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  1. A friend gave me a vintage music nib to see if I could make it fit the Ahab/Konrad. The conversion attempt was successful; I really only had to cut a bit off the nib base (to allow the cap to fit over the nib) since the rest of the nib fit the feed just fine. I wrote with it, had fun, but decided I probably would not use it. I sent it back, with thanks. After it was in the mail, I felt sender's remorse *smiles*. So, I set out to see if I could duplicate the music nib experience by converting a standard, stiff italic nib into a flexible italic nib. I converted a stiff, Goulet 1.1mm stub italic nib to a flexible italic nib using the same procedure outlined in my thread "Converting A Regular Nib Into A Flex Nib For Noodler's Ahab/Konrad". Briefly, I extended the slit of the nib using a Dremel cutoff wheel, and then ground the sides of the nib following Pterodactylus' Ease My Flex mod. https://www.fountainpennetwork.com/forum/index.php/topic/260041-converting-a-regular-nib-into-a-flex-nib-for-noodlers-ahabkonrad/ https://www.fountainpennetwork.com/forum/index.php/topic/240492-noodlers-ahab-ease-my-flex-mod/ http://www.gouletpens.com/Goulet_1_1mm_Stub_Italic_6_Steel_Nib_p/gpc-nib6-ps-11.htm The nib became very flexible, and will lay down a nice wide line when flexed. The width difference between the thins and thicks for the unmodified, stiff italic nib is about 2.4x, while the width difference for the flexible italic nib is about 7x. The pen gobbles ink. As you can see from my writing sample (comparing pointed flex, regular italic, and flex italic), flex italic writing lays down Lots more ink than the other styles. In addition, the modified nib writes very wet - the inked line displays a convex cross-section before drying, even when un-flexed. The wet line shows little shading; 50% dilution of the ink improved the shading, as seen on the second writing sample page. Noodler's Cactus Gruen Eel lays a wet line in my other pens and nibs, so I am not sure if the wetness of this nib is due to the conversion process, or the ink. I suspect the nib has something to do with it, as this nib's lines are Very wet. More testing will be done :-) Since this pen gobbles ink, unless I wrote Real Slow, I would draw down the ink in the ink channel so fast that the tip would go dry, usually railroading first. This high rate of ink consumption meant that I had to modify the ebonite feed to boost the ink supply. First, I connected all the fin's "canyons" to the ink channel. I cut away the factory “dam” between the fins on the right side of the feed, using a razor saw. Noodler's pens come with half the canyons not connected, to allow the user to modify the feed for their ink, paper, and style of writing. I found that even connecting all the right-side canyons to the ink channel was insufficient - the pen would write, but would exhaust the ink supply very quickly. I could see ink in the fins, but it was not refilling the ink channel on the top of the feed. One nice thing about the slot conversion: you can see what the ink in the ink channel is doing :-) Further investigation with a loupe found the cause: the canyons, as milled by the pen factory, don't actually reach the bottom of the ink channel. The canyons are cut shallow, leaving "hanging valleys" for those of you who studied geology. As a result, once the ink level in the ink channel drops below the base of the canyon, capillary action can no longer pull ink from the canyon across into the ink channel. Thus, the nib runs dry, and won't be resupplied by the canyons. (See diagram - black=ebonite, green=ink, red=#11 blade cut) To fix this problem, I made a cut in eight canyons on the right side with an Exacto #11 blade (red section on drawing). This allowed the canyon ink to reach the bottom of the ink channel; it was no longer disconnected from the ink in the channel, even if the ink level fell to the bottom of the channel. The cut is just a knife blade slit, I did not remove (with a razor saw) all the ebonite that made the hanging valley problem in the first place. This is because I don't know if the hanging valleys provide some other positive factor in the feed design. With this modification of 8 of the hanging valleys, I can now write 70-90 italic letters (or 40-50 letters of cursive) before exhausting the ink channel and its fin&canyon ink supply. Then, I can either wait for the channel to refill naturally, or make a small push of the piston plunger to recharge the feed and channel immediately. I did not cut all the canyons with the #11 blade. I was concerned that if I cut them all, the feed would become too wet for the other nibs I have. If I really get into flex italic writing, I might dedicate this pen to that style, and cut the "hanging valleys" of the rest of the canyons. Hopefully this would allow even longer writing stints before exhausting the feed. Conclusion- Positives: The nib works, it flexes easily, and is fun to use. Storing pen vertically with nib-down, and cap off, did not lead to ink dropping from nib after 11 minutes. So, pen is safe to hold vertically while pondering your next sentence. But I'd still store the pen nib-up when you are done. Negatives: The feed can't keep up with long stints of writing, and must be manually recharged with the plunger if you don't want to wait for natural recharge. Further modification of the feed is possible, but might result in a feed that only works with this nib. The nib writes very wet, which will prove a problem if you have cheap paper. Dilution of the ink will increase shading. But, dilution of the ink’s surfactant may reduce the max line width the ink can handle (ie. reduce max flex), and may reduce the speed of natural recharge of the feed. Refinements for the next conversion: I will reduce the flex a little by not taking as much off the sides (less EMF mod). This nib is almost a wet noodle, and a little more stiffness would be welcome. ============== Photos/diagram 1.Comparison of pointed flex nib, regular italic nib, and flexible italic nib. Note; the flex italic was written with un-diluted ink. 2. Flex italic with 50% dilution ink to increase shading. 3. Cross section of the black ebonite feed, showing the failure of green ink in the fin/canyons to flow into the ink channel when the channel ink level drops below the bottom of the canyon. Red section is placement of the #11 blade cut. 4. The converted nib. It fit loose in my Ahab, so I added a piece of masking tape to the top of the nib as a shim.
  2. Alzyx

    Noodler Feed Fit

    I just received the two noodlers I ordered: a Achab and a Konrad - wonderful service by Goulet... Both perform very well with noodler ink (I tried golden brown in the ahab, and 54th massachusetts in the konrad), but after a day I noticed that the konrad is loosing a bit of ink, covering 5-6mm below the nib. Both were setup with the ebonite feed at ~ 7 fins of the feed visible. Do you know if it is normal, or should I close the feed more? And by the way, I cannot understand how a feed which is not completely pressed inside can prevent all the ink from gushing out... Still a mistery to me! Alessandro
  3. I fit a Nikko G, a common Copperplate dip pen nib, into my Creeper. The advantage of the G is that it allows one to draw finer hairlines than the Noodler nib. Also the G can be used as a replacement nib if you damage the Noodler nib. You should have no trouble modifying the Nikko G nib if you are used to grinding Noodler nibs with a Dremel, for instance, see Pterodacylus' thread: https://www.fountainpennetwork.com/forum/index.php/topic/240492-noodlers-ahab-ease-my-flex-mod/ ----------------- The procedure I used for modifying the Nikko G was to: 1) Narrow the body of the nib. 2) Reduce length of Nikko G to match the length of the Noodler's nib supplied with the Creeper. 3) Clean. Details (G=Nikko G nib, N=Noodler nib): 1) The G has a smaller diameter arc than the N. When placed on top of the feed, the extra arc perches the nib above the feed. This prevents insertion of both G and feed into the Creeper pen. By narrowing the body of the G, the height of the discrepancy is reduced enough to allow insertion. Having no experience with heat-setting a nib to an ebonite feed, I don't know if heat-setting would accomplish the same thing. Grind both sides of the G body; conveniently, the cuts in the side of the body, up near the breather hole, provide a guide for how much metal to remove. Remove metal from the cut all the way to the base. See photo. Hold the nib in your hand while grinding. Dip nib frequently in water to keep it cool (not only saves your fingers, but also preserves the temper of the metal). The grindstone does not care if the metal is wet. I put down a pad of newspaper on my workbench to catch grinding particles. If dampened, it will hold them and keep them from dispersing. I used the large cylindrical grind stone pictured. Due to the diameter of the stone, I ended up grinding off most of the small tab of metal on the tip-side of the cut; this does no harm, though it leaves a sharp barb, that will need to be deburred (to protect your fingers when you insert/remove the nib, and to keep cleaning tissues from snagging and leaving bits behind). I deburred all cuts using wetordry sandpaper. There will be slivers of metal left on the sides of the nib after grinding. Be careful when sanding. There will also be slivers on the damp newspaper. Metal workers know how important it is to deburr - In this case, not only to save your fingers, but also to keep the nib from scratching and gouging the feed and pen. 2) Hold the G up to the N, match tips, and mark the base end of the G to match the length of the N. The G is much longer than the N, and if it is not reduced in length, it will be impossible to screw the cap onto the pen. Also, if the length is not reduced, it will be hard to achieve the feed/tip distance necessary for good ink flow. I used a Dremel cutoff wheel to cut to length. The nib gets very hot very quickly when using the cutoff wheel, so take light cuts and dunk the nib in water frequently. Don't worry, if you forget, your fingers will remind you :-) I deburred with the conical grinding wheel and sandpaper, but you could deburr with just sandpaper. Round the corners a bit to keep them from digging into the feed or pen body. 3) Clean the nib with soapy water + ammonia to remove finger oils and any oil/grease from the grinding wheels and sandpaper. 4) Test fit: i) If the nib + feed won't enter the pen w/o excessive force, then you need to remove a bit more metal along the sides. ii) Check exposure of the nib: on my pen, if I measure more than 2.0 mm of nib metal exposed (from pen to tip), the screw-on cap will bottom on the tip. You can grind off more from the base if the nib sticks out too far. Or, you could wrap a couple threads on the pen with tape to stop the cap a couple turns early. Don't forget to debur between each test fitting. Benefits: 1. As you can see on the test sheet, the hairlines from the G are much narrower than the hairlines from the N. I can get narrow hairlines with the N if I float the pen over the paper, certainly. But the G makes achieving hairlines easier. Wide lines are also very easy to achieve. 2. Replacement nib for the Creeper, if ever necessary. 3. Feed not altered, so reinstallation of the Noodler nib easy. 4. Last, but not least, you will make our benefactor, Nathan Tardif, happy. He designed the pen to take other brands of nibs, and takes a deserved pride in his accomplishment. Negatives: 1) The Nikko G is plain steel, while the Noodler nib is stainless steel (tested with a magnet). I don't know how long the G will withstand rust. 2) Dip pen nibs are scratchy, compared to fountain pen nibs. The G may require a higher grade of paper than the N to avoid catching the point. I tested some Georgia-Pacific paper from Wal-Mart ("Standard Bright, Multipurpose, 20 pound", next grade up from their "Basic") and had no trouble with the G. <Incidentally, Bay State Blue, diluted 50% with distilled water, showed much less feathering on this paper than when I wrote on it with full strength ink.> The demo paper in the photo, using Waterman ink, is a copy paper of unknown origin (my wife picks up recycling from various locations around Bozeman). On a vendor's site, the Noodler pen write-up was somewhat dismissive of the pen due to thick hairlines. With the G on your pen, you can scoff at that criticism :-)
  4. The Ghoul Caligrapher

    Black Inks (Anti Fade Jet Black)

    So have you guys have any recommendations about a really dark black ink that that doesn't fade out. I do regular caligraphy and I tried out diffrent bottled inks plopped them in my converters and tried them out. I tried a Cross black ink but the colour is terrible and goes gray. I heard about Noodlers black inks and how good they are but have yet to try it myself. So..WHAT DO YOU GUYS RECOMMEND?
  5. I loaded up one of my pens (Homo Sapien F) with Noodler's Sequoia Green recently and noticed on Rhodia paper, it takes about 30 minutes to dry (yes, minutes). Dabbing it with blotting paper helps a bit, but still takes an crazy amount of time to dry. On photo-copy paper it dries within seconds. Is this normal??? My other pens I have inked today have include a TWSBI 580 with Lamy Blue and a GVFC Classic with De Atramentis Puccini. Both these inks dry relatively quickly. I'm wondering if I have a bad batch or do some inks simply take forever to dry.
  6. milanjuza

    Noodler's Dragon's Napalm

    This is the first ever Noodler’s ink I tried. I got a sample as a part of Goulet Pen’s Ink Drop. It is hardly the most mainstream colour, but it turns out it is not as unusual as it seemed to me when I was making the hand-written notes below. When I was writing the notes, I used an artificial lighting and as I later found out the ink appears quite different on daylight. Under a typical incandescent or even fluorescent light, Dragon’s Napalm it appears almost pinkish. However, in daylight its colour is much closer to, in my opinion somewhat more universally usable, peach or light orange. Dragon’s Napalm behaved well in my tests. There was almost no feathering at all and only a very small amount of bleed-through. The ink even shows some shading as can be seen from the high res pics. It’s rather unlikely I would use this ink on a daily basis as I find the colour to be a rather too bright and, as mentioned above, ‘too pink’ under artificial lighting. But in terms of key characteristics, reliability and ease of use there is very little to complain about. Plus, I really love the name! Paper: Rhodia A4 notebook (90 gsm), tested also on 80 gsm Rhodia, Paperchase and MoleskinePen: Montblanc Boheme M nibWater test: drops left on the paper for 1 minuteHigh res images are available on Flickr or on my blog.





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