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Conway Stewart 466 Flex Nib Feels Scratchy


razor5cl
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Hi all.

 

Today I bought a Conway Stewart 466 lever filler from an antiques market. The pen is in nice condition and fills properly, but when writing with it it feels "scratchy" to me - at least compared to my TWSBI Eco(F).

 

The pen has a 14ct gold nib(not sure of the size) and it is a flex nib. However, the nib looks like this:

 

http://i.imgur.com/6rZpQNp.jpg?1

 

 

(Apologies for the slightly poor out-of-focus picture)

 

 

 

Is the nib supposed to have that subtle "bend" in it at the end? Or am I just using a flex nib wrong? I gave the pen to my mother to try(she writes with a "straighter" grip with the pen more perpendicular to the paper if that makes sense) and she said it was fine but I could still hear it audibly scratching a fair amount. Is the nib at fault here or am I just failing to use a flex nib pen?

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razor5cl,

 

Welcome to FPN! Conway Stewart made great vintage pens.

 

Your picture does not show a high resolution close up of the alignment of the tines, which will not allow for a good diagnose. One of the three elements, or a combination of them, are creating that scratchy feel you are experiencing:

 

(1) The tines in your nib are misaligned

 

(2) The iridium tipping might need to be smoothed (preferably by a professional)

 

(3) You are rotating the nib in relation to the writing direction, which will cause one of the tines to get more pressure than the other. This is more likely the problem since your mother did not have experience the scratchy issue.

 

Hope you can sort it out and enjoy your vintage Conway Stewart pen!

Edited by Mauricio

Tu Amigo!

Mauricio Aguilar

 

www.VintagePen.net

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3525/4051556482_36f28f0902_m.jpg

E-Mail: VintagePen@att.net

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Thanks for your help Mauricio.

 

I'll probably try and find a loupe or magnifying glass and check the alignment of the times myself. I very much hope that it isn't the iridium tipping being damaged or needing repair - is it at all possible to do it myself or is it best left to a professional?

 

I'll have a practice and see if I can improve it with my writing technique as well.

 

Thanks for your help!

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You cannot work on what you cannot see. If you cannot see the problem and monitor your progress, you are working blind. Not a good thing.

You need at least 10x mangification to really see the tipping and to polish/shape the tip. I know of no magnifying glass that has that much magnification, you will need to get a loupe. The Belomo loupe on Amazon has the best reputation of quality at a reasonable price.

 

Get a bunch of CHEAP pens to practice tip polishing and shaping.

I've seen too many people polishing and shaping on an EXPENSIVE/hard to find pen as their first try.

Keep in mind, once you remove tipping material you cannot put it back. So there is little room for error, and a mistake could ruin the nib.

 

How confident are you in your skills?

If you are not sure of your skills, send it to a nib meister (a pen tech that has a reputation for GOOD nib work).

Based on your questions, I suggest sending this pen to a nib meister.

Edited by ac12

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

www.SFPenShow.com

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Uh, what makes you think that the nib on this pen is a nib meant to be flexed?

 

 

Good question. I thought previously I saw in the "book of Conway Stewart models" that it was a flex nib but I just checked and apparently it doesn't say such a thing. I say it's a flex nib because the nib is incredibly springy and flexes under my normal writing pressure - it feels incredibly flexible when comparing with nibs on my Parker 45 or TWSBI Eco. I haven't been applying any undue pressure to the nib so if it's not a flex nib then I'm sure it'll be fine but that's what my impression is from writing with it.

 

 

You cannot work on what you cannot see. If you cannot see the problem and monitor your progress, you are working blind. Not a good thing.

You need at least 10x mangification to really see the tipping and to polish/shape the tip. I know of no magnifying glass that has that much magnification, you will need to get a loupe. The Belomo loupe on Amazon has the best reputation of quality at a reasonable price.

 

How confident are you in your skills?

If you are not sure of your skills, send it to a nib meister (a pen tech that has a reputation for GOOD nib work).

Based on your questions, I suggest sending this pen to a nib meister.

 

Thanks for your advice. I'll look into getting a cheap loupe and I'll properly do some research before doing anything myself. I live in London so I can very easily take the pen to several places to have professionals look at it.

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Hi razor5cl. I have a couple of 466 pens. The No.1 / 1A nibs vary in line width, and all deliver some type of 'feedback'. When I compare them to a TWSBI ECO they could be called scratchy.

 

One of the nibs, while it is not a flex nib, definitely has more spring, and 'flexes' under pressure. When doing this, the nib comes away from the feed, looses the ink flow, and becomes more scratchy.

 

Definitely get yourself a loupe. Check the tine alignment, and tipping, and check the spacing between the nib and the feed.

 

Remember that the older nibs often have a different 'feel' to that of more modern nibs.

 

Which colour did you find?

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Hi razor5cl. I have a couple of 466 pens. The No.1 / 1A nibs vary in line width, and all deliver some type of 'feedback'. When I compare them to a TWSBI ECO they could be called scratchy.

 

One of the nibs, while it is not a flex nib, definitely has more spring, and 'flexes' under pressure. When doing this, the nib comes away from the feed, looses the ink flow, and becomes more scratchy.

 

Definitely get yourself a loupe. Check the tine alignment, and tipping, and check the spacing between the nib and the feed.

 

Remember that the older nibs often have a different 'feel' to that of more modern nibs.

 

Which colour did you find?

 

Thanks for your reply. I'll definitely be sure to have a look at the nib with a loupe at some point. It's totally possible that I'm not used to the "feel" of an older nib, and to be honest aside from the "scratching" type sound the nib does feel fairly smooth with some feedback as you mentioned - I tested it against my Eco but while wearing headphones so I couldn't hear any sound and the difference between the two in terms of smoothness was minimal.

 

My 466 is in the marble green finish. I bought it from Henry Simpole in his stall in Portobello Road. It looks very nice but I might give it a polish someday.

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looking at Jonathan Donahaye's C.S. site, the 466 appears to have been manufactured between c. 1937 and 1942, so come 2017 the pen has some considerable age, and it wasn't an expensive pen.

With a pen of this age, and possibly extensive use, there is every chance that the tipping material (iridium or whatever) has worn to the extent that there is insufficient remaining to make for a smooth writer, and unfortunately you can't put the tipping back once worn. Skilled hands can alleviate some of the scratchiness, but fast forward seventy odd years and many of these older pens can no longer write as they were intended.

I get the impressions that generally C.S. were not known for generous amounts of tipping material, and my thoughts are that if a pen of that age is wanted for writing, as opposed to put into a cabinet, then possibly more thought should be given to the nib's condition.

 

I have something like twenty odd C.S. f.ps., but can never really get into them - I think it's that numbering system that confuses me - sorry, is a 1 1A considered to be a fine?

Edited by PaulS
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looking at Jonathan Donahaye's C.S. site, the 466 appears to have been manufactured between c. 1937 and 1942, so come 2017 the pen has some considerable age, and it wasn't an expensive pen.

With a pen of this age, and possibly extensive use, there is every chance that the tipping material (iridium or whatever) has worn to the extent that there is insufficient remaining to make for a smooth writer, and unfortunately you can't put the tipping back once worn. Skilled hands can alleviate some of the scratchiness, but fast forward seventy odd years and many of these older pens can no longer write as they were intended.

I get the impressions that generally C.S. were not known for generous amounts of tipping material, and my thoughts are that if a pen of that age is wanted for writing, as opposed to put into a cabinet, then possibly more thought should be given to the nib's condition.

 

I have something like twenty odd C.S. f.ps., but can never really get into them - I think it's that numbering system that confuses me - sorry, is a 1 1A considered to be a fine?

 

Thanks for you reply. I'm not sure about the thickness of the nib, I thought the 1/1As came in fine/medium/broad?

 

That's some good info about the age and condition of the pen, I'll definitely have a look at the nib and see if I can tinker with it a little bit anyways.

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assuming the bodywork etc. to be in good nick, then replacement nibs - if it comes to that - is no big deal. best of luck.

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A Parker 45 nib is a NAIL.

It is NOT designed to flex at all.

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

www.SFPenShow.com

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A Parker 45 nib is a NAIL.

It is NOT designed to flex at all.

Re Parker 45 v Flex

 

I respectfully dissent.

 

It will flex..once.

 

Fred

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If you bought the 466 from Henry Simpole, then I would have thought that the nib is good, and that it's the feel and sound that's unfamiliar to you.

 

CS1 / 1A / 1N (I have no idea what the suffixes A and N refer to) refers to the nib size, not the line width, and these smaller nibs are more commonly found on the model 15.

 

I bet that the 466 looks really good in green marble. :thumbup:

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If you bought the pen from Henry take it back to him. He is more than capable of sorting out such problems and would be most embarrassed if a customer thought that a pen he had sold was less than perfect.

 

Looking at the photo the pen has had a lot of use and the tipping is worn square. It would be perfect for the owner's 'angle of attack' but any one else would find the nib is scratchy due to the edge on the tip. Fairly easy to sort out but the tipping is very worn and you can only remove more, so best left to someone who knows what they are doing.

Edited by peterg
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If you bought the 466 from Henry Simpole, then I would have thought that the nib is good, and that it's the feel and sound that's unfamiliar to you.

 

That's my thinking as well. It seems to have got better as I've written with it a little more, I could always take it back to him to have a look at it also.

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Re Parker 45 v Flex

 

I respectfully dissent.

 

It will flex..once.

 

Fred

Public service announcement is due here.

 

Fred and I went to the same flex school.

 

ALL nibs flex at least once.

San Francisco International Pen Show - The next great pen show is on schedule for August 27-28-29, 2021. If we all do what we need to do...you can Book your travel and tables and make SF 2021 the Return. 
 

 My PM box is usually full. Just email me: my last name at the google mail address.

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First thoughts are that flexible nibs are not for everyone, especially if your usual pen is a TWSBI.

 

There are many pen users who rotate the pen as the nib touches the paper, that is going to be a problem for some who have bought a flex nibbed pen., although I wouldnt call the 466 particlarly flexible.

 

I would put it to the OP that the curve to the nib and possibly the angle that he writes may be a little too much for the nib, personally I would like to see a straighter nib such as on this 466.

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valid point - although the o.p. does comment that his "nib is incredibly springy and flexes under my normal writing pressure" - so it may be that when writing the nib does in fact straighten to form normal shape/profile. Don't know whether the nib is a fine or other, but likely suspicion is that fault is caused by combination of a fine nib needing some tlc to remove scratchiness - assuming there's adequate tipping still there.

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As Henry is involved is there a way this matter could be brought to his attention, I would imagine that as a man of integrity he will wish to comment, as Perterg has suggested.

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