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Parallel No More - But Oh, What Angle?

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SO the fight for learning left handed (sinister) ways of doing things continues - this time with Parallel Pens.


As one who would dearly like to do a clear and even pretty Gothic lettering style, but who hates dip pens I have gravitated to the Pilot Parallel Pen with its flat blade-like nib at 90 degrees to the paper, tilting some for flow and pull, using the edge of the blade for thin lines and sometimes even the corners of the blade I am sure works for most.


But as a lefty with wrists and grips that "do not work that way" I spotted an offering of reground Parallels with left oblique angles to solve some of the problems I face. However I cannot afford the offering price for a new set being on a restricted limited income and of an age that knows "one size (angle) does NOT fit all, I cannot acquire anything I cannot guarantee will work for me. So, I got out my old knife sharpening tools and some diamond honing squares I have and have started toward making my own from my used but not useful Parallel pens in hand.


Last night I finally figured out how to get the aluminum nib to angle somewhat by grinding, and have had to cut off some of the ink depressions on the nib-tip. Smoothing is yet to come, but the rough grind (not yet at proper angle) seems to deliver the ink well even while scratchy.


The angle of the cut, however, seems to be too shallow to make a great difference in broad lines, and ink flow at the tip of the triangle of the nib-end stinks when it comes to delivering thin lines.


iI am wondering if any UNDERWRITING lefty Parallel pen users have tried this solution, measured any angles that work for the obligue cut, and/of have some tips on how to ensure the grins actually works?

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Good to see you still at it, Gregg! What you're making is actually a spade tip ruling pen (which do the job well but are otherworldly expensive)


Unfortunately in that kind of feed, you're always going to have some weird problems. I think the slightly ragged edge is beautiful, but if you want crisp lines, you should just go with an oblique italic.


I don't recall, did I ship you any #5 nib accepting pens? If so, I could be persuaded to reverse oblique grind a 1.9mm or 2.5mm #5 nib I have a bunch of for you. If not, I have a few of the inexpensive bamboo pens with those nibs that write surprisingly well.

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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Good to hear from you -- as I have lost of lot of contact with most everyone as I disappeared into bed in a dark room for the longest time yet. The weather was over 106 here daily and the air conditioning went out -- so now at only 96 degrees it seems cool enough to sit at the computer for more than 10 minutes.. Not great weather for anyone, even we old guys who should be used to it while getting n condition to go to hell.


Yes, I am still wrestling with pen configurations and deep frustrations of left-handedness. My problems with Ackerman and overfeeds did not end well -- as expected. Coming up only $10 short on return shipping a refund and a suggestion that "in the future" I would be sent a new approach to flex to try at no cost to me. A follow up message recently indicated even that idea should be forgotten.


I was gifted with some Parallel pens and thought they, if held erect, would solve some of the problems in Gothic styles and strokes. I soon found out that even with lift and twist strokes getting consistency and flow are beyond the maddening "pleasures" of flex pen trials. As a sometimes magician doing bizarre "stuff" I had hoped to make sopme aged looking scrolls for some tricks, therefore Gothic. Unhappily for this the lines must be smoother thana spade or ruling pen offers too much variance of line with my lack of control. The roughness of the nib I am workong on with Arkansas stone and then mylar to see where I can get. The new angle / like such / but strsight and different based on my wrist, hopefully will allow me to think more "onliquely."


As I remember you were ind enough to send me some #6 nib things -- and they have helped me slow down enough to get some almost decent practice before I hit the bed about six weeks ago. I am sure I have lost some skill and will have to get back to practicing regularly again now that it is a cool 95-96 and diping to 8-0 at eventide.


Thanks for the suggestion about the rullng/spade tips though. I had considered them quickly and passed on them when the Parallel square tips appeared to frustrate me. SO back to pointed pen problems and some Arkansas honing.

Edited by Chmara
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If I get some time, I'll mail you a couple bamboo pens (cheap but surprisingly well made) with italic nibs, and I'll grind them into reverse obliques.


In the meantime, if you want to try, you can make an improvised folded pen out of a soda can, scissors, some tape, and a pencil.



Fun part here is you can cut the angle at whatever you like and a single pop can will make 4 or 5.

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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