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Question About Nib Measurements


13 replies to this topic

#1 mtnbiker62

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Posted 09 December 2014 - 20:45

When a measurement is given for a nib, what is being measured?  For example, Franklin-Christoph lists the following information on their website:

 

XF = Extra-Fine .4mm

F = Fine .5mm

M = Medium .7mm

B = Broad .9mm

 

So what is being described here: is it the width of the nib, or the width of the line it lays down?  


Edited by mtnbiker62, 09 December 2014 - 23:00.


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#2 wimg

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Posted 09 December 2014 - 22:51

Ideally, it should be the line it lays down. However, that is rather difficult, to some degree, as it requires standardized paper and ink for it to be measured correctly and being able to repeat those measurements.

 

If they are not stating how they measured this, it is most likely the width of the nib itself was measured, which is not necessarily a good indication of the actual nib width. Furthermore, you may assume some variation, probably up to 8% or 10%

 

The following are the nib, or rather, stroke widths I use myself for any nib work I do:

 

fpn_1418165442__nib-widths.jpg

 

I think a width of 0.7 mm is a little wide for a Medium nib, and based on my experience, most non-Japanese M nibs lay down a line of around 0.6 mm. And I would have similar comments on the B nib width.

 

In order to measure nib widths I use the nib measurement chart which is available in de Downloads section of the forum here,

http://www.fountainp...nib-width-form/

or a more detailed one which I created myself.

I print it on good quality inkjet paper, write a bunch of horizontal and vertical strokes next to the appropriate lines, and take the average of several lines, as more or less pressure also influences stroke width. 

The standard ink I use is Waterman Blue Black, which is a an ink with good, standardized characteristics, and generally easily available.

 

I'll share the more detailed nib measurement chart when I have some time to do so.

 

HTH, warm regards, Wim


the Mad Dutchman
laugh a little, love a little, live a lot; laugh a lot, love a lot, live forever


#3 Bo Bo Olson

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Posted 10 December 2014 - 19:00

Well, Ink Jet will absorb ink fast.

I don't own nor plan to ever own Ink Jet paper.

 

But in all things of width of a fountain pen nib, hand grenades or horse shoes is as close as you can get.

 

Do not let your self get AR about it....sooner than later you will have pens from other makers and other eras and everything you have down pat with one brand or even one era, goes out the window.

 

Real Skinny, sort of skinny, sort of medium, sort of wide, wide and real Wide. Your personal version may shift one size left or right, depending if you started out with narrow for size Japanese or wider than Japanese Western.

IMO after 10-15 pens that matters less and less the more pens you have because there is no world wide standard; and with a company's standard there is slop/tolerance.

 

As long as it writes well and you can live with some one's M writes like some one else's F, you are good to go and need less ulcer medicine.

 

In two generations when robots totally make the nib, you can worry about nib width....you'd just have to stay away from 'today's vintage', '90-80' Semi-vintage and real vintage.

So the problem will always be with us.....you can send all your vintage nibs off to a robot nib meister to be made Pilot wide. :P

One ink, one paper, one pen, and one pressure...The robot will write it for you. :wacko: If you find someone going in that direction, the letter could even be hand delivered. :headsmack:


Edited by Bo Bo Olson, 10 December 2014 - 19:01.

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.

 

 

 


#4 wimg

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Posted 11 December 2014 - 15:16

I managed to upload the high res nib width chart I mentioned higher up.

 

You may find it here:

http://www.fountainp...b-widths-chart/

 

Do note that this chart requires a high resolution printer, 4000dpi and up, in order for the comparison lines to be consistent and reliable. Printing needs to be set to 100%, no scaling, and ideally a (very) high quality inkjet paper is required for optimal results.

 

Enjoy!

 

Warm regards, Wim


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laugh a little, love a little, live a lot; laugh a lot, love a lot, live forever


#5 inkstainedruth

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Posted 12 December 2014 - 00:02

@ mtnbiker62:

It's even more complicated than Bo Bo says -- it depends on the pen and ink, as well as the paper.  For instance, I have several Parker Vectors, some of which have F nibs.  The blue F pen is a firehose, writing with a wetter, wider line than not only the red F, but also wider than my Parker Urban -- which has an M nib.  And I should note that the pens range in age (at least, according to the date codes) from the mid- to late-1980s to about 2003, and all are UK-made pens.  And I've read that the UK nibs that Parker made tended to run wider than the US-made ones, for older models such as 51s.  

A general rule of thumb, apparently is that Asian nibs tend to run finer than their European "equivalent" counterparts, but again, I suspect it's a matter of the particular nib and particular ink and  the paper used. 

The only *real* rule of thumb is that there is only going to be consistency (and only to some extent) of widths within any given pen brand (and only in somewhat general terms.

@ Wim:

Thanks for posting the link to your chart.  While it's not going to be the "end-all and be-all" it's a good frame of reference.

Ruth Morrisson aka inkstainedruth


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#6 wimg

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Posted 12 December 2014 - 00:26

Hi Ruth,

 

You are completely right, of course. Even more or less pressure when writing gives wider and thinner lines, to a degree, and this even for non-flex nibs. This is why I take an average of the lines drawn on a chart like I made and uploaded here :), and I generally use high quality 90 gms paper to print the charts as well. And I always use Waterman Blue Black for the stroke measurements :).

 

As long as one standardizes, it provides at least a reference, indeed.

 

Warm regards, Wim


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#7 Anne-Sophie

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Posted 12 December 2014 - 05:46

Where or where can I find 3B, 4B, 5B, 6B, 7B, 8B Nibs?

 

:thumbup: because I never knew they existed.


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#8 wimg

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Posted 12 December 2014 - 11:00

Where or where can I find 3B, 4B, 5B, 6B, 7B, 8B Nibs?

 

:thumbup: because I never knew they existed.

3B I have seen in the wild, the other ones don't officially exist, although I do have a few 6 mm nibs in my collection - custom made ones :).

 

However, those widths on the chart are very useful when testing or creating flex nibs :).

Occasionally not even 8B is enough for me, though, as I did create a 0.15 mm to 2.3 mm flex nib, based on a titanium 0.45 mm - 1.6 mm nib :).

 

Warm regards, Wim


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#9 inkstainedruth

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Posted 13 December 2014 - 02:36

3B I have seen in the wild, the other ones don't officially exist, although I do have a few 6 mm nibs in my collection - custom made ones  :).

 

However, those widths on the chart are very useful when testing or creating flex nibs :).

Occasionally not even 8B is enough for me, though, as I did create a 0.15 mm to 2.3 mm flex nib, based on a titanium 0.45 mm - 1.6 mm nib :).

 

Warm regards, Wim

I saw a (IIRC) BiN Pelikan brown tortoise listed on the Bay of Evil awhile back that the seller claimed had a OBBBBB nib.  I watched the pen through multiple relistings for curiosity's sake -- the price was way more than I could afford, and apparently for everyone as we.  Mind you, I'm not say the pen was necessarily overpriced for what it was -- but it was way more than I could afford (and I suspect a lot of other potential buyers thought the same; the price dropped slightly from when I first saw it -- but not by a lot, and I suspect that the "drop" was actually an exchange rate fluctuation.  

Needless to say, I did not make an offer (I wasn't sure how low-ball I could get away with, and even then it wasn't clear that I would have been able to afford it....  Not sure if it ever sold, or whether it was a case where the listing finally got pulled by the seller.

Ruth Morrisson aka inkstainedruth


"It's very nice, but frankly, when I signed that list for a P-51, what I had in mind was a fountain pen."

#10 Anne-Sophie

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Posted 13 December 2014 - 07:06

I should have known, it was a standard for flex nibs.

 

But, does a size bigger than BB exist for firm nibs, round ones, not oblique?

 

It is a strong interest of mine.


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#11 Bo Bo Olson

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Posted 13 December 2014 - 15:24

I have a BBBB, that is on a cheap Manuscript pen. For me it is unusable out side I want to make a big wide heading on a piece of paper.

 

A Lamy 1.5 is a much more writable nib than that BBBB.

 

I have vintage OBB nibs....in vintage they are a bit narrower than modern...more like I guess a OB modern. I can write with them if I write a bit larger. Vintage OB is like a modern fat M.

 

I have a modern MB B =BB nib...that is also rather wide to write with.


Edited by Bo Bo Olson, 13 December 2014 - 15:26.

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.

 

 

 


#12 Sandy1

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Posted 13 December 2014 - 16:48

I should have known, it was a standard for flex nibs.

 

But, does a size bigger than BB exist for firm nibs, round ones, not oblique?

 

It is a strong interest of mine.

 

Hi,

 

My scope of sampling is low, but it seems that most wide nibs tend to become Stub-ish around the B to BB widths.

 

Even the written samples at the end of the following link show a Stub-ish quality from the BB and 3B Pelikan M series nibs. http://www.pelikanpe...ng_Samples.html

 

I have a few Pelikan B and BB monoline nibs which give the same line width in any direction of travel.

 

I've been looking for a Parker England 51 with a monoline B nib. I thought I found one, but discovered it has a factory ~1mm Stub. Even though it was 'not as advertised', it was not returned for a refund.

 

Other than custom / handcrafted [re-tipped] nibs, I suspect monoline nibs top-out at BB.

 

I would be most pleased to learn otherwise. :)

 

Bye,

S1

 

 

e.g. Pelikan M200 BB + MB Racing Green + Rhodia + an atrocious hand:

FPN189.jpg


Edited by Sandy1, 13 December 2014 - 18:22.

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#13 linearM

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Posted 16 December 2014 - 01:26

Richard's Pens also has a nice stroke width chart pdf.  It is the chart that I use and find very handy.



#14 mtnbiker62

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Posted 27 December 2014 - 07:00

Richard's Pens also has a nice stroke width chart pdf.  It is the chart that I use and find very handy.

 

Thanks for pointing me to that!  It's very interesting information.


Edited by mtnbiker62, 27 December 2014 - 07:01.




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