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Noodler's Ahab Flex Pen


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#201 ghorn11

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Posted 18 December 2011 - 15:40

I just got my purple demonstrator. The smell IS there, but it's not horrid. I think a combo of the plastic and play-doh, yes... but more to me? The tool handle smell. It's not overpowering, and it's already less a couple of hours later than when I first smelled it. Washing the thing seems to have helped considerably.

Also, the o-ring on the piston was a "serious bear" as Mr Goulet put it. I gave up trying to be gentle with the previous occupant and just grabbed it off with a pair of nail clippers. Pen is fine, double o-ring simple to put on.

I LOVE the flex. I use fountain pens fairly regularly, but I'm also a calligrapher. It's a great mix of the two and very much in my non-existent budget. Thanks, Nathan!


I am so intrigued by this "smell." Aside from wanting a great inexpensive flex pen, I think I am going to have to order one just to interpret the stink!

#202 Caifanito

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Posted 19 December 2011 - 16:49

ok, i guess I had been lucky up to now...I tried inking the new Ahab demonstrator with J Herbin Violet Pensee...and nada! Well, I get ink here and there but most of the time nothing. On my other 3 Ahabs I didn't have to do any cleaning nor dis-assembly. On this demonstrator I tried flushing with only water, I took apart the the nib & feeder and cleaned up with cold water. I then tried re-inking with the same ink and still nothing. I guess my next step is to order some of the JB perfect flush, flush the thing and hope for the best Posted Image
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#203 watch_art

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Posted 19 December 2011 - 16:58

You could just use some ammonia/water, soapy water, or some kitchen 409.

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#204 AlejoPlay

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Posted 19 December 2011 - 17:03

I just got my purple demonstrator. The smell IS there, but it's not horrid. I think a combo of the plastic and play-doh, yes... but more to me? The tool handle smell. It's not overpowering, and it's already less a couple of hours later than when I first smelled it. Washing the thing seems to have helped considerably.

Also, the o-ring on the piston was a "serious bear" as Mr Goulet put it. I gave up trying to be gentle with the previous occupant and just grabbed it off with a pair of nail clippers. Pen is fine, double o-ring simple to put on.

I LOVE the flex. I use fountain pens fairly regularly, but I'm also a calligrapher. It's a great mix of the two and very much in my non-existent budget. Thanks, Nathan!


I am so intrigued by this "smell." Aside from wanting a great inexpensive flex pen, I think I am going to have to order one just to interpret the stink!


It's not so bad. It's a faint rubbery smell.

#205 JonB55198

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Posted 19 December 2011 - 21:17

You could just use some ammonia/water, soapy water, or some kitchen 409.


+1 on this... just make sure when you're done with the solution, to rise the pen with clean water a few times.
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#206 tanalasta

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Posted 20 December 2011 - 10:24

ok, i guess I had been lucky up to now...I tried inking the new Ahab demonstrator with J Herbin Violet Pensee...and nada! Well, I get ink here and there but most of the time nothing. On my other 3 Ahabs I didn't have to do any cleaning nor dis-assembly. On this demonstrator I tried flushing with only water, I took apart the the nib & feeder and cleaned up with cold water. I then tried re-inking with the same ink and still nothing. I guess my next step is to order some of the JB perfect flush, flush the thing and hope for the best Posted Image


The JB pen flush helps... but isn't enough.

I have a new Noodler's Ahab that I flushed, copiously with JB pen flush and water out of the box without disassembly and it skipped like a real pain. To the point where I had it held nib down in a pen holder overnight. It wrote until the feed ran out of ink.

A complete disassembly and clean in the ultrasonic seems to have it going again although I haven't totally resolved the flow problems. I'll give it another go ... but I'm not quite happy with the reliability out of the box as yet. No pen should require a toothbrush or disassembly to clean out of the box. A flush is acceptable... but I've had to completely empty and disassemble a pen after an initial clean to get it working on 2/2 pens.

That said, I stick by the fact that the Noodler's Ahab has a lot of potential once they sort out the production gremlins. The vegetal coloured resin is pretty, the filling system quick and convenient and the pen indeed writes well when adjusted satisfactorily. Time will tell whether my two pens will settle ... the first one did but was taken apart to clean and hasn't been put back together yet.
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#207 Oliwerko

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Posted 20 December 2011 - 22:02

I just jumped on the Ahab bandwagon. Today a clear demo hit my mail.

The first thing I did was to change the O-ring. No problems, greased, assembled.

Then I did an overkill flushing - I took it apart, cleaning every single part with dish soap/water solution and then clear water; then I washed the nib and feed with soapy water using a toothbrush - multiple times. The feed was literally full of ebonite pieces. As I said, I paid extra attention to the feed, cleaning the fins and the channels with a hard toothbrush.

Then I assembled the pen and flushed it with soapy water using the piston. Then flushed again with clear water, disassembled the whole thing, dried with paper towels AND let to dry completely.

The whole process until I left it alone took an hour or so.


I assembled the pen again when dry and inked with Herbin Vert Empire. So far, it railroads a lot when flexed. The ink can get to the tip alright, but the flow is too slow. I tried various feed positions, and now I have the 9-fins-visible configuration. Still problems with flow. Readjusted several times, no help.

I'm letting it settle overnight, and if nothing helps, I'm taking it apart again tomorrow to repeat the cleaning process, and possibly running the blunt side of an xacto knife through the feed to be sure there's nothing left there. Do you have any better ideas what to do with it when the flow won't be satisfactory?

Oh, one more thing - I noticed that the tip of the feed is a bit asymmetrical. I mean, the tip of the feed is not centered with the central "edge" that comes down from the end of the bottom channel to the tip. So when aligning the feed, I can either position the whole feed in line with the nib (and have the tip leaning on one side), or align the tip of the feed with the nib, having the whole feed twisted a bit. What's more important when adjusting, the position of the whole feed, or of the tip itself? I guess this irregularity is not that significant and is just a result of the feeds being handmade, but I want to be sure...

Thanks! :)

#208 watch_art

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Posted 20 December 2011 - 22:30

It's more important that the ink channel be aligned with the nib slit. Try to figure that out and you should be set.

As for cleaning - go ahead with the blunt end of an xacto to clean out any debris. I had plenty in my pen and haven't had any issues with railroading since I gave it a good cleaning/scrubbing. Also try some different inks. You never know.

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#209 belia

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Posted 20 December 2011 - 22:55

I just jumped on the Ahab bandwagon. Today a clear demo hit my mail.

The first thing I did was to change the O-ring. No problems, greased, assembled.

Then I did an overkill flushing - I took it apart, cleaning every single part with dish soap/water solution and then clear water; then I washed the nib and feed with soapy water using a toothbrush - multiple times. The feed was literally full of ebonite pieces. As I said, I paid extra attention to the feed, cleaning the fins and the channels with a hard toothbrush.

Then I assembled the pen and flushed it with soapy water using the piston. Then flushed again with clear water, disassembled the whole thing, dried with paper towels AND let to dry completely.

The whole process until I left it alone took an hour or so.


I assembled the pen again when dry and inked with Herbin Vert Empire. So far, it railroads a lot when flexed. The ink can get to the tip alright, but the flow is too slow. I tried various feed positions, and now I have the 9-fins-visible configuration. Still problems with flow. Readjusted several times, no help.

I'm letting it settle overnight, and if nothing helps, I'm taking it apart again tomorrow to repeat the cleaning process, and possibly running the blunt side of an xacto knife through the feed to be sure there's nothing left there. Do you have any better ideas what to do with it when the flow won't be satisfactory?

Oh, one more thing - I noticed that the tip of the feed is a bit asymmetrical. I mean, the tip of the feed is not centered with the central "edge" that comes down from the end of the bottom channel to the tip. So when aligning the feed, I can either position the whole feed in line with the nib (and have the tip leaning on one side), or align the tip of the feed with the nib, having the whole feed twisted a bit. What's more important when adjusting, the position of the whole feed, or of the tip itself? I guess this irregularity is not that significant and is just a result of the feeds being handmade, but I want to be sure...

Thanks! :)



I agree with Watch_art in that the ink channel and nib slit are the two things that must be lined up.

To (maybe) help troubleshoot with your flow issues, some things to check / try in no particular order are:

1. Is the nib correctly positioned in its recessed slot?

2. My best flow seems to be at about 10 and 1/2 fins visible AND with about 1mm distance difference between the tip of the nib and the end of the feed. Equivalent fin settings with a greater distance difference between the tip of the nib and the end of the feed led to railroading. So, for me, it seems that the relationship between nib tip and feed end are just as important as fin setting.

Once you get Ahab set up the way you want it, . . . it's really a nice pen.

Good luck!!

#210 Oliwerko

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Posted 21 December 2011 - 10:12

So...tried it this morning, no luck. I tried moving the feed back and forth to pretty extreme positions, no help. I also aligned the feed channel with the slit.

So I took it apart again, ran a blade through all the fins and channels, but it looked clean. I also put the breather hole into the feed, running water over the feed and sucking water through the tube to ensure there was nothing left inside the feed. After a thorough examination, I can confirm what SamCapote says about the appearance of the feed. The fins are cut all the way to the bottom channel, and only the left part on the top channel. Neither of the cleaning techniques I did discovered any dirt whatsoever, which leaves me puzzled.

I toothbrushed again, and put the feed, the nib, the breather tube and the section in a glass full of soapy water, and will check on it in the evening again.

Re. the alignment - the nib was definitely where it should be. I checked multiple times, and it was even pretty hard to pull out of the section. I had to pull the feed first and only then the nib.

belia - the tip/tip alignment does correlate to the fins visible configuration, doesn't it? When the nib is settled in position, you can't affect the distance between the tip of the feed and the tip of the nib without affecting how many fins are visible...

Anyway, here are the photos of my feed. Excuse the poor quality, my phone is everything I have now. This is just to show the shape of the tip, which I'm unsure about. What do you think, is this feed OK?

Bottom:
http://www19.zippysh...99245/file.html
Top:
http://www19.zippysh...54311/file.html

I'll ink it again in the evening, using some Waterman ink. As of now, I'm out of ideas about what might be causing the problems...

#211 watch_art

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Posted 21 December 2011 - 14:17

OOh. if the fins are cut all the way to the top channel, that might be the problem. THe way the instructions make it look, they shouldn't extend to the channel.

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#212 Oliwerko

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Posted 21 December 2011 - 14:48

Really? From both the leaflet AND the photos SamCapote has on the first page of this thread, I reckon these are cut to the channel alright. He even mentions it in this thread:

"If I hold the breather tube, and look down at the top channel, I see that all of the fin vents are cut all the way into the top channel on the left side, but not all have the fin vents are cut through to the top channel on the right side. I also notice that the left and right top fin vent slits are not exactly lined up, and my guess is they are cutting each semicircle side separately."

The same applies for me. The left side is cut to the channel, and the right side isn't. Actually, the left-side cuts continue even on the other side of the channel, i.e. as if the imaginary "ring cut" forming the fins was twisted in one direction.

But from what Sam wrote and what I saw on the photos I thought this was all right. Anyway, after trying it again tonight, provided it won't work I have not much left apart from sending it back to Brian for a replacement, do I?

#213 watch_art

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Posted 21 December 2011 - 15:22

Oh. My bad.

Edited by watch_art, 21 December 2011 - 15:30.

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#214 watch_art

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Posted 21 December 2011 - 15:47

So railroading....

Does it do this all the time? Even with different (wetter) inks?

Are you pushing it from XF/F to B or BBBB?
The farther and harder you push it, the higher the chance of railroading. Also, when flexing you should go slower so ink can keep up.

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#215 SamCapote

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Posted 21 December 2011 - 17:30

Take a look at these two threads.

http://www.fountainp...ts-with-photos/

http://www.fountainp...an-mr-noodlers/
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#216 Oliwerko

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Posted 21 December 2011 - 17:47

I've not been flexing more than to a ~1mm width. Sam, thanks for the links. I did read the first thread but didn't know of the second one. Now I see that maybe the only thing left for me will be opening the vents.

On my feed, the whole left side is drilled to the channel, and NO fins on the right extend to the channel. So I guess (if the pen won't work) I would be opening one (or a few) of them? How many?

Also, is it better to fiddle with the feed this way, or to send it back for replacement if it doesn't work in any nib/feed position? I mean, there's no warranty for modified feeds and once I modify it and it still doesn't work, I'll have to buy another Ahab. Which I will probably do anyway one day, but I'm not feeling like doing it today...

#217 watch_art

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Posted 21 December 2011 - 18:20

Something else you could try - that I forgot to mention, is extending the ink channel closer to the tip of the feed - without actually cutting the tip of the feed. This way ink will be farther forward on the feed and can feed the nib better. I did this on mine.

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#218 belia

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Posted 21 December 2011 - 18:46

Something else you could try - that I forgot to mention, is extending the ink channel closer to the tip of the feed - without actually cutting the tip of the feed. This way ink will be farther forward on the feed and can feed the nib better. I did this on mine.



That's actually a very good idea that I'd never thought of, . . . . seems like you could effective change the relative feed to nib relationship without moving either, . . . brilliant!

#219 Oliwerko

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Posted 21 December 2011 - 19:37

Okay, so I flushed it once more after it was being soaked for the whole day, then I let it dry thoroughly. Inked with Waterman Florida Blue, wrote fine for half a page, great flow for many fast wide strokes, no problems. Then it stopped. Just like that. And it refuses to write from that point, it gives me no flow whatsoever.

I'm puzzled. I didn't do anything but clean the thing once more today, and it writes worse than before. It looks as if there was dirt or something blocking the way, but I cleaned it most thoroughly.

Now the question is - what to do? Do you suggest opening the some (how many?) vents? Or to better ask for a replacement?

EDIT:

Actually, there is *some* flow, but it's soooo slow that if I do a short wide stroke, it stops, and only after a minute or two it writes again. I can write fine lines with no flow interruption though.

Edited by Oliwerko, 21 December 2011 - 19:42.


#220 tenney

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Posted 21 December 2011 - 19:40

Take a look at these two threads. ...

Sam, while all of your pics and notes are superb and useful, this also exemplifies why Nathan needs to take several high quality close ups and write some explicit notes about all of this. The sketches that came with the pens are ok, but really only to give people some hints on how to tweak a well functioning pen --- not how to make it function right.

I, for one, would love to see some nice well lit photos showing all of the right things to do (e.g. It seemed from what you wrote about your talk with Nathan that some of your cutting wasn't what he intended folks to do).

Please do pass this on to Nathan not as a gripe, but as a request.
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