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  1. We often hear that there is no modern equivalent to the vintage "wet noodle" flex nibs of 80-90 years ago. In recent years, some pen makers are making a concerted effort to create flex nibs that do achieve the line width variation, snapback, and lack-of-railroading of those fabled vintage flex nibs. Some are expensive gold nibs mounted on expensive bodies (Aurora, Montblanc 149 Calligraphy, Scribo Feel), with the pen and nib together costing between $500 and $1000. I approached the "modern flex" question out of curiosity, and my curiosity does not extend to spending several hundreds of dollars to investigate the question. Instead, let us take a look at two reasonably priced (even if not quite "inexpensive", notwithstanding the title of this post) flex-nibbed pens, starting with the Bluedew. This is a pen created by a Singaporean inventor named Jeffrey, and it is all about the flex nib. Indeed, he founded the company to sell the nib, with a pen around it. The pen sells for USD88, ships worldwide for an additional USD12, and as you can imagine for that price you get a stainless steel nib and not a gold one, although you do get a very nice faux-leather single-pen case that can hold a good-sized pen (and is in fact the only packaging for the Bluedew pen itself during transit). Kudos for no-waste packaging! Now, about the nib itself, it has long narrow tines and a very interesting pattern in place of a simple breather hole. If you read the FAQ on bluedewpens.com you will see that everything about the nib was designed in order to extract maximum flex from it, even the embossed "B" on the nib (which is supposed to trap a small amount of excess ink under the raised "B"). The Bluedew flex-nib pen. Multiple body colors are available, including (obviously) a blue colorway, but at the time I went to the website this translucent finish was the best-looking option they had in stock. It has faint pink swirls in the resin, and there is a "BLUEDEW" engraved on the barrel. The cap is unmarked. The pen is 140mm capped, 125mm uncapped, and the grip section is between 10mm and 11mm in diameter. The fit and finish of the pen are definitely in the uppermost range of what is available at this price point. The barrel threads are precise and the pen can be easily eyedroppered (maybe with a little silicone grease applied to the threads for peace of mind), although I have only used the pen with the converter and a cartridge. Ink flow does seem to be wetter with the converter, by the way. Unfortunately, the converter looks like a proprietary design even though the cartridges it takes are the standard international size. Here you get a closer look at the details of the nib. Unlike several other flex nibs that are created from stock steel nibs by cutting out scoops from the sides, this nib was designed from scratch, according to the Bluedew inventor Jeffrey, and the interesting breather hole pattern, the two cuts (parallel to the slit) on the two sides of the slit, and the horizontal ribbing above the breather hole all testify to a novel design. Remarkably, the feed is plastic and not ebonite, and there is an explanation for this choice in the FAQ on the site. Next, let's take a look at the other modern flex-nib contender, the FPR "Ultra Flex" nib from Fountain Pen Revolution (FPR), a company headquartered in Texas that made its reputation by commissioning inexpensive but reliable fountain pens from manufacturers in India and offering sales and warranty support right here in the USA, together with excellent and responsive customer service. (Like Bluedew, FPR is also essentially a one-person company. It is inspiring that small companies founded by individual enthusiasts are bringing the innovation to this century-old space that the big pen-manufacturing corporations have chosen not to address.) Now, this FPR Ultra Flex nib is available mounted on a variety of pens sold by FPR, but I opted for the somewhat expensive (relative to the rest of the FPR lineup) model called the "Tanoshii." This is also a departure for FPR in that this pen is made in collaboration not with an Indian manufacturer but a Japanese manufacturer. There is a thread elsewhere on FPN speculating as to whether the pen is actually made in Japan or made in Taiwan by a Taiwanese subcontractor to said Japanese manufacturer, but wherever it is made, it is made very well. This body costs around $70 and the Ultra Flex nib is an additional $14, bringing the total almost to the same amount as the Bluedew. As you can see, the pen is strongly influenced by the Delta Dolce Vita down to the black cap with orange body and gold plated trim. The thick cap band (obscured in this picture, but visible in the close-up photograph of the nib below) is also decorated with a motif just like the no-longer-made Dolce Vita by the now-defunct Delta. The clip seems to have a little roller but the roller appears to be fixed and does not actually roll. In contrast to the Bluedew pen, the Tanoshii design is a flat-top and slightly shorter (135mm capped) but the section is slightly girthier (10.5mm). Again, fit and finish are in the 90th percentile for a pen in this price range (although unlike in the Bluedew, the barrel threads do not screw into the section with such tight tolerance that I would be entirely comfortable with eyedroppering it), and the orange resin looks lovely. You can also get it in black, or with a light blue barrel, or with a red barrel and a white cap (the only option without a black cap). It is also a C/C filler that accepts standard international sized cartridges, but the included converter is not as "premium" feeling as the one on the Bluedew. Here you can see the cap band design and more importantly, a close-up of the nib. This nib, also made of stainless steel, is of a more conventional design for a modern flex nib, being cut by hand (by Kevin, the founder/owner of FPR) from a stock steel nib. Note the very deep slit and the two cut-out scoops on the two sides. If purchased on its own, this nib can be acquired paired with an ebonite feed, but when acquired as an upgrade option with the Tanoshii, the Ultra Flex nib comes with a plastic feed. Kevin says it keeps up with flow requirements pretty well and the writing sample below will confirm that. Now, on to the writing test(s). I have previously written a couple of converter-fulls with both of these pens, but for the tests today I took the lazy route and used a "mystery" cartridge (that I think is Monteverde Purple Reign) on a Doane Paper Utility Notebook with the Boxcar ruling. This paper offers a great textured surface suitable for all nibs, but it is absorbent and has severe bleed through with most inks. Clearly, the FPR nib is much, much wetter than the Bluedew nib. On the other hand, the Bluedew nib, maybe because it is drier, actually shows the line-width variation one expects, although it railroads before hitting the 1.5mm BB limit as claimed by its manufacturer (I did get close to that limit using the converter, though, but I don't have evidence of that today). The FPR nib actually dumps so much ink on the page that it caused severe feathering (clearly visible above in the figure-eights) and bleed through (not shown), while also obscuring the full range of line-width variation possible with this nib. My experience with both cartridge and converter is that the FPR Ultra Flex nib does not actually get down to EF thinness while the Bluedew can. On the other hand, the FPR nib gets to BB thickness easier than the Bluedew nib does. As for the pressure required to get flex, this is where I think we are finally approaching parity with the vintage flex nibs, and this is great news. Both nibs flex under little to light pressure, though I would say that the Bluedew nib flexes even easier than the FPR -- to be expected, I suppose, from a nib that was designed as a flex nib from scratch. I must say that I have not tried the expensive gold flex nibs on Aurora, Scribo, or the Montblanc 149 Calligraphy pen, but I have tried (once, briefly) the 14kt "quill" nib on a Pineider, and from my recollection, both of these steel nibs (Bluedew and FPR) flex more easily and with lighter pressure than that (significantly more expensive) Pineider nib. This is genuinely impressive and cause for celebration. In short, you won't go wrong with either one if you want to explore a modern-day flex nib without breaking the bank. The FPR Ultra Flex requires a bit more pressure to begin flexing than the Bluedew, so if you want to only occasionally flex in your normal, everyday writing, the FPR nib may be a better option. On the other hand, the Bluedew nib exists for one, and only one purpose, so you had better be prepared to flex with every letter you write with it. The good news is that it will do so pretty much on its own if you just write with normal pressure as you would with a non-flex nib.
  2. Nhartist40

    BlueDew Flex Nib

    Hi, I just got two BlueDew Flex Nibs and feeds for my Lorelei 691 pen. I had seen Inkquring Minds video that said the BlueDew pen was a augmented version of the Lorelei 391. I initially bought the Lorelei because it looked lovely, and he said it had some flex. I was really surprised by how much I liked the stock nib which has a bit of flex. I reviewed in on my own channel which you can see below. I like the pen so much I bought another one in white. Out of curiosity, I finally decided to order the BlueDew Nib unit which you can get independently of the pen. You get two nib units for $50.00 including shipping, which if you combine it with two Lorelie pens that you order yourself brings down the price of each pen to around $50.00, a considerable savings off the BlueDew price. Anyway, the nib fits perfectly in the pen, but unfortunately, I found it way too scratchy and too given to railroading to use as a drawing pen, and certainly not as an everyday writer. It might be useful for people who do calligraphy. One thing I feel is deceptive is the way the company claims how much more flexible it is than a Pilot Falcon. Yes, that is true, but the Falcon Pilot is not advertised as a Flex pen--it has a 14k nib that is very reliable and works well for drawing because it doesn't constantly skip (although I find the extra fine point to be a bit scratchy). It also is perfectly fine to write with if you want to use it that way in a journal--particularly if you write with a tiny hand. The BueDew nib works for very very slow writing, not for journaling. I also suspect the reason that sell replacement nibs in pairs is that the untipped nib does not last very long--its almost like a "G" nib. I think the Fountain Revolution Ultra Flex is a much better choice, and also, much cheaper. Of course, everything I say here has to do with the way I use pens mostly for drawing or journaling, not for calligraphy. Which brings me back to the Lorelei 391--it is a beautiful pen, and I think the stock nib that comes with it has a bit of flex which is nice for sketching and yet it is not so scratchy you can't write with it. The pen itself is a love blue resin, and my guess is that if you want to you can change the stock nib for Jowo 6, although I have yet to do it. As anyone any experiences with these nibs?
  3. As most of you would know, Pelikan is a 180 year old maker of fountain pens and paraphernalia. It had launched its first fountain pen in 1929. Prior to that Pelikan manufactured dyes, inks and office-supplies. This Swiss-incorporated German pen maker is also credited with the genesis of piston filling mechanism with a differential spindle gear, which endeavoured to address the problem of limited ink capacity in fountain pens of that period. Here, the piston knob is also threaded so that it is able to unscrew itself automatically, when the piston is unscrewed, in an outward direction, thus delivering a greater and efficient ink-suction. Hungarian engineer Theodor Kovacs is credited with the invention of the original filling mechanism before selling off the patent to Günther Wagner (the man who established the company) in 1927. By the way, here goes the review of an M1000 on my blog: The M1000 Review In the earlier years, Montblanc is said to have manufactured nibs (especially the one with a heart shaped breather hole in 1929/30) for Pelikan, while Pelikan made inks for MB. Pelikan had already built a brand awareness in the writer’s mind, being one of the major ink suppliers (starting with Iron Galls Inks) in Europe. They eventually launched the 4001 line (non-Iron Gall) line of inks in 1898, which is still produced today. I was introduced to Pelikan with a m200 model pen long back. And yes, I am heavily biased towards two of my Pelikans - one is the M400 white tortoise, other is the blue striated M805. The M1XXX is considered to be the next step to M6XX/8XX, once most of your cerebral logic is destroyed! As with the model numbers, there is a general increase in nib size, dimensions and price of course, when you move from M4XX to M1XXX. Again, I do love the Souverän M 625 with dazzling sterling silver trims (Ag 92.5%). Having said that, the serene green-striated M1000 reflects and adorns the 1929 classical green-striped design. The green "transparent Pelikan fountain pen" was launched in 1929 by Wagner. It was named so, to reference the transparent ink window. The logos have changed over the years starting from a mother pelican with four chicks to a mother-single chick combination from 2003 onwards. I have learnt something form FPNer sirach’s excellent review of the m805. Incidentally, both of us had posted reviews of our m805s the same day, around the same time on FPN . The mother pelican and chick logo is symbolic of Christ, as when there is no food, the mother pelican is believed to pierce its own breast with its beak, to feed its young of its blood. It is symbolic of Christ sacrificing himself for Man, and is often represented in Christian art. I have taken the liberty to share the picture used by sirach in his review. DESIGN - THE STRIPED TRANSLUCENCY (6/6) The M1000 comes in two standard gold-trims - Green Striped and Classic Black (Green Ink Window), across four different nib widths - EF, F, M and B. The M1005 also came in silver trims of Black/Green Ink Window design, albeit with a dual tone nib. There is nothing like the allure of the M1005 demonstrator, but then there are Raden Sunlight & Starlight models too. The pen hints at a subtle piece of craftsmanship associated with building this writing instrument. Its balance somehow ensures all the necessary weight and nib leverage for comfortable writing. My hand sometimes varies from a light to moderate touch and the m1000 adapts to the change with deft, compared to a m800, partly perhaps because of a more responsive nib. The barrel is made up of highly polished pelikan famed ‘cellulose acetate’ with its diamond cut contours, which partially reveal the necessities like the piston end or ink level, while concealing the unnecessary ones. I feel that this green stripes reveal the ink levels quite well. The pinstripe pattern in the Souverän series is nicknamed Stresemann derived from Gustav Stresemann, the Chancellor of Germany for his famous striped trousers. The green stripes innately reflect both light and dark while preserving a formal appearance of the souverän as the gold plated trims continue to stand out. The translucency is subtle but useful at the same time to note ink levels. The dazzling green stripes reflect back greens between pine & emerald with ambient light, soothingly to your eyes.. The barrel is silky smooth. The golden gleam is matched throughout the pen starting from the famed finial and the clip, through those concentric bands in the cap, before finally converging with the dual piston rings. While the white tortoise plays with light with phenomenal efficiency, the green & blue stripes seem to have held their own conservative thoughts. The cap feels quite substantial and unscrews with a single turn, revealing a dazzling two-tone nib. The grip reveals another knot of golden glitter, towards the section end, where the big dazzling nib unit is screwed in. Two concentric golden bands with a gold plated crown embossed with the pelikan logo, adorn the cap with a signature pelican beak-shaped clip. The thicker bottom band carries the brand imprint of PELIKAN SOUVERÄN GERMANY. The logo on the finial is the one embraced by Pelikan post 2003, that of a mother pelican and one chick, gleaming in brushed gold. The staged pillars of M400, 605, 805 & 1000 glitter with light. FILLING SYSTEM (6/6) A piston filler with a sturdy knob is embellished with two concentric golden loops. Like any other pelikan, it’s imbibed with a system which is usually hassle-free and needs minimal maintenance. The piston end unscrews with three to four rotations and ink is drawn into the pen with remarkable efficiency without any fuss, once the piston is screwed back on. And of course, you can observe some of the live action through the striped windows. A brass spindle connector in the M1XXX provides weight and balance. Everything is glistening gold as you can see the connector nut in the picture. M1XXX fills upto 1.9-2 mL (similar to M800) of ink. These brass piston mechanisms can be dismantled using a 7mm wrench (TWSBI wrench would fit) on the connector nut, in a clockwise direction. On finding the piston mechanism quite snug while filling ink, I did dismantle it to lubricate the piston lip/seal. Although for any other problem, it is advisable to send the pen to Pelikan Germany/Country Authorized Service Center. Also, Pelikan International is quite responsive to facebook messages. NIB - ALL THAT MATTERS (5/6) The nib/feed section is screw-fit and comes in a standard 18k two-tone design across four stock widths - EF, F, M & B. It has the standard pelikan design with the usual convenience of a screw-fit section. Like the cousins, the tall & slender nib is efficient. With a big feed, and a spread out nib it looks forward to propel your writing imaginations and moods. The silver of two-tone finish does converge with the golden trims in terms of glitter and glimmer. The tail end specifies the nib-width and composition (18 C, 75% Au) of the gold-alloy used. Three arabesques diverge along the shoulders of the nib with two of them converging near the circular breather hole. The third curve runs across the tines towards the shoulders ending with the tail end of the nib, outside of which a golden decor runs along the shoulders across the tines, before converging onto the iridium tip. There is of-course the dazzling golden mother-baby pelikan logo, resting above the tail. This one in the picture is a Extra Fine nib and writes smooth and is decently wet. No complaints for this piece on out of the box performance. A big black plastic feed (earlier ones had ebonite feeds) with closely spaced fins ensures a good ink buffer and promises wet and even smoother starts. Even with a dipped nib section, it would write a page. In my experience with Pelikan nibs (both with earlier Bock & now in-sourced), the good nibs usually after running 80 pages of my usual B5 notebook, break in to my liking. This nib being a little different with a characteristic spring and a bit of flex, did break in within a month to fit my writing style. I feel that these days these nibs have started to lay a finer line, owing to user recommendation of the Pelikan community. Fortunately some of the mylars & buff-sticks are saved, thanks to these birds. PHYSICS OF IT (5/6) – RELATIVELY SPEAKING The pen has got the heft in it and I use it without posting. The overall capped length is around 14.6 cm. The total weight of M100X has slightly less than a third of contribution from the cap. The grip diameter is around 1.2 cm and the bit of tapering renders comfort to the fingers. The cap threads are higher up on the section and are non-intrusive for me, since I do not hold the pen very high. It is not a light & small pen and may not comfortable to you at first, I gradually became used to it. The motivation if not anything else, was the Kingsized #8 nib. Uncapped Length ~ 13.5 cmPosted Length ~ 17.7 cmNib Leverage ~ 2.8 cmOverall Weight ~ 35 g (Cap ~ 10 g) Capped and uncapped comparisons with a few of the flock go below for your reference. Top to bottom (m1000, m805, m605 & m400) With an MB149 And an Emperor with the Entire Flock ECONOMIC VALUE (4/6) The M1000 retails these days at around GBP 380 (discounted), although it might be available at lower street prices. I strongly feel that this acquisition was a result of an impulse driven bid on the bay, since I had a low expectation of winning the bid in the first place. Even though it’s one of the phenomenally efficient pens with a high degree of nib appeal, I would still value it as a standardised-good value buy. A part of me which loves Pelikan for the great pens they make, rationally feels that the m1000 being a flagship pen, they need to build up its image akin to an Meisterstück 149, to command a high price and appeal, for it sells much below its RRP across internet/offline shops. May be Pelikan can start with a body/barrel combination solely made for m1000 with a custom designed nib. Then again, I would not be able to buy it OVERALL (5.2/6) Historically for me, I did not like the weight/balance of the M1000 pen. However, with frequent use, I found the balance acceptable and then comfortable!! These 18k nibs have a smooth and wet flow. The m1000 nib has a fair bit of flex (modern bit!) with an inherent softness, since with the bigger size of the nib, there is more room for it to move. Being nice and wet writers out of the box, the Extra-Fine nib puts down a fine line, which takes around 35 seconds to dry Visconti Blue Ink on MD Paper. The pen feels balanced for my hands both with or without pressure and given the tapered profile of the section, it has a good grip. This nib runs a tad finer than say a #3776 medium nib, and with some pressure it leaves a wider line. I have used single fills of Sailor Sky High (now Souten), Montblanc Toffee Brown, Visconti Blue, Iroshizuku Yama Budo/Tsuki Yo inks in rotation, and the pen has performed gracefully with all these inks. Thank you for going through the review. You can find some more pen and paraphernalia reviews here and in the below links section. Comments & feedback are welcome. So, what is your favourite Pelikan? REVIEWS & LINKS Pelikan M1000 Pelikan M805 Pelikan M605 Marine Pelikan M625 Pelikan M4XX Pelikan M200 Cognac Pelikan Nibs Patent Ink Capacities
  4. 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)
  5. LordCactus

    Omniflex vs JoWo Elastic Nib

    How do the JoWo omniflex and JoWo (leonardo) elastic nib compare in terms of flex, feed keeping up, smoothness and overall performance?
  6. I'm back after a long hiatus, so I figured it would be a good idea to introduce myself again. I live in rural Donegal, Ireland. I've been into fountain pens for well over a decade now. My workhorse pen is a Sailor Heritage with a soft fine nib. I've recently become more adventurous with modifications, and with coloured inks. I've installed full flex nibs (from fpnibs.com) into a bunch of TWSBIs and an Opus 88. I also have a couple of vintage pens. I also have a Leonardo Momento Zero with the elastic fine nib. I gave away most of my non-flex pens. I'm not into calligraphy (yet?), but I love a flexible nib for the character it gives my writing, and because it forces my hand to relax. I was active on this forum until about 2009, when I went back to school. Finished up my PhD in 2017 at age 57. I am a researcher, mostly in Artificial Intelligence, Artificial Life, and Mathematics. I've been working from home ever since the pandemic started, and plan to continue to do so. It suits me well, because I can concentrate better. It also means that I can make better use of multiple fountain pens and an array of inks. (I didn't want to take an entire collection to the office!) Writing is a big part of my thought process. I'm often wrestling with complex ideas that are too big to hold in my brain at once. As I come to grips with some little part of an idea, I write it down -- not so much to remember the thought as to "solidify" it in my mind, to mark it as promising. I do most of my writing in a single journal that functions as a research journal, commonplace book, diary, cartoon sketchbook, and more.
  7. OldTravelingShoe

    FP Akkerman 18K F nib 02 Nib.jpg

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

    © (c) 2022 OldTravelingShoe

  8. OldTravelingShoe

    FP Akkerman 18K F nib 01b Size Posted.jpg

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

    © (c) 2022 OldTravelingShoe

  9. OldTravelingShoe

    FP Akkerman 18K F nib 01 Size.jpg

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

    © (c) 2022 OldTravelingShoe

  10. I love everything about the Triple Tail. The largeness. The clearness. The non-smellyness. The plunger filling system. The 308 cartridges I can use. Everything, that is, but the nib itself. It's just too darn much for me. It's finicky, which is bad enough. But even when it does work after heat setting, etc -- and even with an ink as simple as 4001 Royal Blue or Waterman Serenity Blue -- it's like writing with a paint brush. And that's before flexing! Before I return it for a partial refund, I thought I would see if anyone has managed to trade it out for a #6 nib? And it not a basic #6, then something else? I saw someone asked Goulet, and the answer was: "Maybe". Have you done it? How'd it go?
  11. Hello, I am looking to buy a flex pen for beginners, I have already read some of the threads here regarding beginner flex pens, but I am not sure whether some new, quality and affordable flex pens are released recently. Therefore, I started this topic and I hope that you blokes can help me with it. I also heard that Fountain Pen Revolution has a great Ultra Flex nib, are there any pens that are suitable for this nib, as I would love to try it out. Thanks, Ian
  12. Hans Petter Graver

    Fascio fountain pen

    I just aquired an old pen. Changed the sac and filled it up. A nice ex fine flex nib. The pen has the inscription "registered Fascio pen" and "R14K Fascio". I tried to find some information about it on the net, but in vain. Anyone here who knows anythong about this pen?
  13. PrestoTenebroso

    Desiderata: Bamf

    I was hoping to show you a picture of this new, very sleek looking pen, but it seems that's not an option right now. Lightly brushed, matte back body, gloss, transparent red section and ink window, designed around the Zebra G flex nib with a purpose-designed ebonite feed, but can take any screw-in #6 nib unit. Clipless. Handmade in America by me. Limited run. Please have a look at the full story at the link above.
  14. Disclaimer: I am new to vintage fountain pens. I recently acquired a Mabie Todd Swan (photos of the pen and some scribbles below) and would appreciate assistance with the following items: I know very little about this pen and would like to learn about its provenance, approximate age, model and comparison with other Swan models, etc. The body of the pen is marked "Eternal" but the nib is not. Does this mean that the current nib replaced the original? The pen is a very nice writer once the ink is flowing; it can feel very smooth, provides nice line-width variation as the nib is flexible and I think stub-ish, and it lays down a lot of ink. At the same time, it's prone to hard starts and occasionally skips. It also looks like the feed might not be properly aligned with the nib. I would like to have the nib examined and tuned by a professional and was thinking of sending it to Mike Masuyama. Does this seem appropriate, or are there other nib experts I should consider? I would like to have the body of the pen cleaned up and restored prior to getting the nib worked on, but I have no idea who to send it to. Any recommendations? In particular, I would like to have some luster restored to the body, have the fins of the feed looked at as they seem to have some minor damage, and have it cleaned up (the pen has a bit of a smell which, although gradually dissipating, remains pretty strong inside the cap). The tip of the nib looks a bit slanted to me. I know only so much is possible with photos, but can anyone tell if it's because this nib has an oblique grind or if it's some sort of alignment issue?
  15. This wasn't my first Pilot Falcon. Years ago I had another, one with a metal body and a soft medium nib. It wasn't a success. I couldn't manage the flexibility of the nib and even less the ink flow. In the end, I gave up and passed it on. It wasn't my first or last failure with fountain pens but in this case I was left with the niggling suspicion that the main issue was the rather too generous flow, not the flex. So, when a few weeks ago a Pilot Falcon was advertised for sale at the local digital marketplace, I jumped at the opportunity and bought a nice, practically new Falcon with a soft fine nib from a hobbyist with an impressive collection. The new Falcon was made of resin, so it felt much lighter than the metal one but not uncomfortably so. Being large enough and well balanced, it rested safely and stably in my hand (always unposted), while the rather toothy nib sled effortlessly on paper. Unlike the medium nib of the old pen, the new fine nib remained under control without surprising me with gushes of ink, even with Rohrer and Klingner's Blau Permanent, a wet ink with the tendency to feather on 80 gr copy paper. From the very first day I knew this Falcon was a keeper. I believe that the main reason for that was that in the intervening years between my first and second Falcon I had more exposure to various kinds of flex. With the experience gained, I had become more patient and controlled with semiflex nibs like the one on the new Falcon. Above all, however, my hunch was proved right: even though I preferred broader nibs, the soft medium on the Falcon was too much for my writing habits. The soft fine worked much better, similarly to most of my vintage flexy nibs, which seldom go above medium. Finally, how about comparing the soft fine Falcon nib to modern and vintage flex? Having no modern flexy nib inked at the moment, I compared it to a Nakaya Portable with a non-elastic medium nib. The Falcon was clearly softer and more responsive with a bit more line variation. A vintage semiflex, the Aikin Lambert Mercantile, was not much softer than the Falcon but more responsive. Flexible nibs, such as those on a Waterman's Ripple and a Conway Stewart Duro 2A were much softer and allowed for more line variation. The biggest difference, however, was that the vintage nibs were quit immune to railroading. By contrast, a fast or poorly controlled stroke with the Falcon resulted into railroading, which can be seen in the photograph. The conclusion is a happy one: the soft medium nib made all the difference and the new Falcon became one of the frequently used pens at my desk, especially as it brought out more shading in Blau Permanent than the two Sailors in which the ink has been used previously.
  16. I have been using fountain pens since 1976. That time it was primarily hero pens and mostly locally manufactured moulded pens, the brand names I find hard to remember. Most of these pens were of two filling categories only, sac filler(mostly made in China) and ED. Thereafter I graduated to Parker and continued using a few of them till 2019 on and off. Meanwhile got facsinated by Ballpens, netters, jitters, Gel pens, roller pens etc. Came 2018. I still had three Parker Vectors, one each for using Blue, black/green and red inks respectively. I came across an article on Ratnamsons and history of fountain pen turned in india. This made me search for manufacturers in India and I thought of reviving my love for Fountain pens. Thus I jumped headfirst in acquiring all I could lay my hands on and in the process became friends with many turners and became aware of their products too. Subsequently I graduated to use of flex nibs and dip nibs. I got interested in calligraphy fonts and cursive writing. That will be a different post. Currently I will focus on three pens from different brands using flexible nibs Magnacarta Emotions with stock flex steel nib, Kanwrite heritage with KANWRITE Fine flex steel nib and LOTUS pen with Kanwrite 14k Gold flex nib. The LOTUS pen is part of a limited edition initiative by Fountain pen lovers of India with 50 pens only made . These three pens when I started flexing, I realised that even in steel flex nibs, the amount of pressure required to assert pressure was different. It required lot of efforts to flex Magnacarta vis a vis KANWRITE Heritage. The LOTUS pen with gold nib was but easier.
  17. This Sailor pocket fountain pen was manufactured in February 1965 (date code H. making it one of the first Sailor pocket pens to be produced. Although, once very common in Japan, they rarely come up for sale now. This is most likely due to the age and owners like to hang on to them. They are unusual which attracted me and they’re surprisingly good for writing. Pocket pens are still popular and make a revival every 15 years. Pocket pens are a rather unusual design (long cap, short barrel) and started by Platinum in the ‘60’s and due to the high demand both Pilot and Sailor soon entered the market with similar designs. As the name says, these pens are made specifically for shirt pockets. 1. Appearance & Design (8/10) This is one of Sailor’s earliest designs: jade coloured section and finial; gold clip; 14k gold nib; and decorative gold trim ring. The price, Y2,000 in 1965, wasn’t cheap which would account for the decorative trim ring which was reserved for more luxurious models. I was not particularly attracted to pocket pens at first but if you haven’t experienced them before, then you’re in for a surprise; very short when capped, yet full size posted; light; and excellent as an every-day-carry. It is sturdily built, uses a full-size Sailor cartridge with a strong clip that holds firmly. The cap has an inner liner to prevent drying and a steel clutch ring providing that snug fit capped or posted. Typical of Sailor, the quality and construction is very good. They came in many colours and I particularly like this Jade version. Personally, I find it difficult to use un-posted but luckily when posted it’s the length of the majority of fountain pens. I enjoy the convenience of a strong clip and that it easily fits in my shirt pocket or suite jacket. Overall, it's a simple design that works for me. 2. Construction & Quality (9/10) Having been protected in the box, the pen has aged well and almost as good as new. I’ve known Japanese quality control is very good, but this is commendable. I can understand why they were in high demand at the time. The pen is light, and excellent balance when posted. It's surprisingly sturdy with the brushed chrome look that will help it age gracefully. As it’s made to post, the cap fits snugly on both the section and the barrel, which is much better than some Pilots where the cap clutch grabs too soon. It has lasted 50 years and looks as good as new. Having used good quality materials, it should easily last another 50 years. 3. Weight & Dimensions (8/10) – Capped: 114mm; Uncapped: 100mm; Posted: 142mm; Diameter: 10mm; Weight: 10g. The pen is lighter than those I normally use. The cap is half the weight of the pen; it posts securely, well balanced and comfortable in the hand. It’s a pleasure to use. 4. Nib & Performance (7/10) – It has a 14k gold nib with no size indication on the nib but the price label has 細 which I’m told means fine. The nib is definitely springy almost semi-flex and writes quite smoothly, definitely not toothy or scratchy. Since it is such good condition I was reluctant to fill the pen and only dip tested for the writing sample with Sailor Souboku. It’s been subsequently cleaned and dried for storage. It had no difficulties laying a consistent fine line, an advantage of a nib matched to a good feed. The nib and section can be easily removed but not necessary since it’s NOS. The feed holds a surprising amount of ink. Given the age, if you prefer a wider nib then you may have difficulty but they are around. 5. Filling System & Maintenance (7/10) – The barrel takes a full sized proprietary cartridge. The earlier models came with a cartridge converter but I have never seen any. Luckily there are two cartridges provided which can be refilled. The nib and feed can be extracted by unscrewing the nipple, and pushing them up the section. 6. Cost & Value (8/10) –It’s a NOS vintage pen in very good condition with box and papers so would generally attract the attention of collectors, which artificially inflates the price. I have seen a few pocket pens even by Sailor but this is the first of the 1960’s luxurious pens that I’ve seen. A pen by itself, in average condition, sells for US$35-US$50. This pen including the box, instructions, and original cartridges may sell for US$50-US$70. Would I buy one for US$60? If I was looking for a pocket pen then why not pick the best. I was quite surprised how quickly I got used to the pen even if it does have a fine nib then of course it would be attractive and definitely a talking point, so for that price I would buy one. 7. Conclusion (Final score, 47/60) – Overall, there are a number of features that make this pen special: compact design; attractive appearance; springy semi-flex nib; and a good solid gold clip. The only negative is the lack of cartridge convertors so it will always be a cartridge-only pen. Initially, I wasn’t attracted to pocket pens but now I’ve tried one they will definitely be on my wish list. I like it, it’s different and looks quite attractive when capped and I love the jade colour when it’s posted. It makes a nice daily writer, built well and will survive the occasional knock without showing it. It’s such a good writer it would be a shame if this one goes to a collector but it’s understandable. With care this one will easily last another fifty years. It’s definitely a go-to pen for those that love fine nibs. Other pictures: https://imgur.com/a/qUgCtoh
  18. RaeLeigh88

    Conklin Pen Identification

    Can anyone help me identify this Conklin pen? It has a flex nib and syringe/pull/piston fill. Thanks!
  19. Hi everyone, I'm looking to get a CH912 as my new everyday use pen, but I'm taken aback by the sheer number of nib choices. I have a two main questions: - What is the FA nib like as a daily writer? Is it relatively smooth? I have heard of flow issues regarding this nib. I am not a tremendously fast writer, but regular skipping would be rather annoying. - How does the Wavily nib compare to the SM, or just the regular medium nib? Is it any smoother? Any help would be greatly appreciated.
  20. I'm not really sure where I should put this post, so please let me know if it's supposed to live somewhere else. I have decided that I want to go hunting for vintage flex. A little background information... (actually it turned out to be more than a little) I have 2 (useable) vintage fountain pens. A Conway Stewart Universal Pen from the late 1930s, and a Parker 51 Aerometric from the late 1950s. The majority of my 'flex' experience is in using dip pens, and I have been using them for journaling and the occasional attempt at everyday writing with them for the past 3 and a half-ish years, so I would say that I am reasonably experienced in the (?)art(?) of using flexible nibs. So why do I want to get a vintage flex pen? I have discovered (an odd century or 2 too late) that using dip pens, while extremely versatile, aren't exactly convenient, portable (one accident with a bottle of ink in my bag was enough to let me understand) nor very durable, with the untipped points soon wearing out. As such I believe that what would best suit me is an antique or vintage fountain pen. What I would like in the pen I am looking for: a very fine point (line variation of sorts needs to start somewhere) Preferably from the 1920s and earlier? I'm not going to be mashing it out to 2mm for every letter and downstroke so you can rest easy regarding spring the nib. If I wanted to mash my nibs I've got plenty of dip pens to do that. I'm (probably) not going to do calligraphy with them. Again, I have dip pens. Yet I still want a super flex/wet noodle/ whatever name you want to call it. but not to mash. I fine with doing a little bit of work on them if necessary eg, replacing a sac or a j-bar for lever fillers, oe cleaning them out or whatever) Now my question is: where do you recommend I actually go looking for these? Do I go on eBay? Do I go to antique shops (although to be honest most of the antique shops in my area probably won't have these as we didn't have companies that made these here. Most are probably old imports)? How much should my cut-off price point be? I don't want to be overcharged by sellers who know what they are doing, so what's a reasonable price? Please let me know your recommendations, tips and thoughts.
  21. frr149

    Best Ink For Flex Nibs?

    Hi, What's a good ink (low or no feathering) for flex nibs? My 2 flex pens (a tweaked Ahab and a Frankenpen with a vintage Mallat nib) are firehoses and tend to feather, no matter what ink I use. I'm aware of Noodler's X_Feathering, but I don't like black, and Noodler's inks are very difficult and expensive to find in Europe.
  22. What makes this hobby interesting to me is variety. A pen for every mood. Rotation. Admiration of each pen’s qualities as a writer. Appreciation of design philosophies. Etc. There’s never been a clear favourite that stands out above all others. Until now. Possibly (the day is young). Two weeks ago, I received two vintage pens: an Esterbrook SJ with 9550 EF nib and this: a 1947 Parker Vacumatic Jr with flex nib. Both pens have been lovingly restored by RonZ. I fell for the Vacumatic Jr like a ton of bricks: -it improves my handwriting -it fits my hand like a glove, posted as well as unposted -it’s small enough to comfortably fit in a shirt pocket -the material feels lovely to the touch -it allows me to write in a variety of styles and makes me appear a better writer than I actually am in each of those styles -it holds plenty of ink (a necessity with a wet pen like this) -the feel of the nib on paper is heavenly: it’s not glassy smooth, it’s very tactile, think Sailor and you’ll get the idea. ^—Such a wonderful nib! At first glance the pen appears to be totally black, but it isn’t. In direct daylight or proper artificial light there is a pattern to be seen in the material. The lighter parts are translucent, so basically the barrel is translucent and I can see how much there is left inside the pen. Gotta love it. I’m not big on Parker. My only other Parker is a 51 from the fifties that I rarely use because the nib is a big, fat M-verging-on-B while I prefer EF (anybody have a nice EF lying around for a Parker 51?). But this little Vacumatic Jr... wow. Just wow.





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