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Archive for August 13th, 2012

Chuff Chuff Chuff

Posted by Dirck on 13 August, 2012

In a couple of distant entries I’ve mentioned my son’s fascination with Thomas the Tank Engine.  One of the articles of faith amongst the engines of the island of Sodor is the need to be really useful, and I have this past weekend lived up to that standard.

…but I also managed to accomplish some things I wanted to get done.  While being really useful proved to have both intrinsic and extrinsic rewards, I’ll let the story of that stand until tomorrow.  Of the things I wanted to get done, the least interesting was finally updating the OS in my computer (a note to Apple; don’t make your OS so good, and people will update it more than once every three versions).  The most interesting was perhaps the also the most sedentary, because what an outside observer would have mainly noted was me occupying a chair in my workshop for about a half-hour.

A little while ago, I ordered a spare point for one of my most sentimentally-charged pens, the Waterman Phileas with which my wife inadvertently ignited the pen-lunacy which had been only gently smoldering in her husband’s strange interior.  This spare point was a Bold, or to agree with the size letter on it, a Large (which more directly translates as “wide”), which is not a grade I generally gravitate to.  The point of buying such a point was not to expand the breadth of acceptable widths in my life, but rather to provide myself with enough material to work upon.

That’s right folks, I’ve been practicing my nib amendment again.  I’ve gotten to a place where I start to think I might know what I’m doing, and finding myself with some time I could devote to the effort I decided it was time to transform this Large into a cursive italic.  I won’t go into detail about the process, not because I want to preserve any secrets but because it’s not really interesting; apart from pen shows, you won’t find people lining up to watch this sort of action, and reading about it is a couple of stages less riveting.  Leave it at, by taking things only slightly less cautiously than the previously mentioned application, I have managed another pleasing result:

Unlike last time, the before and after are actually both written using the same point.

As with the Parker 45 I worked over before, I decided to not make the point a pure italic, but rather to leave a rounded upper portion of the tipping to allow for tiny little writing should need arise.  Waterman in its current shape seems uninterested about inverted writing, by the way; while the grind for the correct angle was as smooth as one could hope, there was a great fang of material sticking up at the top that made a misery of the attempt to use it in the ‘incorrect’ posture.

I’m still not ready to declare that this is something I can do to your pen.  Loads more practice is yet needed, and I will eventually have to work up the guts to try myself on a gold point before the official word is given.  All the same, having replicated the experiment by conscious effort is happily suggestive of some actual developing skill rather than blind luck.  I am, as some folks say, quite chuffed about it.

Today’s pen: The Phileas itself, showing off the 1.0 mm italic to the world
Today’s ink: Pelikan blue-black

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