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Smooth Nib Skips On Greasy Spots On Paper


fabian3194
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Hi,

I've observed when writing with a pen that has a 'glossy' nib
(compare it to skating on ice) across parts of the paper
that has natural skin/hand oils (from either the writing hand
moving top down the page or from the other hand steadying the page)
that the nib tends to skip across the 'greasy' areas.

Whereas when writing with a 'matte' nib (compare it to writing
with a smooth pencil) these 'greasy' areas are not a problem, the
nib just writes across it; although you can feel the 'slick'.

Given the two nibs do not have 'baby's bottom'; my theory is that
the matte surface area of the nib breaks the inks surface tension
(because it has microscopic pits and grooves) thus helping the
ink to spread and run.

Before I take remedial action on my 'glossy' nib using very
fine abrasive; what are your experiences with the above ?
Would you accept it and just change your ink to a better
behaved variety or would you just go ahead and rub the shine
off the tip ?

Or is there something else going one that I'm not aware of ?

 

Thanks,

Fabian

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Actually the "glossy" nib with it smooth surface will glide over a greasy spot and the ink cannot adhere to the paper due to the grease. However your "matte" nib just scrapes right through the grease, removing the grease allowing the ink to adhere. But then the "matte" nib will build up a glossy finish and......

 

I really do not know! I am making it up as I go!

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Use a guard to keep the grease off the paper. Why take a chance on ruining a nib that writes well?

 

For papers that have absorbed some oils, a bit of pounce rubbed in with a cloth may correct the problem.

 

Best of luck,

Yours,
Randal

From a person's actions, we may infer attitudes, beliefs, --- and values. We do not know these characteristics outright. The human dichotomies of trust and distrust, honor and duplicity, love and hate --- all depend on internal states we cannot directly experience. Isn't this what adds zest to our life?

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You can always use a smudge guard glove. Something like this: http://www.smudgeguard.com/ Or just cut out a glove that you found in the 99 cent store. Preferably a woman's glove as they tend to be a snug grip. Do this if you don't want to use a thin piece of plastic that many others use.

 

Have you tried switching paper?

Are you subconsciously rotating the pen?

#Nope

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I sometimes use a bit of talcum powder on my hands before starting to write. I wipe my hands to remove the talc before I start writing but the talc seems to take care of the skin oil.

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Thanks all for your considered responses. Sometimes with a pen you just want it to 'go' in all circumstances. Such as in the office and writing on office paper ie printer paper, filling in forms, writing and signing those large goodbye cards, semi-gloss Christmas cards, being able to write on 'strange' stationery, the list goes on. I guess the one with the matte nib will be the workhorse pen, for everyday and all purpose use.

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A smooth nib isn't going to tear at the surface of the paper, so when ink hits a "greasy" or non-absorbent spot it has no where to go. Rougher nibs, or misaligned nibs to some extent will either dig into the paper or tear at it somewhat allowing for the ink to make contact with something that will absorb it.

 

I've mainly only ever had the problem with Rhodia, and in the absence of a 'guard' I just use a sheet of cheap notebook paper to act as a palm rest.

 

The suggestion about talc is the first I've heard, but makes sense (and would be something laying around for people who do some of their own restoration).

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I've not had this problem.

I do hear that Clarefontaine Triumph, will slide a butter smooth nib too easy, because it is so slick.

Haven't got to that paper either.

 

Don't have a problem with Clarefontaine Velote 90g.

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.

RIP...200's once great nib, now a double ball.:crybaby::wallbash:

 

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

 

 

 

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That is very interesting. I don't have any super smooth pens so this isn't a problem for me, but I think it's a great idea to use a piece of paper as a palm rest. My hands are naturally sweaty and its made worse while writing so the paper always sticks to my hand and is pulled all over the place.

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Just a sheet of cheap paper to protect the paper from skin oils will work. Or if you have a sheet/half sheet of blotting paper.

Brad

"Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind" - Rudyard Kipling
"None of us can have as many virtues as the fountain-pen, or half its cussedness; but we can try." - Mark Twain

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Changing inks may also work.

 

I do like Waterman inks, but they generally make a pen skip much easier over grease marks, I have noticed. I realised a week or two ago, when writing a letter, that I actually even mentioned it in at least one of my ink reviews :).

 

Warm regards, Wim

the Mad Dutchman
laugh a little, love a little, live a lot; laugh a lot, love a lot, live forever

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This is a very interesting topic. I find it persuasive that a very slightly "textured" nib would penetrate a thin layer of film through to the paper. Sort of like how you don't want to drive on bald tires in the rain: you need some tread. My favorite nibs aren't completely glossy feeling anyway. I prefer a feel that's just a bit "satiny" if that's a word. I suspect that like much else in life, the ideal nib isn't one that is at the extreme end of some characteristic scale, in this case smoothness. Rather, the ideal is to be at some golden mean point between smooth and rough.

Edited by MCN
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This is a very interesting topic. I find it persuasive that a very slightly "textured" nib would penetrate a thin layer of film through to the paper. Sort of like how you don't want to drive on bald tires in the rain: you need some tread. My favorite nibs aren't completely glossy feeling anyway. I prefer a feel that's just a bit "satiny" if that's a word. I suspect that like much else in life, the ideal nib isn't one that is at the extreme end of some characteristic scale, in this case smoothness. Rather, the ideal is to be at some golden mean point between smooth and rough.

While it's not the intent of why I do it (the paper/ink flow), but when I bother to smooth a nib, I like to give it a slight texture where it's not glassy smooth, but more like a very soft pencil graphite as I like the nibs smooth but I also like having that soft graphite feel so I actually feel like I'm doing something on the paper. It will of course vary by paper as well.

 

Micro-mesh (12,000 grit) by itself tends to improve the flow of the tipping with just a couple figure 8s in your own writing angle. (but always make sure the nib is correctly aligned before doing anything abrasive to the nib, and certainly not on some rare or expensive nib, that's best left to the professionals.)

Edited by KBeezie
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