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OldGriz's brown paper bag trick


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61 replies to this topic

#41 kuragari389

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Posted 11 June 2009 - 21:33

I saw this thread and I had to give the paper-bag trick a try. I had a Waterman Ideal that wrote fine when I got it, but within a couple weeks turned out to be a little scratchy (I think it rolled off the counter at work when I wasn't looking). Either way, tried it, and its back to the same smoothness as when I got it. Yay!

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#42 ThirdeYe

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Posted 08 November 2010 - 17:40

Tried it on my Moore, but it didn't help at all. I think one of the tines may be slightly misaligned.

Edit: oops, didn't realize this thread was so old. Sorry for the old resurrection!

Edited by ThirdeYe, 08 November 2010 - 17:41.

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#43 Aunt Jill

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Posted 08 November 2010 - 18:21

Tried it on my Moore, but it didn't help at all. I think one of the tines may be slightly misaligned.

Edit: oops, didn't realize this thread was so old. Sorry for the old resurrection!


Don't be sorry. Old threads should be renewed, to share the collected knowledge instead of repeating it, with variations, forever.

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#44 Lsarios

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Posted 08 November 2010 - 18:22

Tried it on my Moore, but it didn't help at all. I think one of the tines may be slightly misaligned.

Edit: oops, didn't realize this thread was so old. Sorry for the old resurrection!


Thanks for resurrecting this post! It was interesting reading! I have heard of the bag trick before but not the penny. Either way I think step one in both is to make sure the tines are aligned.
"What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving."
"When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them, and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for...that my dear friend, is about the end of any nation."
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#45 Basset

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Posted 09 November 2010 - 00:01

Fine grit paper is so inexpensive, folks. Richard Binder has an $8 kit that includes paper up to .3 micron (18k grit). That's less than most bottles of ink, and will probably last you years, or many dozens of nib smoothing jobs.

Also, those into straight razors who want to get something multi-use can get 18k grit sheets of lapping film from Japan Woodworker. Here's a sheet of 18k grit for .... $3.50, and it's 8.5 x 11. Works magnificently on nibs.

#46 Citizen

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Posted 11 November 2010 - 19:32

Penny trick works like a charm :D

#47 januaryman

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Posted 19 August 2011 - 12:21

If you're in a tight spot (don't have a bag on hand), the back of a legal pad will work well using this method.

WOW! Just tried this for less than 5 minutes at work using a scratchy Esterbrook 2668 and the thing writes 100% better, very smooth, no skipping! Thank you for this tip, especially since the back of notepads are very easily used and can be found almost everywhere.
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#48 Ridpath

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Posted 13 October 2011 - 01:46

*brings this thread up from the dead again*

Just tried the paper bag trick on my Waterman Expert II, but couldn't get any improvement. It still skipped and poorly started on the downstroke.

Finally, I gave up and stole my mom's corundum stone, that one she uses for sharpening knives. After roughly 10 strokes on the fine part of the stone, it now works a lot better. Still skips a little, but I don't dare risk too much of the nib gone.

Hope this helped. :thumbup:

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-Paul

#49 welch

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Posted 13 October 2011 - 01:59

Keep in mind that there might be several different problems with a nib, only ine of which the "paper bag trick" will improve. Very common: tines out of alignment, or tines too wide, or spread at the tip. The tip spread will come from some previous owner having encouraged the pen to write by pressing down Very Hard. Out of alignment? I tend to rotate a pen clockwise as I write...a bad habit from 20 years of using ballpoints.
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#50 Dead_Smile

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Posted 16 February 2012 - 11:31

I have a Pelikan m800 which writes pretty fine but It could be perfect if it would be a little smoother. Since I've heard brown paper bag method, I'm thinking to use it however I'm afraid to make it worse. Should I keep the pen in this condition or should I try the method. Could it get worse?

#51 subbes

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Posted 16 February 2012 - 14:51

The first thing you should do is grab a loupe and examine the nib to make sure the tines are aligned. If the tines are mis-aligned, trying the brown paper bag trick will not help.

If you don't have a loupe, your local jeweler may let you borrow theirs if you ask nicely.

"Perdita thought, to take an example at random, that things like table manners were a stupid and repressive idea. Agnes, on the other hand, was against being hit by flying bits of other people's cabbage." (Pratchett, T. Carpe Jugulum.)

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#52 Dead_Smile

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Posted 16 February 2012 - 15:22

The first thing you should do is grab a loupe and examine the nib to make sure the tines are aligned. If the tines are mis-aligned, trying the brown paper bag trick will not help.

If you don't have a loupe, your local jeweler may let you borrow theirs if you ask nicely.


I have a loupe and I checked it. It is okay. As I said, the pen write fine but I just wanted it to be perfect.

I couldn't wait for answer, decided to go for it :) Drew eights, down and up strokes for 3-4 minutes. It writes a little better, actually sometimes it writes perfect. Sometimes performs a little worse. Can't figure it out. I don't change the angle or rotate the pen. I think I am going to use it and If it really bothers me, I am going to send it to John Mottishaw or Richard Binder.

#53 Dead_Smile

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Posted 16 February 2012 - 16:25

I have done it couple of minutes more. Now it writes really smooth just one thing bothers me that when I draw fast lines from left to right. It skip just a little. Is it normal for fine nib? Other than that it writes pretty smooth.

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#54 JeremyB796

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Posted 14 July 2013 - 03:29

Even though this thread is old, I will just add my comment to it...sorry, it just seemed to help so many...

----------

 

I just did this to my Lamy Safari F which had a VERY bad feeling up stroke. I was assuming this was caused by me being a lefty...

 

I did the Shopping bag trick and that helped quite a bit, but it actually felt worse at one point...Maybe did it too long (I am a n00b btw)

But after focusing on the directions that felt scratchy, it smoothed out quite nicely.

 

I happened to have a 1980's penny and did that too just to try, noticed *almost* NO difference, if any it was good...

 

I have done it couple of minutes more. Now it writes really smooth just one thing bothers me that when I draw fast lines from left to right. It skip just a little. Is it normal for fine nib? Other than that it writes pretty smooth.

I only had that issue pushing against the nib (forwards?) and I actually fixed that by going that direction on the shopping bag a few more times :P (though I don't know much about this stuff so it's not my fault if you pen bursts into a Rainbow Squid and inks everywhere.)

 

I am very happy with my pen now and Thank you posting this!



#55 WirsPlm

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Posted 11 August 2013 - 17:05

I tried the paper bag trick on the cardboard back of a notepad with a Pilot Varsity. My observations: 1) It definitely can work - the nib writes very differently now. 2) Different is not necessarily better. In some ways the pen writes more easily now, but it also has a more pronounced problem with one direction. I'm going to wait and get some proper tools for this before trying again. I'm happy to experiment with this for cheap disposable or Chinese nibs, but I definitely wouldn't recommend it for a pen/nib that's more expensive. The proper tools aren't that expensive.

#56 OldGriz

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Posted 11 August 2013 - 17:36

I tried the paper bag trick on the cardboard back of a notepad with a Pilot Varsity. My observations: 1) It definitely can work - the nib writes very differently now. 2) Different is not necessarily better. In some ways the pen writes more easily now, but it also has a more pronounced problem with one direction. I'm going to wait and get some proper tools for this before trying again. I'm happy to experiment with this for cheap disposable or Chinese nibs, but I definitely wouldn't recommend it for a pen/nib that's more expensive. The proper tools aren't that expensive.

 

Let me clear something out AGAIN..... 

This thread started 7 YEARS AGO....  since that time I have denounced the use of the brown paper bag system for tuning nibs.

Also the brown paper bag technique WAS NOT USED with a cardboard notebook back.... it was used with a grocery store brown paper bag.... .there is a big difference in the material.

 

PLEASE REFRAIN from using this system.... I have mentioned more than once that I have found it can cause a proplem.....
I was fortunate to have been instructed by one of the best nib men in the business as to why this is so and how to really fix the problems supposedly solved by the paper bag....

 


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#57 Wile E Coyote

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 21:24

 

PLEASE REFRAIN from using this system.... I have mentioned more than once that I have found it can cause a proplem.....
I was fortunate to have been instructed by one of the best nib men in the business as to why this is so and how to really fix the problems supposedly solved by the paper bag....

 

 

What problem can be caused using that system?

 

How does one really fix the problems supposedly solved by the paper bag?


Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
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#58 FountainPenGuru

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Posted 20 January 2019 - 23:03

Will it work if the nib is used on a Whole Foods paper bag?



#59 cattar

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Posted 20 January 2019 - 23:13

You're better off getting micromesh somewhere like gouletpens.com

 

Don't use figure eights and circles, that can create problems that need more tipping removed to fix.

Read the richard binder workshop pdf.

Richard is a pro, sharing his pro knowledge.

 

I've used a paper bag because I do one or two stokes with the nib and stop. Most people go too far and that ends in regret. You have to stop.

 

Nib tipping has variance. The problem is more likely pressing the nib and rolling the pen or hand while writing.



#60 Dr.X

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Posted 11 March 2019 - 12:47

I just came across some Youtube videos on "polishing nibs" - what the author meant was smoothing nibs, and he actually has 2 videos in a series that explain adjusting the ink flow and aligning the tines that should be done first.

 

If you can tolerate the length of the videos they are worth watching and will address the skipping and scratching problems. If you don't do this and just go for the paper bag or penny you will likely just be wasting your time. (Hurray for the placebo effect, though).

 

It's "The Pen Store" (no affiliation) and the title is "Adjusting your fountain pens". 








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