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1St Pistons, What Should I Know?



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chromantic

I'm eagerly awaiting my first piston-fill pens, a lovely M150 and an M75 Go! Anything in particular I should know or be aware of regarding their care and operation? The Go! is NOS in original box; I'm hoping the instruction sheet will be there, too.

 

Practice on the Go! before moving to the 150?

 

Any advice appreciated. TIA

It's hard work to tell which is Old Harry when everybody's got boots on.

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Enjoy it! Piston fillers are the best. You'll never want a cartridge/converter again. They are way more practical than lever fills, and less messy than eye-droppers. Pneumatic and vac fillers are the only things that are almost as cool as piston fillers. You'll love your M150.

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chromantic

^ arkanbar Thanks, I wouldn't use those inks in my C/Cs so that shouldn't be a problem. :)

 

I was thinking more along the lines of "you should disassemble and clean the piston mechanism once a year; if you don't feel comfortable doing it, send it to a repair shop" or "flush it once a month, even if you're just going to put the same color back in" or "pay attention to reviews of inks to whether they may stain pens", that sort of thing.

 

^ Raif I sure I will! I bought to Go! because I thought it would be interesting to see a Pelikan piston designed for the budget market (and it was only $15).

It's hard work to tell which is Old Harry when everybody's got boots on.

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Bo Bo Olson

NOOOOooooooo!!!!!!

It is not an Ahab or a Twsbi. Don't go yanking it apart...it's not made to do that...and they get ruined sooner or later...bet on sooner.

 

Piston pens are not made to be taken apart unless it is a 800/1000....and then seldom to never.

 

You need some 100% pure silicon grease. Buy the smallest container you can find. It will last you a life time. Half a rice corn on a toothpick smeared around the top of the barrel under the piston....is all you need every year or two.....You can smear that small amount on a Q-tip too.

 

Rick Propas the Pelikan Guru says once every three years...does well enough.

 

But if you are changing inks 3 times a week or two...the pen can get stressed from the constant working the piston to get old ink out...can get dried out too. ... no problem.

 

Tricks....so you don't work the piston a lot...drying out the insides. Get two rubber baby ear syringes, one leave regular. Unscrew the nib, squirt the insides of the barrel clean. You can use this to clean out all your C/C pens too.

 

The second...cut it so the inside of the nib shaft fits inside....then just squeeze the water through the shaft and nib.....your nib and feed is cleaned of other inks in a jiffy.

 

If you do both...should not take you more than 3 minutes total time from the time you twist the nib out to when you twist it in to have cleaned your pen.

 

To be 100% shake the pen in a paper towel like an old thermometer and let sit in a cup wrapped in the paper towel for as many hours as you feel....4-5 or over night depending on how 'clean' you want the nib to be.

 

Do put some money away.....50 years from now you may need a new gasket.

 

Stay away from Red inks.

 

Purples should only stay in the pen for a week or two....they do also have a rep for staining. One can live with out red.

 

 

For Cartridges....

If you get a needle syringe....flatten the tip. Go to the drug store, with your sharping stone, tell the person behind the counter you want the widest needle and 10 or so ml syringe to fill your ink cartridges with. If you take off the edge, before their eyes...you should have no problem buying one in the States. I live in Germany so things are different.

You can fill your cartridge with great looking purple inks with no fears.

Edited by Bo Bo Olson

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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chromantic

Thanks, Bo Bo. I'd seen many mentions of taking apart the TWSBI pens and just assumed that this was something common to all pistons; glad to know it isn't. Glad, too, to know that regular flushing isn't really necessary, either.

 

I don't envision changing the ink color very often (in the 150, at least - the Go! may be a different story) as I like to give inks their own pens. I'm a little disappointed about the "avoid reds"; I was thinking to make the 150 my Oxblood pen as Oxblood perfectly matches the color of the pen, judging from the pictures.

It's hard work to tell which is Old Harry when everybody's got boots on.

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Bo Bo Olson

I think my urge to match pen color to ink lasted some two tries, as more and more pens arrived from the weekly Pen in mail club. :angry:

Do not join that or the pen of the month in the mail club. You get a much better pen in the Pen of the Quarter In the Mail Club. :rolleyes:

You have more time to chose what nib you need, which pen fits that and your wishes. More time to look them up.

 

I do advocate semi-vintage and vintage for better nibs and much cheaper top of the line pens.

Good used pens. :)

 

Paper is very, very important.....more so than ink. Do look at Sandy1's ink reviews... :notworthy1: :notworthy1: She uses 4-5 normal flex pens of 4-5 widths on five or so easy enough to get papers. The differences paper makes is :yikes: . Sometimes it is impossible to believe it is the same ink.

 

I have a catch sentence, Writing is 1/3 nib width&flex, 1/3 paper and 1/3 ink and in that order.

 

Your 150 should be a good 'true' regular flex nib....and I find M a vastly underated nib and F to give good shading....depending on the ink and the paper.

 

Using MB Toffee, a brown shading ink.

F gave me light line with darker trails.

M gave me 50-50 :yikes: Breaking the M prejudice I'd picked up on this com. :angry:

B gave me a dark line with light trails.

 

Semi-flex which is down the road for you, can depending on the ink and paper give less shading than 'true' regular flex in it is due to ease of tine spread, a wetter nib.

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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Sasha Royale

Fountain pen ink ONLY in fountain pens. Fountain pen inks contain solvents and flow-improving additvies. Other inks contain additives, such as lacquers, to give appearance of texture and sheen. They can clog the fountain pen feed.

 

The piston should move with minimal effort. If lubrication is needed, minimal quantities of PURE SILICON lube. (fountain pen suppliers and SCUBA equipment shops) Petroleum and lithium content will react with pen materials.

The lube, that comes with a TWSBI fountain pen, is excellent. Use of lubricating inks can extend the period between lubrication service.

 

Choose ink colors that you like. Piston-fill pens hold a lot of ink, so you will be able to writing a long time.

 

Write with joy.

Auf freiem Grund mit freiem Volke stehn.
Zum Augenblicke dürft ich sagen:
Verweile doch, du bist so schön !

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chromantic

Thanks for all the good suggestions everyone.

It's hard work to tell which is Old Harry when everybody's got boots on.

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Bo Bo's advice regarding cheap pens is very sound, as long as you know exactly what you like.

Though I am quite sure of what I like with regard to size, form factor, nib, and weight, I'm still working that out. Thus, at some point I will buy an inexpensive ebonite pen (cos it does feel a bit different; I noticed a slight tackiness handling an ebonite Konrad, but I'll need to use one long-term to find out if this is truly important to me), and an inexpensive Vac-fil (cos I've never tried one, and may find it superior to my current preference for piston fill). It may be years before I do, and when I do, I will use each pen thoroughly to determine what, precisely, I do and don't like about it, and bear what I've learned in mind as I plan futre purchases. A Pen Posse might well be cheaper than buying cheap pens, but buying cheap pens has absolutely been essential in discovering what I like, and more importantly, what I don't.

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chromantic

I love cheap pens! I just ordered 2 more Jinhao 611s, a dark blue ($3) and another hard-to-find dark red ($1.25). While I use them mostly for testing inks, a couple have made it into my rotation.

 

I've found I prefer light pens and fine nibs, that nib sizes are not uniform across the world (or even within brands); I swore I would never buy a medium again, except for P45s and Chinese/Japanese. Slim pens (Vector, et al) are good but a tad thicker is nice, too.

It's hard work to tell which is Old Harry when everybody's got boots on.

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Bo Bo Olson

A true springy regular flex M is a good ride, and can be a very very good with shading inks.

 

I started with M back in the old days...of B&W TV. So think them as medium....not as Fat, in Japanese pens were....later. A Sheaffer was made in Japan....but Japanese pens didn't start coming in until the '90's. Many who start with miss marked Japanese nibs grow into fountain pens thinking an F should be an EF in western and so on.

 

There were back in the day, of the early Sheaffers that were narrow F's. And that before they started making some of their pens in Japan.

 

A vintage '50-65 German pen with semi-flex are 1/2 a size narrower than Western Modern. So a B is a fine nib with real good line variation that writes no wider than a fat M. An OB semi-flex :puddle: is wide enough to get use to obliques easily.

 

Do not waste your money unless you are left handed with modern obliques. There is little to no line variation.

Get the '50-65 German semi-flex ones..... :notworthy1:

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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ScienceChick

<snip> I'm a little disappointed about the "avoid reds"; I was thinking to make the 150 my Oxblood pen as Oxblood perfectly matches the color of the pen, judging from the pictures.

Reds aren't verboten, just tend to take a bit longer to clean out and are more inclined to stain. Using a syringe for cleaning and a well-behaved red should cure those ills. Check out the ink reviews for info on specific inks.

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