The great pen clinic when off very much as I could have hoped. Plenty of people with plenty of pens, most of whom went away happy. This time, I remembered to take pictures– heck, I was even annoying everyone on Facebook with live coverage of what was happening. For those who look in here, let me re-create the effect without the long gasping pauses between entries.
There’s the tools all laid out and ready. We were suffering somewhat from the smoke of the vast fires in Washington and Oregon, and I managed to forget a few things I have meant to bring. Chief among these were the bulbs I use for flushing feeds in cartridge pens, but between most of those showing up with their converters in tow and the ultrasonic bath, the absence wasn’t disastrous.
Not quite the first appearance of the day was this Noodler’s Konrad with an after-marker stub point. It was a little scratchy, of the sort that needed abrasives applied. The deformity was so subtle it could only be felt in writing; even through my 45X (!) loupe, there was nothing to see. Ahead of this patient were a Parker Sonnet (oddly clogged, sent home with a warning to check for moldy ink), a Pelikan M205 (also clogged, and with a strange late-onset tipping deformity) and the first Lamy Safari of the day (compressed slit). These three came through before it occurred to me that the photo-journalism was even possible.
The Pelikan’s owner came back later with this Waterman Hemisphere which he described as writing too narrow– a fine point that was living up to its billing. The problem was a result of having started out liking fine points, then trying something wider. I gave it a quick dash over the abrasives to widen the contact point, which worked about as well as I thought it would (a very very little improvement), and suggested that a stubbing might be more to his taste. The quartered acorn is a top-down view of the pen’s tipping, with a suggestion of what the proposed procedure would remove (the pointy part to the right). I took this pen home from the clinic, and it’s now just about finished as a… 0.4 or 0.5 mm stub. I’ll have to check that. Not huge, but it gives extra weight to the writing in general. The charge for the grind included a big fat discount because he brought it along to an even at which I was doing stuff for free; I expect he’ll be happy with the result, and he was certainly smiling when he left his pen with me.
Time presses, so one more story:
This pen was bought a few minutes earlier, part of a first anniversary expedition by a pleasant young couple. Since I was on hand, the Paper Umbrella’s proprietor suggested they let me make some magical passes over it, and I’m very glad I did. That little Pacman drawing is what I saw through the loupe, with the open side of the mouth being the one pointing at the paper. That would have made for very scratchy writing, and hesitant in the bargain as the ink would have trouble reaching the paper. It wasn’t a big deal to put right, just a couple of squeezes of the point’s shoulders, but it could have been a dreadful anniversary disappointment. Happy I was indeed to help avert that outcome!
Time has fled, and I haven’t touched on the desperation aspect of the title. I was commenting recently about troubles in the household economy, and an impending putting forth of pens. Well, I’ve done so, in what is the most optimistic manner possible; a single lot with a big dumb starting price and an even bigger “buy-it-now” option. I will freely admit to hoping for a couple of well-heeled and competitive bidders to take an interest. If you know a well-heeled competitive person with a newly-kindled interest in fountain pens, suggest they have a look down the link.