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Ahab Success & Reevluation Of The "flex Nib"

ahab noodlers flex nib goulet nib brian goulet heat setting

29 replies to this topic

#1 iRabb

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Posted 08 September 2014 - 15:41

To followers of Ahab threads,

 

Over the past two days, I have turned two unusable dogs into excellent writers. Because I did three things, I can't say that all three are essential, but two of the three definitely are. However, it has raised a question I would love to kick around with you.

 

Here is what I did, which all came from advice from Drone and Brian Goulet:

1. Cleaned the channel with the BACK, not the blade, of an Exacto knife.

2. Cleaned the entire feed with a grease cutting dish soap (blue Dawn).

3. Heat set the nib (thanks to Brian Goulet for his excellent how-to video).

4. Tested with a well behaved ink (Waterman Mysterious Blue).

 

I've actually done three, but I have not yet inked up the third. The first two write perfectly. One has the Ahab stock nib, the other has a Goulet nib.

 

Here is my issue: The Goulet nib is a #6 nail, but is beautiful to look at. The stock Ahab nib is at best plain, possibly ugly as sin. The Goulet also has a hole in it which allows using a straightened paper clip to make sure the slit in the nib is perfectly aligned with the channel. The Ahab nib does not. The Ahab with the Goulet nib went from a $20 waste of money to a $35 dollar pen that writes perfectly and is stunning to look at. But it is not a flex nib.

 

But is the Ahab a flex nib? Yes, you can flex it, but it takes plenty of pressure to get real line variation. My best pen has a JinHo semi- flex Binderized nib, and it is far more flexible that the Ahab nib. The experience of using the Ahab nib is far closer to writing with a nail, unless you really bear down to get some flex. So, is the Ahab nib a flex nib, or is it an nib that can be flexed, given enough effort?

 

The Ahab I have not yet inked in now set up with the stock nib. I'll probably try it that way first. The second Ahab I did is not particularly beautiful, and I'll leave the stock nib in it. But I am seriously thinking about that third Ahab, which is also gorgeous, topping it off with another Goulet nib I have, and giving up the ability to flex it in favor of a truly striking pen that really performs.

 

So I'm curious about other's opinions on the designation of the Ahab as a flex pen. To me, that means I should get a bit of flex as I write, not have to decide "now I want it to flex" and bear down to make it do so. So what say you? Is "flex pen" an apt description of the Ahab, or a bit of a stretch?

 

Ben



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#2 tinysnail

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Posted 08 September 2014 - 15:56

Without getting super picky about designations of flex, which is somethjng I don't have too much experience with, I actually LIKE that it takes more effort to flex a Noodler's pen. I may be in the minority in regards to that. With normal pressure, my Konrad writes with a nice, fine line, so I can use it easily for most purposes. If I want to bring out the major flex, I can!

With springier nibs (eg my vintage Pelikan), the nib is soft enough to affect everything I write and I feel like I have to be a bit more careful with it. It's still wonderful, but I appreciate that my Noodler's pens are more versatile.

Congrats on getting the Ahabs working, also! It's so satisfying. I've worked on 8 Noodler's pens, now (mine and a friend's and a sister's) and 3 of them wrote perfectly out of the box, 3 just needed the feed pushed further in, and 2 just needed the feed pushed further out.

#3 iRabb

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Posted 08 September 2014 - 16:14

Without getting super picky about designations of flex, which is somethjng I don't have too much experience with, I actually LIKE that it takes more effort to flex a Noodler's pen. I may be in the minority in regards to that. With normal pressure, my Konrad writes with a nice, fine line, so I can use it easily for most purposes. If I want to bring out the major flex, I can!

With springier nibs (eg my vintage Pelikan), the nib is soft enough to affect everything I write and I feel like I have to be a bit more careful with it. It's still wonderful, but I appreciate that my Noodler's pens are more versatile.

Congrats on getting the Ahabs working, also! It's so satisfying. I've worked on 8 Noodler's pens, now (mine and a friend's and a sister's) and 3 of them wrote perfectly out of the box, 3 just needed the feed pushed further in, and 2 just needed the feed pushed further out.

 

That's a fair point—chocolate vs. vanilla. We have different tastes, but no right or wrong. Thanks for adding your perspective.



#4 Hardcase

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Posted 08 September 2014 - 17:05

I think that the Ahab is about as flexy as an inexpensive stainless nib is going to get.  As Montgomery Scott used to (or will) say, "Ya canna change the laws of physics, laddie!" (Notwithstanding faster than light travel.  And time travel.  But I digress...)

 

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#5 Algester

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Posted 08 September 2014 - 17:12

you want to flex your Ahab more.. Ease my Flex mod? I tried it my Ahab is now close to a wet noodling soft nib by Pilot, It's so wet I couldnt use it as an ordinary writer so it stays in my drawer if I need some none vintage flex, but by default the Ahab nib will flex given enough pressure ENOUGH PRESSURE :X



#6 Polanova

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Posted 08 September 2014 - 17:16

I think that the Ahab is about as flexy as an inexpensive stainless nib is going to get.  

 

 

I agree; I do have some vintage flex nibs, though, which flex more & easier - so, obviously it can be done!

 

iRabb:  I`ll have another go messing with my Noodler`s (I`ll be happy enough if the ink flow corresponds with the Semi-flex capabilities)


Edited by Polanova, 08 September 2014 - 17:17.


#7 iRabb

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Posted 08 September 2014 - 17:22

I think that the Ahab is about as flexy as an inexpensive stainless nib is going to get.  As Montgomery Scott used to (or will) say, "Ya canna change the laws of physics, laddie!" (Notwithstanding faster than light travel.  And time travel.  But I digress...)

 

-Drew

 

No argument there, but once you've felt a gold nib (even semi-flex) you can tell a Cadillac from a Yugo (but I date myself).



#8 iRabb

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Posted 08 September 2014 - 17:24

you want to flex your Ahab more.. Ease my Flex mod? I tried it my Ahab is now close to a wet noodling soft nib by Pilot, It's so wet I couldnt use it as an ordinary writer so it stays in my drawer if I need some none vintage flex, but by default the Ahab nib will flex given enough pressure ENOUGH PRESSURE :X

 

Yes, good point. I had my jeweler brother do that, but that was before I learned to heat set and the results were not pretty. I think I'll try that nib again and heat set it.



#9 iRabb

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Posted 08 September 2014 - 17:25

 

iRabb:  I`ll have another go messing with my Noodler`s (I`ll be happy enough if the ink flow corresponds with the Semi-flex capabilities)

 

 

 

Good luck! Be sure to heat set the feed. IMHO, that is key.



#10 Algester

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Posted 08 September 2014 - 17:27

 

Yes, good point. I had my jeweler brother do that, but that was before I learned to heat set and the results were not pretty. I think I'll try that nib again and heat set it.

if you don't know about the ease my flex mod you basically have to dig some ditches on the nib to give it the "angel wings" profile the same profile you see on the Marlen Aleph and Pilot FA nib no not the Elabo/Falcon but the "Falcon nib"

http://www.fountainp...se-my-flex-mod/

but yes the steel nib is quite stiff to call it a flex but it will flex


Edited by Algester, 08 September 2014 - 17:29.


#11 Hardcase

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Posted 08 September 2014 - 17:49

 

No argument there, but once you've felt a gold nib (even semi-flex) you can tell a Cadillac from a Yugo (but I date myself).

 

Exactamundo!

 

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#12 Bo Bo Olson

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Posted 08 September 2014 - 17:59

iRabb,

have you tried the Ahab Mod to your nib yet?

Turns the nib from a hard to work 'Flex' nib to an easy to work Super-flex/Easy Full flex. That is two flex stages lighter.

Mine went from semi-flex in box to Super-flex in rotation.

It's worth it.


Edited by Bo Bo Olson, 08 September 2014 - 18:01.

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 JonSzanto

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Posted 08 September 2014 - 18:06

"This stock Ahab is a dream! It flexes at the mere thought of pressure, and adds so much character to my writing. So little effort, I'm sold!"

~ Arnold Schwarzenegger


Edited by JonSzanto, 08 September 2014 - 18:07.

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#14 Randal6393

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Posted 08 September 2014 - 21:14

Hello again, iRabb,

 

Glad to see you having so much fun with the pens. I have 5 Konrads and 3 Ahabs, nary a flex nib in any of them. Put a variety of nominal 1.1 mm italic nibs (many of them the Goulet JoWo-made nibs) in all of them. Not that I don't write a bit of Copperplate once in a while. Just that my usual italic does me well. Would not have been nearly as successful with the Noodlers if not for Brian Goulet's advice, videos, and products offered. A shout-out for Brian.

 

As for the flex mods and nibs, think that a fountain pen will never give quite the control (for me) that a dip pen will, so remain devoted to the dips.

 

Enjoy,


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#15 balson

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Posted 08 September 2014 - 23:38

i designed a new nib mod that you might enjoy as well.  its a simple 30 degree downward bend to the nib.  because of the downward bend the nib its almost impossible not to flex the nib a little bit on the downstrokes.  it also has the added bonus of being an inverse fude nib so when writing upside down it produces brush like marks making it ideal for drawing.  this design works so well i wanted to patent it until i found out today that sailor already made the nib.  :rolleyes:   

 

fpr%2Bconcord%2Bmod.jpg



#16 gwyneddd

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Posted 08 September 2014 - 23:50

Hello again, iRabb,

 

Glad to see you having so much fun with the pens. I have 5 Konrads and 3 Ahabs, nary a flex nib in any of them. Put a variety of nominal 1.1 mm italic nibs (many of them the Goulet JoWo-made nibs) in all of them. Not that I don't write a bit of Copperplate once in a while. Just that my usual italic does me well. Would not have been nearly as successful with the Noodlers if not for Brian Goulet's advice, videos, and products offered. A shout-out for Brian.

 

As for the flex mods and nibs, think that a fountain pen will never give quite the control (for me) that a dip pen will, so remain devoted to the dips.

 

Enjoy,

 

Funny. I got a Flex Nib on a Ahab and I don't like it. I immediately reached for the dip pen and I was a lot happier. So I think you may be onto something. I'm swapping out the flex for some Goulet nibs, as I like the Ahab well enough (except for the baby barf smell, but that will pass.) Oddly enough, my sonicator for cleaning jewelry mentioned cleaning pen nibs and I tried it on the dip pen nibs. Hola! Worked GREAT. Not expensive, either. Solves the dip-and-soak forever issue if I use India ink or the like on the dip pens. 


Edited by gwyneddd, 08 September 2014 - 23:50.


#17 Kataphract

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Posted 09 September 2014 - 00:05

Short answer is: yes. Does it flex? Yes? End of story.

The long answer is, it was designed to emulate the ability of vintage pens to achieve a fair amount of line variation, but as cheaply as possible. Which means you get a fairly stiff nib that can at best be referred to as semi-flex. It can achieve a fair amount of line variation, you just have to work at it harder than a vintage pen that was designed for that. Mine worked fine direct out of the box. No scrubbing, no detergent, no aligning, no repositioning. But it isn't as fine a line as I would like, and it doesn't spring back as quickly as I would like. But, hey, for $20 I'm not disappointed. I'm thinking about getting a second one for use with a Goulet stub nib, and FrankenPen the stock Ahab nib with flex mods and tip mods.

#18 iRabb

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Posted 09 September 2014 - 01:15

you want to flex your Ahab more.. Ease my Flex mod? I tried it my Ahab is now close to a wet noodling soft nib by Pilot, It's so wet I couldnt use it as an ordinary writer so it stays in my drawer if I need some none vintage flex, but by default the Ahab nib will flex given enough pressure ENOUGH PRESSURE :X

 

 

iRabb,

have you tried the Ahab Mod to your nib yet?

Turns the nib from a hard to work 'Flex' nib to an easy to work Super-flex/Easy Full flex. That is two flex stages lighter.

Mine went from semi-flex in box to Super-flex in rotation.

It's worth it.

 

OK, so today I pulled out the nib that my brother did the mod on, put it on an Ahab and heat set the feed (I am convinced that is the magic bullet) and wrote with it all day. Plenty of flex, nice and wet, and not a single blob or blotch all day long. Now I have a tough call to make: leave the pen as is, or top it with a Goulet 1.1 stub that I forgot was in my box of stuff. Nice problem to have. We're talking about a Vulcan's Coral Ahab with Diamine Red Dragon—Wow!

 

BTW, all of my heat setting is using Brian Goulet's hot water method. Works like a charm—maybe I'm getting lucky, but only one attempt per pen was necessary.

 

If you're seduced by a nice Ahab body but can't get it to write, I cannot suggest cleaning and heat setting strongly enough. As always, YMMV.

 

Ben


Edited by iRabb, 09 September 2014 - 01:18.


#19 Algester

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Posted 09 September 2014 - 01:28

i designed a new nib mod that you might enjoy as well.  its a simple 30 degree downward bend to the nib.  because of the downward bend the nib its almost impossible not to flex the nib a little bit on the downstrokes.  it also has the added bonus of being an inverse fude nib so when writing upside down it produces brush like marks making it ideal for drawing.  this design works so well i wanted to patent it until i found out today that sailor already made the nib.  :rolleyes:   

 

fpr%2Bconcord%2Bmod.jpg

lol the Pilot PO nib also looks like that



#20 tonybelding

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Posted 09 September 2014 - 01:43

So I'm curious about other's opinions on the designation of the Ahab as a flex pen. To me, that means I should get a bit of flex as I write, not have to decide "now I want it to flex" and bear down to make it do so. So what say you? Is "flex pen" an apt description of the Ahab, or a bit of a stretch?

 

I've coined the term "barely-flex" for nibs like these, where you don't normally see any flex, but you can get some if you press down with a Gorilla Hand.  From where I sit, it's a stunt or a novelty, not something useful.  The supposedly "semi-flex" nib that came with my Wahl-Eversharp Skyline Technic fits into a similar category, as does the FPR flex nib.

 

The most flexible nib I've seen on a recent production factory pen was a Lamy 2000, if you can believe it.





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