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Adding Flex To A 14K Nib, Again


65 replies to this topic

#1 ninobrn99

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Posted 12 May 2016 - 22:16

So I've been playing around with the 14k nibs available on the Ranga pens.  Huge thanks to Teri at Peyton Street Pens for her assistance in getting me what I was looking for!  After purchasing an Edison Collier with one of Richard Binder's nibs, I wanted to try and attack it myself.  So far I have done 2x nibs.  One I got perfect, but then I kept getting a bit of catch on the upstroke and over did the smoothing which left no tipping material left.  I ordered two more nibs and they came in.  I got to work right away and managed to get a pretty nice result.  I didn't get it perfect either time, but I did learn some lessons along the way.  On the current nib, I removed a bit too much material in front of the breather hole and now the nib will spring if I push it too hard.  That's not too big of a deal since I can still get from ~.5mm to 1.4mm going at a moderate pace.

 

 

The image with the green ink was probably where I should've stopped and left good enough alone, but I couldn't help it.  

 

The next image is a comparison of it to the Binder nib (the comparison was before I made mine finer, but it still wasn't nearly as fine as Richards.  His work is amazing and I'm sure that didn't happen overnight so I didn't expect to get the same results. I'm just thankful that I have one to compare to.

 

The image with the Ranga Monterey and Edison Collier is the most recent work.  That's the second nib that I have modified.  At the time of writing that sample, it was fine.  I tried to force a bit more flex out of it and thinned a bit more than I should've so now it will spring if pushed too hard.  As I said earlier, not too big of a deal if I don't try to flex to the max each and every down stroke.

 

The last image is just showing what the flex looks like with slight pressure.  About the same that I would use writing at a moderate pace.

 

Once I get my Custom 743, I plan on adding flex and flow as well as grinding it finer than what it currently is.  My Franklin-Christoph Model 66 will probably be rocking the next nib I modify for flex (I have a 3rd that's begging for it!) lol.

 

I will say that I need to get better at matching the feed and not rushing it.  They come out looking like (bleep) because I'm applying too much heat to quickly.

 

Hope you all enjoy and I just wanted to share with the community!

 

Nino

Attached Images

  • IMG_5718.jpg
  • IMG_5701.jpg
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  • IMG_5790.jpg

Edited by ninobrn99, 12 May 2016 - 22:19.


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#2 Mauricio

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Posted 12 May 2016 - 23:41

post-40723-0-31059900-1463091300.jpg

 

 

OUCH!!!

 

The amount of pressure applied to the nib in the picture above is excessive and way more than what any firm nib can withstand. It is very sad to see so many firm and flex nibs are getting damaged by inflicting much unwarranted pressure.

 

That nib was not designed or manufactured for flex purposes. What you call a nib modified for "added flex" is a nib which a lot of its base and body has been massively cut out and distressed from an structural standpoint. Even if that nib had been made for flex purposes at the factory, Richard Binder and John Mottishaw, gentlemen whom I greatly respect, clearly indicated and cautioned in their websites that their nibs they modified for added flex do not compare to vintage flex nibs and that their modified nibs were to be used with a light hand, moderate pressure applied, modest line variation, and that they would not warrant abused nibs. The life of those altered nibs is shortened tremendously after those modifications, even if only used as firm nibs with no flex pressure applied. Most of these modified nibs are not your regular everyday writers anymore, but nibs that are very difficult to use and control as they tend to catch just about every fiber on paper, the tines spread but have a very hard time returning back promptly, evenly, and consistently. They are very lethargic from a snapback standpoint. They are very prone to quickly become misaligned, over spring, and can quickly break. 

 

The nib above is certainly your nib and you are welcome to do as you please with all your pens and nibs. My fear is that posts like this are encouraging many folks to come up with all sorts of crazy modifications and to encourage the grinding of so many valuable wonderful firm and flex nibs, including very expensive vintage ones, not to mention about the fact there are so many folks doing "the Olympic splits" (as our good friend BoBo Olson refers to this!) with all sorts of nibs nowadays.


Edited by Mauricio, 12 May 2016 - 23:47.

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#3 Freddy

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Posted 13 May 2016 - 00:42

post-40723-0-31059900-1463091300.jpg

 

 

OUCH!!!

 

The amount of pressure applied to the nib in the picture above is excessive and way more than what any firm nib can withstand. It is very sad to see so many firm and flex nibs are getting damaged by inflicting much unwarranted pressure.

 

That nib was not designed or manufactured for flex purposes. What you call a nib modified for "added flex" is a nib which a lot of its base and body has been massively cut out and distressed from an structural standpoint. Even if that nib had been made for flex purposes at the factory, Richard Binder and John Mottishaw, gentlemen whom I greatly respect, clearly indicated and cautioned in their websites that their nibs they modified for added flex do not compare to vintage flex nibs and that their modified nibs were to be used with a light hand, moderate pressure applied, modest line variation, and that they would not warrant abused nibs. The life of those altered nibs is shortened tremendously after those modifications, even if only used as firm nibs with no flex pressure applied. Most of these modified nibs are not your regular everyday writers anymore, but nibs that are very difficult to use and control as they tend to catch just about every fiber on paper, the tines spread but have a very hard time returning back promptly, evenly, and consistently. They are very lethargic from a snapback standpoint. They are very prone to quickly become misaligned, over spring, and can quickly break. 

 

The nib above is certainly your nib and you are welcome to do as you please with all your pens and nibs. My fear is that posts like this are encouraging many folks to come up with all sorts of crazy modifications and to encourage the grinding of so many valuable wonderful firm and flex nibs, including very expensive vintage ones, not to mention about the fact there are so many folks doing "the Olympic splits" (as our good friend BoBo Olson refers to this!) with all sorts of nibs nowadays.

 

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#4 Frank66

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Posted 13 May 2016 - 08:49

...  One I got perfect, but then I kept getting a bit of catch on the upstroke and over did the smoothing which left no tipping material left.

 

Nino, thanks for posting, we appreciate sharing all your dedicated effort!

 

When I myself tried the flex modifications on some cheap (let me correct this) inexpensive* Jinhao nibs, I remember one of the most difficult problems I had was addressing the issue with this "catch" of the nib on the upstroke movement.  If you or anyone else who have encountered similar problems could come forward with some solution to this problem, I would greatly appreciate it.

 

My fear is that posts like this are encouraging many folks to come up with all sorts of crazy modifications and to encourage the grinding of so many valuable wonderful firm and flex nibs, including very expensive vintage ones, not to mention about the fact there are so many folks doing "the Olympic splits" (as our good friend BoBo Olson refers to this!) with all sorts of nibs nowadays.

I appreciate Mauricio well intended concern.  However, in spite of all warnings, there are people who elect to modify there nibs to suit their particular interest knowing the risk.  Personally I prefer to work on my pens better than writing with them sometimes.  For me you can not make an omelette without breaking some eggs, or ruining some, preferably inexpensive nibs.


Edited by Frank66, 13 May 2016 - 12:45.

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#5 FriendAmos

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Posted 13 May 2016 - 10:33


The nib above is certainly your nib and you are welcome to do as you please with all your pens and nibs. My fear is that posts like this are encouraging many folks to come up with all sorts of crazy modifications and to encourage the grinding of so many valuable wonderful firm and flex nibs, including very expensive vintage ones, not to mention about the fact there are so many folks doing "the Olympic splits" (as our good friend BoBo Olson refers to this!) with all sorts of nibs nowadays.

 

Why do you "fear" for what people freely choose to do with their nibs?



#6 ninobrn99

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Posted 13 May 2016 - 11:03

Most people would end with this, but I'll start with it:  To each their own.

 

I feel it's a bit presumptuous to say the nib is being flexed too hard.  An image is a snapshot of a specific moment in time.  You can't always get the full story from just one shot.  I agree that if this nib was still firm and I had it flexed like this, then you would be absolutely correct.  That isn't the case here.  By removing the original structural integrity of the nib, it opens up like this with ease and not very much pressure at all.  

 

I appreciate your concern for the masses and the nibs.  Let me put another perspective on it if I may:  you buy a sports car from a dealership or you buy a classic car.  You have a few options on how to proceed forward.  With a new car, you can leave it as is and be like everyone else or you can own it and modify it however you see fit.  Change the stereo system, add navigation, or turn it into a drag queen (drag racing reference). For a classic car or hotrod, you can restore to original or implant a contemporary drivetrain, add racing wheels, chop the top, whatever your heart desires, it's yours to do with what you please.  Regardless, there's a community or following that agrees with your decisions and equally, there are those who are against it.  I don't expect anyone to take the same position as me.  The same way I won't take someone else's position if I don't wholeheartedly agree with it.

 

While you would prefer to keep that classic car in all original form with matching numbers and daily driver ready, I opt to modify it and give it my own twist to reflect my personality. and expectations.  I could apply that school of thought to a home, boat, pen, knife, clothes....just about anything.  I am aware of the consequences, maintenance requirements, and risks that I am taking.  I opted to take the risk.  Your fear is my hope.  If people want to modify their nibs, then they should (provided they know what's at stake and are willing to accept it).  Otherwise, we'd all have factory tips and limit ourselves to that as a community.  Now my pen looks and writes like yours or the next persons.  It's not really MY pen, it's our pen in that sense.

 

I figured out what the issue was with it catching the paper and now it writes fine.  I don't have any issues with the catching anymore.  It doesn't dig into the paper or scratch.  As for the responsiveness of the pen, it's suitable for my writing style and I have no issues with it returning to its original state after flexing.  I don't recall comparing this to a vintage pen, but I did compare it to the modified Binder nib since they're both similar stock nibs and both installed on custom made pens.  Apples to apples, if you will.  I suppose you could argue that I'm comparing it since I used the reference of 'flexing'.  If there's a more appropriate term for it being applied to modern nibs, then I'll gladly adopt it to avoid causing the unintended comparison.

 

Nino

 

 

post-40723-0-31059900-1463091300.jpg

 

 

OUCH!!!

 

The amount of pressure applied to the nib in the picture above is excessive and way more than what any firm nib can withstand. It is very sad to see so many firm and flex nibs are getting damaged by inflicting much unwarranted pressure.

 

That nib was not designed or manufactured for flex purposes. What you call a nib modified for "added flex" is a nib which a lot of its base and body has been massively cut out and distressed from an structural standpoint. Even if that nib had been made for flex purposes at the factory, Richard Binder and John Mottishaw, gentlemen whom I greatly respect, clearly indicated and cautioned in their websites that their nibs they modified for added flex do not compare to vintage flex nibs and that their modified nibs were to be used with a light hand, moderate pressure applied, modest line variation, and that they would not warrant abused nibs. The life of those altered nibs is shortened tremendously after those modifications, even if only used as firm nibs with no flex pressure applied. Most of these modified nibs are not your regular everyday writers anymore, but nibs that are very difficult to use and control as they tend to catch just about every fiber on paper, the tines spread but have a very hard time returning back promptly, evenly, and consistently. They are very lethargic from a snapback standpoint. They are very prone to quickly become misaligned, over spring, and can quickly break. 

 

The nib above is certainly your nib and you are welcome to do as you please with all your pens and nibs. My fear is that posts like this are encouraging many folks to come up with all sorts of crazy modifications and to encourage the grinding of so many valuable wonderful firm and flex nibs, including very expensive vintage ones, not to mention about the fact there are so many folks doing "the Olympic splits" (as our good friend BoBo Olson refers to this!) with all sorts of nibs nowadays.

 



#7 ninobrn99

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Posted 13 May 2016 - 11:10

Nino, thanks for posting, we appreciate sharing all your dedicated effort!

 

When I myself tried the flex modifications on some cheap Jinhao nibs, I remember one of the most difficult problems I had was addressing the issue with this "catch" of the nib on the upstroke movement.  If you or anyone else who have encountered similar problems could come forward with some solution to this problem, I would greatly appreciate it.

No problem!  I played around with some Jinhaos as well.  I figured out that there was a small point on the bottom/inside edge of the left tine.  Once I knocked that out and rounded out the shape a bit more, it was fine.  Another thing I noticed was when thinning, the alignment can get out of whack and you'll need to make sure it's even afterwards or as close as possible so when you shape the tip you're making each side as symmetrical as possible.

 

Nino



#8 Frank66

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Posted 13 May 2016 - 12:49

Nino, thanks for posting, we appreciate sharing all your dedicated effort!

 

When I myself tried the flex modifications on some cheap (let me correct this) inexpensive* Jinhao nibs,.....

 

1.  Let me correct myself, inexpensive, not cheap Jinhao nibs, because (1) once you modify them to suit your personal needs, they are pretty worthy, and (2) you can learn valuable lessons by working on them too.

 

2. Nino, thanks for having the guts to work on your expensive nibs and share with us.  We appreciate it.

 

3. I am thinking of starting a new thread in this FPN sub-forum which would invite people to share their references with tutorials on how to make a nib more flexible.  Actually I already did start the thread topic, here is the link, everybody is invited to join in with links to their won experience and tutorials that they think are useful on this topic of modifying regular nibs into flexible nibs  http://www.fountainp...a-flexible-nib/

 

Hope to hear from you all.  Thanks,

 

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Edited by Frank66, 13 May 2016 - 13:36.

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#9 Mauricio

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Posted 13 May 2016 - 13:18

 

Why do you "fear" for what people freely choose to do with their nibs?

 

Great question.

 

The reason is that I already see lots of abused and ruined nibs. Pictures and videos of abused nibs have become very common recently. Any lover of fountain pens should be concerned about this, very much like some folks removing 14k gold nibs and selling them for scrap gold. Yes, those nibs belong to them, but their initiatives do a disservice to those writing instruments.

 

Very few folks know how to properly use a flexible nib and when they see a post like this, they feel compelled to go inflict so much pressure in nibs that were never intended to be used as flex nibs. Just this week I saw a modern Parker Duofold pen listed in eBay in which the seller claims it has a "semiflex" nib. Most folks do not know the suggested modifications in this thread are irreversible. And it is very sad to see wonderful and very valuable, sometimes irreplaceable vintage nibs (both firm and flex), being butchered, abused and ruined in the hands of users who do not know the implications of their "creative" work. 


Edited by Mauricio, 13 May 2016 - 13:24.

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#10 Mauricio

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Posted 13 May 2016 - 14:14

I feel it's a bit presumptuous to say the nib is being flexed too hard.  An image is a snapshot of a specific moment in time.  You can't always get the full story from just one shot.  I agree that if this nib was still firm and I had it flexed like this, then you would be absolutely correct.  That isn't the case here.  By removing the original structural integrity of the nib, it opens up like this with ease and not very much pressure at all.  

 

Your nib has not only been flexed too hard. It has been butchered, abused and ruined. Those modification are irreversible by the way!

 

For folks reading this thread: Welcome to a thread that teaches you how to butcher, abuse, and ruin your nibs!

 

 

Let me put another perspective on it if I may:  you buy a sports car from a dealership or you buy a classic car.  You have a few options on how to proceed forward.  With a new car, you can leave it as is and be like everyone else or you can own it and modify it however you see fit.  Change the stereo system, add navigation, or turn it into a drag queen (drag racing reference). For a classic car or hotrod, you can restore to original or implant a contemporary drivetrain, add racing wheels, chop the top, whatever your heart desires, it's yours to do with what you please.  Regardless, there's a community or following that agrees with your decisions and equally, there are those who are against it.  I don't expect anyone to take the same position as me.  The same way I won't take someone else's position if I don't wholeheartedly agree with it.

If you want to have a racing car and purchase a military tank, it does not matter what or how many modifications you make to the tank. It will never be a racing car!

 

The Mini Cooper car in the video below was designed and manufactured as a 4-passenger car. Despite this, a group of 26 people were able to get stuffed inside that little car and become part of the Guinness World of Records. Does this change the capacity of this car to 26 passengers? Absolutely not.

 

https://www.youtube....h?v=cp8xJRFirAM

 

At least that group had the common sense to only keep those 26 people inside the car for only 5 seconds. What the poster suggests here is to keep inflicting abuse onto a firm nib ... with no limits.

 

I hope airlines or other forms of public transportation do not see the video above as they may also become creative. Planes that now are able to carry 130 passengers may be able "to accommodate" 500 passengers!

 

 

 

While you would prefer to keep that classic car in all original form with matching numbers and daily driver ready, I opt to modify it and give it my own twist to reflect my personality. and expectations.  I could apply that school of thought to a home, boat, pen, knife, clothes....just about anything.  I am aware of the consequences, maintenance requirements, and risks that I am taking.  I opted to take the risk.  Your fear is my hope.  If people want to modify their nibs, then they should (provided they know what's at stake and are willing to accept it).  Otherwise, we'd all have factory tips and limit ourselves to that as a community.  Now my pen looks and writes like yours or the next persons.  It's not really MY pen, it's our pen in that sense.

You might be aware about the consequences you are taking. However, many folks reading this thread do not. Your post did not disclose the severe consequences including the irreversible damages and limitations these modifications create. In lieu of the wide spread of abused and tortured nibs seen in pictures and videos, you are certainly doing a huge disservice to the fountain pen community by not disclosing those adverse effects.

 

To posters reading this topic who are considering an effective option for flex nibs on a budget, there are dip nibs readily available in the marketplace. They cost a few dollars a piece and have proven to be highly effective flex writing instruments for 150+ years. There is no need to be butchering, abusing, and ruining perfectly fine 14k fountain pen nibs if you need a wonderful writing instrument.


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#11 _InkyFingers

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Posted 13 May 2016 - 14:41

The less vintage nibs available, the more valuable mine become. :D

#12 ninobrn99

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Posted 13 May 2016 - 17:22

 

Your nib has not only been flexed too hard. It has been butchered, abused and ruined. Those modification are irreversible by the way!

 

For folks reading this thread: Welcome to a thread that teaches you how to butcher, abuse, and ruin your nibs!

 

 

If you want to have a racing car and purchase a military tank, it does not matter what or how many modifications you make to the tank. It will never be a racing car!

 

The Mini Cooper car in the video below was designed and manufactured as a 4-passenger car. Despite this, a group of 26 people were able to get stuffed inside that little car and become part of the Guinness World of Records. Does this change the capacity of this car to 26 passengers? Absolutely not.

 

https://www.youtube....h?v=cp8xJRFirAM

 

At least that group had the common sense to only keep those 26 people inside the car for only 5 seconds. What the poster suggests here is to keep inflicting abuse onto a firm nib ... with no limits.

 

I hope airlines or other forms of public transportation do not see the video above as they may also become creative. Planes that now are able to carry 130 passengers may be able "to accommodate" 500 passengers!

 

 

 

You might be aware about the consequences you are taking. However, many folks reading this thread do not. Your post did not disclose the severe consequences including the irreversible damages and limitations these modifications create. In lieu of the wide spread of abused and tortured nibs seen in pictures and videos, you are certainly doing a huge disservice to the fountain pen community by not disclosing those adverse effects.

 

To posters reading this topic who are considering an effective option for flex nibs on a budget, there are dip nibs readily available in the marketplace. They cost a few dollars a piece and have proven to be highly effective flex writing instruments for 150+ years. There is no need to be butchering, abusing, and ruining perfectly fine 14k fountain pen nibs if you need a wonderful writing instrument.

I suppose you will just continue to resort to find a way to say I'm wrong and you're right.  I too respect John and Richard's work so I wouldn't imply that their work is considered butchering or ruining a nib as I'm sure they wouldn't either.  Instead of getting into another long winded response just to fall on 'deaf ears', I'll concede in an effort to get my thread back on topic.

 

I will continue to do what I do and there will be folks who will do the same at their own risk.  I didn't need anyone to tell me what I was doing was going to cause problems.  I didn't need a disclaimer.  I also didn't start this thread saying "this is exactly how you should approach grinding YOUR nib to achieve the desired effect.  I posted what I did to my nib, the results I had, the lessons I learned, and some of the mistakes along the way (with the exception of  what you would say was a mistake from the very beginning).  

 

I have respect for what you do, Mauricio.  I admire the work and effort that you have put into building your reputation as one of the authorities on vintage flex, but I believe you may have the misconception that you ARE the authority on any and all things flex. Leave us rookies to figure things out on our own.  The hard headed have to feel it to believe it.

 

I have said my piece and given enough of my time to respond to the negative connotations.  You're free to respond and bash away, but I won't take any more time to entertain it.

 

Nino



#13 FarmBoy

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Posted 13 May 2016 - 18:23

I have relayed this story to others but since every nib is now flex it is worth mentioning here.

 

At a pen show a few years ago at a pen show I had the opportunity to watch as the flex of a Sheaffer Snorkel music nib was demonstrated.  Multiple times.  A few hours later I was discussing business with a well known nib person.  The very pen showed up with the nib 'slightly out of alignment' and 'in need of some smoothing'.  Several of us took a look at the nib under magnification.  The center tine was put back into alignment and returned to the owner.  The owner paid and left. 

 

I spoke first, something along the lines of Anyone else see the cracks?

 

A conversation ensued.

 

I've seen a rather sharp rise in price for quality flex nibs in the last year.  I've noted elsewhere that every nib is more flexible when you are selling it than when you buy it.  I've also noted that all nibs will flex at least once.

 

I turn up a few killer flex nibs now and then.  My source raised his prices significantly to 'the public' because pens keep coming back with bent nibs.

Flex away guys, Waterman Pink 7s are hitting a grand.


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#14 vorpal

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Posted 13 May 2016 - 18:33

But we are told over and over that there is no market for flex nibs, which is why they are no longer made.



#15 FarmBoy

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Posted 13 May 2016 - 21:02

But we are told over and over that there is no market for flex nibs, which is why they are no longer made.

See Post 17.


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#16 vorpal

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Posted 13 May 2016 - 21:14

Well, something doesn't compute. One the one hand, people are saying that vintage flex nibs are becoming more expensive because of demand, but on the other hand, the reason they are no longer made is because there's no demand.

 

The price quoted in Post 17 is in line with other gold nibs, so I am missing something.



#17 Mauricio

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Posted 13 May 2016 - 21:39

I suppose you will just continue to resort to find a way to say I'm wrong and you're right ...

 

... I have respect for what you do, Mauricio.  I admire the work and effort that you have put into building your reputation as one of the authorities on vintage flex ...

 

... I have said my piece and given enough of my time to respond to the negative connotations.  You're free to respond and bash away, but I won't take any more time to entertain it.

 

 

I feel it's a bit presumptuous to say the nib is being flexed too hard ...   

 

​It is not uncommon for folks in this and other fountain pen forums to be offered constructive advice on different subjects. Many times, this advise comes from several of us who have a certain degree of expertise on one or more subjects related to fountain pens and nibs. It is not uncommon either to find some posters to simply keep arguing and insisting in their flawed claims. They lack knowledge on the subject, but they refuse to hear and accept any constructive criticism. 

 

 

Good advise is not bashing.

 

You are also contradicting yourself. On one hand, you allude to being a newbie and to have respect for my expertise on flex nibs, while at the same time in one of your previous post, you made the remark you found my statement to be presumptuous. If you do not know how to listen to my constructive criticism you do not have respect for me. If you admit to being a newbie, you should not consider as presumptuous the advise of someone who perhaps has a little bit more experience than you on this particular subject. 

 

 

I will continue to do what I do and there will be folks who will do the same at their own risk.  I didn't need anyone to tell me what I was doing was going to cause problems.  I didn't need a disclaimer.  I also didn't start this thread saying "this is exactly how you should approach grinding YOUR nib to achieve the desired effect.  I posted what I did to my nib, the results I had, the lessons I learned, and some of the mistakes along the way (with the exception of  what you would say was a mistake from the very beginning). 

It is obvious that you only want to hear comments about folks who cherish and applaud what you have done. The purpose of my comments were to let you and many folks who will read this thread know about the perils of what you are doing. There is an ever decreasing universe of vintage nibs, firms and flexible ones. Prices continue to soar by the day, solely due to the basic principle of much higher demand than its very limited supply. Threads like yours will certainly cause more damaged nibs, both to vintage and modern as well as firm and flexible ones. It is a very positive thing for me or anyone else in this forum to alert others that this type of ideas can lead to the destructions of perfectly fine 14k nibs.

 

You are so enamored with your project and idea that you might not listen to anyone. Go right ahead please. As I said earlier in this thread, they are your pens and nibs and you can do as you please with them. At least you and many others reading this thread will know before hand the dire consequences to doing what you are sharing in this thread.

 

 

I too respect John and Richard's work so I wouldn't imply that their work is considered butchering or ruining a nib as I'm sure they wouldn't either.

 

​The butchering is being done by YOU only. As you have admitted, you are a newbie. You do not seem to really know what you are doing, but feel compelled to share with others about how to destroy perfectly fine 14k gold nibs.

 

I have a very nice friendship with John Mottishaw, Richard Binder, Mike Masuyama, and many other wonderful folks who do great nib work around the world. Unlike you, most of these folks have been doing professional nib work for decades. Some of them have been doing it probably before you were born. They have lots of experience with nibs in general, lots of knowledge with fountain pens in general, and even own or have made their own highly specialized tools to work on nibs, like Mike Masuyama. And despite all of their experience, they are honest and ethical people who nicely disclose the caveats of those modified nibs they sell. I highly commend them for their integrity when selling those modified nibs.

 

I remember clearly the first time I contacted Richard Binder many years ago about my desire to purchase one of his modified nibs with added flex. I shared with him about my experience with some wonderful vintage 14k flex nibs from the early 20th century I had been using for a while. He told me right away, that there was simply no comparison between his modified modern nibs and what I was using. Many years ago, I brought a total of 12 New Old Stock 14k Warranted flex nibs to Michael Masuyama at a pen show and asked him if he could grind all those nibs to produce ultra thin lines. He told me right away that those nibs would become very hard to control, very scratchy, and perhaps even severely loose some of the factory original flex attributes I could enjoy before the modifications. He grabbed Susan Wirth at the show, asked for her opinion, and she agreed with Mike 100%. I was very new to flex nibs at the time. I asked him to proceed, but only with one out the 12 nibs I had. He got it done right away and they were both correct. I am glad I only asked him to grind one of the 12 nibs. I learned my lesson very early, by severely hurting what used to be a wonderful vintage 14k flex nib. I was wrong and I learned my lesson at that moment. I hope you learn yours before you damage too many of your own nibs ... and before many others reading this thread feel compelled to go butchered their nibs.

 

At the moment, I have about twenty five modern pens with modified nibs by different nib specialists. Over the years I have had the privilege to own 200+ of these modified pens. Some of these pens came as used pens and with severely abused nibs, many which were not salvageable at all. I have had to source correct replacement nibs for some of those pens.

 

My good friend Pendleton Brown gave me, for free, one of his modified TWSBI steel nibs so I could provide as much feedback as possible to him about his work. I accepted his offer and provided lots of feedback to him. He was very appreciative and I still keep his modified nib fitted into a very  early TWSBI 530 pen of mine. That's a very valuable pen/nib to me for sentimental reasons as its nibs came from a very dear pen friend of mine. 

 

 

Nino, I am not upset at you. All is good on my end. You do not even have to respond if you do not wish to. All the best to you, your pens and your nibs ... even those modified ones!


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#18 AAAndrew

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Posted 14 May 2016 - 00:26

Not that I want to get in the middle of this, I certainly don't. I just wanted to point out that I'm hearing two different things and maybe, just maybe there's a place of common agreement here. I may be wrong. 

 

What I hear Mauricio saying is that to modify vintage gold nibs to try and make them flexible is destroying something that cannot be made again, and most likely going to be unsuccessful. 

 

What I hear Nino saying is that he's trying to experiment on modern, Ranga nibs to see if he can learn how to modify a nib so that it works like one of Richard Binder's modified flex nibs. 

 

The concern I hear from Mauricio is that what Nino is doing to a Ranga nib may well be taken up by others and have them do it to vintage gold nibs, thus permanently altering that which cannot be made again. 

 

The concern I hear from Nino is, it's his nib why is it any of Mauricio's business what he does with it. He's trying to gain the experience that someone like Richard Binder has and the only way to do that is to work on real nibs and sometimes succeed and sometimes fail. 

 

Where I hear a common ground is that it's not a good idea of us to do this experimentation on vintage nibs, but modern 14K nibs, if they get ruined, which may well happen from these kinds of modifications, it's less of a tragedy than on a vintage nib. 

 

This is true for all vintage objects that are no longer being made. It's always a good idea to not permanently destroy or modify that which can no longer be made. If you want to experiment and gain the expertise of some of the giants in the field, then do it on easily replaced modern nibs. There will come a day when Mike and Richard are no longer working on nibs, and then where will we be if there is no one with the experience and knowledge that comes from working on hundreds of nibs? Maybe it will be Nino in ten years time who is the expert. Maybe not, but as long as no irreplaceable nibs are harmed in the process, then perhaps it's not such a tragedy. 

 

Maybe a mild disclaimer, to not try this on vintage nibs, but only test this out on modern nibs, would be a compromise. Maybe not. Maybe I just got myself into the middle of a hornet's nest. I just thought maybe this might help calm the waters a bit as I see both sides have some validity. 



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#19 _InkyFingers

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Posted 14 May 2016 - 01:01

+1. Passion and knowledge. Perhaps not experimentation but collaboration of knowledge fueling the passion would satisfy the majority. A similar tread on FPN is Ease My Flex but with something cheaper and Flex Manufacturing.

http://www.fountainp...21#entry3598973

http://www.fountainp...-3#entry3625907

#20 FarmBoy

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Posted 14 May 2016 - 02:18

Well, something doesn't compute. One the one hand, people are saying that vintage flex nibs are becoming more expensive because of demand, but on the other hand, the reason they are no longer made is because there's no demand.
 
The price quoted in Post 17 is in line with other gold nibs, so I am missing something.


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