Author Topic: Copperplate with a Vintage Flex?  (Read 3341 times)

Offline Daniel Mastrofski

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Copperplate with a Vintage Flex?
« on: July 17, 2016, 03:58:49 PM »
I recently acquired a Desiderata Pen because I  was looking for a pen I wouldn't have to dip
with but still be able to practice copperplate with.  After a lot of research and at the suggestion
of Paul Antonio I went for the Desiderata. It cost me $80 after shipping. 

It seems that the world of fountain pens are geared more toward letter writing than calligraphy.
There are advantages to both a fountain pen and a dipping pen.  I also realize that Paul Antonio
is of the straight pen holder school when writing copperplate so I might be in a minority seeing how
most folks I know are using the oblique pen holder and I have never seen a fountain/oblique pen...
Anyway, I am using my Desiderata with much pleasure and feel I am making decent progress but
there is much to learn yet.  After getting accustomed to using the Desiderata my curiosity was stroked
to look for other pens that may be similar.  Noodler's Ahab is quite affordable and I am waiting for one
to arrive on my doorstep anyday now.  I saw a video by a reviewer who had replaced the already flexible
nib in his Ahab with a nikko or zebra and it worked like a charm.  Looking forward to messing around with
that pen soon. 

Then I have done some reading that vintage flex pens such as a waterman 52 could be used for copperplate.
Is this true?  Most videos that I see of reviews for vintage flex pens leave me wondering since just about every
video is done by someone who doesn't know any calligraphy.  They just write in some fat-looking hack of a cursive
script that is random and sort of ugly IMHO, but that is another rant....i'd like to see an example of copperplate
done with a waterman....

Can anyone lend any advice or experience in this matter?
I have no issue with using a dipping pen, but the convenience and portability of my Desiderata is just awesome.
Perhaps my search is over since it seems to fit my needs and it executes copperplate just fine.  It comes compatabile
with the zebra g....but still, once you start thirsting for awesome pens it just doesn't stop. 


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Offline AndyT

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Re: Copperplate with a Vintage Flex?
« Reply #1 on: July 17, 2016, 04:37:44 PM »
Daniel, my opinion for what it's worth, is that you may as well stick with the Desiderata, and maybe play about with some Noodler's pens.  No tipped fountain pen nib I've come across will do what a fairly ordinary steel dip pen can.  Vintage nibs are good, but if you want a really fine one they're quite scarce - it took quite a while before one came along at a sensible price in my case.  I'm pleased to have it, but would use a dip pen for serious writing every time.  And I say a dip pen advisedly, because it opens up the option of using paints or corrosive inks: one of the limiting factors with fountain pens is the need to stick to benign ink.

The only fountain pen reviewer I know of who can write is Schin.  That's harsh, but in all honesty most of the people making those videos are big spending (or heavily sponsored) cheerleaders for conspicuous consumption.  Why anyone would spend a small fortune on pens but not take the trouble to improve their hand is one of life's mysteries as far as I'm concerned.

Offline Salman Khattak

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Re: Copperplate with a Vintage Flex?
« Reply #2 on: July 17, 2016, 08:55:31 PM »
Here is my attempt at using a Noodler's Creeper for Copperplate from some time ago: Writing Copperplate with a Fountain Pen

The thread has other examples and discussion. I have since owned and tried several other fountain pens with flexible nibs including both vintage and modified ones. The best flexible pen I have written with was a friend's modified Pilot Custom 74 (yes, it was better than even some very pricey vintage ones). However, it did not come close to a dip pen's performance.

The biggest issue I see with flexible nibs on fountain pens is ink flow. While the feed can be modified to increase flow, it creates a new problem of the nib having to deal with too much ink at the end of a shade. This causes the exiting hairline to be thicker than one would like. Dip nibs don't exhibit this problem because the closing of the tines forces the ink back up. Fountain pen feeds don't allow the ink to travel back up so it kind of pools in the small stretch of the nib in front of the feed causing an overly wet hairline.

I do enjoy using fountain pens with flexible nibs - just not for Copperplate. I have 2 with flexible nibs inked at this time; a Richard Binder modified 149 and a vintage Skywriter.

- Salman
« Last Edit: July 18, 2016, 12:47:17 AM by SMK »
I have an opinion and I'm not afraid to use it.

Copperplate Tutorial :: Hand Carved Holders / Workshops / Prints

Offline Inked botanicals

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Re: Copperplate with a Vintage Flex?
« Reply #3 on: July 18, 2016, 04:18:04 AM »
I don't know about vintage fountain pens nor Desiderata. But I have a Jinhao with a noodlers flex nib and sometimes I tried it with a brause rose dip nib. Rose nib makes hairlines and beautiful copperplate if you have the patience, because flow issues are heavy. That takes out all the fountain pen ink commodity. I think I'm quicker dipping the ink. With the noodlers nib it has some issues too, you need to write slowly. You can do some sort of copperplate, but it's not going to be perfect. It's a good pen for writing informal letters or practicing on the go. And the wow factor is important too. Once I did some gift cards at a street market with my fountain pen and it attracted a lot of people with the "wow you write so fancy!" face. But for serious work I would use the dip nib.
Alba.

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Offline Daniel Mastrofski

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Re: Copperplate with a Vintage Flex?
« Reply #4 on: July 19, 2016, 11:07:49 PM »
Today I went ahead and bought a $20 oblique holder and threw a zebra g in it.
Now I understand what all the happiness about oblique vs straight is all about.
so much more delicacy involved with the oblique as far as I can tell.  really enjoying it.

in no way am I going to ditch my Desiderata.....it's an awesome travel pen, and furthermore great for off-hand flourishing.
but, i am really happy to feel the ease and flow of an oblique. :)
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Offline Ken Fraser

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Re: Copperplate with a Vintage Flex?
« Reply #5 on: August 04, 2016, 06:00:48 AM »
Then I have done some reading that vintage flex pens such as a waterman 52 could be used for copperplate.
Is this true?  Most videos that I see of reviews for vintage flex pens leave me wondering since just about every
video is done by someone who doesn't know any calligraphy.  They just write in some fat-looking hack of a cursive
script that is random and sort of ugly IMHO, but that is another rant....i'd like to see an example of copperplate
done with a waterman....
Can anyone lend any advice or experience in this matter?

This example is written with a vintage Waterman.


Offline Ken Fraser

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Re: Copperplate with a Vintage Flex?
« Reply #6 on: August 04, 2016, 06:14:50 AM »
I wrote this letter of appreciation to nibmeister Richard Binder, a few years ago.

http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd289/caliken_2007/LettertoRBinder400.jpg

Offline SueL

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Re: Copperplate with a Vintage Flex?
« Reply #7 on: August 04, 2016, 11:10:15 AM »
I've stuck a Titanium G nib on a cheap Jinhao and that worked really well. The nib lasted about 2 months before I removed it. It was lovely to write with, and a cheap hack. I've tried the desiderata but didn't like it much because it was either too wet, or you had to tap it before the ink would flow.

I have fountain pens that flex somewhat. I find that unmodified, the fine lines just weren't fine enough for me. For pens on the go, I do like the Custom 74 because it's inexpensive enough for me to flex without worrying about ruining the nib.

I've tried Noodlers and hate them. The nibs are far too stiff.

But at the end of the day, I still prefer my dip nibs for calligraphy.

Offline Daniel Mastrofski

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Re: Copperplate with a Vintage Flex?
« Reply #8 on: August 04, 2016, 01:31:23 PM »
I have to agree with you about the Noodler's Ahab pen.  At best for me it can be used as a flourishing pen.
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Offline AndyT

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Re: Copperplate with a Vintage Flex?
« Reply #9 on: August 04, 2016, 02:12:23 PM »
There's a well known hack for increasing the flexibility of the Noodler's nibs:

Ease My Flex

Offline ash0kgiri

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Re: Copperplate with a Vintage Flex?
« Reply #10 on: August 05, 2016, 02:16:27 AM »
I bought a Noodler's Ahab fountain pen and put a Rose nib. Did some drills. And wrote quite well.
Its fine who are not used to oblique holders. I got mine recently and now i don't feel like writing with a straight holder.

- Ashok

Offline JanisTX

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Re: Copperplate with a Vintage Flex?
« Reply #11 on: August 05, 2016, 11:06:55 AM »
There's a well known hack for increasing the flexibility of the Noodler's nibs:

Ease My Flex
@AndyT Is the guy saying that he modified the PEN or the NIB??  I think he's talking about the nib, but modifying the pen makes more sense to me!!  What do you think?  I've got an Ahab (that I use when traveling) & am interested in making it more flexible!

Janis

Offline AndyT

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Re: Copperplate with a Vintage Flex?
« Reply #12 on: August 05, 2016, 11:42:55 AM »
@JanisTX   He's reground the nib in two ways: taking some material off the sides so that it has a sharper nose if you will, and making those two little cutouts in the side.  I've modified Creaper nibs to make them finer, but the business of trying to increase flexibility is to some extent an attempt to make a silk purse out of a sow's ear.  Mind you, it's a cheap enough project to tinker with, and you can always buy in replacement flex nibs either from Noodler or Fountain Pen Revolution.  You'll almost certainly need to make the feed channel deeper if you increase the demand for ink by making the nib more flexy, by the way (it's easy).

To my way of thinking the more promising route if you want an inexpensive piston filler with a flexible nib is to look for a vintage gold Waterman nib.  The Creaper is good for this because it will take a #4 if memory serves, and they're more plentiful and much cheaper than a #6 for an Ahab or Konrad.  Nathan Tardif (the Noodler man) has a Youtube channel called InkNeedLastForever where you'll find a number of modification videos.  Be warned, however - Nathan is a stranger to the idea of "concise", so make sure you have some time on your hands.  ;)
« Last Edit: August 05, 2016, 11:44:53 AM by AndyT »

Offline Daniel Mastrofski

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Re: Copperplate with a Vintage Flex?
« Reply #13 on: August 05, 2016, 11:48:26 AM »
. I did see one video of a guy replacing the ahab nib with a zebra g and it worked but it was way messy.  Maybe this is the same YouTuber....i am sticking my Desaderata over the ahab hacks ..... Fun stuff though seeing what works!
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Offline jeanwilson

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Re: Copperplate with a Vintage Flex?
« Reply #14 on: August 05, 2016, 01:34:35 PM »
Have you seen the Pilot Flex Extra Fine
made by Greg Minuskin?
http://gregminuskin.com/

Here is a glowing review.
http://www.mypaperarts.com/2016/08/04/pilot-flex-extra-fine-fountain-pen/#.V6TNe1Tr3x8