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Old 02-19-2018, 05:39 PM   #21 (permalink)
 
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Originally Posted by bmachin View Post
Hank,

Great post. Although I would quibble with the reasoning behind the first point.

The tipping on any reasonably good nib is really, really hard and I can't believe that writing a few thousand words on paper is not going to change the shape to the extent that anyone could tell the difference. A more serious concern in my estimation is that the borrower would be likely to bear down too hard and screw up the tine alignment or worse.

I can't remember if it is on his website or if he said it at a pen show in a tuning seminar, but Richard Binder was commenting on the fairly widely held belief that you can smooth a nib by writing on a brown paper grocery bag. (I believe You can find that advice on this site.) He explained that all you are doing is filling up the rough spots with paper fibers.

Not arguing that you should loan out your fountain pen (you shouldn't, except maybe to your wife), or that tipping doesn't wear (it does; it just is a really slow process).

Anyway, just an opinion that's worth maybe a little less than what you paid for it.

Bill
Agreed. It seems there is a misconception that nibs will wear down with casual use from someone other than the owner of the pen, however the tipping material on most nibs (I say "most", because some nibs are untipped) is extremely hard. The more pressing issue is lending your pen to someone who is unfamiliar with fountain pens, and chancing that they might use too much pressure and spring the nib or bend the tines.
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Old 02-19-2018, 05:44 PM   #22 (permalink)
 
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Originally Posted by leehljp View Post
Some great suggestions here and hope that it is not too much and confusing.

Somethings I learned several years back on this forum:

1. True fountain pen connoisseurs will not let someone else use their pen. The nib begins to wear in accordance to how the user holds and writes. A tiny flat spot begins to develop that is unique to individual writers. Letting someone else use it changes the microscopic edge of the flat spot, and a experienced writer can tell when something is off.

2. Fountain pen connoisseurs have the money and pay more than most ball point/roller ball pen buyers do.

3. Fountain pen aficionados usually KNOW if the pen maker knows his stuff. (You won't be there so that is an advantage to you for not getting put on the spot for immediate technical questions.)

#3 said, The first set of fountain pens that I made years ago, the buyer was as ignorant of quality and smooth writing as I was at the time. Like you, I educated myself - but enough to stay away from it except for special requests.

4. If you can, ask a few questions about the target audience. I live in a generational poverty area of north MS, and there is as big a swing between middle class and the blue bloods as there is between the generational poverty and middle class. The wealthy KNOW quality and won't buy anything less than $500.00, and they know their nibs and feeds - and the seller better know also, or they won't buy. The middle class won't go much over $100.00 and the generational poverty folks stick to Bics. That is not a slam but it it knowing the target people.

BTW, I used to live in Japan (Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya/Toyota City), and learned about "target" audiences there. People are different and have different opinions. Knowing that helps.
In response to #4, this is where an effective online marketing strategy is invaluable. I too live in an area that isn't particularly wealthy, however I have numerous orders in my queue. Social media has made it extremely simple to market your pens. I've found that instagram is a great platform for accruing potential customers and orders.
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Old 02-19-2018, 06:27 PM   #23 (permalink)
 
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Before you add fountain pens to your repertoire, make one for yourself and use it. Use it. Then make some kit fountain pens and test them. I sold about 250 pens through the Christmas season, and about fifty of them were fountain pens. Most of those were to first-time fountain pen owners. Selling them took a lot of teaching - care, cleaning, use, inking. Not rocket science, but it involved teaching. Once the prospective owners were taught, they were confident. Make yourself comfortable with a fountain pen first. Once you do so, you will catch the disease. The rest will be "sharing your passion." (Or sell ballpoints and rollerballs with pride. Just make pens!)
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Old 02-28-2018, 10:36 PM   #24 (permalink)
 
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Originally Posted by Texasshipagent View Post
recommend skipping the kit fountain pens , are junk, however kitless is another story , itís a completely different challenge more a mix of machine work skills and turning , but if you master it , very rewarding , and if you get really good, can fetch $100-$200 a pop for well done customs pens


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Nothing junk about a Mistral or several other kit pens out there.


Appreciate your point, and not to sound insulting, but truth be told,am sorry to say no real fountain pen enthusiast would be caught dead with those, don't let the bling fool, the parts that matter are junk


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Old 02-28-2018, 10:44 PM   #25 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmachin View Post
Hank,

Great post. Although I would quibble with the reasoning behind the first point.

The tipping on any reasonably good nib is really, really hard and I can't believe that writing a few thousand words on paper is not going to change the shape to the extent that anyone could tell the difference. A more serious concern in my estimation is that the borrower would be likely to bear down too hard and screw up the tine alignment or worse.

I can't remember if it is on his website or if he said it at a pen show in a tuning seminar, but Richard Binder was commenting on the fairly widely held belief that you can smooth a nib by writing on a brown paper grocery bag. (I believe You can find that advice on this site.) He explained that all you are doing is filling up the rough spots with paper fibers.

Not arguing that you should loan out your fountain pen (you shouldn't, except maybe to your wife), or that tipping doesn't wear (it does; it just is a really slow process).

Anyway, just an opinion that's worth maybe a little less than what you paid for it.

Bill


The back side or a legal pad will do this, have also used a leather coaster, do figure 8's in forward and reverse order, but ultra high grit (12,000) microgrit cloth or mylar film works better

The main reason a nib is stratchy is often there times are not aligned , but once get them right some light buffing will finish it off


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Old 02-28-2018, 11:01 PM   #26 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leehljp View Post
Some great suggestions here and hope that it is not too much and confusing.

Somethings I learned several years back on this forum:

1. True fountain pen connoisseurs will not let someone else use their pen. The nib begins to wear in accordance to how the user holds and writes. A tiny flat spot begins to develop that is unique to individual writers. Letting someone else use it changes the microscopic edge of the flat spot, and a experienced writer can tell when something is off.

2. Fountain pen connoisseurs have the money and pay more than most ball point/roller ball pen buyers do.

3. Fountain pen aficionados usually KNOW if the pen maker knows his stuff. (You won't be there so that is an advantage to you for not getting put on the spot for immediate technical questions.)

#3 said, The first set of fountain pens that I made years ago, the buyer was as ignorant of quality and smooth writing as I was at the time. Like you, I educated myself - but enough to stay away from it except for special requests.

4. If you can, ask a few questions about the target audience. I live in a generational poverty area of north MS, and there is as big a swing between middle class and the blue bloods as there is between the generational poverty and middle class. The wealthy KNOW quality and won't buy anything less than $500.00, and they know their nibs and feeds - and the seller better know also, or they won't buy. The middle class won't go much over $100.00 and the generational poverty folks stick to Bics. That is not a slam but it it knowing the target people.

BTW, I used to live in Japan (Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya/Toyota City), and learned about "target" audiences there. People are different and have different opinions. Knowing that helps.


I agree most of your points except actually these days you can get some really quality pens far less $500, infact I would say once north of ~$150 your paying for materials and artistic craftsmanship, but not improvement in writing. example there is a brand TWSBI that makes some awesome piston pens for $35 , or $25 pocket Kaweco sport is pretty solid, as is the $15 pilot metro. or my personal favorite restored esterbrooks which were $1 pens in the 1950's but excwptionally made and still write well even 60+ years later (I regretfully admit I own 35 esterbrooks), or old scheaffer triumph vac fillers are exceptional as well.

What makes the pen is the perfect mix or a quality made nib and feed, dependable ink flow an balance / weight , all the rhodium bling, spiffy clips and fancy barrels in the planet can't make a pen that fails in those areas a good pen

Regularly you see pen bloggers slam very expensive pens that fail those basics irrespective of price

For me, I love fountain pens as am left handed and traditionally a huge note taker due to nature of employ, my hand writing is worse then a doctor's , for years could only use finenpoint pens and pencils

after some dedication learned to use a fountain pen, and it greatly improced my hand writing

Second reason am a fan of well engineered gadgets,

Third, just like collecting vintage stuff


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Old 03-06-2018, 05:09 PM   #27 (permalink)
 
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Originally Posted by Texasshipagent View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by mckenziedrums View Post
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Originally Posted by Texasshipagent View Post
recommend skipping the kit fountain pens , are junk, however kitless is another story , itís a completely different challenge more a mix of machine work skills and turning , but if you master it , very rewarding , and if you get really good, can fetch $100-$200 a pop for well done customs pens


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
Nothing junk about a Mistral or several other kit pens out there.


Appreciate your point, and not to sound insulting, but truth be told,am sorry to say no real fountain pen enthusiast would be caught dead with those, don't let the bling fool, the parts that matter are junk


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
Just wondering which bits you consider to be bling and which are the parts that matter in your subjective opinion. This is after all a forum for pen makers, and I'm sure others would be interested to learn why you feel the pens that by far and away the majority of folks here make are all shite.
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Old 03-06-2018, 09:49 PM   #28 (permalink)
 
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Iím guessing he may be referring to a $50 kit with a $10-$60 blank with a $4 nib that doesnít work as it should. And poor ink that comes with the kit that only makes it worse.


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Old 03-11-2018, 10:05 AM   #29 (permalink)
 
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Iím guessing he may be referring to a $50 kit with a $10-$60 blank with a $4 nib that doesnít work as it should. And poor ink that comes with the kit that only makes it worse.


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Then what would you recommend? I have made a few Lazerlinez pens that have Schmidt nibs, and some Kojent pens. Both received good comments at our pen collectors meeting, and these are serious collectors and restorers. I have been asked to make some for club members; they were looking at a $30 kit with a $10 wood blank.
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Old 03-11-2018, 10:35 AM   #30 (permalink)
 
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Default Questions on whether or not to make a fountain pen

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Iím guessing he may be referring to a $50 kit with a $10-$60 blank with a $4 nib that doesnít work as it should. And poor ink that comes with the kit that only makes it worse.





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Then what would you recommend? I have made a few Lazerlinez pens that have Schmidt nibs, and some Kojent pens. Both received good comments at our pen collectors meeting, and these are serious collectors and restorers. I have been asked to make some for club members; they were looking at a $30 kit with a $10 wood blank.


I brought what I thought was a ďHigh EndĒ fountain pen I made to a local store in Houston that specializes in Fountain pens. I used a quality kit, Jr Aaron, stainless Damascus for the body and cap. The first thing the owner did was pull the cap and look at the nib, returned the pen to me and said he wasnít interested. The kit came with a good German nib that I had tuned and wrote smooth. However the high end market has certain expectations a typical kit doesnít meet. Todayís Honda Odyssey will out perform a Porsche 356 and a Jaguar XJK form the early 60s but no one will ever be collecting it and pay top dollar at auction. I think there is nothing wrong with a $30 kit with a $10 blank, I also own a Honda Odyssey. One just has to know their market. I write almost exclusively with a fountain pen but it takes maintenance and upkeep. I just like the variety of ink colors available and the old fashion feel to it. There could be more customer rework/hassle you wonít see with a similar rollerball. I also quickly moved to a kitless pen, I find most kits too heavy for everyday use. I also enjoyed the challenge of making kitless pens. For me itís a hobby. The time invested to make a kitless would make it hard for me to make a profit without reaching upward to a higher end market for better pricing. Just my limited experience. Learning how to tune and adjust the nib and knowing how to trouble shoot should be a minimum for someone selling FPs. Happy customers are important.


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