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Have I Been Cursed By Lamy Inconsistancy?



ianahner

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I am very new to this hobby from a hobby perspective, but I have used and had a preference for fountain pens for years.

I have never before now actually taken the plunge and purchased a nice pen, so all of my previous experience has been with very cheap pens. I started out with a "Franklin Covey Freemont" which was made by cross but branded as private label. It was nice, and was enough for me to fall in love with fountain pens, but it just didn't hold up as a daily writer. I used it for several months, and then the cap got loose and whatnot, so I now leave it in a drawer. I have since used those super cheap Pilot Varsity pens, which are great for $3 but they are still cheap.

Today my brand new Lamy 2000 EF came in the mail.

With much excitement I purged it and then filled it with Noodlers Black ink and grabbed a sheet of paper.

I want to like it, really I do, but I think something isn't right. The pen is BEAUTIFUL, (in a minimalist, understated kind of way) and it feels amazing in my hand, but it doesn't write like I think it should.

It keeps skipping mid-word, and feels like I am scratching the paper with a sewing needle.

Is it possible that I am just doing something wrong? Do you think I have gotten a lemon?

How can I tell if the nib is messed up? I am an engineer, and would love to BECOME a nibmeister, but I currently have NO experience, and no idea where to start. Eventually I want to be skilled enough to work on my own pens, but I have a few years to go yet.

Can someone help me out with what to look for, before I simply send it to Lamy and risk $10 and the embarassment of them telling me that it is fine?

I love the pen, but I think my varsity pens write smoother... That shouldn't be right!

Thanks guys!

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I should probably leave this topic to folks more knowledgeable than myself, but here is a link that might get you started on what to look for with your Lamy's nib:

 

http://www.nibs.com/Article6.html

 

If you've got a good strong magnifier or better yet, a jeweler's loupe, look at your nib and see if one tine is riding higher than the other. That'd be the first thing to look for.

 

Best of luck! Not to make you feel bad, but my 2000's F nib was smooth as glass out of the box. They do have a reputation these days for uneven QC, unfortunately. But I'm sure yours can be put right with patience and a little adjusting.

 

EDIT: Here's one more good link: http://www.richardspens.com/pdf/workshop_notes.pdf

Edited by majorworks
Happiness is an Indian ED!
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Well, I am actually glad to hear that yours was very smooth. That gives me hope!

 

I have a strong magnifier, but not a loupe... I couldn't see one tine higher than the other, but there also wasn't much space. When I say that I mean that I am fairly certain that they are touching. I know that it is a soft nib, and under pressure they will spread, but I tend to prefer writing very softly, so under little pressure there is very little ink flow.

I am not willing to attack my nib with a knife like this guy but I do not know what the proper method of spreading them is. Do you use a series of thin brass or plastic shim stock?

Maybe I should just send it to Lamy, but I waited like a little kid on christmas eve for it to come in the mail, so the idea of shipping it back off is devastating. :(

Edited by ianahner
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Here's more info.

I THINK the tines are in line with neither higher than the other.

I also think there is simply too little flow. If I press a bit harder it writes fine, but then it scratches more, and I hate pressure. If I liked using pressure, I would use a bic........... This combined with my reading tells me that I need to spread my nib a little bit.

But before I do, I want someone to confirm that this is the correct diagnosis, AND make sure that I am doing it right. I am too chicken to just go at it on a brand new Lamy 2000. If it was another varsity I would just go for it, but...........

Help me out boys, you all rock!

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Your nib tips should be touching or have a very minuscule split at the tipping (unobservant with the naked eye). Your pen might not like your ink. You as an engineer should know that when the moon is in the wrong astrological house, some molecules in the manufacturing of the materials have there chakaras misaligned and no amount of praying or counter casting of spells will make everything right between your pen and the ink.

 

Now as far as scratching is concerned, this is something you can do something about. You can smooth your tip (at the peril of your warranty) very carefully. These techniques are on numerous videos including those produced by the Goulet pen company.

 

Or you could send it to a nibmeister who can apply the right poultices to your pen to smooth and correct the skipping problem.

What Would The Flying Spaghetti Monster Do?

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Also more info to you nibmeisters:

All skipping occurs when moving up and to the right. When going down and to the right all is good.

As an engineer, I do know what you mean with the stars being aligned just right..... But my hesitation to agree is that many other people have reported great success with the 2000 and noodlers ink. That doesn't mean that this specific pen and that specific bottle of ink is included, but I am hoping I am not an exception....

Here is a pic of a writing sample showing the irritating line disfunction. It is as if I have a really really bad oblique thing going on.... No good.

http://ahnerengineering.com/nibprobs.jpg

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Try another brand of ink and see what happens. Noodlers isn't the be all and end all of inks.

What Would The Flying Spaghetti Monster Do?

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IMO, pens should not skip, regardless of the ink used. However, EF nibs are more difficult to adjust than wider nibs, so you might want to send it to an expert.

 

Skipping in a certain direction does suggest that the tines are misaligned and/or the tip needs smoothing (which is not easy with EF nibs). If you want to tackle this yourself, first of all, you really need a loupe to start adjusting the tines. Even a small misalignment can be problematic. Of course, the test is how smooth it feels when writing. Even if the tines appear to be aligned at a certain angle, they can still need a minuscule adjustment.

 

To increase flow, using a knife or razor blade is NOT recommended. Brass shim stock of a certain thickness could increase flow by a small amount, but the most effective way to increase flow is to grasp the nib shoulders with both hands to gently pull the tines apart. This takes some finesse, because if you overdo it, it's a bit harder to decrease the tine spacing, and in the worst case you can damage the nib. Afterwards, you may need to align the tines again.

 

This is not really so difficult, but it's best to practice on cheap pens before trying it on an expensive one, especially with an EF nib.

These are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives everything its value.--Thomas Paine, "The American Crisis", 1776

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Sasha Royale

First: Did you give the LAMY 2000 a good flush cleaning before first ink ? (You wash peaches, don't you ?)

Second: Are you using a fountain pen like a ballpoint pen ? Vertically ? Bearing down ?

Third: You chose the sharpest point available. It is more likely to scratch the paper.

Let's eliminate these possibilities, before filling with a "wet" ink, such as Pelikan Royal Blue, or Quink.

 

I have a LAMY 2000 fine point. I flushed it new. Filled it with Noodler's Eel Blue. Held at a 45-degree

slant, it is deliciously smooth.

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

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First: Did you give the LAMY 2000 a good flush cleaning before first ink ? (You wash peaches, don't you ?)

Second: Are you using a fountain pen like a ballpoint pen ? Vertically ? Bearing down ?

Third: You chose the sharpest point available. It is more likely to scratch the paper.

Let's eliminate these possibilities, before filling with a "wet" ink, such as Pelikan Royal Blue, or Quink.

 

I have a LAMY 2000 fine point. I flushed it new. Filled it with Noodler's Eel Blue. Held at a 45-degree

slant, it is deliciously smooth.

I flushed multiple times with ink, but not with water.

 

I'm trying to use it like a fountain. I haven't used a ballpoint in years. I use cheap fountains, but still fountains.

 

It is a sharp point, but I tend to write very very lightly. So I should be okay, except that with no pressure there's no ink flow....

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I echo what a previous poster said, that, as a noobie, you should practice on inexpensive pens. I've got an L2K, medium nib that has some problems with hard starts and skipping, occasionally. Because of the price, it's in the hands of Pendleton Brown as I type. With pens on the higher priced side, I send them out (and Pendleton's my favorite nibmeister), but I try to fix the less expensive ones myself. Lamy is certainly very inconsistent with QC.

Franklin-Christoph, Italix, and Pilot pens are the best!
Iroshizuku, Diamine, and Waterman inks are my favorites!

Apica, Rhodia, and Clairefontaine make great paper!

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As Sasha Royale says, cleaning the nib/feed with 10% ammonia or (better) some pen flush, such as Rapido-Eze, is an important first step. An ultrasonic cleaner (search threads here for the recommended models) is also helpful. Your feed could be partially clogged, reducing ink flow. However, if you find that using more pressure increases ink flow, the problem is probably not the feed, but rather the nib.

These are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives everything its value.--Thomas Paine, "The American Crisis", 1776

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If it is scratchy and skipping in one stroke direction primarily, the most likely culprit is mis-alignment of the tines. That sounds like a textbook case to me... Get a 10X loupe and check it over very carefully.

 

If that looks proper, next make sure you aren't rotating the nib as you write. The Lamy 2K EF can have a small sweet spot, and if you are rotating off the sweet spot, it can cause these symptoms as well.

Edited by risingsun

Sun%20Hemmi2.jpg

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I am not willing to go at my nib with attempts at adjusting on an expensive pen, so I agree with all of those recommendations!

I got it under a loupe, and it appears that they are lined up. The only thing that could be off is length. It looks like one tine might be ever so slightly longer than the other. Would that cause what I am fighting?

I did take it apart and flush it thoroughly, and let the nib and feed soak overnight. The feed flows freely when I use a bulb to flow water to it. I am fairly confident that it is the nib.

As I have used it a bit, it seems to be better, but there is still some minor skipping on upstrokes.

What do you guys think about the length thing?

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Also, if it comes down to sending it to an expert, would you start by sending it to Lamy, or would you go straight to a nibmeister? If so, are there any in the St. Louis area that you guys happen to know? I will be passing through there this week.

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Here's my two cents. First, when buying new pens it's really important to flush it out completely with at least water a few times to eliminate an manufacturing oils and residues that may impede ink flow. Also, I would not apply pressure to this nib to spread the tines. A gold nib is not necessarily soft, and Lamy is known for how firm its nibs are. Although I don't follow Lamy too much, this is the first time I've ever heard a Lamy nib referred to as soft. With that being said, even a needlepoint vintage flex should write smoothly. An XF nib will be scratchier than a medium, but it shouldn't be flat out scratchy. Watch some videos on checking nib flow and alignment. Many flow and alignment issues can be adjusted out carefully just using your fingers, fingernails, and a magnifier. I would be reluctant to send the pen back to Lamy right away, but I probably wouldn't do something so drastic as to void the warranty so soon... as I would imagine even sending it to a nibmeister would probably do. They generally aren't certified by the big companies as repairmen capable of performing warranty service.

"We are in a sense the Universe trying to understand itself. By Observing it we are observing what we are." - Phillip Plait

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ok this is my experience from lamy as of late... their Lamy 2Ks... COME IN TIGHT VERY may not be understatement (heck I also dip tested, same thing VERY DRY and I already told them it has problems but eh it was only a small lamy booth not a store "store" but with the only Lamy 2K available, which would be the one I'm getting left I had nothing else to do, the other option would meant that I HAVE TO WAIT FOR 6 MONTHS, for a shipment from germany to philippines and still may have the same problem)... if your not confident in adjusting gold nibs you can have a nibmeister adjust it for you YES I had this same problem HECK I also loaded it with Iroshizuku just to test it IT WAS VERY... dry to say the least it had no problems with Kiwaguro but that would mean I would be stuck on black inks :X and Kiwaguro has different properties on why it actually works without any hickups

and yes I went home cleaned it 5 times it was still the same until I contacted Zeroblade if he can adjust the nib well he adjusted it it's now a good writer

 

Ohh yeah our Lamy service center isnt really a service center than it is a supplier meaning it is really tied to the supply chain THEY CAN NOT FIX PENS SIMPLY PUT they will attempt to replace but not "fix" but if the replacement does not work your left with a half a year wait... well its a cons of being a non-FP market and I can't splurg more money to have it sent to the states to have someone check it

Edited by Algester
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I don't have a Lamy 2000 so can't comment on that model. However, I have 2 Lamy Studios (1 with a gold nib), 2 Al Stars, 3 Safaris and 3 Nexxs. Every single one of them has been perfect straight out of the box. Maybe I've been lucky.

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