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  1. jmccarty3

    My First Esterbrook

    Just inked up my first Esterbrook, a beautiful little SJ in green that I bought from Brian Anderson, with a 1551 medium nib. It's a bit smaller than I'm used too, but that's not really a problem. It writes very smoothly with Waterman Mysterious Blue. I'm glad I was curious enough to try this brand.
  2. Hello guys n' gals of FPN!!! I have bought my J under the assumption that it would the the first machined pen that I have ever bought, (July of '14) , and recently I have been hearing that Esterbrook had some sort of injection molding system that is futuristic! I have heard that the Js' were either made on such a machine or were molded, welded, then machines. Any ideas? Are Esties Injection Molded or Machined?? Thanks!!
  3. I don't have many Esterbrooks, but I noticed that two of them have their "Esterbrook ® Made in U.S.A." caption completely faded. It is engraved in the pen body, so is still legible, but whatever paint was in it, is long gone. This hasn't really bothered me, but now I have another one (in better condition), and the same caption is painted white on it. So the question is, how can I restore this white caption? Is it even worth to bother with it?
  4. need4news

    Pen Noob In Tennessee

    Salutations and Hiyahs, I'm not a techie, so the low-tech but quality workmanship of fountain pens attracts me. Probably a bit of a tactile person, too, who likes the feel of a good pen and good ink on quality paper. That feeling is right up there with beautiful sunsets, college football, sausage gravy and biscuits, and the kiss from an English Bulldog (probably in that order, too). Small starter collection of mostly Esterbrooks (a couple of Js and a few M2s), a Wearever Zenith, Diamond Point from the mid-40's, a Waterman's Ideal (barrel only, looking for a cap), and a few newer ones (YAFA, etc.). One of the M2s is my daily writer, but I'm trying to get the smaller blue Diamond Point to work soon. Thanks to all of you much more experienced collectors and aficionados who help those of us new to the hobby get our feet wet (with quality ink, preferably). I'll be picking your collective (pun intended) brains over the next few months.
  5. ... not in the accounting sense but as a competition? Although I have yet to try seriously all the pens I own let alone more coming in, there were already a two or three about which I was thinking that, maybe, they lacked a long term future in my hands so perhaps I should decide which (if any) I could sell sooner rather than later? To this end I inked a few, not all of those under consideration for moving along, and set about a "write-off". That did not work. I liked all of them. Maybe I could discard one on aesthetics? No, the most boring one had a lovely, very fine yet somewhat flexible nib which wrote lightly and easily in the hand. I am back to the longer term approach; see which ones do not get brought back into rotation so much, and to get to there I need to use them all for a while. Have you ever tried any sort of method to determine what you might keep or what you might sell or pass on? What was the result of that?
  6. Rach31

    My Collection

    I have a mix of Esterbrook pens that I love. It all started with a NOS Copper LJ, and from there it grew. I have a good mix of copper Esties, that color just loves me. I just thought I would share since I know I enjoy seeing the variety in everyone's collections. http://i1039.photobucket.com/albums/a475/Rach_31/3590CBD9-FA38-47C4-80BE-DA5D31D60DCE_zpsuv4enodr.jpg
  7. Hello everyone... For my first review I will start with the Estie J. I have owned this pen for about a year so for those of ya who haven't bought a J yet and are worried about it being 'fragile' or prone to cracking like other pens from this era, (not mentioning any pens, Parker 21!) Now moving on to the review... PART ONE: Da Nib - The nib is real nice! The nib is a 9555 and writes smoothly with just a hint of feedback - enough to let one know that one is writing with a fountain pen. The nib isn't buttery smooth though, but is impressive reconsidering that a lot of fountain pens these days that cost as much as an Estie, (I find this to be prevalent in modern American pens, unfortunately Parker and Sheaffer seem to suffer from this the most,[Chinese manufacturing?]) have an uncharacteristic writing experience... No, this pen won't skip for those who write fast. An enjoyable nib to write with, though. 8/10 PART TOO: Quality - This pen is solid. Very solid. The accents on this pen, (thank goodness), are stainless steel, meaning that they aren't going to suffer from plating loss. The cellulose, (it isn't celluloid), is solid and feels warm, so using this pen for long writing sessions is no big deal. The pen is somewhat light so flexing your muscles with it would be embarrassing, to say the least. I go to school and use this pen A LOT. Just look at it! No worries, this pen will survive through everything! (I have heard that it is not a good plane pen, though.) 9/10 PART FREE: Fill 'er Up! - The pen uses a lever filling mechanism and is self-explanatory to use, (and that is coming from a guy who is used to C/C filling!) Please, if you buy this pen, buy it restored, a leaky pen is not ANYBODY'S idea of fun... Cleaning the pen is a cinch - just unscrew the nib and feed and fill the body up with water... Then SHAKE - A SHAKE - A SHAKE! believe me, cleaning this pen makes you younger! 10/10 PART FFFFOOUR: Pocket-ability - The clip just looks pretty. Just shove the pen in your pocket. Clipping the pen in your pocket will result in an ink stain, like the one in my jacket... 3/10 PART FAAVE: Conclusions - In all, I love this pen. Really. This pen is a keeper and as many Estie fans know these pens make for great daily writers. Excluding the clip, the pen is fantastic and I would recommend this pen to anybody. This pen makes for a great all-rounder and is appropriate at school, work, and at formal occasions. Overall, this pen gets a 75%. And that is coming from a very critical man. (I really love this pen's charm, though...) Thanks for readin', Al.
  8. I became re-interested in stylograph pens, prompted by the post: https://www.fountainpennetwork.com/forum/topic/306057-custom-stylographic-pens/ Photos attached are of my first attempt at using Koh-I-Noor nib assemblies to create stylograph type pens that would also accept Esterbrook nib assemblies. The material I used is vintage old stock cebloplast with aluminum hardware to bring out the white in the material. The feed uses standard Rapidograph refillable cartridge. Comments and questions are welcomed.
  9. Maine Vintner

    Boy Finds Esterbrook, A Sumgai Story

    Hi Everyone, While I've been a FPN member for sometime I've tended towards Montblanc, Waterman, and Sheaffer. I've never had an Esterbrook post, until now. I hope you enjoy the handwritten tale. I'm not sure how to reorient the photos but open to feedback to make reading the story easier. First attempt at this. Best, John
  10. Having recently acquired a good number of 484 and 444 ink wells and dip-less pens, I've spent the better part of the last three days soaking and cleaning everything. I think I have a ways to go on these parts, still. The ebonite rods in the ink well feed are the most fascinating to me. Given how many there are and how light they are, I'm afraid to wash them in any meaningful way; washing the feed cup will cause the rods to float up and out and into my sink, and washing them in their own bowl makes me shudder to think what recollecting them would be like. I've resorted soaking them with the metal washer holding them on, rinsing them thoroughly, then removing the washer and letting the rods dry on some paper towels. I shouldn't be surprised at how much ink is still in these old wells and materials, but I am. Still, the process has been quite fun. A
  11. "Festercrook, the Modern Esterbrook" There's a fiery post on the { Phil Olin } Blog about the "new" (retread) Esterbrook Company, an outrageous attempt at a Massdrop rip-off, when it was stopped, and how Massdrop sanitized the debacle. Here's the link. [be sure to bookmark it because it seems these days there's a good chance this post will be Censored here on the FPN]: http://philolin.me/festercrook-the-modern-esterbrook/ It seems to me that the "new" Esterbrook company tried to sell via Massdrop a pen that is surely a cheap Pakistani or Indian school pen - for $50 bucks! The only thing different about the awful Esterbrook pen offering is the vile vomiting of the vintage Esterbrook logo on the barrel. Shame on you Robert Rosenberg of the "new" Esterbrook Company. This unsavory story reminds me of the "Stipula Splash" pen; a super-cheap Pakistani school pen that was cosmetically embellished in a minor way and offered for for $80 USD each. Wasn't it Yafa Pens that was (is) behind the Stipula Splash? Didn't Robert Rosenberg scrape-up the lapsed Conklin trademark and sell it to Yafa as a (yet another) vintage brand retread? And while we're at, here's a link to the venerable thread on the Esterbrook resurrection here on the FPN. It is worth a read as a sort-of back-story: https://www.fountainpennetwork.com/forum/index.php/topic/277581-esterbrook-brand-being-revived-this-december/
  12. Darkbulb

    Did I Get A Good Esterbrook...?

    I am very much a newbie to this pen-thing but I have already become 'smitten' by the Esterbrook pens...their history and look. So...I decided I really wanted to try one out but since I am not very well versed in pens and restorations I wanted one that I could use 'out of the box'. I paid $40 for this Esterbrook J model. It comes with a 9556 (fine) nib and looks like it's in great condition. Seller's description: "This Esterbrook fountain pen is an unusually deep, rich shade of green. This pen has been cleaned, polished, and fitted with a new j-bar (internal spring) and a new, talced sac. This pen has no nicks, cracks, dings, or bite marks. It is truly a beautiful pen." I really like that it seems to be fully restored - both spring and sac - as I'm hoping that will mean years of use for me Some photos below - but also, will this be a good entry point for me into getting a good experience of what the Esterbrook pens are all about? Any issues or concerns? (Sorry for the many photos - I'm rather excited to get it ). http://i66.tinypic.com/301ebti.jpg http://i67.tinypic.com/ohocye.jpg http://i64.tinypic.com/24fi9w8.jpg http://i68.tinypic.com/10mpfyb.jpg http://i67.tinypic.com/2dwb51f.jpg
  13. I have a nice black Flat top Esterbrook that needs a new home. It has a 1555 nib. Please only people that do not have any Esterbrooks and live in the US. Thanks, Rene'
  14. northstar

    Esterbrook Dollar Pen Clip

    Hello, How do I disassemble the clip of a esterbrook dollar pen? Thank you in advance.
  15. Dear Pen Lovers, I found an Esterbrook in my husbands garage sale finds. He was collecting used pens as he looses them. Of course, I fell in love. I researched what it is and then I went to the LA Pen show. There was a very nice person, who gave me a new ink bag. I filled it and have used the pen 5 or 6 times since. I noticed last week that it split in half. I never dropped it. I filled it very gently, as I have seen these pens with bent levers, maybe 3 or 4 pumps.? It is still usable, and is not leaking yet. Could I have over filled the bag? Are all older pens in danger of breaking? Did I hold the body too tight? I do not feel that I hold pens roughly. I do not tap the desk with them, nor throw them at the cat. But I am afraid to touch it. Is this pen in danger of leaking? Are the older pens to delicate to be used? I was gifted an older Parker piston and I have it wrapped in cotton until I can figure this out. Thank you for your time. Tracie I am very new to this hobby. And I have only written in a forum 2 times. So if this is the wrong place then, first I apologize. Is this an Esterbrook forum or repair forum or a parker forum? 2nd please direct me how to FIND the correct place (and 3rd please direct me to an instruction page on forums. OK, maybe make that the first.)
  16. I have seen several mentions of Venus nibs on Esterbrook pens, but I have not seen the reverse, and since the price of Esties on ebay seems to be going up lately, I am thinking of getting a Venus pen to use with an Estie nib I wish to buy. Any problems with assuming it will be fine? Thanks in advance.
  17. inkandseeds

    Esterbrook Display Case And Nibs

    I know some of you dislike ebay but there is an Esterbrook display case on ebay. The case comes with a selection of seventy NOS nibs. There are also some pens included. The item is titled "vintage esterbrook fountain pens". I wish i could buy it but i am sure that the price will quickly jump beyond what i can spend without getting a divorce or significantly reducing my life expectancy. http://www.ebay.com/itm/vintage-esterbrook-fountain-pens-/222027959860?hash=item33b1e5ce34:g:JGwAAOSwG-1WxhtT Normal disclaimer: I have nothing to do with this sale or the person selling it, just saw it today while avoiding grading papers. Hope i am not violating any rules here. Sorry if i am.
  18. tonybelding

    Karas Kustoms Fountain-K

    The Karas Kustoms Fountain-K is one of the first pens in a while that has piqued my interest. I wasn't sure if I would find time for a full review, but here we are! First some background: Karas Kustoms (headed by Bill Karas) got their entry into the pen business by machining rollerball and ballpoint pens out of aluminum. The "Ink" was their first venture into fountain pens, and the Fountain-K is their second model. However, the Fountain-K is closely derived from an earlier rollerball design, the Render-K. The Ink is their full-sized fountain pen, and the Fountain-K is the more compact model. Karas Kustoms is a machine shop, and these are machined metal pens. They are available in aluminum, brass and copper. The brass and copper pens are, of course, more costly and much heavier, and they are sold with a bare metal finish that can tarnish and develop a dark patina over time -- attractive to some, and perfectly in line with their industrial style. My personal view is that people new to the pen hobby are often attracted to heavy pens at first but then come to prefer more lightweight pens as they gain experience. (This was definitely true for me.) Thus, I tend to view the copper and brass pens as novelty items to some extent, and I think the aluminum pens will be the real mainstays in the long run. Also, the aluminum pens are available in many anodized colors, or in a "raw" tumbled aluminum finish for that industrial look. Karas Kustoms does not make "custom pens" in the sense of a company like Edison. What they do, however, is offer all the interchangeable parts that can be assembled in many combinations. You can choose your material and color for the pen body, your material and finish for the grip section, and then choose from EF through B nib tip. http://zobeid.zapto.org/image/pens/karas/fountain-k_04.jpg I got my pen with a gold-anodized aluminum body, silver-anodized aluminum section, and a F nib. The price was $75, which is perhaps more than an impulse buy, but still nicely within the sub-$100 affordable category. Even though the Fountain-K looked very attractive to me in pictures, I also had some points of skepticism. Would the pocket clip be too stiff? Would the cap seal well and not dry out? Would the cap come loose in my pocket? This is a product from a relatively new-and-unproven company without a track record in fountain pens. Do they know what they're doing? After having the pen for a while, my conclusion is. . . Yes, they do. Mostly. I did have a few issues to sort out with mine. First there was the burping. Immediately after filling the pen, it burped ink onto the page. It did this with every ink that I tried, and it did it twice in quick succession, and then the ink flow continued to be erratic for a little while, but gradually settled down. I blamed this at first on the nib or feed, but then a FPNer suggested that I try a different converter. I was lucky enough to have an identical spare converter (from Goulet) on hand to try, and it fixed the problem. I can only presume the original converter wasn't making an airtight seal onto the feed nipple. As far as I can tell, this was a freakish problem that few will encounter, and it could happen to any pen that accepts a converter. It's not a Fountain-K issue, as such. The second difficulty was with ink flow. As is all-too-common with new pens, it was a dry writer. Too dry. I pondered a nib swap, but the Fountain-K nib has an unusual profile and doesn't swap easily with other No. 5 nibs. You really need to change out the entire nib-and-feed assembly. However, I noticed it seemed to get a little better as I wrote with it, and I thought, "Maybe it just needs some breaking-in?" I made a series of firm strokes down the back cover of a notebook, flexing it pretty hard. Suddenly the flow was good! Easiest nib adjustment I ever made. Once adjusted, it performs as I expect a contemporary, made in Germany, fine steel nib to perform: firm, smooth and perfectly serviceable. No surprises there. Now, with the pen writing as it should, I could focus on more details of its design and construction. Cosmetically, I agonized a bit over the choice of color and finish, even though (or perhaps because!) they all looked good in the photos. The gold color pen I picked does not disappoint. The anodized aluminum has a satin luster that cannot be mistaken for gold metal, but it does somewhat resemble clean brass. The cap has one tiny "flea bite" ding, but it's only visible when I look closely. The knurled (checkered?) cap, slightly rough edges of the pocket clip, and exposed clip screws all reinforce the industrial styling. It does look good! It's sharp looking without being at all pretentious. In that sense I think it falls into the same stylistic category as a Lamy 2000 or a stainless steel Sheaffer Targa. Nobody's going to take it for a "status" or prestige pen, but nobody's going to see it as shoddy either. This is a very easy pen to carry in a pocket or pen loop. I often wear a canvas vest with a pen slot sewn into the pocket, and the Fountain-K fits very neatly into that space. The tension on the clip is perfect, and it does not snag or chew on the fabric. The knurled portion of the cap makes a perfect handle when pulling out the pen to use it. The smooth profile of the body and cap also allows it to slide in and out easily, and I don't have to worry about wear from the canvas upon the super-tough anodized finish. Portability is a strength of the Fountain-K. The "guts" of this pen are pretty standard. The nib-and-feed assembly is German made, and the converter is a standard Schmidt K5. It's not a screw-in converter, which I would usually prefer (and which might have avoided the problem I had with that first converter), but the pen body is perfectly sized without any extra space for the converter to shift about. The only unusual thing to see here is the very small nib. It's a No. 5 nib, but it's shorter than most and has a very specific profile to fit into a recessed area of the feed. I don't think I've seen a modern fountain pen that puts my fingers this close to the page, and I don't particularly like it. For my money, I would have preferred a more standard No. 5 nib like you'll find in a TWSBI 580, for example. On the other hand. . . If you are accustomed to writing with ballpoints and want a fountain pen you can hold similarly, then you might love writing with the Fountain-K. If you have very small hands, then you might love it. For me it's not going to be the most comfortable for long writing sessions. However, in the context of a "carry" pen that I'll be using away from the house, scribbling down quick notes, signing documents or writing a check -- then it's OK. (And let's not forget, the Karas Kustoms Ink is bigger and has a larger nib!) http://zobeid.zapto.org/image/pens/karas/fountain-k_03.jpg After using the pen lightly for a few days, I encountered another problem. The two tiny screws holding the pocket clip in place came loose! Luckily I caught them before they fell out. The fix for this was easy: use a small screwdriver to remove them, put a tiny dab of threadlock compound on each screw, then put everything back together. It should be good now. However. . . This is not a fault that I can easily dismiss. It would have been very easy to lose those screws, and then my pen would have been out of service until I could get replacements. Not everyone has a tube of threadlock laying about in their toolbox either. Pens have had pocket clips for many decades, and the vast majority have been designed in such a way that the clips won't spontaneously come loose. Even simply applying threadlock when the caps are assembled would probably solve this. Why don't they? http://zobeid.zapto.org/image/pens/karas/fountain-k_05.jpg After carrying and using the Fountain-K for a while, I realized this is no Lamy 2000 and this is no Targa. It's a less expensive, less sophisticated pen. A better comparison might be the good old Esterbrook J. The Fountain-K is actually very close in size to an Esterbrook J, and it shares the traits of toughness, compactness, customization and affordability. If Esterbrook was still in business today -- and was owned by Alcoa -- this is the pen they might give us.
  19. jabberwock11

    Just Received My First Esterbrook

    I have been a fan of Esterbrook dip pen nibs for a long time now, but have avoided buying an Esetrbrook fountain pen mostly due to ignorance as to what to look for when buying a vintage pen. After ogling some Esterbrooks and doing some research I finally decided to dive in. After debating between a blue J and a copper SJ, I pulled the trigger on the SJ in copper with a 9314-M nib. I inked the pen up with some Lamy Blue-Black and have been using it all day. After some experimentation and work I have come up with a few conclusions: 1) The SJ is about the same length as a TWSBI Mini (one of my favorite pens), but it is much thinner...making it a bit more difficult to handle. I will probably buy a standard J next. 2) I have used plenty of stub, italic, and right oblique nibs without any issues, but a left foot oblique is an entirely different creature. The 9314-M is smooth as butter, but it is difficult to angle properly. I am having some trouble adapting to this nib and this in turn is causing some discomfort. 3) Esterbrooks are addictive. I am having some difficulty adapting to this little pen and yet I am unwilling to give up on it and am looking at getting another (albeit larger) Esterbrook soon. I have a feeling that part of the issue that I am having finding the sweet spot on the 9314-M is due to the SJ's small size, so I am hopeful that this nib will be easier to use when I manage to pick up a J. I have a fine and medium Venus nib coming in the mail, so I will try those out on the SJ to see if the pen is more comfortable with a standard nib. I'll also continue to work at getting used to the 9314-M because when I do get it right it feels like I am writing on glass. In any event, I like the simple, hardy design of Esterbrook pens and the tons of available nib options. I look forward to trying out more Esterbrooks and getting to know some of the different nibs.
  20. Hello, in searching for a manifold nib, I realize I know nothing about Esterbrook pens. Basically, if I go to ebay and buy a manifold nib, will it fit any Esterbrook pen? If not, how do I find out? Even though this topic is simply a newbie Esterbrook topic, I don't mind if it diverges into a manifold discussion, since that is my only reason for being interested in an Esterbrook pen.
  21. Since I no longer study regularly and changed jobs I spend my life hammering a keyboard, writing only numbers with some printed letters in a notebook in the lab which I then type up and never look at the hand written version again. It has been a while since I wrote anything cursive with even a biro nevermind a fp. So today I picked up my esterbrook and inked it up, bought this lovely pen off a lovely lady on here many years ago. The only paper I found was a pukka pad 80gsm wide rule, I prefer seyes or narrow rule as my writing is small but nvm. I also have arthritis in my hands so I didn't expect much. Attached are some of my doodles, it could have gone much worse!
  22. AAAndrew

    Pens For Sale 1918

    Two pages of the May, 1918 catalog for Chicago stationers Cameron, Amberg & Co. Oh, and I guess they were selling fountain pens as well.
  23. Having decided that my next pen will be an Esterbrook, I've been doing some online research to narrow it down to the right model. There is a fair (read: overwhelming) amount of good info out there, but input from Estie users and experts would be invaluable to me. Currently, my favorite pen is the Pilot Prera with a fine nib. Its weight, size, and smooth-writing nib are just right. I prefer smaller, lighter pens with a grip section that isn't terribly wide. I've been looking at the J lineup and think that an SJ might fit the bill nicely, but they made a ton of other pens and it's hard to dig up specs on any of them. So, my questions: - Which other Esterbrook models are on the smaller/lighter side? Of the Js, the SJ is obviously a bit shorter and slimmer. The CH and H "purse pen" models are adorable, but I don't like the colors much aside from the gray--would it be hard to find? Others? - Finest nibs that aren't scratchy? (9550 or 9556 maybe?) - Reputable sellers online? - Fair price for an SJ--or whatever else you might recommend--in decent shape and working order? - How often do the sacs need to be replaced? How long-lived does the lever tend do be? Any other special maintenance/care I should know about going in? - Do they handle most inks well? Any brands to avoid in an Esterbrook? I mainly use Noodler's Black and Bad Black Moccasin. Anything else you could tell me would be great. Thanks!
  24. I have one black Estie Deluxe LK (but the section is a bit loose, I'll finish that repair, it's an easy fix), and 3 Estie Deluxe SM's. All pens are lever fill, the SM's are all double jewel with no chipped or broken jewels, and in restored condition ready to write. The SM's I've got are a black, a burgundy with matching pencil (sadly no box though), and an olive green colored one. The burgundy and olive colored ones both have dark red jewels, while the black one has black jewels. The burgundy and olive ones both have snap on caps, and the black one is a threaded on cap, as is the black LK. All of these pens were bought as part of a larger group, or lot of pens bought for something else in the group/lot, so I just tossed them aside until I needed a project and one by one they eventually all got restored. So now I'm wondering if these are as popular with certain Estie collectors as some of the other Esties? I've spent most of my short time in this hobby focusing on J family pens, transitionals, and Dollar pens, so I've never paid much attention to these. They seem like nice pens, but I have no idea of value, if there's any at all. I've tried to research going prices but there just aren't many comps out there that I can find for some reason. So are there collectors for these later model Estie lever fillers? And if so what sort of price range do they bring? Here are some pics I borrowed from the interwebs that show identical Estie SM's to the ones I have, including the pen & pencil set. And here's a pic of an LK identical to mine. *Pics borrowed from Esterbrook.net* (I Hope that's ok)
  25. Here is my newly completed Esterbrook Icicle collection! But notice the odd, pointed shape of the jewels on the silver one, both jewels are like that, with no evidence of anything ever being replaced. And to make it even more strange, there is no Esterbrook barrel imprint of any kind on the silver one. The only marking at all is the Esterbrook on the clip. ??? Anyone ever come across this before?





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