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Advice Needed On Nibs - Newbie Search For Line Variation

stub italic

34 replies to this topic

#21 Bo Bo Olson

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Posted 19 September 2019 - 14:00

Not my writing, Pendelton Browns writing and nibwork.

Get your self a stub nib first, you can have a wider nail made into a Cursive Italic (send a picture of at what angle you hold your pen.....behind the big index knuckle...right....so the CI grind can perfectly match your hold.) ...........but some day go get that Geha 790.


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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#22 rdugar

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Posted 20 September 2019 - 01:59

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.

I'm in trouble now. After writing with a stub, the wet, round nibs I've been using all along feel too smooth. Certainly enjoying the slight variation, and the slight feedback from the excellent JoWo #6 0.6 mm stub. I feel like getting all my nibs ground!

Next adventure with a Cursive Italic or true Italic. Link to an ink review with my new pen!

http://www.fountainp...sic-collection/



#23 ac12

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Posted 22 September 2019 - 06:40

Try a Lamy with a 1.1 italic nib.

It really is a "cursive italic" nib, not a crisp italic.

I can easily write cursive with it.


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#24 BaronWulfraed

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Posted 22 September 2019 - 18:21

Even the 1.5 Lamy isn't difficult for doing cursive.

 

In contrast, my two Aurora italic nibs are CHISELS... If the nib is tilted at all the corner digs and cuts into the paper...



#25 Karmachanic

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Posted 23 September 2019 - 07:09

Even the 1.5 Lamy isn't difficult for doing cursive.

 

In contrast, my two Aurora italic nibs are CHISELS... If the nib is tilted at all the corner digs and cuts into the paper...

 

That's the nature of an italic nib, no?


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#26 awa54

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Posted 05 October 2019 - 17:11

Since the Pilot Metropolitan CM nib has been getting a bit of discussion in this thread (and I subsequently ordered one off Jet Pens), does anyone know if it's a typical "budget oriented", modern era untipped nib, or does it have hard tipping?  Also, as stainless steel has come a long way since Esterbrook times, if it *is* untipped, how is durability when used as a daily writer? 

 

In the past un-tipped steel or gold nibs had a definite limit on useful service, but something like impulse hardening the tips might extend that quite a bit.


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#27 awa54

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Posted 10 October 2019 - 03:58

Since the Pilot Metropolitan CM nib has been getting a bit of discussion in this thread (and I subsequently ordered one off Jet Pens), does anyone know if it's a typical "budget oriented", modern era untipped nib, or does it have hard tipping?  Also, as stainless steel has come a long way since Esterbrook times, if it *is* untipped, how is durability when used as a daily writer? 

 

In the past un-tipped steel or gold nibs had a definite limit on useful service, but something like impulse hardening the tips might extend that quite a bit.

 

 

Well, I've answered my own questions:  The nib is *not* a tipped nib, but a thinner version of the now typical, all steel "italic" nib, which isn't a crisp italic, but also isn't really a stub.  It writes fairly well, but is fussier about angle than any of my vintage stubs, I think that's because it isn't as rigid as some and doesn't have as rounded a tip as others.

 

All in all though, a Metro with the CM nib is a pretty good way to try out stub-like line variation, in a cheap, dependable pen and with a line width that can still be used for most everyday writing tasks (unlike a broader italic).

 

Just don't expect all stubs to be like this, since it really isn't a stub... IMO genuine stub or oblique grinds are better adapted to normal writing tasks.


David-

 

So many restoration projects...


#28 A Smug Dill

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Posted 10 October 2019 - 06:57

I don't think there's a strict requirement or definition that Stub nibs have tipping material fused with body of the nib. As far as I'm concerned, a broad edged nib with rounded corners is really a Stub nib, and neither its suitability (or ease of use) for "everyday writing tasks" for a particular user nor how forgiving it is to the angle of contact plays any part in the identification criteria. Also, as we've seen in plenty of writing samples posted on FPN, more than a few fountain pen users approach their "everyday writing tasks" by "printing" each letter, and cursive English scripts do not have a monopoly of what constitutes "everyday writing", globally or even just in countries where English is the primary language.

 

The steel Stub nib on my Monteverde Rodeo Drive is similarly, and I love it all the more for it. As far as I'm concerned, the Stub nibs on that pen and my Pilot MR and Plumix pens actually trump the gold Stub nibs in my Pilot Capless Vanishing Point and Aurora pens.


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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#29 minddance

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Posted 10 October 2019 - 08:44

depends on what kind of line variations you are after. it can be very explicit, like italics, stubs, flex nibs.

or less explicit using a 'normal' nib written on papers with a softer backing underneath so that every stroke can be nuanced with varying degrees of writing pressure.

if you cannot flex the nib, flex the paper!

#30 ardene

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Posted 10 October 2019 - 21:52



Well, I've answered my own questions:  The nib is *not* a tipped nib, but a thinner version of the now typical, all steel "italic" nib, which isn't a crisp italic, but also isn't really a stub.  It writes fairly well, but is fussier about angle than any of my vintage stubs, I think that's because it isn't as rigid as some and doesn't have as rounded a tip as others.

 

All in all though, a Metro with the CM nib is a pretty good way to try out stub-like line variation, in a cheap, dependable pen and with a line width that can still be used for most everyday writing tasks (unlike a broader italic).

 

Just don't expect all stubs to be like this, since it really isn't a stub... IMO genuine stub or oblique grinds are better adapted to normal writing tasks.

 

In my experience your observations about vintage stub nibs vs modern italics are correct. I attach a schematic side view of three nibs which write with line variation (Parker 75 medium stub, Rotring Artpen 1.5mm italic and MB WE Dostoevsky OBB) along with a writing sample of these three with a medium/fine Duofold carrying a Jack Knife nib. All pen descriptions are as their manufacturers describe them. 

 

fpn_1570277732__paperideas2.jpg

 

fpn_1569940267__keimeno_stub_compare_2.j

 

fpn_1569939352__penes_stub_comp_mytes.jp



#31 awa54

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Posted 11 October 2019 - 15:27

I don't think there's a strict requirement or definition that Stub nibs have tipping material fused with body of the nib. As far as I'm concerned, a broad edged nib with rounded corners is really a Stub nib, and neither its suitability (or ease of use) for "everyday writing tasks" for a particular user nor how forgiving it is to the angle of contact plays any part in the identification criteria. Also, as we've seen in plenty of writing samples posted on FPN, more than a few fountain pen users approach their "everyday writing tasks" by "printing" each letter, and cursive English scripts do not have a monopoly of what constitutes "everyday writing", globally or even just in countries where English is the primary language.

 

The steel Stub nib on my Monteverde Rodeo Drive is similarly, and I love it all the more for it. As far as I'm concerned, the Stub nibs on that pen and my Pilot MR and Plumix pens actually trump the gold Stub nibs in my Pilot Capless Vanishing Point and Aurora pens.

 

 

 

While I agree that there is no strict requirement that a stub have tipping, the unfortunate tendency of some sellers of vintage pens to call nibs that have lost their tipping and been re-polished "stubs" leaves a bad taste in my mouth, so I try not to perpetuate half-truths like that.

 

I will however argue that the term "stub" refers to a more relaxed geometry than "italic" and that the closer to a crisp edged geometry and the wider the differential between cross and downstroke the less a nib falls into the category of a stub.  This in no way implies that some people can't do everyday writing with an italic nib, just that I don't enjoy it or particularly like the look of my writing with a true italic. 

 

Honestly, I like "stubby" nibs even better, ones with a cross to down ratio that is 1:2 or lower, just enough to give some character to my writing, but not enough to require more space on the page or look distractingly fancy.


David-

 

So many restoration projects...


#32 awa54

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Posted 11 October 2019 - 18:38

The Fine nib that came with my Pelikan M205 Olivine was very scratchy and didn't respond to any of the milder smoothing measures, so I stubbed it at lunch today... still needs a final polish and detailing of the inner faces, but it already writes surprisingly smoothly for being lightly refined from an XXF diamond hone with 3 micron AlOx film.  About a 1:2.5 cross to downstroke, subtle compared to even the Pilot CM, but adds a nice flair to un-flexed writing, as a bonus the nib also has a bit of softness, so additional downstroke width can be had if desired.  I'll post some writing samples when it's finished.

 

 

pic

 

48882136488_515bec3a2b_b.jpg1011191828 by David Wimmer, on Flickr


Edited by awa54, 11 October 2019 - 22:47.

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#33 A Smug Dill

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Posted 11 October 2019 - 23:21

the unfortunate tendency of some sellers of vintage pens to call nibs that have lost their tipping and been re-polished "stubs" leaves a bad taste in my mouth, so I try not to perpetuate half-truths like that.


You could easily also have a Fine round-tipped nib on which the iridium tipping has largely worn off (or been polished off) through repeated abrasion against writing paper, micromesh, emery boards, sandpaper and what not, but still puts down lines of (say) about 0.4mm wide consistently. That's just a Fine nib — that arguably is in poor condition and of questionable longevity, no? If you say "it isn't really" a Fine nib and the statement is a distasteful half-truth, then how would you categorise its nib width grade and/or type?

The volume and condition of the tipping on the nib is logically separate from the geometry of the contact area between nib and paper, and I think we're agreed that "Stub" as a descriptor of nibs refers only to geometry. There are wider or narrower Stub nibs, thicker or thinner Stub nibs, Stub nibs with metallic (tipping and body) material in good condition or poor condition, "factory" Stub nibs or Stub nibs that started life as something else. Are any of those more "real" as Stub nibs than the others?

In my opinion, there is nothing sacred about Stub nibs as a classification that demands a higher level of discernment. It makes me think of electrical and mechanical engineers declaring that "software engineers" have no claim to being engineers because the latter do not meet the Institute of Engineers' membership requirement of having completed a four-year Bachelor's degree in Engineering; at least in that case there is turf, standing and prestige at stake in the competition for higher pay, etc. Stub nibs don't speak for themselves or actively want to make their own classification a more exclusive one.
 

I will however argue that the term "stub" refers to a more relaxed geometry than "italic" and that the closer to a crisp edged geometry and the wider the differential between cross and downstroke the less a nib falls into the category of a stub.


Relative to each other on a continuous spectrum, yes. On the other hand, even if it lays down 1.1mm wide downstrokes and 0.3mm wide cross-strokes, a nib with a straight edge of 1.1mm flanked by rounded corners of 0.4mm radius isn't going to be an "italic" nib in anyone's book, is it?

Please note I'm not trying to argue against any personal preferences in writing outcomes, but simply what does or does not (or could or could not) fall within a classification or category as a shared understanding when communicating with vast numbers of other users, especially when they presumably have different levels of experience and different personal preferences. There ought to be nothing subjective when there is an allusion to fact (cf. "half-truths").


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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#34 awa54

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Posted 11 October 2019 - 23:44

ASD, your screen name really does say it all ;)

 

I especially love that you pulled the "engineer" comparison, lol!


Edited by awa54, 11 October 2019 - 23:45.

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#35 rdugar

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Posted 25 October 2019 - 17:27

One thing I've found, in writing with a stub, is that It helps me write better (or I'm rationalizing ;) ). I think the stub "makes" my hand stay steadier and therefore better letter formation, compared to all the wet, round nibs I use. Don't know if others have the same experience....





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