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The Airmail/ WALITY 69EB is probably the only ebonite model produced today by the Airmail pen co. Bought when they were released, two colors were available. Green ripple and Brown ripple and probably an Olive ripple too but I dont remember too well. In its stock configuration, it is fitted with a steel F nib of the Indian no 8 size (28mm over a 6.35mm feed) and is ED filled. The 69 series models have very little space inside the inner cap ( EB has around 18.5mm only) so it is sometimes difficult for the novice to install third party nibs which are typically 35mm long and thence have to be set particularly deep in the section so that the nib's exposed length does not exceed the inner cap space( if the nib's exposed length is more than the inner cap space, the nib will be badly crumpled when you close the cap fully). Also if a nib unit is to be installed to allow C/C facility, even a European no 5 nib unit has a longer nib exposed length than what the 69EB inner cap allows. One workaround to this problem is to turn down the flared collar of the nib unit housing, allowing it to be set deeper into the section. This is the approach that I have taken on one of the pens. Here is the result with the Schmidt FH341. I have set the nib unit deep enough to control the exposed nib length to 18mm. Also shown is another EB where I have installed a KW 35mm factory B STUB nib over the stock WALITY feeder in ED mode. This nib is set extremely deep( nearly half of the nib is inside the section!). Along with some other currently inked pens: L-R: Lamy 2000, 69TS, 69EB, 71J The 69EB is a nice, very low cost introduction to the ebonite pen. Its quite well made with multistart threads fast open cap and an adequate stock F nib. DIY nib upgrades need application of some techniques. However, a very straightforward nib upgrade to obtain a wider point is to buy after market Indian size 8 (28mm) nibs from Ambitious or KW who offer F and M widths in this size. Cheers, Hari
Good Morning, I recently purchased a wonderful Gama Forever fountain pen in a beautiful glossy black finish. One distinguishing factor of this and many other Indian eyedropper pens is the fact that they are made from ebonite, aka vulcanite, aka hard rubber. I am sure that in this forum many are familiar with this material. It is the first time dealing with it for me, personally, so I had this question: Is the gas that Ebonite emits when new or when heated "safe"? I mean "safe" in the sense that it does not pose any detrimental long-term effects to my health. I am aware of the ubiquity of this material in pen manufacturing of yesteryear, so I would think it is! But I just wanted a peace of mind. I look forward to your contributions. Nurmister Edit: I write this due to my recent acquaintance to Volatile Organic Compounds, a set of harmful gases emitted by numerous petroleum-based products. Luckily, I suspect that ebonite does not fall under such a category since: i. Formic acid is used only during the(raw?) rubber manufacturing process. ii. Sulfur is used for vulcanization (but the rubber itself should be desulfurized before further processing, hopefully). iii. Ebonite hates petroleum!