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Sheaffer Pfm Nib - Retip Or Replace?


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#1 jaykayenn

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Posted 28 November 2017 - 08:14

I've recently acquired a PFM III in black/chrome. It wrote extremely scratchy, from any angle, even on the smoothest paper. Upon inspection with a loupe, it seems the nib was ground/worn unevenly, and one of the tines was so thin it was almost non-existent. It was also crooked, so I tried to straighten it with a shim... and the tine snapped right off. (about 1mm, it was razor thin)

 

After I told myself that this nib was dead anyway, I ground the nib into a stub. Now it writes wonderfully! Smooth and wet. But now it's about 1.5mm shorter and has no tipping, so I imagine the gold won't last very long as a writer. 

 

Can/should I get it re-tipped? Would re-tipping extend the nib by any length? Or should I just hope to find a replacement nib unit? (They're really hard to find!) 

 

 


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#2 Chrissy

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Posted 28 November 2017 - 08:55

If you found someone to retip the nib then it would only extend the nib length by the amount of the tipping, and, although hindsight is a wonderful thing, it may have been easier if the nib had been retipped while it still had it's original two tines.  -_-

 

If it was me I would be looking for a replacement nib unit, but I hope you can find someone who can fix your nib.  :)


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#3 hari317

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Posted 28 November 2017 - 09:19

A few years back, it was considered impossible to re-tip an inlaid nib since the attached plastic shell will be damaged during re-tipping. I am not aware of the current situation, maybe some new techniques have been developed to take care of the inlaid nibs as the spare part supply keeps dwindling.


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#4 Ron Z

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Posted 28 November 2017 - 13:24

You still can't retip an inlaid nib.  The process involves in essence spot welding the tipping material to the gold, which means very high temperatures a fraction of an inch from the shell.  The shell will melt, and there is no practical way to isolate the heat at tip just a 1/4" or less from the shell.

 

You can't pull the nib from the shell either.  There are tabs that reach down into the plastic at each corner of the diamond, double at the barrel end of it.  The shell gets destroyed and the nib damaged when you try to separate the  two.


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#5 EMQG

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Posted 28 November 2017 - 14:20

You still can't retip an inlaid nib.  The process involves in essence spot welding the tipping material to the gold, which means very high temperatures a fraction of an inch from the shell.  The shell will melt, and there is no practical way to isolate the heat at tip just a 1/4" or less from the shell.

 

You can't pull the nib from the shell either.  There are tabs that reach down into the plastic at each corner of the diamond, double at the barrel end of it.  The shell gets destroyed and the nib damaged when you try to separate the  two.

How did Sheaffer originally attach the nibs?



#6 hari317

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Posted 28 November 2017 - 15:06

http://www.sheaffert...b write up.html

The tipped nibs were comolded with the shell.
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#7 gregamckinney

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Posted 28 November 2017 - 15:11

If you watch for donor (aka poor overall quality) PFMs, nibs aren't too hard to find.

 

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#8 Chrissy

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Posted 28 November 2017 - 15:11

http://www.sheaffert...b write up.html

The tipped nibs were comolded with the shell.

 

 

That was a good read. Thanks Hari.  :)


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#9 Vintagepens

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Posted 28 November 2017 - 15:31

Most people who retip nibs can safely retip inlaid nibs as well. Even without recourse to a laser, heat-sinking the nib allows retipping by fusion (resistance) welding. 

And though it's not often appreciated, retipping a nib so that it retains its original profile always requires adding some gold -- so that's another part of a nib retipper's normal skill set.



#10 ink-syringe

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Posted 28 November 2017 - 15:43

Replacement PFM nibs are available in a couple places.
 
I actually even have one for a pen I no longer own (which wouldn't match yours).
 
PM me and I'll send you an email.

Looking for a cap for a Sheaffer Touchdown Sentinel Deluxe Fat version

 

#11 mitto

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Posted 28 November 2017 - 16:31

I also know someone - a FPN member - who told me only a few days ago he has spare PFM nib sections.

Edited by mitto, 28 November 2017 - 16:32.

Khan

#12 jaykayenn

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Posted 29 November 2017 - 04:08

I've asked around and Stuart Hawkinson says he might have an appropriate replacement. If that doesn't work out, I'll ask again here. Thanks for your comments!

 

As for re-tipping the short stub, I might still get that done as well, if it's not too pricey. Any recommendations as to who might re-tip an inlaid nib?


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Jkn

 


#13 Chrissy

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Posted 29 November 2017 - 04:19

Most people who retip nibs can safely retip inlaid nibs as well. Even without recourse to a laser, heat-sinking the nib allows retipping by fusion (resistance) welding. 

And though it's not often appreciated, retipping a nib so that it retains its original profile always requires adding some gold -- so that's another part of a nib retipper's normal skill set.

 

 

I've asked around and Stuart Hawkinson says he might have an appropriate replacement. If that doesn't work out, I'll ask again here. Thanks for your comments!

 

As for re-tipping the short stub, I might still get that done as well, if it's not too pricey. Any recommendations as to who might re-tip an inlaid nib?

 

David Nishimura at Vintage Pens has some recommendations on his web-site


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#14 hari317

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Posted 29 November 2017 - 04:56

...Any recommendations as to who might re-tip an inlaid nib?

Known re-tippers are very few. John Mottishaw of nibs.com, Greg Minuskin and there is now one in Europe whose work looks good: fpnibs.

 

http://www.fpnibs.co...ent/8-retipping

 

an enquiry email to all three might answer your question reg inlaid nib retips.

 

pls do share what you learn.


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#15 viju

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Posted 29 November 2017 - 13:14

Buying a donor pen or a nib unit will be cost effective in my opinion than retipping. I bought NOS nib units from auspens.com, Australia. Gold nib units were 65 Australian dollars.

#16 jaykayenn

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Posted 29 November 2017 - 14:37

Buying a donor pen or a nib unit will be cost effective in my opinion than retipping. I bought NOS nib units from auspens.com, Australia. Gold nib units were 65 Australian dollars.

 

Auspens quoted me AU$110 + $22 shipping, and only available in XF. 


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Jkn

 


#17 Ron Z

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Posted 29 November 2017 - 15:53

Most people who retip nibs can safely retip inlaid nibs as well.

 

I stand corrected.  However I checked with Greg.  He does not do them, though as he puts it, not because of technical reasons but because they usually aren't worth doing.


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#18 EMQG

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Posted 30 November 2017 - 08:11

 

I stand corrected.  However I checked with Greg.  He does not do them, though as he puts it, not because of technical reasons but because they usually aren't worth doing.

That's odd, since he buys broken 51 nibs for $5 and sells 'em for $70. I suppose retipping a PFM nib is a more intensive process



#19 Vintagepens

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Posted 30 November 2017 - 15:25

51s are plentiful, so there is high demand for unusual 51 nibs -- including nibs that have been retipped as broad italics, obliques, and the like.

In comparison, PFMs are much less common, and swapping their nibs is less straightforward -- which greatly reduces the demand for their nibs, especially ordinary ones. There's additional downward price pressure in that new old stock PFM nib units in standard tip grades are still in pretty good supply. 



#20 ink-syringe

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Posted 30 November 2017 - 17:00

Greg has done one PFM retip that in know of for sure since he posted about it on his blog a few years back. It sounded a bit tricky because of the heat as noted but I do remember actually seeing that he did one.

Looking for a cap for a Sheaffer Touchdown Sentinel Deluxe Fat version

 






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