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Other Dip Pens Like This One (Or Better)?


Qoan

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I got this pen with a calligraphy dip pen set I received as a gift some years ago. I'd say it is a regular, cheap Chinese 'student pen' of some sort. At the beginning I didn't pay much attention to it, as I use mostly left oblique and italic nibs (for writing in the Arabic and Latin alphabet) and flex nibs on occasion. Here are a couple of pics of it (side up and side down):

 

post-136162-0-81804600-1562496333_thumb.jpg

post-136162-0-64553200-1562496347_thumb.jpg

 

It has no flex and gives a regular EF line with no line variation at all. It isn't the smoothest writer (it's a bit toothy) but it has a huge deposit on the back, meaning I can fill about three quarters of a regular A4 sheet with a single dip. Also, I'm a right-handed overwriter and my hold of the pen is usually between 120-150º. I obviously switch to underwrite for traditional calligraphy, but then I write very slow with attention to detail. However, I have relatively recently discovered that, with stiffer pens, as this one and other 'general purpose' pens (such as Leonardt 256, which is readily available where I live, to give an example), I can write with my usual hold (and my usual handwriting) while using a wider variety of inks than a fountain pen would safely allow.

 

The big question is I have been looking for a pen with this kind of reservoir elsewhere, to replace this in case it gets damaged, but to no avail. The only pens that appear to be sold with a reservoir in the UK are Brause and Leonardt square pens (and Mitchell's with the removable reservoir) and while I have found some pens with apparently similar characteristics and a reservoir over the nib on Ebay and AliExpress (sold as comic sets) I haven't found even those on specialized websites (such as Scribblers or Penmandirect in the UK). The pen has the number 126 written on it, together with two Chinese characters which appear to be 灯告 (although I'm not sure because Google Translate says this means a 'lamp' and I sadly know nothing about Chinese). Anyway, this information hasn't helped me on my search.

 

So do any of you know of any similar pens (possibly smoother) and where could they be had?

 

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Very interested to know the answer to this, too.

"Every job is good if you do your best and work hard.

A man who works hard stinks only to the ones that have

nothing to do but smell."

Laura Ingalls Wilder

 

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There are two US suppliers that might have what you are looking for. John Neal Bookseller (item N204), and Paper Ink Arts (at the end of the Nibs section) both have nibs with reservoirs.

 

Hope this helps,

DB

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John Neal also has a very interesting assortment of nibs, if you have a mind to experiment.

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There are two US suppliers that might have what you are looking for. John Neal Bookseller (item N204), and Paper Ink Arts (at the end of the Nibs section) both have nibs with reservoirs.

 

Hope this helps,

DB

 

 

 

John Neal also has a very interesting assortment of nibs, if you have a mind to experiment.

 

Thanks a lot for the info. The ones at Paper Ink Arts are like those I had seen at Scribblers, but John Neal's N204 is a completely new thing (at least for me). The thing is all these nibs are flexible, so they won't work for the same kind of writing I do with this Chinese pen, but the spring can probably be attached to other nibs as well and I see that they have quite a range of nibs (among others) so maybe this could be arranged. But I don't know if it would be worth to have them sent from the US, the postage fees are usually quite substantial...

 

Actually, looking for info online about this Ink Cage I found a post in this very forum explaining how to make a DIY one, so I may buy some wire and experiment, that could be cheaper if I get to make it right after two or three tries. So, yeah, not exactly what I was looking for, but a couple of exciting alternatives! :)

 

Anyway, I'd still be happy to know if some one has any info on this particular pen. It's in all probability a mass produced Chinese product, I can't be the only one to have, can I?

 

(edited for typos)

Edited by Qoan
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There’s also a thread somewhere about creating a reservoir out of wax.

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Found it! (I think)

 

This is also ingenious, and it looks like beeswax is not hard to procure, and the simple method (the post then goes on to more complicated DIY plastic reservoirs) is much less technical than making your own Ink Cage out of wire, so I may try both when I have a bit of free time.

 

Thanks again for the suggestions!

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The nib you show in your original post has what is called a Round or Oval tip. This makes it a smoother (and thus) faster writer. Some very common vintage nibs with this kind of tip include the Esterbrook 788 and 905 Falcon. The 788 is a spoon shaped nib and thus has the potential, using a reservoir, to hold a very large amount of ink.

 

If you do managed to get a reservoir on a 788, please post. That should be an interesting experiment.

 

“When the historians of education do equal and exact justice to all who have contributed toward educational progress, they will devote several pages to those revolutionists who invented steel pens and blackboards.” V.T. Thayer, 1928

Check out my Steel Pen Blog

"No one is exempt from talking nonsense; the mistake is to do it solemnly."

-Montaigne

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This topic reminds me of an Onoto that came to me recently minus its actual nib...

 

post-70628-0-98987700-1562776578_thumb.jpgpost-70628-0-63116100-1562776588_thumb.jpg

"Every job is good if you do your best and work hard.

A man who works hard stinks only to the ones that have

nothing to do but smell."

Laura Ingalls Wilder

 

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The nib you show in your original post has what is called a Round or Oval tip. This makes it a smoother (and thus) faster writer. Some very common vintage nibs with this kind of tip include the Esterbrook 788 and 905 Falcon. The 788 is a spoon shaped nib and thus has the potential, using a reservoir, to hold a very large amount of ink.

 

If you do managed to get a reservoir on a 788, please post. That should be an interesting experiment.

 

Thanks for the suggestions, AAAndrew. I've been looking in the 'usual suspects', but Esterbrook pens seem quite hard (i.e. really expensive) to procure this side of the Atlantic. Do you know of comparable pens available in Europe, either vintage or contemporary, or reasonable suppliers of those two pens?

 

Going back to the experiments, I didn't have much free time these days, but I did find some wire home. I was surprised of how easy it was to wire it around a bic pen refill, it basically wired itself. Then it was trickier to put it in the right place. I experimented with a Leonardt 256 (because I have some spares) and after four tries, I got it working about right. This is how it looks when full of ink:

 

 

There are still issues with the flow though. Bellow is the same fragment of a poem (badly) written with a regular Leonardt 256 (up) and with the pen modified with a coil reservoir (bottom). It is apparent how the ink doesn't flow as readily. Still, I dipped twice to write the upper poem and I could've written it at least 20x with the modified pen:

 

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Interesting experiment.

 

Here are ones from my collection made somewhere in Europe, mostly Britain, and that I could find easily. I have others with American imprints, but were made in England, but that won't help you find them elsewhere. I'm sure there are many more, but my collection leans heavily towards American pens.

 

516EF D. Leonardt & Co.
516F D. Leonardt & Co.
110 J. B. Mallat
0591F Wm Mitchell’s
0591F Wm Mitchell’s
0649 Wm Mitchell’s
410 EF Parson’s
11 Perry & Co.
2202 Perry & Co.'s
2203 Perry & Co.'s

 

“When the historians of education do equal and exact justice to all who have contributed toward educational progress, they will devote several pages to those revolutionists who invented steel pens and blackboards.” V.T. Thayer, 1928

Check out my Steel Pen Blog

"No one is exempt from talking nonsense; the mistake is to do it solemnly."

-Montaigne

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Thanks again. When I have some free time I'll try to find some of those pens and see if some kind of reservoir can be attached.

In the meantime I'll have to keep experimenting with this one, because ink flow is still an issue...

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  • 8 months later...
UPDATE
After several months I feel that I am in a position to update some info on this topic.
Regarding the "ink cage" I have to admit that it wasn't a huge success for me in the sense that it worked, but ink flow was slowed down for some reason. I prepared several coils with different widths and placed them in slightly different positions. I found that the best combination is relatively small widths (so that the ink stays inside with no gaps) and placed as close to the tip as possible, but still not perfect.
I discovered, though, that you can easily fit one of those slip-on reservoirs for round hand pens onto a Leonardt 256 (the one I was experimenting with), though they are sold for that specific combination, and it actually works like a charm, so there goes a possibly simpler way to solve this issue.

 

 

This topic reminds me of an Onoto that came to me recently minus its actual nib...

 

 

 

If you do managed to get a reservoir on a 788, please post. That should be an interesting experiment.

 

 

This post by Marlow actually gave me an idea. I couldn't got hold of any 788 nibs (actually, it seems very difficult to look for specific models in the vintage market, rather than see if you like what's available right now) so the closest thing I could find was a Kolosal № 1516 EF. This was apparently manufactured by Johann Sindel —a Spanish factory, despite the name— but it must be a clone of the 516EF D. Leonardt & Co., which in turn is similar to the 788 Esterbrook, right?

 

Back to the main topic: I found a detachable reservoir that is slipped into the penholder, rather than onto the nib (manufactured by Leonardt/Manuscript) and fitted it into a regular penholder (with the "standard" ferrule, that is) and it does work. The pen writes just as well as it does without the reservoir, but for much longer (around 10-15 lines). Here are a couple of pics taken with my phone (so apologies for the quality):

 

IMG_20200316_231434.jpg?psid=1

IMG_20200316_231427.jpg?psid=1

 

And finally, on the main topic, the Chinese 126. I did found some "calligraphy sets" that apparently included this nib, but most of them were quite expensive and I didn't think it was worth buying the whole lot for just one nib.

 

Then, by sheer luck I discovered that this pen was a clone of a model by E. S. Perry called Iridinoid ROC 26. I had found a couple Iridinoid MR 3 by chance and I could appreciate the similitude, so I did a bit of research (which wasn't easy as available resources for dip pens are much scarcer that for, e.g. fountain pens) and I could get hold of some of these Iridinoid 26, which are actually smoother and sturdier than the Chinese pen.

 

DSC_9789%20%28800x450%29.jpg?psid=1DSC_9790%20%28800x471%29.jpg?psid=1

 

As you can appreciate it looks almost identical (though it's a bit longer) but I think the pictures also transmit how the metal is sturdier and the build-quality higher.

 

So thank you all for the insights and putting me in the right path for these "findings"!

 

(Edit: typos)

Edited by Qoan
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