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Tipping Material?


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I'm still learning about fountain pens (even two years into the hobby), and I wondered about this picture. The tipping seems to be a bit meager on this Parker 51. From advertising pictures and from most pictures I find online, Parker 51s generally come with nice round ball-shaped tipping. What do you guys think? Does this nib look normal?



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It looks quite normal to me. Maybe it's a F nib? And Parker 51's are old pens, so presumably it was used before?


If it writes well, I wouldn't worry about it, but you can usually find nibs available on eBay if you wanted to fit a different one. :)

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Thanks for the responses!


Chrissy, I'm pretty sure it's a fine nib, but in the second picture, I swear I can't see any tipping at all!

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It looks like a fine nib, and it does appear to be tipped.


Also I seem to remember reading somewhere on FPN that there was a difference between the size of the tipping blobs between US made P 51s and UK made ones.

I can't remember which was bigger.


Anyway, if it writes as smoothly as one would expect of a Parker 51, then "don' worry, be happy..."


“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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US would have had bigger blobs I guess. (My English Parker Jr. Duofpld is semi-flex....which I don't think US models are in in the States Parker was mostly a nail maker.) I'm not going to dig out my single P-51, but to my eyes that tip has plenty of tipping.


You should see German '50-65 tipping. The first time I saw them I thought some shade tree mechanic had tried to stub them with indifferent results.

I was wrong.

'Iridium' is and was always more expensive than gold. The Germans were very 'sparsam' with it. Those German nibs with some flex are all stubs from the '50's....some no names from the '60's have that American Bump Under tipping. So are not stubs.


Some of the wider Osmia nibs are so cheap with the tipping there is a tiny pad in the middle of the nib and the edges seem bare. :huh: There is enough tipping to let the nib write for a decade....or two.

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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When I bought my first Lamy 1.1mm steel nib I was shocked to see there was no tipping on it at all, but pleasantly surprised at how smoothly it writes. :)


I would put my hand up to say that I'm not a fan of nibs with no tipping, but that Parker 51 nib looks OK to me.

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Perhaps my eyes are deceiving me :)


I guess the nib is fine. Maybe I got my mediums and fines mixed up.

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Looks fine to me.


The finer the nib, the harder to make a nice round ball tipping.

Some older nibs the tipping looks like tinning of solder, looks like a thin coat on the tip of the nib. These are the ones that I don't fuss with, as buffing/smoothening could go through the thin tipping.

Wait til you see some of the Parker 45 tipping.


As I recall, the US Parker nibs are finer than the UK Parker nibs, of the same marked size (ie F).

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


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Nothing wrong with that nib. How does it write?

It's just a picture from an online auction, so I don't know how it writes. It was a cordovan brown Vacumatic with a gold blue diamond clip on a Lustraloy cap. I was going to bid on it, but I wasn't sure if $60 was a good price or not.

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Mediums tend to look blobby but a fine or xfine should look like the picture you've shown.


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I just got a pen just like your description for $50, and invested $20 for restoration. It's worth it.

Baptiste knew how to make a short job long

For love of it. And yet not waste time either.

Robert Frost

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I cannot judge the actual tip from your pictures but it appears to be at least a fine nib.


If you are concerned of the "meager" tipping material, I can say that there is usually more tipping material (on a gold nib) than what can be easily seen "externally" even under magnification. By "externally", I mean just the nib as it is without physically separating the tines.


Parts of the tipping material can get hidden from view under the nib material during the joining process (usually resistance welding).


You should be OK.

I only have two pens - an Aurora Optima and others.

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Looks like it's just a finer nib width. My Pelikan M200 is a bit like that. My Lamy 2000 with a medium nib is also quite modest in regards to the amount of tipping. Astehtically, I like it that way. It looks much more refined. Come to think of it, most of the vintage Sheaffer nib I've seen, including the one on my Snorkel are also very modestly tipped. There is enough tipping to produce the desired nib width without a superfluous blob of iridium.


As long as the pen writes well, you have nothing to worry about.

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There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy. Hamlet, 1.5.167-168

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