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Noodler's Ahab Flex + Adjustment Tips


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#81 Paladin

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Posted 22 September 2014 - 08:30

This seems to be a problem not only with Noodler's pens, but with a fair few of the cheap Indian pens I have in my collection - the pen lids just aren't airtight! I've started storing them overnight (and when not in use) in a snap-lock bag, and find that makes a big difference.

Works like a charm. Now over a week and the ink level looks the same. I'm using a ZipLoc bag to store the pen when it is not in use. Thanks for your advice Jamerelbe.


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#82 Jamerelbe

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Posted 22 September 2014 - 09:20

Works like a charm. Now over a week and the ink level looks the same. I'm using a ZipLoc bag to store the pen when it is not in use. Thanks for your advice Jamerelbe.


You're very welcome - I was surprised by how much of a difference it made with my pens, too...

#83 gwyneddd

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Posted 22 September 2014 - 10:15

Great review, thanks. As someone who had no need to adjust my Ahab, and who hashad no problems at all, perhaps I should post a review for a counter perpective! :-)

I might add that I did flush my pen with mild detergent first, otherwise no adjustments. The nib is smooth and "flexes" almost to double broad. Pressure to flex is ~650 grams, which is roughly double the amount needed to flex my vintage Waterman Ideal #3 semi flex gold nib. The smell of the material is typical of pens from India, and may never diminish. A friend of mine has pens he got as a school boy in Bombay over 20 years ago that still smell. Yesterday, on a long drive with the pen in my shirt pocket the odor was obvious. In less confined spaces it is barely noticable. Forget the odor, it is a great pen for the price, and would still be a good pen upwards of five times its modest cost.

 

I didn't need to adjust my Ahab either. But I ended up replacing the flex nib with some Goulet nibs. It's a nice pen--except for THAT SMELL. I can't deal with the cheese and it makes using it kind of sad. (I like the OP's clear version, however. Mine is green marbled. Like...cheese.)



#84 Paladin

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Posted 23 September 2014 - 01:20

 

I didn't need to adjust my Ahab either. But I ended up replacing the flex nib with some Goulet nibs. It's a nice pen--except for THAT SMELL. I can't deal with the cheese and it makes using it kind of sad. (I like the OP's clear version, however. Mine is green marbled. Like...cheese.)

The smell diminishes over time if that helps. So after one year, it's ok to handle but still possible to catch a whiff of the foul smell. Maybe the next upgrade will fix this issue.


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#85 Garrowp

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Posted 23 September 2014 - 14:27

Hi, All I can say is my Noodler's writes very well after following the advice from this topic. Also I believe the chosen ink plays a whopping part. When using Lamy blue I had railroading continually. But with diamine jet black:

#86 frolland

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Posted 20 February 2015 - 14:34

fpn_1424442520__ahab.jpg



#87 frolland

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Posted 20 February 2015 - 14:46

These above are my two Ahabs. One is fitted with the Goulet (below)  medium nib, the other one (above) is fitted with the original flex nib. Both have been previously washed and cleaned. Both write very smoothly and with excellent ink flow. You can regulate the ink flow by enlarging slightly the middle feed channel. Also by twisting the flex nib a little upward you get a smoother writing, even when you do not flex. These are excellent pens and write very well. The piston filler and the ability to interchange # 6 Nibs in general makes it a very good pen for experimenters. After a short time and effort,  you can get them to write like more expensive pens like Parker or Waterman.

Having in mind the excellent price of these writing devices, you can rest assured that whatever you do  you are not going to risk a lot of money in your efforts.


Edited by frolland, 20 February 2015 - 20:23.


#88 g_t_vigilante

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Posted 22 February 2015 - 22:24

Great review! I love my Ahab, it is one of my favorite pens with which to write. I was lucky, it seems: mine worked well right out of the box. I did an initial flush with a mild detergent and water, and I did floss a few loose flakes of ebonite out of the fins of the feed (I used a dental pick), but nothing beyond that. I have the Tiger pattern, which I fell in love with the first time I saw it, and I keep it inked with Noodler's Habanero, which seems to fit it perfectly.

As for the smell, I kind of like it. It reminds me of Silly Putty...

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#89 frolland

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Posted 23 February 2015 - 11:26

Great pen, and good picture.. I have never tried it with Noodlers Ink. I use Sheaffer Skrip.and both of mine write perfectly..I do not mind the smell, it fades away with time.


Edited by frolland, 23 February 2015 - 11:28.


#90 gpathy

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Posted 24 March 2015 - 16:33

Tanalasta,

 

This is terrific piece of information. I adjusted my Ahab based on your tips, and its suddenly come alive!

 

Thanks a lot

--GS



#91 J85909266

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Posted 24 March 2015 - 18:11

I have an Ahab, Ebonite Konrad and a Nib Creeper. The Creeper and the Konrad were perfect out of the box with no adjustment. I love them both, especially the Konrad. My Ahab works too, but I can't keep the flow under control. It's just too wet. It's great for getting crazy flex. It never railroads, but the feed is always soaked to the brim all over. It doesn't leak, but if it gets jerked or jostled even a little, ink goes everywhere. Inks always splattered in the cap, too. It doesn't matter how I set the feed, either. I feel like the fit is just a little too loose.

Edited by J85909266, 24 March 2015 - 18:17.

- Joe

#92 Zhooom

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Posted 10 April 2015 - 18:34

Thank you for the review!  It certainly pushed me into the decision to buy the Ahab!

 

I honestly think that there are a lot more negative comments posted than positive ones simply because of human nature.  If you are annoyed you want to gripe and tell everyone how much you hate the product.  People who have a great experience aren't searching threads for answers - they are off happily writing or drawing something.  ;-)

 

I personally feel lucky - I not only had a great experience out of the box with my Ahab, I've also had a great time fiddling around with it as well!  I feel  that I have learned quite a bit in the process of messing around with it.  It's also brought me into the greater world of fountain pens since I've had no experience with them before now.

 

Basically what I was initially looking for was a fountain pen that either had or would accept a Zebra G-Nib for drawing.  I've found a couple of great brush pens, like the Pentel and Kuretake sable hair brush, and it would be nice to find the same in at least the most frequently used of my dipping nibs.  I couldn't find one off the shelf, but I did find the articles here on FPN on how to modify the ebonite feed on the Ahab to accept the G nib, so I took the plunge and bought one.

 

I cleaned the pen per the instructions and put it back together with the nib/feed as close as possible to how it came out of the box.  (I counted the ribs, or whatever they are called, and took a quick picture prior to taking it apart).  I filled it up, wrote with it for several hours to test it, and it was fantastic!  Very smooth, so I was determined to get another one later since this one was for the G nib conversion.  I just couldn't get the hair line thinness that I wanted with the Noodler's Flex nib.

 

After reading the instructions for the mod here in the forums I got to work - long story short, I had to also widen the 1st 4 fins along with doing some other tuning and then it worked like a charm.  I used it for drawing without a hitch other than some railroading when I really flexed the nib for multiple lines in a row - but I was well past the width where I'd normally switch to a brush or brush pen anyway, so that wasn't a major problem.

 

On a whim, I put the old nib back in.  It doesn't fit well due to having to cut the ebonite for the G-nib conversion.  However, after working with it to get it aligned properly, it worked well.  It takes some fiddling to properly get the nib and feed aligned now after being pulled out, but it does stay put with a snug friction fit.  I had cut the bare minimum material from the ebonite  to get the G-nib to fit.  

 

I was amazed to see that it wrote just fine, just a little dry.  After separating the end of the tines on the Noodler's flex nib to increase the ink flow, along with getting them properly aligned, it's now the smoothest writing pen I can imagine.  Wow.  It's almost like a brush - I'm dying to try a gold nib pen now for comparison.

 

To wrap up, I've been extremely impressed by this pen, and I'm now a huge fan of the Ahab Flex.  I do sympathize with the people who have had problems with the pen though - hopefully you were assisted by customer support wherever you bought it...  

 

I'm not affiliated with them, but I highly recommend Goulet Pens, www.gouletpens.com .  I've been touch with their customer support, and they have far exceeded any expectations I had helping me with an unrelated issue - truly fantastic support.

 

I'm definitely going to order a few more of these pens.  They fit my hand extremely well (I have big hands), and I definitely want to try putting a couple of the Goulet nibs on them, such as the broad and 1.1 italic for starters.  Also another one to tinker with of course, I want to try to improve the amount of force it takes to flex the nib, etc  I love the tinkering aspect personally.  I'm more than happy to fool around with a $20 pen to make it work like a far more expensive pen .. but if it's a $200 pen, I just want it to work!  I wish Noodler's (or Luxury Goods if they do all the distribution) would just set people's expectations properly.

 

In closing, I highly recommend this pen -- but only for the people willing to tinker with it and up to the challenge of turning a good pen into a great one.  If so, read the posts carefully on tuning the Ahab, go slow, make only one change at a time, and test after each change so you have a good idea where to troubleshoot if you run into issues.

 

Cheers!