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How Can I Tell If A Pen For Sale Is A Wet Noodle?



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Now that I've learned how to use flex pens, I'm considering buying a wet noodle. I've looked at items on fleabay but the descriptions don't use the term 'wet noodle' and they don't all include pictures of how the pen writes. How do I tell whether a pen, for example a Waterman 52, really does have a nib which is so flexy that it's almost floppy?

:)

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As far as I can tell it is a bit of a lottery when looking at random eBay pens. Better going with one of the established and reputable sellers of flexible pens.

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I think it's quite rare on the whole. There are a lot of 'flex' pens that are actually semi-flex and in some cases simply soft gold nibs that should not be pressured. RobMorrison on ebay generally has a good selection of flex nibs for sale, but prices to match. You need deep pockets.

 

edit:

I should add that if you are just starting out I would go for a normal flex pen. I have a wet noodle and it's actually quite difficult to use and requires a good degree of skill. You need an extremely steady hand, no hesitation and an incredibly light touch. I've actually come to prefer flexibles that I have to put a little pressure on as they at least appear to be more controllable.

Edited by Uncial
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Only buy from one of the dozen or so people who actually know and understand fountain pen flexibility.

 

My Website

 

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Vintagepens

I should add that if you are just starting out I would go for a normal flex pen. I have a wet noodle and it's actually quite difficult to use and requires a good degree of skill. You need an extremely steady hand, no hesitation and an incredibly light touch. I've actually come to prefer flexibles that I have to put a little pressure on as they at least appear to be more controllable.

 

+1 on that.

 

I also like the OP's choice of the word "floppy" to describe the extreme end of superduperflexibility. As with many good things taken to extremes, a nib that is too soft can become virtually unmanageable. Perhaps why I've never liked the expression "wet noodle", as it evokes a dead floppiness rather than the lively responsiveness that is the soul of a great flex nib.

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I should add that if you are just starting out I would go for a normal flex pen. I have a wet noodle and it's actually quite difficult to use and requires a good degree of skill. You need an extremely steady hand, no hesitation and an incredibly light touch. I've actually come to prefer flexibles that I have to put a little pressure on as they at least appear to be more controllable.

 

I'm used to flex pens and have gone through various degrees of flex, from the relatively hard, but good FPR Dilli, a medium flex vintage Wahl Eversharp Skyline, and a Waterman Starlet. The latter is the most flexible, but the Skyline has the best feed.

 

I use them for a flex version of italic because I can't hold an italic pen at 45 degrees. Flex pens are ideal as I've always held nibs parallel to the writing line, as instructed in various flex tutorials.

 

I would like to go a step further, into a VERY flexible nib, like one I once saw on a youtube vid which sort of waved each time the direction of writing changed. (I can't ind the vid anymore.) The feed would need to be wet to keep up with the ink demand.

 

Specific suggestions for where to look etc would be welcomed.

Edited by BookCat
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SujiCorp12345

I'd check out http://www.vintagepen.net

 

He knows what he's talking about. No affiliation.

Edited by Suji

Pelikan 140 EF | Pelikan 140 OBB | Pelikan M205 0.4mm stub | Pilot Custom Heritage 912 PO | Pilot Metropolitan M | TWSBI 580 EF | Waterman 52 1/2v

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Nice selection but his prices are through the roof sadly.

 

But the pens are as described.

 

My Website

 

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canibanoglu

 

But the pens are as described.

True, but you can get the same service at much better prices elsewhere. $370 for a Pelikan 400 tortoise is crazy. You can almost get a 500 for that much.

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Mr. Nishimura has one of the major pen-porn sites on the Interweb. And I'll second uncial's opinion: a fine point (or Western extra-fine) can be more expressive than a needlepoint. The little bit of chiseling on the tip is what gives you the thick-and-thin lines when you're not doing Spencerian script.

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BookCat,

 

Fountain pens with wet noodle nibs are lots of fun. Once you pass a certain threshold of proper control with those nibs, you can become very addicted to them and there is no returning point!

 

Properly determining a flex nib to be a wet noodle is only part of the equation. Having that nib properly setup in the pen body is just as important as the actual wet noodle nib in itself. The more flexible the nib and the thinner the line it can produce, the more complex is setup and proper use are. These advanced setups are not for the amateur. Just because someone has been doing pen repairs for a long time does not grant them knowledge of flex nibs, their very unique and intricate setups, how to properly use, and properly write with them. Flex is a completely different world!

 

Very much like the "fully restored pen", the "wet noodle" and many other flex terms are becoming grossly misused by folks who understand from zero to little about flex nibs. Their lack of knowledge and experience on the subject makes their claims, descriptions, writing samples, pen reviews, recommendations about flex nibs to become non-sense, absurd, and many times comical.

 

Check FPN and the internet and you will see claims and reviews made by individuals and even what I used to consider "reputable" pen websites making these absurd claims. There is a very large online seller that glamorizes everything they sell with all sorts of video infomercials, blogs, tutorials, selling some products that are considered below sub-standard, but they terribly mislead the fountain pen public with their gross misinformation about flexible nibs. The sad reality is most of these individuals do not have sufficient knowledge of flexible nibs and even less knowledge about the proper setups of those nibs onto the fountain pen bodies, but despite these limitations, they continue misleading the general public, creating more skepticism with the rational and prudent buyer.

 

At the moment, the most common absurd flex nib description is one that goes like "the nib in pen XYZ it is not a wet noodle but it flexes a lot." Using such a poor description for a flexible nib is the equivalent of describing acceleration in a wooden carriage as "the acceleration in this wooden carriage is not as fast as in a Ferrari, but it accelerates a lot." If you were in the market seeking a high-end and exotic car with lots of acceleration, would you buy one with a description like that? How much knowledge and trust does a seller infers to a potential buyer with poor descriptions as such? These type of flex definitions are not found in eBay only. They are fairly common everywhere, including in very well known and large online retailer's websites and blogs.

 

You will also find others abusing their nibs while making all sorts of unsubstantiated claims. And the list goes on and on.

 

Like Jar said, anytime you get into high end products and specialized services, the reputation and the knowledge of the entity or individual behind the offered product and service is the key to success. In situations like this, do not trust your google search engine or eBay. There is a famous saying in Spanish that goes "Dar gato por liebre" which literally means "Give a cat instead of a hare (rabbit)"

 

So remember: When you are looking for your flexible and wet noodle nibs, do not let someone give you a cat instead of a rabbit!

Tu Amigo!

Mauricio Aguilar

 

www.VintagePen.net

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3525/4051556482_36f28f0902_m.jpg

E-Mail: VintagePen@att.net

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Don't take anyone's word for it, even if they sound like they know exactly what they are talking about. I would not put out the money (and heart) for a wet noodle unless you really know the vendor, and if you are really really hot on it at the very least make sure that you have a trusted friend who can help you decide. I would strongly recommend your going to a pen show and seeing them first hand. I would not buy a "pig in a poke" over the internet no matter how strongly you are tempted. This is the voice of sad experience talking here.


 It's for Yew!bastardchildlil.jpg

 

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Maurico, thank you for the warning, I would be grateful if you could pm me with any sellers I should avoid. When you gave the sample 'description' of a flex nib, my thoughts were "I don't want to know what it isn't, I want to know what it IS!" "the nib in pen XYZ it is not a wet noodle but it flexes a lot" only tells me what it's not.

 

As far as being given a cat or a rabbit goes, I'll have the cat, cats are nice. Unfortunately I'm not sure that's what the saying means. :bawl:

 

Fabienne, my friends aren't at all interested in fountain pens and there are no pen shows that I know of near to Birmingham. There are some antique shops, but I doubt that they'd have a wet noodle pen. The only significant pen place is the Pen Museum and I don't think they sell vintage pens. They specialise in dip pens, I think.

 

I hadn't realised that this would be such a minefield. I knew it would be difficult, which is why I asked for advice, but not quite this difficult.

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Maurico, thank you for the warning, I would be grateful if you could pm me with any sellers I should avoid ...

 

In my opinion, there are only three true individuals whom I trust when it comes to flexible nibs, their nib setups and their descriptions. The rest should not be avoided. You just need to be aware that flexible nibs and pens is not their specialty and strength and what they offer is questionable.

 

 

When you gave the sample 'description' of a flex nib, my thoughts were "I don't want to know what it isn't, I want to know what it IS!" "the nib in pen XYZ it is not a wet noodle but it flexes a lot" only tells me what it's not.

 

Actually, I was not giving you my definition of what a wet noodle is, but was quoting to you the most common absurd description about a flexible nib you can find in the market place at the moment. When you see statements like that, this should be a red flag to you, indicating those descriptions are coming from someone with very questionable expertise on flexible nibs.

 

If you are not seen it before, I strongly encourage you to take a very close look at the system I developed several years ago to grade flex nibs. This is how I describe each one of my flexible nibs and I believe it has the most comprehensive parameters and criteria that can be used when describing and specifying the attributes of a flexible nib. Here's a direct link to that page in my website ... http://www.vintagepen.net/grading-flex-nibs.html

 

 

As far as being given a cat or a rabbit goes, I'll have the cat, cats are nice. Unfortunately I'm not sure that's what the saying means. :bawl:

 

Despite the nuances of the Spanish language, what that saying implies is that if you are looking for X product, do not get mislead by someone trying to sell you something Y product under the pretense it is X product. It has nothing to do as to whether you like cats or rabbits better. Just now I realize your FPN "BookCat" user name implies you like cats. Sorry for confusing you further!

 

 

I hadn't realised that this would be such a minefield. I knew it would be difficult, which is why I asked for advice, but not quite this difficult.

 

Anytime you start getting into more exclusive, specialized and expensive products and services, it is prudent you rely on someone who specializes with such products and services.

Edited by Mauricio

Tu Amigo!

Mauricio Aguilar

 

www.VintagePen.net

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3525/4051556482_36f28f0902_m.jpg

E-Mail: VintagePen@att.net

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In my opinion, there are only three true individuals whom I trust when it comes to flexible nibs, their nib setups and their descriptions.

 

Then perhaps you should let us know who these individuals are. This is going to be crucial for those of us who are relatively new to the world of flex pens - i.e. we are the most likely to be taken for a ride by the over-describers. If you do not wish to go public with the names then a PM in confidence would suffice.

 

Edit: for the record, I have been looking for a 'wet noodle' for some time now but have zero confidence in anything that I have seen on the internet. I do not have the luxury of traveling half the world just to attend a pen show either. I am happy and quite comfortable using Gillott 303 and Hunt Imperial 101 nibs, both of which I dare say outperform - in flex terms - fountain pen 'wet noodles'. So I consider myself competent and confident enough in putting the nib to the paper. The frustration for me in trying to find even a single decent fountain pen with truly flexible characteristics is huge. So any reputable help would be enormously appreciated.

Edited by Cardboard_Tube
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