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Wetness - What's It All About?



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This one has often been puzzled by those who seek to increase the wetness of a given nib.

If a nib lays down a consistent and even line, what then is the purpose behind this desire for more flow?

 

More understandable is the reduction of an overly wet nib to one that is usable.

 

One initial thought was to make the nib to page interface smoother, but beyond there is only so much ink that can fit between these two surfaces.

 

It’s all a bit of a mystery, so could someone please explain the reasoning behind personal flow preferences please?

 

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Ink is a lubricant for the nib, so more ink = more lubrication, and the tip of the pens slides on the paper more smoothly.

 

To get certain look to the ink, you may need to adjust the ink flow to be wetter or dryer.

Example1, to get a darker ink line, I need to get more ink flow and thus more ink dye onto the paper.

Example2, to get shading out of Sheaffer turquoise ink, I put it into a WET Esterbrook. In my normal Parker 45, I had no shading with this ink.

 

This is to a point, there is such a thing as TOO MUCH ink flow.

 

The wetness of a pen/ink/paper combo is a delicate balance. Example:

Too wet and the ink takes longer to dry.

Too dry and the pen hard starts or skips.

Edited by ac12

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

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Ink is a lubricant for the nib, so more ink = more lubrication, and the tip of the pens slides on the paper more smoothly.

 

EoC is not convinced that making a wet nib even wetter does anything to make the experience smoother. There is a very fine limit on how much fluid can sit between two close surfaces.

 

 

 

 

Example1, to get a darker ink line, I need to get more ink flow and thus more ink dye onto the paper.

 

This makes sense. Though that would imply that one may have to change the ink flow every time a new ink was employed. Unless only a single ink was dedicated to a pen?

 

 

Example2, to get shading out of Sheaffer turquoise ink, I put it into a WET Esterbrook. In my normal Parker 45, I had no shading with this ink.

 

Are the nibs (ignoring flow) in these two pens really comparable?

 

Sorry, don't mean to be argumentative, but this one has only ever had nibs where the flow would benefit from being reduced, not the other way around.

 

For EoC, to get shading means changing to a broader nib. This one would not expect any appreciable shading out of a fine or extra fine irrespective of the flow.

 

Perhaps this one just doesn't have enough experience of the vastly different nibs and inks out there.

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I like to watch ink dry. There is something pleasant about a generous flowing nib leaving a wet trail on the paper as you write.

Edited by max dog
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@EOC - basically imagine you had a pen you liked and an ink in a colour you desired out of that pen. Now imagine a scenario where the flow characteristics of that pen-ink combination prevented you from achieving inky bliss - the solution would be to 1 ) change the pen 2) change the ink or 3) make the pen wetter for greater smoothness. Obviously in our example you like the pen and the ink individually, so the goal is to get them to play nice together. Maybe this makes more sense?

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Wetness is the big thing for me. It's more important than smoothness, but then it provides its own source of smoothness in lubrication and in the need to barely touch the paper.

 

A nib can certainly be too wet, but a good wet nib lends a fluidity to writing that nothing else can. For me, anywho.

Edited by lurcho
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EoC is not convinced that making a wet nib even wetter does anything to make the experience smoother. There is a very fine limit on how much fluid can sit between two close surfaces.

 

> As with anything it depends on your reference/starting point. Your original post die not specify the wetness or dryness of the pen.

If you have a DRY pen, there is little ink lubricating the nib, adding more ink flow increases the lubrication to the nib, reducing the friction between the tip and the paper. However, at a certain point, once the nib is in a POOL of ink (a WET pen), it makes little/no difference.

 

 

 

This makes sense. Though that would imply that one may have to change the ink flow every time a new ink was employed. Unless only a single ink was dedicated to a pen?

 

> Yes you interpret correctly. If the ink flow of the new ink is different than the prior ink, then YES, you many have to readjust the ink flow of the pen.

And yes, for some of us, we do dedicate a pen to a specific ink. I have several such pens, that are dedicated 'long term' to specific inks.

 

 

Are the nibs (ignoring flow) in these two pens really comparable?

 

> It does not matter that the nibs and pen are not the same. The point I was making was that different ink flows rate can result in different visual look to the ink. If I have to, I can do that to the same pen, by simply adjusting the ink flow from dry to wet.

 

 

Sorry, don't mean to be argumentative, but this one has only ever had nibs where the flow would benefit from being reduced, not the other way around.

 

> You just learned something new.

 

 

 

For EoC, to get shading means changing to a broader nib. This one would not expect any appreciable shading out of a fine or extra fine irrespective of the flow.

 

> This all depends on the nib. That Esterbrook nib that I mentioned, was a FINE nib.

 

 

 

Perhaps this one just doesn't have enough experience of the vastly different nibs and inks out there.

 

> I guess this is a reason to try more/different pens and inks.

 

 

 

 

  Edited by ac12

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

www.SFPenShow.com

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Thank you, that helps a little. Bit academic in truth as the number of pens in the hands of EoC continues to head toward zero. It was worth asking though. :D

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Thank you, that helps a little. Bit academic in truth as the number of pens in the hands of EoC continues to head toward zero. It was worth asking though. :D

 

 

I guess you have to move the direction of your number of pens in the opposite direction

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

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Some folks like a big shimmering wet line; others don't. I like shading inks and if they are too 'wet' from opening the gap in the tines to get more flow, they can't shade in the supply of ink is too much.

 

Some folks always set a pen to write exactly like all the others they have. I don't, if I have a 'dry' pen and open it up, what good is a wet ink then?

That 'dry' pen might well write better with other inks than 'wet' pens.

 

I guess if one only has a couple of pens it's worth worrying about but soon enough you will have ten or more pens. Then IMO it is not worth worrying about.

 

I would suggest one gets a one or two of the super wet Noodler inks, then some medium and some dry inks.Or at least one of each.

The pen will write different with each.

 

You do have to match the paper to what you are doing too.

Some papers do not absorb ink fast like Clairfountain Triump or Rhoda, others absorb ink too fast, like Ink Jet Paper (do not buy). Laser paper is better to best.

I find 90g/24 pound paper to be a good place to start. The normal 80g copy paper does not shade well.

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.

 https://www.peter-bo...cts/nib-systems,..Bock nib factory.

 

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

 

 

 

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For me wet pens more easily support extreme flex. More ink delivered to the nib smoothly as the tines are parted. You can certainly have too much of a good thing, especially as I routinely use my flex nibs for every day writing. A real wet noodle under normal handwriting is impossible.

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I for one, don't fiddle to much with a nib versus where it was when I got it. I do have one or two where I made them wetter. My TWSBI 580 B - once I had Art give it a Tomahawk grind it seemed to get a bit wetter. I wouldn't call any of mine fire hoses however. The other is a Noodler's Konrad. I changed from the stock "flex" nib to a Goulet Broad. I don't know if it actually got wetter, or it just seems like it. But it is pretty wet. I have a Parker 45 that it pretty wet too. The color says it is a M, but seems pretty fat for an M. (I call it an M+)

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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For all of us there is the perfect wetness that suits our preferences, our inks and our papers.

For Nathan Tardiff it is when there is a teeny, tiny air gap between the tines.

For me, it is when those tines just touch, so that the lightest pressure on the paper opens the gap a little.

 

Some of my nibs, like my Sailor full-sized Naginata Togi Medium Fine (NMF), are too stiff for me to adjust that way, so I have to compensate by using a dryer ink. I have found that it likes Pelikan Edelstein inks.

 

My preference suits me because some of the papers I write on are not the most FP friendly, and less ink on the paper helps control feathering, spreading and bleeding. As well, I find that my settings show inks off better, rather than just a deep constant colour.

fpn_1412827311__pg_d_104def64.gif




“Them as can do has to do for them as can’t.


And someone has to speak up for them as has no voices.”


Granny Aching

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I find some of the most fun I've had is with a super wet pen on really unabsorbent paper like Tomoe River or something similar. Another fun characteristic of a really wet pen is that, on the right paper and with the right ink, a wet pen will bring out tons of sheen from the ink. Think Emerald of Chivor for example. That's an ink that, to get the most out of it, needs a wet pen and the right paper. When those come together the wettest patches of ink turn an electric red. I get some enjoyment out of watching ink dry, and have gotten together with friends to do just that. What a funny bunch we are!

"Oh deer."

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I don't really have a pen wet enough to bring out the best in Emerald of Chivor. It's been a great disappointment. I might try it with my newly tinkered with Konrad as that tends to go through my 110gsm notebooks. You never know, soon I too will be singing its praises...

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I don't really have a pen wet enough to bring out the best in Emerald of Chivor. It's been a great disappointment. I might try it with my newly tinkered with Konrad as that tends to go through my 110gsm notebooks. You never know, soon I too will be singing its praises...

 

Some of it comes down to the paper. It doesn't really sheen on Rhodia or Clarfontaine, but on Tomoe River it sheens a ton. Tomoe is good for bringing out the sheen in everything.

Edited by benbot517

"Oh deer."

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I keep meaning to get some Tomoe River, so I may finally take the plunge. I've tried it out on my Daler Rowney with the Konrad and a Zebra G and now I can see the red in it, shading round the edges. Good stuff. I love the Herbin inks - Rouge Hematite particularly - so it's nice to get the famous Emerald working!

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