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Thread: Stub or CI for an Asian fine nib?

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    Default Stub or CI for an Asian fine nib?

    I have lots of Western stubs and cursive italics, always on either broad or medium nibs. I like the line variation that they provide. I notice more line variation on the B nibs than the M nibs. I have been writing with a lot of Asian F and M nibs recently. I am toying with the idea of having a Sailor or Pilot F nib stubbed or ground to a cursive italic. But then, I wonder, will there still be discernable line variation with an Asian fine nib? I realize that I have never met anyone at a pen function with a stub/CI, or if I did, I was not paying much attention. Has anyone done this? Is this common and I am just blissfully unaware? Do you get nice line variation with such a nib combination?

    TIA!

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    Senior Member Jon Szanto's Avatar
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    Default Re: Stub or CI for an Asian fine nib?

    If you are going Japanese M, and especially F, you might really want to lean toward an italic. While it will be sharper and more necessary to write with care, on a narrow width nib, the roundedness of a true 'stub' grind takes away the limited line differential between horizontal and vertical strokes.

    I, too, used to wonder if it made any sense to do this; in my writing, being of poor penmanship and a left-hander, I haven't done so. My narrowest italics are in the 0.5-0.6 range. That said, a local pen person who has *impeccable* handwriting has many, many pens of this sort. I asked her who did the work, and it was Mark Bacas, who goes by "The Nib Grinder". I tried a couple of them and they were remarkable: fine, precise, and very well crafted. That might be an avenue to explore.
    "When Men differ in Opinion, both Sides ought equally to have the Advantage of being heard by the Publick;
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    Senior Member dneal's Avatar
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    Default Re: Stub or CI for an Asian fine nib?

    Asian F are too fine to stub or italicize. I mean, you can do it; but you won't see much variation at all. Ask me how I know...

    Western fine is pretty much the minimum, although I don't bother with anything less than a M anymore. That gets you a 0.6ish stub or italic.

    -edit-

    Here are some samples I posted on FPN some years ago, salvaged from the Photobucket debacle. They're on a Rhodia dotpad, so you can get a sense of the scale.

    Binder Stub from a Medium Pelikan M400
    Masuyama CI from a Medium Franklin Christof (Jowo)
    Pendleton Brown Butter Line Stub from a Medium Pelikan M600

    M400_zpsb6a77f85.jpeg
    Masuyama_zps69e9b8b7.jpeg
    MBBLS_zpsf813aea4.jpeg
    Last edited by dneal; January 3rd, 2023 at 07:31 PM.

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    Default Re: Stub or CI for an Asian fine nib?

    Quote Originally Posted by dneal View Post
    Asian F are too fine to stub or italicize. I mean, you can do it; but you won't see much variation at all. Ask me how I know...
    One can always beg to differ. In re: my post above, here is one example that she posted in her IG stream, I am sure there are many more from that time and I saw (live) her use a number of reground Japanese small nibs (she is now using other nibs, as well, I think Blue Dew nibs are common). But her hand and Mark Bacas work most definitely can show the strokes and, of course, the size of the lettering is correspondingly smaller.

    "When Men differ in Opinion, both Sides ought equally to have the Advantage of being heard by the Publick;
    and that when Truth and Error have fair Play, the former is always an overmatch for the latter."

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    Default Re: Stub or CI for an Asian fine nib?

    I do beg to differ. Most of that variation is coming from the flex of the soft fine, not the italic or stub grind.

    It’s still not something I would recommend for the average user
    Last edited by dneal; January 3rd, 2023 at 10:44 PM.

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    Default Re: Stub or CI for an Asian fine nib?

    Quote Originally Posted by dneal View Post
    I do beg to differ. Most of that variation is coming from the flex of the soft fine, not the italic or stub grind.

    It’s still not something I would recommend for the average user
    To the first point, you aren't giving me any credit - I've seen her use, and I've used some of them, pens that had standard Japanese F and EF nibs (though I mostly remember the F as being ground). She has exceedingly delicate handwriting and touch, and it is apparent that a skilled nibsmith was able to make those tiny tips into italics for her. I happened to grab a photo with an SF, but dude, just believe me that I saw multiple examples of it working.

    to the second point, I agree. It's way out of usefulness for me, for instance, but I've got real world experience with someone who makes this precise mod sing for her.
    "When Men differ in Opinion, both Sides ought equally to have the Advantage of being heard by the Publick;
    and that when Truth and Error have fair Play, the former is always an overmatch for the latter."

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    Default Re: Stub or CI for an Asian fine nib?

    My friend, you aren't giving me any credit. You have two nibs I ground. I have an idea what I'm talking about.

    I said you can grind one that small. I've done it. It just doesn't make for a very useful stub/italic - unless you want to write really small - which isn't most people. You've selected the exception. That proves the general rule.

    -edit-

    You can see the variation that grind is capable of where "Nietzsche" is printed. Compare the vertical vs horizontal of the "E", for example. The "V" in "invisible" is wider than that, and the tip of the nib, because it's flexing.

    She does have very nice writing though.
    Last edited by dneal; January 3rd, 2023 at 11:13 PM.

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    Default Re: Stub or CI for an Asian fine nib?

    I still use those nibs. I know you are well aware of grinds. I'm giving you a ton of credit, but also asking you to be open to other experiences.

    I was merely putting an example and anecdotal, first-hand evidence counter to your statement dismissing the result on nibs like this (F Asian nibs). For all we know, the OP might have the same manner of small, meticulous handwriting my friend has. Yes, it can be done, and for the right person, it is useful and elegant.

    So, yeah, give me a bit of credit, too!
    "When Men differ in Opinion, both Sides ought equally to have the Advantage of being heard by the Publick;
    and that when Truth and Error have fair Play, the former is always an overmatch for the latter."

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    Default Re: Stub or CI for an Asian fine nib?

    This seems to be turning into an internet argument where we’re just reiterating our point of disagreement. I’m argued out with the FPN ridiculousness.

    I agree it can be done. I’m giving you credit because I’m actually not dismissive about it. I just don’t think the OP would want one, or be happy with one; and I think that’s the case for most users. It’s an expensive decision with a high potential for regret. A M (even an Asian one) would be the starting point I would recommend.

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    Default Re: Stub or CI for an Asian fine nib?

    Ok.
    "When Men differ in Opinion, both Sides ought equally to have the Advantage of being heard by the Publick;
    and that when Truth and Error have fair Play, the former is always an overmatch for the latter."

    ~ Benjamin Franklin

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    Default Re: Stub or CI for an Asian fine nib?

    dneal-- that Masuyama CI is pretty Awesome! Thank-you for posting that photo.

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    Default Re: Stub or CI for an Asian fine nib?

    OP here: My handwriting is neither small, nor precise. So, I may have an Asian M ground to a CI, and see how that turns out. I am trying to get away from really big stubs, and see if I "can" get my hand to be more precise.

    Thank you to all!

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    Default Re: Stub or CI for an Asian fine nib?

    My finest CI is a Masuyama-ground western fine and it's maybe my favorite nib. It's great when I want to write small and I get a subtle but very expressive line variation when I use it.

    I did spend 5+ years refining my penmanship to be able to get those results however.

    I think an Asian F CI could make an excellent tool in a practiced hand. The person attached to that hand would have to make very particular paper and ink choices for best results.

    I'd guess that in most cases an Asian EF CI would be indistinguishable from a stock EF aside from some severe scratchiness. At that degree of miniaturization it's asking a lot for discernable line variation visible with the naked eye-- you'd need tiny handwriting, a well-trained hand and high-performance paper.

    Bottom line- an Asian M or Western F CI are worth checking out for sure. Asian F CI is pushing it but may yield good results if you want to refine your handwriting.

    You'd have to really know what you're doing to get discernable italic handwriting from anything smaller.

    I think you'll do great with an Asian M or Western F CI.

    good luck!

    edit: the sharper the grind the better at these narrow widths. it makes writing more difficult but that's physics for ya.
    Last edited by manoeuver; January 4th, 2023 at 02:49 PM.

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    Default Re: Stub or CI for an Asian fine nib?

    There's a thread on that other presently non-functioning fountain pen site that talks about xxxf and xxxxf italic and CI nibs, and an additional thread that references 0.35 italics.
    Add Lightness and Simplicate

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    Default Re: Stub or CI for an Asian fine nib?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gulfcoast View Post
    OP here: My handwriting is neither small, nor precise. So, I may have an Asian M ground to a CI, and see how that turns out. I am trying to get away from really big stubs, and see if I "can" get my hand to be more precise.

    Thank you to all!
    Safe choice. It adds a little style to otherwise ordinary handwriting, but doesn't go crazy with the variation.

    IMG_0392.jpg

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    Default Re: Stub or CI for an Asian fine nib?

    I really like the Pilot Pluminix/Plumix F - a 0.44mm width italic - when using 6mm line width paper, which is what I typically use. It does a very fine line-width on the horizontal stroke so it gives a nice, tasteful line-width variation. I don't think I'd want to go much smaller a nib width than that 0.44mm for an italic.

    So, the question for me is this: is there enough tipping on a nib that it could be ground into this nib width? The tipping on regular, non-italic/stub nibs that write the same line widths are not all designed the same so it is difficult to speak in generalities about these things.

    I've been toying with the idea of sending a few of my Japanese Ms and Western Fs to a professional nibmeister to make into italics of this size. If the nibmeister determines there is not enough tipping to make this size italic, I'd simply request that they would be ground into a normal Japanese F, which is my preferred nib width on a normal nib.

    EDIT: I meant to add that you can request a particular italic nib width from a nibmeister. Much better way to go, I think, than simply sending the nibmeister a pen to make into an italic without giving this specification.
    Last edited by PithyProlix; January 4th, 2023 at 09:19 PM.
    _____
    Script nib for writing screenplays. • Fine nib for my best writing. • Extra fine for my *very* best writing. • Medium for requesting a séance. • Bold for adventure stories. • Manifold for many various types of writing. • Coarse for indignant letters. • Oblique for making a point in a roundabout way. • Italic when I'm inclined. • Stub for when I intend to leave a manuscript unfinis

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    Senior Member Jon Szanto's Avatar
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    Default Re: Stub or CI for an Asian fine nib?

    Since the topic of Mike Masuyama's work has come up (thanks, dneal), I found an old photo from the very first pen he did for me. I had a brand new Platinum 3776 "Nice" with rose gold nib and hardware. The nib size was Medium. This was at the San Francisco show in August of 2014, and the experience set my course ever since. I explained what I was after, showed him my writing posture, etc. We talked about the potential for issues with the RG plating, but I went ahead. He kept passing me the pen as he worked, and I took this quick phone shot when I was done. It remains a Top 3 nib for me, not just in constant, regular use, but recently re-homed in another Plat 3776 ("Shape of the Heart") due to an accident with the original pen. This is a forever pen and a wonderful example of a great italic grind.

    "When Men differ in Opinion, both Sides ought equally to have the Advantage of being heard by the Publick;
    and that when Truth and Error have fair Play, the former is always an overmatch for the latter."

    ~ Benjamin Franklin

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    Default Re: Stub or CI for an Asian fine nib?

    Quote Originally Posted by PithyProlix View Post
    I really like the Pilot Pluminix/Plumix F - a 0.44mm width italic - when using 6mm line width paper, which is what I typically use. It does a very fine line-width on the horizontal stroke so it gives a nice, tasteful line-width variation. I don't think I'd want to go much smaller a nib width than that 0.44mm for an italic.

    So, the question for me is this: is there enough tipping on a nib that it could be ground into this nib width? The tipping on regular, non-italic/stub nibs that write the same line widths are not all designed the same so it is difficult to speak in generalities about these things.

    I've been toying with the idea of sending a few of my Japanese Ms and Western Fs to a professional nibmeister to make into italics of this size. If the nibmeister determines there is not enough tipping to make this size italic, I'd simply request that they would be ground into a normal Japanese F, which is my preferred nib width on a normal nib.

    EDIT: I meant to add that you can request a particular italic nib width from a nibmeister. Much better way to go, I think, than simply sending the nibmeister a pen to make into an italic without giving this specification.
    The tipping of a nib is rounded, so it's slightly narrower at the end than the middle. That means you gain a little width when you grind off the end of it - albeit not much (depends on the nib).

    I wouldn't give a nibmeister a specific width - and certainly not to the hundredths of a millimeter. That's machine level of precision they would be trying to do by hand.

    Usually the criteria is how crisp or forgiving the grind is. The most crisp italic is going to be a sharp angle with sharp corners. Think of slicing an orange so you end up with a cube.

    As you go from crisp italic to stub, you're rounding off the sharp 90 degree angle and corners, which makes it smoother and less sensitive to position (i.e.: forgiving). The more you round it off, the more "stub" you get. Hypothetically you could keep rounding and return it to "normal".

    As you round the corners, you lose some of that width you initially gained. As you round the angle of the writing surface the horizontal line gets thicker.

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    Default Re: Stub or CI for an Asian fine nib?

    Quote Originally Posted by dneal View Post
    I wouldn't give a nibmeister a specific width - and certainly not to the hundredths of a millimeter. That's machine level of precision they would be trying to do by hand.
    Well, I talked to a nibmeister about this specific width and he said he could make it whatever width I wanted as long as enough tipping is available. That said, it wouldn't need it to be exact, nor would I expect it to be - just in the close neighborhood.
    _____
    Script nib for writing screenplays. • Fine nib for my best writing. • Extra fine for my *very* best writing. • Medium for requesting a séance. • Bold for adventure stories. • Manifold for many various types of writing. • Coarse for indignant letters. • Oblique for making a point in a roundabout way. • Italic when I'm inclined. • Stub for when I intend to leave a manuscript unfinis

    My pens for sale: https://facebook.com/jaiyen.pens

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    Default Re: Stub or CI for an Asian fine nib?

    Quote Originally Posted by PithyProlix View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by dneal View Post
    I wouldn't give a nibmeister a specific width - and certainly not to the hundredths of a millimeter. That's machine level of precision they would be trying to do by hand.
    Well, I talked to a nibmeister about this specific width and he said he could make it whatever width I wanted as long as enough tipping is available. That said, it wouldn't need it to be exact, nor would I expect it to be - just in the close neighborhood.
    Yes, they can get it in the neighborhood.

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