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Shishigami_Reishin
June 6th, 2016, 05:08 PM
Hello, I'm actually searching a flex pen with line variation. I heard of some interesting ones such as noodler's pens and the serwex mb, also the vintage flex pens ( Waterman's ideal, sheaffer, etc) but I thought those were too much expensive (~150€) and actually I can't sell my left arm to buy a pen :3.

So I was wondering if it's a good idea for price and flex to buy a pen nibbed with the zebra G nib. Is ahab or serwex mb better flex experience ? I need your advices, because I currently just have a lamy safari with broad nib.

NB: I heard of stub/italic nibs too but I don't know if it's what I want.. I want to flex when I want and not every times the pen goes vertical.

Thanks by advance !

scrivelry
June 6th, 2016, 07:28 PM
A flex dip pen nib and a nib holder is a very good choice for getting into using flex nibs. I think you can get them that flex much more than the Ahab or Serwex, but I am not 100 percent certain.

Some people have had good results using the Zebra G nibs in Chinese fountain pens. However, I think that to begin, the Zebra G nib and a regular pen holder is a better idea.

Not everyone ends up liking flex as much as they thought they would, vintage nibs are pricey and you don't want to ruin them once you've got them, for these and probably other reasons as well the nib and pen holder, with a bottle of ink, is a great way to start.

I personally like writing with italic nibs, but that is with my "regular" cursive - what I was taught in elementary school. There are special scripts which call for an italic nib - medieval ones, in particular - and special scripts which call for flex - 19th century ones in particular. They are two very different techniques and looks.

SIR
June 7th, 2016, 01:47 PM
Ackerman pump pens
http://www.ackermanpens.com
http://static1.squarespace.com/static/5584d812e4b0a4502730bb4f/56de4f7d01dbaeec7a865836/56f04e7ec6fc086f453ddade/1458671720081/pp_mangag_sm.png?format=1500w
c.€50 including shipping.

Terie_Benjamin
June 7th, 2016, 03:00 PM
That's the coolest pen ever. Do you have any experience with this?

SIR
June 7th, 2016, 03:10 PM
No, still yet to 'acquire' one but the moment could be getting closer - I am using dip pens more, so could well be a justifiable addition to the pen pot.

Terie_Benjamin
June 7th, 2016, 03:14 PM
Such a great price I think I might have to order it.

Pterodactylus
June 7th, 2016, 04:47 PM
The Noodlers and FPR flex nibs are per default not really flexible, you can call them semi flex.

But with not much effort you can turn them into reasonable flex pens.

Take a look at the EMF mod.
http://www.fountainpennetwork.com/forum/topic/240492-noodlers-ahab-ease-my-flex-mod/

Unfortunately I did not created an EMF thread here yet (but I will do soon)
Please notice that I can΄t respond to the FPN thread anymore as they disabled my account there.
If you have any questions I΄m happy to answer them here (at this great uncensored place). :)

As said dip pens are also always an option (but at least me they always give troubles regarding flow, I prefer FPs, they are easier to use for me)

To go vintage is always an option, but it's most likely a good idea to try dip nibs or an EMF nib before to see if you like flexible nibs before spending more money.

Btw. You can also only flex a flex nib on the vertical stroke, not horizontal.
Italic nibs are also great.
I love nibs with character, flex and italic ones.

Shishigami_Reishin
June 8th, 2016, 04:19 AM
Ok, thanks for the answer. Is it possible to buy a vintage flex around ~50€ ? I don't believe it but if it is, I'll try to find one.
If not the pump pen or the ahab will be an alternative.

SIR
June 8th, 2016, 07:09 AM
Ok, thanks for the answer. Is it possible to buy a vintage flex around ~50€ ? I don't believe it but if it is, I'll try to find one.
If not the pump pen or the ahab will be an alternative.

Just my own opinion, but having had an Ahab I found the build quality of the pen left a lot to be desired; also, though the flex nib is good, it isn't nearly as good as the nibs available on the Ackerman.

Oh, and yes one can definitely get vintage flex for around €50 but you should be discerning and very much shop around;
just an example of one UK seller's wares - http://www.writetime.co.uk/nothingover/nothingover.htm ;).

carlos.q
June 8th, 2016, 07:22 AM
You could also look into some modern flex fountain pens:

http://www.desideratapens.com/

penwash
June 8th, 2016, 07:43 AM
Ok, thanks for the answer. Is it possible to buy a vintage flex around ~50€ ? I don't believe it but if it is, I'll try to find one.
If not the pump pen or the ahab will be an alternative.

I think you can.
What you won't get is a working vintage pen that flex wonderfully *and* looks amazingly preserved.

But if you want a good user-grade vintage flex pen, 65-75 USD is not an absurd budget.

Dreck
June 8th, 2016, 08:13 AM
If you already have a pen and just need a flex nib, I would be more than happy to send one to you. I replaced all of my Noodler's flex nibs with Fine #6 Knox ones.

Shishigami_Reishin
June 8th, 2016, 09:40 AM
I just have a lamy Safari actually, I don't know if it's good.

Pterodactylus
June 8th, 2016, 10:02 AM
IMO, it is very difficult to get a nice vintage full flex pen for 100€ or less.
Not everything which is sold as flex pen is really one (and is in a good restored condition)
The definitions are not fixed, even if you see a writing sample you can't be sure that the seller didn't squeezed the nib with brute force until the nib begged for mercy.

I would still try dip nibs or (EMF) modern "Flex" Nibs (FPR, Noodlers) first.
They are cheap, you can't damage them easily, you can test them and learn how to write with it.

Shishigami_Reishin
June 8th, 2016, 11:00 AM
Ok. Good idea. I will maybe start a job in some months/years and after I'll be able to buy a vintage flex and maybe a pump pen before ^^.

SIR
June 8th, 2016, 02:32 PM
Such a great price I think I might have to order it.

Why, you...
One pen plus an extra nib unit - £40 including shipping, thanks!
;)

penwash
June 8th, 2016, 02:51 PM
IMO, it is very difficult to get a nice vintage full flex pen for 100€ or less.
Not everything which is sold as flex pen is really one (and is in a good restored condition)
The definitions are not fixed, even if you see a writing sample you can't be sure that the seller didn't squeezed the nib with brute force until the nib begged for mercy.

I restore and sell vintage pens and I do provide writing samples.
The statement emphasized above does not apply to me (in fact, I really doubt that it applies to anybody else who have sold vintage pens for a significant length of time).

I don't "squeeze" nibs more than what they are capable of. Why do that? That would just ruin a perfectly good nib.
If the nib is a good flex, it'll show, if not, it'll show too.

This is one of the latest pen I sold:

https://c2.staticflickr.com/8/7781/27366765936_765649dc47_z.jpg

The buyer bought this pen as his third, from me. And he knows how to use a flex nib.

Pterodactylus
June 8th, 2016, 03:39 PM
IMO, it is very difficult to get a nice vintage full flex pen for 100€ or less.
Not everything which is sold as flex pen is really one (and is in a good restored condition)
The definitions are not fixed, even if you see a writing sample you can't be sure that the seller didn't squeezed the nib with brute force until the nib begged for mercy.

I restore and sell vintage pens and I do provide writing samples.
The statement emphasized above does not apply to me (in fact, I really doubt that it applies to anybody else who have sold vintage pens for a significant length of time).

I don't "squeeze" nibs more than what they are capable of. Why do that? That would just ruin a perfectly good nib.
If the nib is a good flex, it'll show, if not, it'll show too.

This is one of the latest pen I sold:

https://c2.staticflickr.com/8/7781/27366765936_765649dc47_z.jpg

The buyer bought this pen as his third, from me. And he knows how to use a flex nib.


https://c1.staticflickr.com/8/7034/27513442736_e411260246_o.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/HVgzYm)
Show_response_957 (https://flic.kr/p/HVgzYm) by Ptero Pterodactylus (https://www.flickr.com/photos/117783735@N07/), auf Flickr

(Serwex MB flex EMF ..... ESS Registrars Blue/Black)

Nice pen you sold.
May I ask for how much you sold it?

penwash
June 8th, 2016, 04:11 PM
https://c1.staticflickr.com/8/7034/27513442736_e411260246_o.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/HVgzYm)
Show_response_957 (https://flic.kr/p/HVgzYm) by Ptero Pterodactylus (https://www.flickr.com/photos/117783735@N07/), auf Flickr

(Serwex MB flex EMF ..... ESS Registrars Blue/Black)

Nice pen you sold.
May I ask for how much you sold it?

I guess I'm uncomplicated.
Honesty is the best policy. And usually it's the easiest route to a rewarding experience.

(Nice writing, as usual, btw).

The pen was sold for $70 because he's a repeat buyer and we became FP friends.
I believe it will sold for higher if I waited, but since he asked for it, I gave it to him.

Shishigami_Reishin
June 9th, 2016, 02:33 AM
You say that you sell restored vintage FP for 70$ But after say that it was for a friend.
The conclusion is that pterodactylus said the truth : under 100$ is pretty impossible.

I actually can't put so much money in a FP. But maybe in the future I could buy the Waterman with #7 keyhole nib. *.*

And so actually the best choice is : ahab.
But I saw ahab could have some railroading for flex, that the serwex mb doesn't have, but that last have skipping with normal writing.

Which should I choose ? Actually I'm confused x).

Pterodactylus
June 9th, 2016, 03:29 AM
You can choose the one or the other both are suitable , non of them will work as a good (full) flex pen without tweaking, and this is a fact, currently you can't get a good flex experience out of the box from a modern pen.

Modifying the nib is quite easy, tweaking the feed is the difficult part.
I suggest to read the EMF thread on FPN I linked above.

Or go the dip nib path first....

penwash
June 9th, 2016, 07:31 AM
You say that you sell restored vintage FP for 70$ But after say that it was for a friend.
The conclusion is that pterodactylus said the truth : under 100$ is pretty impossible.


You are of course, entitled to a conclusion. Unfortunately, the one you made above is incorrect.

I definitely sold a couple of really good *vintage* flex for under $100.
The "friend" part of my statement was there because Ptero was asking about that specific Epenco pen, it has nothing to do with other pens I sold that are also below $100.

Actually, there is nothing to be confused about. Modern "flex" cannot compete with a really good vintage flex.
But here is the key, *not* all vintage flex nibs are good either. Tons of junk out there.
So your choices are two:
1) Wade through ebay and restore your own vintage flex nib
or
2) Buy from those who'll find, restore, and test it for you

People who bought from me chose no.2. It's that simple.

Shishigami_Reishin
June 9th, 2016, 08:48 AM
Is there a comon model of vintage flexible pen (That we easily found) but unknown, at almost the same price of the ahab ? i mean arround 25€ or 35-40 ?
I think not but i could be wrong.
If not i'll buy the Ahab and wait for money. I don't want to miss a good deal. ^^
By the way thanks for all the answers i learned a lot ;).

carlos.q
June 9th, 2016, 11:08 AM
….currently you can't get a good flex experience out of the box from a modern pen.

[…]

Or go the dip nib path first....

I believe that was the idea behind the Desiderata Pen Company: a modern pen with Zebra G flex nibs. For those who want full flex and the convenience of a fountain pen it seems the way to go.

25062

For the record: I'm not affiliated in any way with this company. In fact, I have no use at all for flex nibs.

Please see post #31 below. Picture is NOT mine!!!

Pterodactylus
June 9th, 2016, 12:08 PM
Carlos, great penmanship, awesome, well done !
If this is no usage for a flex nib then I don't know what is.

Yeah, it is a real flex pen, but as it uses a dip nib it has a limited lifespan.
The Zebra G nib will last not very long when it is mounted in a pen with continuous ink contact.

I remember that EoC used Zebra G nibs in fountain pens, but they lasted only a couple of weeks until they corroded.

earthdawn
June 9th, 2016, 12:31 PM
CARLOS !!!

Wow that is some beautiful penmanship :clap2:

I hope you sent that to Pierre to see.

SIR
June 9th, 2016, 12:32 PM
But what is the price of a new nib, the desiderata and ackerman pens are designed with the replacement of nibs by the user as a very definite and essential feature.
And if you are aware of the corrosion issue, you remember to clean the nibs after use, don't you?

earthdawn
June 9th, 2016, 12:38 PM
SIR ~ Jetpens is one of the places you can find them.

$13.50 for a 10 pack

http://www.jetpens.com/Zebra-Comic-Pen-Nib-G-Model-Chrome-Pack-of-10/pd/4195

Fantastic replacement price and they are about that anywhere you will find them ...

SIR
June 9th, 2016, 12:42 PM
Sorry Earthdawn, I was being kinda rhetorical... We are in complete agreement; the low price of replacement nibs makes their relatively short lifespan a negligible consideration.

Pterodactylus
June 9th, 2016, 12:51 PM
You are Right, this is a reasonable option.
At least if you are a heavy user, not only writing with it now and then.

What filling system does it have?

Is the nib replacement easy?

carlos.q
June 9th, 2016, 12:53 PM
Pterodactylus and Earthdawn:
Ooooops! The picture I posted is not mine!!! I forgot to add that it comes from the Desiderata web page.
My own writing is chicken scratch.... :banplease:

SIR
June 12th, 2016, 01:01 AM
Semi flex, £45
http://www.heritagecollectables.com/DSC_2894.JPG
1930s Mabie Todd Swan SM205/60 in good overall condition

Or

Semi flex, £69
http://www.heritagecollectables.com/DSC_3877.JPG
Again a 1930s Mabie Todd Swan, but this time a 200/60 and in "absolute mint" condition.

http://www.heritagecollectables.com/Mabie%20Todd.htm

Empty_of_Clouds
June 12th, 2016, 01:30 AM
Desiderata Daedalus - US $70 - takes a dip pen (zebra G) and is built to be robust.

I wouldn't bother with the Ackerman pens based on the reviews.

Finding good sellers like penwash is always going to be good for you in the long run (and probably the short run too) - and I only regret that I do not know him myself.

I bought a Waterman 52 with a modestly flexible nib for $20 a few weeks ago on eBay. Needs a new sac and I had to fix the lever box - this is my first EVER pen repair, and if I can do it I am certain everyone else can.



Now a caution:

If you look on eBay for really flexible pens then be prepared to pay exorbitant prices for any in reasonable (and sometimes substandard) condition.

If you spend enough time on there looking you will build an idea of who is gouging.

There are long-time sellers who will shout from the rooftops if they know they have a noodle to sell, and who will not say a thing about a nib that is firm. This, to me, is an underhanded practice aimed at encouraging the buyer to make unsupported assumptions about the flexibility of the nib. These games are easy to spot too if you have a little patience. Pisses me right off quite frankly.

There are reputable sellers who are known to lament the absurdity of prices for flexible pens, but who are more than happy to encourage the drive for higher prices. They will attempt to claim the high ground of "it's what the market demands" if questioned. It's just bullshit.

Basically you need to spend some time just watching on eBay in order to avoid the sharks - and there are many.

SIR
June 12th, 2016, 03:07 AM
Onoto K3, semi flex, late '50s, mint condition and gold fill + gold nib, £55
http://www.heritagecollectables.com/DSC06443.JPG
http://www.heritagecollectables.com/onoto_de_la_rue.htm

Cob
June 12th, 2016, 06:22 AM
I sell a few pens (mostly Swans plus a few Onotos) on ebay. Many of these have flexible nibs - I always provide a writing sample and my pens are always overhauled before sale. I have four up today finishing this evening and another four will go up tonight for next week. I offer a full refund (14 days) if dissatisfied.

My ebay id is pderl. One or two members here know of my pens and over the past 18 months or so I have sold around 300 pens.

Here's one of this week's lot:

25103

Rgds

Cob

penwash
June 12th, 2016, 10:46 AM
Finding good sellers like penwash is always going to be good for you in the long run (and probably the short run too) - and I only regret that I do not know him myself.

I bought a Waterman 52 with a modestly flexible nib for $20 a few weeks ago on eBay. Needs a new sac and I had to fix the lever box - this is my first EVER pen repair, and if I can do it I am certain everyone else can.


EoC, thank you for the kind words.

Replacing the sac is not a big deal, but fixing the lever box on a Waterman 52 deserves special recognition, that thing is fragile (both the lever and the barrel).
That's a super job for your first ever repair!! :thumb:

Empty_of_Clouds
June 12th, 2016, 01:23 PM
Thanks, but I think it was a bit of beginner's luck really. The pins on the lever were not set right and as I was fiddling with a small flat screw driver I must have worked one of the tabs loose. Anyway the whole thing popped out and I was able to reset the pins and put everything back. When the new sac gets here we'll see if the repair will hold. Bit of fun to try though!

Anne
June 13th, 2016, 02:52 PM
Desiderata Daedalus - US $70 - takes a dip pen (zebra G) and is built to be robust.

Have you used the Spencerian No. 1 nibs at all? I wonder how similar the size would be to the Zebra G and if the Daedalus would accept the Spencerian No. 1 nib.

Empty_of_Clouds
June 13th, 2016, 03:20 PM
I have used one, and I don't know if it will fit into the Daedalus. However, considering the high prices for the Spencerian #1 it's probably only going to be relevant to serious calligraphers, and I doubt that they will want to jam that nib in there.

Anne
June 13th, 2016, 03:52 PM
I have used one, and I don't know if it will fit into the Daedalus. However, considering the high prices for the Spencerian #1 it's probably only going to be relevant to serious calligraphers, and I doubt that they will want to jam that nib in there.

Lol I only have one of them:) and just trying to find Something to fit it. I appreciate your answer. I always wanted to ask you because I have read so many of your posts regarding using dip nibs.

Empty_of_Clouds
June 13th, 2016, 04:31 PM
Heh, I'm just a rank amateur, but I do like to use them. I bought precisely one Spencerian #1 just to see what all the fuss was about. Frankly speaking I prefer the vintage Gillott 404. Mind you, I cannot afford those either!

Anne
June 13th, 2016, 04:48 PM
Judging from your writing that I have seen, I would not consider that it came from an amateur:) Thank You for the input on the nib. I will also have to check out other dip nibs too!
I know you and others have always said that they are really one of the best options for nibs that offer true flex.
( the holders are holding me back ...! )

Empty_of_Clouds
June 13th, 2016, 06:53 PM
You are too kind (and probably need stronger prescription glasses, but I digress :)). Straight and oblique holders can be found easily in the US. I got my first oblique at Paper & Ink Arts. Cost $36. I got a straight holder from Bill at Century Turners (or whatever they are called) for about $20. You can get them cheaper but these at least were quite nice materials.

SIR
June 13th, 2016, 11:23 PM
Try a William Mitchell Post Office nib, it is perfect for 'English Roundhand' (aka copperplate, aka spencerian)
http://www.dippennibs.co.uk/proddetail.php?prod=Post
http://www.williammitchellcalligraphy.co.uk/sites/default/files/Post%20Office%20Nib_0.jpg

Anne
June 14th, 2016, 12:31 AM
Thanks SIR and Empty of Clouds - I will check both sites!

welch
June 18th, 2016, 02:14 PM
As suggested above, try a flexible dip pen. Because:

(1) Flex writing requires skill and practice. I have neither. I once gave away a "wet noodle" Senator, a West German pen from the early '50s, judging from the style. It did surprising things -- dazzling things -- but I was trained to write quickly and as clearly as I can. (that's how we were taught in the late '50s in the US).

(2) Old-time dip nib will be less expensive than a vintage flex nib and you can try it without spending 100 EUR or USD.

(3) Fountain pen companies quit making flex nibs in the '40s. The market seems to have evaporated. A flexible fountain pen requires a special nib -- one that bends and snaps back almost like elastic. Flex also requires some special work on the ink feed, because the nib wants more ink when flexed. Pen makers began having trouble competing with ballpoints sometime around 1956, and ballpoints are a rolling equivalent of a stiff nib. Flex fountain pens, I think, are about the opposite of a ballpoint: that made for a tiny market for flex fountain pens by about 1960.

bgreenaker12
June 18th, 2016, 02:58 PM
Have you looked at Noodlers Neponset? It comes with a music nib which is supposed to be fairly flexible, but obviously not as flexible as a nib for a dip pen. I'm always looking for variety in nibs because I draw with my fountain pens I don't write with them a whole lot and I also use dip pens.
Betsy

SIR
June 18th, 2016, 04:14 PM
Fountain pen companies quit making flex nibs in the '40s... Flex fountain pens, I think, are about the opposite of a ballpoint: that made for a tiny market for flex fountain pens by about 1960.

Ballpoints made their impact in the fifties, I believe, and though the availability of flex nibs declined from then on, more than a few manufacturers still offered nibs with an appreciable amount of flex well into the seventies.

welch
June 20th, 2016, 03:11 PM
Fountain pen companies quit making flex nibs in the '40s... Flex fountain pens, I think, are about the opposite of a ballpoint: that made for a tiny market for flex fountain pens by about 1960.

Ballpoints made their impact in the fifties, I believe, and though the availability of flex nibs declined from then on, more than a few manufacturers still offered nibs with an appreciable amount of flex well into the seventies.

I think flex nibs were very, very rare. The entire FP industry was dying; pen manufacturers offered their own ballpoints, but the margins were small. I know / remember Parker prices and Sheaffer PFM prices, as of 1961: P51 and P61 were about $12; P45 was $4.98; Parker Jotter was $1.98. Sheaffer's PFM was about $12. The P61, P51, and PFM could be more expensive if you wanted gold caps or similar. Someone wise (jar?) posted the price for a 1960 Mont Blanc 146: it was the West German equivalent of about $12.

Tony Fischier's great Parker site mentions that Parker felt squeezed. They were selling many Parker 45s, but the margin was much lower than for a "gift pen" like the 61 or 51. That's one reason Parker offered the Parker 75. A new style of high-end pen. Tony or someone else quotes a former Parker manager as saying, "We could never figure out how to make money in the lower-price mass market".

(Incidentally, Lih-tah Wang's P75 site lists many different P75 nibs, but none are flex.)

Using myself as an example: my "get ready to start kindergarten" letter, 1953, was signed with a fountain pen...a bright blue ink that has not faded. I learned cursive writing with a pencil, but by 4th grade (1957 or '58?), we all used fountain pens. Sheaffer "school pens". I got an early Parker 45 and used it until I graduated high school. Got another and used it for a couple of years in college. I switched to a ballpoint -- a BiC "Clic", .025 USD -- when I had to write on bad paper. Up through the mid-'70s, it was not a shock to see someone else with a fountain pen, but more people used ballpoints and fiber-tipped pens.

During that time, I never saw a flex pen. Maybe a few people had them in the UK or Germany, but my impression is that Mabie-Todd and Conway Stewart tried the same strategy as Parker and Sheaffer: sell ballpoints to "everyone" and hope to sell a few expensive fountain pens to be given as gifts.

Cob
June 20th, 2016, 03:29 PM
Mabie Todd & Co Ltd ceased to exist after 1952, the company having been taken over by BIRO to become Biro-Swan. This packed up about 1958 after various attempts to medernise with such dubious confections as The Warwick &c.

Conway Stewart survived until 1975 but by that time, the company was producing inferior-quality plastics pens; one might say that the writing had been on the wall for a while...

Cob

Scrawler
July 3rd, 2016, 12:46 PM
This is an inexpensive way to get a superflex fountain pen.

http://i751.photobucket.com/albums/xx153/FPWriter/wewn_zpsxqpgg36z.jpg

It is a Wearever with an Imperial 101 nib.

http://i751.photobucket.com/albums/xx153/FPWriter/fp1.jpg

Scrawler
July 3rd, 2016, 12:50 PM
This is another way to get a decent full flex fountain pen for a reasonable price.

http://i751.photobucket.com/albums/xx153/FPWriter/fester3.jpg

It is an Esterbrook J with a Banks #14 nib.

http://i751.photobucket.com/albums/xx153/FPWriter/fester2.jpg