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Nib smoothing


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35 replies to this topic

#1 JRS

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Posted 27 December 2004 - 21:46

I am looking for advice on how to smoothen nibs. I have some mylar disks, but am very cautious about using them. Anybody willing to lend some tips to someone who is just learning this art?

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#2 Gerry

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Posted 27 December 2004 - 22:22

One of our members wimq has written a paper on nib smoothing. Why not write him and ask that he send a copy to you. I'm sure he will - he has posted it to other boards...

If you are unsuccessful in contacting him, I have a copy and will forward it to you.

Gerry

#3 Keith with a capital K

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Posted 27 December 2004 - 22:34

Wim's treatise on nib smoothing is probably one of the best I have ever seen and I would love to see it posted here in a permanent fashion.

I am generally better at doing these things than writing about them as so much of it comes from parctice and having a good feel for the work you are doing.

If you are using mylar sheets the grit equivalent is so high that the risk of doing any kind of harm is minimal.

If you were talking about reshaping nibs then I would have many concerns as this is an entirely different ball of wax and the risk of permanent harm is much greater.

Cheers!
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#4 Maja

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Posted 28 December 2004 - 04:19

One of our members wimq has written a paper on nib smoothing.  Why not write him and ask that he send a copy to you.  I'm sure he will - he has posted it to other boards...

If you are unsuccessful in contacting him, I have a copy and will forward it to you.

Gerry

Gerry, is it the one on Pentrace (article # 403 from Nov. 22, 2003)??
If so, it is online at: http://www.pentrace.com/penbase/
Click on the "Find articles by topic", then scroll to "nib" and click on it. The article is entitled "Nib grinding experiences" by Wim Geeraets, and it is indeed excellent :)
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#5 Gerry

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Posted 28 December 2004 - 08:01

Yes, that's the one Maja.

Didn't know where to actually find it. He sent me a copy some time ago.

Don't know how we could have it on the FPN site, since neither files nor pictures are stored here. We could post a link to it ...

Nib Grinding - Wim Geeraets

How's that?

Gerry

[Edit - the links no longer appear to work - please refer to WIM's post of the article on his server]

Edited by Gerry, 28 April 2005 - 15:12.


#6 Maja

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Posted 28 December 2004 - 09:42

We could post a link to it ...

Nib Grinding - Wim Geeraets

How's that?

Gerry

Excellent! I was trying to find the URL for the article, but I think my computer was viewing the PT pages "with frames" (or some other computer term...Forgive me, my husband is the tech geek in the family!) so I couldn't post the handy direct link you provided. :)
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#7 Gerry

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Posted 28 December 2004 - 15:15

Well, I'm no Tech Geek either - and I had been stumped a couple of times - particularly by Richard Binder's site where one can go wandering all over the place without the URL at the Browser address window changing. So, of course I couldn't reference where I was.

I finally found that by right clicking the mouse, I got a little menu that offered some information about the local page - which is where I found the right URL to quote.

While OT - I thought perhaps this might help others post links when the opportunity presents itself... :)

Gerry

#8 wimg

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Posted 28 December 2004 - 17:11

Hi JRS, Gerry, and everybody else who replied,

First of all, thank you for the kind words. Thta's very much appreciated.

I'll gladly make the article available here, if you want.

It'll just have to wait till I get home tonight.

Just a few questions for the admins:
Can I put the pics up over here somewhere, or will they have to be hosted somewhere else?
What colour scheme is required? It was all done in the PT colour scheme; maybe you want it pastel blues or so <G>.

Kindest regards,
Wim,
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#9 KCat

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Posted 28 December 2004 - 17:27

Hi Wim! (waving paws wildly)

The pics have to be hosted elsewhere. I may have room for them temporarily if you can't find a more convenient method.

as far as color scheme. It doesn't matter. The different "skins" may alter that to some degree anyway and you can't predict who is using what skin. So i'm sure whatever you use will be fine. Of course, I am partial to the colors on the "moonbeam" skin. slate blues.

Good to see you. Hope you are doing well.
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#10 wimg

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Posted 28 December 2004 - 17:39

Hi Kcat,

Waving back as least as wildly :D!

I'm well, thanks, just been a little busy off late, too busy :lol:.

Hosting isn't a problem, I've got a site with approx. 9 GB free ;).

Just 1 more question: where do I post it? It is entirely in html right now...

I guess I could just host the entire thing myself, too. What is more convenient? (ok, 2nd question :) )

TIA,
warmest regards,
WtMD

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#11 Keith with a capital K

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Posted 28 December 2004 - 18:13

Wim,

It is good to see you my friend.

I'll look forward to seeing the article posted... perhaps we can put a Title and description on the FPN Homepage and link it to the article.

Cheers!
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#12 Elaine

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Posted 28 December 2004 - 21:40

Keith,
I thought we didn't have a homepage? At least that's what Denis told me. He said that the homepage was from his early efforts of the FPN and that it's not supposed to be connected to the forum now. (Yeah, I'm confused too since it's still there and still links to the forums)

Wim,
Hi! I've been very busy too. I miss chatting at your 3 AM. I have to get around to at least emailing!

Elaine

#13 Keith with a capital K

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Posted 28 December 2004 - 22:30

http://www.fpnet.tk/
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#14 wimg

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Posted 29 December 2004 - 00:39

Hi All.

Well, here it is, hosted on one of my websites :D :

"Nib Grinding" Article

Kind regards,

Wim

Oh, here is the full link, if someone wants to add it somewhere else, or link to it:
http://fp.vandebilt..../ngFPNv102.html

Edited by wimg, 29 December 2004 - 00:46.

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#15 Wahlnut

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Posted 02 January 2005 - 03:05

There is another very good and detailed article on Nib Grinding that was written by Glenn Marcus some time ago. It is still viewable on the MarcusLink web site. Here is the direct link:

http://www.marcuslin.../pens/nibs.html

Hope this is useful.
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#16 Wahlnut

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Posted 02 January 2005 - 03:11

In my last post I credited Glenn Marcus with the article on nib grinding. While he deserves credit for posting it, iit was actually attributed to Ludwig Tan, who deserves the credit for authorship. I hastily supply this information before the true academics in the crowd get a chance to police my last post.
Whew.
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#17 Maja

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Posted 02 January 2005 - 08:30

In my last post I credited Glenn Marcus with the article on nib grinding.  While he deserves credit for posting it, iit was actually attributed to Ludwig Tan, who deserves the credit for authorship.  I hastily supply this information before the true academics in the crowd get a chance to police my last post.
Whew.
Syd The Wahlnut

Don't worry Syd...It's FPN, not Pentrace :lol:

Thanks for the link. I think Glenn Marcus lives in the Vancouver area, but I think he's a modern pen guy, not a vintage collector (I could be wrong). Never met him, but he has a nice site and a great list of fountain pen stores around the world...Very handy....
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#18 wimg

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Posted 02 January 2005 - 14:54

Hi Syd, Maja,

As you may have guessed, I came across the Ludwig Tan paper quite a while ago, well before I wrote my article. Although the principles as outlined in the paper are correct, I would like to add some notes, especially regarding the materials used.

Arkansas stones used for rough shaping of the nib tip should be very fine, the finest you can get. Whatever is considered to be great for kitchen knives, is going to ruin you nib. An Arkansas stone in gritsize 2500 (very fine) - 4000 (surgical Arkansas stone) will be ok. I speak from experience... good and bad. An alternative to Arkansas stone is a Dremel Emery Disk (applied manually, however!). Cheap, easy to come by, and gritsize of approximately 2500-3000. Does a great job, the only annoying fact is the hole in the middle.

Emery paper I do not recommend. It isn't fine enough, it doesn't go beyond the finest Arkansas stones. I would recommend mylar, or maybe MicroMesh.
Mylar in approx. 4000, 8000 and 12000 grit are great, applied in that order to get the optimum smoothness out of your nib. You'll need the finest one for smoothing of the inner tine edges as well; you won't be able to do that with emery paper or crocus cloth.
Note that MicroMesh (MM) grit is not the same as US Standard gritsize, it is really twice as rough. A MM 12000 is really a 6000 grit. Because of the flexibility of the cloth it gives a slightly finer result than a comparable grit paper, but a 12000 MM is certainly less fine than an 8000 grit mylar. If you can live with that, fine :D. I can't...

A final remark: it is not necessary to get rid of (all of) the tipping material on the top of the nib. You need a sharp edge for an italic, but one that is achieved, you can, if you like, shape the top of the nib into a different tip, eg. a fine, or a stub, if you like. Combined with a fine is what RB calls "ItaliFine". You can do this with any nib, provided ink flow is sufficient to the top of the nib, which is not always the case. This can be fixed, ofcourse, but is a story in itself.

HTH,
Kind regards,
Wim

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#19 Maja

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Posted 02 January 2005 - 20:29

Wim, thank you so much for all your information! Your article and tips on nib smoothing give hope to us newbies :)
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#20 Gerry

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Posted 08 January 2005 - 19:59

Here's another reference from Zoss - the polishing films are finer than those I have been able to find.

Any idea of Canadian Sources (this person does not ship to Canada)?


If you want to try your hand at polishing those scratchy nibs into smoothness, you need to use a very fine grit polishing paper. I have had great success (after some practice) in using the following fiber optic polishing sheets from 3M.
.10um 3M polishing film.
.05um 3M polishing film - This is the finest grit available on the market, used to do what is called a "Super Ultra Polish" for high end reference fiber optic cables used in labratories.


Price adjusted
$1.50/each for a 4.5" sheet for .1um
$2/each for a 4.5" sheet for .05um

3, 6 & 15um also available for regrinding nibs into differnet types, $1.50/sheet.

All prices plus .75 (for up to 10 sheets) for mailing in CONUS only. Paypal address: PenHobbs@adelphia.net


Gerry






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