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Which Pen Is Better? Vintage Or New



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Hello, I have been considering some different flex pens for copperplate and as I can already write with a fountain pen and messed about with some of my friends flex pens, which pen would be better. I am looking mainly at either a modified fountain pen with a zebra g nib, a cheep calligraphy set or a vintage Conway Stewart 759. Any help would be appreciated.

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Spencerian seems to call for flex beyond the capacity of most fountain pens - even vintage ones. The dip-pen-and-set-of-nibs idea is a good one.

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Thirding dip pen and right nibs. You can use a fountain pen for italic no problem because italic wants a rigid nib. But copperplate specifically was developed for steel dip nibs or engraving and it doesnt work well with the wrong tools.

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Thirding dip pen and right nibs. You can use a fountain pen for italic no problem because italic wants a rigid nib. But copperplate specifically was developed for steel dip nibs or engraving and it doesnt work well with the wrong tools.

 

Fourthing the advice re dip pen and right nibs. You'll also want to get proper dip-pen ink. Using dip pens with FP ink is do-able, but not ideal. A vintage Conway will not get you what you seek. A cheap calligraphy set is more likely to frustrate you than reward you.

 

If you want a dip-pen nib with the form-factor and convenience of a fountain pen, you might consider one of the Desiderata pens. https://www.desideratapens.com/

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And fifthing dip pens. For copperplate specifically, you might want an oblique nib, or regular nibs and an oblique holder.

fpn_1375035941__postcard_swap.png * * * "Don't neglect to write me several times from different places when you may."
-- John Purdue (1863)

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Get an Ahab, have in Modded with two half moon grinds. Ahab unmodified, is a superflex nib, but requires semi-flex pressure to make it flex....so that quickly becomes hard work. With the Ahab Mod, it becomes Easy Full Flex and a fun pen. I had mine out for a year and I have lucked into enough superflex nibs over the last decade for that to mean something.

 

That way you don't spend a fortune and ruin an irreplaceable real superlflex vintage nib.

 

In you are a nooble, I do assume you have ball point ....Ham Fistedness. I did....4 decades of BP use took away any lightness of my Hand.

 

Most superflex nibs are in the 5-6 X vs a light down stroke...it is very rare on has a 7X tine spread vs a light down stroke except for Youtube and Ebay..........there there all are 7 X or even more.....of course the nib is sprung....but it sure writes wide....don't it?

As Jar says, any nib will flex once................or in Youtube....will over flex once.

 

Go to Richard Binder's site, and read his article on metal fatigue. ...which I call how to spring your nib.

 

One should get some experience with cheap superflex nibs; as far as I can tell most are modified by grinding half moons, or slits in the nib, before one gets on to spending $ for rare real superflex nibs.

That way one learns the levels of superflex.......and more importantly the willingness of the nib to go to Its Limit. and where it's at.

Superflex varies very much with in the set to how easy it goes to it's max. Once you have determined it's max............stay away from it....or sooner than later you will spring the nib.

In search put in 'Easy Full Flex' and you will find many, many of my rants on flex rates.

 

I have a post war Pelikan 100n, Easy Full Flex that does 5 X a light down stroke....I strive to keep it at 4X.

I have two rare 7X wet noodles and a 6 X one....all somewhat different. In the 7X which will go from XXF-BBB, I strive to keep it at BB as a max...............I don't want to spring the nib.

 

One must have a very, very light hand to fiddle with Wet Noodles, and a lighter hand helps with Easy Full Flex.

Having still a slightly heavier Hand than I wish....but lack of aimed practice will keep it so, I have to sweat blood to get the Wet Noodles to write XXF, think to have it write EF so mostly scribble at F.

 

It has been mentioned, not only is it cheaper to go dip pen nibs....with the right holder. If right handed get an oblique holder. In Dip pen nibs there there are many levels. The Zebra is well liked as a beginner flexible dip pen nib.

I have enough middle flexible nibs that are much easier to flex than a Wet Noodle ....then I have a Hunt 99-100-101, which will make a Wet Noodle look uncooked.

 

Those who write, are more interested in fast snapback than how wide they can make a nib spread it's tines....................I am not one of those people. To really use superflex one must practice and practice some more. I am too lazy.

 

Go dip pens....get dip pen ink, and good paper.....you need good to better paper for fountain pens as is.....especially if you want to have shading with regular nibbed pens.

Get a book on how to draw a letter properly.............otherwise you waste your time.

German vintage '50-70 semi-flex stubs and those in oblique give the real thing in On Demand line variation. Modern Oblique is a waste of money for a shadow of line variation. Being too lazy to Hunt for affordable vintage oblique pens, lets you 'hunt' for line variation instead of having it.

www.nibs.com/blog/nibster-writes/nibs-germany & https://www.peter-bo...cts/nib-systems,

 

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

 

 

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Fountain Pen Revolution is now selling flex nibs with the half-moon cutouts Bo Bo mentioned above for $14-20 or so, as a premium upgrade for many of their pens. They don't do this with their gold nibs. If I were still at all interested in FP-level flex, then being desperately poor and a notorious skinflint as I am, FPR is where I'd go to get started in flex.

 

Unless I decided to go the dip pen route. And, having seen that recommended first so many times here in response to queries like yours, I likely would.

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Flex nibs are basically lost technology - noone alive today was around when these pens were being made in the 20s and 30s. There are "modern" flex nibs of varying quality - I've heard great things about flex nibs by Richard Binder and Linda Kennedy, for example.

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Another vote for dip pens. Not only are they the correct way to use modern flex nibs, but they give you access to a wonderful world of vintage flex (and many other kinds of) nibs. The only reason I can think of to compromise with a flex-nibbed fountain pen or some sort of hybrid is if you do the vast majority of your writing away from your desk in short bursts, and need the portability and convenience of a built-in ink supply. In every other way you will find, I think, the dip pen experience to be far better after a short learning period. But you do need the short learning period--my first impression of dip pens before I learned how to prepare and use them was horrible.

ron

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My experience has been that modern fountain pens don't quite duplicate the flex of the vintage pens. The most common full flex vintage pens are Watermans. The Waterman 52 is still found all over the place, and often has a very flexible nib, and usually a feed that can keep up with the demand for flow. Moore pens from the 20s as well. But Waterman made very flexible nibs for a lot longer than most other pen manufacturers.

 

But there is a difference between fountain pen nibs and dip pen nibs and what they can do - so I defer to those who can do what I never will do, and that is control a flexy nib. Having said that, there is a reason why the demand for fountain pens ran over the demand for dip pens.

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When suggesting dip pens in your other (duplicate) thread, I originally made another point that I'll repeat, here: If you do choose to experiment with dip pens, I strongly suggest using them with inks designed for dip pens. They provide an entirely different experience than using standard fountain pen ink. Dip-pen ink is more viscous, and much easier to work with in a dip pen. If flexing is your thing, you'll get better results with dip-pen inks.

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If you take a blob of beeswax and attach it when warm to the bottom of a dip pen, then cut rills/combs in it it will let the dip pen write more than a few words.

 

Unfortunately that picture is lost in my regular ones that have not been transferred to Igmur...I had it on ransombucket. I'll look for the picture later.

picture from whom ever...have the beeswax, but never did it, in I do have a dip pen holder with a fast clear feed.

Feel free to use this picture, should you wish to spread someone else's good idea.

I had planned to be a bit more OCD on cutting or forming the rills/combs, but never got around to it.

iCZoCPC.jpg

Edited by Bo Bo Olson

German vintage '50-70 semi-flex stubs and those in oblique give the real thing in On Demand line variation. Modern Oblique is a waste of money for a shadow of line variation. Being too lazy to Hunt for affordable vintage oblique pens, lets you 'hunt' for line variation instead of having it.

www.nibs.com/blog/nibster-writes/nibs-germany & https://www.peter-bo...cts/nib-systems,

 

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

 

 

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Copperplate can be done with a straight dip pen holder, but is much easier with an oblique dip pen holder.

 

If you really want to use a fountain pen, IMHO, the best starter is the Desiderata pens. You use a Zebra G dip pen nib, so you do the the dip pen flex. And if you ruin the nib, a replacement nib is about $2.50. This is way way way cheaper than replacing a sprung gold fountain pen nib at about $150-200. But the Desiderata pen like any fountain pen or straight dip pen holder is a straight pen, and cannot come close to the feel of using an oblique dip pen holder.

 

People have hacked the Zebra G into various pens, but that is a DiY project.

I saw a pen with a CRUSHED feed, from someone using a plier to try to pull the feed+nib out of the pen.

 

I have not tried the FPR flex nib, so cannot compare it to the Zebra G.

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