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Two Modern Flex Champs


cunim
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Here are two nibs that take different approaches to flex writing. Both nibs start at XF and will flex out to > 2.5 mm. Very impressive.

 

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The Regalia Labs Crossflex mounted in the ebonite pen is steel, modified by Ralph Reyes and equipped with a Grasty feed. This particular version of the Crossflex was made for Additive Pens, and is softer than the nib that is available from Regalia Labs directly.

 

The FPNibs semiflex mounted in the Edison Menlo is gold, modified by Pablo Carrasco. This nib unit came with a plastic feeder and had flow issues, but after some months of fiddling and cursing it is now equipped with a Grasty feed (modified) and is flowing just as I like.

 

Both nibs started life as Jowo #6 standard units. Both reflect the current work of innovators (Grasty, Carrasco, Reyes) who are showing us what can be done with today's materials. Thank you, gentlemen.

 

So how do the nibs compare? The steel nib has the characteristics you would expect of that material. It is relatively stiff and takes some effort to flex. Because the tip is so fine, it can exert a lot of pressure when flexing. Two consequences of this. The tip tends to cut into most papers (including Clairfontaine and Rhodia)_and will feather when it does. It also tends to grab and spray a bit. All in all, I find this nib works best with Tomoe River. On that hard smooth paper it is a lot of fun, flexing madly and providing great flow without any fuss. You need to press it, but it rewards you when you do. The Regalia Crossflex is what other steel flexers (eg Noodler's) hope to become when they grow up and get an education.

 

The gold nib is a much more delicate and sensitive beast. It takes very little pressure to flex - and it does love to flex. It is not quite as springy as the steel nib (or a good vintage niib), but it is responsive and is very good at telling you when you have flexed it as far as it will go. As soft as it is, it does not feel delicate because of that excellent feedback about what it is doing. Because it is so easy to flex it is non-tiring and is a joy to use. All in all, this is my favorite flex nib - understanding we are discussing fountains pens not dip pens.

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Thank you for showing these wonderful examples of Modern Flex. Do you mind telling us the cost to achieve this kind of Flex ?

 

 

 

C.

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IF you can spot Ralph's limited pre-orders - his nib is $85 - or was last time, including feed and housing - however good luck getting on, think he sold out in under half an hour (yes I'm one who missed out ;) )

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Thank you for showing these wonderful examples of Modern Flex. Do you mind telling us the cost to achieve this kind of Flex ?

 

 

 

C.

 

Directly from Regalia, I think the Crossflex is about US$75. The softer version from Additive was more, about $125 if I remember correctly. Note, if you like fine hairlines, this nib will be a real problem with many papers because the flex pressure is focused onto such a fine tip. I might not have liked the stock version (don't know) and would ask Ralph to provide the softest Crossflex possible.

 

The FPNibs model that I use is this one. Mine is XF, not XXF, but I would try the finer regrind next time around. The J6E feed/collar from Flexible Nib Factory was an additional $35 or so. The key shape breather supposedly softens the flex, and this nib is soft enough to need a user with a bit of flex experience. Not a full wet noodle but close. A problem is that I just have the one. I do not know if they are all this good, or if I just got a great sample. Perhaps other owners of this nib can chime in.

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Thanks for the detailed info and great writing sample.

How do these nibs compare to the pilot FA nib?

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Sorry, but I read the title of this as: Two Modern Flex Champs so I was expecting to find two off the shelf flex pens, but that is not the case at all.

 

They are two modern pens that you have to change nibs, feeds, send to get adapted and fiddle with to get to work. I can do that with any pen, including an old pen or a $1 pen, so what exactly makes these "Flex champs"?

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Stompie, note that this is the "nibs and tines" thread.

 

The reason I refer to these nibs as champs is that they flex better than any other modern nibs I have tried. The Cross flex does take some pressure - but less than a modified Ahab. If you are willing to live with that need for a firm hand, and with the nib's propensity for eating paper, it's massive line variation makes it enjoyable. Just be aware that, no, it is not a Desiderata/G or a dip nib in some sort of Frankenpen. This is not about dip nibs.

 

The FPNibs item is just a great user. I have quite a few vintage and modern flex pens, but I tend to reach for this nib when I want to do some writing. Never mind the details. The test of use is the best test of a pen.

 

Re the FA, never tried one. Would like to but, again, I would have to fiddle with a feed replacement.

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I have one of Richard Binder, can you do a little experiment? It's something I saw from David Nishimura, is to weigh the flex with a kitchen scale, flex the nib up to a distance of 1 millimeter, at an approximate angle of 45 degrees, to see how much it gives you, the one from RB gives me around 80 grams, with a F.

Stompie, note that this is the "nibs and tines" thread.

 

The reason I refer to these nibs as champs is that they flex better than any other modern nibs I have tried. The Cross flex does take some pressure - but less than a modified Ahab. If you are willing to live with that need for a firm hand, and with the nib's propensity for eating paper, it's massive line variation makes it enjoyable. Just be aware that, no, it is not a Desiderata/G or a dip nib in some sort of Frankenpen. This is not about dip nibs.

 

The FPNibs item is just a great user. I have quite a few vintage and modern flex pens, but I tend to reach for this nib when I want to do some writing. Never mind the details. The test of use is the best test of a pen.

 

Re the FA, never tried one. Would like to but, again, I would have to fiddle with a feed replacement.

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Stompie, note that this is the "nibs and tines" thread.

 

The reason I refer to these nibs as champs is that they flex better than any other modern nibs I have tried. The Cross flex does take some pressure - but less than a modified Ahab. If you are willing to live with that need for a firm hand, and with the nib's propensity for eating paper, it's massive line variation makes it enjoyable. Just be aware that, no, it is not a Desiderata/G or a dip nib in some sort of Frankenpen. This is not about dip nibs.

 

The FPNibs item is just a great user. I have quite a few vintage and modern flex pens, but I tend to reach for this nib when I want to do some writing. Never mind the details. The test of use is the best test of a pen.

 

Re the FA, never tried one. Would like to but, again, I would have to fiddle with a feed replacement.

Ok, got it, ignore my comment then! :-)

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I have one of Richard Binder, can you do a little experiment? It's something I saw from David Nishimura, is to weigh the flex with a kitchen scale, flex the nib up to a distance of 1 millimeter, at an approximate angle of 45 degrees, to see how much it gives you, the one from RB gives me around 80 grams, with a F.

 

Have a full flex modified By pablo. it goes from needlepoint to 1mm at about 50g.

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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Sorry, but I read the title of this as: Two Modern Flex Champs so I was expecting to find two off the shelf flex pens, but that is not the case at all.

 

They are two modern pens that you have to change nibs, feeds, send to get adapted and fiddle with to get to work. I can do that with any pen, including an old pen or a $1 pen, so what exactly makes these "Flex champs"?

 

Because they're made from new materials and not vintage.

 

If you want to think "off the shelf" you can give pablo at FPnibs about $300 and he will ship you an entire TWSBI vac700R with nib and feed completely modified and tuned, ready to write.

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 believe Ralph (Regalia Labs) alters the feed as well as the nib as he warns not to disassemble the nib units he produces. BTW his nibs are all based on JoWo units so are screw in replacements.

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Have a full flex modified By pablo. it goes from needlepoint to 1mm at about 50g.

That's really amazing, maybe the keyhole makes it even softer?

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That's really amazing, maybe the keyhole makes it even softer?

I asked him and he said that it does.

 

Pablo also channeled my TWSBI's feed pretty heavily. it's pretty vintage looking.

Edited by Honeybadgers

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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