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Realligning Flexy Tines Without Removing Nib


12 replies to this topic

#1 loganrah

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Posted 21 June 2020 - 04:03

My MB149 Calligraph Flex has unfortunately developed a case of misaligned tines. Pretty sure they were reasonably aligned when I got the pen, but as use has loosened it up a bit they have become misaligned with the right tine noticeably higher than the other. 

This isn't causing any major writing issues, but the aesthetics annoy me on such an expensive pen. I could take it back to MB but they will likely have to send it away and I don't want to have to wait the time to get it back. So I'm hoping to realign the tines myself.

 

Now the problem: I know the standard procedure for realigning (at least with flex nibs) is to bend the higher tine down under the other gently a few times. I can do this on this pen a little bit without removing the nib. But doing so hasn't been enough to fix the problem. I do not want to remove the nib from this pen as that will void the warranty and I am not willing to do that on a pen I cannot afford to replace. 

 

Any ideas on how to realign these tines without removing the nib are most appreciated. 

Sorry about the focus in this photo, but I think it shows things clearly enough.

20200621-135142.jpg

Edit: I just realised I should probably have put this in the repair Q&A forum, if a moderator wants to move it that would be appreciated too. 


Edited by loganrah, 21 June 2020 - 05:01.


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#2 TheDutchGuy

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Posted 21 June 2020 - 06:41

...I could take it back to MB but they will likely have to send it away and I don't want to have to wait the time to get it back. So I'm hoping to realign the tines myself...

 

My suggestion would be to return the pen for service. Doing it yourself means risking your warranty. More importantly, MB tuned the nibs of these pens in such a way that the two halves of the tipping are very tightly pressed together, so that without any downward pressure the pen writes a very thin XF line without too much wetness. This is a delicate balance. As others here on FPN have testified, this nib is a work of art so perhaps it’s best to bite the bullet and have it done by MB. 



#3 Karmachanic

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Posted 21 June 2020 - 06:57

Before sending it off I'd suggest some reverse writing. Starting with a dozen or so (as required - checking as you go) vertical lines with varying pressure.Opps

 

to add: Oops! same answer as two weeks ago

http://www.fountainp...lligraphy-flex/

 

On closer inspection of the provided photo it looks to me that one of the tines is bent. Right tine looks horizontal. Not so the left.


Edited by Karmachanic, 21 June 2020 - 13:41.

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#4 TimeoDanaos

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Posted 21 June 2020 - 12:01

I would also take it back to MB for service. If it had been something other than a brand new pen in the ~1000€ range, the answer might have been different!

 

Incidentally, the misalignment you have caused is what I see on 9/10 vintage pens I buy. Throughout the last century, most people have apparently written with their pen tilted slightly to the right. 



#5 Honeybadgers

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Posted 22 June 2020 - 02:38

If you don't know and aren't comfortable already doing it with much, much cheaper pens, I wouldn't recommend you try.

 

But it's not actually hard to do with a bit of practice. Push the "lower" tine up and cross it over the right while applying gentle, firm pressure. repeat and go slowly and they will realign.

 

But you can overshoot if you go too hard or too fast and just cause a pain in the butt for yourself. I would be perfectly comfortable realigning that nib, but if you aren't, have MB do it. if MB wants an unreasonable amount of money (more than about $40) just have a nibmeister do it for about $25-40.


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#6 loganrah

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Posted 22 June 2020 - 05:08

Thanks all. Doing a bit of reverse writing has helped a surprising amount. Since this is really a cosmetic issue I think I will deal with it for now and work on writing with a more even hand. This doesn't happen with any of my other flex pens (vintage or new); I'm not sure what is different about this one. 

I would definitely be comfortable fiddling around with a cheaper pen. Or even once the warranty is out, since I'm confident I won't really stuff it up. But given the cost on this one I think I'll just keep gently playing. 



#7 Honeybadgers

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Posted 23 June 2020 - 00:11

The problem is likely the tines are either adjusted a hair too tightly (causing them to "stick" in positions because the friction of the tipping rubbing together won't let it return to normal when the pen is rotated, or that the nib is misaligned when not on the feed, which straightens it, so any deviation side to side (which does happen particularly if you're a rotated righter) can screw it up.


Edited by Honeybadgers, 23 June 2020 - 00:11.

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#8 Bo Bo Olson

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Posted 30 June 2020 - 15:00

Unlike Honey Badger, from the breather hole I press the up tine down.

Send it back to MB....!!!!!

And it's not the side you need to photograph but the front of the tip.

 

Go to Richard Binder's site....the bible of fountain pens, and look at his nib section.


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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#9 GAtkins

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Posted 30 June 2020 - 18:39

Unlike Honey Badger, from the breather hole I press the up tine down.

Send it back to MB....!!!!!

And it's not the side you need to photograph but the front of the tip.

 

Go to Richard Binder's site....the bible of fountain pens, and look at his nib section.

 

 

Bo Bo, not disagreeing on your advice.  But that's exactly the way the nib on my 149 flex looked from the factory.  The right tine high and flat.

 

Iridium tips jammed together extremely tightly.  They would cross on their own at the slightest whim.  Creeped like crazy.  Writing sucked, no smoothness and all, bad upstroke, railroad, rough in nearly every direction, hard to flex.  Nothing like the smoothness shown in the other thread.  Mine was impossible to fix with normal techniques.

 

It's back in Hamburg.

 

Glenn



#10 markh

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Posted 01 July 2020 - 03:24

 

 

Bo Bo, not disagreeing on your advice.  But that's exactly the way the nib on my 149 flex looked from the factory.  The right tine high and flat.

 

Iridium tips jammed together extremely tightly.  They would cross on their own at the slightest whim.  Creeped like crazy.  Writing sucked, no smoothness and all, bad upstroke, railroad, rough in nearly every direction, hard to flex.  Nothing like the smoothness shown in the other thread.  Mine was impossible to fix with normal techniques.

 

It's back in Hamburg.

 

Glenn

 

Mine has the tips pressed tight together. Tips "click" and will hold their position up or down if you apply pressure on one side or the other.

 

But... the nib writes an extra fine sharp but solid line with no pressure, beautifully creates a thicker line, and returns back to the thin line instantly.

 

IMO it's the closest to a vintage flex nib I've tried. Really quit different than those modern nibs with side cut-outs.

It is picky about ink, if you want to get the best flex effect. The plastic feed works surprisingly well. Might be better with an ebonite feed, but not a real complaint.

 

In all, the nicest modern flex nib I've tried. And I've tried a bunch.

 

.



#11 GAtkins

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Posted 01 July 2020 - 13:56

 

Mine has the tips pressed tight together. Tips "click" and will hold their position up or down if you apply pressure on one side or the other.

 

But... the nib writes an extra fine sharp but solid line with no pressure, beautifully creates a thicker line, and returns back to the thin line instantly.

 

IMO it's the closest to a vintage flex nib I've tried. Really quit different than those modern nibs with side cut-outs.

It is picky about ink, if you want to get the best flex effect. The plastic feed works surprisingly well. Might be better with an ebonite feed, but not a real complaint.

 

In all, the nicest modern flex nib I've tried. And I've tried a bunch.

 

.

 

 

That's great to hear!  How does your nib look from the same angle as the one pictured above?

 

Glenn



#12 markh

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Posted 01 July 2020 - 18:11

 

 

That's great to hear!  How does your nib look from the same angle as the one pictured above?

 

Glenn

The only picture I see is from the OP. It's pretty hard to read the image, but I see 2 possibilities.

 

One is that one tine is held higher than the other because the are pressed tightly together. Pressing (gently) the nib on a flat surface like a piece of paper will re-align them. When you finish writing a word and pick up your pen, depending on your writing and how you hold the pen, the tines will always end up with one slightly "out of alignment." This is how my nib behaves. It isn't a problem, and does not affect the writing. I think this is an intentional part of the design of the nib that gets an ex fine line.

 

The other is that it appears (again hard to read) as if one of the tines was slightly bent, leaving one tip longer than the other. This is a bigger problem. You can sometimes partially fix this by pressing the nib against the feed with some pressure, while supporting the feed so it isn't broken. You can also grind the tips so they are the same length. Neither is a perfect fix, and for this pen I would do neither.

 

The real fix is to remove the nib and reshape it with a nib block, which is difficult but not impossible on a flexible nib. I've tried this on cheaper pens and gotten good results. For this pen, best left for experts.

 

 

.



#13 Bo Bo Olson

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Posted 04 July 2020 - 19:49

Perhaps the tine problem is designed to be off or end up off after a normal writing session, but none of my tines do that after I get the pen from the mail**  and adjust the nib.

If one of my 70 pens 'fall's off' on it's adjustment from normal writing it is so seldom, I don't have it in mind.

That don't sound like a MB design, but a MB problem...A case of heavy Handedness could be a factor.

 

**(in the mail which cause lots of that sort of trouble in the cases are designed to display not ship in our sports starved mailmen and robots)

How many bought at a MB boutique or pen shop and have this problem?

Or was this a mailed item?


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.

 

 

 




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