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Sending An Extraordinary Vintage Wet Noodle To Bock Nibs In Germany

flex wet noodle

59 replies to this topic

#1 Sach

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Posted 14 March 2015 - 19:34

Anyone thought of this before?

I'm sure the guys at Bock would be the best people around (possibly some Japanese makers too) to make a decent attempt to replicate a vintage flex nib. From the metulergy to the design to tempering the metal if needed I'm sure they could do it if there was sufficient interest.

Potentially, if an order is big enough and enough people comit to an order, I'm sure it's possible..!

Interested to hear your thought!

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#2 hari317

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Posted 14 March 2015 - 20:06

It is quite possible that they already have such nibs in their archives.


Edited by hari317, 14 March 2015 - 20:06.

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#3 The Blue Knight

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Posted 14 March 2015 - 20:09

I think there are quite a lot threads around reasoning why companies like bock don't make wet noodles etc. You may this is a lot of interest by viewing threads on here and fpgeeks and searching out content on flex nibs however in the grand scheme of things it is barely a speck of interest.  Essentially you, I, whoever is looking too closely to get the big picture that except from a relatively small group of hobbyist scattered across the globe there is barely any interests in it and by no means enough to plough the perhaps 10's possibly 100'a of thousands of pounds into developing one. 

 

 

Interested to read bo bo's  thorough response...


Edited by The Blue Knight, 14 March 2015 - 20:11.


#4 mirosc

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Posted 14 March 2015 - 21:05

I really love my flex nibs, but I would not buy a modern flex nib. There are more than enough vintage flex nibs readily available. On a German forum we had this conversation with Pelikan who told us that there is simply not enough demand to start thinking about it.


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#5 Jeffrey Garrett

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Posted 14 March 2015 - 21:28

Flex nibs were being created before many in the UK had toilets and baths inside their homes!.. :huh:

 

I admit to having never really researched this but see there are those that claim to have replicated flex to some extent... but they never seem to get beyond a certain point.

 

I genuinely ask, what is so special about the composition of the nib material created so long ago that makes it a non viable proposition today?  Is it just cost because of the higher gold content or lack of perceived demand?

 

Interesting..


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#6 mirosc

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Posted 14 March 2015 - 21:51

I genuinely ask, what is so special about the composition of the nib material created so long ago that makes it a non viable proposition today? 

 

It's not the material, but the nib geometry and the way of processing the material.

Both deviate from the standardized mass production of today's nibs and any change in the workflow of mass production needs to be justified.


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#7 Jeffrey Garrett

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Posted 14 March 2015 - 22:17

 

It's not the material, but the nib geometry and the way of processing the material.

Both deviate from the standardized mass production of today's nibs and any change in the workflow of mass production needs to be justified.

 

Thanks Michael,  I guess the geometry of a 'vintage' flex nib would include some variance in thickness, being thinner towards the tines to aid the flex?  I mistakenly understood the nib material composition to be the primary reason.

 

I can see now if that is the case then the current nib tooling which involves stamping from a standard thickness sheet material, contouring and tipping etc., additional processes and tooling within the line would be required.  That would be expensive to re-jig.


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#8 mirosc

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Posted 14 March 2015 - 22:21

 

Thanks Michael,  I guess the geometry of a 'vintage' flex nib would include some variance in thickness, being thinner towards the tines to aid the flex?  I mistakenly understood the nib material composition to be the primary reason.

 

I can see now if that is the case then the current nib tooling which involves stamping from a standard thickness sheet material, contouring and tipping etc., additional processes and tooling within the line would be required.  That would be expensive to re-jig.

Indeed. 

Not only the thickness varies, but many of the very flexible nibs are also shaped like a bird's beak towards the tipping end. This is not so easy to achieve...


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Michael

#9 FarmBoy

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Posted 15 March 2015 - 02:22

42, the Green and I have discussed this a number of times.  If there were a significant demand from the mainstream consumers someone would go to the trouble of making flexible nibs in whatever alloy and shape was desired.

 

If one were to place an order for say 1000 nibs you might get someone interested, I'd guess for a custom set of dies you would likely need to get to 10000 units to make it cost effective.

 

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#10 pepsiplease69

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Posted 15 March 2015 - 02:40

I've got to say I don't remain optimistic about Bock turning a favorable eye towards us eccentric clique of pen enthusiasts (sorry for the wordiness there).

 

I've been searching far and wide for anything other than a ball-tipped bock nib, maybe an italic point of some good size to give me line variation but I haven't found anything.

 

Anecdotally I've heard Kaweco sources their italic nibs from Bock but I'm never sure. And Kaweco does supply some decent selection of italic nibs.

 

Getting back to your original point about getting Bock to do flex nibs (and do it well). I think maybe JoWo is a nearer possibility than Bock (and even JoWo is pretty remote).

 

I say that because I see JoWo has a much more interesting offering, compared with Bock when it comes to italic nibs, so naturally they might be more amenable to try to do flex.

 

The sad reality is, that, as others mentioned, no one would want to embark on such an offering if it doesn't end up being cost-effective and profitable.


Edited by pepsiplease69, 15 March 2015 - 02:42.


#11 Ambien

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Posted 15 March 2015 - 03:15

But what's wrong with dip pens? Also there's Desiderata pens who makes reliable FPs w/flexible nibs too. I've not purchased one yet but it'd be idea for anyone who doesn't want to dabble w/Noodler's pens. 

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#12 Sach

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Posted 15 March 2015 - 07:06

If we ordered 500 flexible nibs from Bock/Jowo say, to replicate a vintage wet noodle?

If we then had a feed made specifically to cope with its demand, and then made it compatible with a popular pen like an M600 for example?

Of all the collectors and enthusiasts on here, I'm certain we could get it done. We could even ask popular online vendors to get on board and I'm sure 500 would dissapear very quickly.

Would be an FPN crowd funding of sorts..

Edited by Sach, 15 March 2015 - 09:06.


#13 pepsiplease69

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Posted 15 March 2015 - 07:44

I'd be totally onboard with that. I might pick up 5-10 nibs like that especially if they turn out to be really awesome performing nibs reminiscent of days of yore.

The question then becomes: is 500 fat enough of a number for bock, let's say, to embark on this endeavor.

#14 Intellidepth

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Posted 15 March 2015 - 08:06

There are great threads here on FPN that discuss this in depth to a degree that hasn't yet been encountered in this thread. I recommend a read, as they're detailed and informative, not just glossing on the surface. 500 nibs would not be anywhere near sufficient from a manufacturing perspective eg R&D/trials/legal protection.

Would I want one? Yes. Could I afford it? Doubt it.

Edited by Intellidepth, 15 March 2015 - 08:16.

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#15 Sach

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Posted 15 March 2015 - 08:26

Hey guys
I agree with the numbers side of things. It may require an order of 1000 or even 10,000 if it's anew product. I also doubt that with vintage flex being reasonably economical at present this would be cheaper.

There are still advantages to having a modern pen with a modern flexible gold nib. I for one, would be far happier taking such a pen and nib out with me to use than I would if it were a rare vintage item, even if the rare vintage item had been cheaper to buy.

I've emailed Bock asking the following questions:

1) Is it possible
2) Minimum order quantity
3) Unit price

I'll report back once I have a reply and with these numbers we'll know if this doable or not..!

Edited by Sach, 15 March 2015 - 08:29.


#16 Sach

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Posted 15 March 2015 - 09:05

I've got to say I don't remain optimistic about Bock turning a favorable eye towards us eccentric clique of pen enthusiasts (sorry for the wordiness there).
 
I've been searching far and wide for anything other than a ball-tipped bock nib, maybe an italic point of some good size to give me line variation but I haven't found anything.
 
Anecdotally I've heard Kaweco sources their italic nibs from Bock but I'm never sure. And Kaweco does supply some decent selection of italic nibs.
 
Getting back to your original point about getting Bock to do flex nibs (and do it well). I think maybe JoWo is a nearer possibility than Bock (and even JoWo is pretty remote).
 
I say that because I see JoWo has a much more interesting offering, compared with Bock when it comes to italic nibs, so naturally they might be more amenable to try to do flex.
 
The sad reality is, that, as others mentioned, no one would want to embark on such an offering if it doesn't end up being cost-effective and profitable.


Also, I think Bock or JoWo will turn to which ever direction a cheque is in..

#17 Bo Bo Olson

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Posted 15 March 2015 - 09:07

I know Bock made semi-flex nibs, I have a couple. I know one is gold, could be the other is steel plated, could be gold....If I hunt through my waiting for repair I may have one that is 'flexi'/maxi-semi-flex. I don't have any in Superflex, in either easy full flex or wet noodle.

 

First, Bock would have to special order a roll of gold in an alloy they know makes for a nib with some flex.

Second, for antique steel*, a roll would be very expensive in it would only be one roll. Regular steel for nibs is more than likely expensive special very small lot steel, (250 or so pounds) that costs a fortune, in no steel mill really wants to fiddle with such small orders.

 

*Actually there were very good steels and very good engineers before computers...even from before color TV.  There would be no need to redesign the wheel.

 

 

 

5-10,000 nibs sounds right because they would have to make new dies.

Definitely fast feeds would be needed for a wet noodle. Best is 'hand cut' ebonite....why screw with second class plastic.

 

Then some would bit*ch their wet noodle only spreads 5 X a light down stroke rather than 7 X....in that could vary from nib to nib.

What one wants is something to match the fabled Waterman Pink nib.

 

As was mentioned, I think the antique pens cover the small market.

 

The Ahab Mod, or Angel Wing grind, will take a semi-flex Ahab and make it superflex's first stage of Easy Full Flex. That is the way to fly.....if you don't go dip pens.

 

There are dip pen nibs that are so flexible they make a Wet Noodle look like regular flex.....that is the best and cheapest way to get to a nib that flexes when there is an Earthquake in California.


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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#18 Sach

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Posted 15 March 2015 - 09:36

Nothing like sitting in bed thinking about Waterman's Pink nib..

Edited by Sach, 15 March 2015 - 09:38.


#19 Sach

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Posted 15 March 2015 - 10:03

I think there are quite a lot threads around reasoning why companies like bock don't make wet noodles etc. You may this is a lot of interest by viewing threads on here and fpgeeks and searching out content on flex nibs however in the grand scheme of things it is barely a speck of interest.  Essentially you, I, whoever is looking too closely to get the big picture that except from a relatively small group of hobbyist scattered across the globe there is barely any interests in it and by no means enough to plough the perhaps 10's possibly 100'a of thousands of pounds into developing one. 
 
 
Interested to read bo bo's  thorough response...


I've just been through the threads that you sent me.
I don't think any of these apply. I agree that a top down approach for a company that is selling pens is simply not going to work. There are warranty issues that simply won't go away, and these will serve a tiny market in any case.

What I'm suggesting is a bottom up method. Find everyone who would be interested in one, collect funds and make an offer to Bock, knowing full well what the costs are. Everyone may need some financial commitment, but spread over 100 people it would be quite achievable. The nib would have to be designed with compatible with a popular pen, such as a Pelikan M600. This would then be sold as an aftermarket option for those who are interested through channels such as nibs.com with any extras that were made. The nibs would sold without the standard warranty that the major manufacturers sell their stock items with because the only buyers that would be interested would know the perils of over flexing the nib.

Let's face it, most of us only need one pen most of the time. I have a desiderata, vintage flex, and a growing symphony of the various other nib types, but none of this is due to need, more about the joys of exploring.

Top down- will never make sense
Bottom up; enthusiasts joining hands and asking for a design; highly possible

Edited by Sach, 15 March 2015 - 10:07.


#20 mirosc

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Posted 15 March 2015 - 10:44

Well, that's all speculating...

You've written a mail (thank you for that!) and we will see at the response (if there is any at all) what the chances and terms are. Let's take it from there :-)


Greetings,
Michael



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