Posts Tagged ‘fountain pen nib’

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A Wishlist And The Platinum #3776 Music Nib

02/26/2013

Sometimes wishes do come true. For years I’ve wanted a traditional pen to replace the modernistic Lamy Vista 1.1 mm. Nothing wrong with the Vista but sometimes a more upscale-looking pen fits the circumstances. My wish list for attributes included a light weight resin body, classical styling with a 14K nib that has good flow and is very smooth. Oh, and make it in black with rhodium trim if you please. Too much to ask? That’s what I thought until I met the Platinum #3776 Music Model (PTMB-15000).

Platinum #3776 Fountain Pen

Platinum #3776 Fountain Pen

Again, Dick Egolf of Luxury Brands USA gave me the opportunity to find out what Platinum Pens had to offer and I am so glad he did. The #3776MU is almost exactly the same size as the resin Namiki Falcon and the Levenger True Writer. It is 136.5mm in length and 14.5mm at its maximum diameter. Weight is a mere 18.8g. For this, my hand is ever so grateful. If you prefer large, heavy pens, the #3776 might seem like a light-as-a-feather toy but the nib could make you think otherwise. This model has been around for years so any kinks have been worked out as the fit and finish reflect.

Platinum #3776 Music Nib

Platinum #3776 Music Nib

The only quibble I have is the volume of the converter for such a wide nib. A smaller knob and larger tank would be a worthwhile improvements, but the available model is in line with most converters on the market.

This nib comparison chart shows how a line produced by the two-slit music nib differs from other Platinum nibs. How you hold the pen will affect that line if only slightly. When I write at my normal angle and speed, the line has less contrast than when I put attention on making thin horizontal strokes. It’s like having two pens in one which adds to the fun of using this nib.

Okay, so I’m smitten. If you like wide nibs, you will be, too. This baby has some serious width to it that makes pale ink really stand out. I foresee a summer of turquoise, aqua and swaths of color across my paper, overtaking my journal and correspondence. Pink and orange could be sunny alternatives. This palette is looking very promising indeed.

The moral of the story? Put really good stuff and a Platinum #3776 Music Model on your wishlist. Someone just might be listening…

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Some Frivolous and Fun Links

04/12/2012

As the political and baseball seasons crank up, this inkophile is opting for an unserious season with some frivolous and fun links…

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Fountain Pen Nibs – It’s All Relative

04/03/2012

When it comes to nib size, fountain pen users have a multitude of choices. Recently I was doodling with the inky beauties on my desk and was struck by the differences between them. Even two from the same maker and of the same width produced varied results. Getting the perfect line size to show your writing to its best may take a little trial and error, but the satisfaction in seeing your words look their best is worth it.

I have become an equal opportunity user though I was stuck on narrow nibs for a very long time. Most fountain pen nibs are either fine or medium with a smaller number available in broad and extra-fine widths. The tip of the nib is round in shape, a bit like a ball point pen when you put it to paper. That angle of contact suits general use very well.

Moving beyond the typical nib, the sweet spot where nib meets paper becomes less forgiving and requires more care in use. If it suits your writing style, even an exotic nib should work well once you get the hang of it. Less common categories include double broad (BB), stub, italic, cursive italic, music, and Arabic. There are other exotic nibs but they are too rare for a general discussion.

If a rigid nib doesn’t thrill you, there is a unique characteristic called flex which can be an attribute of any sized nib. It is measured in degrees from a soft give that produces just a slight squish with pressure to a wet noodle that puts down ink like a paint brush.

Another quirk is that Asian nibs for the most part are more narrow than Western nibs. Add to that the interplay between nib, ink and paper as well as the rate of flow from the ink supply to the nib tip and the range of line widths can get ridiculous.

Still there is a range and that is what the image demonstrates. Size is relative.

Fountain Pen Line Comparison

Fountain Pen Line Comparison

Note that the ink scan has not be color adjusted. Take that aspect of this post with a grain of salt.

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Fresh Links – Get ‘Em While They’re Hot!

01/10/2012

It’s only Tuesday but a few fresh links might help the week pass a little faster…

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Ten Tuesday Links

11/15/2011

Can’t recall where all these links came from but thanks to those who lead me to them.

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Nibmeister vs Nibsheister

09/25/2011

The term nibmeister has been around for years as an honorific bestowed on a few skilled people who can improve and even reform a nib. Nibsheister was new to me when I discovered it in a post by “picautomaton” at Fountain Pen Network. It’s clever and good for a chuckle. Whether earned by poor workmanship or unsatisfactory customer support, someone who earns the latter dishonor will find the going rough in the pen community.

Pilot Custom 742 Falcon Nib

Pilot Custom 742 Falcon Nib

Modifying a nib is fairly common amongst fountain pen users but finding the right person for the job can take a bit of effort. Recommendations from friends can be reassuring but FPN can substitute for friends especially if you inquire backchannel. Pen people do love to talk so getting opinions should prove easy.

Once you do find a promising candidate, ask if he or she warrants their work. No nib guarantee? Meh. Years ago I tested a modified steel nib that had been sold to a newbie by a reputable nibmeister. The nib was bloody awful but it was sold without a guarantee or return option because it wasn’t gold. The unfortunate buyer got stuck with a stinky nib. No willingness to make things right? Then no sale.

As an inkophile one point annoys me more than others. A few repair people are biased against some brands of ink. If the nibmeister insists the use of those inks will void the warranty, he can buy an island and become a dictator. I’ll spend my money with someone else.

Here is a parting shot and it is critical. Are you willing to re-home that pen if the modification isn’t to your liking? If the pen is precious as is, leave it as is.

Vintage Eversharp Nib

Vintage Eversharp Nib

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When A Pen Falls Out Of Favor

09/18/2011

Sooner or later most of us trade or sell fountain pens but which ones to keep can be tricky. So I’ll share my criteria if you’ll share yours. Deal?

No doubt my pen preferences are evolving. Over the past ten years my tastes have expanded from a fixation with tiny Asian nibs to an infatuation with chunky Western ones. Consider me an equal opportunity pen fancier. Lesson learned is to maintain a varied collection and hang onto the odd ones. With the right ink and paper, almost any pen can be fun.

Another criteria is size. Thin or short pens can cause fatigue and are best suited to brief sessions. A heavy pen must balance well or it will flip out of my grip making it a poor choice unless I don’t mind a little ink flung here and there. Medium to large, light-weight pens work best these days though there are exceptions.

Filler mechanism is important and with few exceptions, levers are out unless the nib pops out easily. I like getting a pen really clean when changing inks and lever fillers are too much work. Most of mine have been sent to more appreciative collectors.

How often I use a pen is less relevant than whether another pen is similar. If two nibs are virtually identical, I might let one go if I’m not thrilled with it. Not foolproof but helpful.

Here’s a case in point. A couple of years ago I gave up on Pelikan pens. Nothing wrong with them. Good build quality, swappable nibs, etc. When I sold or traded them, those nibs and exuberant flow didn’t suit me. Now that I’m exploring wide nibs, Pels are a much better fit and the few still here are getting renewed interest.

So despite modifying my criteria for re-homing pens, I still make mistakes. Put all that together and it makes a lot more sense to keep pens that have potential than it is to let them go.

A keeper, the navy gray Parker ’51’ Aero, though with Noodler’s Zhivago today…

Moleskine, a Parker '51' and Herbin Vert Empire Ink

Moleskine, a Parker '51' and Herbin Vert Empire Ink

Remember that deal we made? Now it’s your turn to share how you decide which pens to give the boot when they fall out of favor.

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