due respect, and approach discussion rigorously. I believe we're all peers and equals here as fellow hobbyists, with common interests in the acquisition and use of fountain pens, but no shared values and no obligation to offer each other moral support for one's narrative.

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#11 Beechwood

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Posted 29 August 2019 - 18:26

Your choices are quite expensive and you may think it is a good idea to buy something much cheaper with a nib that you like to see if it suits your handwriting. For example, I can write with a stub as long as I write slower than usual, I really dont like writing with an itallic at all and if I was to have bought a 146 with an itallic then I would have a problem.

 

I would suggest a pen such as a TWSBI ECO with a stub nib, see if you like the experience before taking the plunge with something more expensive.

 

There is a good reason why Medium nibs are the most common, they suit most people


 


#12 Inkysloth

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Posted 29 August 2019 - 22:30

 

So if, for example, I usually use a round M nib, and I order a CI M, my hand will now become illegible? This is not my experience.

Well no - because you're going from a medium, to a medium. And presumably if you're using a medium nib your handwriting isn't particularly small. 

I should have specified, if you're used to writing with an EF or F nib, and have small handwriting, be aware that most stubs (not all) are a fair bit broader than an F nib's width, so can start to affect the legibility of small handwriting. 


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#13 BDarchitect

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Posted 30 August 2019 - 00:25

Try out a Pilot Metropolitan CM (calligraphy medium), which has a decent italic nib on it that should be smooth enough for your use.  At about US $24, it is a relatively inexpensive tryout.  I am a lefty underwriter and find it works well for me, and it should be even easier for you as a righty.



#14 rdugar

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Posted 12 September 2019 - 13:30

Thanks all!

 

I ended up doing an impulse buy of a Nemosine Fission with a 0.6 mm stub to try out the idea. With their closeout sale, $15 plus shipping. Waiting for it to ship :)

 

BDArchitect, I looked at the Pilot Metropolitan with a CM nib, and seems very attractive. It seems to be a 1.0 mm line width, and concerned it might be too broad for my handwriting. My Pelikan M605 Medium (0.7 mm) seems to be as broad as I can go with my handwriting, but I could be wrong...

 

I am also eyeing a Parker Vector on e-bay ground to a 0.7 mm cursive italic. Would that be a better idea than either the Metropolitan or Fission?

 

I don't write well, and am sure a true crisp italic nib will not work with my sloppiness and choice of inexpensive paper. Hence risk aversion ...

 

If the idea works for me, I'll get an M200 Medium italic and swap with the M605 Medium nib from time to time.



#15 A Smug Dill

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Posted 12 September 2019 - 14:34

I looked at the Pilot Metropolitan with a CM nib, and seems very attractive. It seems to be a 1.0 mm line width,


From where did you get the information or impression? It's not that wide in my experience.

Let's give each other due respect, and approach discussion rigorously. I believe we're all peers and equals here as fellow hobbyists, with common interests in the acquisition and use of fountain pens, but no shared values and no obligation to offer each other moral support for one's narrative.

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#16 Stompie

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Posted 12 September 2019 - 14:41

If you get a Manuscript pen from Walmart they are dirt cheap, but only available online from what I can make out.

 

They come with 3 italic nibs and so you can try the different sizes see if any of them suit your writing, if you don't like any of them, you have wasted $10 maximum!



#17 rdugar

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Posted 12 September 2019 - 14:49

From where did you get the information or impression? It's not that wide in my experience.

I posted a question on goldspotpens.com and they responded saying it is 1.0 mm. Actually, I got mixed up. Posted the question about their stub nib.

How broad is it?


Edited by rdugar, 12 September 2019 - 14:56.


#18 BDarchitect

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Posted 12 September 2019 - 16:13

I just scribbled a couple of vertical strokes with my Pilot Metropolitan CM, and the line width is about .7mm, as best as I can tell.  This is using Robert Oster Great Southern Ocean ink on a Rhodia pad.  As a lefty underwriter I have to use a narrower italic or else my verticals are too wide, and this nib offers a nice compromise for me. 


Edited by BDarchitect, 12 September 2019 - 16:15.


#19 Bo Bo Olson

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Posted 12 September 2019 - 19:50

As soon as you have four pens....suggest nail EF and B and regular flex like a Pelikan 200/400 in M & F......Esterbrook made regular flex nibs.....other US pen companies also. Living in Germany never chased US pens the postage would have cost near as much as a pen.....as a 'noobie' I was into 'affordable' pens.

Sheaffer made regular flex, at least in it's sub brands.

 

So after four pens, it's time for semi-flex...........which is a flair pen.............Not A Flex pen. :rolleyes: The bottom of the nib is stubbish.....flatish. Helps give line variation/flare with out you doing anything....no twisting of the hand, arm or hanging from the chandelier. That natural old fashioned fountain pen style....just writing regular.

 

Get your self a Geha 790 off of German Ebay....the seller needs to take Pay Pal and ship out of Germany .....many don't. Geha 790 is the Best Buy in semi-flex can be had with a little effort for @ E60-70....as long as you don't push the Buy Now Idior button. Then you can get over priced US prices....even in Germany. It don't cost nothing to wait for an idiot.

They stand in line to throw money away.

Pelikan 140/400 go for @ 100 is you hunt....a 400nn can be had for that too....but often for no reason go for @ 120.

 

If you wish you can pay E190 or even 280- Stateside prices.....no waiting...no thrill of winning or losing. Wear out your gold shovel as you throw money over your shoulder.

 

You want three rings.........the one with three true rings is a '59-60, the one other 'three' ring one is '60-72.

Original bought pen picture, the rings polished up just fine.

In the '50's the torpedo/cigar shaped pens were in...Swan, Pelikan 120/140/400nn, 146&49 MB and so on. Geha 790/760 and school pen..............the school pen has no rings but the clip ring and has a serial number engraved on it.....it is not semi-flex.

oWb4qI2.jpg

 

Picture to show the other three ring Geha 790.

WotaRYp.jpg

 

I have three and the same size as the Pelikan 140, Geha 760, that cost normally 20% more than the 790....but it often come sin colors....a Golden Rule, any German pen but a Pelikan you will pay more if it is other than Black and Gold!!! :huh:

 

If you want to buy a oblique...................buy only a German pen made from 1950-70....it is semi-flex, stubbed and gives real good line variation.

Nails and regular flex don't....nails not at all, and regular flex a whisper of the real thing. They are really a waste of money.

 

I've had tow nail Obliques.....No line variation at all. The regular flex....have 4...and in OBB it is a whisper of the '50-60's OBB's or OBs.

I have a '90's so regular flex era Pelikan.....it was a real surprise to me to find out when looking at the nib after a long time in use....that it was OB..............I hadn't noticed it.

Semi-flex era only if you want the real thing.

 

And semi-flex straight nibs are a lot of fun too....don't have to be oblique :) ....have 29, 16 maxi-semi-flex ......and a mix of semi&maxi in my 16 obliques of that era.

Don't really count the other five in regular flex.

The nail obliques both Lamies, ,the Mdl 27 OM was sold and the other a 1990 Persona Pendelton Brown made it into a real nice Cursive Italic from OB....both had absolutely no line variation.

The Persona does now...........you can get any of your nail nibs made into a stub or CI.

Pendelton's writing.

The Persona has a spring loaded 'concealed' clip. Once it clips into a shirt it stays clipped to the end of the world............a real Art Deco influenced design.

MAXrkr7.jpg

FWL4Clr.jpg

EIj4i9e.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.

 

 

 


#20 rdugar

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Posted 18 September 2019 - 15:00

Lovely pens and writing, Bo Bo Olsen!





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