WTB: Old fountain pens

Discussion in '[Classifieds] Misc. -Anything Goes' started by Jon Goodman, Jun 21, 2013.

  1. Jon Goodman

    Jon Goodman Member

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    If any of you have old used and unwanted fountain pens, please contact me. I'm not talking about ball point or felt tip pens...I am interested in fountain pens (the kind that are refillable and use real ink and write with a nib tip). The kind that used to occasionally leak in your shirt pocket in school making you look and feel ridiculous because you can't go home until the end of the day. Those kind. If you have some of these and if you have an idea of what you might want for them, please send an APUG message or an email to jon_goodman@yahoo.com

    This is for a study I've decided to undertake.

    Jon
     
  2. Fixcinater

    Fixcinater Subscriber

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    I have some but I use them all! Different ink/tips for different uses.
     
  3. swittmann

    swittmann Member

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    Jon, you may want to check fountainpennetwork.com. There are the true enthusiasts :smile:

    I also write with fountain pens; I collect them and inks, too.

    Good luck!

    Sandra
     
  4. Jon Goodman

    Jon Goodman Member

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    Thanks Sandra,
    What I'm looking for is pens that I can study with hopes of improving on the design. Most of what I've seen at that site is much nicer and more expensive than I will need. Essentially I was hoping to find people with pens languishing in a drawer hoping for a new owner. I use ink all the time, too by the way. I particularly like brightly colored ink.
    Jon
     
  5. mervynyan

    mervynyan Member

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    no other classic design is better than Parker 51, now sells for 1-200 bucks. but you can search some Chinese fountain pens Hero brand. They have mimic some good designs at the populace price. The pupils in school are required to write in fountain pen still.
     
  6. Bill Burk

    Bill Burk Subscriber

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    I still have the Rapidograph that did that to my shirts in High School... A piston driven by a thumbscrew. The idea is that you plunge all the way out, dip the pen in the ink bottle and spin the screw all the way back, sucking in all that India goodness. When the plunger sealed well, all was good. But man when it leaked you were in trouble.
     
  7. E. von Hoegh

    E. von Hoegh Member

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    No sh1t? I found one at a lawn sale for a quarter. Not only does it have a good bladder, I don't think it had ever had ink in it.
     
  8. Jon Goodman

    Jon Goodman Member

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    Yep, it was fun when a pen leaked in your shirt pocket, wasn't it? The best of it was...almost nobody would tell you. You'd have to find out when you went to the men's room. I think the worst leak offender was a Wearever pen I bought at the dime store. I still have it, but cartridges haven't been made since about the time Ike and Tricky Dick were in the White House. I know...you can convert it to what they call an "eyedropper" model, but if it leaked with a cartridge, I'd really be hesitant to see what it would do with a whole barrel full of ink. Probably spit at me from across the room like a cobra.

    I use a Parker 51 and a Sheaffer "touchdown" that I've had forever, and I have a couple of common Sheaffer models and some Japanese "Preppy" pens (much better in my mind than anything out of China), but as I said what I'm thinking about is re-imagining the design...not of the Parker 51 or the touchdown or the Rapidograph. Something simpler than that, and possibly even using a renewable material for the nib (bamboo for example or rattan or possibly something else).

    We'll see what we see.
    Jon
     
  9. summicron1

    summicron1 Subscriber

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    renewable material for the nib -- goose quill?
     
  10. Jon Goodman

    Jon Goodman Member

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    Yes, something like a goose quill. But something that wouldn't make me a target for the PETA paint-slingers. That is unless I get to sling paint also. That would be fun.
    Jon
     
  11. Jon Goodman

    Jon Goodman Member

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    Somebody asked me what a "Preppy" pen is. You can see them here: http://www.jetpens.com/Platinum-Preppy-Fountain-Pen-05-Medium-Nib-Blue-Black-Ink/pd/4523
    For less than $4 these are very good. The ink isn't always my favorite color, but you can refill the cartridges. The purple medium point is great. Trust me on that one. It is more of a magenta than purple and people don't seem to forget if you write them a letter or note using it. If you're curious on what ink would match it, please drop me a note.
    Jon
     
  12. Richard S. (rich815)

    Richard S. (rich815) Subscriber

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  13. ambaker

    ambaker Subscriber

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    I had one leak in shirt pocket, on the afternoon I had a job interview. Too far from home to go change, so I went anyway.

    When I got to the lobby, they told me I had to wear a visitor badge. It covered the stain perfectly, and I got the job. Was told later that they liked how relaxed I seemed, and how cheerful I was. After finding the badge hid the stain, I was a lot less stressed, and a very happy guy.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD
     
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  15. Bill Burk

    Bill Burk Subscriber

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    You got the job for demonstrating creativity under pressure.

    Jon,

    I just picked up a fine-point black Pilot V-Pen from a stationary store in Japantown... $4.35 at that shop, looks like the same website with the preppy pen has it and the US "Varsity".

    On one hand it's great, crack the shrink wrap and get writing immediately. But it's a disposable pen and I'm sure soon as I get used to it, it'll run out of ink.

    Long-term I think a crow's feather would be a better value.
     
  16. Jon Goodman

    Jon Goodman Member

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    Crows aren't a protected species are they? If I could figure out how to use a boat-tailed grackle's feather, I might get some sort of award around here...
    Jon

    I'll look into the Pilot and the "Varsity". I'm not much for fine points. Me mitts are oversized and a medium tip seems to be the best.
    Jon
     
  17. SamSpade1941

    SamSpade1941 Member

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    You are delving into what can be an expensive undertaking good fountain pens are not cheap sir. I have a set of Parkers that I inherited from my Grandfather many years ago that still write perfectly after all these years. Kudos.
     
  18. polyglot

    polyglot Member

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    I have a bunch that I use (no you can't have 'em). Surprisingly (?), it's the cheapest one that I like best: the steel-nib Parker Frontier Flighter bought when I started my PhD, though loading it with Aurora makes all the difference. Got a 14k M400 and a couple other "better" pens, but I still prefer the cheap Parker and have put about half a litre of ink through it so far.

    Rapidograph and india ink is where it's at for permanently marking negs and prints though. Nothing else has the permanence to match silver.

    Intrigued that you intend to "reimagine" the fountain pen since it's a design that has been hammered on pretty hard by a lot of smart people for over a century... Do you have a specific idea and are looking for parts to execute it?
     
  19. Jon Goodman

    Jon Goodman Member

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    Yes...I do have some specific ideas and I am looking for parts to study, copy, improve upon, etc. Initially, I'm curious to understand as much as I possibly can before I move ahead. I understand what I'm considering would require a capital outlay and I do understand there's a risk of failure.
    Jon
     
  20. polyglot

    polyglot Member

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    At least you don't need crazy-expensive manufacturing processes. Assuming you actually mean improving the pen part and not just making pretty barrels (quite the cottage industry I understand, but I was always bemused that they all seem to sell their pens with the shittiest nibs because presumably the art/craft country-market is insensitive to that), have you looked into 3D printing? The nature of how the material builds up from molten threads naturally leaves a rough surface that I suspect would be good for capillary action in the feed, and I suspect that a capillary feed is the easiest low-tech one to get right - nothing more frustrating than a too-fast or too-slow pen.

    I'm not sure if you're into flexible pens, but I'd be very interested to see a calligraphers' flexible nib (one that spreads under pressure for varying line width) that is NOT subject to damage from going that little bit too far, e.g. through a sprung hinge instead of flexible metal. Adjustable spring preload for fancy-pants points.
     
  21. Jon Goodman

    Jon Goodman Member

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    Yes...improving the pen part is the whole idea. 3D printing is a good suggestion and one friend suggested a cad/cam laser cutter could be useful.
    Jon
     
  22. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

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    If you want to see a really good piston-filled design, look up Visconti pens. They came up with a piston system that lets you use a very large portion of the barrel, holding a LOT more ink. And despite the fact that they're Italian, they don't leak in day-to-day use (never flew with mine, so I can't say how well they'd handle the changing air pressure). See what you can find about it online - their pens are modern and NOT cheap. Montblanc on the other hand, well, my 149 (the famous big fat pen that looks like a black lacquered cigar) leaks like a sieve even when stored upright, capped. Which is a shame as I found it in the used 1/2 price case at Bertram's Inkwell with a left-handed Italic nib. And I'm a lefty.

    I'd look into making the nibs with the 3-D printer. They've evolved from quills to steel and gold for a reason - the steel lasts forever, but it is stiff and scratchy to write with. The gold is not only beautiful to look at but it has greater flexibility, yielding a smoother, more comfortable writing experience. You might be able to get a compromise between them from the right blend of plastic. Quills wear out too fast (I cut one before, and while it works, it wears down fast and you have to re-cut it often - thus the origin of the pen-knife). You could also try glass - lots of pen stores, stationery stores and art supply stores sell glass dipping pens from Murano in Venice. They work well enough as a dipping pen, but you'd have to see what you could do about making a nib with a feed, otherwise they'd be a godawful mess.
     
  23. polyglot

    polyglot Member

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    Steel doesn't have to be scratchy. My steel Parker M nib is beautifully smooth and is my least catchy nib. Hard as a nail of course with no flex.
     
  24. Jon Goodman

    Jon Goodman Member

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    By steel, you mean stainless steel, yes? Stainless is very easy to plate with gold, you know.
    Jon
     
  25. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

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    I don't know that it is stainless steel - most of the steel nibs I've seen are blued and/or Rhodium plated.
     
  26. Jon Goodman

    Jon Goodman Member

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    That's interesting. All the ones I have (which admittedly are not many) are anti-magnetic stainless.
    Jon