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Sheaffer Noob: Nononsense Vs Connaisseur



benpenny

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I've just rediscovered my old school pen, a Sheaffer NoNonsense. I was given it c. 1982, and I used it for the rest of my school and university career, before it gradually got forgotten.

It still writes quite nicely (Medium nib), though it's a bit scratchy, and it leaks around the grippy bit (technical term). Possibly the leak is into the lid. There's also some cracks in the barrel at the screw end.

 

I rather like the design, particularly the thickness, so I was looking for a replacement. There are quite a few NoNonsense pens around, for about £30. However, I also see the Sheaffer Connaisseur, which sells for a lot more, in a similar styling. What's the essential difference between the two? (Why the price difference?)

I'm planning to do more writing, and I'm happy to pay for a decent pen.

 

Are there any other similarly styled Sheaffers? I haven't seen anything that jumps out. There's the ViewPoint, but I don't like the ... view (the holes in the sides).

 

One other question: what's the advantage of a gold nib? Gold is softer than other metals -- is that a good thing? Or is it entirely cosmetic?

 

Thanks.

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The Connaisseur (note the spelling) is just a pimped out No Nonsense. I've turned NN pens into Connaisseurs. Picture below. Richard Binder has a very good article with the history and all of the pen, well worth reading.

The steel nibs are not tipped, but are just formed nib material. The gold plated ones in the Vintage NN pens may be. You can pull a Prelude nib and stick it in the section to upgrade the nib - or you can buy a Balance II nib or a Connaisseur nib for your NN. The threads are identical.

The bling factor is a big reason for gold nibs. But the gold is corrosion resistant, so will last longer than a steel nib, especially if you use an iron gall ink in your pens.

One of my pens that started out as a Vintage model NN...

http://www.mainstreetpens.com/pix/marbledcon.jpg

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Many thanks. That's very useful.

 

Managed to find a Red marbled No Nonsense with Gold trim and gold nib for £40.

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I think the gold nib on the Connaisseur I had was what some call "soft." I would say it was springier than the steel NN nibs. It was an early fine on a black pen. A FP and BP set bought from Fahrney's as a promotion of some sort. I sold the set. The springy gold nib was too touchy for me. I had to develop a much lighter touch to write with such nibs.

"Don't hurry, don't worry. It's better to be late at the Golden Gate than to arrive in Hell on time."
--Sign in a bar and grill, Ormond Beach, Florida, 1960.

 

 

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I should have added that I still have the beige NN that I bought on my way to college back in 1974. I wore the tip to where it had a flat spot, so that's been replaced, but with another steel nib. I didn't find out about converters until 1981 when I bought a Targa, so always refilled the cartridge with a syringe. I wasn't about to pay what they wanted for cartridges!

 

Your red marbled one is what the pen in the picture looked like before the conversion.

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One other thing: I've got loads of cartridges, which are all from the 90s. The one I've tested seems to work fine, but are there any known problems with old cartridges, like sediment forming and clogging up the works?

 

I don't want to throw them away needlessly, but obviously, I can easily buy some more if necessary.

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I'm using old cartridges. Usually they evaporate in time, but refill them with water or mix with black ink to darken the ink, and shake them well! I have used Parker and Watermans cartridges.

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The Connaisseur (note the spelling) is just a pimped out No Nonsense. I've turned NN pens into Connaisseurs.

 

 

When you say you've "turned NNs into Connaisseurs", what remains of the original pen? You've added the extra shiny bits to original barrel and top? Or is there more to it?

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I have to harvest parts from a dead Connaisseur. Its worth taking a look at Richard's article. There is an exploded view taken with parts that I sent to him to photograph.

On the NN, the original cap band is removed, the cap machined and a Connaisseur band is installed. If the clip is chrome, it has to be replated with gold. A white dot is installed above the clip. The barrel is machined to take the trim ring that reinforces the barrel opening. The barrel is machined to take a brass plug that adds weight to the barrel, and the gold plated ends are fixed on. These are not just cap bands, but pieces that fit into the end of the barrel, and that the buttons fit onto. If I have buttons in an appropriate color, I use them. If not, I make them from rod stock like I did on the one below

 

All of the parts except in some cases, the buttons are original Sheaffer. Sheaffer made some of these in ivory and the marbled colors, but to my knowledge they were never sold.

http://www.mainstreetpens.com/pix/OrangeConn.jpg

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I have a spare Prelude nib. If the nibs and sections on these pens are all interchangeable, does that mean I can put a Prelude nib into a No Nonsense? And are the feeds on these sections all famously difficult to remove/insert without a punch block?

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These are the jazziest Sheaffers, in my opinion. An upbeat, stylish look. The best of Sheaffer, even if some of you think they are just "pimped out."

"Don't hurry, don't worry. It's better to be late at the Golden Gate than to arrive in Hell on time."
--Sign in a bar and grill, Ormond Beach, Florida, 1960.

 

 

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I have a spare Prelude nib. If the nibs and sections on these pens are all interchangeable, does that mean I can put a Prelude nib into a No Nonsense? And are the feeds on these sections all famously difficult to remove/insert without a punch block?

 

You can put a Prelude nib in a NN section. I've done it. You can't put it in a pen with a gold nib though because the gold nibs are thinner. You can't knock the feeds out though. Try, and you'll kill the feed. Wiggle the nib out first, and then you have a better chance of getting the feed out.

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Just to say my Red Marble Vintage NN with Gold nib arrived today. It's a lovely pen. I'd say it's half way to a Connaisseur at a fraction of the price!

 

Thanks for all your advice. Happy writing!

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I've gone a bit mad and bought a Prelude with a Chrome casing and gold trim as well. I needed a pen for formal occasions..... :P

 

I've also given my original Dark Red NN a clean, which seems to have improved it. Amazing how much ink there is in it!

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The Connaisseur (note the spelling) is just a pimped out No Nonsense. I've turned NN pens into Connaisseurs. Picture below. Richard Binder has a very good article with the history and all of the pen, well worth reading.

 

The steel nibs are not tipped, but are just formed nib material. The gold plated ones in the Vintage NN pens may be. You can pull a Prelude nib and stick it in the section to upgrade the nib - or you can buy a Balance II nib or a Connaisseur nib for your NN. The threads are identical.

 

The bling factor is a big reason for gold nibs. But the gold is corrosion resistant, so will last longer than a steel nib, especially if you use an iron gall ink in your pens.

 

One of my pens that started out as a Vintage model NN...

 

http://www.mainstreetpens.com/pix/marbledcon.jpg

Ron,

 

It would be helpful to give an estimate of what you would charge to make this transformation in order to give the OP an understanding of the price differential between the NoNonsense and the Connaisseur. I got a NN from SpeerBob for about $30, and found a NOS Connaisseur with an 18k nib for $90. I suspect that you would charge more than $60 for the transformation. (My Connaisseur came with a Medium nib; I paid $90 for a Fine nib replacement, so I know I got a good deal on the Connaisseur.)

Baptiste knew how to make a short job long

For love of it. And yet not waste time either.

Robert Frost

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Price depends on who supplies the parts. I would expect an hours work at our standard lathe work rate as posted on the website. If I'm supplying the parts, the price is significantly more, especially if that includes a nib unit.

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