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Making scratchy esterbrook nibs smoother writing
Posted 11 March 2011 - 05:25
Thank you all in advance
Posted 11 March 2011 - 06:07
Posted 11 March 2011 - 06:44
Let us endeavor to live so that when we come to die even the undertaker will be sorry. -Mark Twain
Posted 11 March 2011 - 13:05
Posted 14 March 2011 - 17:55
You need good light and magnification (unless you are extremely nearsighted like I am... and I still use magnification). Look at the underside of the point from each side. Here's where the strong light comes in. You're looking for the light reflecting off one inside edge. Using only your fingers and thumbs, push up or down (depending on what that nib needs) until neither half of the point is higher or lower than the other (here's where good magnification is necessary). The vast majority of the time this is all that is required.
If you still have some scratch on horizontal strokes you either haven't gotten it aligned yet (so you probably need more magnification) or you've got an overly sharp outside edge. The latter is often the result of the condition pal38 so wonderfully illustrated. In that case a little... and I do mean little... buffing with the finest grade of micromesh just on the sharp edges does the trick. I use micromesh sticks that I get at a hobby shop in the model building aisle. They're used by manicurists and have the finest grade on one side and two coarser grades on the other. On a 9 series nib you may be able to be a bit more agressive (since they're actually tipped), but on 1 and 2 series nibs you can take the rolled tip off in a heartbeat... so use a light touch and the finest grade. It takes a lot less effort than you might think.
As for tools? Just your fingers/thumbs, a loupe (or at least a magnifying glass), a light, and maybe the finest grade micromesh. Keep anything harder than your thumbnail away. Anything harder (like pliers of any kind) will most like render your nib a useless single pointed piece of metal.
All of this, by the way, is spoken from experience.
Posted 14 March 2011 - 18:20
The high grit manicure sticks Tim mentioned are by far the best, safest, cheapest, easiest to find smoothing medium.
As he also mentioned, don't even think about smoothing a nib until you are Absolutely Positive the tines are aligned.
Bruce in Ocala, FL
Posted 31 March 2011 - 00:29
I read through this chat stream and wanted to add just a quick note on materials that came to mind. I found the back side of the finest grit (600 and higher) wet sanding paper immensely useful for fine applications. Initially I discovered this working on pool cues shafts and ferrules on the lathe. Plus, it is a wet media paper so using it with ink is no problem. While against a writing table or equivalent, it holds a wonderfully flat and even surface. I hope this is useful. Dan