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  1. Hi all, Carried out my first pen modification toady, it went quite well. I didn't break anything anyway! So I got a Vac 700 with a 1.1mm snub nib a few days ago, got to say seriously smooth nib there. I had been happily enjoying the effect it had on line variation whilst using Private Reserve's Copper Burst when what should happen? My Noodlers Konrad Flex nib arrived, along with some Private Reserve Sepia. Inked it up and Oh My, what a combo It wasn't perfect, very scratchy and the pen body was awful coming from the Vac 700. But I couldn't put it down, It was throwing out such fine control over then line variation that when I compared it to my 1.1mm snub's efforts they just looked boring and childish!! But I couldn't keep my eyes off the TWSBI, and the Konrad looks like a 50p pen. What to do, what to do?....Brain wave, stick the Noodlers nib on the TWSBI........ TADA!! http://www.flickr.com/photos/39505524@N02/9452789866/ http://www.flickr.com/photos/39505524@N02/9449939479/ Here is what I had to do to get it to work: 1. The nibs are both #6, but have a slightly different curvature, the Noodlers has a shallower curve. So find a 6mm piece of metal rod that matches the TWSBI nib perfectly. Put the Noodlers nib over the rod to see how much re-shaping you have to do. 2. Start GENTLY squeezing the bottom for the nib together in a pulsing motion (i used pliers), literally 1 or 2 squeezes at a time. Put it back on the rod and see how it compares. 3. Dont try to get it anywhere near perfect, just get it a little deeper. Test fit it to the TWSBI, Its a tight fit. 4. You may find that the Noodlers nib wont go as far in as the original, if this occurs gently squeeze the nib together about 3-4mm from the bottom. Pulsing motion again, 1 or 2 times. 5. Time to modify the feed. All i did for this was run a used stanley blade down the TWSBI channel a few times I didnt want to make the feed as big as the noodlers one because I didn't want to wreck it for use with the 1.1mm stub. However the pen does dry out if I try to use max flex at any speed above dead slow, so I may have to re-visit this. 6. Putting it back together. The feed will only go in one way, dont force it, on its own it will just slip in. Note the orientation of the pen and feed when you have got it to slip all the way in. Get the noodlers nib and line it up so that there are 6 fins left visible on the back of the feed (ensuring that the feed channel and the tines line up 100%) try to push both the nib and feed in simultaneously, you will encounter problems if the feed slides ahead of the nib. 7. Check cap fit. First couple of attempts i made, the pen wrote fine, but the lid would not go on, nib wasn't far enough in. So be careful when you first attempt to fit the cap, even now my nib is less than a hair width from the cap when its on. Bad points: Only thing i can think of is that I like the engraving on the TWSBI nibs I actually do kinda miss it. If fact the TWSBI nib looks better generally than the Noodlers. Oh yeah and I still have to widen the channel a bit, which my rule out putting the snub nib back on. Here is a writing sample (not great) using the TWSBI Vac700 Flex nib! http://www.flickr.com/photos/39505524@N02/9452707954/ http://www.flickr.com/photos/39505524@N02/9452690942/ Well thats it really! Its on here now if anyone wants a cheap flex nib on a Vac 700! Cheers James
  2. Hello FPN! Long time lurker, finally decided to join up. Well, I currently work as an Emergency Medical Technician in the Greater LA, and surrounding areas, mainly as a Medical Taxi, as the inside joke goes. I can either drive or attend, but my current permanent partner prefers too drive, so I took up the clipboard and pen and took over the Attendant's spot. Back in December of 2012, I picked up cheapy calligraphy set from a Staple's. I don't recall the manufacturer, but it was pretty terrible, no ink flow, constant leaking, et cetera. I came across a Manuscript Italic Nib set; while cheap, was a remarkable improvement over the other. Given that the nature of our job involves gobs of time just sitting around and waiting, and I had fairly horrible handwriting, I decided to start doing runs in calligraphy. While I was certainly not perfect in the beginning, I noticed how easily I seemed to be picking it up. As in I could dissect the letters from the exemplars without the "1,2,3" guides. In discussing it with my Mother on Facebook Chat one day, she said she wasn't surprised, and mentioned that I did calligraphy for a sprint when I was a bit younger, with one of her older sets. I honestly did not recall it, as I had several dozen 'creative' interests when I was a kid. Dropping one, only to move on too the next. I suppose the basic fundamentals stuck with me on some level, and I moved forward with my self-improvement project. The first runs I turned in were done in 'Olde English' or 'Blackletter' style. The looks and stunned expressions I received were amusing, and each supervisor; while impressed, were uncertain if the runs could actually be turned in, as we sent them too Medicare. I offered to rewrite it in normal hand, and the response was: "No, let's turn it in, and see what they say." I guess each step up the pyramid resulted in each superior saying the same thing. Eventually the biller took notice, contacted them directly, and the only rules were: Black Ink, and Legible. Anything else was just a different handwriting style and individual preference. As such, I was 'approved' in my project and have continued it ever since, and am more or less addicted to it now. I still have my Manuscripts, in varying nib sizes, and have expanded to include; in no particular order: *Speedball Dip Pens: Oblique for Engraver's Script, 'Normal' Nib Holder, and the Hawk Quill Holder, a much smaller one intended for inkers in drawing, but has become my favorite for personal home use. *Noodler's Flex Nib. Not the Ahab, but the smaller one that has the plunger refill system. I like it, but I can't seem to get the nib and feed 'just right' to get the thick/thin script I want to learn. *Pilot Pluminix. Basically just a modified Italic Nib Pen, but I prefer the grip that keeps the hand in a specific angle, and the Pilot Ink just works better for runs and everyday use. Though I do alternate between this one and my Manuscript. And yes, much of this is the 'cheapy' versions of the many higher quality versions. It's a compromise between not necessarily having the funds for them, and not being set back terribly through the potential loss of damaging and losing them out in the field. I've been by these forums several times for inspiration in different hands, and have practiced about a dozen different hands up to this point. I look forward to future sharing of our mutual passions.





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