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Well I Guess I Am Not Good At Nib Smoothing..

smoothing nib scratchy

15 replies to this topic

#1 gamingoodz

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Posted 25 December 2015 - 03:21

I just recently got into fountain pens so the only pens I have are a Pilot Metropolitan with a Medium nib and a Jinhao x450.

I just bought a Goulet nib for the x450 because I wanted a fine nib on that pen..

 

Well dumb me also bought some 12000 micro mesh with the order which turned out to be a bad idea..

 

Even thou the nibs on both my pens the Pilot and the goulet nib were smooth I wanted them smoother.. So i decided to try to smooth them myself.. I quickly realized that I made a mistake after smoothing both pens just a tiny bit I had somehow made them both worse than they originally were..I didn't think that 12000 micro mesh would do much at all guess I was wrong..

 

So I've been trying to get them back to being atleast as smooth as they were but they are scratchy now like the edges of the tines are too sharp but I am afraid to wear too much tipping material away do anything else to them. I've gotten them decent but they are scratchy now when you go on diagonals. 

 

I know that a $15 Goulet nib and $15 metropolitan doesn't sound like much but I just went back to school at 30 and haven't been able to work so that $15 Goulet nib and metropolitan were like high end Mont Blanc pens to me since I'm broke lol.

 

Argh so now I'm depressed and mad at myself for even fooling with the nibs. 

 

Anyone have any idea on how to smooth the edges between the tines so they are not scratchy without taking off anymore tipping material. 

 

Also does anyone have any experience with FPR #35 nibs vs Knox #6 K35 nibs vs Nemosine #6 nibs vs Goulet #6 nibs ? I want to buy some more nibs preferably Goulet nibs but at $15 a piece they are like 4 times the cost of my Jinhao even though they are pretty great nibs it seems. 

 

Thanks!


Edited by gamingoodz, 25 December 2015 - 03:31.

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#2 Randal6393

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Posted 25 December 2015 - 04:45

The Knox and Nemosine nibs are a bit touchier than the Goulet nibs but are not bad. So you might want to try one of each. I like the FPR nibs but they are even more work to get up to speed.

Do you have a good lighted loupe? Without one it is hard to tell what effect you have had on your nib. Smoothing requires control and patience to get right. So would wait on that.

A thin brass shim can help smooth the inner edges and adjust the spacing of the nib slit. Goulet Pens sells them. Again, work carefully and slow.

Best of luck,

Yours,
Randal

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#3 tryphon

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Posted 25 December 2015 - 04:52

Over the years I have seen MANY cases like yours. Smoothing with abrasives is most of the time not even necessary! I posted this before, but I will keep doing in the hope that it will save a few nibs:

 

http://www.newpentra...rticleGA04.html



#4 jar

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Posted 25 December 2015 - 13:32

Grinding on a nib should always be the very last resort and undertaken with concern and trepidation.  The three best and most important tools are your eyes, fingernails and knowledge.


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#5 gamingoodz

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Posted 25 December 2015 - 15:31

The Knox and Nemosine nibs are a bit touchier than the Goulet nibs but are not bad. So you might want to try one of each. I like the FPR nibs but they are even more work to get up to speed.

Do you have a good lighted loupe? Without one it is hard to tell what effect you have had on your nib. Smoothing requires control and patience to get right. So would wait on that.

A thin brass shim can help smooth the inner edges and adjust the spacing of the nib slit. Goulet Pens sells them. Again, work carefully and slow.

Best of luck,

I have a 40x lighted loupe I bought but it seems like even that isn't really strong enough to get a good look at the edges in between the tines, especially on my pilot metropolitan where the tip of the nib is tiny.

I know goulet sells x15 loupes so a lot of people must use them but I can't see how anyone can see anything with only x15 when I can't see well enough with x40 to be able to know exactly what effect a pass on the micro mesh has accomplished.

 

I work with sand paper on cars sometimes and 12000 grit on metal didn't seem like it would do much of anything but polish, I didn't expect it to take away material like that.  


The first step toward change is awareness. The second step is acceptance.

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#6 grainweevil

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Posted 25 December 2015 - 15:43

If you haven't already, you might want to read Richard Binder's Nib Smoothing Workshop Notes - PDF here. Very helpful, I found. 



#7 gamingoodz

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Posted 25 December 2015 - 16:00

If you haven't already, you might want to read Richard Binder's Nib Smoothing Workshop Notes - PDF here. Very helpful, I found. 

Thanks! I think My issue lies in the very first area of the VI: Smoothing section. I'm trying to figure out a way to round the edges slighty to get rid of the scratchiness I created but the only really high grit abrasive I have atm is the micro mesh and I'm having a hard time holding the tine down to expose the edge while sanding the edge with the floppy piece of micro mesh.. Maybe if I had one of those nail file like abrasive sticks this part would be easier. 


Edited by gamingoodz, 25 December 2015 - 16:01.

The first step toward change is awareness. The second step is acceptance.

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#8 Bo Bo Olson

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Posted 25 December 2015 - 16:36

The main problem, is excuse me when I say this, 'typical noobie's' wish for super smoother than melted butter....that they have heard about.....That is not needed.

 

That is not good at all on slick papers. Often a well lubricated ink will give much of the smoothness needed.....I know a bit late....but just remember you have saved other nibs you will own.

 

I buy old used pens....vintage, and before micromesh became so cheap and readily available ...some 6-7 years before, the brown paper bag was used to remove drag. The brown paper bag is very pass`e.

 

So I learned how to smooth to good and smooth....because a brown paper bag will not take it to 'butter smooth.' It will not with out lots & lots of hard work done the wrong way ruin the nib, in all one was doing was removing drag caused by 'iridium rust'.

So I knew what to do when I finally went over to micro-mesh.

As little as possible.

 

Yes, I did make a couple of nibs butter smooth. 3-4 pens out of 50. The rest are that step under, 'good and smooth' that will not slide off of slick paper....Of course I have a couple of nibs that are toothy...one needs a couple of them too. Aurora, a famous Italian pen company is famous for it's 'toothy' nib, and many folks like it.

 

Richard gives you two dirt cheap pens to destroy as you learn when you buy his grinding&smoothing kit. For years I read :unsure: :crybaby: how the search for butter smooth, was a bitter path.

I was glad I was too cheap to buy micro-mesh back when I was new. :rolleyes:

 

There are many who go away from 'butter smooth' that they chased so hard when new to fountain pens, to pens with a tad of feeling, a bit of tooth, or even toothy=like writing with a pencil.

 

Paper....90g is so much better than regular 80g copy paper. Stay away from Ink Jet paper (it feathers and absorbs ink so fast, one can not use a shading ink on it.), buy Laser paper only.

 

Defiantly stay away from the fad paper, reground garbage, full of who knows what Ecology paper. If you want to put it in your printer fine, but why write on a second or third tier paper, hoping to get something more than a 'feel good' out of it, when you can buy first run paper that was best made, so it feels good to write on.

Was that lumpy...draggy feeling of your nib caused by second class 'socially correct' paper? :)   

Fountain pen's 'footprint' is rather small, even using new dead trees, and or cotton and cotton mix. There is IMO no good reason to write on second rate Ecology paper.

You can get good advice on good economical Brazilian paper...perhaps at Staples. I live in Germany so don't know if there or some other Office supply type of store. Some one here from the States can tell you.

 

While I was in the States a while back. I did buy some good Southworth and a couple other papers...but I was looking for best, not best buy. (Sigh!!!! Some were laser & ink jet and I didn't take time to look......Having only Haaa finally good paper, in my mind. As my wife says, the world is easier if one knows how to read.) Over in the paper sections, there will be those who know more than me, on how good laser & ink jet paper actually is. I do know the pure ink jet is to be avoided.

 

A good slick paper defiantly will make a nib feel more buttery, with out doing anything at all.

 

Good to better paper costs only a couple cans of Coke or cups of Starbucks coffee more than the adequate. For me 80g is inadequate, 90/100/110 and up to the heavy paper is adequate. 90g would be good for budget even in laser printing paper. It shades.

 

Coke and bought coffee are bad for you....causing your wallet to strain it's opening joint from over use. Wasting money that can be used for nibs, good paper and nice inks.

 

I prefer a shading ink, seen better in a F or M western, or a M and B in Japanese. A M western will give you a smoother ride in the tipping is wider. Need good to better paper for shading inks. 90g, will shade where 80g (outside a Japanese paper and Rhoda) will not.

 

Noodlers makes some lubricated inks. I don't use them, in they are Expensive in Europe and they do make some good shading inks; but for lubricated inks, I use DA...more expensive than your price for Noodlers.

So see if you can find a good lubricated ink next. 

 

After that with all the money you have saved by proper diet....the less burgers or only the small ones, the better, excess sugar in Coke, and seeing and being seen $$$tarbucks, your nibs, papers and inks are 'free'. :)


Edited by Bo Bo Olson, 25 December 2015 - 17:15.

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.

 

 

 


#9 Chrissy

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Posted 25 December 2015 - 16:56

I bought Richards smoothing kit despite the fact that I already own lots of micromesh. I much prefer to use his nail file shaped smoothing board than a piece of micromesh. Mine is now so old and smooth that it doesn't take of much tipping at all. In fact it just polishes the nib. That seems to make it smooth enough.

 

However, always do too little rather than too much. You can always take a tiny bit more, if necessary, but you can never add it back on.



#10 Jamerelbe

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Posted 26 December 2015 - 01:50

I have a 40x lighted loupe I bought but it seems like even that isn't really strong enough to get a good look at the edges in between the tines, especially on my pilot metropolitan where the tip of the nib is tiny.

I know goulet sells x15 loupes so a lot of people must use them but I can't see how anyone can see anything with only x15 when I can't see well enough with x40 to be able to know exactly what effect a pass on the micro mesh has accomplished.

 

Your 40X lighted loupe probably isn't giving you 40X magnification - especially if it's a Chinese cheapie.  Sad to say, I don't think the Goulet 15X loupe is much better - I bought an identical (looking) loupe bought from a local Australian store, and it's OK for a bit of magnification but not great.  

 

More recently (6 months ago?) I bought a Belomo 10X triplet loupe, recommended by others on FPN - and it's a very different story.  A fair bit more expensive, and no built-in illumination, but the quality of the lenses is incredible.  Crystal clear, with high magnification, and no distortion across the field of view - whereas the cheaper loupes tend to distort away from the centre.  

 

There are other loupes around that are cheaper than the Belomo but still reasonable quality - but if your loupe is supposed to provide 40X magnfication and you're having trouble seeing what you need to see, I'd say you've probably been 'oversold' on the loupe.

 

For a helpful YouTube overview of loupes and their limitations, check out SBRE Brown's contribution (3 years old now, but I think still pretty current):

 



#11 gamingoodz

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Posted 26 December 2015 - 05:14

 

 

Your 40X lighted loupe probably isn't giving you 40X magnification - especially if it's a Chinese cheapie.  Sad to say, I don't think the Goulet 15X loupe is much better - I bought an identical (looking) loupe bought from a local Australian store, and it's OK for a bit of magnification but not great.  

 

More recently (6 months ago?) I bought a Belomo 10X triplet loupe, recommended by others on FPN - and it's a very different story.  A fair bit more expensive, and no built-in illumination, but the quality of the lenses is incredible.  Crystal clear, with high magnification, and no distortion across the field of view - whereas the cheaper loupes tend to distort away from the centre.  

 

There are other loupes around that are cheaper than the Belomo but still reasonable quality - but if your loupe is supposed to provide 40X magnfication and you're having trouble seeing what you need to see, I'd say you've probably been 'oversold' on the loupe.

 

For a helpful YouTube overview of loupes and their limitations, check out SBRE Brown's contribution (3 years old now, but I think still pretty current):

 

 

 

Thank you for that video, I watch a lot of his videos so its a shame I missed that one before I bought the loupe. After watching that I can say for sure that my 40x Loupe is not x40, I would say from what I can tell comparing it with the video its really only about x10... probably lower actually. It is a cheap Chinese Loupe, I think I paid about $3 for it on eBay. Now if your expectations were a x10 loupe its not bad with the lights in it and its pretty handy but its def not no x40 and its not enough for me to see what I'm doing on my nibs. It was cheap so I'm not angry about my purchase but I am glad I now know that I need to get a higher quality loupe. 

 

Can anyone recommend a legitimate x20 or higher loupe? Something that I can actually see the inside edges of my tines to tell how sharp they are etc? 

 

Maybe I will just get a name brand x10 loupe and see how that fairs?

 

Thank you


Edited by gamingoodz, 26 December 2015 - 05:35.

The first step toward change is awareness. The second step is acceptance.

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#12 Jamerelbe

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Posted 26 December 2015 - 11:05

Can anyone recommend a legitimate x20 or higher loupe? Something that I can actually see the inside edges of my tines to tell how sharp they are etc? 

 

Maybe I will just get a name brand x10 loupe and see how that fairs?

 

Thank you

 

I think BelOMO is a good place to start - though I'd hesitate to recommend a 20X loupe until you've tried a 10X.  There are a few threads on FPN that go over this ground, though (most of them recommending 10X as a good starting point!), and you'll find a few other options suggested that may be better bang for your buck, or at least cheaper options that are still reasonable quality.  

 

I'm actually thinking of adding a 7X BelOMO to my collection, as there can be some benefit in having a wider field of view (and I sometimes use my loupe with a camera phone as a simple way of doing macro photography) - but I haven't made my mind up on that one yet!



#13 dcwaites

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Posted 26 December 2015 - 12:39

A really good 10x loupe is an ideal first loupe. You can see the details you need to see, and yet it isn't too difficult to hold in place to see what you want.

The BelOMO 10X is an excellent choice, while some others, like me, use this one. It isn't quite the same quality as the BelOMO, but it provides it's own lighting which I find useful.

Which ever you get, you should also look for a reasonable quality LED Desk lamp, as you can never have enough good lighting.

And also look for a pack of #6 nibs like this one to practice on. They will fit your Jinhao.

 

First off, use your loupe to make sure the tines are aligned. If they aren't, no amount of polishing will fix the nib.


fpn_1412827311__pg_d_104def64.gif

 

 

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#14 Bo Bo Olson

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Posted 26 December 2015 - 15:33

A 10X good loupe is adequate, 12X I think would be better, but having a good glass, good coated 10 X on a stick for 20 Euros was good enough, that I can't see buying a 12 X.

 

I could see paying more for a fine lens with lighting....but it's fine lens first, last and always.

 

15 X some folks find a bit too much......20 would be way too much if it was a good one...one or two liked that, others defiantly not. The view opening is small on a 15 and lots of hard work to find on a 20X.

 

So look for a 12 X one if you can find one....if not 10 X will do the job just fine. Richard sells some Belomo loupes for @ $35. so does Goulet.

 

Old English saying, "I'm not rich enough to buy cheap."

You get what you pay for. Now you know better.

A good loupe is a once in a life time buy. Good for Hallmarks, coins, stamps and splinters. :D

 

I'd wait until you have enough pens to repair, or smooth to buy a wear, lighted goggle magnifying glass. That is for professionals and more than likely a good one will cost you a few pens.

 

In money throws me around and not the other way around, I got to buy smart.


Edited by Bo Bo Olson, 26 December 2015 - 15:36.

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.

 

 

 


#15 gamingoodz

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Posted 26 December 2015 - 17:07

A really good 10x loupe is an ideal first loupe. You can see the details you need to see, and yet it isn't too difficult to hold in place to see what you want.

The BelOMO 10X is an excellent choice, while some others, like me, use this one. It isn't quite the same quality as the BelOMO, but it provides it's own lighting which I find useful.

Which ever you get, you should also look for a reasonable quality LED Desk lamp, as you can never have enough good lighting.

And also look for a pack of #6 nibs like this one to practice on. They will fit your Jinhao.

 

First off, use your loupe to make sure the tines are aligned. If they aren't, no amount of polishing will fix the nib.

 

Is that lighted loupe the same magnification as the Belomo? (I know they both say x10 but as I've now learned that doesn't mean much lol) I really like the LED's on this cheapo loupe so I think not having them is something I might miss. Thanks.


The first step toward change is awareness. The second step is acceptance.

Nathaniel Branden

 


#16 dcwaites

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Posted 26 December 2015 - 21:32

 

Is that lighted loupe the same magnification as the Belomo? (I know they both say x10 but as I've now learned that doesn't mean much lol) I really like the LED's on this cheapo loupe so I think not having them is something I might miss. Thanks.

 

I don't have an equivalent BelOMO to compare with, but others, on other boards, have said it is a true 10x. What I can tell you is that it has a focal distance of about 1 cm.

 

This is the sort of detail you can see through the lighted lens -

 

fpn_1434257542__the_stub.jpg

 

That's a Jinhao nib I turned into a 0.7mm italic.


fpn_1412827311__pg_d_104def64.gif

 

 

“Them as can do has to do for them as can’t.

And someone has to speak up for them as has no voices.”

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