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repair bent nib?


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#1 dagnypup

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Posted 21 May 2010 - 21:08

My 4 yr old got a hold of my Esterbrook and bent the tines completely back on my favorite nib (9128). I was able to "straighten" them from the base of the feed, but they are still quite bent (maybe at a 25 degree angle away from the feed).

Would it be worth it to send this nib to a repair service? It isn't an expensive nib in comparison to all the vintage flex nibs out there, but it was my absolute favorite nib, as it went from extra-fine to broad and was NOS and had hardly been used. I don't think I should expect a repair service to fix it so it works EXACTLY as it did prior to the incident.

I was wondering if I might be able to try and fix the nib myself, but don't even know where to start other than taking the nib off the feed and then gently tapping with some sort of jewelery hammer it until it looks to be back in place. Could someone direct me to a resource?

Thanks!
Dagny -- who is still very angry ... and the kid is STILL in time-out!!!
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#2 alkman

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Posted 21 May 2010 - 21:24

Good luck! I would look for a new nib personally. The turnaround for non-rush repairs is around 12 weeks for Mr. Binder and Mr. Zorn. That and the costs of the basic repair, minimum 25 or 30 dollars exclusive of shipping, probably easier to post in WTB. Unless you can wait for a pen show and have the work done on-site...that would probably be more economical. But just my thinking.

Check the repair forum which lists many different DIY sites in the pinned topics. I know a few concern nib repair.

My daughter has learned not to touch my pens...she has her own that she can destroy.

#3 markc

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Posted 21 May 2010 - 21:30

Maybe you can post a message in the WTT section.. Your kid for a new nib. :ltcapd:
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#4 FarmBoy

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Posted 22 May 2010 - 02:43

Could someone direct me to a resource?

Contact Lisa: lisa at esterbrook.net

#5 Rabbit

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Posted 22 May 2010 - 02:58

Since it's an Esterbrook nib, replacing the nib would be about the same cost, if not less, than paying someone to attempt a repair. Attempting a repair might not go so well anyway because Esterbrook nibs are made from steel and are not quite as easy to fix as gold nibs. Another complication is that this type of repair is best done with the nib removed from the feed and then reassembled after the repair. The problem here is that Esterbrook nibs and feed are joined by a collar that allows them to unscrew from the pen. It's very difficult to remove Esterbrook nib unit collars without damaging the collar or something else. If you do get it apart, putting it back together might not be easy either. Since your nib is ruined or unusable in its current state though, it wouldn't hurt to play around with it to see if you can do it! You'll notice that the collar is held on by way of a crimp in it. I've never tried it, but some how you need to "uncrimp" it, probably by applying heat and then knocking out the feed in the usual manner. Hopefully someone who has actually done this will give more detail!

If you decide to replace the nib though, you should be able to find another NOS 9128 nib pretty easily. The 9128 is one of the more desirable nibs, but even so you can usually find them for $30-$40. (You might check with Brian Anderson at esterbrook.net and see if he has any for sale. Richard Binder probably has the 9128 as well. Shop around and find a good price. If you're not in a hurry, keeping an eye on eBay will also work.) I guess the main caution is that some 9128 nibs seem more flexible than others so there might be some trial and error until you find one that is exactly like your original one. Who knows, you might get one that you like better!

--Stephen

#6 FarmBoy

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Posted 22 May 2010 - 04:50

(You might check with Brian Anderson at esterbrook.net and see if he has any for sale.


Didn't he marry into the whole esterbrook.net thing just to get an early copy of the book?






Just kidding, give either brian or lisa @esterbrook.net a holler and they will fix you up with a new nib.

Todd

#7 gyasko

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Posted 22 May 2010 - 05:38

The nib has to be removed from the feed to repair a bend that severe. It isn't so terribly difficult to knock the nib out, but what it is going to be hard is getting the kink out of the steel. It can be hard to get it back in, too. There's nothing to lose at this point, so no harm in trying. A nibmeister's labour will cost more than a replacement.

#8 ZeissIkon

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Posted 23 May 2010 - 01:42

Sad to say (and perhaps Richard Binder, Ron Zorn, or John Mottishaw can chime in here), a stainless nib is the hardest to straighten and the least likely (in the case of a flexible type like the 9128) to write the way it did before it was bent. The problem is that stainless tends to work harden -- bending hardens it, then rebending to straighten the nib hardens it some more, so even if it's possible to straighten the nib without breaking it (more likely than not it'll break, in my limited experience trying to straighten badly bent stainless nibs), the flex will be compromised.

There was a user on FPN who had very good success removing and reseating the nib and feed in Esterbrook collars using heat (a dip in hot water) to soften the collar just a tiny bit, so it's certainly not impossible to do the rest of the job -- I just strongly doubt the nib itself can be repaired to write like it did. Even worse, there's apparently a lot of variation in 9128 nibs (I've never written with one, I'm going by what I've read), and it may take some time to find another one that does what you want. Might be worth treating your pens like guns -- keeping them well protected from children... :(
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#9 dagnypup

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Posted 24 May 2010 - 15:48

Thanks for all the suggestions. I decided to attempt a repair myself. I was able to remove the nib and feed from the collar with the hot water method, and then bent the tines back into place. The collar is still bit loose, so the feed tends to twist a bit when writing, but other than that the pen is half-way decent: the fine lines seem finer (probably because one of the tines is s till a bit bent) and the broad lines are about as broad. I worry that when flexing the nib it will break, but hopefully the steel is stronger as the previous poster suggested.

When I use certain inks (J Herbin for example) the ink does not seem to flow when flexing, and I am not sure why this is. This doesn't happen when I dip the pen, but only when the ink is coming from the ink sack. I wonder if this is due to the viscosity of the ink, because I decided to switch the ink out with some Platinum Carbon black and now the ink is flowing when flexing the nib. Go figure!

I still think I will be on the lookout for another 9128 just in case, and something must have stuck with my 4 yr old because he keeps saying, "Mommy is sad because I broke her pretty pen!" Guess I gotta work on detachment...

Cheers!
Dagny
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#10 gyasko

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Posted 24 May 2010 - 17:19

I still think I will be on the lookout for another 9128 just in case, and something must have stuck with my 4 yr old because he keeps saying, "Mommy is sad because I broke her pretty pen!" Guess I gotta work on detachment...


At least he acknowledges it. He sounds sympathetic. All i get is denials.