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Ebonite Feed Vs Plastic Feed


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I notice www.penboard.de seem to make a feature of an Ebonite feed in there description as being 'better' ......

 

~When they have a MB 149/146 with an Ebonite feed...... to sell... :unsure:

 

Unfortunately I have not been able to purchase any of the lovely pens they have to sell as yet due to my bank balance :headsmack:

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When I started the business over 20 years ago ebonite feed were still very popular.

I supposed they were the best compared to plastic.

Experience and engineering brought me to the other side and today Visconti use only plastic feeds for these reasons :

Quality :averadge quality in a plastic feed is much higher than an ebonite feed.

Performance . air compensation is much higher so a plastic feed is able to absorb higher air pressure gaps .

 

Advantages of an ebonite feed :

Heritage : these feed are made by tooling like the vintage pens

Capillarity : ebonite has a "wet" surface that allows easy capillarity. Plstic (ABS usually) need to have a wet tratment otherwise do not works. Any pen dealer knows that a plastic feed needs more time to start properly.

 

Advantages of plastic feeds :

Air compensation : a plastic feed is injection moulded and the mould cost a fortune (roughly 100/ 150.000 euros). The comes (very busy) are designed for a perfect air compensation and in a modern feed are not visible and sits inside of the house while the comes outside are for just design purposes but not working. In an ebonite feed that is made by tooling is NOT possible to machne the same comes and this is why plastic feeds are superior. Do not forget that 60 years ago there were nearly NO air flights therefore air compensation was limited to wheather changes or mountains or skyscrapers.

 

Quality : ebonite is very abrasive and tools have a very short life. Is easy to understand that to cut the same groove is nearly impossible and tools have to be changed very frequently.Pls consider the size of the tools , usually mm 0.15 . A different groove size means an higher or lower ink flow. Ink flow depends from the width of both channels : ink channel and air channel, but air channel is much more important because is air that determines how much is the ink flow. It is obiouvs that a plastic feed is always perfect because there is not a tool consumption.

 

Hand work : to adapt the feed to the nib is much easier with plastic : infact with ebonite is necessary to warm the feed and this requires an expert.

 

My friend Tom (Penboard) is correct whe he says that there are good feed and bad feeds in plastic but this gap is much higher in ebonite feeds.

Since is not technically possible to test every single feed this is why there are still pens that sometimes do not write perfectly , or with a bad feed.

In Visconti there are less than 0.5 % of bad feeds due to the excellent manufacturing.

Edited by delvecchio
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Is there any difference in performance? As an user of both types of feed in MB149, I can't feel any difference myself.

 

I don't think I have ever written with a pen that doesn't have a plastic feed. When I was looking for my first 149 I deliberately looked for the latest version so that I could get a newer pen, brass screw threads, an 18ct nib and a serial number. An ebonite feed and a flexible nib weren't high on my list of priorities.

 

(p.s. I have a black 146 with the OM nib and don't think I have ever filled it since it had it's nib change)

Edited by Chrissy
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When I started the business over 20 years ago ebonite feed were still very popular.

I supposed they were the best compared to plastic.

Experience and engineering brought me to the other side and today Visconti use only plastic feeds for these reasons :

Quality :averadge quality in a plastic feed is much higher than an ebonite feed.

Performance . air compensation is much higher so a plastic feed is able to absorb higher air pressure gaps .

 

Advantages of an ebonite feed :

Heritage : these feed are made by tooling like the vintage pens

Capillarity : ebonite has a "wet" surface that allows easy capillarity. Plstic (ABS usually) need to have a wet tratment otherwise do not works. Any pen dealer knows that a plastic feed needs more time to start properly.

 

Advantages of plastic feeds :

Air compensation : a plastic feed is injection moulded and the mould cost a fortune (roughly 100/ 150.000 euros). The comes (very busy) are designed for a perfect air compensation and in a modern feed are not visible and sits inside of the house while the comes outside are for just design purposes but not working. In an ebonite feed that is made by tooling is NOT possible to machne the same comes and this is why plastic feeds are superior. Do not forget that 60 years ago there were nearly NO air flights therefore air compensation was limited to wheather changes or mountains or skyscrapers.

 

Quality : ebonite is very abrasive and tools have a very short life. Is easy to understand that to cut the same groove is nearly impossible and tools have to be changed very frequently.Pls consider the size of the tools , usually mm 0.15 . A different groove size means an higher or lower ink flow. Ink flow depends from the width of both channels : ink channel and air channel, but air channel is much more important because is air that determines how much is the ink flow. It is obiouvs that a plastic feed is always perfect because there is not a tool consumption.

 

Hand work : to adapt the feed to the nib is much easier with plastic : infact with ebonite is necessary to warm the feed and this requires an expert.

 

My friend Tom (Penboard) is correct whe he says that there are good feed and bad feeds in plastic but this gap is much higher in ebonite feeds.

Since is not technically possible to test every single feed this is why there are still pens that sometimes do not write perfectly , or with a bad feed.

In Visconti there are less than 0.5 % of bad feeds due to the excellent manufacturing.

 

Thanks for the insightful post... I'd be curious to know how effective air pressure compensation is in modern plastic feeds. Usually I don't have problems with my pens when I fly (I keep them stored vertically), and now I wonder if that would be true with some of the vintage pens I own.

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  • 2 weeks later...

When I started the business over 20 years ago ebonite feed were still very popular.

I supposed they were the best compared to plastic.

Experience and engineering brought me to the other side and today Visconti use only plastic feeds for these reasons :

Quality :averadge quality in a plastic feed is much higher than an ebonite feed.

Performance . air compensation is much higher so a plastic feed is able to absorb higher air pressure gaps .

 

Advantages of an ebonite feed :

Heritage : these feed are made by tooling like the vintage pens

Capillarity : ebonite has a "wet" surface that allows easy capillarity. Plstic (ABS usually) need to have a wet tratment otherwise do not works. Any pen dealer knows that a plastic feed needs more time to start properly.

 

Advantages of plastic feeds :

Air compensation : a plastic feed is injection moulded and the mould cost a fortune (roughly 100/ 150.000 euros). The comes (very busy) are designed for a perfect air compensation and in a modern feed are not visible and sits inside of the house while the comes outside are for just design purposes but not working. In an ebonite feed that is made by tooling is NOT possible to machne the same comes and this is why plastic feeds are superior. Do not forget that 60 years ago there were nearly NO air flights therefore air compensation was limited to wheather changes or mountains or skyscrapers.

 

Quality : ebonite is very abrasive and tools have a very short life. Is easy to understand that to cut the same groove is nearly impossible and tools have to be changed very frequently.Pls consider the size of the tools , usually mm 0.15 . A different groove size means an higher or lower ink flow. Ink flow depends from the width of both channels : ink channel and air channel, but air channel is much more important because is air that determines how much is the ink flow. It is obiouvs that a plastic feed is always perfect because there is not a tool consumption.

 

Hand work : to adapt the feed to the nib is much easier with plastic : infact with ebonite is necessary to warm the feed and this requires an expert.

 

My friend Tom (Penboard) is correct whe he says that there are good feed and bad feeds in plastic but this gap is much higher in ebonite feeds.

Since is not technically possible to test every single feed this is why there are still pens that sometimes do not write perfectly , or with a bad feed.

In Visconti there are less than 0.5 % of bad feeds due to the excellent manufacturing.

 

Thanks for the insightful post... I'd be curious to know how effective air pressure compensation is in modern plastic feeds. Usually I don't have problems with my pens when I fly (I keep them stored vertically), and now I wonder if that would be true with some of the vintage pens I own.

 

Vertically it will work also a Parker lucky curve !

Technically the increase is huge and a vintage feed cannot be compared with a modern one

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Hand work : to adapt the feed to the nib is much easier with plastic : infact with ebonite is necessary to warm the feed and this requires an expert.

 

Is this really true? I've always read the opposite, and I've had difficulty heat setting one of my plastic feeds (I never tried heat setting on anything else).

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Mr. Del Vecchio gave us a good lecture on difference plastic/ ebonite feeds!

 

There are very good plastic feeds today. My 2 favorite are Pelikan and Visconti. Both provide a very wet line that I love!

 

 

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Thanks for the insightful post... I'd be curious to know how effective air pressure compensation is in modern plastic feeds. Usually I don't have problems with my pens when I fly (I keep them stored vertically), and now I wonder if that would be true with some of the vintage pens I own.

 

Vertically it will work also a Parker lucky curve !

Technically the increase is huge and a vintage feed cannot be compared with a modern one

 

I haven't read it yet, but the latest Pen World has an article by Richard Binder about American vintage pens that are safe to fly with.

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Hand work : to adapt the feed to the nib is much easier with plastic : infact with ebonite is necessary to warm the feed and this requires an expert.

 

Is this really true? I've always read the opposite, and I've had difficulty heat setting one of my plastic feeds (I never tried heat setting on anything else).

 

Based on what I've read heat setting only works for ebonite, and with plastic feeds the temperatures required would melt and/or permanently degrade the plastic. However, with modern machining the nib and plastic feed can be made to tight enough tolerances that heat fitting isn't required at all.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I just saw in a video by Nathan that ebonite feeds have memory. When heated and bent out of shape, simply heating it again will return it to it's original state. Nice for experimenting with slight curvature to increase or decrease ink flow. You can see it around the 23:30 mark

.

It is easier to stay out than get out. - Mark Twain

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I think most of the argument supporting plastic above was because it is easier and cheaper for the manufacturer. Give me an ebonite feed every time - they simply perform better for the user and isn't that what the pen is all about? When I think about pens that always start they are vintage ebonite feeds. I wish the Targas had ebonite feeds as they can be a bear to start though they write well once going.

 

For someone using a pen ebonite outperforms plastic every time!

 

Roger W.

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I think most of the argument supporting plastic above was because it is easier and cheaper for the manufacturer. Give me an ebonite feed every time - they simply perform better for the user and isn't that what the pen is all about? When I think about pens that always start they are vintage ebonite feeds. I wish the Targas had ebonite feeds as they can be a bear to start though they write well once going.

 

For someone using a pen ebonite outperforms plastic every time!

 

Roger W.

Depends. All my pens by Pilot have plastic feeds, and they write every time. I really think it's like the difference between gold and steel nibs. The performance is marginal, but just depends on your personal preference and how well the company can execute the manufacture. However, I doubt that anyone can get the high density of fins on a plastic feed. I would think that they could be CNC milled now, so that really shouldn't be a limiting factor.

The heart has its reasons which reason knows nothing of.

Blaise Pascal

fpn_1336709688__pen_01.jpg

Tell me about any of your new pens and help with fountain pen quality control research!

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I only have 1 pen with an ebonite feed, a vintage Waterman 52 with a red/black striped feed to match the body. The pen writes a dream, but the look of that feed, ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. This is, of course, my technical description of the difference.

"how do I know what I think until I write it down?"

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I just saw in a video by Nathan that ebonite feeds have memory. When heated and bent out of shape, simply heating it again will return it to it's original state. Nice for experimenting with slight curvature to increase or decrease ink flow. You can see it around the 23:30 mark

.

 

Just saw that too. Pretty interesting. Here's the video.

 

The ebonite vs plastic discussion begins around 23:00.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ZZhmXMHZdA&context=C4fd6ef2ADvjVQa1PpcFObFnULkpuGoZnT005_sCJCLcnqK9113jI=

 

So incredibly excited about the new Rome Burning ink…

Edited by mhphoto

fpn_1451747045__img_1999-2.jpg

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  • 4 years later...

Peningneer(sp) a member here had a long thread based off his blog. He'd designed some of the Lamy feeds now used.

Took a lot of different chemical treatments to make the plastic feeds as rough as the sawn ebonite ones. Being sawn was and is why ebonite holds ink so well.

 

I came away with much more respect for modern plastic nibs (if treated)...or at least Lamy's.

The Lamy feed was made to match Lamy inks.

 

So it could well be right that other pen/ink companies are right...use their inks for best results.

German vintage '50-70 semi-flex stubs and those in oblique give the real thing in On Demand line variation. Modern Oblique is a waste of money for a shadow of line variation. Being too lazy to Hunt for affordable vintage oblique pens, lets you 'hunt' for line variation instead of having it.

RIP...200's once great nib, now a double ball.:crybaby::wallbash:

 

The cheapest lessons are from those who learned expensive lessons. Ignorance is best for learning expensive lessons.

 

 

 

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Peningneer(sp) a member here had a long thread based off his blog. He'd designed some of the Lamy feeds now used.

Took a lot of different chemical treatments to make the plastic feeds as rough as the sawn ebonite ones. Being sawn was and is why ebonite holds ink so well.

 

I came away with much more respect for modern plastic nibs (if treated)...or at least Lamy's.

The Lamy feed was made to match Lamy inks.

 

So it could well be right that other pen/ink companies are right...use their inks for best results.

 

I like the prototypical modern Sheaffer plastic feed used in, for example, the NoNonsense, which predates PenIngeneer's (excellent) work by over a decade. It does a great job of both conducting ink and regulating its flow, which is why many Indian fountain pen users use it to tame their eyedroppers that use #6 nibs. I've done the same myself, and it works really well -- no burps or drips.

 

Waterman plastic feeds, on the other hand, tend to be dry, except when they've had a chance to sit and recharge.

Edited by Tweel

fpn_1375035941__postcard_swap.png * * * "Don't neglect to write me several times from different places when you may."
-- John Purdue (1863)

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Is this really true? I've always read the opposite, and I've had difficulty heat setting one of my plastic feeds (I never tried heat setting on anything else).

 

I too would be keen to know how to do it with plastic. I know, fro practice, how to do it with ebonite feeds.

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Based on what I've read heat setting only works for ebonite, and with plastic feeds the temperatures required would melt and/or permanently degrade the plastic. However, with modern machining the nib and plastic feed can be made to tight enough tolerances that heat fitting isn't required at all.

 

True. But the question is about the claim that it easier to adapt a nib to a plastic feed than to an ebonite feed. If is merely matter of machining to tight specifications, then that can be done with ebonite feeds too---as OMAS and many others have shown for many years---so the issue about heat/no-heat does not come in.

 

In fact, I'd say that the ebonite feed is superior, in this manner: a person who buys a pen with an ebonite feed is able to warm it up and make adjustments for better fit; a person who buys one with a plastic feed is probably stuck up s**t creek.

Edited by FriendAmos
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