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Noodler's Ahab Flex Modification


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40 replies to this topic

#1 thebz1

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Posted 02 June 2013 - 16:35

I've always liked my Noodler's Ahab pen that I have been using since around October, but I found its flexible capabilities to be a little lackluster. The nib always required a large amount of pressure to flex and would often railroad. Whenever I wanted to play around with flex, I found myself just picking up one of my vintage pens.  The Ahab just wasn't worth it when it came to flex.

 

However, I had some free time the other day so I decided the Ahab would be worth messing around with since it was only a $20 pen. I ended up shaving off the shoulders of the nib with a dremel tool to increase it's flexibility and then I grounded the tip of the nib with some very fine grit sandpaper in order to enable it to achieve some nice hairlines.  Then to fix the railroading problem I often encountered, I cut the channel in the feed deeper with my pocket knife. I also carved the fins in the side of the feed a little wider as well.

 

The result was really quite amazing. The nib flexed a lot easier and made thicker lines. It has only railroaded on me a couple times and that was when I was really pushing its limits. When it is unflexed, it makes some really nice hairlines and writes pretty smoothly to my surprise.  I'll definitely be playing around with this pen a lot more than I have in the past.

 

Here's a few pictures I took.  If anyone has any questions regarding this mod, feel free to let me know!  :D

 

IMG_20130602_113818.jpg

IMG_20130602_113909.jpg

IMG_20130602_114221.jpg

 


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My favorite fountain pens in my collection:
Parker 51 (cedar blue, vacumatic, 0.9mm Cursive Italic)
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Conklin Crescent 25 (Black Chased Hard Rubber, Wetnoodle .3mm to 2.5mm)
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#2 MisterBoll

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Posted 02 June 2013 - 16:53

Looks great. Thanks for the info. Exactly what dremel tool did you use? I've never used one.



#3 apkayle

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Posted 06 June 2013 - 01:35

I wonder what Nathan Tardif would think of this mod. He seems like a fan of vintage flexy pens, I wonder if this mod came across his mind when he was designing these pens.



#4 TSherbs

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Posted 06 June 2013 - 03:33

Wow.  Impressive fine-to-flex range!



#5 rizo52

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Posted 06 June 2013 - 04:10

Looks great.  and with a very siple modification, too.



#6 Spire

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Posted 06 June 2013 - 07:01

Impressive I never imagined that a Noodlers Ahab would be capable of that.



#7 Gloucesterman

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Posted 06 June 2013 - 12:09

Thanks for sharing your experimentation.

 

I'll bet this would make a good YouTube video - before, step by step modification and finally, voila - the flex Noodler emerges.


“Don't put off till tomorrow what you can do today, because if you do it today and like it, you can do again tomorrow!”


#8 cybaea

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Posted 06 June 2013 - 13:12

Why don't Noodler's ship them like this? :yikes:

 

A close-up of the nib at each stage of the process would be really helpful. I am trying to figure out how much you cut off.


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#9 kip

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Posted 06 June 2013 - 20:12

That is an amazing result. I've been using a twsbi with an "fpr" flex nib installed and thought I was experiencing the best modern flex available, but that is just unbelievable. 

 

Compared to your vintage pens how hard is it flex, has it reached the point of full flex? 

 

I might have to get a Konrad for the sake of experimentation. I'd do a mod like your's to it. Then make it a falcon nib like in the Ease My Flex mod. And lastly thin the reamining nib with some sandpaper. I doubt it would be a working nib by the end, but maybe, just maybe it could be a true steel wet noodle. 



#10 Calamus plasticus

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Posted 06 June 2013 - 20:38

Why don't Noodler's ship them like this? :yikes:
 
A close-up of the nib at each stage of the process would be really helpful. I am trying to figure out how much you cut off.


Or at least a close-up of the nib in its present flex state...
Fantastic flex for a modern pen!

#11 thebz1

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Posted 09 June 2013 - 16:53

A close-up of the nib at each stage of the process would be really helpful. I am trying to figure out how much you cut off.

 

Sorry I didn't document the process better. I was just experimenting and wasn't sure if it would be a success or not.  It's more of just a proof of concept to me.  When I end up buying another Noodler's flex pen, I'll be sure to give a more specific walkthrough on how to do it.  Just a few things of note are that you want to use a really fine grit for the dremel tool, and also just shave off the shoulders until the nib has an aerodynamic kind of look to it. Take the process slow though because you don't want to take off too much or make the sides uneven.

 

Compared to your vintage pens how hard is it flex, has it reached the point of full flex? 

 

This mod allows it to reach a much greater degree of line variation and prevents it from railroading often.  The pen does flex easier than it normally would, but it should be noted that it still does not flex as easy as a lot of gold nibbed vintage pens do.  Considering I don't have arthritis or anything like that, I don't mind pushing a little harder to get the results I want, so I wouldn't really consider it an issue.


One of the few and proud 16 year old FPN users.
My favorite fountain pens in my collection:
Parker 51 (cedar blue, vacumatic, 0.9mm Cursive Italic)
Waterman 52 (Black Chased Hard Rubber, SuperFlex .2mm to 2.0mm)
Conklin Crescent 25 (Black Chased Hard Rubber, Wetnoodle .3mm to 2.5mm)
Diamond P.P. Combo Pen (Orange, Flexible Fine, 1.1mm Graphite)
Pelikan M200 (Black, M400 Condor Nib)
Waterman Carene (Deluxe Blue, Medium)
Omas 360 (Black w/ Rhodium Trim, Medium)

#12 cybaea

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Posted 10 June 2013 - 10:58

Sorry I didn't document the process better. I was just experimenting and wasn't sure if it would be a success or not.  It's more of just a proof of concept to me.  When I end up buying another Noodler's flex pen, I'll be sure to give a more specific walkthrough on how to do it.  Just a few things of note are that you want to use a really fine grit for the dremel tool, and also just shave off the shoulders until the nib has an aerodynamic kind of look to it. Take the process slow though because you don't want to take off too much or make the sides uneven.

 

Don't be sorry: we appreciate all the information you have shared. I have an Ahab nib (I have four or five at last count....) so just a closeup of the finished nib would already be helpful. Only if it is not too much trouble.


I am no longer very active on FPN but feel free to message me. Or send me a postal letter!


#13 mhphoto

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Posted 01 August 2013 - 13:46

Very cool! Thanks for sharing!

fpn_1451747045__img_1999-2.jpg

 


#14 mhphoto

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Posted 01 August 2013 - 18:13

Nailed it. 

 

B72DDCE2-46F3-4962-A08E-2DFFC4F265D6-355

 

:lticaptd:  :lticaptd:  :lticaptd:

 

Best I could do on my lunch break. The next one will be better, I promise.  :lol:


fpn_1451747045__img_1999-2.jpg

 


#15 Sinistral1

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Posted 17 September 2013 - 22:57

E-gads!! This is too cool! Has anybody else done this to a Noodlers or one of those FPR steel flex nibs? Any more photos or a video showing how it's done and which Dremel tool was used? Need. More. Info!! Thanks!

mhphoto - How did your nib perform? Can you post a sample, please?

Edited by Sinistral1, 18 September 2013 - 22:24.

Breathe.  Take one step at a time.  Don't sweat the small stuff.  You're not getting older, you are only moving through time.  Be calm and positive.


#16 c4bb0ose

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Posted 18 September 2013 - 22:15

E-gads!! This is too cool! Has anybody else done this to a Noodlers or one of those FPR steel flex nibs? Any more photos or a video showing how it's done and which Dremel tool was used? Need. More. Info!! Thanks!

mg photo - How did your nib perform? Can you post a sample, please?

I have a FPR flex nib on a serwex 362 pen, I can get this kind of line variation with modification to the feed (deepening the feed channels and also widening them of sorts ). It does take pressure to do this, but that is fine, if I could get my hands on another one I could file it down to attempt to make the flex less taxing on the hand. I would just rather not mess with it to much as it has been playing up until I got this new feed from FPR.

I would say the flex on these pens stock standard are not on par with vintage gold flex nibs (for reference watermans ideal taperate variation (unknown model number), I cannot speak for noodlers flex pens as I have yet to get my hands on one.

I should add that you can do this with small files, in particular I have managed to do this with miniature model files on my play around nibs that came with a platignum regal, again this can be taxing on the hands, so if you have joint issues or Carpel tunnel I would suggest getting this dremel tool, which from googling it, it appears to be a hobby drill of sorts.


Edited by c4bb0ose, 18 September 2013 - 22:22.


#17 Sinistral1

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Posted 18 September 2013 - 22:26

c4bb0ose:  When you say feed channels, do you mean the one down the middle of the feed, or the ones on the sides?  My friend brought me her Dremel to loan me today, and I'm waiting on the FPR flex nibs to come in the mail.  I feel like Dr. Frankenstein!


Breathe.  Take one step at a time.  Don't sweat the small stuff.  You're not getting older, you are only moving through time.  Be calm and positive.


#18 c4bb0ose

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Posted 18 September 2013 - 23:22

I should probably clarify http://www.richardsp...n_invention.png

​Richardspens refers to them as ink fissures, deepening them involves running a craft knife down it to slowly deepen the ink fissures. FPR have a how to video on this, as well as noodlers and a few others.

 

I'm personally in the process of looking at another way of increasing the ink flow which in theory involves increasing the width of the ink fissures the higher you go from the tip of the feed, but I cannot report to much on that yet.



#19 Drone

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Posted 28 September 2013 - 07:30

This 23 February 2013 post by Pterodactylus shows another Ahab flex mod:

http://www.fountainp..._1#entry2607667
 

Enjoy...



#20 I like mango cheesecake

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Posted 28 September 2013 - 17:29

I have an FPR pen with a flex nib coming soon in the mail. I've done CI mods to standard M nibs that I've documented before. I'll try this mod on my flex nib I'm going to get.  I have a dremel with about 600 different grinding attachments :) I ordered the FPR pen with an additional nib, in the event my flex mod gets too out of control...

 

I'll post the results if it's a success.








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