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Noodler's Ahab

ahab flex noodlers

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58 replies to this topic

#41 NumberSix

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Posted 05 May 2020 - 19:58

When writing normally, with no pressure, this is like a very wet and very generous M point. I expected to use this pen to write copperplate in a normal handwriting size, but I'm starting to wonder whether it's suitable for that.

 

Most of the 7 or so Ahabs I've owned have written closer to a thick Fine, when using no pressure. But it often took a lot of fussing with the feed and nib to get them positioned just right for that ink flow, as you have experienced. 


Edited by NumberSix, 05 May 2020 - 20:00.


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#42 mhguda

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Posted 05 May 2020 - 19:59

I do sometimes find ink there, so it's not unheard of. Not sure how it would end up there, but it would suggest an underpressure in that part of the piston. So ink moving out fast? Which is consistent with your other troubles. Maybe push the nib back inwards a bit more, and try to get it centered. Then heat-set, with ink in the reservoir so you can see what happens. Use the hot water method. Those are all things I would try, if that were my pen. And you're right, with larger letters it does look better. What would be the meaning of that though? The speed of the ink keeping better pace with the speed of the writing hand? How would it be if you dilute the ink a little bit?


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#43 TSherbs

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Posted 05 May 2020 - 20:38

I probably tried about 10 different settings before I found the one that worked best. Then I took a picture of it so I could always try to recreate it if I needed. But I also stopped removing the nib and feed once I got it where I wanted it.



#44 JulieParadise

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Posted 06 May 2020 - 08:08

My 2 Ahabs + 3 I got running for friends worked best with the following done:

 

1) Remove the glas tube. It is not needed in my humble opinion.

 

2) Seal off the slim end of the "piston cartridge", as ink gets trapped in there to never get out again. I used transparent craft glue (art potch) and never had a problem with that.

 

Since the pens were not eyedroppered directly but filled through this cartridge, there was no burping etc. 

 

Ink flow was fine once the feed & nib had found a secure & balanced position towards one another; the examples shown above by TSherbs (the right one, I think) should guide you.



#45 Cassotto

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Posted 06 May 2020 - 14:53

 

You can see the breather tube, which by design extends up into the plunger rod portion of the converter -- allowing you a little bit of extra ink when filling. 

 

So yes, that's a feature, not a bug.  ;)

 

If you lose the breather tube, which is easy to do (ask me how I know, multiple times how easy), the converter will still work fine. You just might not get that extra bit of ink. 

 

I would have never thought it was meant that way? So is that what the thin tube is there for? I was wondering!

 

 

And you're right, with larger letters it does look better. What would be the meaning of that though? The speed of the ink keeping better pace with the speed of the writing hand? How would it be if you dilute the ink a little bit?

 

I had attributed it, above all, to the fact that so much ink is coming out of the pen that the thin lines aren't thin at all, so if the handwriting is small, it all gets blurred. But you may be right. If I dilute the ink, wouldn't it be more liquid and flow out of the nib even faster?

 

 

I probably tried about 10 different settings before I found the one that worked best. Then I took a picture of it so I could always try to recreate it if I needed. But I also stopped removing the nib and feed once I got it where I wanted it.

Taking a photo is a great idea, if I ever manage to find the right position. So far, I don't seem to notice much difference, as to the amount of ink that gets on the paper as I write.


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#46 mhguda

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Posted 06 May 2020 - 15:02

 

I had attributed it, above all, to the fact that so much ink is coming out of the pen that the thin lines aren't thin at all, so if the handwriting is small, it all gets blurred. But you may be right. If I dilute the ink, wouldn't it be more liquid and flow out of the nib even faster?

My thinking is if you dilute, capillary action slows down a little (counter-intuitive, yes) - the ink becomes a little drier. And so will flow a little slower, and you would not have quite such a fire-hose. Not diluting a terrible lot, if you take the reservoir, maybe a few drops of water.


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#47 Cassotto

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Posted 06 May 2020 - 15:18

My 2 Ahabs + 3 I got running for friends worked best with the following done:

 

1) Remove the glas tube. It is not needed in my humble opinion.

 

2) Seal off the slim end of the "piston cartridge", as ink gets trapped in there to never get out again. I used transparent craft glue (art potch) and never had a problem with that.

 

Since the pens were not eyedroppered directly but filled through this cartridge, there was no burping etc. 

 

Ink flow was fine once the feed & nib had found a secure & balanced position towards one another; the examples shown above by TSherbs (the right one, I think) should guide you.

I may do that. I can't see how removing this movable-part-of-the-piston-can-be-used-to-store-ink-too feature can change the amount of ink that comes out of the nib, but since I don't know anything about pens and am willing to try anything that may make this work well, I have nothing to lose.

 

The problem about trying to copy TSherbs's position is that, as I said before, there is no way I can push the feed inside the section that far. I can move the nib around, but not the section. And if I pull the nib out to something resembling that, it doesn't seem to be held in place and moves sideways.

 

Today, the pen seems to be slighly drier. Or slightly less wet, rather. Anyway, nothing but empting the full ink bottle on the paper could be wetter than my first attempts!

 

There's a possibility, though, that I don't really know how to use this type of nibs.

 

IMG_5121.JPG


It isn't true that you live only once. You only die once. You live lots of times, if you know how. (Bobby Darin)

 

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#48 TSherbs

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Posted 06 May 2020 - 16:29

Your feed may have been cut too large. They are variable. I bought a few extra ebonite feeds for this reason. And in case I lose one. Or the barrel too narrow.

#49 Cassotto

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Posted 06 May 2020 - 19:59

And that isn't fixable, is it?


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#50 TSherbs

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Posted 06 May 2020 - 21:07

I don't know. Sandpaper? Waskisquirrel first rule of pen repair: "Do no harm."

#51 txomsy

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Posted 07 May 2020 - 06:09

Well, it should be with a cutter.

 

I remember seeing posts about expanding the feed channel with an x-acto knife, so likely with a cutter and a bit of patience it should be easy.

 

As TSHerbs says, better to try avoiding doing any harm. It is probably better to use sand paper on the blunt end of the feeder. It will take longer but you can work a little at a time and test frequently.

 

Me, but I'm of the aggressive kind, so do not follow my advice, I would likely take a cutter and cut a milimeter from the rear blunt end of the feeder, or use a gross file to quickly reduce it, and once found the length, thinner sand paper. I would possibly ruin it, but that's the beauty of the Ahab, you don't break the bank. I must confess I do not know if FPR feeds or feed+nib combos are valid for the Ahab, because those would be my first backup. Anyway, I've got mine loaded with ink so I can't disassemble it now to see how it fits and give you better advice. But I could send you mine for you to try. Did you see my PM?



#52 mhguda

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Posted 07 May 2020 - 11:27

The cutter from the blunt end works. Also, those fine nail buffers we use on nibs sometimes can be used to file off a little from the feed's outer diameter. Go very slow,  test often. Clean before inserting into the section. Yes I have done this.


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#53 TSherbs

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Posted 07 May 2020 - 14:19

Yeah, you have to keep that feed as near to cylindrical as possible to avoid gaps between it and the barrel mouth wall.

#54 Cassotto

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Posted 07 May 2020 - 15:52

Anyway, I've got mine loaded with ink so I can't disassemble it now to see how it fits and give you better advice. But I could send you mine for you to try. Did you see my PM?

 

I just saw it on my email, not the message section here. Just answered.

 

I haven't tried anything yet because instead of throwing away all that ink, I prefer to practise a little bit until there's not much left, and then I'll try to adjust it by heating it, before trying anything which is more permanent!


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#55 Cassotto

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Posted 11 May 2020 - 16:15

After heat setting the Ahab, I think I'm more or less in the same place I was before. The stages of my experience with the Ahab are:

 

1) Feeder reaching almost to the tip of the nib: flooded in ink. After five minutes, writing was still very wet (see photos above).

 

2) Moved nib outwards, to make it look like in TSherbs's photo (though feed cannot be pushed further into the section). Pen seems to be a bit drier, but nib moves sidewards when writing, so discarded.

 

3) Nib more inwards than in point 2. Pen drier than in point 1: writing dries in around one minute and a half and two minutes, depending on the paper. Thin lines when trying to write in copperplate are thick in comparison with the thick lines.

 

3) After heat setting in more or less the same position as number 3, drying time is roughly the same, maybe a bit shorter (closer to one and a half minutes than to two), and thin lines are slightly thinner, so it seems less ink is coming out of the nib. But now the pen has a tendency to go dry when unused for a couple of hours (though it doesn't take lots of effort to make it write again after shaking it vigorously, blob included).

 

Should I move the nib around a bit more until I find a better spot before heat setting it again? I suppose the only possibility is making the nib protrude a nit more, but there's not much difference between now and point 2, where it was so outwards that it couldn't be held in place.

 

If not, I'd try modifying the feeder in some way (though, as I said, I'm trying first anything that won't change the pen permanently). However, how can I know whether the fact that the feeder cannot be inserted further into the section is because it's too long, or too thick? I've been trying to figure out which the answer is, but I haven't been able. If it's its thickness which is preventing it from moving inwards, because the barrel is too narrow, then I'd have to sand it down all around; if it's a narrowing in the part of the section which is closer to the converter, then sanding down the read end of the feeder would work.

 

Sanding the read end first sounds safer. Or would it damage the pen's performance if that's not the problem?

 

 

 

 

I remember seeing posts about expanding the feed channel with an x-acto knife, so likely with a cutter and a bit of patience it should be easy.

 

 

 

That was the second of my DIY projects last weekend: heat setting the Ahab, and expanding the feed channel of a Waterman Kutur which dried out after just a couple of hours. I cannot vouch for the result yet, though it looks promising. If the pen isn't dry after two days unused, I'll proclaim it a huge success. If it lasts just 24 hours, then it'll be just great.


Edited by Cassotto, 11 May 2020 - 16:17.

It isn't true that you live only once. You only die once. You live lots of times, if you know how. (Bobby Darin)

 

Some cause happiness wherever they go; others, whenever they go. (Oscar Wilde)

 

#56 Cassotto

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Posted 11 May 2020 - 16:22

I've just found one of these videos by Goulet Pens where they explain that the further in that the feed is pushed, the wetter the pen will be, and the further out that it's pulled, the drier the pen will be. Do I really need to push my feed further into the section? :huh:


It isn't true that you live only once. You only die once. You live lots of times, if you know how. (Bobby Darin)

 

Some cause happiness wherever they go; others, whenever they go. (Oscar Wilde)

 

#57 mhguda

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Posted 11 May 2020 - 18:13

Would you have another feed of the same (general) size that you could experiment with? At this point, I don't really know how to answer any of those questions. But I have had experiences both ways, that is, pushing the feed further in resulted in a better seal and the ink coming out slower. But also, and IIRC this was with the Ahab, pushing the feed further in somehow made the pen flow wetter.

So here's a wild thought. Pull the nib out a little further, then wrap teflon tape around it and the feed, so that it can sit more secure. If it works, I'd make it permanent with thread instead of teflon tape, wrapped around the assembly (where it wobbles). Then heat set.


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#58 tunney

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Posted 13 May 2020 - 19:10

I got one of these too. It was the reason I promised never to buy another cheap pen. Pure junk. Days of tinkering with feeds, alignment, great setting etc and never wrote properly at all.

#59 timotheap

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Posted 14 May 2020 - 09:33

I have 2 Ahabs, my brother three. They all work fine. Between the two of us we have a dozen Noodler's pens and they're all great (I couldn't disassemble my Safety so I've sent it back for another one). 

 

@Cassotto : yes, if you can push the feed further back in, give it a try. All my pens are very wet and I like it that way, but I occasionally set the feed to a drier position when necessary. Also I have found that heatsetting several times can actually do the trick. The flow in my Dixie was erratic and heatsetting the feed worked wonders.







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