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How Common Are Fine Obliques On Parker Vacumatics?


bokchoy
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I've had this Parker Vacumatic for several years. It was always a little toothy, nothing horrible though. Last month, I finally used a loupe. I should have done it ages ago, haha.

 

http://i.imgur.com/5j9IaGIl.jpg

 

Surprise! I think it's a fine, non-italic oblique. Did Parker offer this nib for the Vacumatic? If yes, how common are they?

It seems like an easy grind to destroy. My eyes are pretty good and I thought I could spot obvious things like obliques. Apparently not. What if I'd smoothed this nib? :yikes:

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I'm not so sure it's a fine oblique. Parker Vacs are vintage pens. It could just be the way the original owner always wrote with it that made it wear that way.

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The original owner is my grandpa, who is right-handed. I won't rule out wear but the tipping looks fine to me.

 

Parker offers fine obliques and fine oblique italics for the modern Duofold, so I thought they might've offered them in the past too. Is there a list of Vacumatic nib types somewhere?

 

Edit: Found one mention of a non-italic right oblique, no idea what size though.

Edited by bokchoy
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Be VERY VERY CAREFUL with old nibs.

Many old nibs do not have the blob of tipping material on the nib that many of todays pens have. But instead they have a THIN coating of tipping material. And it will be very easy to grind/polish through that kind of tipping.

Once you grind/polish through the tipping, that is it, the nib is ruined.

I would send it to a nib meister for his opinion, before reshaping the tip.

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I would send it to a nib meister for his opinion, before reshaping the tip.

I don't plan to reshape it! It's very smooth when rotated. But until recently, I didn't know I had to rotate in the first place. Lesson learnt, always use the loupe first.

 

I could've assumed it was a normal fine tip and ruined the shape (if it is an oblique and not wear - scary). Either way, I still don't know.

Edited by bokchoy
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If it was mine, I think it would be fairly straightforward to carefully smooth a straight line across the ends of the tines, just with a simple nib smoothing board. I don't rotate fine nibs, and would want to write with it as a straight nib.

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Be VERY VERY CAREFUL with old nibs.

Many old nibs do not have the blob of tipping material on the nib that many of todays pens have. But instead they have a THIN coating of tipping material. And it will be very easy to grind/polish through that kind of tipping etc.

 

If you look at the picture, there's a hunk of iridium on the tip. More than enough to reshape if needed

 

Many people rotate their pens as they write, so with time and much use the iridium wears more on one side than the other, which is what I suspect happened here. They can be evened out. But the caution about doing the work yourself is valid. If you haven't done nib work before, you may be best leaving this to a skilled nib tech (I eschew the phrase nib meister).

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If it was mine, I think it would be fairly straightforward to carefully smooth a straight line across the ends of the tines, just with a simple nib smoothing board. I don't rotate fine nibs, and would want to write with it as a straight nib.

 

I do prefer straight nibs but if it is an oblique, I'd keep it that way. It seems sort of unusual on a Vacumatic. That's why I want to confirm if Parker really produced a fine oblique.

 

I don't want to do anything to this nib, now that I know it's smooth at an angle.

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If you look at the picture, there's a hunk of iridium on the tip. More than enough to reshape if needed

 

Many people rotate their pens as they write, so with time and much use the iridium wears more on one side than the other, which is what I suspect happened here. They can be evened out. But the caution about doing the work yourself is valid. If you haven't done nib work before, you may be best leaving this to a skilled nib tech (I eschew the phrase nib meister).

 

+1 I also think it's worn more on one side than the other

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Not that it seems this has to do with that nib....but nib tipping was perfected in WW2. Before the war, it was often to find lumpy, bumpy nibs where chunks fell off. There is a good thread on that, where they show under magnification how primitive the tipping was then.

And the formulas were changed very often even with in one company, as they searched for cheaper better tipping formulas.

 

 

So one should be gentle in smoothing.

 

 

If ruined how ever today for @$80 you can get it retipped with a more modern tipping that won't be lumpy and bumpy.

To advise for free is foolish, ........busybodies are ill liked by both factions.

 

 

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

 

 

 

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