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A Note On The Ahab

ahab good inexpensive fountain pen

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29 replies to this topic

#1 iRabb

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Posted 21 December 2013 - 20:11

Folks, I know I am new to this forum, but understand that I have used a fountain pen almost exclusively for thirty years. I just never considered it a hobby, which I now do. I had a Parker that would not write no matter how many times I sent it back to Parker, and various Crosses until I got the Townsend that has been my workhorse pen for as long as I can remember.

 

You may have read the post(s) concerning my rough start with the Ahab. It came with a torn outer o-ring. Today, I replaced that o-ring, and as you can do with the Ahab's friction fit nib and feed system, I adjusted it a bit.

 

I'm not going to say that I will never buy a higher end pen someday, but I've got to tell you that I think if you are anti-Ahab, I think you should go back to it and play with the feed system. I now believe the Ahab is one of the best buys for the money on the market. For $14 dollars, you can bet I will be adding a few more to the arsenal. Some will be used with the piston filler, which works extremely well, and others will be used as an eyedropper style, which will probably hold six months worth of ink. 

 

I strongly urge anyone looking for an inexpensive, high quality flex pen to try out an Ahab, with the caveat that you may have to tweak the ink flow by adjusting the nib. That sounds intimidating. It's not at all. It's just a matter of sliding the metal nib and the wooden feed sections in and out a bit. How much? No two will be identical, and it will also depend on the ink you use. Goulet's has a great video on it here: .

 

If you buy an Ahab and hate it, send it to me and I'll make a donation to your favorite charity in the name of Ahab!

 

Just my two cents, of course. YMMV.


Edited by iRabb, 21 December 2013 - 20:15.


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#2 discopig

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Posted 21 December 2013 - 20:33

Ahab is an amazing pen. Mine needed no fiddling and worked great out of the box. I use it daily because it's just so pleasant to write with it.



#3 Bo Bo Olson

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Posted 21 December 2013 - 20:52

If you get or make a nib that is Angel Winged like what Pendleton Brown does....suddenly it is not a hard to work semi-flex 'flex' nib, but a joy of an Easy Full Flex.

 

Semi-flex is a flex that is very to work with in a flex nib.

 

By putting Angle Wings on may mean it will not last more than 4-5 years....but that is just fine, the ease of work is worth it,a dn one can get another nib done the same way cheap.

 

What the Ahab teaches is how important a Feed is, and how nice a real feed of ebonite can be.


German vintage '50-70 semi-flex stubs and those in oblique give the real thing in On Demand line variation. Modern Oblique is a waste of money for a shadow of line variation. Being too lazy to Hunt for affordable vintage oblique pens, lets you 'hunt' for line variation instead of having it.

www.nibs.com/blog/nibster-writes/nibs-germany & https://www.peter-bo...cts/nib-systems,

 

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#4 AndreasDavour

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Posted 21 December 2013 - 20:53

I'd say they totally not worth it. You can get a bunch of Jinhao pens on eBay for that price, including shipping, that works much better.

 

It's ironic that I had my Ahab sitting on the table for a few days, after I tweaked it and thought I'd finally made it work. Now it is junk again. I have over 50 pens and the Ahab is the most unreliable one I have.

 

I'm happy for you to get a good one. Mine is a dud. I would throw it away if it had not been a gift.



#5 iRabb

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Posted 21 December 2013 - 20:58

I'd say they totally not worth it. You can get a bunch of Jinhao pens on eBay for that price, including shipping, that works much better.

 

It's ironic that I had my Ahab sitting on the table for a few days, after I tweaked it and thought I'd finally made it work. Now it is junk again. I have over 50 pens and the Ahab is the most unreliable one I have.

 

I'm happy for you to get a good one. Mine is a dud. I would throw it away if it had not been a gift.

 

 

I'm sad to hear that. They are handmade, so I suppose an occasional lemon is going to slip through. At any rate, I now own four pens, one of which came free with Noodler's Heart of Midnight. I'm sure that with 50+, you're more than covered with good writers, and if you had to get a dud, at least it was a cheap dud.

 

Such is life.



#6 iRabb

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Posted 21 December 2013 - 21:02

Semi-flex is a flex that is very to work with in a flex nib.

 

 

Bo Bo, what word did you intend to put after "very?"



#7 AndreasDavour

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Posted 21 December 2013 - 21:03

Yeah, it's not like I need it. ;)

 

It really fel ironic to once again find it useless and angry check to see if something had cropped up on FPN and found this...

 

But, if you own four pens and none of them is a Jinhao X450 or X750 I suggest you get one of those. I really love those...



#8 andymcc

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Posted 21 December 2013 - 21:09

I have to agree with AndreasDavour, when I got my Ahab it worked ok but my Konrad ended up in the bin after days of messing about with it. After not being used for a while I inked up my Ahab but it decided it wanted to be 'tweaked' again after some fussing it worked ok. I have a few really cheap Chinese pens(Jinhao 159, Hero 616 etc) and they have all worked well without needing to be messed about with and combined they cost less than my Ahab.  The manufacturing  inconsistencies mean no 2 pens are alike so some people will love their Noodler's pens but those of use who purchased lemons aren't going to buy another in the hopes of getting the fabled 'good' Noodler's pen no matter how cheap they are, which is sad because I really like the concept.

 
I really wish they were all made well though because my next pen is going to cost me £100ish not the £20 a Konrad costs  :lol:

Edited by andymcc, 21 December 2013 - 21:10.


#9 Inkydinkydog

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Posted 21 December 2013 - 21:16

I have three of them, and they are quite satisfactory.  Although they worked out of the box, it was fun tweaking them.  I also like them with Goulet's #6 replacement nibs, 1.1mm and 1.5mm.



#10 iRabb

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Posted 21 December 2013 - 21:30

Yeah, it's not like I need it. ;)

 

It really fel ironic to once again find it useless and angry check to see if something had cropped up on FPN and found this...

 

But, if you own four pens and none of them is a Jinhao X450 or X750 I suggest you get one of those. I really love those...

 

Actually, for what they cost I definitely plan on one of each—I was shocked to see them positively reviewed.



#11 79spitfire

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Posted 21 December 2013 - 22:26

I've had to tweak Hero 616 pens as much or more than my Ahabs (I have 2)

 

I find the Ahabs are a 'one ink' pen, unless you like re-adjusting each time you change inks.


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#12 Bo Bo Olson

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Posted 21 December 2013 - 22:48

Hard was the word...

Semi-flex is a hard pressure when using a 'flex' nib.

 

From the get go....here on the com....it was common knowledge the Ahab was a major fiddle with nib, feed and even the breathing tube (I took mine out...with the more flexible nib, it no longer worked). One was to learn that feed channels could be deepened, fins chopped off if the pen was too wet or too something. One had to learn there were differences of flex from where the feed met the nib.

 

The word ebonite was suddenly in everyone mouth...before, it was esoteric; something old vintage pens used.  Out came the exacto knife and knowing changes were made.

Ancient knowledge was learned.

 

Oh, well, between that Noodler and Twsbi has everyone yanking pens apart to clean them; even pens that don't need it...the fear of repair has become passe`.

 

I'd not say the Ahab is an one ink pen....but it certainly could be a one type of ink pen.....super saturated or wishy washy shading ink would need a different nib set up..... Now that you know that, you can tune your other pens for supersaturated or lighter shading inks.

Can't be that the regular pen is set up for both....one of the ink sorts will be coming up short.


German vintage '50-70 semi-flex stubs and those in oblique give the real thing in On Demand line variation. Modern Oblique is a waste of money for a shadow of line variation. Being too lazy to Hunt for affordable vintage oblique pens, lets you 'hunt' for line variation instead of having it.

www.nibs.com/blog/nibster-writes/nibs-germany & https://www.peter-bo...cts/nib-systems,

 

The cheapest lessons are from those who learned expensive lessons. Ignorance is best for learning expensive lessons.

 

 

 


#13 9iron

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Posted 21 December 2013 - 23:28

Where are you getting them for $14?

#14 Scribblesoften

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Posted 22 December 2013 - 00:34

I have both Ahabs and Konrads. My experience with the Ahabs has been better than the resin Konrads. I also have ebonite and acrylic Konrads that work very well. I am glad you like your Ahab. If the shape fits your hand you have lots of options with tuning, nibs, and modifications.

#15 iRabb

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Posted 22 December 2013 - 00:59

I've had to tweak Hero 616 pens as much or more than my Ahabs (I have 2)
 
I find the Ahabs are a 'one ink' pen, unless you like re-adjusting each time you change inks.


With the exception of always needing one fine nib w/red, I'm pretty much a one ink guy. I have a thing for Noodler's Heart of Darkness black.

#16 iRabb

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Posted 22 December 2013 - 01:16

Where are you getting them for $14?


The bottom line is Penboutique.com, but if you go directly to their website they are almost all $20, with one or two for $14. The problem is I can't replicate what I did so I can tell you. I thought I started on Amazon, then clicked on a pen, and was taken to Pen Boutique. Whatever happened, it put me on a page where most models, including the next two I want, were only $14.

Sorry this is not much help, but I will continue to try to figure it out for both our sakes.

#17 Waski_the_Squirrel

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Posted 22 December 2013 - 01:36

I really like the Noodler's pens. I prefer the Konrad to the Ahab, but I do own two Ahabs. They have some flex and, the longer I have owned them, the more flex they develop. 

 

The Ahab wasn't my favorite, mostly because I found the Konrad more comfortable to hold. I also prefer the Konrad's filling mechanism.


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#18 Gloucesterman

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Posted 22 December 2013 - 01:50

I have 8 Noodler pen 3 Ahab, 3 Konrad and 2 Creeper. All have worked very well right out of the box.

 

All were purchased at least a year or two after the first Creeper came out.

 

Maybe I'm lucky or I have different standards of performance that are acceptable?

 

OTOH, I'm happy with what I have and the way they write.

 

Yes, I like a beautiful pen and especially one that I can get a little flashy with. The bottom line for me is that I thoroughly enjoy the entire writing experience and I can get most of that with a $10.50 78G as well as a $400.00 Aurora or Visconti (and please don't get me started on the MB mystique!

 

Fountains pens are an integral part of a pleasurable  writing experience for me. If money was of no consideration then I'm sure I would have more expensive pens. And there is a certain special delight in having a good writing pen that costs less then twenty dollars (or $10 for that matter).


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#19 Drone

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Posted 22 December 2013 - 09:09

I have five Noodler's pens, four Ahabs and one olive-ripple ebonite Konrad. All were purchased from Goulet's Pens.

One Ahab had a defective section where the injection mold was starved for plastic. The pen was useless out of the box.

The other three Ahabs were built OK but had horribly poor ink flow out of the box.

The Konrad's feed was too small in diameter and would actually just fall through the section if you pushed on it. With the original feed, the Konrad was also useless out of the box.

Save for the Ahab piston O-ring and some third-party Ahab section O-rings from Goulet's, you can not buy spare parts for these pens. Being located in Asia and facing a completely dysfunctional government-run postal system, returning the defective Ahab was out of the question. So the bad Ahab became a parts donor pen.

The feed from the bad Ahab was used to replace the bad feed in the ebonite Konrad.

The remaining three Ahabs and one Konrad all required more than just repositioning the feed to make them work - I had to hack the feeds. With one of the Ahabs, I had to heat set the feed as well as hack the feed quite severely by opening up four ribs and deepening the channel quite a bit. That stubborn Ahab took a lot of work and patience to get right.

I preformed the Pterdactylus "Ease My Flex Mod" to the Konrad. The modification worked beautifully; the pen flexes very nicely now. I've been flexing with the modified Konrad for over a month. The nib is holding up nicely so far.

If you have a spare Ahab or Konrad nib laying around (the Konrad and Ahab use the same #6 nib and feed), I highly recommend performing the "Ease My Flex Mod".

If you want to see the original "Ease My Flex Mod" thread started by Pterodactylus, here's the link:

http://www.fountainp..._1#entry2607667

Here's my post (#105 on page-4) on my Noodler's Konrad Ebonite Olive Ripple with the Ease my Flex modification:

http://www.fountainp...-4#entry2830995

Enjoy...



#20 iRabb

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Posted 22 December 2013 - 15:11

Sorry I hit a nerve, Drone. Sounds to me, based on all posts I've read, that the single biggest problem with the Ahab is inconsistency. It definitely makes me wonder if I want to roll the dice on them two more times as I had planned.





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