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Can This Nib Be Turned Into Something Useful?


17 replies to this topic

#1 Paul-in-SF

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Posted 31 May 2020 - 03:52

The photo below is a Wahl-Eversharp nib from one of the larger pens, possibly a Skyline Executive. I think it was an EF nib, or possible an F. I hope the photo shows that the tip of the right-hand tine (viewed from above) is broken off, with all the tipping gone as well. 

 

Can this be usefully re-ground into a stub or something? Can it be made to write well? I've seen references to this being done, but I have no idea what has to be remaining to be able to make the nib a decent writer -- especially whether a gold nib can work (and last) without tipping. 

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#2 A Smug Dill

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Posted 31 May 2020 - 05:08

If you're prepared to pay for nib work, Gena Salorino of Custom Nib Studio recommends Greg Minuskin for retipping.

 

(I personally wouldn't, but then I'm prejudiced against old pens, especially ones that aren't in pristine condition sold as "collectors' items" for those with money to buy but don't want to tinker with the goods themselves.)


As always:  1. Implicit in everything and every instance I write on FPN is the invitation for you to judge me as a peer in the community. I think it's only due respect to take each other's written word in online discussion seriously and apply critical judgment.  2. I do not presume to judge for you what is right, correct or valid. If I make a claim, or refute a statement in a thread, and link to references and other information in support, I beseech you to review and consider those, and judge for yourself. I may be wrong. My position or say-so carries no more weight than anyone else's here, and external parties can speak for themselves with what they have published.  3. I endeavour to be frank and truthful in what I write, show or otherwise present when I relate my first-hand experiences that are not independently verifiable. If it is something you can test for yourself and see the results, I entreat you to do so.

#3 Croma

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Posted 31 May 2020 - 06:34

Hello:

It can be retipping perfectly and it is and affordable cost for a very good nib like that.

Thanks

Regards.



#4 OMASsimo

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Posted 31 May 2020 - 21:11

I don’t think it makes any sense to grind this thing down to nearly no tipping. If that nib has any outstanding properties, it might be worth retipping but otherwise it would be a waste of money.



#5 pajaro

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Posted 01 June 2020 - 06:40

I suspect many of us have stubs already. If you were going to make a stub out of it, send this nib to a specialist to have a worthwhile job done of it. It would add value and usefulness.

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#6 mana

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Posted 01 June 2020 - 07:54

It is worth retipping. If you want a stub it can be done in the same process so that it actually has a more durable tipping instead of just gold which wears down relatively fast.

#7 A Smug Dill

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Posted 01 June 2020 - 08:07

It is worth retipping.


How do you know/judge that?

If you want a stub ...


I could have ordered a brand new, made-in-Japan Sailor Blue Dwarf Professional Gear Slim with a rhodinated 14K gold Music nib (which, from my experience with Sailor Music nibs, will write like Stub nibs made by European manufacturers) for under US$101. Considering the totality of re-tipping and shipping charges for an old ('vintage'?) nib that was already compromised in the first place and no longer fit for purpose, is it still "worth it" not to junk that old broken nib and buy a shiny new gold-nibbed pen that comes with warranty as well as Sailor's good reputation for product quality and consistency?
As always:  1. Implicit in everything and every instance I write on FPN is the invitation for you to judge me as a peer in the community. I think it's only due respect to take each other's written word in online discussion seriously and apply critical judgment.  2. I do not presume to judge for you what is right, correct or valid. If I make a claim, or refute a statement in a thread, and link to references and other information in support, I beseech you to review and consider those, and judge for yourself. I may be wrong. My position or say-so carries no more weight than anyone else's here, and external parties can speak for themselves with what they have published.  3. I endeavour to be frank and truthful in what I write, show or otherwise present when I relate my first-hand experiences that are not independently verifiable. If it is something you can test for yourself and see the results, I entreat you to do so.

#8 mana

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Posted 01 June 2020 - 09:59

How do you know/judge that?


I could have ordered a brand new, made-in-Japan Sailor Blue Dwarf Professional Gear Slim with a rhodinated 14K gold Music nib (which, from my experience with Sailor Music nibs, will write like Stub nibs made by European manufacturers) for under US$101. Considering the totality of re-tipping and shipping charges for an old ('vintage'?) nib that was already compromised in the first place and no longer fit for purpose, is it still "worth it" not to junk that old broken nib and buy a shiny new gold-nibbed pen that comes with warranty as well as Sailor's good reputation for product quality and consistency?

How am I not surprised... good sir, your prejudice against vintage pens precedes you. ;) Yes, one could do what you suggest but then they wouldn't have restored a perfectly restorable nib to working order (and I call that waste). I am also quite certain that the traits and qualities inherent to that nib far surpass any modern nib, especially if it is customized to the users desired specifications. Also, that nib could be in turn used to restore a vintage pen appropriate for the nib to working order. But hell, what do I know man, that is just like, my opinion.



#9 A Smug Dill

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Posted 01 June 2020 - 10:16

How am I not surprised... good sir, your prejudice against vintage pens precedes you. ;)


Prejudice? I call it unsentimental consumerism, especially when it comes to 'Western' and European products not tied to the craftsmanship of a specific and renowned master of his/her art. I'm more than happy for vintage pen to compete against brash newcomers on value-for-money (inclusive of functional performance, cosmetic presentation, statutory product warranty, and of course price and/or total out-of-pocket expense to the consumer).

Show me a Naginata nib that was crafted by the late and revered Mr Nobuyoshi Nagahara Sr, and I'd say that's worth keeping as it is, even if it's battered and/or worn. That's a piece of history not to be repeated, and re-tipping would destroy what was special about the nib anyway and erode its value.

 

Show me a vintage (European or other) fountain pen that is NOS from fifty years ago and kept only as a display piece all this time, and I might call agree it is treasure if the model itself is well loved by a generation of users and/or collectors.

 

A tarnished and 'broken' old nib as shown is neither of those things. As it was, I was the first in this thread to suggest re-tipping in reply to the O.P.'s question (about turning the nib in question into something useful) as a possibility, but I certainly won't be advocating it on the basis of it being a worthy exercise.
 

Yes, one could do what you suggest but then they wouldn't have restored a perfectly restorable nib to working order (and I call that waste).


That's the thing: waste is okay to me, as long as the return on investment from an alternative selected is better objectively and/or qualitatively to the owner/purchaser/investor, irrespective of how anyone feels (but has no material stake in the matter).


Edited by A Smug Dill, 01 June 2020 - 15:00.

As always:  1. Implicit in everything and every instance I write on FPN is the invitation for you to judge me as a peer in the community. I think it's only due respect to take each other's written word in online discussion seriously and apply critical judgment.  2. I do not presume to judge for you what is right, correct or valid. If I make a claim, or refute a statement in a thread, and link to references and other information in support, I beseech you to review and consider those, and judge for yourself. I may be wrong. My position or say-so carries no more weight than anyone else's here, and external parties can speak for themselves with what they have published.  3. I endeavour to be frank and truthful in what I write, show or otherwise present when I relate my first-hand experiences that are not independently verifiable. If it is something you can test for yourself and see the results, I entreat you to do so.

#10 mana

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Posted 01 June 2020 - 10:37

Something to be mindful of, people are not necessarily looking for immersive in-depth debate when they participate on these forums. Calls for discourse that deviates from casual might actually discourage a lot of people from posting here.

 

I leave at this: You have your opinions and I have mine, and at the moment they are in conflict but I can live with that. It is up to the OP to make their mind to what they deem a proper course of action and what they are willing to pay for.



#11 Paul-in-SF

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Posted 02 June 2020 - 04:26

Apparently this board does not have any rules against posting in a thread only to challenge the value of the thread discussion. Too bad. 

 

I have both modern and vintage pens. I find I generally get more pleasure out of vintage pens not in spite of but because of the (dare I say it) fragility that comes from being 70 or 80 years old or more. I am 70 years old myself, which may have something to do with my stubborn refusal to abandon older pens. 

 

However, enough of philosophy. My original questions were based on my hope not to spend a lot of money. I don't particularly want a stub, I don't enjoy them all that much for the kind of writing I do, but I thought that might be a money-saving alternative to re-tipping as a way of salvaging the nib. Apparently not, so I will consider having this one re-tipped and tuned up for my writing taste, which is skewing more and more towards the EF end of the spectrum (but EF with a generous ink flow). I am grateful, as always, for your thoughtful replies and suggestions.



#12 Honeybadgers

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Posted 04 June 2020 - 04:14

How do you know/judge that?

 

Large eversharp executive nibs are generally valuable.

 

That said, a full retip and regrind job is usually in the $150 range from someone like Greg Minuskin, so one would definitely be skirting the actual limits of what the nib is probably worth on the market. It would likely gain its value back not as a loose part, but by inserting it into an executive skyline that was missing its nib, turning a $75-150 nib and $80 body into a $450 pen. 

 

Knowing what nibs are worth repair is actually a skill people use, boo. It's the same kind of skill the car dealership uses to tell you what your trade-in is worth. They base it on the market for the item, their position in the market, and any costs they may have to incur like repairs or auction fees.


Edited by Honeybadgers, 04 June 2020 - 04:16.

Selling a boatload of restored, fairly rare, vintage Japanese gold nib pens, click here to see (more added as I finish restoring them)


#13 Honeybadgers

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Posted 04 June 2020 - 04:19

Apparently this board does not have any rules against posting in a thread only to challenge the value of the thread discussion. Too bad. 

 

I have both modern and vintage pens. I find I generally get more pleasure out of vintage pens not in spite of but because of the (dare I say it) fragility that comes from being 70 or 80 years old or more. I am 70 years old myself, which may have something to do with my stubborn refusal to abandon older pens. 

 

However, enough of philosophy. My original questions were based on my hope not to spend a lot of money. I don't particularly want a stub, I don't enjoy them all that much for the kind of writing I do, but I thought that might be a money-saving alternative to re-tipping as a way of salvaging the nib. Apparently not, so I will consider having this one re-tipped and tuned up for my writing taste, which is skewing more and more towards the EF end of the spectrum (but EF with a generous ink flow). I am grateful, as always, for your thoughtful replies and suggestions.

 

It is possible to have it ground into something not-stubbed. But you would have a slightly odd duck looking nib with the tipping tapering in quite aggressively. And the ROI if you weren't planning on putting it into another vintage eversharp that needed a nib is likely not good. Personally, I would retip it and find a nice body for it, but I'm a sucker for eversharp nibs, and I would do it knowing I'd be losing money on the other side if I tried selling it.

 

Is it flexible? If it's moderately to highly flexible, ignore everything I said and have it retipped. Large, flexible vintage nibs are VERY valuable, and you could easily have it retipped into a fine italic and resell it for $250-300


Edited by Honeybadgers, 04 June 2020 - 04:20.

Selling a boatload of restored, fairly rare, vintage Japanese gold nib pens, click here to see (more added as I finish restoring them)


#14 A Smug Dill

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Posted 04 June 2020 - 04:24

It would likely gain its value back not as a loose part, but by inserting it into an executive skyline that was missing its nib, turning a $75-150 nib and $80 body into a $450 pen. 
 
Knowing what nibs are worth repair is actually a skill people use, boo.


Thank you. That's what I was asking in my earlier reply to @mana. In the argument you put forward just now, "worth" is based on what others in the market may be prepared to pay for the repaired nib, as a loose part or as a contributor towards a complete item. That may or may not be what the O.P. Is after, by asking if the nib can be turned into something useful; but I have no quarrel with your approach. @mana made a definitive statement about it "worth retipping", so I wanted him/her to share with everyone in the discussion (including me and of course the O.P.) how that "worth" is judged, because not every fellow hobbyist may be a reseller, conservationist, or whatever else; it's important to understand where each other is coming from, because nobody holds the "default" or representative position for the global fountain pen community, and decide individually whether someone else's view or assessment is compatible with one's own framework.
As always:  1. Implicit in everything and every instance I write on FPN is the invitation for you to judge me as a peer in the community. I think it's only due respect to take each other's written word in online discussion seriously and apply critical judgment.  2. I do not presume to judge for you what is right, correct or valid. If I make a claim, or refute a statement in a thread, and link to references and other information in support, I beseech you to review and consider those, and judge for yourself. I may be wrong. My position or say-so carries no more weight than anyone else's here, and external parties can speak for themselves with what they have published.  3. I endeavour to be frank and truthful in what I write, show or otherwise present when I relate my first-hand experiences that are not independently verifiable. If it is something you can test for yourself and see the results, I entreat you to do so.

#15 txomsy

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Posted 04 June 2020 - 10:02

I guess numismatics are out of the question here.

 

There are many reasons why something may be worth. Worth can be defined in many ways. What is worthless for one may not be for another. Saying something is worthless, however, has more chances of being wrong than the opposite. At least in my experience.



#16 A Smug Dill

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Posted 04 June 2020 - 10:33

Saying something is worthless, however, has more chances of being wrong than the opposite. At least in my experience.

 

 

Exactly why there are things I clearly and expressly do not advocate, but also refrain from declaring it worthless outright (without qualifying it as worthless to me personally, assuming I own the object or am solely responsible for the activity in question). I do ask others, point-blank as it may be, to share and articulate why they say something is "worth" buying, keeping or doing, on the (I think!) reasonable assumption that not everyone will be aligned to their thinking, values or assessment framework. After all, we're having a discussion, so isn't it key to understand where each other is coming from, so that the reader can choose to ignore, reject or refute statements made from a premise with which he/she does not agree or accept? What better way is there to understand than to ask others to be explicit in their explanation, instead of pretend to empathise or accept an unqualified statement at face value to be true for the person who bears the responsibility and/or cost of, in this case, retipping an old nib? Commenters (including but not limited to myself) have not been aware that the O.P. hoped not to spend a lot of money. At this point, we don't know if he has a pen into which this nib will fit so he can sell the pen with a restored nib as a whole, or what he considers a lot of money, or to how much writing/use he intends to put a restored nib with an Extra Fine grind to make the out-of-pocket expense relatively worthwhile.

 

We hobbyists are not of one mind, and shouldn't assume each other to be so. After all, why have a discussion with others if everyone else is going to think exactly how we ourselves do?


As always:  1. Implicit in everything and every instance I write on FPN is the invitation for you to judge me as a peer in the community. I think it's only due respect to take each other's written word in online discussion seriously and apply critical judgment.  2. I do not presume to judge for you what is right, correct or valid. If I make a claim, or refute a statement in a thread, and link to references and other information in support, I beseech you to review and consider those, and judge for yourself. I may be wrong. My position or say-so carries no more weight than anyone else's here, and external parties can speak for themselves with what they have published.  3. I endeavour to be frank and truthful in what I write, show or otherwise present when I relate my first-hand experiences that are not independently verifiable. If it is something you can test for yourself and see the results, I entreat you to do so.

#17 txomsy

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Posted 04 June 2020 - 18:19

Amen to that.



#18 Paul-in-SF

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Posted 04 June 2020 - 19:00

To respond to Honeybadger's posts, I do have a Skyline Executive that is currently supplied with a nib from a regular size Skyline. It works fine, but it's not the proper nib for the pen. So that is the target for this nib. A small addition to the value equation is that I will then have a Skyline nib available, in one of the larger sizes associated with regular and demi Skylines. Value in the $25 range perhaps? I expect I'll keep it in my nib drawer until I find a use for it.

 

I'm not sure how flexible this nib is, since I didn't have a chance to test it. If it is, that will just be a bonus. Having a complete pen is worth it to me in any case, even when I don't expect to sell it for many long years. 





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