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  1. Dear community, I need your advice. I almost bought the Pilot VP Raden but then I saw the Aurora Optima 2024 and now I can’t stop thinking about this most beautiful pen in the world. The only thing that stops me is information from everywhere that Auroras break easily without a serious reason. I know that I can buy Raden and most likely, if I take care of it, the pen will last me a lifetime. But what about Aurora? What is the probability that the Optima will fall apart? Which pen would you choose? This is a lot of money per pen for me and I can't buy both.
  2. Hi everyone! I'll be going to the Melbourne Pen Show in a few days time, and as it will be my first pen show, I'm reaching out to the community for some tips and advice. Can I bring my own pens? Are we allowed to negotiate prices with certain stallholders? How should I store my purchases? I'll put it out to you if you have anymore suggestions.
  3. wishthen

    Sheaffer Valor Nib Adjustment

    Hi all! I relatively new to fountain pens (compared to most here-just a few years in with about 150 vintage & new pens and a few restorations under my belt!) I have a Sheaffer Valor B pen which I bought used for something like $20. I absolutely LOVE the pen, it's probably the smoothest nib I own, and I'm a sucker for Sheaffer's inlaid nibs, but I found it to be ridiculously wet. I tried using it for a while, figuring I just needed to get used to using a broad nib. Until I held it up to the light. The tines have a huge gap in the center of the nib, but looking at the tip with a loupe it is perfectly centered and aligned. How can this be adjusted/fixed? Is it something I can do on my own (without destroying it) or should I send it out for a professional to do? I am not adverse to even having it ground to something more interesting or perhaps a finer line if I need to send it out anyway. I figure I paid so little for it perhaps it would be worth putting the savings (and probably a bit more?) into a professional repair or a grind. However, I've never had a custom grind or even sent a pen to someone for repair and have no idea who to turn to. Or if it's possible for me to do a DIY repair...how would I go about it? I haven't seen anything in my extensive searching regarding adjusting inlaid nibs or addressing my particular issue. Any advice or recommendations greatly appreciated!!
  4. So I just have a little question.. Why don’t people just change the size of their handwriting to accommodate the nib size? I hear so many people say some things like, ”I would love this pen, but it has a medium nib and it makes my handwriting look blobby.” Or, “I just dislike extra-fine nibs so much, they put down too fine a line for my handwriting.” And when I hear this I just wonder, “Well why don’t you write a little bit bigger or smaller?” I am not talking about people complaining about extra-fine nibs being too toothy or broad nibs being too smooth, but the specific things about people’s upset on how it makes their handwriting look blobby or shaky or whatever else. It just seems like people have their handwriting size set in stone, when I know my handwriting personally gets larger or smaller depending on whether I am using a broad or fine nib. Thank you all for your responses, William
  5. The pictures speak for themselves... While changing cratridges the way the manual says, the tip and feed got stuck. Too afraid to use brute force. Any help?
  6. It's been less than a year since I started using a fountain pen in my daily life and I'm always carrying a ballpoint for cheap paper situations. But I use single - use ballpoints like BIC and pilot supergrip G, which result in hand fatigue (I'm pretty susceptible to it and that's why I started using FP). Any suggestions for comfortable ballpoints? Being refillable will be a nice characterisitic.
  7. Some of you might have seen me wandering around the forum, looking for a pen as a step-up from my metropolitan and I was acting like a headless chiken cheking pens without any criteria. Finally, I have found the criteria and I'm asking you, fellow fountain pen lovers, to help me with commendations. Criteria: Price: 40-110 USD Body wheight(no cap, unposted): no more than 20 grams. Grip diameter: no more than 10mm Thank you beforhand.
  8. collectorofmanythings

    Should I get a JoWo medium or a broad nib?

    So I have a pen which currently has a fine nib, but I would prefer a broader, wetter, and smoother experience. This brand uses JoWo nibs, and the fine was too feedbacky and fine, and it was a touch on the dry side. So this brand sells extra branded nib units, which are JoWo #6 18k nibs, and I was wondering whether I should buy a medium or a broad. I would like a smoother and broader (but I do not want a super broad nib) writing experience. So is the jump in nibs sizes from medium to broad, or fine to medium? Is the medium noticeably smoother? Thank you for your help, W. Major
  9. My great-grandmother gave me this set a few years ago and am trying to find a matching fountain pen to purchase. The issue is, I don’t know the model name. If anyone could help me with this I would really appreciate it! Thank you in advance, William
  10. So I am looking into purchasing a Platinum 3776 Celluloid at some point and noticed some things that I have a few questions about, so, here they are: 1.) Why are some models so much more expensive than others? Like there is one over $1,000 and there is another for $382. Why? 2.) Are they real celluloid or cellulose acateate? 3.) Is PenSachi a “legit” retailer? It is a lot less expensive like most Japanese retailers, and I was wondering if any of you in the US have had experience with this retailer, I would appreciate if you valued tell your experiences. 4.) Do any of you have this pen? Do you like it? Thank you all in advance for your responses! I really appreciate it. W. H. Major
  11. Looking into possibly buying a Santini... was wondering if any of you have greased the piston on it or know how to. Thanks for your help! W. H. Major
  12. I just impulsively got my first vintage pen, as well as my first pen needing restoration, at an antique store a few hours ago. But, I have absolutely no clue how to restore it. When I opened it, the sac was absolutely dust and the metal pressure bar fell out in two pieces. I expected the sac to be destroyed, but not the pressure bar! So, could anyone please make a step-by-step instructions for how to restore it, as well as what I will need and where to buy it? It would be much appreciated! Thank you!
  13. Please help beginners! Things like this are things that I’m sure many beginners look at to see which pen to first buy. Thank you to all who participate!
  14. collectorofmanythings

    What’s your grail pen?

    Hello! Just very interested in what your grail pens are.. no matter if it’s $50 or $10,000, I would be very interested to hear your responses. W. H. Major (My grail pen(s) [can’t choose one!] are the Waldmann Tuscany (18k Gold nib), Pineider Avatar UR Deluxe, Conway Stewart Duro (modern), and the Pilot Custom 823)
  15. collectorofmanythings

    Recommendations for a warm medium-dark brown ink!

    Hello! Unfortunately I can’t seem to find an ink that makes me completely happy. I would like a warm medium-dark brown ink, but that doesn’t have an olive-y look and has good shading. Noodler’s Walnut has a purplish undertone, Jacques Herbin Terre D’Ombre is too olive-y and on Apica paper it is so dark. Herbin Lie de Thé is a little too light, and Diamine Chocolate Brown is just a little bit too dark. I know this is very specific, but do any of you have recommendations? I am not sure if this is the place to put this post, if not please say so. Thank you so much for your help! W. H. Major
  16. I can't decide which ink to use for my lamy safari with fine nib which is a little bit dry, what ink to use I can only get these 3 brands:Lamy black, Parker Quink Black,Pelikan 4001 Brilliant Black, which is the wettest, I used Brilliant Black but after 2-3 pages it turned grey from an intense black anu thiughts? Thanks in advance!
  17. Hello everyone, I was wondering what is a better tool for drawing, a fountain pen or a dip pen. Let me first tell you what I think: In the case of a dip pens, 1. I can use inks like sumi, india ink or even acrylic inks which cannot be used in fountain pens and thus, a greater variety of ink can be used. 2. It gives a greater line variation. 3. You have to dip your nib again and again after few strokes of line. Now this is off course inconvenient but I also think that this process teaches us to be more patient. 4. You need a greater skill to handle dip pens which I think is good for artist. 5. It's very difficult to do outdoor sketching with dip pens since you have to carry additional things like inkwell, blotting/ tissue paper. To me it is more of a studio medium. 6. Now this is what concerns me the most—the nibs are meant to be disposable. So, only thing permanent is the holder, which is nothing but a stick. Also, I think a lot more ink is wasted while using a dip pen as compared to FP. Therefore, feel its not very sustainable. As for fountain pens, 1. They are much more convenient than a dip pen and hence, doing outdoor sketching is much easier. 2. However, don't give a lot of variation in lines, which makes me question—Can someone create drawings of the same quality of 19th century illustrations with a fountain pen? 3. Most of the fountain pen inks fade with time. The only safe and 'archival ' inks I know are the carbon inks produced by sailor and platinum. Thus, the choice of ink becomes very limited if I want to conserve my work for years. What is your opinion about both kind of pen and what is your preference?
  18. collectorofmanythings

    Conway Stewart Dandy Opinions

    Hello! I’ve been looking into possibly getting a modern Conway Stewart. I personally prefer gold nibs, and like the look of their Dandy model. I was wondering if any of you have any opinions on modern Conway Stewarts and/or this model. I haven’t seen really any review for it anywhere. Thanks, W. Major
  19. Like Brian Goulet loves his Custom 74 and Kerry from Pens and Tea loves her Platinum 3776 Century and I personally love my Sailor Pro Gear Slim Mini. Do you personally like your first gold nib more than other pens that write, look, feel, etc. better? Thank you for your responses! W. H. Major
  20. Hello! I love the look of many Conklin pens, especially the Duragraph, and the steel JoWo nibs are just fine, but I would love to put a gold nib in it. I saw that both Edison and FPR make gold nibs (I especially like FPR because it is $20 cheaper) in the #6 size and was wondering if anyone thinks this is a good idea or if anyone has ever tried it. Thank you for your help! W. H. Major
  21. Hello! I was wondering if any of you know or have ever tried to put a JoWo #5 size gold nib in an Esterbrook JR Pocket pen, specifically one from fpnibs.com. Thank you for your help! W. H. Major
  22. Hello! I love the look of many Conklin pens, especially the Duragraph, and the steel JoWo nibs are just fine, but I would love to put a gold nib in it. I saw that both Edison and FPR make gold nibs (I especially like FPR because it is $20 cheaper) in the #6 size and was wondering if anyone thinks this is a good idea or if anyone has ever tried it. Thank you for your help! W. H. Major I posted this in the wrong section before. Oops! Reposting to the right place, which I think is this one.
  23. collectorofmanythings

    Opinion on Waldmann Tuscany

    I was wondering if any of you have experience with the Waldmann Tuscany (specifically the PVD Choco and Rose Gold) with the 18k gold nib. Thank you for your responses! W. H. Major
  24. Hello All: I am new to the fountain pen world, and have quickly ramped up my collection over the last year. I began with new pens, then discovered the joys (and sorrows) of vintage pen collecting. I've gotten some amazing deals and have been quite happy with my progress. I particularly love my numerous Esterbrooks with various nibs, a lovely little Arnold, Parkette, and several Sheaffer Lifetime Balance pens (all lever filled). As you can see, I don't have super high end pens, nor am I likely to, as I am on a budget. And then...I purchased some amazing pens, for great prices, but I think they will need restoring. All of these pens come from a collection that hasn't been cleaned since the 1990's. I assume they'll need work. But I am guessing the first step is to fill them with water to see if they leak? I've been afraid to touch them. They all LOOK amazing, no scratches that I can see. Someone loved them, collected them, and cared for them, before passing away in 2000 I don't know the first thing about restoration! I could use some help here. What do I need to buy, what's the best way to go about it all? Here are the pens I have purchased that likely need restoring (as well as the price I paid, which, as an aside, I'd like to know how well I may have done). All of the pens apparently "thread okay" Parker 51 ($50) Esterbrook Dollar pen with a 2048 nib ($41) Sheaffer Lifetime 51/2" black barrel with silver cap, gold trim, I think it's a piston filler system? ($79) Vintage Orienta German Matching nib ($14.50) I can include photos if it's helpful. But I wanted to get started with the conversation. Thanks to everyone in advance for the help.
  25. Hello all, I am pondering a possible acquisition of a Pilot Custom 823 and I only have one concern. I have recently become more sensitive to being able to maintain my pens over the length of time I own them. Specifically, I want to be able to address common issues that are likely to emerge for a pen over its operational lifetime. With the Custom 823 and other pens with filling mechanisms that use a seal (viz. piston-fillers), it is likely that the seal will lose its lubrication and cause the operation of the mechanism to become stiff. It happened before with my Lamy 2000 but I was able to unscrew the section and access the interior of the barrel, enabling me to apply a dab of silicon grease to restore full smoothness to the piston seal. As far as I know, pilot does not advise unscrewing the section with the barrel to reach the rod's seal without removing the whole housing from the rear of the pen. I know it is possible to do this, but I am uncertain of the risk that it entails. Based on your experience with the Custom 823 (if any), how difficult is it to lubricate the seal if it causes the mechanism's operation to become stiff? Do I risk serious damage or causing performance issues with the pen if I unscrew the section with the barrel (viz. cracking the resin) to perform this maintenance task? Thank you for reading, I look forward to your responses.

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