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What ball-point pens are we using? - Page 4

post #46 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnapril
twenty-first century pen:


Sad, but true.

koji
post #47 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian SD
Mine never clog.. are you using the right kind of ink for them? You have to treat them very carefully but if you know how to use them correctly they are the most precise things you could ever hope for.


yep, def use the right ink. Koh-I-Noor even makes an ink that is less clogging. But like J said, my experience (I used those religiously for YEARS) is that they do need constant maintenance, mostly on the tips you use least. But they are awesome illustration pens, when not getting an ultrasonic treatment.
post #48 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thracozaag
That Omas must be a hellaciously nice pen.

koji

Have you ever tried Omas?

I have two: A black Paragon with extra-fine extra-flex nib that is a great nib for copperplate or spencerian, not that I managed to take the time to get very proficient at either. I used this pen all through college, where I was required to write a huge amount of Japanese.

The Arco celluloid came with a med. nib, which I had customized by John Mottishaw to match the nib on a late 20's Parker Duofold senior. This has pretty much spoiled me for other pens.
post #49 of 68
At work I use Pilot Varsity disposible fountain pens ( I got sick of my refillable fountain pens going missing). For writing at home I used a Waterman Phileas that I used 8000 grit abrasive paper to polish the nib. For special occasions I have a Sheaffer PFM (made in Australia) which was a gift from a friend in Argentina. Once I got used to using a fountain pen I dislike using anything else. My pencil of choice is a classic Pentel P205 0.5mm.
post #50 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by Get Smart
Since 1992 I've been carrying this Lamy Swift retractable rollerball pen in my filofax (have one in matte black, one in silver and one in gunmetal gray). Best pen ever and looks hella cool.

I will whole-heartedly second this recommendation. The Lamy Swift is the best pen ever. The rollerball ink/mechanism is fantasic, with a smooth write that has never leaked.

I'm actually big fan of flipping my pens towards the ceiling and catching them. One would think that this would cause ink to leak out and go all over the place, but it hasn't happened in the three years I've had one.

Second to the Lamy, the Pilot/Namiki Vanishing Point is a wonderful pen. But I just don't get around to using it that often. It takes part of a stroke for the ink to start if the pen has been sitting a while, which is just the nature of a fountain pen. The Swift writes right away.
post #51 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nantucket Red
Have you ever tried Omas?

I have two: A black Paragon with extra-fine extra-flex nib that is a great nib for copperplate or spencerian, not that I managed to take the time to get very proficient at either. I used this pen all through college, where I was required to write a huge amount of Japanese.

The Arco celluloid came with a med. nib, which I had customized by John Mottishaw to match the nib on a late 20's Parker Duofold senior. This has pretty much spoiled me for other pens.

My friend (what is it with japanese people and their quirky obsessions?) has several Omas that are amazing--I would imagine they would come in very handy for writing some of the more complicated kanji, heh.

koji
post #52 of 68
Is it safe to buy fountain pens on ebay? What would I be looking for? This is still just an exercise, but maybe some day.

Tom
post #53 of 68
Ive been using uni-ball vision elites for the past few years.
post #54 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by tiger02
Is it safe to buy fountain pens on ebay? What would I be looking for? This is still just an exercise, but maybe some day.

Tom

What you need to know about a fountain pen on Ebay:

First of all, I haven't known authenticity to be a problem.
Secondly, the following information assumes that you know which pen you like and what material it's made from.

(Disclaimer: I am not engaged in the business of selling pens. I have bought, sold, and traded pens in the capacity of an enthusiast for well over ten years. I have owned a wide variety of pens during that time. What I impart here is based on the knowledge I have gained.)

1. The filling system
From the bottom up in terms of both modernness and elegance, the types of filling system are:

Cartridge/convertor: This requires you to unscrew the pen and then insert a cartridge or dip the nib in a bottle and twist the end of the convertor, which is a cartidge-size piston filling mechanism that you can insert in the pen in lieu of a cartridge.
It's great for convenience. It may be a reason to avoid a higher-end pen. Personally, I would not pay more than the price of a new Parker Duofold for a cartridge/convertor pen. For the greatest convenience among this type of pen, the Namiki Vanishing point is unrivalled.

Piston filler: Twisting a knob on the end of the pen barrel activates a piston plunger system that fills the pen from a bottle. Piston fillers can only be filled from a bottle, which makes it perhaps not the most convenient type of pen.
The best modern pens use the piston filling system, the best known being Montblanc 146 & 149 and Pelikan, among the German pens, and Omas and Aurora among the Italian pens, with an occasional offering from Montegrappa.

The following mostly applies to vintage pens:

Button filler: Very few modern pens are offered with a button filling system mechanism. The classic example is the vintage Parker Duofold. Unscrewing a cap on the end of the barrel reveals a button, pressing which compresses a rubber bladder that sucks up ink when the button is released. These only fill from a bottle.

Lever filler: Lifting a lever mounted in the side of the pen barrel compresses a rubber bladder that sucks up ink when the lever is released. Sheaffer invented this system in the early part of the 20th century and Waterman was able to skirt the patent issue by inventing a locking lever system.
Pens with rubber bladders can be repaired fairly easily and replacement sacs are available.

Vacuum fillers: In the 40s and 50s, various vacuum filling systems were invented. The Parker Vacuumatic and Sheaffer plunger fillers are typical examples. These are seldom in working order when acquired and require special expertise to repair.

2. Nib grade
First of all, don't be suckered by Ebay titles that boast a 14 kt. gold nib. Nibs are made of either karat gold or stainless steel. Modern nibs are usually 18 kt. and often have a platinum (rhodium) mask.

The nib is the heart of the pen. Nib grades are typically Fine, Medium, and Broad (F,M,B). They can also go extra-fine (EF) to extra-broad (BB), and come in oblique, italic, and left-handed varieties (the Parker Duofold, for example, offers 24 nib grades incl. left-handed nibs). Finding the nib grade that best fits your writing style takes some time. What works with one maker's pen may not work with another's.
Once you have found a combination of pen and nib that works for you and you have used it for a while, the nib will wear to some degree and smooth out. At this point, you more or less have a bespoke pen. And if you want true bespoke options in a nib, you can have it modified to suit you exactly. Broken nibs on vintage pens can also be repaired in most cases.

3. Size
You probably want a gentleman's pen unless you're buying that special lady a gift, in which case you probably want a ladies' pen. Modern pens like the Parker Duofold come in the large Centennial size and the smaller International size. Omas has made the Princess and Dama ladies' models that can easily be confused with the larger gentleman's models in an online auction. Often the size will be named differently depending on the maker. This makes it important to learn about a maker's range if you find you have an interest in their pens.

Filling system, nib grade, and size should all be specified in an auction, and often information about size should be stated as an actual measurement. If you are interested in a pen on Ebay and the seller does not give information about any of the above 3 criteria, ask.
post #55 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nantucket Red
I write with fountain pens almost exclusively; the Omas Paragon faceted design, which has been in continuous production since 1930. I also wear a fedora.

If the Montblanc is a Meisterstuck, it will say so on the cap ring. If it's the largest size of Meisterstuck and the gold cap ring with the word "Meisterstuck" is flanked by a sterling silver ring on each side, it is a very valuable pen.

Well, its black, looks like gold bands, the nib is gold(18c) 750? in small #'s and has 4810 at the broad part of the nib. My dad filed the nib down, so it leaves this nice thick mark? Any comments on care /upkeep would be appreciated. thanks.
post #56 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by designprofessor
Well, its black, looks like gold bands, the nib is gold(18c) 750? in small #'s and has 4810 at the broad part of the nib. My dad filed the nib down, so it leaves this nice thick mark? Any comments on care /upkeep would be appreciated. thanks.

750 is 18 kt. and 4810 is the height in meters of Montblanc, which appears on every Montblanc nib. Did your dad file it down or did he order it with a broad nib? The Montblanc broad nib is phenomenally smooth. If he actually filed it, he may have done it severe damage if he removed the iridium tip.

The Meisterstuck comes in 3 sizes: 144, which is the size of a regular pen and uses a cartridge/converter system; 146, which is large and uses a piston filling system; 149, which is very large and also uses a piston system.
Which one do you have?
post #57 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nantucket Red
750 is 18 kt. and 4810 is the height in meters of Montblanc, which appears on every Montblanc nib. Did your dad file it down or did he order it with a broad nib? The Montblanc broad nib is phenomenally smooth. If he actually filed it, he may have done it severe damage if he removed the iridium tip.

The Meisterstuck comes in 3 sizes: 144, which is the size of a regular pen and uses a cartridge/converter system; 146, which is large and uses a piston filling system; 149, which is very large and also uses a piston system.
Which one do you have?

Well its a piston, so probably a 146, 149. Funny story in that he bought this pen back in the 1970's and it was expensive then. The tip was not to his liking, sent it back to Washington DC, and still didn't like the result. I remeber him at his desk with a knife stone getting it how he wanted it. He may very well have damaged it, but I have not tampered with it. I replenish the ink occaisionally and after reading your posts went and got it. i was writing with it today. I actually got a bunch of his old fountain pens, but this was his favorite. I couldn't get the others to work.
post #58 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by designprofessor
Well its a piston, so probably a 146, 149. Funny story in that he bought this pen back in the 1970's and it was expensive then. The tip was not to his liking, sent it back to Washington DC, and still didn't like the result. I remeber him at his desk with a knife stone getting it how he wanted it. He may very well have damaged it, but I have not tampered with it. I replenish the ink occaisionally and after reading your posts went and got it. i was writing with it today. I actually got a bunch of his old fountain pens, but this was his favorite. I couldn't get the others to work.

Just for fun, see if your Montblanc says "Made in West Germany" anywhere on it. They don't make those any more.

What are the other fountain pens? There may be some valuable vintage pieces that can easily be restored.
post #59 of 68
NR: Thanks for the great info. I'm still processing it and comparing against what's out there on ebay. No doubt I'll end up with a pen I can't afford sometime in the next few months

Actually, I may get something cheap to practice/see how I like it, and then something expensive once I get a job.

Tom
post #60 of 68
You could do worse than to start out with a Namiki Vanishing Point. It's inexpensive, convenient, cool-looking, and you won't outgrow it even if you become a pathologically obsessive pen geek like me.
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