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Thread: Suggest a pen for me please

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    Junior Member Investigio's Avatar
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    Default Suggest a pen for me please

    Hi all I have recently got back into calligraphy (engrossers script) and am looking for the perfect pen. I have small ish writing and have found so far the Waterman graduate to best suit my style (though would like a just a little more flex and for that flex to come a bit easier)but was hoping to go gold Can anyone suggest a pen that is comparable but with a gold nib. All suggestions most welcome

    Thanks in advance


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    Default Re: Suggest a pen for me please

    OMG, you are looking for something very few fountain pens in the world can do, going from an extra extra fine hairline to double broad with extremely fast response times. Nothing with a modern nib can do this and very few (and expensive) antique nibs are able to come close. You might want to look at Mauricio's site at vintagepen.net to see what he has available. Otherwise, I might suggest you stick with an oblique dip penholder with Leonardt Principal nibs and Sumi or Higgins ink. I think some of the other members here with calligraphy experience can chime in, such as EmptyofClouds , teodormircea and Pterodactylus.

    All the Best.
    Last edited by junglejim; October 27th, 2018 at 07:55 PM. Reason: spelling

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    Default Re: Suggest a pen for me please

    Wow, I think that is the first time anyone here has suggested that my experience might have some value.


    Anyway, junglejim is right.

    Finding a fountain pen nib that can perform as well as a dip nib for engrossing is going to be frustrating and very expensive. Sellers will often overstate the performance of their wares, and if they do they will overprice them too. Frankly speaking I don't believe it is worth the chase.

    If you talk to any of the well-known contemporary calligraphers you will find they all use dip nibs. If you look through historical archives you will find that the famous names from the past all used dip nibs. The pattern is obvious. If you want to do engrossing, learn to use a dip pen.

    If you want to just practice letter forms without the swells then any writing tool will do. There is no mystery to any of this, only the desire to practice and the will to do so!

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    Default Re: Suggest a pen for me please

    desiderata pen company

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    Default Re: Suggest a pen for me please

    Quote Originally Posted by Investigio View Post
    Hi all I have recently got back into calligraphy (engrossers script) and am looking for the perfect pen. I have small ish writing and have found so far the Waterman graduate to best suit my style (though would like a just a little more flex and for that flex to come a bit easier)but was hoping to go gold Can anyone suggest a pen that is comparable but with a gold nib. All suggestions most welcome

    Thanks in advance


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    You can try going back into Waterman's history. A ringtop Waterman 52-1/2 would not be prohibitively expensive and there is a good chance that the IDEAL 14K nib on it has high-quality flex.
    - Will
    Sketches with restored vintage fountain pens: Redeem Pens

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    Investigio (October 28th, 2018)

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    Default Re: Suggest a pen for me please

    That sounds like a vintage nib need if ever i've heard one. In my experiences, that kind of flex just doesn't exist in modern pens. If you are after a writing experience alone and don't care about manufacturer there are many no name BCHR's from the teens/20's and or frankenpens (lower end~ plated or steel nibs upgraded with a 14K) with wonderfully flexible nibs. These can generally be had for a reasonable price i've found.

    'Reasonable' is subjective to individual wallet density, in my case, lets call reasonable $50-100ish restored and ready to go.

    If name brand matters the price will undoubtedly rise accordingly with rarity/ color/ condition/~ad nauseum.

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    Investigio (October 28th, 2018)

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    Default Re: Suggest a pen for me please

    Another vote for the Desiderata: get a Daedalus in ebonite.



    Comes without clip, but you can use a Fisher .375 clip according to Pierre.

    Otherwise, if you're good at thinkering, there are plenty of guides on the net on how to install a Zebra G nib in all kinds of fountain pens.

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    Default Re: Suggest a pen for me please


    Show_response_1386 by Ptero Pterodactylus, auf Flickr


    Show_response_1387 by Ptero Pterodactylus, auf Flickr

    (Serwex MB flex EMF ..... ESS Registrars Blue/Black
    Montblanc 344 - OB ..... Diamine Oxford Blue)



    I think the major questions are:

    For what purpose do you want the pen?
    How much flex do you need?
    How much money do you want to spend?
    How experienced are you already using flex nibs?


    As said, dip nibs are the cheapest and easiest way, and they provide you the maximum possible flex performance, the way to go if you want to do serious calligraphy.

    You can see it´s also quite easy to modify a modern "flex" nib (what they call flex nib, like an FPR or Noodlers) to become a full flex nib (see my writing sample).
    But this need some tinkering, modifying the nib is not so difficult (you might want to give also the grind some tuning), modifying the feed to support the nib reliable can be a bit more tricky.

    If you do not need really a full flex nib also a semi flex vintage nib might be an option (quite easy to get, not too expensive, also as piston fillers just like modern pens (e.g. Pelikan or Montblanc of the 50s), awesome writers, IMHO outperform any modern pen easily, a pleasure to write with).

    As previous posters said, modern cases with dip nibs like the Desiderata are also an option.

    And last but not least vintage full flex nibs, which require the most amount of money, I love them, but it has to be said, they are always also a gamble, hit or miss, something can always break or need maintenance in a pen 70 up to more than 100 years old, they might also be less convinient as lever/turn nob filler or eyedroppers.
    For sure not daily writers to carry with you all the time.
    I would not recommend this path until you are experienced enough to handle full flex nibs and you are sure that you want to go that way.


    So I think you have to be more specific for what usecase you are searching the pen, how much flex you need and how much money you want to spend.

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    Default Re: Suggest a pen for me please

    Haha,

    Define your flex.

    "Did you just assume my flex?"

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    Default Re: Suggest a pen for me please

    I'm just starting to learn engrosser's script, and I'm using a dip pen, but I do know that John Mottishaw offers what he calls a "Spencerian" modification to the nibs of Pilot Custom 912s and Pilot Falcons that he sells. I've seen pictures of work done with them that I thought looked pretty good. Not sure if they have quite as much flex as a Waterman or Mabie Todd from the 1920s, but they seem close. Maybe someone on this forum who has had first-hand experience of one of his Spencerian nibs could comment. https://www.nibs.com/pens/pilot/pilo...-black-rhodium

    Also Mike Masuyama (http://www.mikeitwork.com) offers a flex modification to 14K nibs. I don't know anything about them, except that he does amazing work. He brought a Sailor 21K nib back from the dead for me, and made it write better than ever.
    Last edited by calamus; October 29th, 2018 at 12:25 PM.
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    Senior Member manoeuver's Avatar
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    Default Re: Suggest a pen for me please

    Quote Originally Posted by calamus View Post
    I'm just starting to learn engrosser's script, and I'm using a dip pen, but I do know that John Mottishaw offers what he calls a "Spencerian" modification to the nibs of Pilot Custom 912s and Pilot Falcons that he sells. I've seen pictures of work done with them that I thought looked pretty good. Not sure if they have quite as much flex as a Waterman or Mabie Todd from the 1920s, but they seem close. Maybe someone on this forum who has had first-hand experience of one of his Spencerian nibs could comment. https://www.nibs.com/pens/pilot/pilo...-black-rhodium

    Also Mike Masuyama (http://www.mikeitwork.com) offers a flex modification to 14K nibs. I don't know anything about them, except that he does amazing work. He brought a Sailor 21K nib back from the dead for me, and made it write better than ever.
    I've used the Mottishaw-modded FA nib on a 912. I've added it to my To Acquire list, it's wonderful. An unmodded FA in the 912 isn't too shabby either, but you're not going to get true hairlines.
    The Desiderata pens are nice, I've found they need a good bit of fiddling to get them writing reliably, but the Zebra G gets the hairlines and the flex pretty well.

    I do believe the offset nature of the dip holders gives an advantage practicing Spencerian or Engrosser's Script.

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    Default Re: Suggest a pen for me please

    Likewise I am using Engrossers script going for the look of the Constitution. I don’t really do larger Calligraphy. I generally like my size to sit nicely on medium or wide ruled paper (I tend to write regencyesque letters for people) an the more compact the better in terms of aesthetics in this case.

    I am currently playing with a cheap Waterman ideal number 2 and quite like that. And have just got a Onito delarue I have to service (yikes not done plunger before)

    Price range is tops around £60


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    Default Re: Suggest a pen for me please

    Quote Originally Posted by manoeuver View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by calamus View Post
    I'm just starting to learn engrosser's script, and I'm using a dip pen, but I do know that John Mottishaw offers what he calls a "Spencerian" modification to the nibs of Pilot Custom 912s and Pilot Falcons that he sells. I've seen pictures of work done with them that I thought looked pretty good. Not sure if they have quite as much flex as a Waterman or Mabie Todd from the 1920s, but they seem close. Maybe someone on this forum who has had first-hand experience of one of his Spencerian nibs could comment. https://www.nibs.com/pens/pilot/pilo...-black-rhodium

    Also Mike Masuyama (http://www.mikeitwork.com) offers a flex modification to 14K nibs. I don't know anything about them, except that he does amazing work. He brought a Sailor 21K nib back from the dead for me, and made it write better than ever.
    I've used the Mottishaw-modded FA nib on a 912. I've added it to my To Acquire list, it's wonderful. An unmodded FA in the 912 isn't too shabby either, but you're not going to get true hairlines.
    The Desiderata pens are nice, I've found they need a good bit of fiddling to get them writing reliably, but the Zebra G gets the hairlines and the flex pretty well.

    I do believe the offset nature of the dip holders gives an advantage practicing Spencerian or Engrosser's Script.
    I agree about the offset nib. Empty_of_Clouds posted this on the pen making sub forum, and it just knocked my socks off. I've got to order one once I start getting proficient at pointed nib calligraphy... or maybe I should get one now before he realizes what he has and quadruples his price!
    Quote Originally Posted by Empty_of_Clouds View Post
    This isn't quite what you're talking about, but perhaps a version to take a vintage gold flex nib would be not beyond the bounds of possibility.



    And here is the LINK to the person selling this on Etsy.
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