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Does a nib need to be straight?



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E.H. Tersono

This is a medium Sonnet I just received, from a reputable shop, which was sold as "new old stock." The nib looks bent to me, but it writes pretty nicely. Perhaps a little scratchy in one direction, but wildly better than the custom ground nib I unexpectedly got from another shop.

 

So this has me wondering, should the nib on this pen be straight? Or are there benefits to nibs shaped like this? Or is it a flaw that needs to be returned and corrected? (None of the photos on the site showed it from the side, so it wasn't clear that it would look like this when I ordered.)

IMG_6080.JPG

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silverlifter

PO nibs point down like that. It is more important that that tines are properly aligned; scratchiness in one direction can be indiicative that they are not.

 

While you are aligning the tines, you could straighten the nib.

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9 hours ago, silverlifter said:

PO nibs point down like that

 

What does PO stand for?

 

Thanks

Darla

FP addict thanks to #Penpalooza. Currently can't stop collecting Diplomats.

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10 hours ago, E.H. Tersono said:

should the nib on this pen be straight?

 

Your other post got me curious about my own French-made Parker Sonnet date-marked 1991, which I bought new. The 18k nib on it is perfectly straight.

 

It is also hard as a nail with zero flexibility. I read somewhere that this is typical of the Parker 18k nibs but I've seen some people on here talking about flexibility, so 🤷‍♀️

FP addict thanks to #Penpalooza. Currently can't stop collecting Diplomats.

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E.H. Tersono
30 minutes ago, DvdRiet said:

 

What does PO stand for?

 

Thanks

Darla

 

I too have this question @silverlifter. Thank you for the reply. I wouldn't trust myself to check the alignment or straighten them, my eyesight is quite bad and my skills aren't there. Two for two.

 

I bought this from a well-regarded shop here in Canada, and emailed them to ask about the issue but haven't heard back. It hasn't been long so may just take some time to hear back. I felt that the pen really shouldn't have come like this, and was hoping I could send it back to them to fix.

 

So far both Sonnets I've bought have turned out to have issues that weren't mentioned in the listings where they were being sold. Bad luck, but honest oversights I believe.

See my PIF post for free ink (Canada).

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E.H. Tersono
21 minutes ago, DvdRiet said:

 

Your other post got me curious about my own French-made Parker Sonnet date-marked 1991, which I bought new. The 18k nib on it is perfectly straight.

 

It is also hard as a nail with zero flexibility. I read somewhere that this is typical of the Parker 18k nibs but I've seen some people on here talking about flexibility, so 🤷‍♀️

 

This is interesting because both of these, this one and the one in my other post, have very flexible nibs. The lightest pressure in writing and I can see the tines spread. But there is also, I've learned, no way to know if either nib is the one these pens originally came with, since they could have been replaced at any time.

 

What kind of nib does your Sonnet have?

See my PIF post for free ink (Canada).

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8 minutes ago, E.H. Tersono said:

What kind of nib does your Sonnet have?

 

This is my nib (best close-ups I could get with my very old phone). It's just a regular M nib.

 

 

IMG_2218.JPG

IMG_2219.JPG

FP addict thanks to #Penpalooza. Currently can't stop collecting Diplomats.

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A Smug Dill
58 minutes ago, DvdRiet said:

What does PO stand for?

 

Posting.

I endeavour to be frank and truthful in what I write, show or otherwise present, when I relate my first-hand experiences that are not independently verifiable; and link to third-party content where I can, when I make a claim or refute a statement of fact in a thread. If there is something you can verify for yourself, I entreat you to do so, and judge for yourself what is right, correct for valid. I may be wrong, and my position or say-so is no more authoritative and carries no more weight than anyone else's here.

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14 minutes ago, E.H. Tersono said:

I wouldn't trust myself to check the alignment or straighten them, my eyesight is quite bad and my skills aren't there.

 

I have found that buying second-hand / vintage pens nearly always requires some form of nib realignment (and cleaning, obviously). I say nearly always because NOS really shouldn't but not all sellers that say NOS are being, shall we say, completely honest. 🙂 A jeweller's loupe has become my very best friend! Most nibs can, luckily, be realigned with just some light but persistently repeated pressure on whichever tine is not where it should be. From the photos, yours appear to be very close to alignment. If the curve of the tip doesn't bother you, I would think you could very easily fix the alignment yourself.

FP addict thanks to #Penpalooza. Currently can't stop collecting Diplomats.

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E.H. Tersono
11 hours ago, A Smug Dill said:

 

Posting.

 

Thank you for this - after reading through I'm still not entirely sure I understand what a posting nib is or what they're for, but it's fascinating and something worth looking into more to educate myself about.

 

I wonder if that's why this nib is like that? On a "NOS" pen though, it wouldn't make sense that it was modified to be like that, and from reading that thread it doesn't seem like a Sonnet would ever have come with a posting nib?

 

 

See my PIF post for free ink (Canada).

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To me that nib definitely looks bent and I wouldn't accept it if it was sold to me as "new old stock". It should look as straight as the one in the other image.

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E.H. Tersono
13 minutes ago, Dione said:

To me that nib definitely looks bent and I wouldn't accept it if it was sold to me as "new old stock". It should look as straight as the one in the other image.

 

Thank you, I appreciate hearing that. It's very helpful. Have emailed them, with photos, so am just waiting for a reply.

See my PIF post for free ink (Canada).

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A Smug Dill
8 hours ago, Dione said:

To me that nib definitely looks bent

 

… in a way that does not look to be by the manufacturer's design. The slight angle right where the feed ends just looks ‘wrong’; the curvature is neither smooth enough nor distinct enough geometrically.

 

I'd certainly suspect that someone dropped the pen nib-first, causing the nib to be bent over the front end of the feed, and then manually (and unprofessionally) straightened it in repair.

 

Another not-by-design possibility is that the gripping section, complete with nib and feed installed, was jammed into a cap that did not have enough clearance inside.

 

7 hours ago, E.H. Tersono said:

It should look as straight as the one in the other image.

 

I agree.

I endeavour to be frank and truthful in what I write, show or otherwise present, when I relate my first-hand experiences that are not independently verifiable; and link to third-party content where I can, when I make a claim or refute a statement of fact in a thread. If there is something you can verify for yourself, I entreat you to do so, and judge for yourself what is right, correct for valid. I may be wrong, and my position or say-so is no more authoritative and carries no more weight than anyone else's here.

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E.H. Tersono
21 minutes ago, A Smug Dill said:

 

… in a way that does not look to be by the manufacturer's design. The slight angle right where the feed ends just looks ‘wrong’; the curvature is neither smooth enough nor distinct enough geometrically.

 

I'd certainly suspect that someone dropped the pen nib-first, causing the nib to be bent over the front end of the feed, and then manually (and unprofessionally) straightened it in repair.

 

Another not-by-design possibility is that the gripping section, complete with nib and feed installed, was jammed into a cap that did not have enough clearance inside.

 

 

I agree.

 

Yes, exactly, I think one of the tines looks like it has almost two bends in it, like it was straightened after a bend. What's so confusing is that it was listed as NOS by a shop that is well-known for doing professional Parker repairs, so it must have been an oversight.

See my PIF post for free ink (Canada).

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3 hours ago, E.H. Tersono said:

What's so confusing is that it was listed as NOS by a shop that is well-known for doing professional Parker repairs

 

Sorry, I missed the part about the vendor listing it as NOS. I completely agree with the others - this is absolutely not an NOS pen. You can indeed see in the photo that the curvature is not perfectly smooth, as would be expected if it came that way from the factory. But my own point was more that - assuming you like the way this nib writes and do not feel the need to straighten the curved point - you should be able to very easily correct the alignment to get rid of that last bit of scratchiness. However, to my non-Parker expert eye at least, the others are correct that this pen is not 'as described' if the seller said NOS and you ought to be able to return it to a reputable seller without issue.

FP addict thanks to #Penpalooza. Currently can't stop collecting Diplomats.

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E.H. Tersono
18 minutes ago, DvdRiet said:

 

Sorry, I missed the part about the vendor listing it as NOS. I completely agree with the others - this is absolutely not an NOS pen. You can indeed see in the photo that the curvature is not perfectly smooth, as would be expected if it came that way from the factory. But my own point was more that - assuming you like the way this nib writes and do not feel the need to straighten the curved point - you should be able to very easily correct the alignment to get rid of that last bit of scratchiness. However, to my non-Parker expert eye at least, the others are correct that this pen is not 'as described' if the seller said NOS and you ought to be able to return it to a reputable seller without issue.

 

Thank you, that's helpful. What luck I've had with my first two Sonnets, both of them having really extreme issues that weren't disclosed or visible in the photos!

See my PIF post for free ink (Canada).

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23 minutes ago, E.H. Tersono said:

What luck I've had with my first two Sonnets, both of them having really extreme issues that weren't disclosed or visible in the photos!

 

It is often really the luck of the draw with older pens (and sometimes new as well), so you are certainly not alone here!! My first purchase of an expensive second-hand pen was a dream. The second was a disaster! Guy selling very expensive collectible and LE pens listed it 'as new,' and the photos were gorgeous (beware of darker 'mood' lighting!!), but when the pen arrived it had long, weird scratches in the lacquer. When I told the seller of my disappointment since the pen was supposed to be 'as new' and asked to return it, he went completely ballistic and started threatening me (his location was not far from me) and said I had done the damage myself and was just trying to rip *him* off and he was going to report me, etc., etc. Recently discovered these 'scratches' were marks from the amateur repair job not drying properly over significant deep damage to the lacquer (so deep it left marks in the underlying brass). After a significant mourning period (haha), I decided to get back up on that horse and, luckily, my third purchase was again an absolute dream of a pen! And my most recent vintage acquisition that arrived this week is a gorgeous pen in very good condition, so I assumed all was well and gave the seller a very good rating. Within a short period of writing, it developed a significant flow issue that I'm currently trying to figure out. (I know a lot of people will send things back immediately but I kind of inherited my dad's tinkering genes, so I tend to avoid the hassle if I can fix it myself.)

 

Since starting with buying second-hand and vintage pens last year, I have learned an awful lot about how to get a pen going again! 😊

FP addict thanks to #Penpalooza. Currently can't stop collecting Diplomats.

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E.H. Tersono
17 hours ago, DvdRiet said:

 

It is often really the luck of the draw with older pens (and sometimes new as well), so you are certainly not alone here!! My first purchase of an expensive second-hand pen was a dream. The second was a disaster! Guy selling very expensive collectible and LE pens listed it 'as new,' and the photos were gorgeous (beware of darker 'mood' lighting!!), but when the pen arrived it had long, weird scratches in the lacquer. When I told the seller of my disappointment since the pen was supposed to be 'as new' and asked to return it, he went completely ballistic and started threatening me (his location was not far from me) and said I had done the damage myself and was just trying to rip *him* off and he was going to report me, etc., etc. Recently discovered these 'scratches' were marks from the amateur repair job not drying properly over significant deep damage to the lacquer (so deep it left marks in the underlying brass). After a significant mourning period (haha), I decided to get back up on that horse and, luckily, my third purchase was again an absolute dream of a pen! And my most recent vintage acquisition that arrived this week is a gorgeous pen in very good condition, so I assumed all was well and gave the seller a very good rating. Within a short period of writing, it developed a significant flow issue that I'm currently trying to figure out. (I know a lot of people will send things back immediately but I kind of inherited my dad's tinkering genes, so I tend to avoid the hassle if I can fix it myself.)

 

Since starting with buying second-hand and vintage pens last year, I have learned an awful lot about how to get a pen going again! 😊

 

Wow, that story makes me grateful that in the end both of these sellers were kind and gracious and told me to send the pens back for a refund.

 

My quest for a gold nib pen to keep forever continues.

See my PIF post for free ink (Canada).

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6 hours ago, E.H. Tersono said:

 

Wow, that story makes me grateful that in the end both of these sellers were kind and gracious and told me to send the pens back for a refund.

 

My quest for a gold nib pen to keep forever continues.

 

That is very good news! So glad they were gracious enough to take them back and give you a refund. 

 

As far as your quest - to elaborate on those experiences of mine: The excellent pens have nearly all come from private sellers on local marketplace sites (kind of like online garage sales) while the questionable to disastrous have almost all been on eBay. I haven't bought much on eBay, mostly because of hearing the horror stories and the fact we have such a good local site here in NL, but the only good experiences I have had there so far have been with people who have shops. Not always the cheapest, but my tiny bit of experience seems to indicate that they are in general a lot more reliable and trustworthy than many of the private sellers with a lot of ads. I'm sure there are plenty of honest sellers, but the prevalence of not-so-honest sellers puts eBay in serious 'buyer beware' territory. Long story short, if you have a good local site where people go to get rid of all kinds of stuff, clear out their parents' houses, things like that, it's an excellent place to scour for nice used pens. It can take longer but when you do find something, your chances of it being a good deal seem to be a lot higher. (Higher than dealing with the sharks on eBay anyway... 😉)

FP addict thanks to #Penpalooza. Currently can't stop collecting Diplomats.

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E.H. Tersono
9 hours ago, DvdRiet said:

 

That is very good news! So glad they were gracious enough to take them back and give you a refund. 

 

As far as your quest - to elaborate on those experiences of mine: The excellent pens have nearly all come from private sellers on local marketplace sites (kind of like online garage sales) while the questionable to disastrous have almost all been on eBay. I haven't bought much on eBay, mostly because of hearing the horror stories and the fact we have such a good local site here in NL, but the only good experiences I have had there so far have been with people who have shops. Not always the cheapest, but my tiny bit of experience seems to indicate that they are in general a lot more reliable and trustworthy than many of the private sellers with a lot of ads. I'm sure there are plenty of honest sellers, but the prevalence of not-so-honest sellers puts eBay in serious 'buyer beware' territory. Long story short, if you have a good local site where people go to get rid of all kinds of stuff, clear out their parents' houses, things like that, it's an excellent place to scour for nice used pens. It can take longer but when you do find something, your chances of it being a good deal seem to be a lot higher. (Higher than dealing with the sharks on eBay anyway... 😉)

 

I've had great luck over the years with all my beginner pens, which were all new: Lamy Safaris, Kaweco Sports, various Pilots. I think I'm going to try a new in box, genuinely new, parker gold nib so I can at least know how they're supposed to be... My problem is remote location + pandemic = nothing local and have to do everything online. But yes absolutely, I stay far away from pens on eBay, instead going with shops that have good reviews on forums. That didn't protect me in this case though, although at the end of the day I suppose a shop is only as good as their return policy and both came through for me.

See my PIF post for free ink (Canada).

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