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Glass Dip Pen Nibs


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4 replies to this topic

#1 dcwaites

dcwaites

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Posted 14 October 2008 - 05:35

I missed getting one of the glass nibbed dip pens from iSellPens earlier this year, and have been looking out for some inexpensive ones since. I finally found some glass dip pen nibs from eBay vendor cz-design from Prague, Czech Republic. I bought a pair each of his green, white and yellow ones. According to cz-design they were made in Czechoslovakia between years 1900-20.




They are the nibs only, so I had to hollow out the end of a dip pen holder to mount them. The hollow ended up too large, so I wrapped the mounting end with Teflon plumbers tape. You can see that on the yellow nib in the picture, and it worked well. One of the green nibs is shown mounted in the pen holder.


The nibs are made from 8 glass strands that were heated, softened and twisted together to a writing point.
Ink is held in the gaps between the glass strands and flows down by capillary action to the tip.

Like my metal dip pen nibs, the glass ones work better with Parker Quink Permanent Blue and Sailor Jentle Blue.

Unlike the metal dip pens, the colour of the ink laid down by the glass pens matches very closely what it will look like from a fountain pen. This feature alone makes it useful for testing inks.

The nibs hold enough ink to write for several lines before needing to be re-dipped.

Pleasantly the nib tips are reasonably smooth and not at all scratchy.


This is a writing sample of two of the nibs on Stora Enso 4CC paper, using Sailor Jentle Blue and Parker Quink Permanent Blue.


This is a blown up sample of the middle bit to show the absence of any feathering.


fpn_1412827311__pg_d_104def64.gif

 

 

“Them as can do has to do for them as can’t.

And someone has to speak up for them as has no voices.”

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#2 arz

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Posted 14 October 2008 - 21:46

Thanks for the review! Glass nibs have been fascinating me for a while, so this information is helpful.

I'm glad to hear that the tip feels smooth. I would imagine that you barely touch the paper with the tip, correct?
This is the one thing I worry about. I love fine nibs and feeling the feedback from writing with my pens, so I am afraid I would bear down a bit while writing and break the tip.

#3 dcwaites

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Posted 14 October 2008 - 22:40

QUOTE (arz @ Oct 15 2008, 08:46 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Thanks for the review! Glass nibs have been fascinating me for a while, so this information is helpful.

I'm glad to hear that the tip feels smooth. I would imagine that you barely touch the paper with the tip, correct?
This is the one thing I worry about. I love fine nibs and feeling the feedback from writing with my pens, so I am afraid I would bear down a bit while writing and break the tip.

One point I missed in the review is that these nibs are solid and stiff. There is no flex at all. These are the archetypal writing nails. There is no feedback. The degree of smoothness you get will depend on the lubricating properties of the ink.

You really only have to press lightly on the paper and it will write. Pressing harder will not give you more ink or a wider line, as you can with a metal nib. You can see in the writing samples that there is no variation in line width.

I found the nibs quite robust, and I would imagine that the only way you could damage one would be by striking the tip on a hard object. I would also imagine that they have been annealed so they are as tough as possible whilst minimising brittleness.


fpn_1412827311__pg_d_104def64.gif

 

 

“Them as can do has to do for them as can’t.

And someone has to speak up for them as has no voices.”

Granny Aching


#4 RayMan

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Posted 15 October 2008 - 02:06

For quite some time, I've been toying with the idea of buying some glass dip nibs. I've always talked my self out of it, thinking that they would be scratchy.

Thanks for your informative review. The writing samples are very helpful. Are these nibs wet writers?
Regards,

Ray

#5 dcwaites

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Posted 15 October 2008 - 04:25

QUOTE (RayMan @ Oct 15 2008, 01:06 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
For quite some time, I've been toying with the idea of buying some glass dip nibs. I've always talked my self out of it, thinking that they would be scratchy.

Thanks for your informative review. The writing samples are very helpful. Are these nibs wet writers?

The ones I have are reasonably smooth writers. I remember reading somewhere about someone smoothing a glass nib. I imagine you would be wanting to use a very fine (12000 grit) abrasive, or jewelers rouge. It's harder to smooth and polish glass than metal.

I am also assuming that the final process in making the nibs, after the glass strands have been softened, twisted, pulled to a point and separated, would be to melt the tip to a smooth, round point.

The nibs I have are medium wet writers for fine nibs. My yellow ones are a little wetter, because the point is a little larger, than the green ones. However, the wetness doesn't seem to change much with the ink. There is really only a small difference between the lines written with Parker Quink Permanent Blue (a very 'dry' ink) compared to the lines written with Private Reserve Tanzanite (the 'ex-lax' of inks).


fpn_1412827311__pg_d_104def64.gif

 

 

“Them as can do has to do for them as can’t.

And someone has to speak up for them as has no voices.”

Granny Aching







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