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Modding Modern Fountain Pens


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#1 Kennnyboy

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Posted 04 January 2013 - 11:16

Are there many members on this forum who have been successful in modding a modern fountain pen and putting a lovely flexy vintage 14k nib in it? Personally I would love to have a Noodler's Ahab with a soft wet noodle of a vintage nib on it. I have no idea how it is done but I'm sure that I'll be tinkering in due course...for me personally, I find these projects to be inevitable. But I would love to see and hear of any experiences.

Thanks.

#2 mhphoto

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Posted 04 January 2013 - 12:32

Its tricky. I've put some #2 Waterman nibs on a few Different pens. One was a Noodler's and didn't require any modification to the feed (though it doesn't run as well as it did on the original pen). The other is on a vintage Ambassador, which needed substantial changes to the feed, which now runs like a champ.

Edited by mhphoto, 04 January 2013 - 12:32.


#3 Kennnyboy

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Posted 04 January 2013 - 12:49

Did have to measure the nibs and feeds on the old and new pens to make sure it was all compatible or was it more like guesswork? And what mods did you have to make to the feed?

#4 watch_art

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Posted 04 January 2013 - 12:55

www.vintagepen.net

Edited by watch_art, 04 January 2013 - 12:55.

fpn_1405136194__fpn_1404594699__sg_tag.j sigpic14481_1.gif vanness.jpg?t=1321916122


#5 Scrawler

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Posted 04 January 2013 - 14:18

You mean like this: http://www.fountainp...ost__p__2414033

and

http://www.fountainp...ost__p__2446450

#6 Kennnyboy

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Posted 04 January 2013 - 14:55

thanks for the links! I have seen the vintagepen.net page before. It's the stunning blog of Mauricio isn't it? He certainly knows what he's about. But I'm interested in seeing if mere normal folk have tried modding...just checked Scrawler's links. Great work!!! Thanks again.

Is Frankenpen a "known" moniker for these modded pens?

Edited by Kennnyboy, 04 January 2013 - 14:57.


#7 Scrawler

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Posted 04 January 2013 - 15:30

thanks for the links! I have seen the vintagepen.net page before. It's the stunning blog of Mauricio isn't it? He certainly knows what he's about. But I'm interested in seeing if mere normal folk have tried modding...just checked Scrawler's links. Great work!!! Thanks again.

Is Frankenpen a "known" moniker for these modded pens?

Yes Frankenpen is what we call these. Here are more.

http://www.fountainp...ost__p__2497208

http://www.fountainp...ost__p__2376416

http://www.fountainp...ost__p__2353496

(not 14k nibs but the idea is the same)

Edited by Scrawler, 04 January 2013 - 15:32.


#8 phlosar

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Posted 04 January 2013 - 15:51

I have modded pens, both vintage and modern. The easiest mod is to use the entire nib/feed/section unit in the new pen. Sometimes you might have just nib and feed (cracked, gouged or missing section) that you can recover and put in a different pen. I don't like to mod expensive pens or rare vintage, except with the latter a replacement of the same vintage and brand is okay with me. If you just have the nib, you need to find a good feed to match it (fit and ink flow). You may need to shape the feed so that it fits against the nib (heat it). You may need to lightly file the inside of a section (round file works best) to allow for the nib and feed. It is best to experiment on very cheap pens.

#9 Scrawler

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Posted 04 January 2013 - 19:11

I have modded pens, both vintage and modern. The easiest mod is to use the entire nib/feed/section unit in the new pen. Sometimes you might have just nib and feed (cracked, gouged or missing section) that you can recover and put in a different pen. I don't like to mod expensive pens or rare vintage, except with the latter a replacement of the same vintage and brand is okay with me. If you just have the nib, you need to find a good feed to match it (fit and ink flow). You may need to shape the feed so that it fits against the nib (heat it). You may need to lightly file the inside of a section (round file works best) to allow for the nib and feed. It is best to experiment on very cheap pens.

All of this plus you can grind or abrade feeds to fit the curvature of nibs too. When grinding the feed you must be careful to delineate where the feed plugs into the section and where the nib rests.

#10 trhall

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 00:26

www.vintagepen.net


I agree with Shawn. Mauricio is great to work with. His site is a great source of information, and he stands behind his work. Very happy with the superflex nib I bought from him (for my TWSBI Diamond 540).

But I'm interested in seeing if mere normal folk have tried modding...


You may be interested in a few threads:

List of Possible Nib Substitutions

Some Interesting Nib Substitutions

I'm very happy with using vintage nibs on my TWSBI Diamond 540's. I have the one from Mauricio, as well as a Swan Mabie Todd #2 that I use all the time. Easy to do. You just pull the nib/feed from the donor pen and the TWSBI, and put the desired nib onto the TWSBI feed and put back into the section. Love it!

Here are some links specifically about the Ahab, though they seem to be mostly modern and not vintage replacements:

Not Happy With Your Ahab?
Ahab With Knox K35 & Bulow Nibs
Different Nibs on TWSBI Vac
Noodlers Piston Fillers (Noodler's Piston Fillers, not the Ahab, but specifically mentions a vintage Moore #2 nib, and a few posts down mentions vintage Watermans #2)

You can also see many examples of nib swaps from other members, including:

http://estilofilos.b...02/chimera.html
http://estilofilos.b...ndoras-box.html
http://peaceablewrit...2/05/02/tale12/
http://www.leighreyes.com/?p=3703

Enjoy, and good luck! Vintage nibs in modern pens are wonderful!

#11 Avetikus

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 00:49

Please tell me you can help me find a flexy nib for my TWSBI Micarta!

I tried the original nib - didn't like it.
I had it stubbed - it's better, but... meh.

Now I'm stuck trawling through threads. Maybe you can shorten the way?


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#12 trhall

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 01:13

Please tell me you can help me find a flexy nib for my TWSBI Micarta!


Google is your friend. I searched for "TWSBI micarta nib swap" and the first link was:

http://www.fountainp...rta-nib-option/

Sounds like the Danitrio flexy nibs fit.

There are a few other links if you do that Google search or the same search via FPN.

http://www.fountainp...ost__p__2319057

Personally, I suggest contacting Mauricio (mentioned above) as he could probably locate a nib that meets your needs.

Hope that helps.

Edited by trhall, 05 January 2013 - 01:18.


#13 Avetikus

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 05:01

Will definitely ask.
"Spend all you want! We'll print more!" - B. S. (What's a Weimar?) Bernanke

#14 Kennnyboy

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 11:30

Trhall - thank you for all those helpful links. I will definitely spend some time reading through those as soon as I submit the work for my Masters! I'm glad that there is a way to swap out a modern nib from the TWSBI Diamond 540 and replace it with the Swan Mabie Todd #2! That sounds like a great plan....once again thank you - really appreciate your help.

#15 trhall

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 23:21

Kennyboy (and Aveticus) - Good luck with whatever you end up doing with vintage nibs on modern bodies!

The reason so many people suggest going through someone like Mauricio is that not all vintage nibs are created equal. For example, some Mabie Todd Swan #2 nibs are a different size, have a different curvature (so they don't sit on a modern feed), etc. And it's all trial and error. Going through someone who specializes in this type of work means you don't have to worry about sorting through incompatible matches.

But trying on your own is fun too. :) It's pretty easy to test matching nibs to pens, and if they aren't compatible, then you move on to something else.

#16 Scrawler

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 23:49

Kennyboy (and Aveticus) - Good luck with whatever you end up doing with vintage nibs on modern bodies!

The reason so many people suggest going through someone like Mauricio is that not all vintage nibs are created equal. For example, some Mabie Todd Swan #2 nibs are a different size, have a different curvature (so they don't sit on a modern feed), etc. And it's all trial and error. Going through someone who specializes in this type of work means you don't have to worry about sorting through incompatible matches.

But trying on your own is fun too. :) It's pretty easy to test matching nibs to pens, and if they aren't compatible, then you move on to something else.

I agree with the trial and error, but that is part of what having a hobby is about.

Edited by Scrawler, 05 January 2013 - 23:49.


#17 trhall

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Posted 06 January 2013 - 00:13

I agree with the trial and error, but that is part of what having a hobby is about.


Absolutely! It just depends on if someone wants to tinker a lot. You've done some neat combinations. I appreciate your posts and contributions.

#18 Avetikus

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Posted 06 January 2013 - 19:57

A little tinkering here and there appeals to me in my normal hobbies but really not so much for pens. I don't know why. Maybe I'd feel like I'd have to tool-up to do it and I've already got plenty of other things to fiddle with.

I could send this pen to someone and wait for its return without a qualm.
"Spend all you want! We'll print more!" - B. S. (What's a Weimar?) Bernanke