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Twsbi 580 Alr


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14 replies to this topic

#1 Astonmv8

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Posted 12 October 2019 - 22:35

Hi I have just ordered the TWSBI 580 ALR after watching a couple of videos on YouTube. However after reading some of the comments about reliability on here I am now wondering if I have made the right decision. Has anyone got a TWSBI that has lasted the test of time?

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#2 inkstainedruth

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Posted 13 October 2019 - 02:01

I held off on getting a TWSBI for a long time because of the old issues with the plastic.  My understanding is that it's no longer an issue.  

I do have one quibble with TWSBI (I have a 580-AL and a 580-ALR, and understand it's also an issue with the smaller pens such as the Eco) that I think is a serious design flaw.  The piston does NOT extend all the way to the back of the feed.  It can lead to problems when the pen when the ink gets low, because you can get air bubbles or pockets in the remaining space.  If that bubble gets to the bottom, by the back of the feed, suddenly you have no flow....  :( 

I actually asked someone at Goulet Pens about the new purple Eco, in the hopes that TWSBI used the same length piston on both the larger and smaller pens, and apparently they don't....  So the Ecos have relatively the same problem.

Mind you, I have no experience with the TWSBI Vacs, just with the piston fillers.  

In many respects I really like the 580-AL (the 580-ALR has the additional issue of the ribbed section being a major PITA to wipe off excess ink after filling from a bottle or sample vial).  In retrospect, I probably should NOT have gotten the 580-ALR because I *knew* about the problem with the piston...  but, well, it had purple for the aluminum....

One other thing -- I don't know what size/weight pens you're used to, but the 580-AL pens are a LOT heavier than most of my other pens (my largest pen is the vintage Sheaffer Balance Oversize that belonged to my husband's grandfather -- but it's very lightweight for its size...).

Hope this helps you with your decision (both pro and con).

Ruth Morrisson aka inkstainedruth


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#3 Astonmv8

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Posted 13 October 2019 - 09:35

Thank you inkstainedruth for your comments. It should be here early next week so lets see how it goes.

 

I use several pens from a Waterman Hemisphere, several Lamy Safaris of various nib sizes, Parker IM, Parker Urban, Faber Castell E Motion and a vintage Sheaffer Grand Connoisseur. I quite like the larger pen such as the Sheaffer son this should be fine. I will let you know how I get on.

 

Thank you



#4 Aysedasi

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Posted 13 October 2019 - 10:23

I've 4 or 5 TWSBIs and haven';t had a single problem with any of them...



#5 Astonmv8

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Posted 13 October 2019 - 13:48

I've 4 or 5 TWSBIs and haven';t had a single problem with any of them...

 Great that sounds positive  :)



#6 Aysedasi

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Posted 13 October 2019 - 16:23

Yeah, I like them, but I accept that others have had problems.  Maybe I've just been lucky!   ;)



#7 Honeybadgers

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Posted 14 October 2019 - 06:23

It seems to me, that if a TWSBI is going to crack, it does so within the first year. It's not that the plastic itself is inferior, it's that some of them were cooled too quickly after injection molding and the resin has inherent stresses that fracture relatively soon after manufacture as the resin shrinks that tiny, tiny amount within the first year.

 

I've only had one crack, a VAC mini, but my ECO, 700R, 580, and GO are all great.


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#8 Astonmv8

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Posted 14 October 2019 - 17:36

Thank you for your feedback  :)



#9 LuckyDog10

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Posted 15 October 2019 - 18:20

It seems to me, that if a TWSBI is going to crack, it does so within the first year...

 

That was my experience with the old 540, but I am sad to report I am still encountering problems with my three Vac 700s. Well, two of them at least. The Smoke color is holding steady, but it gets less use. My Sapphire was one of the "old" plastic ones, and I had the barrel replaced once and the cap replaced twice. I lost count of the number of O rings and small gaskets I have gone through.

 

The grip on my clear one just broke, and although customer service at TWSBI is always very accommodating, I am tired of continually requesting replacement parts. So, I cannibalized the Sapphire for its grip. Sure, it's a different color, but I sort of like it. 

 

I have heard a lot of the problems with early manufacturing have been fixed, so I really want to get a 580 ALR (because I LOVE the TWSBI ink capacity). But I am beginning to have trust issues. 

 

- LD10


"The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity." - Dorothy Parker (attributed)

#10 Astonmv8

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Posted 16 October 2019 - 18:49

I have taken delivery of mine today and I am really impressed, I have inked it with Pelikan Olivine a lovely Green colour. It writes lovely with the broad nib (although I thought it may be wider) I only hope that now it will not suffer with any cracks. It won't be my day to day pen so it should be fine.

 

I have tried to upload a picture but not sure how so I think the photo was attached in a file

 

I will keep you posted if I suffer any issues

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#11 pararis

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Posted 16 October 2019 - 21:00

My advice, be gentle.

 

After years of using TWSBI pens (including the exact one you have) reliably and faultlessly, I've come to believe most of the "cracking" problems are user error. TWSBI is not a pen for the hammer-hands of the world. The cap screws in place, but you don't have to torque it down like you would a cylinder head on an engine block. This one certainly is not designed for posting so don't do it. And while they can be taken apart, there's almost no reason to do so.

 

Ruth makes a good point about getting the ink off the grip; it can be devilish. I find it best to simply screw the feed/section section off and use a syringe to fill it. Quick and easy, and it holds so much ink you rarely have to refill. Or use the TWSBI ink well system. (I bought one, but I find it too pretty to use!)

 

Enjoy, and best luck.



#12 Honeybadgers

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Posted 17 October 2019 - 06:54

My advice, be gentle.

 

After years of using TWSBI pens (including the exact one you have) reliably and faultlessly, I've come to believe most of the "cracking" problems are user error. TWSBI is not a pen for the hammer-hands of the world. The cap screws in place, but you don't have to torque it down like you would a cylinder head on an engine block. This one certainly is not designed for posting so don't do it. And while they can be taken apart, there's almost no reason to do so.

 

Ruth makes a good point about getting the ink off the grip; it can be devilish. I find it best to simply screw the feed/section section off and use a syringe to fill it. Quick and easy, and it holds so much ink you rarely have to refill. Or use the TWSBI ink well system. (I bought one, but I find it too pretty to use!)

 

Enjoy, and best luck.

 

They are not cracking from user error. That's the annoying excuse phil wang gives.

 

My vac mini cracked while it was sitting in a case. it had never been inked, nor disassembled, just moved from box to case and sitting for a couple months undisturbed.

 

The issue has been found with polarizing filter lenses. you can see the immense stresses that some of the pens' resin has. Now, dropping or overtightening a pre-stressed pen can cause the fracture to start, but the problem is the stress, not the user.


Edited by Honeybadgers, 17 October 2019 - 06:55.

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#13 pararis

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Posted 18 October 2019 - 00:21

 

They are not cracking from user error. That's the annoying excuse phil wang gives.

 

My vac mini cracked while it was sitting in a case. it had never been inked, nor disassembled, just moved from box to case and sitting for a couple months undisturbed.

 

The issue has been found with polarizing filter lenses. you can see the immense stresses that some of the pens' resin has. Now, dropping or overtightening a pre-stressed pen can cause the fracture to start, but the problem is the stress, not the user.

You go to your church, I'll go to mine.



#14 Honeybadgers

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Posted 20 October 2019 - 08:03

You go to your church, I'll go to mine.

 

This is a silly statement that implies we don't, and can't, understand the reasons causing what is happening. Plastic is not religion, it's pretty damn simple stuff.

 

There is proven evidence supporting the notion that the problem is inherent stresses in the plastic caused by some pens being cooled too rapidly and the following off-gassing and microscopic shrinkage. This is a common issue inherent in a lot of first run or low volume injection molded plastics. If the mold itself isn't kept hot enough, or the pens are ejected into too cold of an environment, shrinkage happens. This is the same reason you don't turn wood until it's been completely dried, and why ebony takes forever to dry. It shrinks just a hair and when something so thin is under so much stress, it can split.

 

The exact same problem is why the jinhao 992 cracks and dies if you look at it funny. They're an ultra high volume part made to a super low price, so they're spat out of the machine so quickly that they don't have adequate time to cool without stresses, and then fracture at the weak points (the mouths of the tail plug in particular)

 

But y'know, enlighten us with your materials engineering expertise, please.

 

Of course it's POSSIBLE to crack plastic by overtightening a metal piston seal into it. You aren't going to crack the cap by overtightening it. That's not something we see. the section runs into the inner cap and acts as a hard stop, so further cranking on the cap would strip the threads before the body or cap split there. But the tensile strength of ABS and other polycarbonates, provided you aren't creating a strong enough shear force (i.e. a tapered screw) is pretty ridiculous. We do make a lot of extremely high impact materials from these same plastics. The critical aspect is to not cool them too quickly.

 

Or, y'know, just make me do all the work to prove you wrong.

 

A TWSBI Eco that was allowed to cool gently

 

twsbi-polarizertest-eco.jpg

 

And a 580 that was cooled too quickly

 

twsbi-polarizertest-580.jpg


Edited by Honeybadgers, 20 October 2019 - 10:22.

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


#15 pararis

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Posted 21 October 2019 - 04:09

Like all true believers, your quest to convince me your god is the one true god is doomed. I simply don't care that much.








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