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The Noodler's Ahab


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19 replies to this topic

#1 P.A.R.

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Posted 17 April 2012 - 00:14

I just typed this up in response to another thread, so I may as well post it here.

Something tells me the quality control has gotten better with the latest batch. I got a Medieval Lapis Ahab (looks amazing!) in the mail about a week ago and it worked fine after just a flush and tooth brushing with some diluted ammonia. I may not have even had to do that, but I was just being safe.

Anyway, I am a huge fan of this pen and may not have to look for another model. Here's why:

Inexpensive: $20. Makes it very replaceable as far as fountain pens go, and affordable to make a collection (*cough SamCapote cough*) if you like having multiples of pens that you like.

Customizable: You can adjust the ink flow's wetness (though admittedly it starts out a little wet) and put in a different nib if you'd like. Xfountainpens.com carries a series of Knox K35 nibs that are two tone (steel with partial gold plating), very smooth, and come in six sizes. These are also very inexpensive, and I highly recommend them. There's a thread linked in my signature about these nibs. There are also twenty different colors that the Ahab comes in, a selection you will be hard pressed to find elsewhere.

Comfortable: the size is on the large side, making it pleasant to hold for me. I don't have extremely large hands (forefinger's a little over three inches) but I like having a thicker pen. I really like the shape of the grip and how small the step between the barrel and section is. It also has a moderate weight -nice in a larger pen- and good balance. I'm used to using it posted, so I don't find it imbalanced either way.

Filling: the syringe filler is very fast and reliable. Very little time is needed to get the pen filled (perhaps two cycles, straight up and down.) One might want to put silicone grease on the o-ring when you flush it, just as a safeguard against minor leaks past the plunger.

Build: quite sturdy. Nothing about the pen feels cheap to me, in spite of it being $20. The screw on cap is secure, the body and grip is solid but has a smooth, almost soft feel. The clip has been praised by many and for good reason - it bends out easily to slip over a jeans pocket or even a notepad, but snaps back securely and reliably. I personally like the looks of the Ahab because it's so functional and has some class without being flashy. I also like having the ability of completely cleaning and breaking down the pen in around a minute.

Nib: Though it's not a "full flex" nib, I really like the Ahab's nib for general writing. It's not great for calligraphy, but seems pretty well suited for drawing. It's flexible enough to be springy, so it has some give and is forgiving of heavier pressure from the hand (and gives you some killer shading if you do put a little pressure down.) It's fairly smooth though not incredibly so. If the flex doesn't suit you and you want firmer, smoother, or bolder nib, the Knox ones are fantastic.

I just want to get the Knox B-OBB nib set to complete the EF-M set I have and love. If I get gift cards for gouletpens for my birthday, I might get an ivory darkness Ahab as my last. Realistically, I can only use so many pens at the same time without running into dry out issues at some point. I really love this pen though.

Edited by P.A.R., 17 April 2012 - 00:29.

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#2 Scribblesoften

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Posted 17 April 2012 - 02:10

I'm right there with you. I have a number of vintage pens from Parker, Sheaffer, Waterman, and Eversharp. I enjoy finding them in junk shops and flea markets and getting them back in working order. They are wonderful pens but I am a bit protective of them when I have them out. The Ahabs are inexpensive, hold tons of ink, have a semi-flex nib, and are a good size. If one were to get stepped on, I might be a bit peeved but I would be secure in the knowledge that I can have another one in an interesting range of colors for $20. I am eagerly anticipating the Konrad now and I hope it is at least a good a pen as the Ahab. Cheers.

#3 Brian C

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Posted 17 April 2012 - 04:04

Has anyone tried putting a #6 JoWo in there?

#4 Charles Skinner

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Posted 22 April 2012 - 15:01

My Noodler Ahab is getting better the longer I write with it. I have a question ----- When I fill it with ink, the small cylender up over the main ink holding area also fills with ink. Is this normal?

C.

#5 P.A.R.

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Posted 22 April 2012 - 15:44

My Noodler Ahab is getting better the longer I write with it. I have a question ----- When I fill it with ink, the small cylender up over the main ink holding area also fills with ink. Is this normal?

C.

Yes, though somewhat pointless. Even with the breather tube installed, it appears that not much of that ink will actually make it to the feed. You can plug the upper section to avoid wasting ink if that's a concern.
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#6 12halfshell

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Posted 22 April 2012 - 17:28

I just typed this up in response to another thread, so I may as well post it here.

Something tells me the quality control has gotten better with the latest batch. I got a Medieval Lapis Ahab (looks amazing!) in the mail about a week ago and it worked fine after just a flush and tooth brushing with some diluted ammonia. I may not have even had to do that, but I was just being safe.

Anyway, I am a huge fan of this pen and may not have to look for another model. Here's why:

Inexpensive: $20. Makes it very replaceable as far as fountain pens go, and affordable to make a collection (*cough SamCapote cough*) if you like having multiples of pens that you like.

Customizable: You can adjust the ink flow's wetness (though admittedly it starts out a little wet) and put in a different nib if you'd like. Xfountainpens.com carries a series of Knox K35 nibs that are two tone (steel with partial gold plating), very smooth, and come in six sizes. These are also very inexpensive, and I highly recommend them. There's a thread linked in my signature about these nibs. There are also twenty different colors that the Ahab comes in, a selection you will be hard pressed to find elsewhere.

Comfortable: the size is on the large side, making it pleasant to hold for me. I don't have extremely large hands (forefinger's a little over three inches) but I like having a thicker pen. I really like the shape of the grip and how small the step between the barrel and section is. It also has a moderate weight -nice in a larger pen- and good balance. I'm used to using it posted, so I don't find it imbalanced either way.

Filling: the syringe filler is very fast and reliable. Very little time is needed to get the pen filled (perhaps two cycles, straight up and down.) One might want to put silicone grease on the o-ring when you flush it, just as a safeguard against minor leaks past the plunger.



I also just purchased the medieval lapis. Love the color and have had no issues with the pen, so perhaps they have improved.

Build: quite sturdy. Nothing about the pen feels cheap to me, in spite of it being $20. The screw on cap is secure, the body and grip is solid but has a smooth, almost soft feel. The clip has been praised by many and for good reason - it bends out easily to slip over a jeans pocket or even a notepad, but snaps back securely and reliably. I personally like the looks of the Ahab because it's so functional and has some class without being flashy. I also like having the ability of completely cleaning and breaking down the pen in around a minute.

Nib: Though it's not a "full flex" nib, I really like the Ahab's nib for general writing. It's not great for calligraphy, but seems pretty well suited for drawing. It's flexible enough to be springy, so it has some give and is forgiving of heavier pressure from the hand (and gives you some killer shading if you do put a little pressure down.) It's fairly smooth though not incredibly so. If the flex doesn't suit you and you want firmer, smoother, or bolder nib, the Knox ones are fantastic.

I just want to get the Knox B-OBB nib set to complete the EF-M set I have and love. If I get gift cards for gouletpens for my birthday, I might get an ivory darkness Ahab as my last. Realistically, I can only use so many pens at the same time without running into dry out issues at some point. I really love this pen though.



#7 mik86

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Posted 22 April 2012 - 19:06

I agree with you, everything about the pen it great, but I do have some personal issues with the pen. When I was younger, my little brother threw up and a backpack that we used for hikes during vacations. Although the backpack was washed, it still smelled like vomit. The same acid that made the backpack smell is the same acid that makes the Ahab smell. For me, it brings back memories of that nasty backpack.

The smell is slowly disappearing so it's not really a big deal. However, it has been a chronic hard starter. I cleaned it with very hot water and a bit of ammonia. Do you have any other suggestions? When it writes, it writes nice and wet. When it doesn't write, i can dip it in water and it writes for 30 seconds and then it stops. What gives? It is like the ink is very shy and doesn't want to come out.

#8 inkstainedruth

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Posted 22 April 2012 - 19:41

How does it compare to the Noodler's Flex Piston pen? I bought one but haven't had a chance to try it yet. Most of the reviews and commentary seem to be about the Ahab, rather than the smaller Flex Piston. Also, are you swapping out the nib for the new one (you had mentioned elsewhere that you liked the Knox nibs), or keeping the Noodler's nib in it?
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#9 P.A.R.

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Posted 22 April 2012 - 20:43

How does it compare to the Noodler's Flex Piston pen? I bought one but haven't had a chance to try it yet. Most of the reviews and commentary seem to be about the Ahab, rather than the smaller Flex Piston. Also, are you swapping out the nib for the new one (you had mentioned elsewhere that you liked the Knox nibs), or keeping the Noodler's nib in it?
Ruth Morrisson aka inkstainedruth

The piston pen is nice, though the nib on mine was a bit scratchy and the flow isn't as easily increased for more intensive flexing. I'm hoping to get some of the smaller Knox K26 nibs that fit in the piston pen so that I'll have a smaller piston filled pen with a smooth nib (the K26 nibs are also quite good.)

All of my three Ahabs have Knox (or Bulow, the other brand offered at xfountainpens.com) nibs. These nibs are smoother than the stock Ahab nib and not flexible, making them better for general writing in my opinion. I don't have a need for flex most of the time, so I don't often put in the stock nib. Another appeal of switching to a Knox nib is a broader line weight than the stock nib, but I even prefer the Knox EF nib I have to the Ahab because of the added smoothness. Not as much shading, but more comfortable and less likely for the tines to become misaligned (I would think.)



I agree with you, everything about the pen it great, but I do have some personal issues with the pen. When I was younger, my little brother threw up and a backpack that we used for hikes during vacations. Although the backpack was washed, it still smelled like vomit. The same acid that made the backpack smell is the same acid that makes the Ahab smell. For me, it brings back memories of that nasty backpack.

The smell is slowly disappearing so it's not really a big deal. However, it has been a chronic hard starter. I cleaned it with very hot water and a bit of ammonia. Do you have any other suggestions? When it writes, it writes nice and wet. When it doesn't write, i can dip it in water and it writes for 30 seconds and then it stops. What gives? It is like the ink is very shy and doesn't want to come out.

I've read here that the smell dissapation process can be quickened by immersing the pen in shampoo. I don't really mind the smell, which is barely noticeable in my pens now.

For your flow problems, there are plenty of threads out there. You might try
  • a less saturated ink or one less prone to clogging or nib creep (Noodler's and Pelikan work fine for me). Some pens just don't agree with some inks, but it sounds like you're having to wash off the ink that has been sitting for a while before it writes well agin.
  • making sure the nib and feed are properly aligned,
  • increasing the flow by moving the nib and feed farther out of the section or cutting feed channels,
  • heat setting the feed to the nib (by immersing the nib in hot water and reinserting it into the pen, and pressing the feed to the underside of the nib for a better fit),
  • getting a Knox nib. They seem to be more consistent in my experience, perhaps because the tines don't move nearly as much.

Edited by P.A.R., 22 April 2012 - 20:47.

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#10 CaptainGroovy

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Posted 24 April 2012 - 02:18

I agree with you, everything about the pen it great, but I do have some personal issues with the pen. When I was younger, my little brother threw up and a backpack that we used for hikes during vacations. Although the backpack was washed, it still smelled like vomit. The same acid that made the backpack smell is the same acid that makes the Ahab smell. For me, it brings back memories of that nasty backpack.

The smell is slowly disappearing so it's not really a big deal. However, it has been a chronic hard starter. I cleaned it with very hot water and a bit of ammonia. Do you have any other suggestions? When it writes, it writes nice and wet. When it doesn't write, i can dip it in water and it writes for 30 seconds and then it stops. What gives? It is like the ink is very shy and doesn't want to come out.


I might be the odd ball but I like the smell \ odor of my the Ahab pen it reminds me of papers just after they were printed on with a Ditto machine and that is a smell of my childhood so it good odor to me.
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#11 mik86

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Posted 24 April 2012 - 02:33

I agree with you, everything about the pen it great, but I do have some personal issues with the pen. When I was younger, my little brother threw up and a backpack that we used for hikes during vacations. Although the backpack was washed, it still smelled like vomit. The same acid that made the backpack smell is the same acid that makes the Ahab smell. For me, it brings back memories of that nasty backpack.

The smell is slowly disappearing so it's not really a big deal. However, it has been a chronic hard starter. I cleaned it with very hot water and a bit of ammonia. Do you have any other suggestions? When it writes, it writes nice and wet. When it doesn't write, i can dip it in water and it writes for 30 seconds and then it stops. What gives? It is like the ink is very shy and doesn't want to come out.


I might be the odd ball but I like the smell \ odor of my the Ahab pen it reminds me of papers just after they were printed on with a Ditto machine and that is a smell of my childhood so it good odor to me.


No you aren't. I am sure that if I was never exposed to the vomit smell as a child, I would have identified the Ahab smell with something else entirely. To each their own :)

#12 WayTooManyHobbies

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 11:18

Looks like an appropriate place to post this...

After running across a new review of Apache Sunset, I just had to get that ink back in my rotation. So, I pulled out my Ahab. "He" had been sitting for the last couple of months (yes, bad me) in "Winter Configuration" - Noodler's Polar Blue Ink, Knox extra-fine nib - and I hadn't gotten around to cleaning him out. So last night was a complete disassembly. I'd frankly forgotten how nice this pen is to take apart - in less than a minute, all of the pieces were laid out on a paper towel. Re-assembly is just as easy, and adjustment was simple. I put him back together with the original flex nib, filled him up with some golden sunshine, and we're off and running.

Ol' Ahab isn't my best pen, but he really is fantastic value and lots of fun!

#13 mik86

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 00:36

My pen writes wet but I like to use line variation (its fun) but it railroads eventually quickly. When this happens its like it dries out and is very tough getting to start up again. It railroads with watery and thick inks. My guess would be to increase the feed flow. Agree? Disagree? I haven't tried heat setting the nib yet, but I definitely have washed it well.

#14 Phormio

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Posted 13 August 2012 - 01:37

Does anyone know if we can get replacement ink chambers for this pen? I have found in using mine that each time I disassemble it the chamber is becoming less and less attached to the threads so that now when I fill it or clean it if I hold the nib section in one hand and pull back the pump with the other hand, the chamber will detatch from the pen. It will still hold ink but im becoming more and more nervous using this pen as Im waiting for catasrophic failure to occur. Any ideas?

P.
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#15 Scribblesoften

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Posted 13 August 2012 - 03:32

Does anyone know if we can get replacement ink chambers for this pen? I have found in using mine that each time I disassemble it the chamber is becoming less and less attached to the threads so that now when I fill it or clean it if I hold the nib section in one hand and pull back the pump with the other hand, the chamber will detatch from the pen. It will still hold ink but im becoming more and more nervous using this pen as Im waiting for catasrophic failure to occur. Any ideas?

P.

Sorry to hear about what appears to be a degenerating condition. For now, if you are not already doing it, you might want to put a coating of silicone on the threads. That should stop any immediate leaks.

#16 P.A.R.

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Posted 13 August 2012 - 03:55

Does anyone know if we can get replacement ink chambers for this pen? I have found in using mine that each time I disassemble it the chamber is becoming less and less attached to the threads so that now when I fill it or clean it if I hold the nib section in one hand and pull back the pump with the other hand, the chamber will detatch from the pen. It will still hold ink but im becoming more and more nervous using this pen as Im waiting for catasrophic failure to occur. Any ideas?

P.


If you plan on never using it as an eyedropper pen, you might consider gluing on the piston filler "chamber." I would make sure that you can still take out the plunger (which shouldn't be a problem, considering it's a smaller diameter than the feed I'm pretty sure) with the chamber attached so that you can still be cleaning.
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#17 P.A.R.

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Posted 13 August 2012 - 04:00

My pen writes wet but I like to use line variation (its fun) but it railroads eventually quickly. When this happens its like it dries out and is very tough getting to start up again. It railroads with watery and thick inks. My guess would be to increase the feed flow. Agree? Disagree? I haven't tried heat setting the nib yet, but I definitely have washed it well.

Sorry for the delay - I don't frequent here nearly as much as I used to.

I agree. If the pen writes fine normally, you might try opening up a vent or two on the feed.
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#18 wallylynn

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Posted 14 August 2012 - 19:39

Does anyone know if we can get replacement ink chambers for this pen? I have found in using mine that each time I disassemble it the chamber is becoming less and less attached to the threads so that now when I fill it or clean it if I hold the nib section in one hand and pull back the pump with the other hand, the chamber will detatch from the pen. It will still hold ink but im becoming more and more nervous using this pen as Im waiting for catasrophic failure to occur. Any ideas?

P.

You can try contacting Dick Egolf at noodlersink.com (Luxury Brands, distributor).

Can you tell if the threads of the piston are stripped, or if the the section is stripped (or both)?

#19 joshrjacobs

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Posted 24 July 2014 - 22:15

Has anyone had an issue with the pen leaking when stored?  I often find that I have ink that pools in the cap, and will get on my fingers when I take it out.  I am a fountain pen newbie, so I assume that it is something I am doing wrong.  I love the size and feel of the pen.  It is great to write with it, but I have had to use it less often because I was cleaning my hands so much.



#20 Thier.

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Posted 30 April 2015 - 21:27

I received that scrap called fountain pen three days ago.   No flex at all ( it was supposed to be a flexible nib).

On another thread, I've seen how to obtain flex grinding tne nib .....  but no way, it's the worst pen I've ever bought !!!!!

I've just grinded my nib.

fpn_1430428040__xe017742.jpgfpn_1430428080__xe017745.jpgfpn_1430428006__xe017744.jpg

 

And, yes some 10 minutes later, the job was done ....

fpn_1430428152__xe017746.jpgfpn_1430428186__xe017747.jpg

fpn_1430428631__xe017748.jpg

 

Yes, the nib had a real flex,  but then, the ink flow was so bad that it was impossible to write with it ..... So I decided to replace the scrap called "nib" by Noodler by a real flex gold nib from the fifities ...

fpn_1430428379__xe017749.jpg

   

No way, ink flow is too bad .....

 

I've never had such a bad pen .... Ok, I should now work on the ink flow but I don't know if I will .... I'm very disappointed by that scrappy pen .....  For such a price, I could have had at least 5 good Jinhaos !!!!!!!

 








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