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Thread: Review: Noodler's Boston Safety Pen

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    Default Review: Noodler's Boston Safety Pen


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    chalkdust (May 10th, 2018), fountainpen51 (May 6th, 2018), gloucesterman-18 (October 5th, 2018), Gobblecup (May 6th, 2018), Pterodactylus (May 27th, 2018)

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    Default Re: Review: Noodler's Boston Safety Pen

    Thanks for the rundown of the Boston Safety Pen! I appreciated the review. I wonder what other types of nibs would fit. I haven’t owned a safety pen in a number of years, I enjoyed my old one before it was swiped from me. I think a vintage gold flex nib would really be nice in this pen.

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    Default Re: Review: Noodler's Boston Safety Pen

    Thanks for the review.

    Having recently used a vintage Waterman safety that I restored recently, I certainly can appreciate a pen that can keep a nib inked all the time.
    - Will
    Unique and restored vintage pens: Redeem Pens

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    Default Re: Review: Noodler's Boston Safety Pen

    Thanks for the review.

    I could see me fumbling this at just the wrong moment, and ending up wearing the ink. Very clever design, but the best choice of pen for a clumsy bugger like me.

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    Default Re: Review: Noodler's Boston Safety Pen

    I think I'll try and get hold of one of these when Niche should get them back into stock.
    The Good Captain
    (Gaston F Limoges)
    "Meddler's 'Salamander' - almost as good as the real thing!"

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    Default Re: Review: Noodler's Boston Safety Pen

    My Noodler's Boston Safety pen looks just like the one shown in the video by alanlight at the beginning of this thread. I really, really like my Noodler's Boston Safety, though I did have a little difficulty with it as described below. However, I have never had any issue with its ink flow or its writing characteristic. The feed on mine works wonderfully and properly supplies pages and pages of ink continuously as I need it. Also the nib/feed does not dry out at all quickly, so there is less need to quickly recap the pen if it will be unused for twenty minutes (I am using X-Feather ink) - I have actually timed this. I am not saying that it began to exhibit hard starts at twenty minutes, but that test did not go longer than that and it never had hard starts.

    So, now for the little bit of trouble I had - - I want to emphasize that I do not claim my experience will be representative of anyone else's. And I want to emphasize that I think this pen is a great design and a pen which I continue to use regularly.

    I posted the following also on another fountain pen site.

    This may be a bit long, but I do not want to suggest that these problems or repairs are major. I am not experienced in fountain pen repair. I have watched Nathan Tardiff’s video about disassembling the pen more than once - but that does not create expertise. I have no special tools. All I used was my hands, some paper towels, some silicon grease from Goulet Pens, some plumber’s teflon tape, and my kitchen sink.

    The problem was that the pen broke somewhere inside. The symptom was that the nib would not retract when the back part of the pen was twisted and pulled back. The nib was just stuck in the writing position. This happened while I was away from home, but it was no trouble to put the cap on the pen. Putting the cap on, pushed the nib unit into the body of the pen. There was no spilling or leaking or any trouble.

    When I disassembled the pen, I found that nothing was physically broken, just two parts were unscrewed. I am not sure what to name all of the parts, so I will try to be descriptive. The thing that holds the nib and feed and moves in and out of the pen and seals again the interior of the body is a part that I will call the “carrier.” The carrier has a wide part that seals against the body to prevent ink from leaking when writing. I will call that wide part of the carrier the “collar.” Behind the collar, the carrier becomes narrower and ends with a threaded bit that screws into a thicker rod that I will call the “interior rod” because all of it always remains inside the body. The interior rod screws into the exterior rod which extends outside of the body.

    The part of my pen that came unscrewed is where the carrier attaches to the interior rod. Those parts were manufactured incorrectly. The male threads were too narrow so the male part could be inserted most of the way into the female part without any turning at all. So I wrapped teflon tape around the male threads so that it had to be twisted to screw into the female part. To be clear, the teflon tape is just there to take up space so the joint is tighter. OK, that was not hard to to do and is easily undone in the future if I need to.

    The first time I tried this, I did not put any silicon grease onto the part of the body that the carrier’s collar seals against. This made extending and retracting the nib to require more force than is good. It made the extending and retracting action jerky, not smooth. The jerkiness caused some unintended drops of ink to spit out, particularly when retracting the nib. It also required so much force that the teflon tape fix broke again.

    So I disassembled again and used A LOT of teflon tape. I also used a Q-tip to put plenty of silicon grease into the front body of the pen. With a flashlight I looked carefully at the grease to make sure it was evenly applied and did not have excess that might come in contact with the nib or feed! Reassembly is easy.

    Now my Noodler’s Boston Safety extends and retracts smoothly. I have gone through two fillings this way and have had no troubles.

    By the way, my pen has never burped ink like eyedropper pens are prone to do. I have used it until it goes completely empty and it always flows properly and does not leak or burp or do anything bad. It has never burped or leaked ink in the cap. Also, the feed never requires me to retract the nib just to get more ink. The feed feeds just fine for pages of writing.

    I probably could have returned the pen to the seller, because of the manufacturing flaw. But I am glad I kept it and figured out how to fix it. It feels more like it is mine now. I also know that if I need to fix it again it is simple to do. Let’s face it, slippery teflon tape is not likely to stay in place for years of use. I may think of a better fix later, but who knows. In the meantime, the pen is working great for me.

    As I said at the the beginning, all of this was simple to do and required no special tools. It only took a few minutes to do. It probably took less time than reading this post!
    Last edited by chalkdust; May 27th, 2018 at 03:15 PM.

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    Default Re: Review: Noodler's Boston Safety Pen

    What does the term "Safety" mean in a pen? Should I not turn my back on my regular pens?
    "Nolo esse salus sine vobis ...” —St. Augustine

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    Default Re: Review: Noodler's Boston Safety Pen

    Quote Originally Posted by VertOlive View Post
    What does the term "Safety" mean in a pen? Should I not turn my back on my regular pens?
    Safety Pens were introduced 1908 by Waterman.
    They have a retractable nib and a screw on cap.
    Saftey they are called because they are ink tight, no ink can run out (in opposite to other designs) no matter what you do with the pen.
    This was a major innovation at that time.

    I also own a about a century old Waterman 45 which I really like.
    The only thing which is different, you have to hold them always upright when unscrew them, otherwise the whole ink will just run out, and these pens hold a lot of ink....


    Here is mine:


    Show_response_13 by Ptero Pterodactylus, auf Flickr

    (Waterman 45 BCHR Safety)


    newWaterman45_picture_05 by Ptero Pterodactylus, auf Flickr


    The downside is, that the mechanics for the retractable nib and the sealing is quite complex compared to traditional pens.
    Last edited by Pterodactylus; May 27th, 2018 at 04:07 PM.

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    Default Re: Review: Noodler's Boston Safety Pen

    Quote Originally Posted by Pterodactylus View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by VertOlive View Post
    What does the term "Safety" mean in a pen? Should I not turn my back on my regular pens?
    Safety Pens were introduced 1908 by Waterman.
    They have a retractable nib and a screw on cap.
    Saftey they are called because they are ink tight, no ink can run out (in opposite to other designs) no matter what you do with the pen.
    This was a major innovation at that time.

    I also own a about a century old Waterman 45 which I really like.
    The only thing which is different, you have to hold them always upright when unscrew them, otherwise the whole ink will just run out, and these pens hold a lot of ink....


    Here is mine:


    Show_response_13 by Ptero Pterodactylus, auf Flickr

    (Waterman 45 BCHR Safety)


    newWaterman45_picture_05 by Ptero Pterodactylus, auf Flickr


    The downside is, that the mechanics for the retractable nib and the sealing is quite complex compared to traditional pens.
    Your post confirms my earlier thinking, that I would be LESS safe with one of these pens in my dimwitted possession.

    The reason I say that, is that with one of these pens, no ink can come out, or all the ink can come out, whereas "normal" pens, might let some of the ink out. If some of the ink comes out of my normal pen due to my stupidity or mishandling, I'm going to make less mess, ruin less stuff, and possibly still have a functioning pen until I can get back to my ink bottles. If you have a brain fart or fumble with a "safety" pen, you're in for a whole lot more trouble.

    I think this might have been less of an issue when people only had one pen and one ink for everything they did, and you get used to the same handling all day every day, but for people who frequently switch between pens, or are using pens in persistently distracting circumstances (be it phones, colleagues, kids, cats, or whatever) I can see this being wonderful ... right up until you're swimming in ink.

    I confuse myself enough just switching between pull off caps and screw off caps. One of these would just be a ticking timebomb for me.

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    Default Re: Review: Noodler's Boston Safety Pen

    Wuddus brings up important points. Because the Safety pen is very different from what has become a standard form, careful consideration must be put into its purchase and use. In terms of what would appeal to the most people, it should be remembered that the standard form, adopted by the most people, is not the Safety. So why do I like it so much? First, I like unusual things that require extra care and thought in use. Second I like things with some historical significance. Third I like ebonite. Fourth I like Noodler's Ink Co. Fifth I like the design of a fountain pen that would be impervious to air pressure differences of air travel. Those are all preferences that existed before I bought and began using the pen. But after I began using the pen, I recognized the benefits of having the nib and feed bathed in ink when not in use. My pen never ever ever has hard starts or skips. So let's list that as number six. Number seven surprised me. My common practice when using fountain pens is to recap the pen whenever writing will pause for more than a minute. It is a habit developed from using several pens over several years. The nib and feed can dry out. So at first, the Safety pen was a bit of a pain to use because recapping it means flipping the pen nib up, retracting the nib, then recapping (which takes a few more turns than many pens). But then I began to wonder if I really need to recap the Safety when my writing pauses. I discovered than I do not! I think this is because the nib and feed are normally saturated. That is unusual for a fountain pen. In fact, it makes the Safety pen more useful for note taking and using at work where I often alternate between keyboard and handwriting. I simply leave the pen uncapped during any pause. If the pause end up lasting more that thirty minutes, I retract the nib, recap the pen, and give it little jostle to bathe the nib and feed. It is so simple and effective! So the number seven reason is that it is more convenient for me at work, where handwriting is not continuous, than other fountain pens.

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