Two Vertex FPs with review

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First off sorry for the low quality pics, they’re very bad even by my standards. I wanted to make fountain pens for the 2 nurses I work with at the cancer clinic. Luckily I had these Vertex and the blanks in my workbench, probably for the last year or two. Gunmetal with tigers eye and chrome with freezing water, both AA blanks and backpainted black. One pic shows the freezing water blank back painted white, but after seeing the epoxy still showed through I pitched it. Fortunately the remainder of the blank was just long enough for another, which I painte metallic black by mistake, and the sparkle shows through. I should’ve red the cap instead of just grabbing the can with the black lid on it. What a difference the 2 colors make though. I should’ve used blue but I’m out. Personally I feel the blank is too translucent for pens. I used a larger one for a bottle stopper and it looked great, probably would for a shaving brush too but anything that’s drilled like a pen or call makes it too transparent IMO. After using 2 Vertex FPs at my job for about 3 years here’s my thoughts.

THE GOOD:
With just one barrel it’s easy to make, and since the hardware has beads you don’t have to be real precise with your measurements. This makes it a great kit for a beginner that wants to try a FP. It’s cheap as FP kits go, and the magnetic cap gives a nice positive click when it shuts. It’s also very durable, mine have taken a trip off my desk many times onto the hard floor with no ill effect, and they writes good enough.

THE BAD:
The section looks clunky to me. I understand the nib is an odd size, so you’re stuck with what you’ve got, no upgrading to a nicer one. My gunmetal one also started showing significant wear through the finish on both the cap and where I hold the section in less than a year of light but daily use at my job.

THE UGLY:
Check out the section on the chrome one. The finish leaves a lot to be desired, and I wiped it down for the pics. The gunmetal also had a flawed cap, I had to make a 1.5hr round trip drive yesterday to get another kit just for the cap.

IN CONCLUSION:
At first I really liked this kit, it seemed a solid performer for the price. Nowadays, I’d only recommend it for a real beginner. For a few bucks more nicer kits can be had with normal nibs and a better finish, but they’d be a bit more difficult for the true novice.

Just so everybody doesn’t think I’m being a cheapskate to the nurses I love working with, these pens are a trial. If they like using a FP I’ll be making them nicer ones, probably for Christmas. If not then either RBs or click pens, the latter being much more practical to use on the job.

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Lucky2

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Jay, other then the blue blank looks great, I would purchase the brown or black one. As for the finish rubbing off, I spray all of my components with a good coating of lacquer. Ever since I've started doing that, I've never had an issue with any finish rubbing off due to use. It's a bit of extra work, and you have to be cautious to only get the lacquer on the places you want it. As for the seeing the glue on the blue one, sorry, but that's all on you bud, I've used a blank very similar to that one several times without issue.

Len
 
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Jay, other then the blue blank looks great, I would purchase the brown or black one. As for the finish rubbing off, I spray all of my components with a good coating of lacquer. Ever since I've started doing that, I've never had an issue with any finish rubbing off due to use. It's a bit of extra work, and you have to be cautious to only get the lacquer on the places you want it. As for the seeing the glue on the blue one, sorry, but that's all on you bud, I've used a blank very similar to that one several times without issue.

Len
Thanks for the advice Len, I just happen to have a bottle of spray lacquer and some for my airbrush as well. I will give that a try next time I use gun metal, as it is far worse than the chrome pen. As for the epoxy showing through the white paint, any idea how that could happen? I usually use acrylic paint and the white is enamel, but I don’t see why that would make a difference. Old paint maybe?
 

Lucky2

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Jay, yes, for the epoxy showing through the blank issue? If you paint the inside of the blank, you should have better luck with the glue/epoxy not showing through. By painting the brass tube, you're making it so that the glue/epoxy, is placed between the blank and the paint. And if the blank is transparent in any way, the glue epoxy has nothing to hide behind. But if you paint the inside of the blank, the paint can hide the glue/epoxy. This is how I glue-up most of my semi or transparent blanks, I got tired of getting the results like the one you've shown here.

Len
 
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Jay, yes, for the epoxy showing through the blank issue? If you paint the inside of the blank, you should have better luck with the glue/epoxy not showing through. By painting the brass tube, you're making it so that the glue/epoxy, is placed between the blank and the paint. And if the blank is transparent in any way, the glue epoxy has nothing to hide behind. But if you paint the inside of the blank, the paint can hide the glue/epoxy. This is how I glue-up most of my semi or transparent blanks, I got tired of getting the results like the one you've shown here.

Len
I did paint the inside of the blank white, not the tube. That’s why I thought the blank was too transparent. I’m thinking now that maybe the paint was just old. Somehow the epoxy still showed through.

@TattooedTurner you should be able to replace the nib. It unscrews from the metal piece.
I’m aware that the nib comes off the feed, but with the odd size nib I assume the feed is also an odd size, so a #5 or a #6 nib won’t fit properly. As I understand it, you can’t use a #5 nib on a feed made for a #6 and vice versa, so neither will fit this feed.
 

OZturner

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Nice Pens Jay,
I had some difficulty seeing the Tube as it blended into the Light Reflection.
Regarding the See Thru on Blanks, Ed(Exotic Blanks)has on one of his numerous Video's, a Dowel Stick Painted with Various Blocks of Different Usable Colours.
It is small enough to fit into the Blanks, and by pushing it through your Drilled Blank, you can select the Best Colour to suit your Blank, for painting inside the Blank and/or Outside the Tube.
I have had on some pens, where I have Painted, and after putting on the Epoxy Adhesive, the Blank Hole was so close to the Tube Diameter, that the Paint was scraped off the Inside of the Blank. I now Check to achieve the needed Tolerance so that the Paint does not get scraped off when fitting the Tube.
Great Gesture with the Pens.
Regards,
Brian
 
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Thanks for passing on Ed’s idea Brian, that’s a good way of seeing how it would look without painting several blanks or cutoffs. As for my issues with the white paint, after further inspection it appears the paint is cracked on the inside of the blank. I’m chucking the bottle and buying another.

The nurses loved the pens so I’m calling this a win despite the color not being what I wanted.
 
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