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How to reduce the linewidth and wetness of my MB 149?



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cooldude4172

Hi all, I bought a MB 149 brand new (M nib) from a boutique yesterday. This is meant to be as my daily writer. My handwriting is relatively small and cursive, and I often need to write maths equations which require fine detail.

 

I am having mixed feelings about the pen. I love the smoothness and amount of feedback from the pen. However, it is too wet and the line width is too thick for my liking. About 50% of my a, e, o, t and l close their loops which looks ugly. I use the MB permanent blue ink and moleskine 7 mm ruled paper.

 

I read up online about the MB exchange, so should I exchange the nib with a F or OM, to fix my problem? I am worried that exchanging to a F will make it more scratchy. 

 

Or, are there any ink/paper combinations to reduce the line width and ink flow?

 

Any help greatly appreciated, thanks.

 

 

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eangelo
2 hours ago, cooldude4172 said:

Hi all, I bought a MB 149 brand new (M nib) from a boutique yesterday. This is meant to be as my daily writer. My handwriting is relatively small and cursive, and I often need to write maths equations which require fine detail.

 

I am having mixed feelings about the pen. I love the smoothness and amount of feedback from the pen. However, it is too wet and the line width is too thick for my liking. About 50% of my a, e, o, t and l close their loops which looks ugly. I use the MB permanent blue ink and moleskine 7 mm ruled paper.

 

I read up online about the MB exchange, so should I exchange the nib with a F or OM, to fix my problem? I am worried that exchanging to a F will make it more scratchy. 

 

Or, are there any ink/paper combinations to reduce the line width and ink flow?

 

Any help greatly appreciated, thanks.

 

 

Many variables influence the line thickness. Even using the same paper, the same ink and pen, depending on the atmospheric humidity absorbed by the paper, different results can be obtained. However, I think from your description, I imagine that you are more successful in replacing to F nib and choosing a more lubricated ink.

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I was in a similar situation as you. I also bought new with medium nib and it writes more like a wet broad. I can't write daily with it because it's that broad and I didn't use it as much as I wanted. A year or so later I decided to try and see if something could be done about it, and then I discovered to late that I could have had the nib changed for free from Montblanc. I regret not changing the nib when I could have. Now to change the the nib it would cost around $200. Instead of changing the nib I found a 80's 146 with a fine nib for $150.

I would at the very least go back to the boutique and ask if you can test the fine nib while there and see what the difference is. 

If you're having enough concerns about the nib to ask here, then I would think you'd be happier to change the nib and have peace of mind.

The fine nib writes just as beautifully in my opinion, with just a little more feedback, but the nice kind of feedback.

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On the other hand - have you tried using a different paper? I have heard that Moleskine paper is not the best quality, and what you are describing partly seems to be what others experience with other pen and ink combinations, too...

a fountain pen is physics in action... Proud member of the SuperPinks

fpn_1425200643__fpn_1425160066__super_pi

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Oblique nibs give a different writing experience than standard round points like F and M.

I personally love obliques but you should try one out before changing your nib for an OM.

 

On the other hand a well-adjusted Montblanc F should not be scratchy. Also there are simple ways to make a nib smoother, including polishing with very fine abrasive sheets that you can do at home, with care. Do a search here on FPN for terms like "micromesh."

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irrigger

Since it is a recent purchase, I would go for the exchange first. The fine should still write smoothly.

fpn_1389205880__post_card_exchange_small.png
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DrWabbit

I recently experienced the same sort of problem as you, with a new MB 145, medium nib. The medium nib resulted in a line width that seemed to me closer to a broad - so it was not what I had expected when opting for a medium nib. I exchanged the nib for a fine nib within the exchange period time limit (6 weeks). 

 

The fine nib writes very well and I am pleased with it. It is not scratchy at all and has a bit of feedback (which I find provides more control when writing). It also has good ink flow (I use MB ink). You may be surprised, as I was, to find that the fine nib still produces a relatively wide line - though not as wide as the medium nib. Depending on how thin you want the line to be, an EF nib might even be more suitable for your writing.

 

As Severn mentioned in the post above, I would recommend that you try out the different nibs at the boutique for a thorough comparison. I would also add that it would be useful if you test the nibs on the type of paper that you intend to use daily. Moleskine paper is not the most fountain pen ink-friendly paper. Using paper such as Rhodia, which is designed for use with fountain pens, will give you a different (perhaps more pleasing) result. So, you may want to take some different paper samples with you, when you go testing the nib options. 

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maclink

I bought a 149 some time last year.  It has a F nib and it's a broader of my fine nibs and writes more like a M to B.  Writes very well with no scratchiness at all.  My 146 and 145 F nibs write just perfectly for me.  I really love those two pens and use the 145 F as my EDC for work.   

 

Moleskin paper, I'm not a fan.  The paper is quite absorbent with the most bleed through that I've experienced with the various papers that I've used.  Line widths are therefore thicker that with other paper. 

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I very much doubt that an OM nib will work for you. I'd go back to the shop and ask to try a fine nib and if that is still too wet and broad then exchange the nib for an ef. Should be back in your hands within three weeks.

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ljmudit
On 3/15/2021 at 5:11 PM, cooldude4172 said:

Hi all, I bought a MB 149 brand new (M nib) from a boutique yesterday. This is meant to be as my daily writer. My handwriting is relatively small and cursive, and I often need to write maths equations which require fine detail.

 

I am having mixed feelings about the pen. I love the smoothness and amount of feedback from the pen. However, it is too wet and the line width is too thick for my liking. About 50% of my a, e, o, t and l close their loops which looks ugly. I use the MB permanent blue ink and moleskine 7 mm ruled paper.

 

I read up online about the MB exchange, so should I exchange the nib with a F or OM, to fix my problem? I am worried that exchanging to a F will make it more scratchy. 

 

Or, are there any ink/paper combinations to reduce the line width and ink flow?

 

Any help greatly appreciated, thanks.

 

 

 

I have three MB 149 nibs : Calligraphy Flex (0.3 mm), Fine (0.5 mm), & Broad (0.8-1.0 approx). All write very smoothly. Unless you get a dud nib you are good to go for a nib exchange. I believe it would be the right thing to do since its still brand new and I'm hoping under the 6 week exchange period. Just bear in mind that EF/F nibs tend to write like architect grinds (I'm not a big fan).

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bunnspecial

Note first of all that modern MB nibs are typically about a half size wider than vintage nibs and roughly a full size wider than most Japanese nibs. A Montblanc F writes roughly like a Japanese M.

 

With that said, I've never found an MB F scratchy. Some of my vintage nibs have a decent amount of feedback-I can point you to one particular 14 in F that feels and sounds just like writing with a sharp #2 pencil-but feedback is very different from scratchy. In my experience, modern MB nibs are typically not as glass-smooth as Pelikans and will tend to have a bit of feedback, but I don't consider this a bad thing.

 

I'm a Chemist and do my fair share of math. An MB F suits me fine for that.

 

Short answer is that I'd avoid an oblique at least for now if I were in your position. I can write somewhat smaller with an oblique than a comparable non-oblique of the same size(actually just finished doing a side-by-side writing sample to compare two inks, but used a 149 OB for one and 149 B for the other) but they have a different look and the narrow down-strokes inherent to an MB oblique won't necessarily lend themselves to detailed writing.

 

An EF might actually suit you well.

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Bo Bo Olson

Mt '50's or late '80s-early '90's are the traditional Euro width (+ -) tolerance. 1/2 a width narrower than modern.

 

When I got my 2006 Virginian Woolf, @ 2012-14 on sale at my B&M, I had read modern MB's ran fat. The M it had, wrote to the B I was looking for...on poor shop paper. At home the nib wrote on better paper to a M.:angry:

So I had a nib swap....for a B...........unfortunately I didn't tell  NB I wanted a B in the middle or to the thin side of tolerance, so they put a fat B = BB nib on it. The typical modern 'signature' nib.:crybaby:

 

What ink are you using?.....4001 is about the driest of inks. Can make nib write a 1/2 a width narrower. (I find MB inks to be in the middle....)

Rhoda or Clairfontaine Triumphe are good slick papers; also able to make a nib write half a width narrower.

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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  • 2 weeks later...

I have fairly precise writing, so I like true fine nibs.  That balance between smooth and a fine line is difficult to achieve.

 

I bought two MB146’s, both fines, but the one was brand new (circa 2016), and the other was a bit older (2004 I think). I found the newer fine to put down a line that most companies would call a medium (and generous at that), while the older one was just a thicker fine that I probably could have lived with.  I had Brad Torelli go over both, and turn the newer one into something approaching MB extra fine, and the older one a vintage MB fine.

 

Both write beautifully, but even that slight difference in size affects the feedback.  The older fine totally hydroplanes, whereas you certainly feel the paper with the newer extra fine . . . it’s not what I think of as scratchy though, because it glides uniformly.  You have the sensation that your nib might leave a thin impression on the paper, but it never does.

 

Here’s a comparison on Red & Black notebook paper; top/darker is the extra fine (MB non IG midnight), and bottom is the fine (MB Twilight Hour):

 

 

4BD52202-CBA1-472C-A648-D1C7A9978BAA.jpeg

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Bo Bo Olson

Black&Red is Oxford Optic 90g, a good inexpensive paper that I like.

MB like Pelikan is well known, now for fatter lines.

56 minutes ago, TCN01 said:

The older fine totally hydroplanes,

Sounds like it has been polished to Butter Smooth. With a touch of fine micro-mesh, butter smooth can be taken down to good and smooth, the level just under.

But if you I'd wait until some others chime in on that.

Of course you could use poorer paper on that butter smooth nib.

I'd not go to slick Rhoda or Clairefontaine Triumphe with it.

 

IMO one should 'feel' a touch of paper to one's nibs.

 

Many newer posters think they have to have butter smooth at all costs. (many don't want to waste money on good to better paper)  Some of them come back a year later and want to go from butter smooth to a touch of paper feeling of 'good&smooth' on the tip.

You have a good paper.

 

I use to buy old used pens, vintage, that sat in the draw for a generation or three, so had 'iridium' micro-corrosion or drag on nib, being lazy only brought it up to good and smooth, instead of spending a long, long time looking for butter smooth.

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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sansenri

as some suggest, try a different paper first, moleskine is rather absorbent and could make your line look broader

 

try a Clairefontaine or Rhodia, which are highly coated and will show your correct line width better

 

if that is not sufficient for you then go back to the shop and ask to try a fine.

You are in the lucky position that you bought from a physical shop, so you can go back and just try a fine nib, or ask to swap.

When you go, bring your test paper with you to compare the previous line width.

 

Just as a reference (although not a very useful one for you) my 146 is from the 80s and has a 14k F nib.

The line is not extremely fine (which I don't mind really) it is rather wet, but is extremely smooth!

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Bo Bo Olson
1 hour ago, sansenri said:

try a different paper first, moleskine is rather absorbent and could make your line look broader

Is a horrible fountain pen paper, real good for ball points.

Needs an EF with a dry ink to be barely acceptable.

Having bought the BS, it was Hemingway's paper, which it was back when paper was good. It had nothing to do with real paper, when the dead brand was bought up and re-launched.

 

I knew of it back when I was a ball point barbarian. Teachers liked it, but they too were mostly Ball Point Barbarians when I worked in the school.

As soon as I started back in fountain pens I was going to get some.

Luckily I read how horrible it was here, and saved my self lots of disappointment.

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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I don't have any issues with Moleskine and my fountain pens. In fact my 70g/m Moleskine produces a thinner line than my Rhodia 80g/m. Maybe they've improved the paper recently?

 

IMG_7499.jpg

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Karmachanic

OP hasn't been back since March 6.

"Simplicate and add Lightness."

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3 hours ago, Severn said:

I don't have any issues with Moleskine and my fountain pens. In fact my 70g/m Moleskine produces a thinner line than my Rhodia 80g/m. Maybe they've improved the paper recently?

 

IMG_7499.jpg


Interesting; how’s the bleed through?

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