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  1. I was perusing through the fountainpen forums the other day and came across @mehandiratta's review of the Airmail 71JT. He described how the pen was magnificent, but the nib it came with was a mess... literally, as it burped on first write... and he then swapped with a No.35(International #6 for anyone wondering) nib and now it's his daily writer. I was so astonished by the fact that you can swap a no.35 nib on an airmail pen which usually takes No.8(a stubbier version of a #6) nib. So being the curious and idiotic imbecile that I was, I started to find out how to fit a No.35 nib to my pen... Forgetting the fact that my pen is the smaller 69T instead of the 71JT(Which literally means Jumbo Transparent) that I bought from The Pen Hospital in my city (Thrissur) a while ago. At first I was surprised that the nib didn't fit as the diameter for No.8 and No.35 feed was identical... while I found a way to coax it in there, the cap wouldn't close properly... after about two days I got frustrated and abandoned the idea and planned to buy a 71JT... but then... While I was watching youtube, a channel called Penatomy appeared in my feed and I saw that he was able to fit a Kanwrite No.35 nib in an Airmail 69T... and I got my guts back... And I watched the video and found out that evenly scraping off the ebonite feed bit by bit until the nib fits in place... and voila... a No.35 nib on a 69T... And I have so much to say about it... Design And Build To be frank... this is one of the most beautiful budget pens I have (given that my pen collection only contains pens under ₹800/- at least for now). And it's the blend of a simple clear acrylic barrel that is hand turned with the randomness of the pattern of the plastic cap (that is made of the vegetal resin and it smells... but not as strongly as the converter in the Kanwrite PC was check that one here.), the chromed finish of the cap band and the simple clip to the clear crystal like portion on the back end... all come together to make a timeless and handsome looking fella... The build is also... for the price... reasonable. Yes you won't get the heft and the metallic build of a Jinhao... but this is an eyedropper pen and if it were made of metal... then it would have not been an airmail/wality wouldn't it (at least in my opinion). The pen is long enough to hold comfortably unposted and it's light enough to write without any fatigue for a long time... Posting it though... unless you have gorilla sized hands... don't use it posted... I have a very thin and long hands (like a canoe oar... if you will) and for me unposted is the way to go... and you might find the backweight a little too much when posted... The only sort of complaint that I have in regards to the looks is that for a pen with chrome trims, it comes with a sorta gold, sorta bronze type of plated steel nib (the nib shown above), and I'd rather have it a un-plated steel nib... thankfully the Kanwrite nib fixes that for me...(the picture shown below is of a Kanwrite No.8 swap that I did before I ventured into a No.35 swap)... As for size comparison here it is next to: Kanwrite Desire Hero 336 Pilot Hi-Techpoint V7(That I eyedropper converted) Nib, Inking And Writing As I mentioned, the standard 69T comes with a No.8 Steel Airmail nib... And I might have been one of the lucky ones from what I hear about Wality nibs because at first it was a bit on the toothy side, but a little polishing fixed that... to some extent... it had a bit of scratchiness in the leftward strokes and I wasn't experienced enough at the time to remedy it, so I bought a No.8 kanwrite nib and wrote with that for a short time... and it worked. Well... Kind of... You see... Since it is an eyedropper, I was expecting some burping... but not when the ink is 7/8th of the barrel... and that issue pertained with both No.8 nibs... I then read about heat setting the ebonite feed... and that worked to an extent... but still about half full before the pen starts to burp is a bit too early in my opinion... So as per the intro, I started to try and fit the No.35 nib into the 69T. And suffice to say that I shoehorned it in there is an understatement It took a lot of trial and error but after bit by bit sanding off the feed, I was able to fit the nib deep enough that the cap can open/close in 2 turns... which was enough for me and that is how much the cap turned to open/close initially. But was all that trouble worth it? In short... Yes... The nib I fitted was a Kanwrite No.35 Fine nib in a steel finish... and I think it suits the pen better than the No.8 nibs that Airmail uses. that extra flare in the shoulder and the increased length really sets the proportions right for me... And when we come to the writing... Fine and smooth with a hint of feedback... Just the way I like it because it allows me to write fast enough without being too fast that my hand gets out of control... so I prefer pens with a slight feedback. But the feedback isn't intrusive and the pen just glides along the page. And remember, the amount of feedback depends on the paper used as well. On standard 70gsm copier paper like the one used in the writing test, the writing feels more pencil like. But if used in a higher quality paper like a Classmate or Rhodia, the feedback becomes, near as makes no difference, unnoticeable and the nib just glides over the page while putting on a generous, wet, fine line. The line is fine by western standards and a medium when compared to nibs like that from Pilot. But suffice to say that this is an upgrade that you should do. and with proper heat setting of the feed, there is absolutely no burping until the ink gets critically low, and by that time I would've refilled it anyway... All of these combined made my Airmail from never carry to daily carry. And for me, that's a win. Conclusion To conclude this for about ₹400-450/- for the pen and about ₹75/- for the nib which overall costs around ₹500-530/-(around $8 USD) this is a pen that punches way above it's weight and is a recommend from me... if you are not feeling that adventurous then a No.8 nib swap from Kanwrite can make you love your airmail even more... Trust me, if you have a Airmail/Wality 69/71 series,and you want to have an enhanced writing experience (and you're a bit frugal like me), don't buy another pen... just swap the nib with a better one. Your love for that pen will be enhanced... Just like my love for my 69T
  2. I've been pondering this for the past hour, now that the last of my Sailor pens on order (from before my self-imposed year-long moratorium) have arrived. Assuming that the ‘medium-sized’ 14K gold nibs are all interchangeable — and they sorta are, but not exactly in the way one may be accustomed to with Pelikan, HongDian, or Edison Pen Co. pens — between these pens, how best to reassign some of the nibs? As is, With gold trim and yellow-gold nibs (Pro Gear Slim) Shikiori Manyo — Extra Fine nib Promenade (GT) in black — Extra Fine nib Promenade ’Shining Blue’ — Fine nib Promenade ‘Shining Red’ — Fine nib Pro Gear Slim Mini in Stellar Blue — Medium-Fine nib Pro Gear Slim Mini in Taupe — Medium-Fine nib Koshu-Inden Sayagata — Medium-Fine nib Koshu-Inden Kozakura — Medium-Fine nib Kabazaiku — Medium nib Profit Standard (aka 1911 Standard) in ivory — Music nib (Profit Standard) Proske demonstrator — Zoom nib With silver trim and rhodium-plated nibs Pro Gear Slim ‘Midnight Sky’ — Zoom nib Pro Gear Slim ‘Ocean’ — Fine nib Promenade (ST) in black — Fine nib (Shockingly, I don't have any Sailor ‘medium-sized’ 21K gold nibs. I do have a few ‘large-sized’ 21K gold nibs for the full-sized Profit 21 and Professional Gear pens.) In my experience, the cap seal effectiveness of the Profit Standard and Pro Gear Slim models is excellent, but just OK for the Koshu-Inden and Kabazaiku models. The Promenade is fitted with a spring-loaded inner cap (à la Platinum's Slip&Seal mechanism), and so its cap seal effectiveness should be best of all. Out of curiosity, how would you (re)assign the nibs?
  3. I've been intending for some time to put up a brief post about the TWSBI Eco as a great pen for nib swapping - but with general busy-ness it's never quite happened, till now. When people started buying the TWSBI Eco, and looking into nib swapping options, two things were immediately apparent: first, that the pen lent itself to this kind of activity, given the ease with which nib and feed can be removed; and second, that TWSBI didn't seem interested in selling nibs to swap in to this pen. What makes this a little maddening is that the Eco nib is quite clearly the same as for the TWSBI Diamond Mini, Vac Mini, and Classic pens - but the nib assemblies for these pens aren't exactly cheap, and the nib and feed are jammed in so tight that the risk of damaging the feed is pretty high. My first thought was to try the nibs I already had on hand, from Fountain Pen Revolution - which are great, smooth, and inexpensive nibs. But there was a problem (in my experience at least): the nibs sat a little proud of the feed, and ink flow was poor to non-existent. Others more enterprising than me have gotten around this by heat setting the nib and feed - but plastic feeds (apparently) aren't as amenable to this as ebonite, and I wasn't game to try it. Besides, that would require me to re-heat-set the feed if I wanted to reinstall the original nib. My second thought was to try some Bock #5 nibs I had lying around - but these, frankly, were too small and very ill-fitting. Enter fpnibs.com, a small Spanish-based company run by Pablo Carrasco and Esther Durán who buy, customise and sell JoWo nibs - including the kind of nibs that TWSBI use in their Eco, Mini etc. For an amazingly low price (~€6), you can buy a plain stainless steel nib that will fit perfectly; for maybe another €0,50 you can buy the same nib with ruthenium coating. Add to that the amazingly low prices on their custom grinds, and suddenly the Eco becomes an exceptionally versatile pen. Here's a snap of my collection - most of it, anyway (note the 4 top nibs are generic JoWos' the bottom 3 are TWSBI nibs for comparison): http://i.imgur.com/wMCtTfW.jpg Here's a close-up of the custom grinds I requested on three of the nibs - two cursive italics and an architect grind: http://i.imgur.com/OHYofyv.jpg A side-on and and an under-side shot of the architect nib, for completeness (please forgive the poor focus): http://i.imgur.com/KFutS0i.jpg http://i.imgur.com/OnMbAqK.jpg I've been extremely impressed with the quality of these nibs - both the stock nibs and the custom grinds. So much so, that I recently ordered two #6 nibs (stainless steel), to add to my collection - plus the rhodium-plated gold B nib for a Diamond 580 that sparked my initial interest in Pablo's workmanship. Standard disclaimer, I've received no freebies of any kind from this company - but am more than happy to recommend them to anyone interested in customising their TWSBI (or other) pens. Feel free to ask any questions - sorry I haven't got any recent photos of these nibs in action, but I've been away on holiday and (two of) my Ecos stayed home...
  4. Which inexpensive pens can be retrofitted with #6 nibs, such as Nemosine stubs and Noodler's halflex nibs? I know the list includes Noodler's Ahab and Konrad pens (have both, and find the Ahab too fat and the Konrad too fast to dry out, even when capped), Nemosine Singularity and Fission (Fission is too heavy), and the Jinhao 159 (too heavy) X450 (too heavy, triangular grip) and X750. But surely there are others! What are they?





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