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Noodler's Ahab + Sheaffer Feed = Good Eyedropper

ahab eyedropper feed noodlers pens modification

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2 replies to this topic

#1 recluse


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Posted 07 October 2013 - 21:05

I am among those (few?) lucky guys who didn't have problems with Noodler's pens. At the same time, there are some features that I'm not crazy about (these are all personal preferences, of course) and it looks like I've found a work around for one of them.
It's appeared that I'm not fond of Ahab's filling mechanism. It works fine but the ink stuck in the piston rod drives me nuts. I know how to advance that ink to the nib but I don't like the procedure. And I know that removing the breather tube prevents the ink intake into the piston rod but ink can still get into there afterwards. 
One solution is, of course, to cover the hole in the piston but I don't know how to do this securely and reversibly at the same time. I still might return to this later.
Another way is to use the pen as an eyedropper. This is when some internal imperfections of my Ahab (or even straight design flaws) became prominent. It didn't want to hold the ink. The pen was gushing right after filling. Furthermore, once a sbstantial air pocket was formed the pen started to drip the ink. Thus the eyedropper option was seemingly out.
One day I've read about using Sheaffer's feeds in Indian eyedroppers and it rang the bell, thanks to, let's say, certain structural similarities between Noodler's pens and pens of some manufacturers in India.
I have a couple of Sheaffer pens, which I couldn't make to work to my satisfaction. It's turned out that the standard feed taken from a plastic school pen fits wonderfully into the Ahab. Now to results.
Positive outcomes. I am able to use my Ahab as an eyedropper. Moreover, I've finished two complete fills almost without usual problems, meaning no burping at the end! This should be elaborated. When the ink level gets low, say, to the last quarter, the pen becomes noticeably wetter but not too much. During the first fill, when the level dropped to the last milliliter or so the pen once misbehaved and was about to burp when I was writing on the porch (it was about 90 F that day), while inside there were no problems and the burping tendencies didn't reappear when the pen was taken inside and brought out again. I don't have an explanation for this. Possibly this was an effect of mismatched thermal expansions of the grip and the feed or something. During the second fill there were no problems but the pen was kept inside all the time.
Negative outcomes. Well, non so far.
General remarks. 1) I think people would like to know whether the Sheaffer feed cures the railroading problem. I cannot testify confidently as I don't use the flex nib. I've tried once with the new feed. It seemed that the ink supply got more steady but nevertheless I was able to make the pen railroad, but that's not difficult. So, how the Sheaffer feed affects the performance of the flex stock nibs should be studied separately.
2) Can the Sheaffer feed be used in Konrads? Without modifications, not really. The feed has this protrusion at the back end and it interferes with the piston. The piece can probably be cut off. I didn't try this.
3) Whether Sheaffer's feeds can be found separately I don't know, but cheap Sheaffer pens can be easily bought for a few dollars apiece on eBay.
Overall, I'm very satisfied with the modified Ahab (is it still Ahab if it only has Ahab's body and the cap?). I can see it being a frequent member of the rotation.

Edited by recluse, 07 October 2013 - 21:09.

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#2 Drinky


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Posted 01 February 2016 - 19:32

I know this is old, but I wanted to say thanks for this useful tip. My Ahab's filler cracked shortly after I got it and as far as I know, there is no place to get a replacement. I tried it as an eyedropper, but ink doesn't just burp out occasionally, it drips out at a constant flow.


So the pen has been sitting in a drawer, right next to an old sheaffer school pen and a TWSBI nib I have no other use for. Lo and behold, your idea works perfectly, and has brought the Ahab out of early retirement.


Thanks for taking the time to post your discovery.

#3 Piper 987

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Posted 07 February 2016 - 19:44

One of the reasons I now have four Ahabs is that they are easy to fiddle around with, trying the kind of modification you've just done. (I also like the size and the way it fits my hand.)


Nathan Tardif of Noodler's actively encourages people to goof around with his pens. (Okay, your pens.) There are many, many size six nibs out there. Ahab feeds are cheap and available. Various hacks for Ahabs are demonstrated here and on youtube.


One of my favorites was modifying an Ahab feed so that a Brause Rose (dip pen) nib worked well, giving me an excellent, ultra-flexible nibbed fountain pen. (Damned if I can find the link right now!!)

Ink has something in common with both money and manure. It's only useful if it's spread around.

Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: ahab, eyedropper, feed, noodlers pens modification

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