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Instruments For Measuring Fountain Pens



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What are the best instruments to use to get accurate measurements of fountain pens? I want to measure weight (and I assume a postal or kitchen scale would be adequate for that). Is a caliper the best instrument for measuring diameter? I want to measure barrel and grip diameter.

 

Thanks,

 

Susan

I can't stop buying pens and it scares me.

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Hi - for the diameter and length I'd suggest using a vernier calliper - they are easy to hold, and will usually incorporate a dial that reads off in parts of a millimeter or inch - very accurate too.

Regret can't help with the other part of your question re weight - I wouldn't have thought that either of the items you mention were very accurate for small lightweight things like f.p.

 

What is your particular reason for this venture? :)

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I use a Blindman's Digital Caliper to measure pen diameters. http://www.leevalley.com/en/wood/page.aspx?cat=1,43513,49782&p=66892

 

There is a converter programme in the caliper that expresses the measurements in millimeters, inches (fractional & decimal).

 

Because the blades of the caliper are hardened stainless steel, they can mar the soft resin surfaces found of most pens.

I mask the pen's surface with strips of copy paper & I gently rest the caliper's blades on the paper strips. The thickness of two sheets of paper will not throw out your measurement by a lot.

This way of measuring diameters gives me a useful "ball park" figure.

 

PS: For measuring weight, a Dymo postal scale works like a charm.

Edited by tinta

*Sailor 1911S, Black/gold, 14k. 0.8 mm. stub(JM) *1911S blue "Colours", 14k. H-B "M" BLS (PB)

*2 Sailor 1911S Burgundy/gold: 14k. 0.6 mm. "round-nosed" CI (MM) & 14k. 1.1 mm. CI (JM)

*Sailor Pro-Gear Slim Spec. Ed. "Fire",14k. (factory) "H-B"

*Kaweco SPECIAL FP: 14k. "B",-0.6 mm BLS & 14k."M" 0.4 mm. BLS (PB)

*Kaweco Stainless Steel Lilliput, 14k. "M" -0.7 mm.BLS, (PB)

 

 

 

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If you don't want to hassle the tissue paper to protect the pen, there are plastic calipers, like this one:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/321768258641?_trksid=p2055119.m1438.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT

Incidentally, it is a dial caliper. A vernier caliper does not have a dial.

Easier to read is a digital caliper. You can switch from inch to metric by pressing the button.

 

IMHO, you don't need a micrometer for pen work, a caliper should be enough. That is unless you are measuring something like the width of the tip of a nib, and you want 0.001 inch or .01 mm accuracy.

 

A low weight kitchen or postal scale that measures in grams. Need to be careful here, as some scales do not measure low weight, nor fine in resolution. Some will read in increments of 10 grams, rather than 1 gram. And many pens are light, so you will need to measure down to 10 grams.

Edited by ac12

San Francisco Pen Show - August 28-30, 2020 - Redwood City, California

www.SFPenShow.com

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Thanks for the responses! I'll look at all the suggestions. I want to have accurate measurements because I write reviews for The Pen Addict.

 

Susan

I can't stop buying pens and it scares me.

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A caliper is easier and faster to use than a micrometer. The problem with a micrometer is you need to learn to "feel" when the moving shaft touches the object and be able to do this consistently, or you will not get repeatable measurements. This is because a micrometer uses a screw turned measuring shaft, and it is difficult for the average person to use it. That is why I use a caliper. BTW my caliper is accurate to 0.001 inch. That is 1/1000 of an inch, which is plenty accurate enough for me.

 

For your stated task of measuring diameter of the pen, 0.1mm accuracy is adequate.

 

FYI 0.1mm = 0.0039inch

 

If you use a steel caliper, and you want real accuracy, you need to use a piece of paper around the pen, to protect the pen's finish. But then you need to measure the thickness of 2 layers of that paper, because it will make a difference especially with the smaller diameter 'slimline' pens.

Edited by ac12

San Francisco Pen Show - August 28-30, 2020 - Redwood City, California

www.SFPenShow.com

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