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Nibs and Levers


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31 replies to this topic

Poll: How do you line up your nibs? (70 member(s) have cast votes)

Where do you place the nib in relation to the lever when changing nibs or putting a pen back together after a repair?

  1. Lined up with the point of the nib on top (41 votes [58.57%])

    Percentage of vote: 58.57%

  2. Lined up with the point of the nib on the bottom/feed side (4 votes [5.71%])

    Percentage of vote: 5.71%

  3. Lined up with the left side of the nib (5 votes [7.14%])

    Percentage of vote: 7.14%

  4. Lined up with the right side of the nib (3 votes [4.29%])

    Percentage of vote: 4.29%

  5. Wherever it happens to land. I don't think about it. (17 votes [24.29%])

    Percentage of vote: 24.29%

Vote Guests cannot vote

#1 klangbogen

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Posted 16 August 2008 - 02:51

In looking at multiple Esterbrooks this evening, I wondered...where do you place the nib in relation to the lever when either changing nibs or replacing a nib after a repair. Its seems it is easiest to fill if the lever is on top, lined up with the point of the nib, but esthetically, I like a clear unobstructed view of the barrel when writing. Any thoughts?
Be true to the music.

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#2 Marsilius

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Posted 16 August 2008 - 05:37

This is an OCD issue that troubles me. Sometimes I try to figure out how to line things up the best way, but none seems better than the other in the end, which is good: if I knew which way to line them up I might be going crazy trying to get every single one just right.
So, short answer: Sporadic obsession, no conclusion.
Maybe you can add to the poll: "Wherever it happens to land. I feel anxious and worry about it sometimes."
Best,
Mars

Edited by Marsilius, 16 August 2008 - 05:39.

"fortibus es in ero"

#3 ANM

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Posted 16 August 2008 - 05:40

I prefer to place the nib lined up with the lever when I refurbish a pen but since Esterbrook nibs screw in, it isn't possible to always get a good alignment. If they aren't lined up, I, like you would prefer to have the lever on the other side of the pen. When filling the pen it does not matter to me where the lever is located.
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time. TS Eliot

#4 FarmBoy

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Posted 16 August 2008 - 06:17

This is a very complicated subject. There are many schools of thought on this. I choose to put the pens back in the orientation that they left the factory.

Esterbrook set the orientation of the nib, the lever, and the imprint based on the time of the day, the week, and the year that the pen was made. It works like this: With the nib at noon, the location of the lever indicates the time of day in which the pen was finished. The imprint is placed at an appropriate location relative to the lever corresponding to the week of the year the pen was produced by moving in a counter clockwise direction as the year progresses. The year being encoded by the lateral placement of the imprint and by different imprints. Since the Esterbrook factory was closed the last and first week of the year, there was in general no conflict with the location of the lever and the imprint as may be expected with such a system. It is speculated that the automatic stamping equipment had a key-out on the date encoding ring that eliminated the lever over stamp but this has never been confirmed. (On those few occasions when there is no imprint, it is assumed that these pens were made during this time as Esterbrook is known to have kept the factory running at a minimum. Caution should be noted here as this is easily faked by imprint removal.)

Why would Esterbrook go to all this effort. Several reasons but speculation again leads us to believe that this allowed the sales staff to easily recognize how log ago a customer last purchased a pen and thus when to recommend a new pen or in other words put on the "hard sell". This system to the trained eye would be much easier than trying to spot the date code on a Parker barrel for example.

Perhaps the most important reason Esterbrook did this was for us, the Esterbrook Collectors. This rich diversity of production dates greatly adds to the number of pens one is justified in owning when trying to complete a set of Js. Many of us have of course limited ourselves to not keeping duplicates and this date coding allows for a reasonable number of pens.

How to determine the proper orientation can be done even if the pen has been improperly restored. This is the subject of another long winded thread for the future.

Happy Collecting

Todd



















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#5 Firefyter-Emt

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Posted 16 August 2008 - 14:07

I dunno there Todd... Sounds like an e-mail I got the other day! One of the biggest things that can throw the dealer part off is that the nibs hardly ever line up in the same spot if you swap nibs, which was the big selling point for the pens. Where did the info you have come from? Just curious....

OTOH, I can see the factory doing something like this, and my imprints are a hair off, but I would chalk it up to less then exact impring methods than a date time stamp myself.
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#6 O'Hare

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Posted 17 August 2008 - 00:03

huh.gif

#7 Breck

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Posted 17 August 2008 - 01:03

C'mon, FarmBoy - you gotta be pulling our collective leg, here.

#8 System of Adam

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Posted 17 August 2008 - 01:27

Todd, can I say I love you without sounding odd...? roflmho.gif

Adam
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#9 FarmBoy

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Posted 17 August 2008 - 01:48

QUOTE (Murderface @ Aug 16 2008, 06:03 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
C'mon, FarmBoy - you gotta be pulling our collective leg, here.


Based on the PMs and emails, I got me a big ol'box a legs...

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#10 Marsilius

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Posted 17 August 2008 - 04:50

It was just wonderful enough to make me worry why I had not read about it before.
On the serious side, Richard Binder's site lines up the lever, clips and top of the nibs on all his Esties.
I forgot to check if he does that on all the pens.....
Mars


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#11 EventHorizon

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Posted 17 August 2008 - 13:43

I line them up. It bugs me otherwise rolleyes.gif
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#12 Gawain

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Posted 17 August 2008 - 15:20

I would never have noticed, but now, since I've read this thread... <<sigh>>

LOL,
gawain
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#13 Aysedasi

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Posted 17 August 2008 - 18:53

Great post Todd - had me going too........
I have to say, I couldn't care less what it does or doesn't line up with.......



#14 dhlr14454

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Posted 17 August 2008 - 23:53

I was ready to post all sorts of questions about the day-time-stamp assertion. Silly me. But a brilliant post by FarmBoy.

#15 Brian Anderson

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Posted 17 August 2008 - 23:58

Another nib-must-line-up-with-the-lever person here. However, if I change a nib, I don't usually go through the hassle of removing the section and rotating it. I try to avoid opening a pen unless absolutely necessary, and that's more OCD than necessary.

Brian
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#16 klangbogen

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Posted 18 August 2008 - 15:19

I did a little check of old Esterbrook ads. The ones that are drawn seem to have everything lined up, but I found one photographed ad where it appears they are not. hmm1.gif


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#17 EventHorizon

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Posted 18 August 2008 - 16:10

QUOTE (Brian Anderson @ Aug 17 2008, 07:58 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Another nib-must-line-up-with-the-lever person here.


Welcome back Mr. Anderson thumbup.gif

Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent.
Isaac Asimov, Salvor Hardin in "Foundation"
US science fiction novelist & scholar (1920 - 1992)

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Frank Herbert, Dune
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#18 hoojy

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Posted 05 September 2008 - 21:46

I've done extensive experimentation on my 5 Esties and have empirically come to the conclusion that when aligning the lever, the one rule that MUST be followed is to avoid at all costs lining it up perpendicular to the barrel....
"Just because they call me a writer doesn't mean I can hold a pen in my paws"

#19 PaFitch

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Posted 06 September 2008 - 02:52

Leastwise, when its full of ink smile.gif

#20 jmkeuning

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Posted 06 September 2008 - 02:54

I always thought they should, but then when I was resaccing some pens I totally forgot.
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