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The All New Affordable Nib Block


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17 replies to this topic

#1 eckiethump

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Posted 04 October 2011 - 11:24

This is in reference to the nib block mentioned here http://www.fountainp...how-in-october/

Usual disclaimers, I am nothing more than a very satisfied customer etc.

The block itself ids made from silver steel, perhaps called tool steel in the US, Dimensions are 4" (100mm) X 1 15/16"(49mm) X 63/64"(25mm) and is heavy in weight (sorry scales battery has died). The concave/convex surfaces the nib will sit on are highly hand polished, the other surfaces a bit smoother than a P51 Lustraloy cap

Internal taper is 9/16"(14.5mm) >1/8"(3mm) External tapers are the same.

The surface are super clean, any flecks shown are from my quite inadequate camera work

So to the pictures............
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Jack had to get in one of these, note the paw
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Not pictured is the burnishing tool supplied with the nib block

And all the ad hoc tools this one piece of kit replaces
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This tool will save pen nibs, given that the user has the manual dexterity, acquired practice and knowledge on nib work. Now for the bad news, they are sold out, BUT only on their first production run, I believe there is another one programmed.
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Eric
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#2 777

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Posted 04 October 2011 - 13:05

Oh Lord... I can't wait to get mine!!! Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image

I pre-ordered one from the second batch, which is almost complete I hear.

But man, that's a nice nib block!

Thanks for reviewing it Eric. Please do show us some of the magic you can work with it. I intend on doing a full review too when I get mine too. :)

Now to wait........


PS - Where did you buy that anvil from? I have one just like it that I bought form micro-mark.com

And how did you polish it so nicely? I've been wondering how to do that for the longest time.

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.


#3 eckiethump

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Posted 04 October 2011 - 13:44

The anvil came from a local tool shop, jewellers anvil, no special treatment to clean, in fact I use the surface because it it cleans so easily for mixing celluloid on.

You won't be disappointed with the nib block, to provide photo's of what I can do with it, I'll need to get into the habit of taking photo's before I start workPosted Image. I did a nib this morning, it was my break period from repairing customers pens ! It really is a peach to use.
Eric
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#4 hari317

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Posted 04 October 2011 - 13:50

Hi Eric, thank you for sharing the pictures. can you pls write a short primer on how to use a nib block. the basics.

Thanks!
Hari

#5 brettttt

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Posted 04 October 2011 - 15:26

Eric,

Thanks for posting the pictures and impressions. Like Tyler, I'm not very patiently awaiting one of these for myself, and I'm very glad to read your positive reactions. I wish I lived around the corner and could make a visit to watch you work on some nibs. Since I don't, though, I too would be grateful for any instructions/tips you are willing to share.

Best regards,
Brett

#6 adyf

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Posted 04 October 2011 - 18:19

Eric,

Is it heavy enough to support itself while you use it or will it need to be secured in a vice?

I recently bought mine from Francis Goossens.

Edited by adyf, 04 October 2011 - 18:19.


#7 eckiethump

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Posted 04 October 2011 - 18:36

Hi Eric, thank you for sharing the pictures. can you pls write a short primer on how to use a nib block. the basics.

Thanks!
Hari

Hi Hari

With the nib block you will be supplied with a burnisher, a rounded polished rod, the problem with taking kinks out of nibs or bends in them, is to have them sitting on a firm enough shaped surface to apply pressure to the nib where the bend or kink is. With this block you have the profile both external and internal, for almost all sizes of fountain pen nibs. I say almost all, as today I was working on a customers William Hicks dip pen, which has about the equivalent to a #30(old Waterman sizes only went up to 20, I think) sized nib, thankfully the nib wasn't the problem. Gold I believe cannot be work hardened by pressure, but the copper and other metal content in 14ct gold nibs, I believe can be. So care must be taken where and how the pressure is applied to the nib to get it back into shape, or the characteristics can be irreversibly altered. A bad example but if you had a dent in your car, you'd hit it out again. The small nibs need to be supported, while you apply pressure, by the nib block. The taper cone profiles internal/external, offer the opportunity to work on many nibs sizes.
There are many nibs, which are too important for us mere mortals to work on, when coming across those, I'd still send them out to John Sorowka(Oxonian), John Mottishaw or Greg Minuskin to work on

Eric,

Thanks for posting the pictures and impressions. Like Tyler, I'm not very patiently awaiting one of these for myself, and I'm very glad to read your positive reactions. I wish I lived around the corner and could make a visit to watch you work on some nibs. Since I don't, though, I too would be grateful for any instructions/tips you are willing to share.

Best regards,
Brett

Hi Brett
We've just had the London Show, where John Sorowka was the only nib technician at work, to be honest, in US you also have some of the best nib technicians attending shows. John though I know has nearly forty years of experience of working on pens and nibs. If in Edinburgh, I'm always glad to show anybody around my beautiful city and have the opportunity to talk pens at the same timePosted Image

It should be pointed out that cosmetically repairing a nib and making it usable as a writing implement is only art of the process. A true nib technician (nibmeister, if you mustPosted Image) will want to see you writing with the pen, to ascertain your writing style and how you hold the pen, angle. Then they will shape the nib to suit this, John S, I know is ambidextrous and can also write upside down and back wards, a talent, that enables him to replicate, when required a customers writing style. I prefer to say I carry out the mechanics of making a pen work, as well as the cosmetics pleasing. Those that carry out true nib craft, not just usability, but tailoring a nib to a customers requirements, are the true artists.

Eric


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http://www.wesonline.org.uk/

#8 eckiethump

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Posted 04 October 2011 - 18:57

Eric,

Is it heavy enough to support itself while you use it or will it need to be secured in a vice?

I recently bought mine from Francis Goossens.


If you put it in a vice, it would mean you are trying to apply too much pressure, this is a solid object, which just needs to be on a firm base. It's not a static process, nib work, a little on the concave a little on the convex, the weight of it allows that freedom of movement as a stand alone item.

To be clear, this is not a new product, the process of the manufacture is, the design is similar of the legendary Steytler nib blocks. Somehow or other, Ian Williamson and Jeremy Collingridge have managed to find a manufacturing process which makes them affordable. More power to their inventive and tenacious capabilities,.

Eric


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http://www.wesonline.org.uk/

#9 hari317

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Posted 05 October 2011 - 17:55

Hi Eric, thank you!

#10 inkthefinks

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Posted 07 October 2011 - 15:57

I REALLY hope that these will be available for a while...?
Down with crummy pens!

#11 ianpw

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Posted 30 November 2011 - 19:48

Hi all,

Another batch of nib blocks go into production next week.Posted Image

Ian

#12 PDW

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Posted 01 December 2011 - 09:07

From whom, when, how much?

#13 richardandtracy

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Posted 01 December 2011 - 13:13

I'm more interested in how it was made.

This seems to be virtually the only situation I've come across where a shaper is the best tool for the job. Set the block on a rotary table, then on an angle block and machine with the shaper, rotating the table slowly until the requisite diameter is reached.

Interesting problem.

Regards,

Richard.

#14 PDW

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Posted 01 December 2011 - 16:26

Actually, this seems to me an ideal subject for a computerised machine tool (CNC). If anyone has access to such a machine and could borrow an example of the block we could all have them. Then all we'd need would be the skills ... oh ... oh dear ...

Edited by PDW, 01 December 2011 - 16:27.


#15 WOBentley

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Posted 01 December 2011 - 16:56

Another huge :thumbup: for this nib block, truly a nice bit of kit. I have been too busy to use mine yet but I am very happy with the obvious quality of the item (I also got the burnisher with it)
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#16 ianpw

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Posted 01 December 2011 - 23:31

From whom, when, how much?


The nib block complete with a hand shaped and polished burnisher including insured shipping is GBP£213.17. If you are interested PM me.

Regards

Ian




#17 ianpw

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Posted 02 December 2011 - 14:49

[quote name='richardandtracy' timestamp='1322745213' post='2172790']
I'm more interested in how it was made.

This seems to be virtually the only situation I've come across where a shaper is the best tool for the job. Set the block on a rotary table, then on an angle block and machine with the shaper, rotating the table slowly until the requisite diameter is reached.

Interesting problem.

Regards,

Richard.
[/quote


Hi Richard,

The blocks are produced on a 5 axis Cincinnati CNC machine using a milling cutter. My partner in crime on this project, Jeremy, is a Rolls Royce trained engineer and looks after the technical aspects of production. I hope that this small amount of information is helpful to you.

Regards

Ian





#18 Ron Z

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Posted 02 December 2011 - 14:54

I'm closing the thread, but I've left it here because I know how useful a nib block be, and how hard they can be to find. But in the future, announcements about a new release of the blocks should go in Market Watch or classifieds.

We really should keep the forum to questions and discussions about repairs.

Edited by Ron Z, 02 December 2011 - 14:55.

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