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  1. Aditkamath26

    Regrinding My Varsity Nib To A Fine!

    Hello and greetings to all of you! I was quite happy with my Pilot Varsity/V-Pen. But the only problem for me was with the nib being a very fat Japanese medium (even fatter than a JoWo medium). It was also very wet with its original ink contributing to fatness. Now 15 year old me was curious about grinding my Parker Urban nib to one size down to probably a fine or at least remove its baby's bottom. But the fear of ruining it forbade me to. Then it dawned upon me. I took my Varsity and sat down for an hour or so and reground that medium to almost a nice fine. How I did it? Here you go: 1)Took my mom's nail buffer and started running the nib on the coarsest side first for about 45 minutes to get it to a fine (Relax, it takes time on that thing. The reason I didn't grind it to an extra fine was the time). 2)Then after I got it to where I wanted, I smoothed out the nib from all sides making a consistent shape. 3)Then took a cup and smoothed the pen on its underside by drawing figure eights until I was happy. Now I am really proud of myself as this is the first nib grind I have done and achieved success with it. The Varsity writes beautifully with a fine consistent line with consistent ink flow wit Pelikan 4001 Royal Blue. Feel free to ask me anything! Thanks for reading, Adit Sreesh Kamath
  2. I began writing with a fountain pen this year (hoping to improve my handwriting), so please forgive if this isn't the most informative review you've ever read. I've read a few here on FPN, and this will not be as well-rounded as those reviews. I have four fountain pens; a Pentel Tradio that I picked up from Staples, which costs around $15. A Pilot Varsity, which is a disposable fountain pen that costs less than $5. A Speedball calligraphy pen I picked up at Michaels. And finally, a TWSBI Eco, which costs around $30. I wrote the inks I'm using on the image by the pen name. The Pentel Tradio came with a very, in my opinion, dull color of blue. Being winter, I found it kind of depressing to look at. So, I replaced it with Private Reserve "American Blue," which is just what I want a blue pen ink to look like. I don't have the expertise yet to talk about ink performance. The Pentel takes standard international cartridges. Mine are "short," and fit fine, but they also take the long ones. My Pentel skips a lot and the nib catches onto the paper. I'm using a Fabriano paper for this demonstration. I'm looking forward to trying more types of paper over the next year too. I was wondering how much of the skipping was my inexpertise with using a fountain pen (its only been a couple of weeks now). So, I bought the disposable Pilot Varsity. I wouldn't call the ink blue, though that's what its advertised as. It looks purple to me. Maybe indigo. That doesn't really come out much in the image above though. Here's another picture, which might show the inks more clearly. I hate to say it, but for these specific pens at least, the $5 Varsity writes better than the $15 Pentel. It is smoother and skips less. I began carrying around the Varsity to work (I teach part-time at a university). Both are a medium nib. But one part of beginning to use fountain pens for me is being less ecologically destructive (the book I wrote on ecology and music), so the Varsity won't do as a long-term solution. I also wanted to try a Calligraphy pen, so I picked up the Speedball at Michaels. It's a 1.1 nib. I don't really like black ink that much so I got a green (also Speedball) ink, and it looks fine. It is actually smoother than the other two. But I'm not going to use a Calligraphy pen for my everyday work. Still, perhaps something with a slightly broader nib might still work. So, I bought the TWSBI Eco with a broad nib. It actually doesn't feel any broader than the two medium nibs above. But it writes a million times smoother than any of the other pens I own at this point. It was worth the $30. I am using the Diamine Oxblood, which I am using to grade papers. It works surprisingly well even on bad papers. It is smooth and doesn't get caught on any of the student papers I've used it on. My friend Matt has used and repaired fountain pens for years (I went to high school with him, way back in the late 80s-early 90s), but I didn't know it until him liking Lamy Pens came up on my Facebook feed. So, I asked him, and he told me about this website, Goulet Pens. I wish I had bought my Eco there, because its 4 dollars cheaper. If I had it to do over again, I probably wouldn't have bought the Pentel Tradio, because mine doesn't write well enough for me to validate the $15 (its not like part-time lecturers get paid all that well:) I read a lot of reviews prior to choosing the TWSBI Eco, and am grateful that it has a ton of them. Maybe in the future I'll be able to compare the TWSBI Eco to other comparable pens (similar price range), like the Pilot Metropolitan and Lamy Safari. But for now, I'm happy with my choice. Best! Daniel
  3. This review and others can also be found at my website: www.pensinksandpaper.com At first glance, the Deli S677 might appear to be a cheap marker, a plasticky bit of mass-produced unpleasantness that has no place in the hand of a fountain pen user. One would be surprised, then, when removing the cap to find not a ballpoint tip or a marker’s felt but a nib. Appearance & Design (3/10) – I’m not entirely sure what the creators of this pen were trying to do in terms of visual appeal. They look rather unusual. The caps are a solid pastel color, with a white clip that says “deli” on it. The body of the pen is the same pastel color as the cap, but with small white hearts dotting the area. In the center of the bodies of the pens are cartoon animals, under which there is text that reads “Here is a More Lush Forest.” Your guess as to what they mean is as good as mine. Just before the section on the top of the body there is a white ring with an “inspirational” quote on it. The pink pen reads “I am to grow strong and tall”. The green pen reads “My skin is the most beautiful of all”. The most inspiring of all, though, is the blue pen, which gives us the truly beautiful line of “The squirrel is a typical arboreal mammal”. Running alongside the body of the pen is the model number of the pen and a barcode that my barcode scanning app did not recognize as a product available here in the states. Construction & Quality (6/10) – Compared to other pens of the same price level/target audience, the S677 isn’t terribly built. The plastic feels solid enough, and after some time using the pen and carrying it around in a messy backpack I have not experienced any paint chipping or scuffing. The cap posts very securely, and snaps back onto the body securely and satisfyingly. It actually feels excellent in the hand, if a bit light, as long as you don’t look down at it. The pen is about the length of a Lamy Safari, but a bit lighter and thinner, and if you removed the silly paint it looks and feels remarkably similar to a Pilot Varsity. Nib & Performance (6/10) – The nib us also suspiciously similar to that of a Pilot Varsity. Apart from the S677’s being stamped “Deli” rather than “Pilot”, the nibs are virtually indistinguishable in terms of design, size, and performance. It is smooth and reliable, but don’t expect anything except a nail. The pen writes a tad bit dry, but not dry enough to impede the smoothness or cause any skipping problems. The feed also differs from the Pilot Varsity, as I believe the S677 has a traditional plastic feed rather than a wick one like the Pilot. Filling System & Maintenance – There isn’t all too much to say here, the pen is a Cartridge/Convertor filler. The pen comes with some blue ink cartridges, which work nicely. One point of interest here: the pen does not accept international sized cartridges or convertors, but works perfectly Lamy’s alternatives. Cost & Value (8/10) – The pen was purchased from China for a mere dollar and eighty cents for a pack of three. At that price point, I think that these are a far better buy than Pilot Varsity’s if you can stand their design choices. I wouldn’t use these on a regular basis, because I have much more interesting and good-looking pens that I use and rely on. As pens to give away to people, or to lend as first fountain pens, though, they’re just about perfect. (Again, if the person receiving them can stand the design) Their nail of a nib is smooth and can withstand the pressure of a ballpoint user, and they accept cartridges, putting them a notch above the Pilot Varsity in my book. Conclusion (Final score, 5.75/10) – To be brutally honest, I will not be using these pens again for a while. I have, however, already given two of them away to first-time fountain pen users, both of whom love them dearly and are already looking at more expensive, better pens. As tools for someone who has many fountain pens already, I’d steer clear of these guys. But for a first fountain pen, or giveaway pens, at $1.80 for three these make a pretty great alternative to Pilot Varsity’s, Platinum Preppy’s, and the other cheap “disposables” on the market.
  4. I had heard a lot of positive reviews about these pens but I was still surprised at how good they are when I finally got my hands on one. I've been using a blue one pretty steadily for over a week now and it seems utterly foolproof. It writes first time every time with no coaxing at all. I've had lots of requests to stock this pen because they are hard to find in Australia but I was never keen on the idea of 'disposable' fountain pens. But they are such foolproof pens I thought they'd be ideal for 'converting' people to fountain pens and they are surprisingly easy to refill anyway. We're selling them for $AUD4.95 (Less than Officeworks - although you'll be lucky to find one there) and if they prove popular we'll make them a permanent stock item.
  5. I am totally new to fountain pens. I use the reviews from Ink Nouveau website to decide on my fountain pen materials, but so far I've only bought three Pilot Varsity's. Tips for any pens. I am a student, with a student's budget.





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