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Has This Been Tried For Flex?

flex

29 replies to this topic

#1 Eusorph

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Posted 06 May 2020 - 19:43

I have a question. I have seen many exotic grinds and cust to achieve flex. Eventually, the ease-my-flex was even picked up by Kanwritre and that's why we see it in F.P.R. and Noodler's nibs (which are made by Kanwrite). Looking at my calligraphy nibs, though, I see a very simple method being used, and I am just wondering if this has been tried on fountain pen nibs and to what degree of success. Many of the best calligaphy nibs simply have two slits cut above the shoulders, near the tine. Just two simple cuts and flexy magic happens.

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Edited by Eusorph, 06 May 2020 - 19:55.


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#2 steve50

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Posted 06 May 2020 - 20:20

DSC01558_1296x.jpg

 

The 'Crossflex' nib from Regalia Labs? The shape is different but the principle seems to be the same. 


Edited by steve50, 06 May 2020 - 20:26.


#3 Eusorph

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Posted 06 May 2020 - 20:27

attachicon.gif DSC01558_1296x.jpg

 

The 'Crossflex' nib from Regalia Labs? The shape is different but the principle seems to be the same. 

 

I don't think it's the same. I've tried that mod and it makes the nib unstable. Also, it is overly complicated. The calligraphy nibs just have two slits at the sides. I mean if anybody has already tried this. And if not, whether there would be someone like Bobje who'd like to triy this out and see the results.


Edited by Eusorph, 06 May 2020 - 20:32.


#4 Uncial

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Posted 06 May 2020 - 20:49

There was one a while ago that I think someone made at home and sold. It had four cuts (two on each side) at angles into the nib shoulders giving the nib the look of the feathery end of an arrow. I think it might have been called the tomahawk or something like that. There should be old threads about it on here somewhere. I never got one so can't speak for its effectiveness.



#5 Christopher Godfrey

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Posted 06 May 2020 - 21:18

<I've tried that mod and it makes the nib unstable>

 

Please explain, Eusorph...?  Enquiring minds want to know!  TIA.



#6 Daosus

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Posted 06 May 2020 - 21:40

The purpose of those cuts is not to just to aid in flex, but to act as "anchors" for ink.  This allows the nib to hold more  ink due to surface tension.  This is not a concern for fountain pens because they have feeds.  

 

Also, notably, because the feed makes the ink "anchor" function unnecessary, it is safer (in terms of fatigue strength) to cut everything away, rather than doing a partial cut. This is what we usually see with non-flex nibs modified for flex.

 

Any cut which increases the length of the tines or reduces the second moment of inertia of the cross section will help with flex.



#7 zaddick

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Posted 07 May 2020 - 02:25

There was one a while ago that I think someone made at home and sold. It had four cuts (two on each side) at angles into the nib shoulders giving the nib the look of the feathery end of an arrow. I think it might have been called the tomahawk or something like that. There should be old threads about it on here somewhere. I never got one so can't speak for its effectiveness.


Yup. Art's Nibs did the gring and it was called the Tomahawk. I have one listed for sale on another FP site.

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#8 Eusorph

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Posted 07 May 2020 - 06:46

Yup. Art's Nibs did the gring and it was called the Tomahawk. I have one listed for sale on another FP site.

 

Again, the Tomahawk mod is an over-complicated mod that doesn't have much to do with the simple way calligraphy nibs are cut. Not what I am asking, really.


Edited by Eusorph, 07 May 2020 - 08:02.


#9 txomsy

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Posted 07 May 2020 - 06:47

I've got some Mallat 50 nibs with exactly that shape. I got them as flexible nibs for fountain pen from penpartsstore over at eBay. They do still offer them.

 

The problem is their size, they seem not to be too "standard". Look like a #5, but the rear par has a thinner cylindrical section (I mean, the nib is like a conic cut) so they won't directly fit on typical cylindrical feeders. I was thinking of working out a feeder to make room for the nib (a la Kaweco 060), but need to find "zen quality" time for that, which I have sorely lacked lately.



#10 Eusorph

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Posted 07 May 2020 - 07:00

I've got some Mallat 50 nibs with exactly that shape. I got them as flexible nibs for fountain pen from penpartsstore over at eBay. They do still offer them.

 

The problem is their size, they seem not to be too "standard". Look like a #5, but the rear par has a thinner cylindrical section (I mean, the nib is like a conic cut) so they won't directly fit on typical cylindrical feeders. I was thinking of working out a feeder to make room for the nib (a la Kaweco 060), but need to find "zen quality" time for that, which I have sorely lacked lately.

 

How well do they work? Better than the ease-my-flex mod? I ask, because the ease-my-flex was adopted by Kanwrite for their nibs (they manufacture nibs and pens for F.P.R. and Noodler's), so, if we can show this works better, I am sure we could ask them to use it for their nibs. And, since they also offer #5.5 an #6 14k gold nibs, that could turn out amazing.



#11 Eusorph

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Posted 07 May 2020 - 07:06

<I've tried that mod and it makes the nib unstable>

 

Please explain, Eusorph...?  Enquiring minds want to know!  TIA.

 

I have a nib that was made with a cross cut. The tines are unstable. You can feel that the structure of the tines has been weakened. They wobble a little bit and if you push for a big swell, they stay splayed. After a day, they go back together again, but it's not a good mod in my opinion.


Edited by Eusorph, 07 May 2020 - 07:11.


#12 zaddick

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Posted 07 May 2020 - 07:58

 
Again, the Tomahawk mod is an over-complicated mod that doesn't have much to do with the simple way calligraphy nib are cut. Not what I am asking, really.


Fair enough. I was not replying to you, however.

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#13 steve50

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Posted 07 May 2020 - 11:09

 

I have a nib that was made with a cross cut. The tines are unstable. You can feel that the structure of the tines has been weakened. They wobble a little bit and if you push for a big swell, they stay splayed. After a day, they go back together again, but it's not a good mod in my opinion.

I was referring to the cutouts rather than the cross cut when I said the principle seems the same... I'm no engineer but the idea is making the bit where the nib bends a bit slimmer, no? What your pictures show basically seem to be cutouts that are not fully cut? 

 

Regarding the cross cut, could it be that how it is done, i.e. the length of the horizontal cut and its precise location, matters to the stability of the nib? I'm just saying it because Regalia labs' nibs seem to get very positive reviews and the users don't report it being wobbly. I wouldn't know because they are only available in US pen shows.



#14 Eusorph

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Posted 07 May 2020 - 11:18

I was referring to the cutouts rather than the cross cut when I said the principle seems the same... I'm no engineer but the idea is making the bit where the nib bends a bit slimmer, no? What your pictures show basically seem to be cutouts that are not fully cut? 

 

Regarding the cross cut, could it be that how it is done, i.e. the length of the horizontal cut and its precise location, matters to the stability of the nib? I'm just saying it because Regalia labs' nibs seem to get very positive reviews and the users don't report it being wobbly. I wouldn't know because they are only available in US pen shows.

 

The cutouts work and in fact are used by Kanwrite, but I don't think it's the same. With the cutouts, the cut is further away from the center of the nib and you have the weigth of the wings that, I think, affect spring back. The cutouts, in fact, are usually made behind the wings, whereas the calligraphy slits cut into the wings. I think that the cuts near the center of the nib make it more flexible and, more importantly, springier. That's what I would like to find out.

I don't know about regalia nibs, but a cross cut makes the nib flex from the wings instead of the center of the nib, thus, I think, what I feel when I use it, compared to the stability I feel with my calligraphy nibs. Plus, the reason, I think, why, when pushed, it can't bring back the tines tight together right away.


Edited by Eusorph, 07 May 2020 - 11:20.


#15 como

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Posted 07 May 2020 - 14:01

Am I the only one who thinks this looks scary?  ;)

attachicon.gif DSC01558_1296x.jpg

 

The 'Crossflex' nib from Regalia Labs? The shape is different but the principle seems to be the same. 



#16 txomsy

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Posted 07 May 2020 - 20:07

Well, tried them to refresh my memory. They do flex nicely indeed. But one has to consider that they are old nibs, smallish and somewaht thinner than usual, so the reason for their flexibility might be the cuts or not. Many vintage nibs were flexible without cuts.

 

I'd guess the only way to know is to try or to use specialized engineering equipment which I don't have.



#17 Eusorph

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Posted 08 May 2020 - 07:27

Well, tried them to refresh my memory. They do flex nicely indeed. But one has to consider that they are old nibs, smallish and somewaht thinner than usual, so the reason for their flexibility might be the cuts or not. Many vintage nibs were flexible without cuts.

 

I'd guess the only way to know is to try or to use specialized engineering equipment which I don't have.

 

Thank you. Considering that the cut is still used nowadays on calligraphy nibs, I think it does what it is supposed to do. I just wish some of the people here, with the tools to do it, would try the cut and repost on the results. I'd do it, but I don't have the tools.



#18 Grayspoole

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Posted 09 May 2020 - 12:00

Interesting thread. I use flexible vintage dip pen nibs for calligraphy, and I would love to find a fountain pen nib that has the same qualities, but to date, I have not (and I have tried many different variations of flexible fountain pen nibs).

Theres a lot more to that dip pen nib posted at the start of the topic than the nib cuts. Steel dip nibs are made of a thinner, tempered steel than what I see in typical fountain pen nibs. Any kind of plating on a nib also reduces its flexibility. Flexible dip pen nibs have no tipping at all, unlike most fountain pen nibs, so it is possible to achieve extremely elegant and refined thin lines along with the flexed swells, along with the inevitable scratchiness. (Many examples of flexed fountain pen handwriting posted here, while lovely, do not exhibit the degree of line variation needed for certain forms of calligraphy.) The qualities that make a good flexible dip pen nib also make it prone to wear and rust, and when that happens, you throw it away and replace it with another, from your box of nibs.

I hope AAAndrew will weigh in, since his Steel Pen blog is a wonderful resource on the history of the steel pen nib, documenting the exacting and time-consuming manufacturing processes needed to shape, grind, and temper a good flexible nib.

Eusorph, I really hope that someone explores your suggestion, and I would certainly buy their successful product, but I believe that creating a fountain pen nib that is similar to that dip pen nib is much more complicated than two simple cuts and flexy magic happens.

Edited by Grayspoole, 09 May 2020 - 12:02.


#19 Eusorph

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Posted 09 May 2020 - 16:32

Eusorph, I really hope that someone explores your suggestion, and I would certainly buy their successful product, but I believe that creating a fountain pen nib that is similar to that dip pen nib is much more complicated than two simple cuts and flexy magic happens.

 

The closest to flex you can get now is a Kanwrite #5.5 (not the #6 which is stiffer) 14k nib ground with the superflex mod and to xxf tip. I very much like their nibs. The superflex mod works, but I think the cuts will work better, that's why I wanted to find someone here with the tolls to try it out.

I know calligraphy nibs and use them. Dip pen nibs are a different tool and not even vintage pens are like them. The tipping is necessary to have an instrument that will last. The same goes for having stainless steel instead of carbon. I and many here already know this information.

I am also not interested in vintage nibs. I want a revival of flex -- which was started by Noodler's through the manufacturer Kanwrite. I want the best it is achievable now and then push for more.


Edited by Eusorph, 09 May 2020 - 16:33.


#20 Honeybadgers

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Posted 10 May 2020 - 02:12

Hey Lapo, I got your email. I'm going to give it a try in the next couple months (we just bought a house and moved, so my fret saw is still packed up)  and I'll report back


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