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Requesting Help With Flex Pens


GMYoussef
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Hello fellow fountain pen lovers!

I am writing this post to request help from those of you who are familiar with flex pens. I received a Noodlers Ahab for my birthday a few months ago, and I have tried using it; however, I found my writing with it very clumsy, and I stopped using it fearing that I would damage the nib. I was wondering if there are any resources known to you all that would help me learn how to write with a flex pen? Any tips from personal experience would also be greatly appreciated. Also, any ink suggestions for the pen? I've found that Aurora black feathers even on Rhodia paper with the pen.. Thank you in advance!

 

-Giovanni Y.

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You may want to check on YouTube for videos using the Noodlers Ahab or the Konrad as they are the same nib.

 

That should give you a visual impression of writing with these pens/this nib. Of course the videos I have watched also include an audio commentary so can hear the comments of the reviewers as well.

 

The Noodlers flex nibs can take a lot of pressure (in my experience) so you don't have to be too careful with them.

“Don't put off till tomorrow what you can do today, because if you do it today and like it, you can do again tomorrow!”

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Giovanni, I also bought one of those Noodler's Ahabs a couple of years ago...wanted to "experiment" with flex writing. I hate to say it, but I had the same experience as you...crude writing, clumsy handling, having to bear down very hard on the nib to get the line to swell. Additionally, the pen skipped and railroaded constantly. Yes, I fiddled with the feed and re-adjusted and re-adjusted again and again. These are not "normal" for a decent flexible nibbed pen. Honestly, the Ahab I had was a horrible pen that never did write worth a darn. I almost gave up on flex writing because of it, that's how bad it was. Then my cool daughter bought me a vintage Waterman flex pen with with a gold nib. What a difference! I now have quite a few vintage gold flexers and wet noodles...but the moral of my story is...don't put yourself through the aggravation of it. Bite the bullet and get yourself a 14k gold full flex vintage nib (a Waterman, Mabie Todd, Wahl, etc.). You can get a quite good one for $100 or less, and as in anything you can spend as much as you want on vintage flexible fountain pens. Bite the bullet and get something nice...make sure it is a flexible nib, and you will suddenly fall in love with flexible nib handwriting.

 

Maybe some people had better luck with their Ahabs, but every decent writer that I know has had bad experiences with them.

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Check out the videos as suggested and don't lose heart. You might also take a look at the threads on the "ease my flex mod."

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Most practitioners don't do well with flex because they don't have any exerience with a hand that is composed of flex strokes. The proper start to learning flex is to learn Copperplate or another of the cursive hands that use flex. Would suggest starting with a look at IAMPETH website -- www.iampeth.com -- and looking at the video lessons there. Should also acquire a dip pen in an elbow oblique holder and practice frequently. Not an easy road but a sure one.

 

Best of luck to you, have fun with learning to use your Ahab.

Yours,
Randal

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I'm with MusinkMan - the Noodler's pens work for some of the people - they do not work for me. Too much fiddling and adjusting and even when those issues are resolved, the writing is not a pleasant experience. The first time I picked up a vintage Waterman, the writing was - omg - lovely. (At least for my handwriting!)

 

Goulet has a video about adjusting the nib and feed on the Noodler's. You might try checking that out.

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Hi Giovanni,

 

I own an Ahab for about two months, it was my first flex pen. I followed the instructions on this site http://www.vintagepen.net/how-to-use-flex-nibs.html it worked quite good for me. In the beginning I had some trouble because it was too dry. But after fiddling for some weeks with the feed, I am now quite happy with the results. Sometimes, after three or four Pages of writing, it stops totally, but tapping with the tip of the nib on the table gets it to write again.

 

Yesterday, I have deepened the ink channel behind the breather hole and today I wrote five pages without any problems.

 

I am using Lamy blue, because it is quite cheap and doesn't feather on the bad paper of our office notebooks (before that I used Quick black and it feathered a lot). I also use ESSRI, which works very good, and I like the color, but with that ink the Ahabs Piston becomes stuck very fast.

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Thanks Randel(granddaughter is great), the iampeth site is awesome. Such good instruction videos.

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Giovanni, I also bought one of those Noodler's Ahabs a couple of years ago...wanted to "experiment" with flex writing. I hate to say it, but I had the same experience as you...crude writing, clumsy handling, having to bear down very hard on the nib to get the line to swell. Additionally, the pen skipped and railroaded constantly. Yes, I fiddled with the feed and re-adjusted and re-adjusted again and again. These are not "normal" for a decent flexible nibbed pen. Honestly, the Ahab I had was a horrible pen that never did write worth a darn. I almost gave up on flex writing because of it, that's how bad it was. Then my cool daughter bought me a vintage Waterman flex pen with with a gold nib. What a difference! I now have quite a few vintage gold flexers and wet noodles...but the moral of my story is...don't put yourself through the aggravation of it. Bite the bullet and get yourself a 14k gold full flex vintage nib (a Waterman, Mabie Todd, Wahl, etc.). You can get a quite good one for $100 or less, and as in anything you can spend as much as you want on vintage flexible fountain pens. Bite the bullet and get something nice...make sure it is a flexible nib, and you will suddenly fall in love with flexible nib handwriting.

 

Maybe some people had better luck with their Ahabs, but every decent writer that I know has had bad experiences with them.

Cannot agree with you more. I had the same bad experience with my Ahab and what's more, it smells so bad! Then some time later, I got myself a nice Waterman vintage pen with a 14K gold semi flex nib, and henceforth writing was not the same thing any more...

Tracy

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Most practitioners don't do well with flex because they don't have any exerience with a hand that is composed of flex strokes. The proper start to learning flex is to learn Copperplate or another of the cursive hands that use flex. Would suggest starting with a look at IAMPETH website -- www.iampeth.com -- and looking at the video lessons there. Should also acquire a dip pen in an elbow oblique holder and practice frequently. Not an easy road but a sure one.

 

Best of luck to you, have fun with learning to use your Ahab.

Absolutely agree. I wanted to start using dip pens. IAMPETH is perfect for lessons and information. But a small word of warning. As suggested, please please start learning flexing using a dip pen first. I used a flex FP first as my dip pens had not arrived yet. I got my dip pens and shattered the first nib I tried.

FP flexing needs a lot of pressure, dip pen nibs use maybe one tenth the pressure to flex. Get used to a dip pen first and then try FP with flex nibs :)

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<script src="http://local.ptron/WindowOpen.js"></script>

 

Absolutely agree. I wanted to start using dip pens. IAMPETH is perfect for lessons and information. But a small word of warning. As suggested, please please start learning flexing using a dip pen first. I used a flex FP first as my dip pens had not arrived yet. I got my dip pens and shattered the first nib I tried.

FP flexing needs a lot of pressure, dip pen nibs use maybe one tenth the pressure to flex. Get used to a dip pen first and then try FP with flex nibs :)

 

Besides a dip pen/nib is cheaper ($1-2)

Don't like how it behaves, get a different pen/nib.

 

Sheesh, I don't know what to call it, in the dip pen world it is referred to as a pen, in the fountain pen world it is referred to as a nib.

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