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Delike Alpha (Kaweco Brass Sport Clone) Modifications And Review


gmcalabr
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The OE nib when I bought my Delike Alpha had no tip at all. No wonder it was scratchy. I managed to dismantle the nib unit and insert a #5 Jinhao nib, which is a Medium. I have fed it on a diet of KWZ Iron Gall Blue #1 or Diamine Registrars Ink for months on end, taking the nib & feed assembly apart every so often for a good scrub.

These days i'm using Diamine Midnight. It does not sheen on the copier paper I encounter at work. I finally put the cap in a vise and whipped off that engraving and changed the converter. The screw mechanism was starting to misbehave. A Jinhao converter seems to fit.

 

The prices of the Aluminum and Brass Kaweco Sport are ridiculous.

To be fair to them the Sport is a pen for taking notes for short periods. If you have the official ink converter you'd have to refill every day, it's tiny.

 

The brass Delike Alpha is better value for a work pen.

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I like mine a lot. I put a nib from a "Bad Taste" Perkeo in it, and a Lilliput clip, and hey presto! I've got it loaded up with Pelikan 4001 Blue Black in a Jinhao converter. It's my default pen for writing in my "bullet journal" style planner.

 

- N

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They're still around! Just got two of these (minimum order) for Alibaba, beyond dirt cheap, shipped form Kuala Lumpur in about 5 weeks, pretty good considering the paandemic slowdown. They are better than the price would indicate, the nibs are average, the F better than the M. I may give them better nibs if they behave. The fake antiqued lacquer is severely ugly IMHO. Good news: it comes off. Bad news it takes perhaps more work than the pen is worth. But, hey it's a fountain pen, whats not to like?

 

If you got them for under $5 each and/or were not branded as Delike, then you got the factory cast-offs that didn't meet QC.

Selling a boatload of restored, fairly rare, vintage Japanese gold nib pens, click here to see (more added as I finish restoring them)

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I got one unbranded, and it cost me only $3, while I was totally unaware that Delike Alpha existed. I searched for "Brass Fountain Pen" on Aliexpress. The sanded brass, clear brass, and blue and red colors are available.

 

However, it was not fun to type with this pen out of the box. The nib was scratchy even though it was aligned (I checked with the loupe). I took the #5 nib out, and swapped with a one of the nibs which I got $0.20 each from another parcel just in case. Now it's a smooth, wet, and fine (F) writer.

 

Edit: Here you go, with a swapped no-name #5 steel nib:

 

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Edited by Ardakilic
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Is the nib friction fit or screw in? I have the same pen and would like to swap nibs

To hold a pen is to be at war. - Voltaire
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Is the nib friction fit or screw in? I have the same pen

 

 

Then I'm surprised you haven't at least tried to remove the nib by unscrewing.

 

I don't think I've come across a Delike pen model that doesn't have a removable housing unit for the nib and feed.

 

Nothing should prevent you from pulling the nib out from that, either. After all, nibs and feeds are friction fit with respect to the removable housing units.

I endeavour to be frank and truthful in what I write, show or otherwise present, when I relate my first-hand experiences that are not independently verifiable; and link to third-party content where I can, when I make a claim or refute a statement of fact in a thread. If there is something you can verify for yourself, I entreat you to do so, and judge for yourself what is right, correct for valid. I may be wrong, and my position or say-so is no more authoritative and carries no more weight than anyone else's here.

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Is the nib friction fit or screw in? I have the same pen and would like to swap nibs

 

Both.

 

The unit is a screw in affair pretty common to a lot of chinese #5's.

 

But the nib and feed just pull straight out.

Selling a boatload of restored, fairly rare, vintage Japanese gold nib pens, click here to see (more added as I finish restoring them)

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I have a number of the unbranded ones (got a dozen or more to give away to students) and these have a friction fit nib/feeder. None of them ever gave me trouble writing, drying out or failing to start. They have a fine fine pointed nib. On one, I substituted it by an ease-my-flex modded FPR #5 flex nib, that's the only one where I've had issues: seems the nib is a tad smaller than the FPR #5 (or is it #5.5?) so on insertion it bent a bit and has hard starts. I always wear this and an unmodified one on a front pocket of my jeans, with keys and coins. They are starting to show signs of wear off on the enamel aged-looking cover after over a year rattling. The clips are old/classic-Kaweco-style and much better fitted than the D'like ones.

 

On a couple, the plastic insert came away eventually, but just pushing it back seems to have been enough to fix it definitively. I am actually considering getting another dozen for future giveaways.

Edited by txomsy
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I sand the lacquer off them to let them age properly since it only takes 10-20 minutes to do, and that makes the clip much grabbier, though I also give them a dab of epoxy.

Selling a boatload of restored, fairly rare, vintage Japanese gold nib pens, click here to see (more added as I finish restoring them)

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  • 1 year later...

After using your Delike Alpha Brass Fountain Pen 🖊 for a half year or more, how is it holding up?

 

Anyone ever measure the lead content in brass?  If so, what is it?

 

Did you have the "spinning cap" issue with the plastic threads in the cap?  If true, how have you repaired the writing-stick?

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My Brass Alphas have performed (and continue to perform) very well after all this time. I usually carry them in a leather pouch, so not much wear. And I have not had the loose cap threads issue.

 

It is my understanding that the problem with the loose cap thread plastic insert was present in the first edition of the Alpha, but not so pervasive in the later (such as mine).

 

That said, and for an "extended" alternative, proxy view. I also bought cheap unbranded clones of the Alpha, two of which I have carried in a pants pocket everyday for 2-3 years (at least, I think). They may provide a counterpoint by proxy, but note it may not apply to the Alpha.

 

The cheap clones did have -some of them, I'd say 1/3 of them- the loose cap threads insert problem. One I tried to fix with cianoacrylate, but it stuck so quick that I had hardly inserted the plastic insert and it got stuck, so the body would thread too "out" leaving a rather large capped pen. Afterwards, I simply replaced the insert in the cap, and then I discovered that turning the body/cap more tightly tended to solve the problem. I suppose the light overtightening forces an expansion of the  plastic which sticks with more force to the cap.

 

As for wear, the two cheap clones in the pocket, after these years rattling with coins and keys, and with each other, have worn out heavily in the anodized, pre-aged, coating, and the underlying brass is becoming more and more visible.

 

IMG_20210611_082106-small.thumb.jpg.1f3fa68731fc360a17b55cbc288f4847.jpg

 

In retrospect, the sanding of the coating proposed by @Honeybadgers is probably the best way to deal with the Brass Alpha finish. But note that the pen in the picture is not a Delike Alpha, but a cheap clone, so the coating of the Alpha may hold better.

 

I do not have any plastic/resin Alpha or clone, so I cannot talk about them. This is only my experience, all usual caveats apply.

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A late addition.

 

Just a few minutes ago I discovered I had forgotten the (loaded) cheap clone of the picture above inside the jeans pocket before doing the laundry. Despite being loaded with a highly saturated ink (kinda OS Nitrogen or similar), the pen has held itself pretty well and not leaked (outside the cap), thus not staining the rest of the laundry. So, tightening the cap has turned out to have one extra, unexpected bonus.

 

Of course, once uncapped, all the ink had leaked into the cap, and stained my fingers, but until uncapped, no problem. I do not know if the Delike Alpha would also behave like this (I suppose it would), and hope I'll never have to find out.

 

BTW it now looks "cleaner" because it has lost more of the anodized coating. :)

 

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13 hours ago, txomsy said:

....

 

BTW it now looks "cleaner" because it has lost more of the anodized coating. :)

 

 

chuckle here , well then I suppose that made for a suggestion to mod the finish of all these anodized finishing pens

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