Thursday, January 21, 2010

Sailor in the Dumps

Time for me to growl a little about a troublesome fountain pen. Anyone who has read more than a couple of the posts on this blog will already know that I am a devoted fan of Sailor, avid for both their inks and their fountain pens. It has been a long time since I left the house without at least one Sailor pen in my pocket. I have six Sailor pens, and five of them are nothing short of the cat’s meow.

Oh, but that pesky Sailor 1911 Mid-Size can be a devil. It’s one I bought online three years ago at Classic Fountain Pens, Inc., located in Los Angeles. I had earlier purchased another 1911 from them, that one in the large size, and I was so pleased with the crafting of the nib, I immediately wanted another in a different color and size. In my experience with Classic’s nibster, John Mottishaw, he has always given me exactly what I asked for in a nib. In fact, I wouldn’t dream of putting any blame on John for the irritating nib on my 1911 Mid-Size.

Downstrokes are the problem, and as many as ten times on one page, the pen will skip. I’m not sure if you can see them clearly, but in the photo of the poem, I have indicated with a red dot places on the page where the pen skipped and I had to go back and re-write those letters. Well, seven times in the space of seventeen lines is too much for me. Considering my five other Sailor pens, even one time is too many. It happens only with the 1911 Mid-Size. I have taken the pen to a clinic where Nobuyoshi Nagahara took a look at it, made a few adjustments, and suggested that the 14k nib might be one reason for the problem. I didn't really understand that because I have steel nibbed pens that don’t skip, as well as a Sailor Professional Gear with a 14k nib that never skips. I have cleaned the nib as well as can be done safely, I have tried a dozen or more different inks, I have altered my grip and still the pen skips on the occasional downstroke.

Despite it all, I do like the Sailor 1911 Mid-Size, but the 14k M nib is giving me a headache. If anyone has any ideas or suggestions, I would welcome them.

1 comment:

  1. John would be mortified to hear this and your answer is a simple one. Send it back to him with a page you've written and he'll make it right. Or, contact Sailor and Karen with the U.S. distributor will be just as mortified and will get your pen up to snuff. In other words, don't put up with it. Sailor is a great company and they will make it right.


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Oak Hill, Florida, United States
A longtime expat relearning the footwork of life in America