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  1. 1. TITLE Modification of Kaigelu 316 fountain pen using Bock type 250 nib unit (EF, stainless steel, 2-tone) and Beaufort Ink premium Ink Converter. 2. INTRODUCTION Recently, I acquired two Kaigelu 316 fountain pens which I adore, one is ivory or pearl colored with black swirls and the other is brownish colored with orange waves. The pens seem to be imitations of the more expensive Parker Duofold fountain pens. I bought them without their box from an ebay store in China, for under 20euros each (1). Figs 1a-1b 3. OBJECTIVE However, I was a little disappointed by the nib of the Kaigelu pens, which although smooth, write too broad for my liking. My one option would be to grind the pen nib, which I am currently learning how to improve at, however I am not adept at it yet. My other option would be to find a high quality replacement nib. A little web search proved that it has been difficult to find a replacement nib for this pen.(2-4) It would be great if I could fit an extra fine (EF) Bock or Jowo nib into my Kaigelu 316. 4. METHODS AND MATERIALS Unfortunately, I was unsuccessful in seperating the nib from the feed in my Kaigelu, however in trying to do so, I managed to completely remove the nib housing from the inside of the pen barrel. Please note that the Kaigelu 316 nib housing does not have any threads on its outer surface, the nib housing and the section are actually held together by friction-fit. Interestingly enough, the Kaigelu pen section does have internal threads at approximately 10mm from its nib-end, which, alas, are not engaged with the nib housing at all. It could have been that I accidentally have torn the housing threads myself, in my attempt to remove it from the pen section, but there appears to be no remnants of torn threads on the external surface of the Kaigelu nib housing at all. For owners of other Kaigelu pens, which have the nib housings attached firmly in the pen sections, it is recommended to place the pens in hot water for 4-5 minutes, and then to attempt to unscrew or remove the two pieces apart. Fig 2a-2d After measuring the nib housing dimensions, I contacted both Jowo and Bock companies. The Jowo nib housing dimensions (7.5mm in diameter) differed significantly from the Kaigelu one as pictured in the Fpnibs website (5), I was finally referred to Phil at Beaufort Ink (6), which is the Bock representative in UK (no affiliation, just a happy customer). Phil suggested that the Bock type 250 nib housing (8 mm in diameter), with a stainless steel, 2-tone nib, could perhaps fit this pen's barrel. He even emailed me a diagram with the dimensions of this nib unit which proved that this might be a good replacement option to try. Fig 3a-3c. I ordered two Bock units type 250, in EF and F nib size, in stainless steel and 2-tone color. Furthermore, I ordered the Beaufort Ink's own-marketed ink converter, which in retrospect proved very thoughtful, as the Kaigelu screw-type ink converter dimensions would not match the Bock housing's ink inlet. When the package arrived, I saw that Phil was kind enough to include some other Bock housings so I could experiment in other pen modifications too. Fig 4a-4d. Side by side comparison of the nib housings reveals that the original Kaigelu units are slightly shorter than the Bock ones. However, I was able to insert the Bock nib unit into the Kaigelu pen barrel, where it would fit perfectly. Even though the nib housing's and the barrel's threads did not engage at all, the two parts would be retained by friction fit in an excellent manner. Although Phil had suggested that I could use transparent nail polish to retrievably attach the nib housing to the pen barrel, I was amazed to find that the pen was secure enough to be used only with the two parts retained snugly together with friction fit. Alternatively, I guess I could have used shellac too, but I did not find this necessary, as it allowed me to change nib units at my own will. As far as the ink converter is concerned, it was also retained by friction-fit inside the top of the pen section in a perfect manner. The Beaufort Ink premium ink converter was not screw-retained as the original Kaigelu ink converter used to be, but it was tight enough and matched perfectly in size, so that I did not have any problem with ink leakage whatsoever. Although I am sure they had not intended on purpose, it seems as if the Beaufort Ink premium Ink Converter was perfectly crafted for this Kaigelu pen, I feel so lucky! Fig 5a-5f. 5. DISCUSSION It might also be interesting to note that the Bock nib can easily be removed from the its housing and occasionally be replaced with a Jowo EF or any other size Jowo nib, if one so desires. Here is the same Kaigelu pen with a EF Jowo nib purchased from Anderson Pens (7) in Milwalkee (no affiliation, just a happy customer). I could easily interchange the Jowo nib taken from the pictured Jinhao x450 and transfer it, back and forth, to the Kaigelu 316. Fig 6a-6b. In my experience, both EF and F Bock nibs write 'buttery' smooth, however the Jowo nib pleasantly gives a little more feedback which I personally like. This is consistent with similar findings by other fountain pen users on Fountain Pen Network (FPN) threads (8). One can write ever so slightly finer lines with the EF Jowo nib compared to the EF Bock one, using the same ink and paper, at least with the Bock and Jowo nibs at my hands. One explanation for why a Jowo nib writes a little crisper than a Bock nib might be the slightly different nib geometry at their tips. Under magnification, the Bock EF seems to have a slightly broader nib-paper contact area than the Jowo. However, if it wasn't for the Bock housing, no other high quality nib could be substituted for this pen. According to my personal experience, I can write easier with the Bock EF nib on plain paper, compared to the Jowo EF nib which somewhat “catches” on cheaper paper, and seems to write smoother on better quality paper only. Here are writing samples with the Kaigelu pen with EF and F Bock nibs and also with the Kaigelu original nib. I only wish I had a better macro lens so I could take better closeup shots of both Bock and Jowo nibs, the nib on the left is the Bock, the one on the right is the Jowo. Fig 7a-7b. Finally, other users have described the Kaigelu 316 as a heavy pen, however, I personally do not find it cumbersome to hold, as it fits my style of writing perfectly. However, if one does want to modify the weight of the Kaigelu, richardandtracy's thread on finial replacement at FPN discussing this matter might be useful.(9) The modified Kaigelu pen also seems to be 1.5 to 2 mm longer with the Bock nib compared with the original nib but this, combined with the fact that the pen is slightly back-heavy, helps with the pen's weight balance more so than not. Fig 8.1-2 Here are a quick writing sample with the Kaigelu 316 with Bock 250 EF nib, please excuse my terrible handwriting... Fig 9 6. SUMMARY A 250 Bock nib housing could be fitted inside the Kaigelu 316 fountain pen section and a Bock or Jowo nib could used alternatively, along with a Beaufort Ink premium ink converter. I have been using my modified Kaigelu 316 for three weeks now without any issues. Now that the Bock or Jowo nibs has been proven that can be fitted into this pen, other high quality #6 nibs like Edison, Goulet, Anderson, Monteverde or Franklin-Christoph could potentially be fitted successfully into this pen. I hope this was useful to other pen enthousiasts possessing or interested in acquiring a Kaigelu 316 pen. 7. DISCLAIMER As quality control varies with chinese pens in general, no warranty is given that results can exactly be reproduced with all other Kaigelu 316 fountain pens. The techniques described above are given as a guideline and can be replilcated at each one's own discretion and responsibility. There is no commercial relation or affiliation with the pen brands / stores mentioned in this article. My respects goes to all pen enthusiasts, both professional and amateur, who have toiled for the improvement of the fountain pen experience. Regards, Photios 8. REFERENCES (1) ebay store jewelry mathematics http://www.ebay.com/usr/jewelrymathematics (2) Matt Armstrong / The Pen Habit http://penhabit.com/2014/06/04/pen-review-kaigelu-316 (3) Matt Armstrong / youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5cDfBdjSaN8 (4) Stephen Brown / Writing with the Kaigelu Century Star 316, youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X_kZKo-8Pyw (5) FPNibs, Official Jowo representative in Spain, diagram with dimensions of #6 Jowo Nib Unit, and #6 EF Jowo Nib Unit, http://www.fpnibs.com/en/size-6-jowo/85-plumin-de-acero-tamano-5.html (6) Phil at Beaufort Ink / Bock UK representative, http://www.beaufortink.co.uk (7) Anderson Pens, 10 E. College Ave. Suite 112A, Appleton, WI 54911 http://www.andersonpens.com/ (8) dsolmei at FPN thread, Jowo Vs Bock - Which Do You Think Is Better And Why? https://www.fountainpennetwork.com/forum/topic/252283-jowo-vs-bock-which-do-you-think-is-better-and-why/ (9) richardandtracy's thread on FPN- https://www.fountainpennetwork.com/forum/topic/245065-kaigelu-316-acrylic-barrel-finial/
  2. 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





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