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Has This Been Tried For Flex?

flex

29 replies to this topic

#21 txomsy

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Posted 10 May 2020 - 14:45

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.

Have you tried the MB Calligraphy nib?



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#22 Christopher Godfrey

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Posted 10 May 2020 - 18:15

<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>

 

Aha!  Thanks, Eusorph.  Now I understand; but had never heard the word unstable used to describe a nib, previously....in a way, I cannot understand why you do <not> like vintage nibs -- I think of my beloved flexibles (1920s-1930s) from Waterman or M-B Swan -- and...swoon!  ;*)



#23 Honeybadgers

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Posted 11 May 2020 - 05:19

Have you tried the MB Calligraphy nib?

 

I finally got to try one at a pen store in Seattle and I was thoroughly unimpressed with it for the price. It's a nice option, I guess, but I'd take a custom 14k nib from FPnibs any day over it. But I guess that argument is more leveled at MB pens in general. They just aren't worth a thousand dollars with a plastic body to me, and the nibs are lovely but not game changing.


Edited by Honeybadgers, 11 May 2020 - 05:20.

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


#24 AAAndrew

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Posted 11 May 2020 - 22:37

Those little slits were the first big breakthrough in steel pen technology. Even though Perry claimed the invention as his (and patented it) in the UK in the early 1820's, the earliest commercially-made "three-slit pen" I've found was actually made by Peregrine Williamson in Baltimore around 1806. I wrote a three-part article in the Pennant (the magazine of the Pen Collectors of America) about Williamson, his pens and the correspondence between him and his most famous customer, Thomas Jefferson. 

 

The steel for dip pens is different from fountain pens in both alloy as well as thickness. Steel dip pens were made with the finest Sheffield ribbon steel. They were tempered carefully during manufacturing to gain the right balance between flexibility and stiffness that gives them that wonderful "snap" back into shape. 

 

Over the years many manufacturers played with all kinds of slits and pierces along the body of the pen to improve what they called the "action" of the pen. The action was more than how far apart the tines would spread, but also how easily they spread, and how quickly they would snap back. The real art of pen making was to make a pen which could flex, but not too easily (the proverbial "wet noodle" which is very difficult to control), and would have excellent snap. It was about control of that shading which a flex pen creates. As you release pressure down, the pen should come back as quickly as you release. 

 

I've yet to find a stainless steel nib which has the same level of action as a carbon steel pen. Even when the top pen makers created their own stainless version, like Esterbrook with the Estercrome dip pens, the experience is not the same. The pen is stiffer and the snap is slower. And, as Grayspoole pointed out, the tipping makes a difference, not so much in action, as in the ability to get a fine line. 

 

It would be interesting for someone to "re-discover" this earliest of the techniques to make a stiff, metallic pen more flexible. 

 

for more on Peregrine Williamson, see here: 

https://thesteelpen....neer-pen-maker/

 

For more on "action" try this: 

https://thesteelpen....n-in-a-dip-pen/



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#25 txomsy

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Posted 12 May 2020 - 12:15

Great info. Thanks! I wouldn't have thought that the slits or the sliding clasp were so old.



#26 steve50

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Posted 15 May 2020 - 11:36

That's really interesting, thanks for the information, AAAndrew. I also found this, which is what the OP is looking for. Photo from Peyton Street pens.

estie_dollarbrown_2788_2.jpg

 



#27 Eusorph

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Posted 16 May 2020 - 15:12

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


Thank you, Colin

#28 Christopher Godfrey

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Posted 16 May 2020 - 23:47

Back near the beginning of this particular thread, steve50 posted the photo of that dramatically-flexed nib with the cross-cut above the breather hole and I have to add that I find it almost impossible to imagine that the feed would/could keep up with that sort of demand, since those tines are <so far> bent away from the feed...

 

steve50: any comment?  That really is radical flex, <if it works>!



#29 steve50

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Posted 17 May 2020 - 12:10

Back near the beginning of this particular thread, steve50 posted the photo of that dramatically-flexed nib with the cross-cut above the breather hole and I have to add that I find it almost impossible to imagine that the feed would/could keep up with that sort of demand, since those tines are <so far> bent away from the feed...

 

steve50: any comment?  That really is radical flex, <if it works>!

 

I don't have one, since it is only sold in US pen shows. But the reviewers say that the feed keeps up with it. It uses a modified ebonite feed.

 

But like AAAndrew says, stainless steel hasn't got the same 'action' as dip pen nibs, so I don't know if how much it can flex is as meaningful as how easily it flexes. Using a dip nib is so fun because I get 4-5 times line variation just by adding the slightest of pressure. I don't think that's possible with stainless steel nibs even when they are so heavily modified as the Crossflex nib. 



#30 Honeybadgers

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Posted 19 May 2020 - 15:50

Back near the beginning of this particular thread, steve50 posted the photo of that dramatically-flexed nib with the cross-cut above the breather hole and I have to add that I find it almost impossible to imagine that the feed would/could keep up with that sort of demand, since those tines are <so far> bent away from the feed...

 

steve50: any comment?  That really is radical flex, <if it works>!

 

That's a crossflex nib, made by regalia. I've made them myself using a fret saw and they're not bad at all, but not even close to being worth $175 for the nib unit when a 14k flex modified jowo is about the same from fpnibs.com that will blow it out of the water. I charge in the neighborhood of $20 for them, though my fit/finish on the cuts isn't as good, the performance is.

 

A problem with extending the slit and adding the crosses is that you add flex and lose snapback. So good flex means mushy feel. I also dislike the half moons cut out near the tines. Half moon cuts make mushy nibs. thin slits keep enough material to keep things stronger.


Edited by Honeybadgers, 19 May 2020 - 15:52.

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




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