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Mr. Ahab's Micarta


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12 replies to this topic

#1 Think-Ink

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Posted 14 April 2012 - 04:44

I know I have another TWSBI Micarta thread/review going on but I felt this was sufficiently different to warrant its own thread.

Anyways, I've been loving my Micarta...except my nib is really temperamental. I may have gotten a dud or just got one that needs a little more TLC; it would alternate between a super smooth writer and a non-starter. However, I grew increasingly exasperated at it. And then it happened. My eyes fell upon the Noodler's Ahab lying on my desk.

The Ahab and Micarta were roughly about the same size. Both nibs were fairly large and to my eyes, also the same size. So it was set. My poor Ahab will become the first victim of my Micarta-induced Mad Scientist experiment. :blink:

At any rate, I'll share what I did and my thoughts but do be warned--if you decide to do something like this, I am not a nibmeister or pen repair person. I have no idea if what I did will damage the pen (see below).

After removing the nib from both pens, I noticed that the Noodler's was about the same size but slightly thicker. I tried putting the nib into the section... it was tough. That slight difference in thickness really makes a difference. In the end, I got it to go in... I tried pulling out the nib and it was doable...but it also needed a substantial amount of force to remove the nib. After doing that, I put the nib into the section once again. I'll admit, I'm a little worried that the nib won't be able to come out if I choose to use the stock nib. I also hope the added pressure won't damage the section in any way.

I did note that the feed will only fit into the section at one particular point. You may have to rotate it before you find that part. Anyways, the final result:

Posted Image

And of course, some writing samples (done on Rhodia paper and Iroshizuku Ina-Ho ink--I misspelled it on the sample :headsmack: ):
Posted Image

It's a pretty fine nib... it can be even finer if you flip the nib upside down... but mine was too scratchy to be useful:
Posted Image

The pen writes surprisingly well. If I am writing regularly (no flex), the pen can write pretty quickly with no problems. If I am flexing, as long as I am not flexing too much and as long as I'm not writing too rapidly, I can get good flow.

I'm thinking since the TWSBI feed's notch is not as deep as the Ahab's feed notch, the ink doesn't flow as easily. This means if you do flex heavily or flex/write too quickly, you can stop the ink flow. I've found that when that happens, I usually I need to rub my finger on the nib's slit to get the ink flowing again.

That being said, I left my Ahab+Micarta on my table (on its side :embarrassed_smile:) for about seven hours today while I ran some errands and met with some friends. I tried the pen when I got back and it still starting writing without any hesitation.

So far so good. I'm not 100% sure how I feel about this because in some ways, it's transplanting a $20 pen into a $100 one... but the option of flex in the Micarta is still pretty cool. I'll keep you guys updated with any updates (if it's important).

Edited by danahn17, 14 April 2012 - 11:53.

thINK: my pen & paper blog :)

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#2 terminal

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Posted 14 April 2012 - 05:00

I wonder what would happen if you tried a Bulow Knox like P.A.R. uses
"One always looking for flaws leaves too little time for construction" ...

#3 Phormio

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Posted 14 April 2012 - 06:21

I think this demonstrates the point I raised in your review.
Buy a pen for $100; make it better with a nib from a $20 pen.
Speedy take notes: vac filled micarta with a good variety of available nibs = a pen that will become an instant classic!
Lots of wants, limited funds!

#4 Giordana

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Posted 14 April 2012 - 07:08

Ooh I am soo jealous! Posted Image I think the flex nib looks lovely with the Micarta...Knox nib, move aside! Indeed, the fact that you can use that nib on the other pen makes the Micarta worth its value - in fact, I've always thought it useful to have a pen with interchangeable nibs. Fine nibs are nice, but they can get a little boring, especially if stiff.

#5 Namo

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Posted 14 April 2012 - 11:48

I have a Noodler's Ahab's nib in my Varuna Rajan: it works great!!

amonjak.com

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free 70 pages graphic novel. Enjoy!


#6 stevlight

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Posted 14 April 2012 - 12:09

I have a Noodler's Ahab's nib in my Varuna Rajan: it works great!!


ME TOO!! Great minds think alike--works great!


I have a #6 18k nib in my micarta--very nice.
www.stevelightart.com

#7 Chi Town

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Posted 14 April 2012 - 13:43

I have a Noodler's Ahab's nib in my Varuna Rajan: it works great!!


ME TOO!! Great minds think alike--works great!


I have a #6 18k nib in my micarta--very nice.


May I ask where did you pick up your #6 18 kit nib and what the cost was?

Mike

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#8 stevlight

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Posted 14 April 2012 - 13:48

May I ask where did you pick up your #6 18 kit nib and what the cost was?


I think it was an old Edison nib before he got his logo put on them. Check out Meister nibs so about $100 bucks!! I do not think it will twist in though--I pulled the nib and feed and used the TWISBI feed --just swapped nibs--kept the TWISBI housing also.

I have one of THESE on my Shawn Newton BBB --very good nibs--a #6 should fit the Micarta. I had John add flex to mine--adds about $65.

Edited by stevlight, 14 April 2012 - 13:50.

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#9 Uncle Red

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Posted 14 April 2012 - 23:07

Nice, A flexy nib on a Micarta. I'm sure you could have gotten the TWSBI nib issues fixed but this was a great idea. You just need the proper Mad Scientist laughter

It's Alive !!! BWAHAHAHAHA!

#10 P.A.R.

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Posted 14 April 2012 - 23:54

I wonder what would happen if you tried a Bulow Knox like P.A.R. uses

:rolleyes:

Assuming that they do, that would be a great option as opposed to buying the TWSBI nib units that cost $20. Some people have noted that the Knox nibs have been a bit loose in the Ahab feed, so they might actually be a good fit in the Micarta.

:clap1:

Edited by P.A.R., 14 April 2012 - 23:55.

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Posted Image
Alternative Noodler's Ahab Nibs

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#11 grahamtillotson

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Posted 18 April 2012 - 21:01

I have a Noodler's Ahab's nib in my Varuna Rajan: it works great!!


Did that work? I have a Guider -- not sure how close to a Rajan -- and the 5 mm feed seems perfect. Anything bigger than that seems like it would require enlarging the section hole.

Graham

#12 Think-Ink

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Posted 19 April 2012 - 19:05

As much as I liked the Micarta with the flex nib, it seemed to leak a lot when the pen was jostled around, making it a little impractical for a pen on the go (great for desk use though). So I picked up a Knox fine nib:

Posted Image (TWSBI on top vs Knox on bottom)

Posted Image

My immediate impressions. Seems like PAR is right... it fits well; it wasn't difficult to put in or take out like the Noodler's Ahab nib. So far, it writes pretty well too.

Edited by danahn17, 19 April 2012 - 19:08.

thINK: my pen & paper blog :)

#13 Trillium

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Posted 20 April 2012 - 02:10

I had experienced similar issues with my TWSBI Micarta 805. Hard starter ,dry writer and took so much pressure to lay down a line that my fingers hurt after just a couple of minutes. I took the pen to Atlanta last weekend and Pendelton Brown worked his magic on it. He increased the flow to the point that it writes perfectly under the pressure of its own weight and added a nice subtle line variation that my shoddy handwriting does not do justice. Yet. I managed to keep the original nib and I dont like the pen anymore..... I love it now! Thanks for the info on the Bulow, I may be hunting a super flex for the TWSBI soon!






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