Current Most Popular Post

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Weekend Reads 2/4/12

Another week gone, and along with it, all the stresses of work, and our day-to-day life. Yup, it's about time to grab some coffee, relax, and do some reading!

This weeks "Weekend Reads" is just the thing to start your weekend off, on the write note. Not only do I have some amazing links to share, but I've got a wonderful Q&A this time, with tons of great information!

Stay tuned, and don't get too comfortable - I wouldn't want you falling asleep on me. ;)
First things first, my links of the week: top picks from my favorite blogs and forums!

#1: Let's kick things of with a non-typical, and unusual review. This review, by a member of FPN, is one of the best I've ever come across, and is the inspiration for my current one month pocket-challenge. This review doesn't have a lot of pictures. This review doesn't have lots of detailed info on the mechanics of the pen. This review is actually not very detailed at all... What makes it so great? You'll have to read it to truly find out, but it suffices to say that it's the beautiful and heart-warming story of a man, and his favorite fountain pen. A five year journey, going through the drudgery and triumphs of daily life. Trust me, this review is a keeper, and one you don't want to miss.

#2: Next up, how about a quick little something to look at for all you Stipula Passporto fans? Someone mentioned this to me in the comments of my Stipula Passporto FPN LE reivew, and I had to take a look at it myself. If you like the Passporto, but want a non-fountain-pen version for certain tasks, this would be a great choice! Now, for that price, I won't be getting one, but they definitely are tempting, and great looking FP alternatives.

#3: No, it's not truly FP or ink related, but then it sort of is too. If you're like me, and you also have a tech-geek side, you will love this case! Imagine your iPhone, safely stored in a moleskine!

#4: This is a topic that I started on FPN this week. I asked a simple question: "what do you write when you want to write, but have nothing to put down on paper?". I got so many responses, all of them so wonderful, I just had to share! If you have my problem of not writing with your pens enough, check out this post, and read through the hundreds of great suggestions. There's something in there for everyone!

And that concludes my top picks for this week. A lot of good stuff in there, but nothing compared to hwat we're about to dive into! :) Prepare yourself, for some Q&A Time!

Q: "Problem.

An old (Swann) gold nib.
The tines are touching at the tip?
Slit is clear up to the last 5mm?
Hence dry as a kite.

How to 'pull them apart' without damaging them please Tyler?"

A: Widening the flow of a nib is not as hard as it seems, so this shouldn't be too tough of a fix.

First thing you'll need is brass shim stock, in .001" and .002" pieces. You should be able to find them at a good hobby shop, or online.

Once you have those, you'll first wan't to try "flossing" the nib with the .001". Run the brass shim through the slit carefully. Though it's safer than trying to use a knife like some folks, a brass shim can still damage your nib or feed. 

After flossing for about 5-10 seconds, try the nib again. Normally the flossing won't make a huge difference, but it's best to take it slow and test it as you go.

Next, you'll want to try the bigger brass piece - the .002" Do the same thing, and test.

If by now the nib is still dry, it's time for a slightly more "meaningful" approach. Put the brass shim between the tines, and very gently wiggle it side to side. This must be done carefully, as overdoing can cause just the tip of the iridium to bend away, and thus ruin  your nib. Try to bend the whole tine outward when you wiggle, and not just the very tip.

Click on image for a larger view
If after this, you're nib is still too dry, then we'll go for the "hands on" method.

Stand the pen up so the nib is up at the ceiling, and the bottom is resting on something soft, on top of a table.

Make the feed facing you, and the top of the nib with the logo) facing away. Now, carefully use your finger nails (on your thumbs) to grasp the shoulders of the tines, and pull them outward. Keep your fingers on the top of the nib to prevent it from slipping, or twisting.

Click on image for a larger view
Go slow, and keep doing this until you've achieved the desired flow-rate for your pen. Then, enjoy it!

Q: "What is the difference in how the plunger (Vac-Fill) system works compared to a lever filler and how difficult is sac replacement?"

A: A Sheaffer Vac-Fill is a very different animal compared to a sac-pen, or lever-filler in this case.

A Vac-Fill has no internal sac at all, but instead, fills using the entire barrel as a reservoir. In some cases, there is an internal "ink-tank", but still not sac.

Take a look at this thread on FPN. There are some amazing rendered-images on there, that will help you to better understand how the Vac-Fill system works. I'd post pictures of my own, but this post would outdo them any way. :)

The main differences are: 
  • Filling via a vacuum created by a plunger, as opposed to compression of an ink sac.
  • Holding the ink in the barrel, or an ink-tank within the barrel, as opposed to a sac.
  • since there's no sac, there's also an absence of any kind of pressure bar or lever.
  • A good deal harder to restore, and a good deal more rewarding too. :)

Q: "Do you use an ultrasonic cleaner on some of your fountain pens (or fountain pen parts) to rid them of clogged ink? If so, what brand(s) do  you recommend for this purpose?"

A: Yes, I do use an ultra sonic cleaner for messy pens, nibs and parts.

I personally however, find the USC limited, and not always necessary. It's very convenient sometimes, and then other times it's just an extra step.

A USC is great for pens that have recently had ink in them, and will usually get those ones very clean.

But when I run into a vintage pen, that has 50-year-old dried ink in it, the USC doesn't cut it for me. And that's usually what I'm dealing with too.

For tough grimy nibs, I need to do some hard scrubbing, with Simichrome, a polishing rag, and occasionally my rotary tool with a buffing wheel.

Overall, unless you need a USC to throw in a bunch of parts at one time, you're probably better off just sticking with washing your pen off in running water. There is a good time and place for a USC, but I don't find it very often.

As to recommended brands: I've only tried one, so I don't have a very big opinion here. This is what I've been told by those I've asked.

Gemoro (same brand that makes mine) seems to be moderately well-price, but still has some of the best US Cleaners out there. They all have great reviews, and mine has fare very well so far, never giving me any trouble. I got mine from Amazon, for around $80.00, which I was happy to pay. There are tons of cheap $20.00 USC's out there, but they're not even worth looking at... There are also tons of $300.00 ones too. :)

And that there sums up my Q&A Time for the week. Hope you enjoyed that one. I've got lots more to come next week!

But don't forget to keep the questions coming! Email if you have any!

Now lastly, the Blog-Forecast:

Coming up this week (hopefully :)

  • Clairefontaine Staplebound Duo review. I missed it this week, since I suddenly decided to do the Stipula Passporto review. Turned out to be a great week anyways! but, this review is long due now, so I'm shooting for this Monday to have it up.
  • Stipula Passporto VS. Kaweco Sport
  • Ink reviews! Don't how many, but I want to get up at least 1 or 2.

Well, I hope you've enjoyed this edition of the "Weekend Reads"! Please leave me a comment below if you have questions, comments, suggestions, or just want to share some thoughts!

Have a great Weekend everybody. See you all on Monday!

Tyler Dahl

No comments:

Post a Comment