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Pilot 912 Fa Nib Transformed



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I recently bought a Pilot Custom 912 with the #10 FA falcon flex nib. I didn't actually want the FA nib, I wanted the sutab nib. But the price was right so I went for it. The pen is actually going to receive some custom lacquerwork, so I was really more interested in the pen than nib. I figured I'd have time to sort out a nib swap later.

 

I'd heard the mixed reviews of the FA nib, the issues with ink flow and railroading. Sure enough, when I received the pen, I plunked the cartridge in and went to writing. Railroading galore. Unless I kept my writing down to very small characters, any downstroke- even without pressure- ended with railroading. Very frustrating. The nib is beautiful- lots of spring, great line variation, and surprisingly smooth. Seems like all the issues are in the feed and ink supply. But I really kind of fell in love with the nib.

 

So on Saturday, I placed an order for a two channel ebonite nib, made specifically for this pen by the Flexible Nib Factory. I can't remember how I knew such a thing existed, but I remember coming across it in the past. Might have been while I was trying to figure out how to get more ink flow from a Pilot #10 music nib. In any case, a quick Google search led me to the Flexible Nib Factory website. A little searching there revealed both a 2 and 3 channel ebonite feed unit, custom made for the 912 FA nib. I opted for the 2 channel feed, since I tend to prefer wet inks. I placed the order Saturday morning, the feed shipped from Texas Saturday, and it arrive by first class mail to my Pennsylvania mailbox today- Monday. So incredibly fast service.

 

I removed the feed and nib from the 912, ran the new feed under some water, and put the pen back together. It was instantly transformed. The railroading is completely gone. The feed can handle more flex than I'm willing to give, but the fine strokes still come out thin and not overly wet. The feed has completely transformed this nib. No way I'm giving it up now!

 

So, though I have no affiliation, I heartily endorse the Flexible Nib Factory's custom ebonite 912 FA replacement feed. If you have this pen and are suffering the same issues, it's the best $25 you'll ever spend. I believe they also make a nib for the 743 with its #15 FA nib.

 

best,

Doug

 

 

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Glad that the pen now writes the way you like, but I think the railroading occurs only when the nib is pushed beyond what it's designed for. In Chinese or Japanese calligraphic writing, the characters are made up of many short strokes, unlike joined-up writing in English, so there's little need for abundant ink supply. And the nib is certainly not dry in the original setting, I much prefer it over excessively wet pens like vintage pens or Noodler's pens. But obviously it's great that the custom feed makes it work even better and I'm impressed that it controls the flow so well that you can maintain the fine lines as well.

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Does the nib/feed pull out of the section collar easily for feed replacement? Does the increased ink flow from the new ebonite feed eliminate the frequent hard starts in normal writing? While I could live with the railroading under flex, the hard starts when writing normally I could not when tring to take quick notes.

Edited by max dog
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Karmachanic

While I could live with the railroading under flex, the hard starts when writing normally I could not when tring to take quick notes.

 

 

Micromesh :)

 

"Simplicate and add Lightness."

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Does the nib/feed pull out of the section collar easily for feed replacement? Does the increased ink flow from the new ebonite feed eliminate the frequent hard starts in normal writing? While I could live with the railroading under flex, the hard starts when writing normally I could not when tring to take quick notes.

 

I had this issue but it's not the fault of the nib or feed, it's most likely because the ink sticks to the converter. For some reason my inks don't do this any more so I don't have this problem at all. Find an ink that behaves better or put a tiny object in the converter. Or just shaking the pen so ink makes contact with the feed solves the problem.

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Ive had my 912 FA for a few years. Issue is not babys bottom or converter. Ive used the con 50 with agitator from my Falcon Elabo that works perfectly in the Elabo but not the FA. The FA nib is too soft. It gives good line variation, but normal writing requires an extremely soft touch on paper to minimize hard starts. Holding the nib at a higher angle also helps. Certain inks like MB permanent Blue also helps. If I dip the nib to saturate the feed, I can write a page without hard starts nor railroading. Ive arrived at the conclusion long ago the feed is inadequate. Given you've done the feed replacement, what is the experience with hard starts?

Edited by max dog
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Ive had my 912 FA for a few years. Issue is not babys bottom or converter. Ive used the con 50 with agitator from my Falcon Elabo that works perfectly in the Elabo but not the FA. The FA nib is too soft. It gives good line variation, but normal writing requires an extremely soft touch on paper to minimize hard starts. Holding the nib at a higher angle also helps. Certain inks like MB permanent Blue also helps. If I dip the nib to saturate the feed, I can write a page without hard starts nor railroading. Ive arrived at the conclusion long ago the feed is inadequate. Given you've done the feed replacement, what is the experience with hard starts?

 

I'm not sure that I had notice much in the way of hard starts before the feed exchange. There definitely are no hard starts now. The nib performs beautifully. I'm not one to try to over flex it, but I do tend to write with some pressure, and I write quickly. The pen has no problems keeping up now.

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Does the nib/feed pull out of the section collar easily for feed replacement? Does the increased ink flow from the new ebonite feed eliminate the frequent hard starts in normal writing? While I could live with the railroading under flex, the hard starts when writing normally I could not when tring to take quick notes.

 

Yes, it's friction fit- came apart and went back together with ease.

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With the right ink, and knowing it's limits, FA is not perfect but still a good modern flex option. It served me well for many years as a 2nd pen for modern flex fun. Sounds like with an aftermarket ebonite feed it gets even better.

 

fpn_1522456302__pilot_custom_912_fa_marc

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Yes, it's friction fit- came apart and went back together with ease.

Thanks, good to know. Might consider it.

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Here are a couple photos...basically the same writing sample, original feed followed by the new feed. And a couple pictures of the feeds themselves. The ebonite feed on the left, the original feed on the right.

 

pHS3yz3.jpg

MYGe7iF.jpg

Df4QY10.jpg

jLMujyu.jpg

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Karmachanic

Horizontal line looks a little wider.

Should have the FNF 2 channel in a day or two.

"Simplicate and add Lightness."

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Thanks Vicary for the photos. The lines with the new feed fitted looks more saturated than before, so definitely improved ink flow. Found the website, and will have a look order a new ebonite feed.

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Here are a couple photos...basically the same writing sample, original feed followed by the new feed. And a couple pictures of the feeds themselves. The ebonite feed on the left, the original feed on the right.

 

pHS3yz3.jpg

MYGe7iF.jpg

 

 

I can almost feel through your writing sample how much happier you are with the modification. Thank you for sharing your find with us all. Enjoy.

 

I think the 912 is a beautifully understated pen.

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Did the same thing with my 912 FA and couldn't be happier, FNF were great to work with.

Like it so much now I'm thinking about the 823 FA from Tokyo Quill, that might be my grail pen.

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Karmachanic

Makes for a lovely juicy line. Once the Con-50 Take-Sumi fill is done, I'll try something more colourful to see how it shades.

"Simplicate and add Lightness."

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Honeybadgers

Glad that the pen now writes the way you like, but I think the railroading occurs only when the nib is pushed beyond what it's designed for. In Chinese or Japanese calligraphic writing, the characters are made up of many short strokes, unlike joined-up writing in English, so there's little need for abundant ink supply. And the nib is certainly not dry in the original setting, I much prefer it over excessively wet pens like vintage pens or Noodler's pens. But obviously it's great that the custom feed makes it work even better and I'm impressed that it controls the flow so well that you can maintain the fine lines as well.

 

I think this needs a small correction. The railroading isn't a defect, no, but it doesn't occur when you're pushing the limits of the nib (which is a very capable writer, as seen by what we're getting with the FNF feeds) but when you're pushing the limits of the FEED. Because you're right, the feed is meant for asian characters. Short and nonconsecutive. Not spencerian.

 

It would be really cool if pilot partnered with Joey at FNF to offer an optional ebonite feed (the 2 channel one, we can keep the 3 as a specialty product since it is kind of absurd) but it won't happen.

 

I personally think the FA nib needs to be finer. I'd prefer a japanese EF to the F it is. I'm going to have mine reground to a needlepoint soon.

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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Karmachanic

I personally think the FA nib needs to be finer. I'd prefer a japanese EF to the F it is. I'm going to have mine reground to a needlepoint soon.

 

I agree. Especially with the added wetness of the Ebonite 2 channel feed. I'll probably ware away at in myself.

Edited by Karmachanic

"Simplicate and add Lightness."

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Looks great. Just thought I'd add my endorsement of FNF and their feeds. Have them in both my 742 and 823 with FA nibs and love them.

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  • 7 months later...

Just saw this topic, and thought I'd add my endorsement as well.  The Pilot feed is inadequate for this pen and cursive writing.  I got the 3 slit FNF ebonite feed and now couldn't be happier with this pen.  No more railroading, hard starts, etc.  It's now tied with my #1 pen (Custom 912 Soft Medium) for which one I'm going to be writing with that day.  🙂

 

 

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