Anybody tried the new dip pen from PSI? - Page 2 - International Association of Penturners
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Old 10-27-2015, 12:22 AM   #11 (permalink)
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Lawton, Ok
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Well ... here's the short review.

They seriously suck.

I spent about half an hour making a short holder for the nib assembly so I could put one together and try to write with it.

The nib is MUCH too sharp. It will slice through any kind of paper you attempt to use it on, and pushing it against the paper will result in making a messy hole every time. I spent another 10 minutes with 600 grit and then 1000 grit sandpaper trying to round off the nib so that it would write at all, and I think it's working somewhat OK at this point ... but this is NOT something that I could sell to anybody, not even an aspiring art student.

I wouldn't market this as a writing instrument, a drawing instrument, or a calligraphy instrument. I might consider calling it a carving, scrimshaw, or stippling instrument, if the nib were actually a little stiffer.

If I want to sell any of these things, I'll have to go over to Exotic Blanks or Classic Nibs or one of the other vendors and get me a bunch of their #5 nibs to put in or something .... perhaps I can get a deal on the "cheap" nibs that are left over from when people upgrade to the Bock and other nicer nibs.

As for the brass tubes ... they're standard fare. The steel insert will press fit by hand easily (didn't use my vice, just pressed it in by pushing against the tabletop). The nib installs only with GREAT difficulty and force, don't try it by hand, you'll hurt yourself badly. I wasn't stupid enough to try it, after I examined the nib for 10 seconds.

Long story short - these are not pens, as is. They are INCAPABLE of actual writing without SERIOUS modification of the nib.

It is a VERY hard press fit to insert the nib, and it's razor sharp for reasons not even an idiot could comprehend.

I do NOT recommend ANYBODY purchase this kit until PSI fixes 2 major issues of concern:

*Give us a half-decent nib that will actually write!
*Fix the difficulty with inserting the nib into the holder!
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Old 10-27-2015, 01:26 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by its_virgil View Post
I've been buying those inserts for years. Sometimes from The GoldenNib, sometimes from Exotic Blanks but the first ones I bought were from Stiles and Bates long before anyone was selling them. Good to have another source. Don't need the tubes or nibs. I wish they would just sell the inserts.
Do a good turn daily!

Sorry i do not want to hijack the thread but had to say that Don surprised me with a company name from my past. Stiles and Bates. I used to buy my clock inserts and clock motors from them many years ago. Man walk down memory lane.
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Old 10-27-2015, 08:23 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Don't jump to quick.
I just recently started teaching myself copperplate calligraphy. I got started while researching how to make pen holders (in calligraphy, the nib is also called the pen). I don't use the little brass tubes, I just push the steel collar into a hole (??1/4") in the wood.

When it comes to nibs, they are absolutely nothing like a fountain pen nib. Odds are, that by sanding the point, you have ruined the nib. Dip pens are not plated like fountain pen nibs, they are bare metal. They actually come with a coating on them, to keep them from rusting, which must be removed in order to get good ink flow. Also unlike fountain pen nibs, they where out, quite quickly. It varies by nib and use, but I have spoken to calligraphers that say they have had nibs wear out after to weeks of regular use (couple of hours a day). Thats why these nibs were origionally sold by the gross. They are sold individually now, and cost can vary.

There are literally hundreds of nib toes and styles, and thats just the pointed pens. I suspect the pen you recieved is more like the one pictured in the instructions, than the one on the web site. I can make out the name, Gillott, but not the number, which is what you need to identify the nib. Here is a link to a popular calligraphy supplier's pointed nib selectionPointed Nibs, Pen Points, Principal, Nikko, Brause, Gillott, Hiro

Nibs come in all shapes, sizes, point widths and flexibility. The type of writting or drawing you want to do, determines the nib you use. I have some that are as sharp and stiff as a needle, and another that actually has a bent, flat point. When doing copperplate, the nib needs to be quite flexible, because the width of the line is altered by slightly varying the pressure.

Then you have the broad edge nibs. Theses are used to do the gothic stlyle writting that many people associate with calligraphy. You will see these often in Michaels, made by Speedball.

Ink and paper also have a huge effect on the way a pen works. Sometimes calligraphers will match paper, pen and ink together. Fountain pen ink is not the best choise for dip pens, generally to thin.

Writing with a dip pen is also much different, the angle of the pen to the paper is generally much lower. The position I am learning with my oblique holders, is palm down. So I am holding the pen in such a way, that my nuckles are pointed up. Definitely takes some getting used to.

When it comes to dip pen holders, the people that are going to be purchasing them, are not buying the nib. They are buying the holder to use with the nibs they have. Just like when I looked into fountain pens, when I started looking at dip pens, a whole new world opened up. I am by no means an expert, and I am just scratching the surface of the information out there.

I hope you don't let this experience turn you off. Get a hold of some decent nibs, check out a couple of youtube videos and have fun.
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Old 10-27-2015, 09:11 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Skie_M View Post
Now for some really bad news ....

The quality of this writing instrument must be horrible.

I just got my package in today, and the nibs are NOT as shown or described on PSI's website. They are a deep dark cobalt blue and come to a NEEDLE POINT. They are VERY sharp.

I see how they are meant to be inserted into the collar, but it's a press fit collar rather than one you screw in, and the fit is extremely TIGHT ... I'm not sure I can press this nib in by hand at all, much less do it without gashing my fingers open from that super sharp tip.

How is this supposed to be a writing instrument? It will just tear through anything I touch it to! Any writing accomplished will have to be with an extremely light touch, and will be very scratchy.

I haven't attempted to actually finish and assemble one yet, just my 2 cents on what I'm seeing when I opened the package. Hopefully, this dismal discovery will be overturned by actual testing and performance later, but this was very disappointing, so far.
Most Dip pens are like that. they do not have a ball on the end like a fountain pen. Dip nibs are designed to be used and replaced often as they wear out. also you need calligraphy ink for them as fountain pen ink is too thin. it will work in a pinch but you will run out every word or so. I have used some of these holders from thegoldennib before and they work great. the nibs are very easy to find at antique markets or flea markets. I sometimes buy a box of them for a few bucks.

Lastly remember to use a light touch on the upstroke and heavy on down stroke to get the flex and line definition. i cant find the video i watched to learn from but if i do ill post it. (btw im no expert it was just something i tried for a little while)
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Old 10-27-2015, 09:14 AM   #15 (permalink)
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One of you guys with background in the specifics of these dip pens should order the psi ones to try.
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Old 10-27-2015, 09:18 AM   #16 (permalink)
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OK these are the video's that i watched when i wanted to try writing with a dip pen
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Old 10-27-2015, 09:40 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Default Easier Solution

While I can't comment on the PSI kit there is a much cheaper and simpler way to go about making a dip pen holder.

You can find all the supplies you need from several places:

John Neal Books

The Golden Nib

Paper Ink Arts

All you need is one of those inserts, a nib, and a 7mm tube (optional but recommended). All together it should cost half as much as the PSI kit.

One 7mm tube is long enough for two inserts so I cut my tubes in half. Using a tube helps make the inserts easier to remove bc they can get worn out as well.
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Old 10-27-2015, 09:47 AM   #18 (permalink)
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And here is another nib suppler. Have ordered from them several times.
Scribblers Calligraphy and Illustration Supplies

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Old 10-27-2015, 11:54 PM   #19 (permalink)
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If the nib doesn't press in easy try rotating it to another position. Just tried it on a cocobolo dip pen I made and on one side it is extremely snug. I rotated it 90deg and it slipped in easy.

That being said I was using a Speedball C2 as opposed to a pointed nib which I have on another holder. I haven't measured but I think the pointed may be slightly thicker.

Skie...Swing by a Hobby Lobby, Michaels or another big box craft supply and pick up a starter dip pen set and some ink. They range from around $11 and up. The holders are cheap but functional and will allow you to play around and see how they function. There are a lot of videos out there as well.
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Old 10-28-2015, 12:23 AM   #20 (permalink)
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I'll have to check it out at my local hobby lobby.

If nothing else, perhaps I can get some functional nibs there for these pens.
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