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How To Adjust A Fountain Pen Nib!


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#1 777

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Posted 29 September 2011 - 18:49

So, Richard Binder posted up one of these a week ago (which I had quite a good time reading :) ), and I thought I'd share this one with you all.

This is how NOT to adjust a FP nib!

Onto my bench rolls this lovely Sailor 1911. Rhodium trim, black in color - one of my favorite combo's.

I was told by this client that it was in need of some "tine adjusting". He said he tried to fix it himself (it was originally a tad scratchy and dry), and may have made it worse.

Was that ever an understatement.

So, here's the pen. Looks real nice, right?

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Let's uncap it, shall we. So far so good?

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Now for a close up of that nib. Notice those how the tines are spread apart at the tip. The gouges on the side are pretty nasty too. The moment I laid eyes on this nib - razor knife. I've seen "knifed" nibs before, though this is one of the worst...

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Now for the bottom of the nib! Yikes! Split his feed! Yes, that is what you think it is. The feed is cut in two, by a knife...

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So, where do we go from here?

Well, I'm almost done with this poor fellow. I've already solvent-welded the feed back together. Looks like new too. :)

Now to burnish that nib. It'll never look 100% pretty again, but it will write well!

I'll be sure to post "after" pictures once I'm finished...



So, conclusion: Keep knives away from your nibs! And don't adjust them unless you know what you're doing!


Regards,
Tyler Dahl

Need a pen repaired or a nib re-ground? I'd love to help you out.


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Colossians 3:17 - And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.


#2 professionaldilettante

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Posted 30 September 2011 - 05:07

Thus is the reason why I've always sent the pens that mattered out. Sure... people think that it's easy, and try to save the 25-50$ to have one adjusted professionally. After all, it's only a tiny dot of irridium. How hard can it be? And the repairs cost at least that and then some. There are places to be cheap, and there are places where a liberal amount of money needs to be applied. This is such an example.
The heart has its reasons which reason knows nothing of.
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#3 777

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Posted 30 September 2011 - 12:44

Thus is the reason why I've always sent the pens that mattered out. Sure... people think that it's easy, and try to save the 25-50$ to have one adjusted professionally. After all, it's only a tiny dot of irridium. How hard can it be? And the repairs cost at least that and then some. There are places to be cheap, and there are places where a liberal amount of money needs to be applied. This is such an example.


You are exactly right. And besides, a nib like this (before it was "kinfed"), would only run around $15.00 (my price) to $25.00-ish (other peoples prices).

So even at the high-end of the price scale, it's still not expensive. I mean, the pen's worth $200.00+, so just pay the $15.00-$25.00 to get it done right, right? :)

Still, I will openly admit that I am enjoying working on this nib. These are my favorite types of jobs. :D

Need a pen repaired or a nib re-ground? I'd love to help you out.


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Colossians 3:17 - And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.


#4 Nonsensical

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Posted 30 September 2011 - 14:45

Whoa. I've never taken a knife to my nibs before. I'll admit to the occasional pressing down on the desk with my thumb on top of the nib to make sure that I don't apply too much pressure and make the nib sprung... Which is apparently already blasphemy. :rolleyes:

Very curious as to how you fixed the nib, though.

As always, love to see your work, especially since you always great pictures and often include in depth comments. Very creative stuff. :thumbup:

#5 KrazyIvan

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Posted 30 September 2011 - 14:51

You have to start somewhere, right? :headsmack: I prefer to start with cheap Chinese pens. I am still debating if I should move on to more expensive pens. Right now, my limit is $50 (cost of the whole pen). I have not modified anything that costs more than that. :ninja: Restoration, on the other hand, I'll leave that to Tyler. :)

Edited by KrazyIvan, 30 September 2011 - 14:52.


#6 OcalaFlGuy

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Posted 30 September 2011 - 16:03

I would have to question the mental capacity of any FPN member who as a new experience, would take a hobby knife to a $200 nib.

It might take a whole 30 second search to know that brass stock or photo film would be the better material and unlikely to damage the nib. Knowledge and assistance are too readily available here for someone to need to do that to any pen. Much less an expensive one.

If someone doesn't care any more about their pens than to not expend that amount of effort, to get closer to doing it without damaging an expensive pen, then I'm not able to scrounge up much sympathy for them.

Bruce in Ocala, FL-maybe I'm just a hard a**

#7 pajaro

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Posted 30 September 2011 - 21:10

I remember reading somewhere an instruction that, if the tines on a pen were obviously misaligned, you should put the edge of a knife between the tines and rock it gently to put the tines back in alignment. I actually tried this on an Esterbrook, and it did work. I'm not sure if the tiny Swiss Army knife damaged the 2442 nib.

Other instructions floating around involve fingernail adjustments, rocking the nib against a hard service, etc. I am not sure any of these methods work. I used to collect pens and had no connection to a board like FPN, so was just on my own resources. Probably there are a lot of people in that situation, who don't know what else to do when a nib gets out of whack, so they mess with it themselves. I wasn't aware of nibmeisters until a couple of years ago, and didn't care. Malfunctioning pens were just stored, or, if it was inexpensive, I would usually fool around with them until they were destroyed. So, until a fountain pen writer finds a group like FPN, they are in the dark about all these resources. We need not be judgemental about pen ignorance.

Some of it is pretty funny, though.
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#8 geoduc

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Posted 01 October 2011 - 02:49

Okay, I don't understand why you would post a customer's mistake in this manner. You're not naming names or anything, but if that were my pen (and it isn't), I sure wouldn't want to see it put on a public forum for all to ridicule. What's to be gained here?

It's one thing to post common errors so the inexperienced user can learn a lesson and hopefully avoid mistakes, but it should be done in a constructive manner. The tone of this thread and Richard's previous one bother me. Hah! Look what this guy did. What an idiot!

We've all made mistakes that we'd rather not have publicly showcased. I sure hope the guy that did this isn't an FPN member. He's paying you to work on his pen, not to embarrass him.

#9 dds51968

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Posted 01 October 2011 - 03:13

I don't believe that was Tyler's intent. Though I understand your point of view, I think he was merely pointing out that those who don't know what they are doing, should have knowledgeable people work on their pens, rather than try to fix them on their own. His prices are more than reasonable, and his ability is top notch. He has not been doing this as long as some of the other "masters", but I can tell you from my own experiences that he has a deft hand when it comes to nib work, he is not as well known (yet) as Binder, Mottishaw, Masuyama, Minuskin, etc, in time I'm certain he will be. I am currently looking for a nice new Broad nibbed pen so he can stub it for me. I was so satisfied with regrinds he did for me after a highly regarded nib grinder turned two very nice pens into scalpels. My dealings with Tyler have shown me the type of person and professional that he is, and I look forward to having him work on my pens in the future.

I do not know Tyler personally, I've never spoken to him beyond emails, but it is evident he is a skilled craftsman, who shows a great deal of pride and care for his work and clients.

My 2 cents

David

#10 OcalaFlGuy

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Posted 01 October 2011 - 03:54

I wouldn't be surprised if Tyler asked the customer first.

Tyler's a stand up, honest young man, I don't think he did anything he thought was inappropriate.

I will clarify a bit what I said.

I would not have said a word had the pen been a Safari or a Phileas that some newer FPNer had that wouldn't write well so they stumbled into working on it.

This is a Sailor 1911 with a 21k nib. I think we're talking a $200 pen here.

Newbie FP peeps don't usually go for a pen like that. Someone much more knowledgeable about pens does. Certainly knowledgeable enough to be able to read the 21k engraving and know that that much gold will have that nib prong with a stern look, much less a blade.

This to me is NOT your average "gee I wonder if I can fix this broke pen" situation...

Bruce in Ocala, FL

#11 geoduc

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Posted 01 October 2011 - 04:07

I don't believe that was Tyler's intent. Though I understand your point of view, I think he was merely pointing out that those who don't know what they are doing, should have knowledgeable people work on their pens, rather than try to fix them on their own. His prices are more than reasonable, and his ability is top notch. He has not been doing this as long as some of the other "masters", but I can tell you from my own experiences that he has a deft hand when it comes to nib work, he is not as well known (yet) as Binder, Mottishaw, Masuyama, Minuskin, etc, in time I'm certain he will be. I am currently looking for a nice new Broad nibbed pen so he can stub it for me. I was so satisfied with regrinds he did for me after a highly regarded nib grinder turned two very nice pens into scalpels. My dealings with Tyler have shown me the type of person and professional that he is, and I look forward to having him work on my pens in the future.

I do not know Tyler personally, I've never spoken to him beyond emails, but it is evident he is a skilled craftsman, who shows a great deal of pride and care for his work and clients.

My 2 cents

David



I wouldn't be surprised if Tyler asked the customer first.

Tyler's a stand up, honest young man, I don't think he did anything he thought was inappropriate.

I will clarify a bit what I said.

I would not have said a word had the pen been a Safari or a Phileas that some newer FPNer had that wouldn't write well so they stumbled into working on it.

This is a Sailor 1911 with a 21k nib. I think we're talking a $200 pen here.

Newbie FP peeps don't usually go for a pen like that. Someone much more knowledgeable about pens does. Certainly knowledgeable enough to be able to read the 21k engraving and know that that much gold will have that nib prong with a stern look, much less a blade.

This to me is NOT your average "gee I wonder if I can fix this broke pen" situation...

Bruce in Ocala, FL


Fair enough. Perhaps it just struck me wrong. I'll just say that if it were my pen and I saw the post, I would not be pleased. If Tyler asked permission first, then it's a completely different story and I'll retract everything I said.

I have not had any work done by Tyler, but I'm glad to hear that he is an up and coming nibmeister/pen repair person. I'm always on the lookout for someone who does quality work in a reasonable amount of time.

#12 777

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Posted 01 October 2011 - 04:17

"Hah! Look what this guy did. What an idiot!"


Well I honestly hope that's not the impression you got, cause' that's not what I intended... Posted Image

No, the tone that I set this to was not to ridicule the person who did this. Indeed, I would hate to do that to anyone.

I was hoping we could all learn something, and have a good chuckle from it. I've made mistakes a LOT worse than this when I started out repairing pens!


We all just need to learn to laugh at our mistakes, and not take them so seriously. Posted Image

Honestly, whenever I get a pen like this in the mail, I really do laugh out loud. I find our human learning experiences funny, and it brings back good old memories of me doing stupid stuff... Posted Image Posted Image

I do not sit here and call people idiots for making a mistake. Now true, it was bit, well, "goofy" to take a knife to a $200.00+ fountain pen, but I would never call someone an idiot of doing that.

Indeed, the owner should be commended, for trying to fix a problem. Even if he didn't succeed, he did give it a good try.

Need a pen repaired or a nib re-ground? I'd love to help you out.


Posted Image


Colossians 3:17 - And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.


#13 Avetikus

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Posted 01 October 2011 - 05:03

And if not a good try, then at least an enthusiastic one.

Naw, we all make mistakes. What I tell myself is "It's already broken. what am I going to do? Make it not-work some more?"
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#14 geoduc

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Posted 01 October 2011 - 05:09


"Hah! Look what this guy did. What an idiot!"


Well I honestly hope that's not the impression you got, cause' that's not what I intended... Posted Image

No, the tone that I set this to was not to ridicule the person who did this. Indeed, I would hate to do that to anyone.

I was hoping we could all learn something, and have a good chuckle from it. I've made mistakes a LOT worse than this when I started out repairing pens!


We all just need to learn to laugh at our mistakes, and not take them so seriously. Posted Image

Honestly, whenever I get a pen like this in the mail, I really do laugh out loud. I find our human learning experiences funny, and it brings back good old memories of me doing stupid stuff... Posted Image Posted Image

I do not sit here and call people idiots for making a mistake. Now true, it was bit, well, "goofy" to take a knife to a $200.00+ fountain pen, but I would never call someone an idiot of doing that.

Indeed, the owner should be commended, for trying to fix a problem. Even if he didn't succeed, he did give it a good try.


Thanks for chiming in. In rereading my original post, it's a bit heavy-handed so I apologize for that.

I read your thread and Richard's (http://www.fountainp...o-adjust-a-nib/) and felt that it was inappropriate to showcase the mistakes of your customers. After all, they're paying for your service and should be treated with respect, even if they did get a little enthusiastic in their own repair attempts. If you asked their permission to post a lessons-learned on the forum then that's fine, although you should state that up front so old curmudgeons like me don't hop on their soapbox. Anyway, that's just my opinion. I'll lighten up now :)

Good luck in getting your business established. I look forward to seeing your name listed with the rest of the nib luminaries in the near future.

#15 sera0516

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Posted 14 October 2011 - 02:44

Just adding my own 2 cents to this thread: I came to this thread after reading the earlier post on how not to adjust a nib and my reaction to that post, and this one, is that it is uncomfortable and not illuminating to read a public criticism of what someone's customer has entrusted one to fix, even if the client is not named. And more importantly, there is practically nothing to be gained by it. No one is in the dark about why it is imprudent to knife a nib. No one is confused about the usefulness of professional services. And there was no other, more useful information given. It was precisely in recognition of the mistake that the pens were sent in. I sure would not want to see my mistakes up on a website.

#16 MicheleB

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Posted 14 October 2011 - 05:49

I do appreciate learning from this type of post. Although I have never done it, I have been so frustrated at times I have thought of it when the brass shim or the mylar or the trial of many different inks and rinses doesn't work and it's a brand new pen! However, if I wasn't asked and I saw this post of my pen, I would not be pleased and likely go elsewhere next time. My two cents and my perspective. It's not good. It's not bad. It's just different.
We can trust the heart of a man by his treatment of animals. - Immanual Kant