Jump to content
Classifieds is broken, please do not submit any new ads ×

Safari Issues


jtadcock
 Share

Recommended Posts

I recently purchased a Lamy Safari fine nib as my re-introduction to the world of fountain pens. I have had a couple observations/issues, though:

 

-The pen writes extremely broad lines, especially on cheaper paper. It is definitely not what I would consider a fine nib, it seems more like a full-fledged medium. On better paper the performance is finer, but it still seems rather broad. (I have used an admittedly small sample of inks: Lamy Blue, Noodler’s 54th and Noodler’s Bad Blue Heron (the Noodler’s were definitely worse for line width, and also terrible nib creep!) ).

 

-The nib seems scratchy. There is a definite scratchy noise when writing, not matter on what type of paper. This is alleviated somewhat if I hold the pen at an extremely low angle, but if I write at what I would consider my normal angle (about 60 degrees or so) there is a sound, and also a feeling, that occurs when writing.

 

My questions is, are those two conditions normal for this pen? I was made to understand that writing with a fountain pen should be smooth, which is how I remember it from years past. Having been using ballpoints for quite some time, coming back to fountain pens is indeed smoother, but not as smooth as I remember it, and I certainly don’t remember the scratchy noise and feedback.

 

And, as a related aside, are gold nibs generally smoother than steel nibs? I know that might be a can of worms, and there indeed may be no actual consensus, but I was curious...

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 13
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

  • TLab3000

    2

  • Inkysloth

    2

  • Unky

    3

  • jtadcock

    3

Popular Days

Top Posters In This Topic

My questions is, are those two conditions normal for this pen? I was made to understand that writing with a fountain pen should be smooth, which is how I remember it from years past. Having been using ballpoints for quite some time, coming back to fountain pens is indeed smoother, but not as smooth as I remember it, and I certainly don’t remember the scratchy noise and feedback.

 

Yes, in my experience this is absolutely normal for the Z50 nibs. I've bought about 20 of them this year and most of them were misaligned. Fortunately, this can be fixed rather easily. (Look for how-to videos on Youtube, SBRE Brown has one, for example).

Others have different experiences, though, this is just my personal opinion.

 

Last week, I've talked to a very nice woman from Lamy about how their nibs are tested. It was a very long talk - 25 minutes! That's one thing I like about Lamy: They're very friendly and informative. They will answer all your questions. Fantastic!

Anyway, the Z50 nibs are of course not tested as intensely as the 2000 or Dialog nibs. There is a margin for error. And while I might have been just very unlucky, it's absolutely not unlikely to get a Z50 nib that's not properly aligned.

If you bought it in a mortar and brick store, someone might have tested the pen already which would increase the risk of getting a misaligned nib.

 

Check the videos, fix it, it's not difficult, and you'll be awarded with a nice writing nib on a reliable pen.

 

About the broad lines - Z50 nibs are rather big boned.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The scratchiness could (without seeing it, I can not be certain) be due to misaligned tines. A well tuned and smoothed steel nib can(but not always)be as good as a gold nib. There are some excellent nib tuners on here who might be able to help you out further. Good luck.

The education of a man is never complete until he dies. Gen. Robert E. Lee

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There are some excellent nib tuners on here who might be able to help you out further. Good luck.

True, but for the price of getting the nib tuned by a nibmeister, you can get at least 4 Z50 nibs and at least one of them has to be good. In my experience, a replacement nib is more likely to be properly aligned than the one that come with the pen.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

True, but for the price of getting the nib tuned by a nibmeister, you can get at least 4 Z50 nibs and at least one of them has to be good. In my experience, a replacement nib is more likely to be properly aligned than the one that come with the pen.

You make an excellent point.

The education of a man is never complete until he dies. Gen. Robert E. Lee

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Steel nibs and gold nibs can feel identically smooth. In most pens, the part in contact with the paper is neither gold nor steel, but is a very hard alloy designed to resist wear. The smoothness of the tipping material & the alignment of the tines is what makes a nib feel smooth or not.

 

Gold is a softer metal than steel, so is easier to make a flexible or springy nib from, but steel can also make a delightfully responsive nib. And gold nibs can be nails - just look at the Sheaffer Pen For Men or many Parker Duofold nibs.

 

As for your Lamy writing a wide fine, they are wider than some other makes fine nibs, I find them about the same as modern Parker's fine nibs.

 

I like quite a dry ink in my Lamy Safaris - Ecclesiastical Stationery Supplies Registrar's Ink is always in one of my fine-nibbed Safaris, and behaves well on most paper. Wetter inks will give you a broader line.

Instagram @inkysloth
My website http://inkysloth.moonfruit.com/

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is alleviated somewhat if I hold the pen at an extremely low angle, but if I write at what I would consider my normal angle (about 60 degrees or so) there is a sound, and also a feeling, that occurs when writing.

 

 

Lot of pen sites recommend holding the pen between a 40 and 55 degree angle.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you for the replies, everyone.

 

Looking at the nib under magnification, the tines certainly don't look misaligned, certainly nothing like what I've seen on instructional videos.

 

I am looking to get a new pen soon anyway so I might just wait to compare the experiences and use Lamy ink in my Safari for now. Probably a Pelikan m205 but I'm also considering a Pilot VP or Edison Beaumont.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you for the replies, everyone.

 

Looking at the nib under magnification, the tines certainly don't look misaligned, certainly nothing like what I've seen on instructional videos.

 

I am looking to get a new pen soon anyway so I might just wait to compare the experiences and use Lamy ink in my Safari for now. Probably a Pelikan m205 but I'm also considering a Pilot VP or Edison Beaumont.

I own a Pelikan M205, Pilot VP, and an Edison limited edition stealth Beaumont, if you purchase any of those you will be happy. If you purchase them from Richard Binder(www.richardspens.com) he tunes the nibs before he sends them out to make sure they write well.

The education of a man is never complete until he dies. Gen. Robert E. Lee

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hmm... It may just be your nib. I have a Safari with an F nib and find it to not have any of those issues. I will say that it can be a bit noisy, but... it isn't always. I'm almost inclined to believe it has a mind of its own - it's as if it changes its mood with the weather. Some days it behaves like a dream, and some days it tries to take a bite out of the paper every time I use it. Try playing around with how you hold the pen... I rarely ever use it holding the finger grips on the section. Rather, I rotate the pen about 15 or so degrees away from my body and that usually resolves any issues when writing.

 

On a side note, if you're using it with a converter, it wouldn't be a bad idea to cut open a used cartridge that has an ink ball in it. I took one out of one of my Waterman cartridges and just slid it into the converter's tube; it breaks surface tension and really helps with bubbles and keeping a nice ink flow.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Check out this video:

 

 

Some pointers:

1. Proper tripod grip

2. 45 degree angle

3. Don't press on the nib

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for the video. I've got the grip, angle, and pressure pretty well set. I hold the pen pretty much exactly like the guy in the video, but when measured with a protractor (I'm a nerd) it was closer to 60 degrees than 45. Either way, the nib looks like it is hitting the paper just fine. I think I might be creating a larger problem in my head than I actually have in real life. Writing with the Safari is by no means a chore, I was just expecting something somewhat different. And, living where I do, I don't have the opportunity to go somewhere and try out fountain pens first.

 

One other thing that did occur to me to ask was about the nib creep. I've read about Noodler's Bulletproof inks being somewhat prone to creeping because of the added suffracants in the ink to counteract the flow-reducing qualities of the additives that make the ink bulletproof (or something like that... ). Both of the bulletproof inks I've tried in the Safari have had terrible nib-creep, but the Lamy Blue didn't. Is that a symptom of the pen or the ink, or both?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I measured the width of the tips of my 3 Lamy F nibs and they measured 0.028-0.030 inch. This is comparable to my Parker M nibs. So your impression is correct. But this is based on your reference point. In my case MY reference point is my old Parker nibs.

 

"Cheap" paper that is NOT fountain pen friendly will BLOT the ink like blotting paper, and your ink line will be wider than on hard smooth paper. This was a major problem for me in college. I had to buy a specific brand of paper that had a good surface, to not have my FP blot when I wrote on it.

 

Scratchiness for a F or XF nib is very dependent on the paper. I have papers that I will NOT use a F nib on. The surface of the paper is so rough that I cannot stand the scratchiness that I feel coming back up the pen. To avoid scratchiness with a XF or F nib, you need SMOOTH paper. Even better is HARD SMOOTH paper. The ultimate paper is probably Clariefontaine. But there are more economical alternatives, but at slightly less quality.

 

Finally, the writer (you). If you press down HARD, you will get more feedback from the pen as it goes over the paper surface, and the less smooth the paper surface, the more feedback you get. You need to write with a LIGHT touch, and let just the weight of the pen put the ink on the paper. Your hand only guides the pen. The more towards vertical you put the pen, the greater the tendency to feel scratchy, as the force vector is going more vertical up the pen than be absorbed by the nib when the pen is laid at a lower angle.

-> Try holding the pen with your fingers about 4cm back from the tip. That will lay the pen down flatter than a grip that is closer to the nib. That is what I did when I changed my grip, and it made a big difference.

San Francisco Pen Show - August 28-30, 2020 - Redwood City, California

www.SFPenShow.com

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

One other thing that did occur to me to ask was about the nib creep. I've read about Noodler's Bulletproof inks being somewhat prone to creeping because of the added suffracants in the ink to counteract the flow-reducing qualities of the additives that make the ink bulletproof (or something like that... ). Both of the bulletproof inks I've tried in the Safari have had terrible nib-creep, but the Lamy Blue didn't. Is that a symptom of the pen or the ink, or both?

You've just answered this yourself :)

 

It's the ink's properties influencing the level of creep more than the nib. The nib does have something to do with it, but the ink moreso.

Instagram @inkysloth
My website http://inkysloth.moonfruit.com/

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share



  • Most Contributions

    1. amberleadavis
      amberleadavis
      37779
    2. PAKMAN
      PAKMAN
      30887
    3. Ghost Plane
      Ghost Plane
      28220
    4. jar
      jar
      26101
    5. wimg
      wimg
      25593
  • Upcoming Events

  • Blog Comments

    • Matthew TWP
      @Ruaidhri This was an absolutely wonderful bit of writing, and I hope that you're able to maintain the style once all of the medications are out of your system.  Take care and recover quickly!
    • Dr.X
      Very punny daniel
    • danielfalgerho
      These comments make me sad as I sympathise with Ruaidhri, having great difficulties in being taken seriously. Or being taken at all (no off-colors jokes, please!) In spite of overwhelming odds,  Ruaidhri -now I know how to spell it- made a courageous decision and stuck to it. I was diagnosed with a similar growth in a place I will not reveal. Oh, well, if you insist it was Mount Sinai Hospital. But I firmly intend to walk in Ruaidhri's footsteps, if he will let me, on my next visit to Dublin.
    • ParramattaPaul
      Reminds me of the day my associates and I developed a cure for all mankind's ills and mistakenly wrote it down with invisible ink.
    • AnneD
      Was that the end of the Laboratory? Somehow the exactitude created a fully destructive device, as always!
  • Chatbox

    You don't have permission to chat.
    Load More
  • Expiring Soon

    • By benbot517
      51 years and 10 months
    • By benbot517
      51 years and 10 months
    • By benbot517
      51 years and 10 months
    • By Okami
      51 years and 10 months
    • By Okami
      51 years and 10 months
  • Random Adverts

  • Files

  • Today's Birthdays

    1. allyourgraphics
      allyourgraphics
      (39 years old)
    2. andrewboy
      andrewboy
      (62 years old)
    3. apple2gs
      apple2gs
      (60 years old)
    4. Azahari
      Azahari
      (33 years old)
    5. bcmom
      bcmom





×
×
  • Create New...