Jump to content
Classifieds is broken, please do not submit any new ads ×

Conklin Duragraph Forest Green - Beautiful Pen, Terrible Writer (Out Of The Box)


WJM
 Share

Recommended Posts

Thank you for your thorough review, WJM. The most recent previous review and the most recent comments on all three reviews occurred in 2007.

 

I bought two Duragraphs in 2016, one to keep and one to give to a friend. I tested his before I gave it to him. Both pens wrote directly out of the box. I was quite impressed with the feel and appearance of the resin, considerably better than that on my Pilot Custom 74. Of the 30-plus pens I’ve bought in the last ten years, my Duragraph holds the record for length of time as my EDC pen. (All pens go through a honeymoon period with me that lasts between 1-4 weeks. The Duragraph’s lasted 4 months.) I think it’s a lot of pen for the money. It’s even better with an F.P.R. “flex” or “ultra-flex” nib.

I love the smell of fountain pen ink in the morning.

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 56
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

  • BillPorter

    6

  • WJM

    8

  • SoulSamurai

    5

  • Intensity

    6

I did some polishing of the Conklin stub nib with three grit nail file. I usually avoid doing stuff like this, but I figured there's nothing to lose.

 

It took some work but the result is quite good. I put the Conklin nib into a Penbbs 308 and it writes smoothly now. It does unfortunately have some serious starting problems which I believe are caused by the gap between the tines being too wide.

 

I'm not sure what to do with this nib now. I doubt putting it back in the Duragaph would be a good idea - the plastic feed of the Duragraph sometimes has problems keeping up with the Bock broad, I suppose it would be even worse with a stub. I would gladly leave it in the Penbbs, but the nib is wider than the Penbbs nib and I can already see some minor cracks of the Penbbs nib collar. For now it's all ok, but I fear it may just fall apart.

 

img-20190318-093634.jpg

Edited by WJM
Link to comment
Share on other sites

My "Merlot" Duragraph is going on another trip abroad with me in a couple of days. It's one of my tiny handful of pens that always writes even after sitting unused for figurative ages. I put in a cartridge of Herbin Lie de The into it exactly two months ago on my last trip abroad, and then after returning I have only used the pen maybe 3 times to add some accents to my notes. Today, exactly 2 months after inserting that small cartridge, I wrote with the pen again--writing really juicy and no hard starts. The ink is almost entirely out at this point, since the cartridge doesn't hold much, and fairly concentrated. Even though I take unopened cartridges with me to put them in when I land, this pen has yet to leak at all when coming back with cartridge inserted. I think the cap screws on really well to seal the nib and the feed quite effectively. Taking a fresh Lie de The cartridge with me again after I flush the pen.

“I admit it, I'm surprised that fountain pens are a hobby. ... it's a bit like stumbling into a fork convention - when you've used a fork all your life.” 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

I have had one Duragraph with a 1.1 stub nib for about 6 or 7 months, and haven't had a single issue. It has been an EDC pen for that time because it is such a pleasure to use. I obtained a second one -just a different barrel color- a couple of months ago, and this has also been a faultless EDC. I enjoy having them ready in two inks, and they have written like champs with several inks and brands. The screw in converter (I have that on a anothet brand or two of pens and personally wish it were a universal feature!) is something I really like.

 

Now that one of the Duragraphs has been temporarily adopted by my wife, a third is arriving in the next day or two for her to permanently use. So Ruth, take heart and take the Duragraph stub plunge. I suggest trying His Nibs for added QC, in my experience.

 

I guess I am the guy who averages it all out this time around?

 

If I had such difficulties I would have tried a few remedies, and while I am capable of doing the other other things mentioned here, I would have stopped there, and then simply demanded a replacement or refund for the lemon. But that's just me. Likewise, I am also not overly concerned about the sourcing of parts. For instance in another area, I am an expert, professional microscopist, and know very well that Japanese microscope makers, and even Zeiss, obtain many small parts from China. That's fine. They don't advertise it! What counts is the expert quality control that goes into deciding to accept or reject those parts. And also knowing what operations to NOT outsource.

Brian

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

I think about finding another replacement nib for my Duragraph. The Bock broad is a good nib but the plastic Chinese feed doesn't keep up with it very well. My idea is that a finer nib would be better in this, unfortunately I don't have any F #6 nibs.

 

Any advise what should I get? I'm looking for something available in Europe,so Goulet or FPR are unfortunately out (the shipping cost would double the price).

 

I'd get another one from Bock, but the thing is from my experience with this one, Bock nibs don't fit the Conklin very well - well enough to use, but the fit isn't very tight, it's much easier to remove the nib than it should be.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Seems duragraph is notorious.

I had one, super skip, all rails, diamond hard start.

 

I bought another new Conklin stub nib to have the pot metal omniflex nib replaced.

 

Turn up it can write, but my twsbi stub works much better.

 

Uuurg.... a nightmare.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Excellent review. I am sorry that you have had so many problems. I purchased my Duragraph in 2016 and it written quite well since the first day I received it.

"Today will be gone in less than 24 hours. When it is gone, it is gone. Be wise, but enjoy! - anonymous today

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 weeks later...

I have an amber Durograph, bought in the UK years ago.

 

I have had no problems. Wrote "write" out of the box. I use Diamine cartridges and the pen is used daily and travels.

 

While I don't want to buy another Conklin (I like the design of the Durograph), the size is comfortable and used without the cap.

 

The pen has taken a beating over the years and been dropped on tile floors a couple of times without incident.

...be like the ocean...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have been tempted several times by the green Duragraph, but have never pulled the trigger due to the high % of complaints reported on this pen, the nib particularly (some users were possibly lucky, while for several others it turned out to be a nightmare, which tends to suggest very bad quality control - ranging from perfect to unusable...).

I have also thought of the possibility of buying the pen with the specific purpose of changing the nib in it, as I do have a few spare Jowos lying around...and the cost of the pen is bearable despite the need to tinker with it (and considering I have the spare nib already).

The problem however, when manifest, seems to be not just with the nib, but also with the feed...

I was wondering whether anyone here has done a nib+feed switch, or has actually found a nib group (nib+feed+collar) that swaps directly into the pen (I asked this question in another thread about the Duragraph but got no reply if I recall).

Changing the #6 nib in Chinese manufactured pen seems to be a favourite step that has proven satisfactory to many here.

It would be nice to know whether there is a recommended easy swap for this nib/feed, that solves all the problems with this nice looking pen (I do like the flat top look and the no step down shape of it).

For the record, I have a Conklin All American that works perfectly, and a Conklin Symetric that looks gorgeous but is another nightmare and badly requires another nib substitution (#5)! (The nib bends away from the feed as I write and flow stops, totally unusable...).

Or, perhaps I should just stay away from modern Conklins?...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

For whatever it's worth, I bought the green Duragraph with an F and a stub nib, and both nibs write like a dream. Don't know whether I got lucky or this is par for the course for Conklin, but there you have it.

 

Hope that helps!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Three more data points for the discussion. I own three Duragraphs, two new purchases and one a gift. Two stub nibs and one with the much maligned Duraflex nib. All wrote very well straight out of the box. No complaints. No problems with drying or flow. Inks used so far include Diamine Orange, Diamine Imperial Purple, Waterman's Serenity Blue, J Herbin Eclat de Saphire.

 

I know the older modern Conklins had quality control issues but I thought they had fixed that. Maybe I am wrong.

Dave Campbell
Retired Science Teacher and Active Pen Addict
Every day is a chance to reduce my level of ignorance.

fpn_1425200643__fpn_1425160066__super_pi

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have the Conklin Duragraph in Forest Green, and the Orange Nights, both with 1.1mm stub nibs. I also got my brother the Forest Green, and gave it to him when he visited. All were bought on eBay from speerbob. All worked well from the start, and continue to write well. I recently filled the Orange Nights with Diamine Cherry Sunburst, and the pen writes beautifully.

 

Edited to change italic to stub for the nib.

Edited by Misfit
Posted Image
Link to comment
Share on other sites

For what it's worth, after reading this thread I just ordered a Conklin Duragraph Forest Green Fountain Pen, Stub Nib from Amazon. I'll get it Tuesday and report how it writes. :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I hope you enjoy it. It’s an attractive pen, and the Conklin stub nib produces good line variation.

Posted Image
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have packaged the pen to return it to Amazon as it was very problematic from the start. Upon receiving the pen I flushed it and filled it with Diamine Sherwood Green ink. My optimism disappeared when I could get any ink flow from the pen. I pulled the nib/feed to thoroughly clean them and noticed that they came out VERY easily. Cleaned and replaced nib/feed and loaded the pen with Montblanc Irish Green. I did get some ink flow but it was very inconsistent. I then tried putting in a different nib, a Bock Medium. It would go in but felt loose. Then I tried swapping in the nib/feed from a Jinhao 159. No luck. They would not fit. And yes, I was careful to align them with the flat spot on the pen's collar. So at that point I started a return to Amazon.

 

Took a photo of the writing sample: fpn_1560282377__conklin.jpg

Edited by BillPorter
Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is why I have given up on Conklin a while ago. The quality is simply not up to snuff and you can get better pens for similar prices elsewhere. The plastics that Conklin is using lately is temptingly beautiful, but overall fit is not good and there are just so many issues with many of them. Too bad!

 

Erick

 

Using right now:

Retro 51 Tornado Monarch "F" nib running Pelikan Aquamarine

Gioia Parthenope Extra Fine running Diamine Firefly

Visconti Opera Demo "F" nib running Green ink

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think it’s a pity people are having problems with new Conklins. Mine are fine. They write well, and are attractive, and I would not hesitate to buy another.

 

But as in the past, I would buy from speerbob on eBay, who is an authorized dealer.

Posted Image
Link to comment
Share on other sites

For a data point -- I recently bought the "Duraflex" (omniflex nib model) and the "Sleeve Filler" (regular nib). {And would be very disappointed if I'd paid MSRP for them -- even $60 each is on the high side for the performance}

 

I find the "Sleeve Filler" to be rather dry, and unable to keep up with "signature speed" writing. Examining it I found that the ONLY route for ink to the tip is via the thin capillary slit in the feed. The nib has a rather large crescent relief hole, and the coarse comb on the feed is such that one can see air straight down through both sides of the relief hole. No place for a film of ink between nib and feed to move from the section to the tip except via the slit. The coarseness of the feed also means that very little ink collects in the fins to provide a buffer (by the time the fins start to fill, the ink is ready to drop off the pen).

 

My older Conklins (most dated 2003) have much finer (and maybe hard rubber -- the newer ones look more like cast plastic) feeds, and only a simple round relief hole. On these pens, an ink film between nib and feed has a continuous path from section to tip of feed by going around the relief hole.

 

The omniflex nib isn't quite as bad -- and I'm going to partly blame the ink (pigmented Storia Clown) and the fact that I'm doing Sudoku puzzles (about 15 minutes per puzzle) with the cap off while searching for moves for the dry/hard starts. Once I get the dry ink off, it seems to keep up.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@BillPorter

Thank you for testing it for us... :unsure: Sorry you had to send it back...

Helped me decide not to be tempted, yet...

It would seem that the nib feed group is the culprit (at least for those who are unlucky)

Thank you also for trying other nibs

can the collar be unscrewed? or is it glued in?

I think the real quick solution would be to find a nib/feed/collar group that fits in, replacing the provided one,

like a Jowo or Bock group.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share








×
×
  • Create New...