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Old Dog, New Tricks: Can You Admit You Were Wrong?

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When I began my fountain pen journey 4-5 years ago, I naturally gravitated to the most fine nibs I could find. I loved very fine writing and naturally wrote very small characters. I tried some broader nibs here and there, but they never suited my style and ended up being a huge fan of Japanese made fountain pens due to their extremely fine yet smooth extra fine nibs.


Lately I have gotten into The Pilot Prera, so much so that I decided to collect this wonderful pen. Part of my quest was to pick up several nibs and feeds from compatible Pilot pens just for the sake of completeness. Today I received a Pilot 78G from Speerbob with a BB nib. This is a stub nib, for those who don't know. Like many of you, I have an ink and nib journal so I dipped the 78G to give it the obligatory test knowing full well I'd hate it and it would rest in a pen I never used.


Boy, was I wrong!


Not only was my writing not too much bigger, but the beauty of the line, the shading, the lovely shape this nib gave my writing without even trying to write that much differently was simply amazing to me! I felt utterly foolish for waiting this long to try a stub nib. Of course I am now Googling, searching YouTube and of course mining posts here on how to properly use this nib and take on italic writing!


My personal discovery leads me to this question for all of you: has there been anything relating to fountain pens about which you were wrong, or a preconceived notion to which you clung only to discover later your erroneous ways?

"In this world... you must be oh, so smart, or oh, so pleasant. Well for years I was smart. I recommend pleasant."

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I like mango cheesecake

One of my first fountain pens was the pilot plumix.

It came with several different nib widths and was sold as a calligraphy pen. I didn't use it much but it did have what I thought were really strange nibs at the time. They were stub nibs and I didn't even know they existed as fountain pen nibs hence I thought it was a calligraphy pen. I thought all fountain pens had an iridium ball tip at the end.


I ended up getting another fp as a gift but mangled the nib through careless use. I found out I could "swap" the plumix stub nibs with my other fountain pen. All of a sudden my handwriting changed. I thought I stumbled across some new hack. I felt that I was on to something and that no one else figured this out. I didn't think I was a true fountain pen user because it had this nib hack I "invented".


Later did realize I was writing with a stub nib and that it was not something new and that I did not "invent" this hack


Now the majority of my pens are stubs. In fact my 78g has that original stub from that plumix on it right now. It's a bb stub

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Yes ... (remembering back a few years) ... The Lamy Safari. I didn't like the way it looked, thought it was too modern looking for my taste, didn't want one and didn't even liked looking at them. Actually, I thought it just too ugly.


My son was given a Safari as a Christmas gift from a very generous member several years ago. The pen was on the table, so I thought I'd give it a test run and prove, once and for all, that I didn't want one ... ever. Yeah, well, that didn't work out. I loved the way it wrote, the ink flow, the smooth nib, the way it felt in my hand and it wasn't long before I had a Safari in just about every color. I still love the Safari pens and recently added the new coral. The Safaris have never once given me any trouble and I still love them. I was wrong about that pen ... very wrong and have a long color line up that reminds me of that. LOL

Edited by USMCMom
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Once upon a time, I thought I liked super-saturated inks. Now, I look at my daughter's J. Herbin Bouquet D'Antan and think: "Hey, that's kind of nice, isn't it?"

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This left-handed underwriter wore more ink than was on the page when he tried writing with any nib wider than, say, German fine. Now I'm searching for good stub nibs; I can't get enough of the line variation.

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I initially hated blue-black inks and thought they were dreadfully dull. However, as time went on and after I invested in a few flex nibs and stub nibs, I found myself reaching for my bottle of blue-black very often. I like how subtle and understated it is, while still being interesting. Still one of the few colours that I have as a staple, especially in my flex pens.

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I often realize how wrong I have been in many occasions: affairs I've handled poorly, people I've misunderstood, situations I've misjudged ... Thankfully, when it comes to fountain pens I don't have to feel any regrets. I've changed preferences and opinions a few times already and I've tried pens and inks that failed to suit me but as experimentation and discovery has been part of the game from the beginning, being wrong isn't something that enters my mind.

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I originally thought I'd just end up purchasing a few pens and inks.



"When Men differ in Opinion, both Sides ought equally to have the Advantage of being heard by the Publick; and that when Truth and Error have fair Play, the former is always an overmatch for the latter."

~ Benjamin Franklin

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Bo Bo Olson

When I came back to fountain pens I went wide...F (western) was just something I was forced to buy, because I couldn't find wide in certain vintage makes and models.

Now, I'll use a F as fast as a B. (vintage of course...1/2 a width narrower than modern.) All those :angry: F nibs I bought because of make and model are now used.


I only use western EF for editing printed chapters. I have that in nail, springy regular flex, semi-flex and 'flexi'/maxi-semi-flex.


The nibs I like normally have a tad of flex, semi-flex or 'flexi'. My Hand is not really good enough for "Flex" nibs...a different nib set than 'flexi'. I'm too lazy.


Then I find true (semi-or vintage) springy regular flex F&M with some inks shade better than B & nibs with a tad of flex.


I got into shading inks early. Stayed there. I do have some supersaturated inks...one needs both.


I was late getting into papers....I suggest buying a good to better paper either in a ream or box every two inks. One should have copier paper (90g) just in case you don't want to dig out the scribbling paper.

Better paper means not having to stay with very narrow nibs. Good to better paper only costs a couple cans of Coke or cups of Starbucks coffee more than good 90g copy paper....get laser only.

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.

 https://www.peter-bo...cts/nib-systems,..Bock nib factory.


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




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My re-introduction to FPs was a couple of the cheapie Parker cartridge pens (the ones with the rubberized section) and they were M nibs. When I couldn't replace the second one, and ended up getting a Vector, I was put off at first by the fact that it was an F nib. Until I realized just how much farther a cartridge went before needing to be replaced....

I also was sort of freaking out by the price when I bought that pen. It was like "OMG I'm paying nine dollars just for a pen...." Now it's more like "I only paid $56 US for that 51".... :lol:

The real biggie was ink colors. I was absolutely convinced that I would *never* want or need a blue-black. Now I have several, after the great "Blue-Black Ink hunt of 2012" when wanting to match what came out of an Esterbrook SJ that was an antiques shop find. And I only got a sample of J Herbin Rouge Hematite to see what the fuss was all about.... (Really -- yeah, keep telling yourself that....)

Ruth Morrisson aka inkstainedruth

"It's very nice, but frankly, when I signed that list for a P-51, what I had in mind was a fountain pen."

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For me, it was nibs. For the longest time, a Medium was just unusable. I had to use fine or extra-fine. Even a wide fine seemed borderline. It all had to do with my writing. I had been printing everything for 37 years. I have been using ultra-fine roller balls for printing, and my letter have gotten smaller and sloppier for a while now.


Since I began to re-teach myself cursive writing, and using better paper, I have some great fountain pens opening up to me for use hat I discounted as not right for me. My favorites now include a Targa I received for high school graduation and a Parker 51 Signet, both with medium nibs. I am now investigating stubs. Where will it end? A BB?


“When the historians of education do equal and exact justice to all who have contributed toward educational progress, they will devote several pages to those revolutionists who invented steel pens and blackboards.” V.T. Thayer, 1928

Check out my Steel Pen Blog

"No one is exempt from talking nonsense; the mistake is to do it solemnly."


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Just came across this thread . . .


Back in the '80s, I thought converters were too much trouble to be bothered with and routinely tossed them over my shoulder and into the trash. Cartridges only for me.


I've since bought replacement cartridges for all that I toss and had a serious talk with my past self.

pentulant [adjective]: immodest or wanton in search of all things related to pens<BR> [proper noun]: Christine Witt Visit Pentulant<br>

President, Brush Dance - we make high-quality, mindful Calendars, Planners, Journals, and other fun stuff you'll love

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I thought I'd never use black ink again, until a repaired pen came back with a cartridge of Pelikan's brilliant black ink - a lovely, rich black colour I'd never seen before.

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I started in FPs about 19 years ago, and favored modern pens with fine or XF points. My pen "world" before FPs was that of very fine rollerball pens and also technical pens, so F or XF FPs made sense.


Over time, I have found that I love both vintage and modern pens, and choose broad stub and CI nibs almost exclusively. The (rest of the) pen is secondary to the nib. It is best if I love both parts, but will always favor the great-writing stub over a beautiful-but-boring pen.



Don't feel bad. I'm old; I'm meh about most things.

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I have committed more mistakes than a childrens orphanage.


Bought a handful of Hero 616s in a badly lit antique shop and with failing eyesight becuase I thought i had found a hidden stash of Parker 51s


Again due to bad eyes, polished a P51 with chalk marks because I thought it was just dusty


Bought a replica MB Jules Verne because I loved the real McCoy and thought a copy would be just as good


Mixed two good inks to produced a washed out grey mixture


Tried to repair a pen when I had zero ability to do so

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Ignored third-tier pens or lesser-known vintage models. (now I would love to get my hands on one or ten of those Diamond Point pens)


Thought a steel nib had to be inferior (say Hello to my Parker 45 that taught this old dog how wrong I was about that)


Wanted only highly saturated inks (thank my first stub for correcting me on that, Hello, shading!)


Like Beechwood, too many to mention. It's not the number of mistakes you make, it's what you learn from them.


“When the historians of education do equal and exact justice to all who have contributed toward educational progress, they will devote several pages to those revolutionists who invented steel pens and blackboards.” V.T. Thayer, 1928

Check out my Steel Pen Blog

"No one is exempt from talking nonsense; the mistake is to do it solemnly."


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Discovering one is wrong is the quickest route to being right again.


etherX in To Miasto

Fleekair <--French accent.

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Hmm, well, I was chasing after nibs that were really broad for the amount of shading they gave (I had the mandatory F nibs for writing notes and the like, but those didn't really count), but then I realized that my handwriting was bloody narrow. I couldn't use a B nib for regular writing any more than Agatha Christie could get through a single level of Call of Duty.


... *slow clap* My brain, ladies and gents.


Anyway, I like shading and juicy lines much too much to settle for F nibs, and so found a comfortable compromise with Medium nibs. Specialty nibs aside (italics, Naginata, flex, etc), I freaking love Mediums. Guess that makes me weird, haha, but I was with the majority of people who thought that it was a size only good for referencing before going either EF or 3B. How wrong I was :P



"The price of an object should not only be what you had to pay for it, but also what you've had to sacrifice in order to obtain it." - <i>The Wisdom of The Internet</i><p class='bbc_center'><center><img src="http://i59.tinypic.com/jr4g43.jpg"/></center>

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Sasha Royale

I hope your wisdom sustains me, should I ever make a mistake.

Auf freiem Grund mit freiem Volke stehn.
Zum Augenblicke dürft ich sagen:
Verweile doch, du bist so schön !

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