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J H S
April 12th, 2015, 09:56 AM
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Here is the cool Pelikan 400 'extra flex' I recently bought from Vasco.
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http://fpgeeks.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=17999&stc=1
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The pen arrived promptly, in stated condition. I had to do a bit of research and practice to get the hang of the flex nib, which is all good, and even helps my guitar playing with a lighter touch.
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http://fpgeeks.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=18000&stc=1
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Now, in week two, I'm totally hooked on the flex nib, and the only issue I have is one of flow. I understand writing with flex is more slow and deliberate, and the angle of attack is critical. No doubt, each hand is going to experience the nib in a personal way, and the response of the nib is going to reflect this.
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http://fpgeeks.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=18001&stc=1
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I've changed my grip and learned to curl my ring and little finger so that my basic tripod grip is floating above the paper, and the drive is incorporating the whole arm and shoulder to a greater extent than before. I've also raised my point of grip to the barrel, just above the barrel threads, which helps greatly in establishing a more agreeable angle of flex-nib to paper. Still, I'm experiencing some tracking, and I hate to double strike to fill missing ink! Now, as soon as I find a hint of railroading, I turn the piston until I see a peek of ink in the breather hole, and then continue on my merry way.
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http://fpgeeks.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=18002&stc=1
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I am unsure how to strengthen the flow, and the nib is too fine for me to be hacking on. I'm pretty decent with my hands, and used to make knives by hand so I guess I know enough to not be learning nib and feed work on a fine vintage flex nib assembly. My intuition is that it may not be a flow issue per se, but a breathing issue, where the developed difference of pressure is inhibiting the juice I want. All I really know is that when this nib is well fed, heaven ensues. I'd be interested in how one approaches this issue. I'll send it off if need be, but I still want to learn. In the writing sample below, one can see where I tweaked the piston to goose the flow a bit, as well as a few tracks.

Happy waffle day!

Jim
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http://fpgeeks.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=18003&stc=1

Jeph
April 12th, 2015, 12:01 PM
The nib and feed were not designed to be used for calligraphy work. You should not need to force ink out with the piston. I suggest that you simply slow down and give time for air to replace the ink being used. Overall the flow looks pretty good in your picture. The feed also looks saturated in your picture so I do not think your flow is abnormally low. In fact, it looks to be on the verge of too wet. I would not hack the feed trying to get more flow, although it is possible. I have an old 140 that can go from F to 4B and I can force it out of ink if I try, but with a calm and deliberate pace it will write all day like that. I did not modify the feed or the nib.

One suggestion that would probably help, is that you appear to be overdoing the flex some. The key is not big, fat, juicy lines (although they can be fun), but line variation. I would call at least 80% of your marks to be with pressure. Try to drop that below 50% and see how your writing looks and how your ink flow acts.

J H S
April 12th, 2015, 12:12 PM
I suspect you are right. I've never used a flex nib before (obviously)
And when I do write with a light touch there is rarely a problem with flow.

I've got another pen with italic bold nib on the way, so I think I will follow your advice and let this pen be what it is, which is great, and use the bold nib for when I need thick writing like this to be read at distance.

thanks.

J H S
April 14th, 2015, 06:02 AM
Sooper Duper!~

my ink flow problem is solved via this thread: http://fpgeeks.com/forum/showthread.php/9558-Lubricants-for-ink.

this place do rock.

I added 3 drops of glycerin to an ounce of ink, filled my Pel and she wrote swell!

Now I can go from light to heavy flex at full speed, with more glide, and so far no hard starts, skips, or railroading.

I still have a bit of love hate relationship going with my 400, but certainly not because of the nib or feed. I'm finding the grip area just too narrow for my pudgy paw, yet there doesn't seem to be any possibility of a fine vintage nib on a larger m600 or m800, so I'm two~faced with trading or keeping it. It is fine to write with though.

Time will tell, but meantime I'm frustration free in terms of ink to paper~

I've used glycerin before making paint from raw materials but was a bit edgy on running it through a pen feed.

Thanks to the OP, and Mr. Tardiff for sharing so much of his knowledge.

Jim