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  1. I’m seeking vac fillers which have 1.5mm stub or italic nibs (do they exist?) and/or 1.5mm stub or italic nibs which fit TWSBI GO and/or SWIPE vac fillers. Do these exist? (They need not be from TWSBI — I enjoy Frankenpenning.) Also, what chance is there of anyone being able to persuades TWSBI to resume making their 1.5 mm stub nib? Oh — by the way — what does TWSBI stand for, anyway? I assume that it abbreviates something, and that it may be abbreviating something in Chinese. I don’t know much Chinese, but I do know that a word which sounds like “bee” Is the Chinese word for a pen or pencil, So I wouldn’t be surprised to find that the company name is short for something Chinese.
  2. From the album: OldTravelingShoe's Random Pics of Fountain Pens

    © (c) 2022 by OldTravelingShoe. All rights reserved.

  3. OldTravelingShoe

    20220726 Great Tit - Harz Mountains.jpg

    From the album: OldTravelingShoe's Random Pics of Fountain Pens

    © (c) 2022 by OldTravelingShoe. All rights reserved.

  4. OldTravelingShoe

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    From the album: OldTravelingShoe's Random Pics of Fountain Pens

    © (c) 2022 by OldTravelingShoe. All rights reserved.

  5. OldTravelingShoe

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    From the album: OldTravelingShoe's Random Pics of Fountain Pens

    © (c) 2022 by OldTravelingShoe. All rights reserved.

  6. OldTravelingShoe

    20220703_093650.jpg

    From the album: OldTravelingShoe's Random Pics of Fountain Pens

    © (c) 2022 by OldTravelingShoe. All rights reserved.

  7. OldTravelingShoe

    20220703_093730.jpg

    From the album: OldTravelingShoe's Random Pics of Fountain Pens

    © (c) 2022 by OldTravelingShoe. All rights reserved.

  8. OldTravelingShoe

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    From the album: OldTravelingShoe's Random Pics of Fountain Pens

    © (c) 2022 by OldTravelingShoe. All rights reserved.

  9. OldTravelingShoe

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    From the album: OldTravelingShoe's Random Pics of Fountain Pens

    © (c) 2022 OldTravelingShoe. All rights reserved.

  10. OldTravelingShoe

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    From the album: OldTravelingShoe's Random Pics of Fountain Pens

    © (c) 2022 OldTravelingShoe. All rights reserved.

  11. OldTravelingShoe

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    From the album: OldTravelingShoe's Random Pics of Fountain Pens

    © (c) 2022 OldTravelingShoe. All rights reserved.

  12. Pen Pit Stop : TWSBI VAC Mini Welcome to the Pen Pit Stop. Here you will find reviews of pens that already have some mileage on them. More specifically, these reviews are of pens that are in my personal collection, and that have been in use for at least a year. I thought it would be fun to do it this way – no new & shiny pens here, but battered vehicles that have been put to work for at least a year. Let’s find out how they have withstood the ravages of time. The fountain pen that arrives at the pit stop today is the “TWSBI VAC Mini” demonstrator (clear version). This is the only vacuum filler pen in my collection, and for that reason alone precious to me. Fortunately, it’s also a really good writer with an excellent nib that wrote smoothly right out of the box. I bought this pen in April 2016, and it has been in use for almost 6 years now. This pen is in my regular rotation, typically filled with a colourful ink that brings life to the transparent barrel. Let’s have a closer look at it. Pen Look & Feel My TWSBI VAC Mini is the clear version demonstrator. I love the minimalistic looks of the pen – it’s just transparent plastic with silver accents. I find it quite an elegant and aesthetically beautiful pen – in contrast with the more garish-looking coloured demonstrators that TWSIB has heaps of (not a fan of those 😉 This is a fairly minimalistic pen without much in the way of ornamentation. Some subtle branding is present, with the TWSBI logo on the finial, and a faint engraving on the cap spelling “TWSBI” and “VAC mini Taiwan”. The pen has a screw-on cap that unscrews with 1.5 rotations. It can be posted by screwing the cap on the threads at the end of the barrel. One thing I noticed: when posting the cap, it sometimes misaligns on the threads, resulting in a crooked post (to show this, take a look at the picture with the posted pen in the Safari comparison below). Just something to be aware of. I typically use the pen unposted, so it’s not an issue for me. The silver-coloured M-nib on my pen writes really smooth, and is a true pleasure to use. The VAC Mini is a vacuum filler – which is a really cool way to fill up a pen with ink. You unscrew the end cap, and pull out the piston rod. Next, put the nib in the ink bottle and push down the plunger – this creates a vacuum in the top part of the barrel. Near the nib unit, the ink reservoir flares out (indicated by the arrow). When the piston passes this point, there is a direct connection between the top and bottom parts. Now air pressure pushes the ink inside the barrel, equalizing pressure on both sides. Really neat! With the end cap screwed down, the plunger seals off the nib unit. In this position, no ink can flow to the nib. To use the pen, you need to unscrew the end cap a bit, allowing ink to flow from barrel to nib unit. You have to be aware of this – it happens more often than not that you’re writing with the pen, only to have it stop after a few lines. Darn… forgot to unscrew that end cap! The pictures above illustrate the size of the VAC mini in comparison with a standard Lamy Safari. The VAC mini is certainly not a large pen, but it’s not too small and can easily be used unposted. Pen Characteristics Build Quality : the pen is well build, and still looks great after almost 6 years of use. The plastic used for the transparent parts is still shiny and unscratched. Mind you – I treat my pens with respect, and always use a pen pouch when carrying them around. But still, the pen has aged gracefully. Weight & Dimensions : the pen is on the small side, comparable with a Pelikan M200/M400. It feels a bit heavier though, probably due to the metal used for the piston rod. For me, the pen is comfortable to use unposted (where it is a little bit smaller than a Pelikan M200/M400). But if you have larger hands, it’s probably best to use it posted. When posted, it’s exactly the same size as a posted Pelikan M200/M400. Filling System : this is a vacuum-filler pen, that can only be used with bottled ink. A rather unique filling system – I’m glad to have a pen of this type in my collection. Nib & Performance : the silver-coloured steel nib is well-proportioned for the size of this pen. The M-nib on my unit writes like a dream, and produces a wet and well-saturated line. I also appreciate the fact that replacement nib units are readily available. Price : I paid 69 EUR for the new pen (including taxes). Given the build quality of the pen, and the cool vacuum-filler mechanism, I’d say this is very good value for money. Conclusion The TWSBI VAC mini Demonstrator is a really nice-looking minimalistic pen, that beautifully showcases the inks you fill it with. I love the smooth nib on my unit that worked perfectly out-of-the-box. For me, size and weight are just perfect - a very comfortable pen for longer writing sessions. The crucial question is: would I buy this pen again? To this, my answer is a resounding YES. This pen totally fits my taste, and is also a very smooth writer. And that vacuum-filler mechanism is just so cool !
  13. Here are 10 blue-black(ish) inks and two “true” blue inks as a comparison. Just for the fun of it. I scanned the sheet and with that most of the inks don’t show their sheen (or it’s not that obvious in the scan) so here are some photos of the inks to showoff some sheen: And for those of you who care about water resistance of inks, here are the inks after 15 seconds water bath:
  14. Asteris

    Buying my first TWSBI pen

    A little backstory so you could understand: My first pen is a Pilot mr and now I'm currently looking for a step up. I have been looking for Pelikan and sailor pens, but also TWSBI (for it's relatively low price). The pen I'll get will be my workhorse pen and for Twsbi I'm between the 580 and the vac700r. I want to hear the experience of people who have used these pens for prolonged writing, if they recommend TWSBI and if yes, which one of them. Note: I know the difference between european and japanese nibs
  15. Forgive me if this has already been done, but I thought it would be nice to have a list of inks that clean easily from TWSBI pens. I know that not everyone is bothered by staining, but for those of us who want to keep our pens unstained it would be nice to hear which inks others have used with success. I'll start by listing inks that I've used that rinsed out with no trouble. J. Herbin Poussière de Lune Pilot Iroshizuku Tsuyu-kusa Diamine Asa Blue Diamine Eau de Nil Diamine Macassar Diamine Red Dragon Montblanc Corn Poppy Red Pelikan 4001 Turquoise Pilot Iroshizuku Yu-yake De Atramentis Jane Austen Diamine Amazing Amethyst
  16. I already had some staining on one from Noodler's black, and had some shimmer left over in another one from Colorverse's Gluon, both inside the barrel where the small grooves are. What are the inks I should definitely stay away from if I don't want to permanently stain the barrel? Are there specific colors that stain more than others? What are the easy to wash out inks?
  17. Can anyone explain to me why they like the designs so I can appreciate it more? I don’t mean to be rude or criticize people for what they like, I am just curious why you like the look of these pens. Just please reply! I really want to know what the appeal is. Thank you for your help! W. Major
  18. mariom

    My franken-TWSBI

    I've wanted to try a gold nib in my Rose Gold 580 for a while. Not because there was anything wrong with the stock nib, but, well, just because. Each time I ended up with a nib from an unrecoverable vintage pen, I'd give it a try. Every one was the wrong size - too long, short, broad or narrow. When I ended up with this Skyline nib, it looked about right when compared side by side, so I pulled the nib and feed and it just slid in. I had to do a bit of heat setting to get the feed in contact with it, but it now writes very well. The feed doesn't supply enough ink to allow it to flex to its full extent without railroading, but it's smooth and very pleasant to write with. Mario
  19. TWSBI FRANKENPEN Flex Hi all I've been in search of a twsbi with a flex nib and with some work I was able to tinker with a TWSBI Eco and an FPR Ultraflex to create a flexy TWSBI Eco and I wanted to share what I did and how it turned out. I have heard of Fountain pen revolution and recently I have had the pleasure of purchasing a few of their pens. Great pens and seamless experience. One of the pens that I purchased from FPR was the Indus pen. Comparing the feeds of the TWSBI Eco and the Indus, the feeds looked to be the same size. 1. The first thing I tried was straight swapping the nib/feed from the Indus pen into the TWSBI Eco. This wasn't successful because the feed while of a similar size was not exactly the same and didn't seat well into the Eco. 2. My next attempt was to take the feed from the Eco and put the FPR nib on it. At first glance there was a gap between the nib and the feed. When searching through fpn history I found that there were two possible solutions. Either to bend the nib to meet the feed or to somehow bend the feed to meet the nib. The recommendation was to whenever possible bend the feed. Bending the nib may result in tines too close together. 3. The solution is not recommended and not for the faint of heart but did work YMMV. Its common knowledge that you can heat set an ebonite feed, however the TWSBI feed is plastic. Per suggestions I boiled a cup of water and held part of the feed under water for 10 seconds. Then I slowly and little by little pressed the feed against a solid counter to force the feed to bend upwards (repeat as necessary, better safe than sorry). 4. At this point I put the FPR Nib + TWSBI feed and section together and ended up with a pen that wrote. Another problem arose while I fiddled with the nib. It was super loose ( no effort to remove the nib ). Back to FPN I went for suggestions. I found a few solutions, either to use shellac to create a wedging effect or to bend the nib at the base (furthest part of the nib away from the writing tip) by flattening it a bit. Also risky and not recommended for the faint of heart. Little by little I got the feed nib and section to play well together. I've attached some shots of the writing (first image I was running low on ink which caused the railroading)
  20. So today I got to my dusty now pen holder and took out 3 Twsbi ECOs which were sitting there unused for around 2 years half-inked. They did not dry! To my surprise they even wrote from first nib touch to the paper, amazing! The inks were quite decent quality as well, Iroshizuku Kon Peki, Sailor Yama-Dori and Souten, so that may have been a factor too, colours however did come out much darker than normally attributing for some H2O loss.
  21. My preordered TWBI ECO in yellow arrived in the mail today. YAY!!! I was thrilled to see that it wasn't a dull orange-yellow or an eye-stabbing neon yellow, nor yet a depressing school bus yellow (which never fails to look dingy to my eye). Nope! What I have is a sunny cheerful yellow. See it below! Now I just have to ink this pretty pen up ... but though I would like to use a yellow to yellow-orange ink (but nothing mustard-like) I don't know which ink I should use. Would anyone like to offer up any suggestions as to which ink I can pair up with my new pen? Please and thank you!
  22. drwell

    Hi From Sydney Australia

    Hi All I just wanted to let you know that I lurked for a while and read your advice on buying my first fountain pen. Many people recommended the TWSBI Vac700R as a good starter that is quite reliable. A few people emphasized to consider what size pen to get. They saved me from making a bad choice with the Lamy (my original preference) which has too small a diameter for my hand. I bought the TWSBI from Pulp Addiction in fire affected Victoria. I chose the fine nib. After writing for a while I changed my mind and went from a fine nib to a medium.I wanted to let everyone know how pleased I am with it and say thanks. Also, I wanted to thank the people who have done the detailed ink reviews and detailed ink swatches and spectrometer analyses. You have been a big help in making some choices of red/brown colored inks which for some reason I find stimulates me to write. Warm regards gary
  23. Disclaimer: English is not my first language and this is my first review. The history on how I got the pen: A bit more than a year ago I started really getting invested in this hobby and the wonderful world of fountain pens, even though I have used them for my whole life preferring the feel of a nib rather than a rollerball. I wanted to buy my first own fountain pen (still using the OHTO Tasche that my father gave my for my 12th birthday, it was very beat up, but still working fine) that would be my new workhorse for school. A fountain pen that could take a beating (still in school), did not work on cartridges, was easy to clean, is pretty, reliable, has a nice fun factor and is somewhat unique (not the cigar shaped black and gold ones you see everywhere). The last one meant for me that the nib would not be a nail, but have some give that I could play with. After weeks on end looking up on fountain pens and falling deeper and deeper in this rabbit hole I settled on the one fountain pen that I just couldn't take my eyes off: the TWSBI precision fountain pen with a 40ml bottle of Diamine velvet blue, bought at Cultpens. The nib: 9/10 The nib is a steel JoWo #5 nib. I got it with an EF nib since my writing is pretty small and I often times have to utilize crappy paper. The nib is stamped with the TWSBI logo. It is a decently wet writer and quite smooth, which is nice since it is an EF. It has a tiny bit of feedback, which I like. All in all, a very nice nib, which is expected of a JoWo Build quality: 8.5/10 This pen is almost entirely made out of aluminum. The barrel and cap are made out of a solid milled out rod of aluminum and have a brushed finish. The section has the same finish which is nice since it makes it not slippery even with sweaty fingers after a long writing session. The piston operates very smoothly and has not shown any signs of issues within a year of use. The clip is strong but not too stiff, it works just fine and will hold the pen in place. The facets line up when capping the pen, although I have found some examples of where this hasn't been the case. (hence the point reduction) The pen has an inkwindow which is an acrylic clear section of about 4mm in length. This inkwindow is very usable since you can see the ink clearly sloshing around but there are some (barely visible) seems. Writing experience: 9/10 The pen is not a light one but I like that. You do not need to post the pen but it can be done. However, the balance shifts to the rear of the pen when you do that since the cap isn't light either and sits quite high on the back of the pen. When not capped the balance is just right and the metal is nice and cool to the touch for the first few minutes. The section is on the thin side which could be an issue for people with big hands combined with thick fingers. It is not an issue for me, in fact, I find the section to be very comfortable. The pen is a piston filler so it has great ink capacity, being able to write pages and pages on end. This nib offers a bit of line variation and I find that really nice to have. It gives a little extra to your writing. All in all, a nice experience even with boring tasks. Summary: I really like this pen and do not know why so little people care about it. It writes really well and gives me joy every time I use it. If you have any experience with JoWo nibs the nib will not surprise you but the pen might. The modern and industrial design makes it an eye catcher and having the ability to completely disassemble the pen (and I mean completely) is a feature I wish more pens would have. If you have $80 dollars to spare on a very nice pen that competes with pens of a much higher price, consider this pen. Thank you for reading and if you have any tips or suggestions, I would be glad to hear them for future reviews.
  24. Hi everyone! Has anyone seen the news about the new model of TWSBI Eco-T in Mint slated for release next week on 16 Dec 2019? So far, I've seen it here, here , and here. (Edited to add: And here.) I have about 7 TWSBI Ecos and a single TWSBI Diamond 580, but I haven't yet purchased an Eco-T. Is the performance the same as an Eco or 580? Or is it different enough to warrant getting one? I confess, the lovely translucent mint color is making it hard to resist buying it. It looks like the palest of chrysocolla, the gem-grade variety ... which, had the pen parts been made of the actual gem material, would price this pen right out of a lot of people's budgets (but would have been hellaciously awesome!) Anybody have an opinion about the Eco T they feel like sharing with a newbie?
  25. sockmonkey

    Vac Mini: Where Does This O-Ring Go?

    Hi, I took my Vac Mini apart for a thorough cleaning today and found an o-ring when emptying the tank of my cleaner. I have no idea where it goes, but I bet someone here does. Any idea based on the attached photo? Thanks!





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