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  1. wnclee

    Twsbi Overload

    Hello. Hope your well. I recently purchased my first Japanese made pen: Pilot Prera, demo "M" nib. I believe I'm now hooked. All of my other pens are American, German & French made. I'm now looking into TWSBI as my next but, but my research on this brand is a bit more difficult & confusing than the Prera hunt. I just need some simple answers. It seems the 500 series ( Diamond ?) and the VAC 700 series are the most popular. Are their size differences in the 500's and what is the difference between them and the VAC 700? I have seen that the 530 & 540 are being phased-out. Not sure. Does the VAC 700 offer any other options? Also, are their nibs in line w/ other Japanese makers: on the finer side? My Prera was bought w/ M nib = a US F nib. Is this so w/ TWSBI nibs? Sorry about so many questions. If there is a link that may help me, I would be happy to follow...If I've stated any facts that are false, please correct me. Also, I've spent quite a bit lately on all things writing related, so am looking for a good starter TWSBI at a reasonable price just to kick-the-tires so to speak. But, one that is as good a writer than the Prera. The nib is akin to mercury: liquid metal. That smooth...Again, thanks for your help and my best, LeRoy
  2. Greetings everyone, this is my first review, so any feedback would be appreciated! Apologies in advance for the not-so-great photos.. It’s all I can do with an iPhone and powerpoint.. I thought this would be a wonderful forum to place this in, since there are so many TWSBI fans here, and hopefully some of you may also be very interested in high quality mechanical pencils. Probably like many of you, I’ve been fascinated by mechanical pencils since grade school. I still remember when my elementary school friend Kurt brought a Pentel Quicker-Clicker to 4th grade and I was, of course, impressed. And extremely jealous. Since then, I’ve gone through a fair number of mechanical pencils, using them primarily for high school / college / grad school problem sets (math, physics, then primarily organic chemistry), which as many of you probably know, requires a sh*t ton of writing, drawing , erasing, re-writing, re-drawing, re-erasing, coffee, falling asleep in the library, waking up disoriented and realizing you’re still in the library, and then continuing on with the problem sets. Please note, I am not an architect, engineer, or artist, so although I do have an affinity for drafting mechanical pencils, this review is more geared towards the generalist, non-professional, pencil user. Pre-First Impressions: Let’s start with why I chose the TWSBI pencil. I’d actually never heard of the brand until I started getting into fountain pens and started checking out FPN and all of Brian Goulet’s videos. Most other mechanical pencil brands I’m familiar with, but once I started looking at TWSBI for fountain pens, I was just curious about whether they are as consistent and successful with their pencils as they are with their pens, i.e., make a high quality product that is of excellent value for the price. Other than Brian’s excellent video reviews and introductions and the fairly sparse descriptions seen on the TWSBI website, I couldn’t find anything substantial about this pencil using Google. I looked at the wonderful and informative Dave’s mechanical pencil site and still couldn’t find anything. SO I thought it looks cool, TWSBI has apparently been in the business of making pencils for other companies for years (per their website), so let me check it out. Lastly, I didn’t just want to just become another Rotring 600 fanboy. I wanted something that none of the other nerds in the library have seen before. This time I was going to be Kurt from fourth grade. The pencil I purchased from Gouletpens was the TWSBI Precision Mechanical Pencil (version 2.0) – Matte Silver, 0.5mm, Fixed Pipe. TWSBI also offers this pencil in matte black, in 0.7mm lead size, and in retractable sleeve. For some reason I prefer fixed sleeve pencils (TWSBI calls them fixed pipe). TWSBI does offer one in a more pocket-friendly retractable sleeve (err, retractable pipe), but I prefer fixed. I use a pencil case, so I’m immune from pencil point jabbing. Fixed sleeve is also required for drafting I guess (to put the pencil against a ruler?) but that’s not why I like them better. I like fixed sleeve better because I find there’s usually less perceptible wobble when writing with fixed compared to retractable sleeves, so my accuracy and my handwriting tend to be improved. Now I’m not sure what Version 1.0 looked like at all, but according to Gouletpens, I ordered the version 2.0 First Impressions: http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3767/10631742563_6efda2477e_z.jpg http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7419/10631489384_0644815715_z.jpg http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5497/10631742123_80e5dfc3da_c.jpg Right out of the box, I was very impressed. As you can see, pretty standard TWSBI cardboard box (although a bit thinner profile than the TWSBI fountain pen boxes), and inset into foam inside the box is the pencil, a lead container containing 12 extra leads, and 3 extra super-long erasers. 3 leads are loaded within the pencil itself, so I received a total of 15 leads. No other paperwork. Picking up the pencil I found that although it wasn’t very big, it was substantial in weight and evenly balanced. Not point-heavy, and not rear heavy, and center of gravity is somewhere around the middle of the pencil. Some people would give extra points to TWSBI for all the extras included in the box. Some would not, because if you’re willing to spend $25 for a pencil, you are likely already a mechanical pencil connoisseur, and therefore also have purchased a high quality eraser and high quality lead. I personally would give points here if I could, because it makes for a wonderful gift box to introduce someone to high quality mechanical pencils and their cool accessories. I think this is a wonderful, affordable, and fairly unique gift for a graduating high school senior that’s interested in math/science/art/engineering, for as I know personally, they would be getting a lot of use out of this pencil in the upcoming few years. Appearance and Design: 9/10 http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2849/10631971524_ee7a9f1a49_c.jpg http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7368/10631468685_372633eb6c_c.jpg http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3803/10631501056_80fd4d6198_c.jpg http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5540/10631501256_b31210407e_c.jpg http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2889/10631741573_b13d36a687_c.jpg http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7323/10631487144_600bdc08eb_c.jpg http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2876/10631468835_37d3a67654_c.jpg http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2863/10631502216_b98ed6155d_c.jpg Just take a look at it. Matte Silver aluminum, this pencil exudes high quality precision craftsmanship, The TWSBI name is not too big or garish on the barrel, 0.5 is legible, and there are enough unique design touches on this pencil (the TWSBI laser-engraved logo on the clip, the little vestibule on the top of the cap that shows off the eraser), so that when the pencil is in a pencil case with lots of other pencils/pens it is easily found. The brushed case also guarantees that this pencil will remain scratch-free for a long time and also look great. The grip is knurled in a rectangular pattern, and tapers into a what appears to be a slightly larger hexagonal body, which is great for preventing it from rolling off angled surfaces like drafting tables. Knurled grips always look cool in my opinion. I didn’t know this before I read more on dave’s mechanical pencil site, but apparently knurled grips are traditional for drafting pencils, because they help allow one to constantly rotate the pencil while drafting in order to maintain a fixed lead point / constant width on paper. That’s not why I bought it. It just looks cool, and feels great. I take 1 point off because if anything I just wish the grip were just a tad bit larger for my big hands (I may actually prefer the Uni Kuro-Toga Roulette grip size). I take 0.5 points off because I would have loved a lead hardness indicator (HB vs B vs 2B etc), although that’s really more for the artists / pros than for me. I add 0.5 points on because the design of the ridiculously super extra long eraser, which is kind of awesome for all the fine erasing one may do (that my standard go to Staedtler Mars Plastic eraser cannot get to) Construction and Quality: 10/10 It just feels solid. Solid like a Rotring. No wobble, no wiggle. All metal construction (including all inner tubing). For $25, that’s a lot of pencil, as most pencils, even in that price range, have plastic insides these days. This pencil is built to last, and I think should last me many, many years. I love reading people gush in forums about their 25 yr lovefest with the Koh-i-noor Rapidomatic 5635 that has since been discontinued… When I'm old, I want to be like them, talking about this TWSBI. This pencil was engineered to last 25 years. Weight and Dimensions: 9/10 Weight: 26g (0.92 oz), it is by far my heaviest pencil. Length: 141mm total, the sleeve is 4mm (Gouletpens says the sleeve is 3.88mm, I bet they have fancy calipers so I’m sure they’re right) Thickness: 9mm (the hexagonal barrel), 8mm diameter for the grip. (Goulet says 8.8mm and 7.9mm, respectively). http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7378/10631468015_e35827ed12_c.jpg http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2871/10631467575_0ec3f791b3_c.jpg I attached some comparison photos from the rest of my mechanical pencil family. From top to bottom, there is 1) Uni Kuru Toga Roulette in 0.5mm 2) Pilot "The Shaker" H-305 0.5mm 3) Muji polycarbonate 0.5mm 4) Pentel P209 0.9mm 5) TWSBI Precision v2.0 0.5mm 6) Pentel Sharp Kerry - Blue P1037 0.7mm 7) Kaweco Ice Sport - Green 07mm And also note, that for comparison to Rotring 600 (I don't have one), the dimensions of the TWSBI are fairly close. Per jetpens website, the Rotring 600 length is 141mm, max diameter is 9.1mm, grip is 8.1mm, although weight is 18g, which makes it a far lighter pencil than the TWSBI. The TWSBI, despite its heavier weight, still feels like a fine writing instrument, i.e., nimble enough to make quick writing strokes without your hand getting tired. I have yet to have any lead break (many say that is an issue with heavier pens and thinner leads like 0.5s—I think those people just don’t have enough finesse with their pencil handwriting). My initial concern of all-metal construction and the weight of the TWSBI was that the pencil would become too heavy and therefore quite burdensome when writing for prolonged stretches. After two weeks of heavy writing, I haven’t noticed any such issues. What I’ve been pleasantly surprised at is that the weight allows me to significantly lighten the pressure that I’m used to applying when using pencils, and still generate a wonderful dark perfect line. I’ve also noted that relaxing my normally tight pencil grip makes the writing experience even more comfortable and pleasurable (and also leaves no knurled imprints on my fingers anymore!), as the weight and the knurled grip still prevents the pencil from slipping out of my hand. That means I’m just coaxing the lead left and right and around rather than really having to exert any effort pushing it down onto the paper. Writing with this pencil is so fluid, it becomes much more like a fountain pen experience, so I think it is actually one of the most attractive and unique features of this heavier pencil that is superbly well-balanced. Lastly one of the best things about a well-balanced pencil (rather than a point-heavy one) is that when you drop it (as I tend to do), the pencil is less likely to land on the nib sleeve and bend the sleeve. I take one point off just because I wonder if a slightly thicker grip would improve my handwriting even more for my slightly larger-than-average hands. I guess I already took one point off for that in the Design section, but since I continue to wonder about it, I will continue to subtract points for it. Nib and Performance: 10/10 http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3756/10631503746_4552ec6163_c.jpg http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7309/10631471685_1b1d8360ee_c.jpg http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7388/10631504096_843fe35b22_c.jpg http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2841/10631504306_ea24b7e2cd_c.jpg Fixed sleeve (pipe) vs retracting sleeve (pipe). Have your pick, they’re both available in this pencil. I attached some photos of a black retractable sleeve version of this same pencil. Some people love retractable sleeves as it makes these pencils pocket-friendly and therefore more convenient. Some people don’t love them because of possible increased sleeve wobble, which leads to less precise writing. Also harder/impossible to use for drafting as you'll damage the retractable sleeve against a ruler I guess. One thing to note is that the retractable sleeve length version of the TWSBI is slightly shorter than the fixed sleeve length. Per Gouletpens website, it is 2.75mm vs 3.88mm, as seen in these pics. I ordered and kept the fixed sleeve length, because I like how it keeps my hand and fingers at a certain distance from the paper and from the point of the pencil. It allows for great visibility of the lead on the paper, and for my size hands, I like it more. The most interesting note to make here is comparing this “nib” to one of my other pencils, the unique Uni Kuro Toga Roulette, which auto-rotates its lead in-between applying pressure on paper. The Kuro Toga therefore keeps a consistent lead point, and is wonderful, but there is a very slight perceptible give on the nib when applying pressure in order to make nib mechanism rotate the lead. I never even noticed this until I started writing with the TWSBI and found what a solid heavy-weighted pencil should feel like, and how wonderful writing with light pressure can be. In order to take advantage of the Uni Kuro Toga rotating nib, I have to use just a tad more downward force to generate the same thickness of line (because it’s a lighter pen) as I do the TWSBI, so in my opinion, the TWSBI is a superior writing pencil for long periods of time, as it requires far less energy and less downward force to be applied to generate a similar line darkness/thickness. If you allow the TWSBI a week of writing in order to slightly change the way you write with a pencil (less firm grip, less downward pressure), you won’t go back to any other pencil. Things I will not really comment on that hopefully someone will chime in on: 1) the included eraser. I use Staedtler Mars Plastic or Uni Boxy almost exclusively, so rarely use the back eraser on mechanical pencils, and therefore don’t want to write about it. I think it’s nice that they have a huge one, which will especially be helpful to students and crossword puzzlers 2) the included lead (graphite). I replaced the included lead with Uni NanoDia 0.5 HB— my all-time favorite lead for hardness, smoothness, and that gives me a more accurate baseline lead to compare it to my other pencils. Filling System: 10/10 The mechanism is a standard push top ratchet advance. When I push, I hear a very positive fairly loud “click”, which I like. Very consistent. When depressing the top, consistent pressure is required and the top will depress about 3mm before a click and lead advances. There is no “free” travel before getting to the actuation point for the lead to advance (which I find slightly annoying, and is often seen on other mechanical pencils). Ten clicks will give you around 6 mm of lead. No plastic components that I can see. Gouletpens shows a nice inside view of the pencil. I haven’t figured out how to take this thing apart, as I’m afraid to twist too hard, and I don’t want to use pliers—yes, the inside tubing is screwed on that tightly to the outside case. Cost and Value: 8/10 OK so here is the interesting question and probably the biggest debate—I purchased this for $25 (plus shipping) from Gouletpens. It’s $25 with free shipping on Amazon (when filled directly by TWSBI). But I like Gouletpens and ordered from them because they’re so informative and have great customer service, and I wanted a few other things from them, so I find their shipping cost negligible. On Amazon right now, you can get a Rotring 600 for $24.99 (with free shipping if you’re prime). On Amazon, you can also get a Uni Kuru Toga Roulette for $12.49 - $12.87 (with free shipping if you’re prime). A Rotring 800, however, costs $54.77, which is essentially a 600 with a retractable sleeve (and slightly larger). I think the TWSBI with retractable sleeve, which also sells for exactly the same price as fixed sleeve of $25, is a great deal when compared to other high quality retractable sleeve pencils, aka Rotring 800, which is more than twice the price. I think the TWSBI with fixed sleeve isn’t as well-priced, and should be priced lower. At $20, they would definitely clean up the market and hit that sweet spot of awesome value for quality that the TWSBI fountain pens are known for. At $25, it’s hard to not turn down the Rotring 600 as your first stop to high end mechanical pencils, then try the Uni Kuru Toga Roulette for $13, and then, finally, try out the TWSBI and never return to the others. Then again, these prices are modest compared to FP prices, so I don’t really know why I’m subtracting two points on this section. I will, because I’m comparing the TWSBI fixed sleeve to other fixed sleeve mechanical pencils. Conclusion 56/60 = 9.3/10 This is an oustanding mechanical pencil, and should make the top 5 for general mechanical pencils (and probably top 5 for technical/drafting mechanical pencils as well). Go out and get one. $25 is not a lot for a fountain pen, but it is a lot for a mechanical pencil. But you get a lot for your money. And for fountain pen enthusiasts who need a pencil every once in a while, you will really enjoy the writing experience this pencil will offer. But be forewarned, after a week with the TWSBI, you may not enjoy writing with any other mechanical pencil again. Pros: Perfectly balanced for long-writing: notes / drawing / drafting. Gorgeous top-notch construction- will last 25 years. Heavy weight allows you to become more efficient with your hand-writing. Unique—no one else on the block will have one. Cons: 1. Really hard pressed to comment on any substantive cons—maybe the grip could be a bit thicker, but I’m wary to really push for that, as a thicker grip may interrupt the precision feeling with the current weight. Maybe thicken the grip and simultaneously drop the weight a bit would be my suggestion for version 3.0? But I don’t know and would have to test it to see if I’d prefer it to the current.
  3. heldercgrande

    Twsbi 580 Problems - I Need Some Opinions

    Hello guys,I came here to share some experience and problems with my TWSBI 580. I would like to hear some opinions about it.I received my TWSBI two weeks ago. I bought two nibs, a fine (F) and a medium (M). I found problems with both nibs, it is very dissapointed.The F nib writes more like an EF, and it is very scratch, unusable for me. It is much worse than my EF lamy nib.The M nib is kind smooth, but it skips sometimes. It depends on the ink I use, with Noodlers Bad Blue Heron it skips a lot, with Noodlers Black not so much.I bought the pen at thewritingdesk.co.uk. They told me I could change the F nib. I asked to change only for the F because I think I can fix the M skipping issue by opening the "tines" of the nib. But I didnt try yet. The other complication is sending the nib to England (I live in Brasil), and wait to receive it back. I think it will take two months, and there is the possibility to receive another scratch nib.I also ordered a polishing kit from US (Ebay). It will take more two or three weeks to arrive. So, I think my options are:1) Send the nib to change at thewritingdesk.co.uk. (Should I change only the F, or also the M nib)2) Wait for the polishing kit, and try to fix it by myself.3) Demand TWSBI itself to fix this problems.What would you guys do? Another question, if I try to open the M nib to make it wetter, will I lose the warranty for this nib?Does someone else have F TWSBI nib that writes like an EF? I want to know if this is commom. Thanks in advance for the help.
  4. I apologise for posting a new thread on this subject which I know several already exist. I am new to the forum and was unable to search for the other threads once I signed on. Are any of the gold Nakaya or Omas nibs listed on nibs.com compatible for the Diamonds (540 and 580) or the VAC700? Please move this to an older thread if possible - sorry about that.
  5. I do hope "Frequently Discussed Topics" is the right forum for this post. I am rather new to fountain pens. I'm wondering is TWSBI 580 EF suppposed to be scratchier than Pilot 78G F out of the box? Seems weird because Pilot's nib seems finer than TWSBI's. I have not tried to use brown paper bag or other smoothing methods on either pen. Received 20x loupe a few days ago and the tines on both pens seem to be aligned nicely. If anyone has both pens i would very much like to hear your opinion.
  6. So the TWSBI notebooks been out for a while now, and I was waiting for others to chime in before picking one or two up for myself. I like their general style very similar to some other great notebook brands. I also like the products they produce, and I think that logo on a notebook is pretty cool. How has the paper done with fp and fp inks? Seeing how they are a FP manufacturer I'm sure it does well with fp ink, but how well compared to say Rhodia, or Clairefontaine?
  7. Gump

    Vac 700 Cleaning Issue

    Hello all, Shortly after receiving my amber Vac 700 I noticed that ink had worked its way into the section as shown in the attached. I've removed the nib and unscrewed the section from the barrel, but none of the videos or threads I've found show how to progress from this point. Advice? This has not been an issue in my clear demonstrator, so perhaps it is just a faulty section?
  8. Kevinbehringer

    Does This Look Right For A Twsbi 580?

    I'm fairly new to fountain pens and very new to the TWSBI 580. Having just got it, I'm not sure if what I'm seeing is the way it or any fountain pen should write. If it's not, I'm not sure if it's the pen or the ink that's causing (what seems to me) to be inconsistency. It seems that some part of a letter will be full and dark, while other parts will be very thin and nearly nonexistent. It seems that vertical lines generally are darker than horizontal. I'm using the 580 EF with Noodler's 54th Massachusetts. I've attached a picture, albeit a lower quality one. I'm just wondering if this is how it writes and I need to get used to it or if I should have the nib looked at. Thanks! Kevin
  9. So I am getting a new pen at the end of the coming semester and was wondering if anyone could help point my indecision in the right direction. I'm torn completely between the rose gold Diamond 580 and the clear Vac 700. I'll be using it primarily in a school environment and think that the #6 nib of the 700 would make replacement not such a big deal in the case of damage, and it's higher ink capacity would be useful for copious amounts of note taking. However, the rose gold 580 is very very attractive, but lacks that fantastic sloshing ink trait of the 700. It has a smaller #5 nib and smaller ink capacity, but is by no means lacking in functionality. I'm only a tad bit worried about the gold plating being damaged or it seeming too gaudy. All in all it is more aesthetically pleasing than the 700, and it strikes me as a romantic design embodying modern functional appeal to classical elegance. It makes more of a "fashion statement" per se. Does anyone have both a 580 and 700? Any thoughts on which I should get or which would be best for my purposes?
  10. Black and Gold is a classic look for pens, and has been for a very long time. We see pens every day here at Cult Pens (quite a few of them!), and it's a look that doesn't usually excite us much any more. So we were rather surprised when we finally got to see TWSBI's new Diamond 580 Rose Gold up close - it looks somehow different. http://www.cultpens.com/acatalog/TWSBI-Diamond-580-fp-rose-gold.jpg It's still, essentially, a black and gold pen. But the gold is copper-tinted rose gold - it's a subtle change, but it makes a big difference. It's also both black and transparent - the main barrel is clear, like a demonstrator; but the cap, section and blind cap are all black. TWSBI have done this combination before with the 'classic' version of the Diamond Mini, and it's a popular choice - the ink and piston are visible, but the more messy parts of the mechanism stay out of sight. The reason we're telling you all this, of course, is because we now have them in stock, ready to ship worldwide, so if all that sounds good, you can find them here.
  11. I have two new pens arriving next week - a Teal Pilot 78G and a much lusted-after TWSBI Diamond 580. I have some Diamine Oxblood that I used to use for marking school books before I switched to Kelly Green, and some Onyx Black as well. So, where does the Oxblood go, and where does the black? My initial reaction is the Oxblood in the 78G and the black in the TWSBI. I think the deep, dark red of the Oxblood would play out nicer in a stub, and the black would make for a better everyday scribbler. What do you all think?
  12. LuisAAbrilRomero

    Any Cracks With The Twsbi 580

    Hi there, I would like to as the community whether the TWSBI 580 shows the same tendency to crack as its predecessors and the Mini. Thanks for the info! Regards, Luis
  13. Hi all, Carried out my first pen modification toady, it went quite well. I didn't break anything anyway! So I got a Vac 700 with a 1.1mm snub nib a few days ago, got to say seriously smooth nib there. I had been happily enjoying the effect it had on line variation whilst using Private Reserve's Copper Burst when what should happen? My Noodlers Konrad Flex nib arrived, along with some Private Reserve Sepia. Inked it up and Oh My, what a combo It wasn't perfect, very scratchy and the pen body was awful coming from the Vac 700. But I couldn't put it down, It was throwing out such fine control over then line variation that when I compared it to my 1.1mm snub's efforts they just looked boring and childish!! But I couldn't keep my eyes off the TWSBI, and the Konrad looks like a 50p pen. What to do, what to do?....Brain wave, stick the Noodlers nib on the TWSBI........ TADA!! http://www.flickr.com/photos/39505524@N02/9452789866/ http://www.flickr.com/photos/39505524@N02/9449939479/ Here is what I had to do to get it to work: 1. The nibs are both #6, but have a slightly different curvature, the Noodlers has a shallower curve. So find a 6mm piece of metal rod that matches the TWSBI nib perfectly. Put the Noodlers nib over the rod to see how much re-shaping you have to do. 2. Start GENTLY squeezing the bottom for the nib together in a pulsing motion (i used pliers), literally 1 or 2 squeezes at a time. Put it back on the rod and see how it compares. 3. Dont try to get it anywhere near perfect, just get it a little deeper. Test fit it to the TWSBI, Its a tight fit. 4. You may find that the Noodlers nib wont go as far in as the original, if this occurs gently squeeze the nib together about 3-4mm from the bottom. Pulsing motion again, 1 or 2 times. 5. Time to modify the feed. All i did for this was run a used stanley blade down the TWSBI channel a few times I didnt want to make the feed as big as the noodlers one because I didn't want to wreck it for use with the 1.1mm stub. However the pen does dry out if I try to use max flex at any speed above dead slow, so I may have to re-visit this. 6. Putting it back together. The feed will only go in one way, dont force it, on its own it will just slip in. Note the orientation of the pen and feed when you have got it to slip all the way in. Get the noodlers nib and line it up so that there are 6 fins left visible on the back of the feed (ensuring that the feed channel and the tines line up 100%) try to push both the nib and feed in simultaneously, you will encounter problems if the feed slides ahead of the nib. 7. Check cap fit. First couple of attempts i made, the pen wrote fine, but the lid would not go on, nib wasn't far enough in. So be careful when you first attempt to fit the cap, even now my nib is less than a hair width from the cap when its on. Bad points: Only thing i can think of is that I like the engraving on the TWSBI nibs I actually do kinda miss it. If fact the TWSBI nib looks better generally than the Noodlers. Oh yeah and I still have to widen the channel a bit, which my rule out putting the snub nib back on. Here is a writing sample (not great) using the TWSBI Vac700 Flex nib! http://www.flickr.com/photos/39505524@N02/9452707954/ http://www.flickr.com/photos/39505524@N02/9452690942/ Well thats it really! Its on here now if anyone wants a cheap flex nib on a Vac 700! Cheers James
  14. Hi all! This is my small collection of pens so far: - Marble-like semi flex pocket fountain pen (Unknown manufacture with modified FPR flexible nib) - Namiki Falcon (resin) with Spencerian cut - Reform 1745 with nib reworked to add flex (actually it opens up to 1.5mm) - Lamy Logo with 1.1 strub and EF nibs - TWSBI Vac 700 with reworked cursive italic nib from EF and reworked oblique italic from B - Youngseng 016 The pictures were taken with a D90 and 18-105 lenses and YN465 flash light. Cheers
  15. My friend John is a photographer and asked me if he could borrow a few fountain pens to shoot for his portfolio. I think he did a great job. http://static.squarespace.com/static/51c300c1e4b034c963afc8b8/t/51c48c43e4b0c5a944a39daa/1371835461423/20%20-%20Pennor0564.jpg Pilot Capless, TWSBI Diamond 540, Iroshizuku Tsuki-yo ink, Pilot Custom, Pilot MYU BS-500. http://static.squarespace.com/static/51c300c1e4b034c963afc8b8/t/51c48c2ce4b09ee48eb671cd/1371835437733/20%20-%20Pennor0531.jpg Montblanc Meisterstück 149, Waterman Carène, custom Nakaya, Iroshizuku Chiku-rin and Tsutsuji ink. Photos taken from my blog post. (Translated with Google.)
  16. write to me often

    Using A Twsbi 540 Nib To Another Pen

    Hi, I used to have a TWSBI Diamond 540. However, a friend of mine lost my pen so now I have a spare 1.1 italic nib unit of Diamond 540 (the old nib unit, I guess it was Bock, right?) Since I really like the nib of TWSBI, I want using it in another pen if possible. Do you think it fits for another fountain pen? Thank you in advance!
  17. Recently I won a very generous PIF and was the lucky recipient of a TWSBI Vac 700. Everything about it was wonderful, and I had it in continuous rotation since I received it. Until a little over a week ago when I flushed it, left it sitting in a cup with a cloth to suck out the excess water, and then I stored it. I took it out today and Yikes! It smells like something is growing in there. I flushed it again (with some dish soap) and tried to dry it out better, but for the life of me I can't get all of the water out of the barrel. I noticed that when changing inks there was always a good amount of water droplets left in the barrel after flushing, but the ink capacity is so large it was never enough to effect the ink so I didn't think much about it until now. Is there some trick to flushing Vac fillers I'm missing out on?
  18. tonybelding

    The Ultimax Pen

    I’ve been collecting pens for years, and I’ve gone through a bunch of ‘em, vintage and modern, cheap and expensive, common and obscure. Some have been bad, many have been excellent, and I’ve had fun and learned a lot. However, I always had this impulse somewhere in the back of my mind, this idea that I was someday going to find The Ultimax Pen — my perfect fountain pen (and ink) that I would always want to keep inked and nearby. There were a long string of pens that came close, that might have been The One, but there was always something not quite 100%, some compromise, and some other pen promising some other feature or trait to lure me away. (Furthermore, I put at least as much time and effort into trying out inks.) Well, I think I’ve finally solved it. The winner is a clear TWSBI Vac 700 with a fine nib, the matching Vac 20 ink bottle, and Noodler’s Texas Blue Bonnet ink. If you read my review of the Vac 700, you know it impressed the heck out of me, and the Vac 20 bottle only made it better. The biggest lingering qualm I’ve had was the way the ink sometimes stopped flowing; then I had to jiggle the filler knob to get it working again. I finally removed the point seal from the plunger. That means I can keep the filler knob screwed down all the time, and it will write freely. This may not have totally solved the flow problem, but it has reduced it so much that I don’t find it a bother anymore. The other half of the equation is ink. I like blue, and I’ve searched long and hard for the perfect blue ink. Texas Blue Bonnet has been one of my favorites for a long time: it’s waterproof security ink, shades fantastically, and is an attractive-yet-dignified dark(ish) blue color. My long-standing gripe has been that it’s one of the higher-maintenance inks and sometimes leaves deposits of blue gunk on nibs and feeds where evaporation occurs. The stuff can be cleaned off, but it’s worrisome. Thanks to all the rubber O-ring seals, the TWSBI Vac 700 seals up very tightly when capped, and it can sit idle for very long times without drying out. Furthermore, I can easily disassemble it down to the bare nib and feed and drop the parts in a sonic cleaner, if I ever need to. If there was ever a pen made to handle a high-maintenance ink with aplomb, this is it. The Vac 700 isn’t the most beautiful pen design, but it has grown on me. It’s solid, it’s well finished, and I really like the demonstrator aspect of it. It has a high-tech-gadget style that I like. So that’s it! I don’t know where I go from here. I doubt that I’ve bought my last fountain pen, or tried my last ink. I do think it’s gonna be different from here on, though, because I’m not going to be looking for The Ultimax Pen anymore. I’ve got that.
  19. I love TWSBIs. I have 2 540s, a Mini, and a 580. I have lived through cracks and skips and the mystery of how to re-assemble one. Philip Wang and Speedy have been STERLING in their customer care. The big reason I keep coming back is the way the nibs feel when I write. Yes, there are other reasons to love the TWSBIs but the nib is the nub of the matter! TWSBI has consistently chosen wonderful nibs be they Bock or JaWo or Brand X...their taste is the same as my taste for things like: smoothness, road feel, broadness, and flexibility. I did recently buy a 580 broad TWSBI. It skipped and I was sent a new nib. The new nib still skipped and Philip let me send it back and had adjusted it and now it is a perfect writer. I would like to get another 580 in a stub BUT I am hoping that the skip problem is fixed and I can't make up my mind as to whether to get the 1.1 or the 1.5. Can you answer the first question (are the 580s perfected yet?) and then the second question (1.1 or 1.5)? I am afraid that the broader nibs were the ones which were most prone to skipping, but I could be wrong about that, if I am please say so.
  20. For those that are interested, the TWSBI facebook page has a post about a new bundle promotion- a Vac700 & Vac20 ink bottle for $85. TWSBI Vac700 &Vac20 ink bottle promotion
  21. K. Cakes

    O Rings For Twsbi?

    I was browsing FPGeeks and saw the rendering of the Vac Mini TWSBI is currently developing. I love the look of the red O-rings and am wondering if it would be possible to replace the O-rings on existing TWSBI pens with colored ones. I googled around a bit and it seems they come in all sorts of colors, but also many different sizes. Does anyone know what size is appropriate for their pens? And has anyone tried to replace the O-rings? If so how did you fare?

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