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Noodler´s Ahab - Ease My Flex Mod


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#401 Pterodactylus

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Posted 18 February 2016 - 22:20

25089472196_637d57c538_o.jpg

 

(Serwex MB Flex EMF ..... ESS Registrars Blue-Black)


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#402 Drone

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Posted 19 February 2016 - 00:03

Hi, I just bought my first Ahab (I already have a Nib Creeper and a Lamy Safari, both for sketching) and now I am trying to learn hand lettering.... I am pretty disappointed in the lack of flex of the Ahab nib, but I was very intrigued by this dremmel fix idea....!  I don't have a dremmel, and even if I did, I don't have the confidence yet to tweek this nib... (I am just learning about fountain pens), so, I don't suppose any of you nice people would SELL me an already-tweeked nib? I would be happy to pay for it... I want to do lovely script writing with a nice big fat flex on the downstroke! TIA

 

Hello AeronM,

First of all, Welcome to the Fountain Pen Network! :W2FPN:

I agree with Pterodactylus. There is no need for sophisticated tools when performing the EMF modification on a Noodler's Ahab/Konrad pen. In-fact I do not recommend using a motorized tool (e.g., Dremel) to begin with. Instead, pick up a set of Needle Files at your local hardware store. A cheap set of needle files should only cost you (at most) a few dollars. A set of needle files should have a half-dozen or so files, each about four or five inches long. The set of will look something like this:

fpn_1455839471__needle_file_01_sm.jpg

In the needle file set there should be two files of special interest to you; a round file (or rat-tail file as it is also called), and a half-round file (or crossing-file as it is sometimes called). Depending on the file radius, the half-round file is probably your best choice for performing this modification by hand, but the round file will work too. Both files used in combination will give you the most control.

Mark your nib with a semi-permanent marker (e.g., Sharpie pen) where you want the nib filed-away before starting work. Take your time when filing. If you have some very fine grit sandpaper, it can be used to clean-up the filed edges when you are done. Be careful to avoid scratching the top or bottom of the nib with the file or the sand paper. Scratching the nib on the top or bottom may cause flow problems and/or cause the nib to attract blobs of ink (this is called nib-creep).

 

When you are done filing, I recommend you thoroughly clean both the nib and feed with warm soapy water to remove any oils that may be left over from your hands or the tools. Oily residue on the nib and/or feed will almost certainly cause ink-flow problems. So clean everything up well (including your hands) before you heat-set the nib to the feed and reassemble the pen. (In-fact I recommend you clean every new pen you get like this before you fill it with ink for the first time.)

 

When you are done modifying and cleaning the Ahab's nib, be sure to heat-set the Ebonite (hard-rubber) nib to the feed. There are various tutorials here on the FPN and on YouTube about how to heat-set a nib and feed with a cup of boiling hot water. If you don't heat-set the nib to the feed, you will likely have problems with insufficient ink flow when flexing. The Ahab and Konrad pens use Ebonite feeds specifically because they help ink flow compared with (cheaper) plastic feeds, and they can be heat-set to the nib which increases capillary ink flow.

Here is one brief YouTube example from Brian Goulet on how to heat-set an Ahab nib and feed with hot water:



One word of caution on heat-setting nibs and feeds: Do not try and heat-set the nib and feed on your typical modern fountain pen! Modern fountain pens almost always use plastic feeds, not Ebonite. Attempting to heat-set a plastic feed will most likely result in the feed deforming when it melts or softens - that's a bad thing. Unlike a plastic feed, an Ebonite feed will still be relatively hard to the touch when heated with boiling water.

Good Luck, David


Edited by Drone, 19 February 2016 - 00:32.


#403 grainweevil

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Posted 19 February 2016 - 11:16

Just a word on filing - don't use a back and forth sawing motion. You'll just blunt the file on every pull stroke. Only apply pressure on the forward stroke. (You may know this, but it's evident that 99.9% of people on TV and YouTube do not!) And if you use some fine abrasive (sandpaper, as it's colloquially known) to clean up the burrs, wrapping it around the file will give you an instant sanding block of the necessary shape.
 
It's not difficult, really it isn't. My first EMF was done just that way:
 
vy34f4.jpg



#404 Aug312

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Posted 24 February 2016 - 20:47

I may start using my Ahab again since this worked so well.

 

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#405 Pterodactylus

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Posted 24 February 2016 - 21:36

25215490336_e5cb6ed07d_o.jpg

 

(Serwex MB flex EMF ..... ESS Registrars Blue/Black)


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#406 Aug312

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Posted 25 February 2016 - 03:25

Although difficult to see from my poor example, it is a lot easier to flex than before and I might try removing a little more material.

 

21b6bv8.jpg



#407 tiptongrange

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Posted 10 March 2016 - 03:48

What's the name and size of the attachment, and how many rpms  do you need on the dremel for best results?

 



#408 CloaknDagr

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Posted 10 March 2016 - 08:35

What's the name and size of the attachment, and how many rpms  do you need on the dremel for best results?

 

 

Dremel attachments have names?  Like what ... Joe and Shirley? 

 

I used the small conical grinding head, the pink colored one.  I don't know what it's name is.  Dremel should make those heads wear name tags.  Like my cousin tried to make me wear at the last family reunion I went to ...  I told her that anyone who wants to know my name can just ask me ...

 

Use LOW RPMs, you don't want to heat the metal up so it loses whatever temper it has.  This is important, I've gotten hot and lost my temper many times and it usually results in less than optimal experiences for somebody. 

 

Seriously, that metal is steel with a specific hardness and it's "springy" which is what makes this mod work.  DON'T heat that metal up, take it slow and easy.  Heating metal changes its properties, if you get it hot it will get softer and it won't bend back to its original shape when you push on it to flex it.  Mark what you want to remove with a Sharpie and just bump the nib with the Dremel head on low speed.  If you get sparks you're using too much force and too many RPMs.  Tidy up the ground edges and then wash everything in warm, soapy water after you're done.  Remember, you can always take OFF more metal from the nib but you can't put metal back ON.  So take it easy and take your time.  Get it so it looks like the nibs in the pictures in this thread.  Make sure it's even on both sides or one side will flex more.

 

When you get done with all of that, toss out that silly air tube that's in the feed, heat set the feed, ink 'er up and go to work with your Ahab.  You may need to do some other things, like gouge out some of the ink channels in the feed so that the ink flow can keep up with the new and improved flex. 

 

At that point you'll be wondering why you went to all that trouble because while your Ahab will flex much better now, it's still sort of like writing with a horse shoe. A used horse shoe that fell off of a Clydesdale at the end of the pasture where Clydesdales would use toilet paper if they used toilet paper at all.  Whatever you do, don't come back here and say anything but "WOW, what a wonderful mod!  My Ahab is amazing!"  Because if you do, you'll get in trouble with the zealots.  Don't forget to post a handwriting sample with your newly modded pen.  If you don't then someone is bound to demand that you post a sample so you might as well get that out of the way too.  I'm a grumpy old curmudgeon so I ignore such demands, but you're probably a lot nicer person than I am.

 

Welcome to TFPN!  Write on!

 

;)


Edited by CloaknDagr, 10 March 2016 - 08:38.


#409 emboli

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Posted 30 March 2016 - 13:22

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#410 Pterodactylus

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Posted 03 April 2016 - 13:58

26117407302_94a2aa321d_o.jpg

 

(Serwex MB flex EMF ..... ESS Registrars Blue-Black)


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#411 Powree

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Posted 20 December 2016 - 02:15

I just tried this mod on my noodler konrad. That pen used to gather dust since it was so stiff and skips a lot. I was so tempted to sell it but then saw this thread and decided to give it a try.also modified the feeder and heat set it, and now it writes much better from the first time I bought it.

Tried the ease flex mod on an fpr 5.5 flex nib, but it doesn't differ much, probably because it's not as stiff as noodler so I couldnt't feel it.

Thanks for showing how to modify the pen. My writing still sucked, but it is nice that I could finally use this pen.

#412 Maya288

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Posted 13 January 2017 - 22:19

The Ahab is advertised as a flex pen, but if you only tried a real (at least semi flex) flex pen once you will know that the Ahab in his factory default state is no real flex pen.
The force needed to flex it is simply too high.
 

 

I really appreciate this post. I'm looking for my first flex pen. As a DIp Pen user who is use to flex I know I have to do my homework to find the right one to lessen any disappointment. I know perfectly well that a Dip and FP are different animals, but I'd like to come as close as possible. Thanks for this post. (Go figure, I have three Dremels and all the bits in the world but not that one! :) I will pick one up to have on hand)


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#413 matteob

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Posted 14 January 2017 - 06:15

Thanks I think Noodlers pens, certainly their cheaper ones like the Ahab, encourage tinkering. This looks great may give it a go!

#414 CloaknDagr

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Posted 14 January 2017 - 07:41

Thanks I think Noodlers pens, certainly their cheaper ones like the Ahab, encourage tinkering. This looks great may give it a go!

I had a lot of fun tinkering with mine.  Sadly even with the EMF mod the Ahab is pretty underwhelming.  You may have better results, or not.  If you read the whole topic you'll see there are people that love it, people that hate it, and people like me that think it's pretty much blah.  I can get it to flex and it writes OK but to me it's just not worth the effort it takes to get it to flex and write well. 

 

I swapped the Noodlers nib with another non-flex #6 nib for a while.  Because of the mods I had to do to get the feed to keep up with the flex (which it never did do very well, had to write really slow or the feed ran out of ink) with a standard #6 nib it was an ink hose.  It put down more ink than any other pen I own and I own quite a few.  I mean it REALLY laid a LOT of ink.  So I know I got the feed modded and set correctly because there was so much ink available and laid by the nib.  But the flex nib with all the hours of modding and tinkering and setting and re-setting and cleaning and re-cleaning never did do anything I'd consider exciting, or even marginally useful.  If I wrote really slow and careful, it would flex and lay a good looking script. To get it to do that was tedious and almost painful. If I didn't write really slow and with extreme care, there either was little or no noticeable line variation or it ran out of ink, railroaded and skipped.  I gave up on it and filled it with cheap ink with a non-flex nib and I use it for things where I want ink to go clear through the paper, which is not a lot of things.

 

I'm spoiled though, I have an heirloom Waterman with a gold #5 flex nib that's a serious wet-noodle.  It writes beautifully and is very easy to flex. I don't even have to think about it to get a whole lot of line variation, all I do is write and the pen does all the flex work by itself.  So my expectations of the Ahab as a flex nibbed pen may not be the same as other folks.  I realize it's a twenty dollar pen and not an antique Waterman but even taking that into account it's pretty unimpressive.  That kind of bummed me out because I was hoping to end up with a naturally flexing pen that wrote with ease and grace.  There's nothing natural, easy or graceful about using this Ahab. 

 

I'll never buy another Ahab, for around $20 I got a Nemosine with a stub italic nib that writes fantastic, is reliable, has line variation, is buttery smooth and didn't need anything but a good cleaning before it went into service.  For a little more I bought a TWSBI Eco with a stub italic nib and that's one of my favorite pens for everyday use.  I don't regret buying the Ahab but I won't spend any money on another one.

 

Try it, play with it, have fun.  It's not an expensive pen, even if you destroy it you're not out much and before you reach that point you'll have gotten your money's worth just messing around with it.  If you get it to a place where you're satisfied with it, that's even better.


Edited by CloaknDagr, 14 January 2017 - 07:50.


#415 yeepers

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Posted 05 July 2017 - 01:26

IMG_0381.JPG

 

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#416 ENewton

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Posted 06 July 2017 - 01:12

Yeepers, what ink is that?



#417 yeepers

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Posted 06 July 2017 - 01:58

Yeepers, what ink is that?

 

 

That's an Ecoline ink I had lying around. I think it's Ultramarine Violet.


Edited by yeepers, 06 July 2017 - 01:58.


#418 CloaknDagr

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Posted 09 July 2017 - 00:00

 

 

That's an Ecoline ink I had lying around. I think it's Ultramarine Violet.

Ecoline makes a fountain pen ink?  Or is that one of the liquid watercolor inks?  It's a nice blue.  Because of my work I had to use nothing but black inks for years so now I go a little bit crazy over blue inks ... actually anything but black ink of which I only own one ... but I like the blue inks best.



#419 Drone

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Posted 22 August 2018 - 08:12

Kevin over at the Fountain Pen Revolution (FPR) has announced his "Ultra Flex" nibs for sale. He says the nib design was inspired by the EMF thread right here on the FPN :D The announcement says:

 

Manually Adjusted Ultra Flex Nibs

August 16, 2018

The last few months we have been working on perfecting a manual adjustment to reduce the amount of pressure required to flex our FPR flex nibs. This half-moon cutout from the shoulders of these nibs was inspired by various "ease my flex" experiments on www.FountainPenNetwork.com. Each of these new "Ultra Flex" nibs has been manually ground and polished so as to reduce flex resistance while maintaining the integrity of the nib against tine springing. Check them out!!!

 

Here's the announcement link:
 

https://fprevolution...ultra-flex-nibs

 

Kevin sells matching Ebonite feeds to go with these new flex nibs. Here's just one example:

* FPR #6 Ultra Flex Nib and 6.3mm Ebonite Flex Feed Combo $20.00

https://fprevolution...flex-feed-combo

 

6_tt_ultra_combo_1024x1024.jpg?v=1534352

[Yep, those remind me of the nib and feed from a Noodler's Ahab or Konrad. So that's one place to plug 'em in.]

 

Of-course you can order one of Kevin's FPR pens ready to go with an Ultra Flex nib and Ebonite feed. I welcome these new nib and feed combos. Now anyone can experience the "EMF Effect" without having to do any filing or grinding. But they miss out on half the fun ;)


Edited by Drone, 22 August 2018 - 08:37.


#420 Lyric

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Posted 04 September 2018 - 21:04

26117407302_94a2aa321d_o.jpg
 
(Serwex MB flex EMF ..... ESS Registrars Blue-Black)


OMG. This is lovely!!!!






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