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  1. I am among those (few?) lucky guys who didn't have problems with Noodler's pens. At the same time, there are some features that I'm not crazy about (these are all personal preferences, of course) and it looks like I've found a work around for one of them. It's appeared that I'm not fond of Ahab's filling mechanism. It works fine but the ink stuck in the piston rod drives me nuts. I know how to advance that ink to the nib but I don't like the procedure. And I know that removing the breather tube prevents the ink intake into the piston rod but ink can still get into there afterwards. One solution is, of course, to cover the hole in the piston but I don't know how to do this securely and reversibly at the same time. I still might return to this later. Another way is to use the pen as an eyedropper. This is when some internal imperfections of my Ahab (or even straight design flaws) became prominent. It didn't want to hold the ink. The pen was gushing right after filling. Furthermore, once a sbstantial air pocket was formed the pen started to drip the ink. Thus the eyedropper option was seemingly out. One day I've read about using Sheaffer's feeds in Indian eyedroppers and it rang the bell, thanks to, let's say, certain structural similarities between Noodler's pens and pens of some manufacturers in India. I have a couple of Sheaffer pens, which I couldn't make to work to my satisfaction. It's turned out that the standard feed taken from a plastic school pen fits wonderfully into the Ahab. Now to results. Positive outcomes. I am able to use my Ahab as an eyedropper. Moreover, I've finished two complete fills almost without usual problems, meaning no burping at the end! This should be elaborated. When the ink level gets low, say, to the last quarter, the pen becomes noticeably wetter but not too much. During the first fill, when the level dropped to the last milliliter or so the pen once misbehaved and was about to burp when I was writing on the porch (it was about 90 F that day), while inside there were no problems and the burping tendencies didn't reappear when the pen was taken inside and brought out again. I don't have an explanation for this. Possibly this was an effect of mismatched thermal expansions of the grip and the feed or something. During the second fill there were no problems but the pen was kept inside all the time. Negative outcomes. Well, non so far. General remarks. 1) I think people would like to know whether the Sheaffer feed cures the railroading problem. I cannot testify confidently as I don't use the flex nib. I've tried once with the new feed. It seemed that the ink supply got more steady but nevertheless I was able to make the pen railroad, but that's not difficult. So, how the Sheaffer feed affects the performance of the flex stock nibs should be studied separately. 2) Can the Sheaffer feed be used in Konrads? Without modifications, not really. The feed has this protrusion at the back end and it interferes with the piston. The piece can probably be cut off. I didn't try this. 3) Whether Sheaffer's feeds can be found separately I don't know, but cheap Sheaffer pens can be easily bought for a few dollars apiece on eBay. Overall, I'm very satisfied with the modified Ahab (is it still Ahab if it only has Ahab's body and the cap?). I can see it being a frequent member of the rotation.
  2. I'm sure this has been addressed previously, but after a search I was unable to locate a thread. My question is about nib assemblies in eyedropper (ED) pens. Just considering ED pens, is the friction-fitted nib and feed assembly in any way superior to (or inferior to) the cartridge/converter screw-in nib and feed unit? Is one inherently better than the other? Thanks.
  3. I was delighted to purchase these two Mabie Todd swan pens on eBay. Doing so, I understood that they were not whole. At the very least I would get another gold over feed out of this. But I am wondering if there is a way to restore/repair these to working condition? Ok. So let's start with the longer/full sized pen. It came with the forward part of the section which seems to have been broken off of the barrel, the cap, and barrel with most of the ebonite interior within. With the section was the nib, which I was surprised to find was 18karat, a very small feed (which I'm assuming was longer, but broke with the section; though I've not seen a swan feed that looks like this before), and a gold over feed. I was most excited about this pen, because it is what I've been seeking for some time. (As seen in an advertisement around Christmas of 1911 I think?) my only indication as to what model it is was pressed into the section. "Swan" 2 C. Luckily I have an inksight swan which is also a 2 C. The cap uses the accepts those threads without feeling incorrect and is very securely screwed on. And the barrel seems to be the correct length when side by side and capped. The section shapes are also identical, though it should be noted that the nib,feed, and over feed from the partial section that came with this pen does not fit within the section of the inksight swan. As for the smaller pen, it is just a tad shorter than my Swan B2. The threads don't seem to line up well either, and the section of the B2 is too long and the gold cap does not have a chance to engage the threads with it in place. The small pen was purchased as only a cap and barrel, though there is still the ebonite interior of the barrel. (And I'm assuming the inner caps of both the long and short pen are still intact). What I hope is that there is a hope that these two will be useable pens again. (Hopefully with not too much money spent in the process). The first thing that comes to mind is to somehow remove the ebonite within the gold (let's just focus on the long pen for now) and then either have a new insert made or cannibalize a 2 C which has a broken cap or is sold as parts/missing a cap. If the second route (cannibalizing) is taken, to heat the barrel and try to slip the filigree/overlay back onto it (as to how to keep it in place securely once this is accomplished, I have no idea). Any advice/help/opinions/comments would be most appreciated. Thank you for your time
  4. The Ranga Pen Model 4C Spurred by the excellent reviews that FPN member Vaibhav Mehandiratta has provided of various handmade Ranga pens, Empty of Clouds took the decision to acquire at least one Indian ebonite pen, and it turned out to be a model 4C. Here is a far poorer quality review by a man with no talent for either words or photography. Please forgive. The 4C is a big pen by the standards of early to mid 20th century pens, and is a classic cigar shape. Measurements (approx.) Capped length – 15 cm Nib tip to barrel end – 13.5 cm Maximum diameter – 16 mm Most of the pens EoC has owned up until this point have been vintage, so to give a comparison an Esterbrook J is around 12.6 cm long (capped), 11.2 cm uncapped and 12 mm at the widest barrel point. The Esterbrook is unusable by EoC when uncapped. The Ranga 4C however is not! Here is an ugly picture of an ageing hand holding the Ranga. For those interested in numbers, EoC’s hand measures 21.5 cm from tip of 2nd finger to fold of wrist – so, quite a big hand really, and yet the pen is quite comfortably supported. Build Quality As many know the Ranga pens are handmade from ebonite turned on a lathe. The premium orange ebonite used for this pen, while finished well, still retains several inconsistencies in the material. Most notably these show up as dark flecks or a kind of very faint patterning. Whether this is tool artefact or a property of the material itself is hard to determine. This may be of concern to those whose experience thus far has been restricted to flawless expanses of resin or acrylic. Despite this issue on the finish the pen feels super smooth in the hand. It is light but by no means insubstantial. The threading throughout is tight and smooth. The cap takes just over 2.5 turns to remove, while the section requires just shy of 10 turns! There is a step between the barrel and the threads for the cap, but it is small enough to have not presented EoC any issues with use or comfort. The Nib Not really much to say here. This pen came fitted – by request – with a 1.5 mm Jowo #6 stub, which simply screws into the section. This is the same standard nib unit used by many of the custom pen makers (Franklin Christoph and Scriptorium spring to mind), so those who have pens from those sources can swap their nibs around with the Ranga should they so wish. The nib is very smooth, and far crisper than expected for a stub. It has thus far proven to be a joy to use. Here is EoC’s very first outing with the nib. Paper is Rhodia, Ink is Diamine Delamere Green. Fill ‘er Up! As with many Ranga models that employ the Jowo nib units, this pen comes fitted with a Schmidt converter. Fairly standard, well known to many, and so far reliable. For those going for the real Indian pen experience, the converter can be left out and the pen can be used as an eyedropper. EoC has not tried this yet, but when he spoke into the open end of the barrel there was an echo! So expect it to take a goodly amount of your favourite writing fluids. Speaking of eyedroppers, the section threads came pre-greased and those 10 turns mentioned earlier should give reassurance that leaks are probably unlikely to occur around the section threads. Value for Money and Communication As with many things in life value has a very personal aspect to it. This pen is not in the cheaper range for Ranga pens, or indeed any other Indian maker’s pens. However, it is a significantly better price than some of the established Western makers. EDIT: There was an ordering problem that has since been resolved. Concluding thoughts. This is a big pen, and a good one too. So far it has proven to be exceptionally comfortable to use. Although EoC is very partial to pointed dip pens, he has found the 1.5 mm stub on the Ranga 4C to be a joy to use in an everyday setting. The imperfections in the material, considering the way it is made, add a certain degree of character perhaps, but it is not the glossy perfect finish that others may have alluded to. The only downside was the final cost, coming in at US $100. It is early days for EoC and the Big Orange Pen, but it's looking very promising right now! The above represents an honest review. EoC has tried to fairly represent what was liked and what could have been better.
  5. mehandiratta

    Pen Review - Asa Viraat

    The review is about my second oversized pen ASA Viraat that i bought along with the Gama Supreme which i will be reviewing later. The detailed review is posted on my wordpress blog here : ASA Viraat This happens to be custom job that he did for me and supposedly upcoming model in growing list of ASA Pens. My other review of ASA pens are as follows: ASA Spear ASA Galactic ASA I-Can ASA Porus ASA Patriot DESIGN & BUILT: 4.5 / 5 This pen comes in two ebonite colors like black, light brown rippled, dark brown rippled. The pen in review is light brown rippled often called as White Tiger Ebonite. ASA Viraat – Top View ASA Viraat – Uncapped Built wise its a amazing, thick and the quality of the ebonite used is top notch. No qualms about it. Also there are two option of finishes available for this pen, Polished and Matte. Matte being new finish on the colored ebonite from ASA Pens. I am using the Polished version which can be seen in the image below. ASA Viraat – Polished version. Look at the shine The thickness of material is amazing. Its built like tank. Throw it here and there and forget. No damage will happen to this tank like built pen. The pen is fat and average thickness of pen is 15 mm, with maximum thickness at 16 mm around center of barrel and then barrel tapers down to bottom to 14 mm. ASA Viraat – Capped Pen View Compared to Gama Supreme it is smaller by 4 mm in length. The pen is around 160 mm in length which is quite big. The cap is @17mm dia at bottom and @16mm at cap finial. The clip is quite stiff and sturdy. Also there is a band at the edge of bottom of cap called lip band. All the trims are in silver chrome finish. I personally don't like the lip band but that doesn’t discount from the fact that it is well executed pen. Some people may like this some may not. ASA Viraat – Cap with silver trims ASA Viraat – Inner Cap View The grip section length is small though. The pen is flat top and bottom design with certain amount of tapering towards at either ends.Overall its a simple design for a pen but in big proportions. Quality is top notch. ASA Viraat – Flat Top and Bottom ASA Viraat – View of Grip Section and Cap Bottom Below are the few images showing its comparison with other pens. ASA Viraat vs Gama Popular vs Oliver F27 vs Parker Frontier ASA Viraat vs Gama Popular vs Oliver F27 vs Parker Frontier – Side View ASA Viraat vs Gama Popular – Barrel Thickness Few vitals are that the cap opens in 4 turns and the grip section is 13 mm thick. BALANCE: 4.5/5 The pen of these size are generally heavy but being ebonite its light weight. But because of its size there is just a little amount of welcome heft which make you feel that you are actually holding a big pen. The cap posts securely at back but i don’t think that is required. As mentioned earlier the grip section is small though and might be hassle for some. who hold the pen a bit higher. ASA Viraat – Writing without cap posted ASA Viraat – Writing with cap posted As you can see the pen is quite big, thus no requirement of posting the cap at back. Also you can see the grip section being small in length and my grip touching the threads which actually are not sharp and provide slip resistance. Actually this thick section takes some time getting used to. NIB AND INK FILLING MECHANISM: 05/05 Now the pen is fitted with Broad Bock nib. Oh man l love this nib. Lovely. Lays down perfect wet line that broad nib is supposed to do. ASA Viraat – Nib Unit Top View ASA Viraat – Nib Unit Side View ASA Viraat – Nib Unit Bottom View ASA Viraat – Nib Unit Angled View Pen is an eyedropper filler. And hold approx 5 ml of the ink. Feed is made of ebonite. And following nib options are available. Bock Fine Nib Bock Medium Nib Bock Broad Nib Ambitious 35 mm Medium Nib Ambitious 40 mm Medium-Broad Nib ASA Viraat – Pen taken apart ASA Viraat – Ebonite Feed Below is the handwritten review showing the writing sample and ink drying tests. Conclusion: This pen is for the serious buyers who actually are on lookout for oversized beauties. And this is one of them.
  6. Purchased the Ebonite Ranga Duofold eyedropper pen which is beautiful to look at and feels amazing. After thoroughly cleaning it (the ebonite feed was filled with some waxy substance) I want to upgrade the nib. I tried the extra Wality nib that comes with the pen. That needed a lot of adjustment. It barely made a line on the page it was so dry. The tines needed to be flossed; the tip needed several go arounds on mesh but after all that , the nib writes beaufifully.. Here's my dilemma. I really, really like this pen and I'd still like to upgrade the nib to something better. Does anyone know if the full Edison or Jowo #5 nib/feed assemblies fit the Ebonite Ranga Duofold eyedropper? Or can I find a #5 nib that will fit the existing ebonite feed?
  7. Eboya Kyouka, medium-size, Ink-stop filling mechanism So I’ve had my Eboya Kyouka for about a month now and figured it was time for a review. http://i.imgur.com/G9TUbRj.jpg http://i.imgur.com/D5PtVBn.jpg I first learned about Eboya fountain pens earlier this year, when it was announced that John Mottishaw would be carrying them on his site. Though Eboya has been making pens for several years now, up until this point, they have only sold pen in Japan, outside of the occasional foreign pen show. http://i.imgur.com/BmQsYSr.jpg The logo machine-engraved into the barrel. The first thing that struck me about Eboya was the unique designs they have. Their designs, like the Kyouka and bamboo-like Ricchiku, aren’t found often in modern pen companies. My own pen tastes lean towards the simple: clipless, minimal or nonexistent trim, flat-tops, monochromatic nibs. The Kyouka immediately grabbed my interest. http://i.imgur.com/mSTlCPC.jpg Comparison with other pens. From top: Lamy Safari, Lamy 2000, Eboya Kyouka (medium-size), Pilot Vanishing Point. http://i.imgur.com/St1cu50.jpg The ink-stop mechanism's sealing rod is visible when the barrel is unscrewed. After a few weeks of trying to find more information about Eboya and review of their pens and largely not succeeding, I decided to pull the trigger on a Kyouka from Nibs.com. Since my specific choice wasn’t in stock with them, it had to be a special-order. I was told it’d be 4-6 months but could be longer. It took 7 months. The ordering process was smooth, and Nibs.com packaged it perfectly. http://i.imgur.com/Zu1soqW.jpg Ebonite feed. Aside from the unique designs Eboya has available, the other interesting aspect of their fountain pens is the range of filling-systems they offer. In addition to the typical cartridge-converter, you can order your pen as a button-filler or a Japanese eyedropper (eyedropper with shut-off valve). I chose the Japanese eyedropper for my pen. http://i.imgur.com/i1gLp8w.jpg Comparison with other pens. From top: Nakaya Piccolo, Romillo Eo #9, Shawn Newton Orville (medium-size), Eboya (medium-size), Edison Pearl, Danitrio Flat-Top Mikado. http://i.imgur.com/8ZCs9a4.jpg Blind cap unscrewed. Japanese eyedroppers are presently made only by three companies Danitrio, Namiki, and Eboya. Eboya offers the filling system at a much lower price than the other two manufacturers. The system has an internal reservoir, with a sealing rod running through it. When the blind cap is screwed on, the sealing rod prevents ink from going to the feed. When the blind cap is unscrewed slightly, ink can flow properly. In my experience owning two Japanese eyedropper pens (a Danitrio Mikado and this Eboya Kyouka), it’s a wonderful system with a huge ink capacity and virtually leak-proof. I’m definitely a fan. Diagram of Eboya Japanese eyedropper system. http://imgur.com/Dlcu3sR In the top, the blind cap is unscrewed, allowing ink to flow to the feed. In the pen under that, the blind cap is screwed on, resulting the in sealing rod cutting off ink flow. http://i.imgur.com/dgaNBe9.jpg Ink-stop mechanism. Kanesaki handcrafts all Eboya pens out of ebonite. Eboya is a subsidiary of Nikko-Ebonite, the only ebonite manufacturer in Japan that supplies most of the major Japanese pen companies with ebonite as well as custom penmakers around the world. The pens are available in numerous mottled ebonites and a couple rippled ebonite patterns. http://i.imgur.com/LqgPGyE.jpg Ink-stop mechanism and inside of the section. My pen is in a red/black mottled ebonite in the Kyouka model. It’s a somewhat softened flat-top at both ends with part of the blind cap narrowing to facilitate posting. While the pen does post very securely, and the ebonite cap is light enough to not make the pen back-heavy, it felt overly long to me when posted. I always used the pen the the unposted position, which is my prefered way to write. http://i.imgur.com/nNdTe2a.jpg Sealing rod which has just had silicone grease applied to it. The Kyouka model’s design is based off a classic pen: Onoto The Pen. The design was hugely influential on vintage Japanese pen companies. Onoto the Pen http://i.imgur.com/k7hvvWv.jpg Does the design look familiar? http://i.imgur.com/IykN4S8.jpg Eboya nib next to Lamy Safari nib. Each pen comes in 2 or 3 different sizes, each with a nib whose physical size corresponds to the pen. My pen is a medium-size Kyouka with a 14kt Bock 220 nib (a little smaller than a typical #6, which is included on the large-size pens). It’s really great that Eboya offers pens across the size range and offers the filling systems they do. For those interested in a small- or medium-size pen with a Japanese eyedropper filling system, Eboya is the only modern option as the Danitrio and Namiki eyedropper pens are MB 149-size at their smallest. http://i.imgur.com/9jVK8lT.jpg Eboya and Danitrio Flat-Top Mikado: two Japanese eyedroppers with their blind caps unscrewed. In the hand, the pen is lightweight and very comfortable. Nibs.com lists the weight of the complete pen as 22 grams. With its ebonite construction and absence of heavy parts, one can write with it for hours without tiring. http://i.imgur.com/MZCdnMd.jpg Comparison with other pens: Romillo Eo #9, Edison Pearl, Shawn Newton custom, Eboya Kyouka (medium-size). All Eboya pens come with 14kt gold nibs made by Bock. The nib writes wonderfully — wet, smooth with a touch of feedback — but aesthetically it would look nicer to have Eboya engraved on the nib rather than the Bock logo. They have done an awesome job machine-engraving the barrel of the pen; it seems it wouldn’t have been too difficult to engrave the nib too. In any case, it’s not a deal breaker for me, by any means, but I do hope that in the future they’ll switch to blank nibs that they engrave themselves. Eboya nib http://i.imgur.com/050bqAQ.jpg The books in the background, by the way, are I Lost My Love in Baghdad by Michael Hastings and War by Sebastian Junger. The feed is made of ebonite. It is very attractive and works perfectly. I don’t think they could have done a better job on that. Being 14kt, the nib is slightly springy but giving it a little pressure increases ink flow more than it spreads the tines. I expect the large-size pens to be more springy due to the larger nibs. Writing sample http://i.imgur.com/PrRbOmY.jpg I’ve been very pleased with my Eboya. I absolutely plan to get another one in the future (probably a large-size Hakobune with a special-order #8-size nib), and highly recommend Eboya to anyone interested in their designs or a more moderately-priced and/or moderately-sized Japanese eyedropper.
  8. Please help me identify this Waterman's Ideal. The silver hallmark carries the alphabets F.DW and a P other than the image symbols. And what is the stone on the top of the cap? ]
  9. Hello, just sharing a little trick I just used to effectively clean stained silicone grease from the threads of my demonstrator eyedropper pen. I have a Franklin-Christoph Stabilis 65, which is clear acrylic throughout.. except for the threads, which were a beautiful shade of Tsuki-yo blue! Cleaning these of silicone grease was really difficult - an old toothbrush couldn't access them very well, whilst a soggy cotton bud just smeared it all around. Then inspiration struck! (or perhaps it was wind..) Anyway, I rummaged around in my bathroom drawers for an old mascara tube, and scrubbed the wand under running water until perfectly clean. The soft wand bristles are firm enough to poke into the threads but not stiff enough to scratch, and they did a marvellous job of clearing all the old silicone out in just a minute or two! Hey presto: clean demonstrator. *beams smugly*
  10. Dear FPN'ers, We are introducing our RANGA Acrylic Model 4CS Pens in 20 Beautiful colours. These are Eyedropper Pens. These pens are completely handmade and Visual mesmerizers. Please see our handmade Pen making Video Which is very unique in the world and needs Extensive skills https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=08pUuLREZR4&feature=youtu.be (Thanks to Hari) The length of the capped pen is 5.75 inches. The thickness is 13.5mm Dia app. Flat shape (Both ends), Rounded shapes(Both ends) are available. Nib: Wality Fine nib. Medium nib is also available. 35mm White Bock Broad or Medium nib is also available at 9$ extra Feeder: Ebonite Clip: Both Thin clip and Broad clips are available in Gold colour and White colour. Clipless Option is also available. The colours are 1. Grey/ White 2. Purple/Pink/Dark blue 3. Yellow/ Orange /Dark Green 4. Purple with Black 5. Bright Green With Thin Green Swirl 6. Orange With Black Swirl 7. White with Black 8. Pink With Black Swirl 9. Sea Blue With Red 10. Red with Black Swirl 11. Orange With Dark Blue 12. Blue with Black Swirl 13. Yellow with Dark Green/Red/Black 14. Pink With Dark Blue 15. Yellow with Dark Green 16. Purple with Dark Blue 17. Light Green with Blue Swirl 18. Orange With Blackish Green 19. Bright Green with Green Swirl 20. Pink/Green/Black Price: 40$ Shipping: Free worldwide Registered Post shipping Payment can be done to my paypal id mpkandan@gmail.com http://i1189.photobucket.com/albums/z437/mpkandan/CRod%20Ebonite%20Gajendra/C%20Rod%20Acrylic%20Model%204CS/DSC04750-1_zps0i2di68w.jpg http://i1189.photobucket.com/albums/z437/mpkandan/CRod%20Ebonite%20Gajendra/C%20Rod%20Acrylic%20Model%204CS/DSC04675-1_zpsjpgvehqv.jpghttp://i1189.photobucket.com/albums/z437/mpkandan/CRod%20Ebonite%20Gajendra/C%20Rod%20Acrylic%20Model%204CS/DSC04714-1_zpszfqpp6nq.jpghttp://i1189.photobucket.com/albums/z437/mpkandan/CRod%20Ebonite%20Gajendra/C%20Rod%20Acrylic%20Model%204CS/DSC04672-1_zpsaitglvsv.jpghttp://i1189.photobucket.com/albums/z437/mpkandan/CRod%20Ebonite%20Gajendra/C%20Rod%20Acrylic%20Model%204CS/DSC04676-1_zpshq567geg.jpghttp://i1189.photobucket.com/albums/z437/mpkandan/CRod%20Ebonite%20Gajendra/C%20Rod%20Acrylic%20Model%204CS/DSC04713-1_zpss4kmqc1r.jpghttp://i1189.photobucket.com/albums/z437/mpkandan/CRod%20Ebonite%20Gajendra/C%20Rod%20Acrylic%20Model%204CS/DSC04716-1_zpsffb8mf31.jpghttp://i1189.photobucket.com/albums/z437/mpkandan/CRod%20Ebonite%20Gajendra/C%20Rod%20Acrylic%20Model%204CS/DSC04726-1_zpsjpa2imaq.jpghttp://i1189.photobucket.com/albums/z437/mpkandan/CRod%20Ebonite%20Gajendra/C%20Rod%20Acrylic%20Model%204CS/DSC04728-1_zps7t8axosm.jpghttp://i1189.photobucket.com/albums/z437/mpkandan/CRod%20Ebonite%20Gajendra/C%20Rod%20Acrylic%20Model%204CS/DSC04722-1_zpssusq85z1.jpghttp://i1189.photobucket.com/albums/z437/mpkandan/CRod%20Ebonite%20Gajendra/C%20Rod%20Acrylic%20Model%204CS/DSC04688-1_zpss0n0tk05.jpghttp://i1189.photobucket.com/albums/z437/mpkandan/CRod%20Ebonite%20Gajendra/C%20Rod%20Acrylic%20Model%204CS/DSC04678-1_zpsjfnrxwe6.jpghttp://i1189.photobucket.com/albums/z437/mpkandan/CRod%20Ebonite%20Gajendra/C%20Rod%20Acrylic%20Model%204CS/DSC04700-1_zpso2g8wwhd.jpghttp://i1189.photobucket.com/albums/z437/mpkandan/CRod%20Ebonite%20Gajendra/C%20Rod%20Acrylic%20Model%204CS/DSC04697-1_zpskedbs25c.jpghttp://i1189.photobucket.com/albums/z437/mpkandan/CRod%20Ebonite%20Gajendra/C%20Rod%20Acrylic%20Model%204CS/DSC04695-1_zpswkiiby0c.jpghttp://i1189.photobucket.com/albums/z437/mpkandan/CRod%20Ebonite%20Gajendra/C%20Rod%20Acrylic%20Model%204CS/DSC04691-1_zpsopgvliv7.jpghttp://i1189.photobucket.com/albums/z437/mpkandan/CRod%20Ebonite%20Gajendra/C%20Rod%20Acrylic%20Model%204CS/DSC04706-1_zpsto03rjxz.jpghttp://i1189.photobucket.com/albums/z437/mpkandan/CRod%20Ebonite%20Gajendra/C%20Rod%20Acrylic%20Model%204CS/DSC04703-1_zps9gbisnao.jpghttp://i1189.photobucket.com/albums/z437/mpkandan/CRod%20Ebonite%20Gajendra/C%20Rod%20Acrylic%20Model%204CS/DSC04710-1_zpsp7du5rp9.jpghttp://i1189.photobucket.com/albums/z437/mpkandan/CRod%20Ebonite%20Gajendra/C%20Rod%20Acrylic%20Model%204CS/DSC04701-1_zpshx2gtrmp.jpg http://i1189.photobucket.com/albums/z437/mpkandan/CRod%20Ebonite%20Gajendra/C%20Rod%20Acrylic%20Model%204CS/DSC04734-1_zpswalmke41.jpghttp://i1189.photobucket.com/albums/z437/mpkandan/CRod%20Ebonite%20Gajendra/C%20Rod%20Acrylic%20Model%204CS/DSC04737-1_zpsyta9qnr6.jpghttp://i1189.photobucket.com/albums/z437/mpkandan/CRod%20Ebonite%20Gajendra/C%20Rod%20Acrylic%20Model%204CS/DSC04738-1_zpsfxis0uj2.jpghttp://i1189.photobucket.com/albums/z437/mpkandan/CRod%20Ebonite%20Gajendra/C%20Rod%20Acrylic%20Model%204CS/DSC04740-1_zpsqt4mhmxs.jpghttp://i1189.photobucket.com/albums/z437/mpkandan/CRod%20Ebonite%20Gajendra/C%20Rod%20Acrylic%20Model%204CS/DSC04729-1_zpsk8jd3nri.jpghttp://i1189.photobucket.com/albums/z437/mpkandan/CRod%20Ebonite%20Gajendra/C%20Rod%20Acrylic%20Model%204CS/DSC04698-1_zpsw4ecmpww.jpghttp://i1189.photobucket.com/albums/z437/mpkandan/CRod%20Ebonite%20Gajendra/C%20Rod%20Acrylic%20Model%204CS/DSC04742-1_zpsowrpaane.jpghttp://i1189.photobucket.com/albums/z437/mpkandan/CRod%20Ebonite%20Gajendra/C%20Rod%20Acrylic%20Model%204CS/DSC04741-1_zpsybkmdyti.jpghttp://i1189.photobucket.com/albums/z437/mpkandan/CRod%20Ebonite%20Gajendra/C%20Rod%20Acrylic%20Model%204CS/DSC04744-1_zps5caksjwo.jpgThanks for viewing and support Regards, Kandan.M.P Ranga Pen Company
  11. Hello folks. I am new to this site and wanted to post a review of a couple of Franklin-Christoph pens that I purchased just because I think F-C is so blooming fantastic. To avoid boring everyone to death, I’ll do separate posts for the different pens. This post is going to be about the Pocket 40. First off, I had to use fountain pens in high school, so I knew the very basics, but not much more. I purchased my first post-high school fountain pen, a Sheaffer Prelude in shimmery pink for around $60. I rarely used it because it was very heavy (IMHO), the cap kept falling off and it felt too short and unbalanced if unposted. Ridiculously, I waited ten years before looking for a replacement. I purchased two Lamy Al-Stars on Amazon. Although the nibs were good, I got cramp from squeezing the triangulated grip section. So I researched online about pens made in the U.S. Many thanks to this site, Gourmet Pens, Penaddict, The Pen Habit and Gentleman Stationer for putting F-C on my radar (links at bottom). I drooled (rather obsessively) over the F-C site before ordering two Pocket 40s, one with a Masuyama medium cursive italic nib and the other with a 1.1 cursive nib. I have no photographs because I eventually swapped them out for Stabilis 65s. Here is the link to see what they look like: http://www.franklin-christoph.com/pocket-40.html The P40 colours were Emerald and Cinamaroon. I purchased the ice versions because I knew I wanted to convert them to eyedroppers (much easier than one imagines and really the whole point of buying any of the ice pens). Even with ordinary Parker Red swirling about inside, the Cinamaroon was simply lovely to look at. The pens are light, which I like, and I never had a problem with ink leaking after using the silicone grease. The nibs were both lovely, although I realize that my handwriting is probably too small to suit a cursive italic for writing at speed. The P40 is, obviously, very easy to carry in the pocket, so if you are looking for a genuine pocket pen, it completely meets expectations. I have nothing bad to say about the P40s from F-C. So why did I swap them for the F-C Stabilis 65? Purely because I realized that I rarely needed to be able to carry a pen in my pocket for my work and so I probably should have chosen a larger pen in the first place. (I have petite hands and initially thought the non-pocket F-C pens might be too large.) The Stabilis 65, which I will review separately, was simply better suited for writing done other than on the hop. Another reason I love F-C, even after only a short period of engaging with them, is that they do not carry too many designs as to be overwhelmed by where to start. Also, their designs are timeless and gender-neutral. Sounds silly perhaps, but the vast majority of the “classic” pens in the >$120 - < $600 range that I saw online are either very masculine or the other extreme. Maybe I'm just not good at searching and no offense intended to anyone, just my personal perception and experience. Lastly on this topic, the service at F-C is nothing short of outstanding. That alone is a reason to choose F-C over another brand, all other things being equal. I wish every company had this level of service. Scott and Jim bent over backwards to help me when I wanted to swap out pens. They answered the ‘phone and emails themselves and you genuinely feel like they value your custom. Jim sent me a tub of silicone grease with the second order without me even asking for it. Unless there is some major service (bleep)-up in the future with F-C in, which I cannot imagine would ever happen, they have a customer for life in me. FYI, I did not receive any compensation from F-C for this review, just saying my piece! Sorry for the long and winding road and hope this has helped someone! http://www.gourmetpens.com/2014/07/review-franklin-christoph-model-40p.html#.VjYI_-gqPGD http://www.penaddict.com/blog/2015/5/29/franklin-christoph-model-65-stabilis-review?rq=franklin http://penhabit.com/2014/08/14/pen-review-franklin-christoph-02-intrinsic/ http://www.gentlemanstationer.com/blog/2015/5/30/franklin-christoph-eydropper-mania
  12. The Eboya arrived today! Here's some quick pictures; I'll do a full review after a few weeks of use. Eboya Kyouka with some popular pens http://i.imgur.com/4snnu6i.jpg Eboya medium-size nib and Lamy Safari nib http://i.imgur.com/xbMFKnB.jpg Eboya logo machine engraved into the barrel http://i.imgur.com/cdxEGwJ.jpg Eboya ebonite feed, which I assume is made in-house. It looks really cool! http://i.imgur.com/GbeW1qE.jpg Eboya nib/section and ink-stop mechanism. http://i.imgur.com/St1cu50.jpg I've filled it up with Sailor Miruai. It takes over 3ml of ink. Nibs.com lists 4ml as being the capacity, which is probably right. I didn't fill it all the way. I ordered it with a medium nib, and asked Mottishaw to tune it for generous ink flow. It's very smooth! Really light pen, too, and comfortable in the hand. For those looking for a Japanese eyedropper that isn't the size of a Mikado/Genkai or Namiki Emperor, I think Eboya is a great option.
  13. http://asapens.in/eshop/image/cache/data/Athlete/Athlete-20-500x500.jpgASA Athlete: The pen with a character This review is my first and is intended for a laymen. There is usually no best. No best book, no best car and no best movie. Same goes with fountain pens. However, recently I found or discovered a pen which comes very near to being the best in my present collection. This pen was bought from ASApens.in and was named Athlete. I quite enjoyed writing with it. I call it the pen with a character . As you can perhaps see, the pen is made of ebonite i.e.a hard rubber but feels and looks like wood. How many of us can boast of using an writing instrument made of ebonite. Not many, I guess. Believe me when I say it, the feel of ebonite surpasses plastic, acrylic or even metal. You won't feel the weight. You will not experience the pressure and pain on the tips of your finger while writing for long hours. Your hands will not sweat as much. Moreover, the balance of the pen is very significant when it comes to writing for long durations. This pen has perfect balance. at least for me, posted(putting the cap on the end) or unposted. Despite being of such a large size, I never felt its size or weight even once. Pardon the cliche, but the pen is literally light as a feather. The wooden ebonite body has been polished to give it a matt black finish. It adds to the aesthetics of this pen. The pen looks classy and visually appealing. It catches the attention of those around you, provided they care about pens. The 'Athlete' has got a personality of its own. Its exterior speaks of its being a no nonsense , efficient and durable pen. When you keep it with other pens, it dominates them with its presence. Athlete is an eyedropper. For a layman, this means that its barrel is filled with ink, unlike say Parker vector or Hero 360. Usually in an eyedropper, the air bubble inside gets warmed up with the heat of the body and expands. This results in burping which means that your page can get ruined and you may end up with a big and sizable blot on your paper. But, thankfully, this is not the case with this pen. I ended up a complete tank and I found no burping. The wooden body apparently acts as an insulator much better than plastic. The ink flow increased when the ink levels dropped but there was no burping. Another problems which eyedropper pens face is leakage. None here though. The cap fits securely and the barrel is securely attached to the nib and feed section. It was a new experience for me. An Eyedropper fountain pen that doesn't leak.!!! The best part is nib. These nibs are apparently made in Germany. The engraving says that they are Iridium tipped. You can feel their superior quality. If the best fountain pen you have is a Parker Vector, you would be blown away by the smoothness of the nib. The nib does not have a glossy smooth feel which many a chinese fountain pens have. That is being too smooth to like. There is a little feedback, which I love, because I can feel myself writing and I can feel the nib gliding on the paper. The nib is a dual tone nib. Which means that it has two parts, one golden and another shiny silver colored. The nib is a size #6. For a lay man this can be translated as fairly large nib. Not the largest, but quite large. Having a large nib means that if you have large hands like mine and many of other adult men, you wont be forced to write too close to paper and while writing you can maintain a comfortable hand stance.I got the nib with tines separated. I thought that it would be an issue. But it was not. There was no rail roading. Writing samples of the pen and the comparison with Pilot 'Tank', Pilot MR and Lamy are included. The ink used is commonly available Chelpark and the paper is a JK A4 size paper. The service was excellent. When I bought the pen I used the option of getting the fountain pen checked which is not available on any other indian site. The sellers are professionals. One can any time mail them or call them in respect of any queries related to fountain pens. I called them and they didn't disappoint me. Now, let me answer the most difficult question about this pen. What I didn't like about it? Well, I liked everything. But I should add a caveat that this is an eyedropper pen which needs a little maintenance just like a samurai sword does . And the cap if left posted may leave a round mark on the matt finish. However, the pen is available in many colors on ASApens. Lastly if you feel the ink flow increasing it would be wiser to refill the barrel pen instead of waiting for the ink to be over. Overall, I recommend this pen. It's a great value for money and a daily writer. One can use it daily without impunity. One can show it off or keep it entirely to himself. It is a work horse, a no nonsense pen and most importantly a pen with a character. It is one macho of a pen, that dominates other pens and the paper.
  14. In a previous thread, the group showed a lot of evidence that my Wirt half overlay might be an Aiken Lambert with a Wirt nib and feed. https://www.fountainpennetwork.com/forum/topic/294666-early-paul-e-wirt-eyedropper-filler/ I just found a Wirt MHR taper cap eyedropper with Wirt two line imprint on the barrel (too hard for me to get a good pic of the imprint). It has an incorrect nib and feed. So, assuming they are a good fit, might I be better off putting he Wirt nib and feed in the barrel with the Wirt imprint, and leaving the possible Aiken Lambert to be a somewhat no name taper cap half overlay pen?
  15. A Mabie, Todd & Bard with a robust sterling overlay. Wrote out of the box. The nib is an unusual nailish one. The price when new was 30 shilling or a bit more what I see on advertisements. I would date it to 1900 - 1905. The chemistry book is from 1897. It was used by an assayer of the mint in Belgium. Cepasaccus
  16. Hi there! I received a pen today and I need your help identifying it. The nib says GENTLEMAN NO 1 18 CT MADE IN USA the barrel has only THE "GENTLEMAN" FOUNTAIN PEN as the inscription. It is an eyedropper and not a safety pen. Thank you so much.
  17. I got recently an early BHR Aikin-Lambert taper cap eyedropper filler (from the late 1900s) with a gold filled Chased pattern repoussé Half overlay. The fountain pen came in excellent condition, with two elegant initials engraved on the barrel indicia. For the pictures bellow, I used a vintage post envelope illustrated with the drawing of the building from Manhattan where the famous jewellers had their shop in the era.[1] The fountain pen is 141 mm (5 9/16 in) long when capped and 173 mm (6 13/16 in) when posted. It is a slender ED, with a diameter of only 8 mm, and it weighs no more than 8 gr. For sure, it is a delicate pen. The cap is 60 mm long and has four vent holes (two pairs of two antipodal holes). The overlay, like my other Aikin Lambert ED’s, is not marked. There were some jewelers in New York who produced such gold filled Chased pattern repoussé overlay, common in the era.[2] A taper cap ED with an identical pattern and indicia appears also in Baird-North Co. 1909 catalogue[3], a jewelry house moved from Massachusetts to Providence[4], Rhode Island, that produced spare parts for Waterman, Wirt, Conklin and many other pen makers. I would be glad if someone more familiar than me with the history of the fountain pens could offer details about the manufacturer of the overlay. The ED has “an uncommon but characteristically”[5] Aikin-Lambert & Co extra fine #1 nib with a round hole not connected to the slit, medium flex. The feed is a narrow keel-shaped one. Included below is a writing sample (not very calligraphic ) on Rhodia paper (80 g/m2) using Diamine Twilight: For a comparison, the following photo presents three different Aikin Lambert ED’s. From left to right: (1) straight cap ED with silver overlay (c.1895); (2) straight cap ED with gold filled overlay (c.1902); (3) taper cap ED with gold filled overlay (c.1910). All three seem to me being real works of art. [1] http://kamakurapen.com/Manhattan/ManhattanList.html/. [2] I.e. see “George W. Heath & Co.” on David Nishimura’s blog. [3] Available as an extract on the site of Pen Collectors of America here. The pen appears under the number 6723. The document was archived including the names of Wirt and A-L in the title, although I did not succeed in finding which overlays were made for Aikin-Lambert. A similar pattern was produced by Baird-North Co. for Wirt (number 6641) with a slightly different indicia. [4] About Baird-North Co., see Johnny Appleseed, “The Pens of the Baird-North Company” on www.fountainpennetwork.com. The author posted all the catalogues of the company from 1898 to 1933. [5] David Nishimura, www.vintagepens.com, August 1st, 2015.
  18. gerigo

    Ink Flows And Blobs On Paper

    Hey all An eyedropper newbie seeking advice. I recently acquired a very early Waterman eyedropper that drips ink from the nib, so much so that it blobs on paper. What does this mean about the pen? It's not a safety filler so it does not have any seals.
  19. I am not an expert but I like to collect vintage FP's. Only some people has 'the secret' of dating, so as a buyer I always need help. It would be very useful if the more experienced FPN members would render evident some wrong datings that happen to appear even in the case of the more honest sellers on eBay (and not only) This auction for a Wirt eyedropper seems to me curious. The barrel and the cap is of an early Paul E Wirt eyedropper, as for the feed, the vent-hole type was patented in April 1903. The two-line print was used by Wirt from 1889 until 1902. Could be such an ED considered from the 19th century as the seller afirms? I think that the feed is a later replacement, but the seller mentioned nothing
  20. **This is my first pen review! Feedback definitely encouraged, but please be gentle with me, I'm new ** I started using fountain pens a couple of years ago, and since that first Lamy Safari, I've learned a lot about what I like, dislike, want, don't want, prefer to have, and can live without. At first, my pen purchases were somewhat haphazard - "hey, I've heard of Lamy - let's get one of those! Oooh, I'd fancy having a RED pen, better grab that as well" - a problem which I suspect is relatively common to newbies (and even a few oldbies). Lately, however, I've started thinking out my purchases a bit better, and after seeing Stephen Brown's review on YouTube, I became curious about the Kaweco Student. The first thing I noticed is that it seems to be somewhat difficult to find experience with this pen. There's Stephen's review, two that I could dig up here on FPN, and a handful of other mentions out on the web: but broadly speaking, search for it and you come up with a big fat "Did you mean KAWECO SPORT?" No, internet, I did not mean Kaweco Sport. And I'm puzzled by this seeming lack of Students in the wild, because after taking the plunge at my local B&M about a month ago and using the Student heavily since then, I'm here to tell you that I think this pen is absolutely tremendous. I bought it out of curiosity, and it is now my all-around favorite pen that I own. This is not going to be a review packed with fastidious measurements and loupe details. I'm going for a more narrative review based on what I now consider to be adequate real-world experience, trying to give you something beyond a "first impression." So let's dig in! THE BASICS The Student is a mostly acrylic plastic C&C and eyedropper-ready (!) pen which costs between $50 and $60. It is available in four colors: opaque black, white, and red, and translucent blue. I have the blue one, and it can look a bit violet in some light (***ONE NOTE: in the photos here, the pen will mostly look much darker than it actually is, because I have it filled as an eyedropper right now***). The pen is packaged in that nifty, retro Kaweco tin, which is both sturdy and quite handy. A nice touch for the price point. It is supplied with a short cartridge and, depending on where you buy it, usually a converter as well: most online vendors I've looked at include a converter, but the local B&M where I bought mine sold it separately. THE BUILD The pen, as mentioned, is mostly plastic. The screw-on cap and solid barrel are all plastic. The simple but very strong clip is metal, and the hourglass grip section is metal as well ("chromed brass," according to Kaweco). The finial bears a small, metallic three-sectioned Kaweco logo. Just below the finial and on the reverse side from where the clip attaches, the words "Kaweco Student Germany" are etched into the cap. There is a single metal ring around the cap where it screws on to the pen, which bears the words "KAWECO" and "GERMANY" along with a series of dots. That's the extent of the decoration on the pen itself. It has a very streamlined, unobtrusive, classic - almost retro - look that I really enjoy. The stainless steel nib, which I believe is made by Bock, bears some scrollwork along the tines over the words "Germany" on the left tine and "since 1883" on the right, the Kaweco logo below the breather hole, and the nib size below the logo. The logo is also found on the feed, which, as Stephen Brown mentions, is somewhat unusual and a nice touch. The Student takes the standard Kaweco "nib replacement 060." These are the screw-in nib replacement units that include the combined nib and feed assembly housed in a plastic sleeve. In other words, for not too much money, you can have an easily-swapped-out range of nib sizes from EF to double-broad: just unscrew the whole unit and screw the new one in. This is not a very large pen, but it isn't tiny either. The mostly-plastic build means it is pretty lightweight. The cap posts well, not deeply but very securely (though I wouldn't jam it on there too hard since this is a plastic body). I find the pen to be better balanced when it is posted. That metal section is quite heavy and tends to tug the pen forward and down a bit, if that makes sense, so posting provides a bit of counterweight and better overall balance. As for length, the pen fits beautifully into my small-to-medium size hands when posted, but just on the right side of "too short" without posting. I cannot stand using small pens (which is why this model is my first Kaweco rather than one of their more popular smaller builds), and I prefer to post for the most part. The Student hits a definite sweet spot for me as far as size and weight. The overall impression is of solid engineering and very good build quality. The threads for the screw-on grip section and the cap are smooth and secure, the clip is very tight (but well designed to make it easy to slip in and out of a pocket), and all in all the pen feels like a workhorse. In day-to-day use over the past month, I haven't exactly babied it, and it is holding up well. One quibble is that the acrylic picks up scratches rather easily, though that's to be expected in this material. On my blue...I guess I'd call this a semi-demonstrator?...model, the barrel is starting to cloud very slightly in some specific places, particularly a ring around where the cap sits when posted. Then again, since this is a relatively affordable pen and an EDC for me, I think it is holding up fine. It feels like a pen that will be with me for a good long while. Those who like the model but want more durability can step up to the metal Allrounder, with the understanding that you'll lose the possibility for eyedropper filling. THE NIB Kaweco nibs seem to be a little bit hit or miss. Stephen Brown's review mentions that his Student (mirroring his general Kaweco experiences) wrote bone-dry out of the box. Some other Kaweco reviewers have mentioned quite a variety of first impressions with their Kaweco nibs. All I can tell you is this: maybe I was very lucky, but the medium nib on my Student is flawlessly, utterly, abso-freakin-lutely fantastic. It's the best stainless steel nib I have. As far as smoothness, it runs neck and neck with my Faber-Castell e-motion - possibly even edges it out - and, though definitely not a gusher, I'd say it writes about as wet as the e-motion. I would say the line is on the finer side of medium. It has never had a hard start, never skipped, never faltered. It just writes, and writes well. I know that sounds crazy. Really, I do! I promise, though, that I'm not exaggerating. I know that Kaweco is well-liked but not exactly legendary as far as nibs go. I hear ya. I had only reasonable expectations for this pen when I bought it, but wow. It has totally won me over. THE WRITING EXPERIENCE - AND EYEDROPPER CONVERSION! In the beginning, I thought maybe it was the ink. I first inked up with a sample of Noodlers Cactus Fruit Eel, and we know that's an especially smooth, wet, juicy ink. I jotted down a note to a friend on some Clairefontaine Triomphe stationery, and it was like writing on glass with melted butter. Gosh, this thing glides! Obviously that combo of ink and paper was always going to be somewhat glassy, but this nib felt great right away. Once I used up the Cactus Fruit, I decided to try something I've never tried with any of my pens, and use the Student as an eyedropper fill. This was a major reason that I purchased the pen, after Stephen mentioned the potential in his review. One FPN user mentioned that s/he had done it with good results, and I know other Kaweco models have been used as eyedroppers. I was, and remain, slightly concerned about the metal grip section. There is exposed metal where it screws in to the body. Others, though, have said that this isn't a massive problem, and that concerns about corrosion can be mitigated by using a well-behaved ink. Well behaved ink? What else, then, but ol' faithful: Waterman [serenity/Florida/whatever it's called today] blue. Which, incidentally, matches the blue color of the pen itself rather well. I filled it up - OMG so much ink! - and I've hardly been able to set the pen down since. It wasn't just the Cactus Fruit. It wasn't just the Triomphe. This is simply a brilliant, brilliant, brilliant little writer. No matter what I throw at it, the Student cheerfully (this is a cheerful pen) does its thing without question. It behaves well in my sometimes-finicky Leuchtturm pocket journal and skates across Rhodia/Clairefontaine. Best of all, a few days ago I used it to write a six-page letter on some Crane monarch sheets. Holy moley. I just couldn't stop. The way this thing felt on that paper...wow. Fountain pen nirvana. LIVING WITH IT AND FINAL THOUGHTS It didn't take very long for me to fall in love with this pen, and now I always have it on me. I've had zero issues so far with using it as an eyedropper. That speaks well to total fit/finish, but of course I'll be keeping an eye on it longer term to see if the metal of the section starts developing problems later as a result of the eyedropper usage. One gripe I have is with the section. It is very smooth, and while the hourglass shape helps a bit as far as maintaining grip, it can get a bit slippery. And the section might be just a touch too narrow for me for comfort over very long periods of uninterrupted usage. By the end of that monster 6-page letter, my fingers were screaming, but that was also a lot of writing for me in one sitting. When I first got the pen, the section was screwed on very tightly. I mean the thing felt glued. It took a painful amount of force to unscrew the thing, which was not helped by the smoothness of the finish. Now that I'm using it as an eyedropper, this level of fit is something I obviously appreciate, but if you pick one up and find the section is screwed on almost impossibly tight, you aren't the first. I'm not saying this is a bad thing, just something to be aware of. Here's the thing. I would, in a heartbeat, recommend MY Kaweco Student to absolutely anybody. I mean MY champion-class writer, with a nib that just sang right out of the box. There is, however, that nagging sense that I may be really, really lucky. I mentioned, earlier in the review, that some others have had issues with their Kaweco nibs, issues that may go beyond the typical "different strokes for different folks" subjectivity of fountain pen users' opinions and point to some QC problems. Given that, can I recommend the pen on the whole? Absolutely! Though with the obvious and standard caveat that your mileage may vary. That uncertainty alone may be enough to turn some people off, and understandably so. Most of us don't bring unlimited budgets to this hobby, and a $50-60 pen isn't throwaway money like a Preppy. I'd hate to see somebody come in expecting a dream writer like mine and get a bone-dry, scratchy, skippy mess. However, if you want to take the chance, and pull the trigger on a $50 eyedropper-ready workhorse with a nice retro look and largely excellent build quality, you may just end up surprised with what you get. I know I am. **EDITED IMMEDIATELY AFTER POSTING FOR A FEW TYPOS AND GRAMMATICAL ISSUES I NOTICED AS SOON AS IT POSTED. ...NATURALLY**
  21. Another antique! I think that dating the pen is fairly straightforward. On the barrel is stamped Mabie Todd & Co New York, but the section is stamped Swan 4500 M.T.B. This of course would refer to Mabie Todd & Bard which ceased in 1907, so I can reasonably presume that this pen dates from perhaps 1908 or thereabouts. Stamped also 4572 this represents a 4500 model with a short medium No 3 nib. The pen incorporates a "plug feed" whereby the pen may be filled without unscrewing the section. There is also a gold overfeed, probably an early example. And the pen does what Mabie Todd claimed: it is always ready to write which it does very nicely! Cob
  22. thatotherguy1

    Thoughts On Gama Raja

    Before I start this review, let me say that I am unable to post pictures, but my Raja looks just the same as the one that ASA sells, so you aren't missing anything super different. Also, I'm no professional reviewer, just a hobbyist. There are relatively few reviews on this pen aside from Hari's excellent posts, so I'm hoping to help someone that is interested in Indian pens, particularly Gamas, decide whether or not to take the plunge (or, given the price, the dip). I have, for full transparency, posted a thread on this pen after a few days of use in the India forum, but I've used this pen extensively since then, so my perspective should be different. I hope you enjoy the review, and I welcome constructive criticism First Impressions I bought this pen from ASA Pens, which is based in Chennai, India. I didn't have any need to e-mail Mr. Subramaniam or anyone else, so I can't comment on that aspect of the customer service, but the buying process was painless and the pen showed up on my doorstep three weeks or so after I ordered it. Considering the shipping was free (and the pen was competitively priced to boot) and it had to literally make its way to the other side of the world- I'm in the U.S.- I consider that pretty good. If I recall correctly, the pen was packaged in a mylar bag (I might be wrong on that) with a LOT of bubble wrap. This thing could probably have been kicked across the room by a professional football kicker with no ill effects, though I wouldn't try it. The pen comes in a velvet pouch with the Gama logo in white ink. Along with my pen, I got a spare Indian single-tone nib and a disposable plastic pipette- nice additions, though I haven't used them. The pen seemed really large to me on first feel- I was used to a Safari- but it seemed well made and very nice. Feel in Hand This pen is large. The section is about 12 mm, the barrel is 13, the cap 14 (all according to the ASA site). It's 14.8cm long (ASA). However, due to the ebonite construction, it is very light and well balanced. The common saying that ebonite feels weightless holds true with this pen. It all but disappears in the hand. While the pen is very light, it is noticeably heavier when you fill it with ink- I'll explain why in a bit. Nib and Feed(s) This pen comes with a two-tone steel Indian made fine nib, which is the rough equivalent of a Western extra-fine in line width. Quality seems to be notoriously inconsistent with these, so keep that in mind when I comment about mine. Mine wrote smoothly enough, provided you were in the very narrow sweet spot. When you got out of that sweet spot, it got pretty scratchy pretty quick. I took a few moments with a fingernail buffer (bought for this purpose, not shared with anyone- that probably wouldn't go over well) and smoothed it out. Now it writes like a dream and the sweet spot issues are alleviated. The steel the nib is made of is very thin, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. In normal writing, it adds a little bit of pleasant springiness to cushion your hand, and it gets interesting when you put some pressure on it. This thing flexes better than the Ahab I tried from a buddy. Mind you, it's NOT a flex nib. It's not marketed as one, nor is it marketed as a semi-flex, so flex at your own risk. BUT... this thing goes from extra fine to a solid medium, maybe even a broad (I usually stick to fines so I have no broad experience) and can resume its extra fine state well enough. I have bent the nib enough that it contacted the inside of the cap, but it was easily fixable and I was pushing the nib farther than I had pushed it before or since. It isn't going to even keep up with your vintage semi-flexes, but there's definitely enough flexibility to add some nice expression to your writing with a little care. I replaced the stock feed with a Sheaffer No Nonsense feed from a Viewpoint. There was nothing wrong with the stock feed- it kept up well and flowed great- I just wanted something to keep my papers clean when the pen got low- the Viewpoint feed can buffer the ink that would have otherwise been burped onto the page quite well. Comfort The pen is superbly balanced and light. With a smooth nib, I've written for long stretches with no issues. If you like larger sections, you won't have an issue. Posting makes the pen back heavy, too long and scratches the barrel. Quality When you think about the quality, keep the price in mind. This isn't a Pelikan. It isn't a Montblanc. It's got nothing on Nakaya. But for a $25 pen, it's really quite impressive. The machining is well done and consistent. The threads, while single start on both the section and for the cap, are well machined, mesh smoothly (with a dab of silicone grease) and are tight. The finish is nicely done. The polished ends and section are nice and shiny. There is one small polished streak where there isn't supposed to be from where the clip ball rubbed during installation and one of the trim rings is a bit wonky. There was a bit of plating wear on the ball of the clip. Other than that, no issues whatsoever. Miscellaneous The ink capacity on this thing is HUGE. I measured about 4 mL last time I checked. I write a LOT and this thing lasts me two and a half weeks consistently between fillings- I do write it dry, however. Don't put an ink that you don't love in this pen. It'll be there a while. That's why there's a noticeable difference in weight between this pen empty and full- there's a ton of ink in there. This pen takes #6 nibs, should you choose to swap the stock one with another from a different maker. The clip is nice and stiff but not too bad- it can still be used easily. I hope you all liked the review. Sorry for the long windedness of it all... hopefully I made up for the lack of pictures Thanks for reading. TL;DR- Great pen for the price. Some quirks and issues, but worth a shot.
  23. 1. Appearance & Design = 7 To me, this pen looks like an homage to the Parker Duofold, but on a minimal scale. Gama did not do straight line knurling on the cap or bands at the tail of the pen, like the Duofolds have. Gama also used a generic big-ball clip, similar to a Pilot clip. It's derivative and economic, but still classic.The material is a beautiful beige/black mottled ebonite, not as glossy as acrylic but very glossy by ebonite standards. The seams between the different pieces are very smooth, although the hardware (clip and cap bands) leave something to be desired.The Gama name is engraved on the side of the barrel. The engraving does not appear to be from a laser, but a machine, and it is subtle but well done.It came with a generic two-tone nib, which I replaced with a Knox two-tone nib and a later overfeed modification. The overfeed detracts from the aesthetic, but I'm leaving it in place because it is practical.I deduct 3 points for the sloppy cap bands and clip attachment. If those could have been symmetrical and flush like the other joints on the pen, I think the appearance would have been a perfect ten.2. Construction & Quality = 8 The execution of the cap bands is sloppy, with one side being too deeply inset, while the other side sticks out quite a bit. The attachment of the clip piece is also asymmetrical. Capacity seems to be a hair over 3mL.With some eyedroppers the section can fit too tightly, but Gama made this pen just right. As a result, I don't have any trouble removing the section to fill the barrel, and there is no danger of leakage.The ebonite is of very good quality, and has held its luster very well over the first month or so of my usage. The gold coloring on the clip will eventually wear off, but it seems to be holding up pretty well for now.Threading seems to be good--only 1 to 1.5 turns to remove the cap. However, I have noticed the cap will go on slightly crooked unless I leave it 1/8 turn looser than its tightest position.I already deducted points for the sloppy cap band and clip attachment. The section shape is comfortable and well proportioned, and the threads do not bother me when gripping the pen.I deduct two points for the crookedness when the cap is closed.3. Weight & Dimensions = 10 I don't have a digital scale, but I'd say the weight/size is comparable to a Ranga Model 3 or a TWSBI Vac 700. It's a large pen with a medium weight--not as nimble as a Parker 45, but there's no filling mechanism so it's fairly light and balanced toward the nib.Dimensions:Length capped: 145 mmLength of cap: 67 mmLength uncapped: 132 mmSection at narrowest: 11 mmSection near barrel: 13 mmBody at widest: 14 mmBalance is very good. This pen could post, but I don't think it's necessary. Unposted, this could be a very good session writer.No points deducted here.4. Nib & Performance = 8 The original nib wasn't bad. It was a generic two-tone steel fine nib with very good flow. It was a little scratchy, but smoothed out with only a couple minutes of tine adjustment and circles on my buff stick. I've become a medium and broad nib convert, so I ordered a Knox B steel nib (size K35, comparable to a #6) from xfountainpens.com (no affiliation) and was able to do a very easy swap because the feed is somewhat loose-fitting in the section. I think this helps the ink flow, but it also means I didn't have to get the hair dryer to get the new nib in place. I was even able to squeeze an overfeed in there with some effort.Flow is 10/10. It's a firehose. I'm using Diamine Ancient Copper in this pen because the saturation looks so good--almost as dark as oxblood red.The Knox nib was very smooth when I received it, but I had some baby bottom issues. I had to press the nib somewhat firmly on the first stroke to get the ink flowing, and had lots of skipping due to the nib (remember, the flow was more than adequate). Baby bottom is hard to fix, but I think I've just about banished it. The Knox B is stubbish and a little springy, making this a very pleasurable session writer.I deduct two points for a scratchy nib out of the box, but I won't deduct any more because the fit of the feed and rate of flow are remarkably good.5. Filling System & Maintenance = 9 There's no better scenario than a generously flowing pen with a generously sized reservoir. This one holds about 3 mL and fills as an eyedropper.I deduct one point for the eyedropper filling because there is no ink window, and it can be a little messy.However, this pen deserves a solid nine because an ED requires almost no maintenance and delivers a lot of ink. I use an ink syringe for better control when filling, and I think I can fill it just as fast as a piston filler.6. Cost & Value = 10 I received this from a friend here on FPN, and "free" is always the best price. I think these go for around $50-70 on eBay. Edit: At about $23 on asapens.in (no affiliation) this is a steal. The equivalent Ranga is closer to $40, but I think the Gama has a nicer finish. This ebonite holds its gloss very well, and it's nice to have some accent hardware (even if they're attached somewhat askew) and a clean engraving of the manufacturer name.The machining is very good. Fit of threads is also better than the Ranga Model 3 pens I've handled, so I think that's worth the extra cost. But, the selling point for me is the flow. Gama's feed manufacture is simple, but well executed. Again, the attachment of the hardware is somewhat sloppy, but it's not a deal breaker, in my view.This is a pen that will hold up well because of negligible maintenance, provides a very good experience for long session writing (size, balance, medium weight, and ebonite material), and can be fitted with any #6 nib to suit your tastes.7. Conclusion = 52/60 Overall, I feel this is a very enjoyable pen to use and I really did not expect it to be such a wet writer. At $70, would I buy this pen? Yes--entirely because of the wet feed. Did I get lucky? I don't know. Maybe other Gama customers will weigh in on how the flow and setup was on their pens. To me, this particular pen is very worthwhile in the sub-$100 category. Edit: Available from asapens.in for $23 under other names. Very good value.I'll bring it with me to the upcoming pen show. If you'd like to test it out, just send me a message or find me in the crowd.If you're looking for a large session writer that won't fatigue your hand, and if you have even a tiny bit of ingenuity when it comes to adjusting or replacing a nib, this is worth a look. The following photos were taken with my iPhone 5c, using HDR mode. For the closeup shots, I affixed a loupe, which gives a slight fisheye effect, but provides the best level of detail. What I received from my friend: Gama two-tone, Ratnamson no. 32, and Oliver 81. A very kind gift. The original nib. Not much to look at, but it was okay. Buddy shot with the Ratnamson no. 32. Note the difference between the two ebonite samples. The Gama is swirled with a rich black, and shows more depth. Learn more about my R32 project, including some discussion of the overfeed modification, here: https://www.fountainpennetwork.com/forum/index.php/topic/261306-ratnamson-no-32-with-kaweco-sport-nibfeed/ Beautiful material. Another view of the ebonite. Where the threads meet the section. Note how the threads are smoothed toward the body. The section is not concave, that's just an effect of looking through the loupe. Note the size of the step at the end of the grip, which provides a comfortable and secure hold. My overfeed isn't pretty, but it fits very well. You can see how the DAC has oxidized around the overfeed. The nib underneath is quite pretty, with a little lion and everything, so I'm sorry you don't get to see it. Note the chamfer at the opening to the section. This makes it super easy to fit the feed in place. The ebonite feed is handmade, and somewhat crude, but well executed. Here you can see how flush the endpiece was finished. Another view of the endpiece. That tiny gap where you see the glue is impossible for me to feel with my fingernail. I didn't even see it until I looked at the pictures. The Gama name engraved on the barrel. Perhaps carved by a CNC machine? Doesn't look laser-etched. I kind of like it. The ball is formed from folded steel--very shiny. This is the side of the cap bands that is too deeply inset. The other side of the cap, where the bands are not inset deeply enough and do not match each other. Here you can see the side of the clip attachment ring that sticks out from the finial slightly. And here, the side of the clip attachment that is too far in. Other manufacturers create a seat so this isn't visible, but Gama took a shortcut on this part. It ruins an otherwise flawlessly flush finish on the rest of the pen.
  24. I have a Lady sheaffer XI Black/gold Tulle, is it possible to make it into an eyedropper? I also want to know how fragile the gold tulle overlay is, and if mine is in pretty good condition with an xf/xxf nib what is a pen (prefereably with the same Waverley xf/xxf nib or a fine nib with flex) I would be able to trade it for? I don't really care about the cosmetic condition too much, but this will be an EDC pen for jeans or soft pouch so I worry about messing the lady sheaffer up (everything else about the pen is good). Also, I have an inkograph lever-filler that needs some TLC. The j-bar is rusted, but has only surface rust. How should I remove it? The needle writing tip is also slightly bent, not to mention ink has apparently seeped into one end. Where would I even find another part?
  25. shawng

    Ahab Eye Dropper

    I've had a Noodler's ahab for the last couple months, and I've loved every part of it. Converted to an eyedropper the Ahab can hold 6mL of ink!!! and I've tried to do this a couple times, with little success. Every time I think I've successfully done it, to either one of my ahabs, it suffers from severe burping and and leaking from the feed, and often ending up with a cap filled with ink. Is there anyway to alleviate this problem? Thanks

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