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How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Urushi


lowfiwhiteguy
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So, my Nakaya Piccolo (Shu red) with 14k EF nib came in the post today from Nibs.com...

 

I'm frustrated, and I'll post a more detailed account tomorrow, but, the main points:

 

1) The nib is completely unbalanced, feels like I'm writing on sandpaper-- and don't start explaining to me that it's because this is a Japanese EF- this is so far beyond regular needlepoint tipping feedback it's unbelievable. Even with the lightest pressure (I regularly write very light) I still manage to literally tear bits of paper up out the sheet on left-to-right strokes since the left tine rides lower than the right. Feels horrendous, and from straight-on under the loupe I have visually confirmed that the left tine is about 30% lower at the writing pad than the right. It won't budge and I'm inexperienced with Nakayas so I'm not going any further. It looks and writes like a regular old out-of-the-box untuned nib to me.

 

2) The clip hole in the cap is about 1mm too wide, and the clip is too loose... So the clip can easily move around in its slot, and the big black rectangular opening where the clip protrudes looks great next to the red Shu finish. Just kidding, it looks like garbage.

 

I paid $135.76 in Canadian import duties ALONE, bringing the grand total to over $750 for this pen, because I trusted I'd be receiving a suitable pen. I've never been more disappointed. The fit and finish is so poor that I actually started thinking that maybe this pen was counterfeit. I Googled for images of counterfeit Nakayas and nothing came up. However, the nib on mine does say "NAKAYA" and not "NAKATA"... I've never heard of this before. At any rate I'll be calling them up tomorrow rectify this... I don't know if I'll be buying another pen any time soon. This has left such a sour taste in my mouth, I'm pretty down about it.

 

PS: I'll post photos of mine tomorrow, but can anyone else post photos of their Nakaya cap's clip hole? There's no way they all look like this... I'd just like to compare.

 

Thanks
Chris

 

(EDITED FOR TONE -- I was quite disappointed at first, but after having spoken with Mr Mottishaw, I've decided to keep the pen. This thread was started when I was in a very bad mood, please disregard (or remove if you're a mod) -CH)

Edited by lowfiwhiteguy
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I am sorry to hear this.

 

I don't have a Nakaya with a clip so I can't speak to that but 3mm seems like a lot.

 

These pens are hand made and to my knowledge made by various craftsmen in various parts of Japan so it's not like these pens are just popping out of a machine at a centralized location. The threading on my Naka-ai are not as perfect as on some other pens like Pilot or Montblanc but I believe it's the handmade nature of these pens that can produce some variation though I wouldn't say the threading on mine is scratchy or rough.

 

Platinum's nibs straight out of the box should perform without any problems...they are a pretty reliable producer. I would talk to John. I am sure if there is a QC issue with your pen he will replace it.

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Sorry, I corrected it to 1mm of extra space. I was just typing in a rush so I estimated 3mm without measuring. It looks like a mile, though... And the clip is loose inside that space, too...

 

I suppose I could live with the temperamental section threads... If only the cap weren't so poorly put together and the nib tuned so that it doesn't rip up my Rhodia Dotpad -- and that's not flimsy paper.

 

Still, I don't see the value in this pen at all. I feel sick knowing I spent what I did on it and for it to turn out having been a total waste of money.

Edited by lowfiwhiteguy
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I'm not an extra fine nib sort of person but ripping Rhodia paper definitely doesn't sound right. I do think Nakaya offers a very high quality pen for the money. They wouldn't be so well loved on this site if they were making bad pens...if yours is as bad as you say it seems to be more the exception than the rule.

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I would try to get a replacement or a full refund. I payed through the nose for my two Nakayas, and I wouldn't have accepted anything short of perfection. This really sounds like some sloppy QC and it should be promptly corrected at their expense.

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I had a similar hyper allergic reaction when i received my first like new Nakaya neo standard from an excellent gentleman and friend in the USA. the pen was just not for me. It was terrible for me, i just could not believe it. I immediately arranged for a refund and probably will never touch the brand again. I do have one celluloid Koi Nakaya used that came in a trade and that one is good.

In case you wish to write to me, pls use ONLY email by clicking here. I do not check PMs. Thank you.

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I had a similar hyper allergic reaction when i received my first like new Nakaya neo standard from an excellent gentleman and friend in the USA. the pen was just not for me. It was terrible for me, i just could not believe it. I immediately arranged for a refund and probably will never touch the brand again. I do have one celluloid Koi Nakaya used that came in a trade and that one is good.

Would you please elaborate on what was terrible for you? I have handled (not written with) 10+ Nakayas and they all seemed equally beautiful and well made to me. I am surprised that your experience has been so polarizing. I can understand one not being the right size or the nib being wrong for you but "terrible" sounds a extreme.

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Wow. I've received three Nakayas from John. All with F, EF or SEF nibs, all very smooth for such fine nibs. I'm sure John will make it right though.

 

As for the finish, I'm sorry you didn't like it! I do think that they aren't always perfect as in utterly flawless - at first I was taken aback then I grew to appreciate the wabi-sabi of the work. It is odd - I'm used to imperfection (yet so beautiful!) in Japanese teacake but it took a little longer in finding it beautiful on pens. I won't say it is you and not the pen though, as I've not seen it!

 

I won't say also that you should give Nakaya another shot but maybe another pen will be more your style. I imagine you'll be returning it though! An expensive mistake =/

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Would you please elaborate on what was terrible for you? I have handled (not written with) 10+ Nakayas and they all seemed equally beautiful and well made to me. I am surprised that your experience has been so polarizing. I can understand one not being the right size or the nib being wrong for you but "terrible" sounds a extreme.

The Soft Fine nib was terribly scratchy for me, a truly bad nib for me. and the pen would not start up reliably. The pen body and lacquer work was good enough, no complaints. I enjoy my EF and F Japanese nibs but this nib was hell. I am sorry my experience was different from yours. I own several Platinum pens and they do a wonderful job, I think my Nakaya bad nib-feed was one off but it was enough to put me off. Thankfully I have several choices on which to spend my money.

In case you wish to write to me, pls use ONLY email by clicking here. I do not check PMs. Thank you.

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Okay so I couldn't bear it any more and sleeping pills be damned, i got to the workbench and set about fixing this. Because after being disappointed by the other great nibmeisters, I've sort of gone about realising the old addage" if you want something done right, you do it yourself".

 

I studied the nib and it appears to come out with a knock out block, Knocked it out, had a look. Yep, absolutely misaligned tines. They were well polished though so I didn't do anything other than balance them and reassemble.

 

Now it writes fantastically, toothy but that's part of the Japanese fine writing experience and I don't mind it. So that's problem number one sorted. I fiddled with the cap and the threads, they're not as smooth as what I'm used to (being brought up on Pelikan M800 and M1000s) but I'm finding they're loosening up, getting a better close/open action. It could be due to the laquered threads in this model, it could very well improve in time.

 

All that remains is this god forsaken cap. If I call tomorrow and they say all their caps are like this, then I'll ask for a cigar one to replace it. I prefer the look of cigars but at this is to be my maths pen (hence the Japanese EF, I usually use Japanese semiflex Japanese F for writing) I thought a clip would be handy on the cap. If it's this poorly done on all of them, and I'll have her check, (and I've now found many complaints of their assembly leading to misaligned finials and other problems) then no Nakaya of mine will ever don a cap with clip again. So once I have either a properly sorted cap with clip, or a cigar clip, I'll have a pen I'm happy with 100%.

 

I must say again though... After fixing this nib, it's really quite an incredible writer. It never, ever skips, has just the right amount of wetness for a Japanese EF, the nib looks very nice itself set against the red Shu finish. It does maths equations just as well as it does fine cursive. I think John did indeed modify this nib to my specs, but somewhere along the line its tines came out of balance (a vigourous recapping?) and it was all for nought. Glad i could sort it out myself, and now I feel more comfortable working on Nakayas... Which is good because while I was livid earlier, the loveliness of this pen is starting to come through now and make me feel a whole lot better.

 

I'll let you all know what the fate of the dodgy cap is tomorrow. I imagine the'll swap me out for a better one no questions asked. I'll use my manners. :)

 

Sorry to seem to have belitted John's business up there... I was just very disappointed after what has been a very stressful week, and this was supposed to be my treat at the end of it. That's life sometimes.

 

Also, can anyone clarify why my nib says NAKAYA and not NAKATA? It's been bugging me.

 

CH

Edited by lowfiwhiteguy
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Wow ! There is a lot to absorb in this thread and I look forward to following it and really do hope it resolves itself to the op's satisfaction.

 

I am on my second Nakaya (oh and the the nib does say Nakata) a decapod twist and I am finding it to be a good all round user.

A wise man once said    " the best revenge is wealth "   but a wiser man answered back    " the best revenge is happiness "

 

The true definition of madness - Doing the same thing everyday and expecting different results......

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I own four Nakaya's and in any case I could say they are 'the worse FP's". On the contrary, I use them daily. None of them came with a misalignment of the nib. All the nibs are engraved Nakata (see the Nakaya site). I have not an EF nib, but SF-M, M, SM, and B nibs, all of them reground and customized by Mr. Mottishaw. No complaint. There were some starting problems, but they were caused by some manufacture residues - like in the case of some other new FP's, they have to be soaked in water+ammonia before the first use. One of my FP's blotted, not very annoying, so I had to change the ink converter. For the moment, I am interested in getting other FP's, but if I ever buy a Nakaya, I surely will do it with confidence.

 

BTW: all the problems I had with my Nakaya's and Danitrio's were discussed with John Mottishaw, and he always answered promptly and gave me the proper advice.

Edited by Alex2014
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Nakata is the name of the founder of Platinum, Shunichi Nakata. Hence the Nakata on the nib. But I have never seen a Nakaya nib with a Nakaya written on it. Might be a good question to ask Mr Mottishaw. I have been in Japan for more then 6 years now and I have yet to purchase a Nakaya. Visited the shop, saw a bunch of them, but I keep putting the purchase back after I fell in love with Hakase.

 

I hope you can get your cap fixed

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Also, can anyone clarify why my nib says NAKAYA and not NAKATA? It's been bugging me.

 

In your 'blurr of dissapointment' are you sure you have read correctly ? I have two friends that are Nakaya users, one having six pens, none of which have Nakaya on the nib.....very odd.

A wise man once said    " the best revenge is wealth "   but a wiser man answered back    " the best revenge is happiness "

 

The true definition of madness - Doing the same thing everyday and expecting different results......

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Whoa! Okay, seems like everything is fine now. Yikes about the nib, though. I'm glad you were able to fix it.

Only one of my nine Nakayas has a clip (I prefer clipless), and it is on tight and smooth. Nothing like what you described.

 

I'm curious about NAKAYA on your nib, not NAKATA.

 

I understand the disappointment of receiving an expensive pen with problems, and I hope you get yours fixed to your satisfaction.

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etherX in To Miasto

Fleekair <--French accent.

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I am really sorry for your bad experience and hope that it all gets sorted out. I can relate to frustration about a new pen not living up to expectations after having looked forward to inking it for months.

 

Have you contacted Mr. Mottishaw? In my humble opinion (and being an attorney :ninja:) I believe in only passing judgement after someone has had a fair chance to correct any shortcomings. We all make mistakes and 'luxury item sellers & manufacturers' are not exempt from that reality......

 

My personal experience with Classic Pens is very good. I purchased a Nakaya Decapod Writer in Aka-Tamenuri with a Soft M nib a few months ago. This is my second venture into Japanese pens (the first is a Vanishing Point) and my first purchase from Classic Pens. I have been collecting pens for 20 years and have experience with numerous sellers & brands. The service received from Classic pens was excellent. The shipping was tricky (to a hotel I was only staying at for a few days in Washington) and that was timed perfectly and followed-up on. The pen is everything I expected and wrote like a dream from the start.

 

Please let us know what follow-up you did with Mr. Mottishaw and how any remaining issues were solved.

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Did we ever contact John about the problem before we went on the rant? I'm sure he relies to some extent on the goodwill generated from sites like this. If you contacted him about these problems and he said pound sand, fine. But if you didn't contact him this almost leaves the impression that his service is lousy and his products poor. I think for this type of flagship product that he sells he ought to have at least an opportunity to respond so we can hear the rest of the story.

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Did we ever contact John about the problem before we went on the rant? I'm sure he relies to some extent on the goodwill generated from sites like this. If you contacted him about these problems and he said pound sand, fine. But if you didn't contact him this almost leaves the impression that his service is lousy and his products poor. I think for this type of flagship product that he sells he ought to have at least an opportunity to respond so we can hear the rest of the story.

 

I agree, would of though the first point of call would be to contact the seller before trying to fix it yourself ?

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The op must have the skills and confidence to set about the immediate rectification of the pen. Knocking a nib out of the nib & feed unit of a Nakaya (and refitting it properly) is way above my pen fixing level. My only worry here would be the chance of doing damage during the process, this would then surely invalidate any warranty from the seller ? That said I fully understand the frustration of what is an expensive pen in anyones book being a long way of what you expect it to be and the overwhelming urge to sort it out yourself.

A wise man once said    " the best revenge is wealth "   but a wiser man answered back    " the best revenge is happiness "

 

The true definition of madness - Doing the same thing everyday and expecting different results......

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