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Noodler's Ahab Flex + Adjustment Tips


tanalasta

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My personal experience with the Ahab is that once you get it adjusted to your liking, . . . . it's a SWEET pen!!! Feels great in the hand, is a very smooth writer and provides great line variation. For me, there were two real components to getting this thing set up right. First, really, really, really do a good job of cleaning out the feed. I used a water, Dawn and amonia mix coupled with an old toothbrush and a bulb syringe. So, not only did I thoroughly soak and then brush down the feed, but I forced my cleaning mix through it multiple times. I spent an inordinate amount of time doing this (maybe 15 minutes of soaking followed by 10 or so minutes of brushing and forcing the cleaning mix through the feed). Overkill? Maybe, but it plays a part in, . . . . . Second, follow the model of loosely setting the feed in, then placing the nib. Keeping not more than about 2mm between the tip of the nib and the tip of the feed seemed to work best for me. BUT, the key (to me) was the thorough feed cleaning beforehand, because it gave me the confidence to continue playing with feed settings without second guessing myself that any skipping or railroading might be due to the possibility of remaining machining oil in the feed (i.e. I had the confidence to stick to trying diffent nib / feed settings rather than pulling everything out and going back to reclean). In any case, I hope that those of you still experiencing problems and set up issues find a way to get it all sorted out and get to experience how great this pen can really be. Trust me, . . . it's well worth it!!

 

My absolute thanks to Noodler's and Nathan for not listening to the nay sayers and having the courage, vision and dedication to create and bring this amazing pen to market. Thank You, Nathan, . . . . OUTSTANDING job!!!

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Sorry if you dislike my stating that the two pens you mentioned do not do what I want them to-have good self fillers and flex nibs but I for one would never discourage more choices being made available to us.Your specific quote does just that....I vote for more choices,I will never buy a precious resin 800 buck oversized feels rotten in my hands pen but I will also never insist that they should leave pen design to other folks just because I don't care fore the illustrous white star pens.Please pen manufacturers....continue giving us a wonderful large selection of pens to play with.Thats ALL manufactures from the Cheapest Chinese to the bloody insane million dollar one offs....Oh,and I won't be calling for hangings and joining riots if you have some QC trouble,we have wonderful retailers like the Goulet's and others who will go out of their way if one isn't happy with a purchase to make you happy plus a thriving classified section to sell any unwanted pens.

Oh well c'est la vie.

 

+1

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Just arrived today. Feels substantial - much more so than the thinner Noodlers. Writes perfectly out of the box. Great value! Absolutely no complaints!

 

http://gallery.me.com/youstruckgold/100358/photo/web.jpg?ver=13232630120001

 

The rung of a ladder was never meant to rest upon, but only to hold a man's foot long enough to enable him to put the other somewhat higher - Thomas Huxley

http://img525.imageshack.us/img525/606/letterji9.png

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Just arrived today. Feels substantial - much more so than the thinner Noodlers. Writes perfectly out of the box. Great value! Absolutely no complaints!

 

http://gallery.me.com/youstruckgold/100358/photo/web.jpg?ver=13232630120001

 

 

Oh well done! And I see you picked the colour perhaps I should have gone for. That's a lovely looking pen and I can see some of the flex in your writing...

 

Incidentally, letter out in the mail for you written with the same pen!

 

Glad to hear that yours is working straight out of the box. I suggest you don't pull it apart ... as my experience shows that even a minor adjustment sometimes has it writing like a different pen!

In Rotation: MB 146 (EF), Noodler's Ahab bumblebee, Edison Pearl (F), Sailor ProGear (N-MF)

In storage: MB 149 (18k EF), TWSBI 540 (B), ST Dupont Olympio XL (EF), MB Dumas (B stub), Waterman Preface (ST), Edison Pearl (0.5mm CI), Noodler's Ahab clear, Pilot VP (M), Danitrio Densho (F), Aurora Optima (F), Lamy 2000 (F), Visconti Homo Sapiens (stub)

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Just arrived today. Feels substantial - much more so than the thinner Noodlers. Writes perfectly out of the box. Great value! Absolutely no complaints!

 

http://gallery.me.com/youstruckgold/100358/photo/web.jpg?ver=13232630120001

 

 

Oh well done! And I see you picked the colour perhaps I should have gone for. That's a lovely looking pen and I can see some of the flex in your writing...

 

Incidentally, letter out in the mail for you written with the same pen!

 

Glad to hear that yours is working straight out of the box. I suggest you don't pull it apart ... as my experience shows that even a minor adjustment sometimes has it writing like a different pen!

 

If you have to take it apart for any reason, pay close attention to how it's set ... fins showing and where the nib is in relation to the feed.

Edited by USMCMom
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I'm happy to just use it happyberet.gif

The rung of a ladder was never meant to rest upon, but only to hold a man's foot long enough to enable him to put the other somewhat higher - Thomas Huxley

http://img525.imageshack.us/img525/606/letterji9.png

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Your point comparing to a Parker is valid, and if Nathan charged more for individual inspection, I don't think we would be seeing this...but that's the downside of all the features in this pen at such a low price. This pen is certainly weeding out those that enjoy/don't mind doing some tinkering taking into account that this is a $20 pen from those that just want a Parker QC reliability--for $20.

 

I think this is a case where Nathan honestly thought he had a reliable QC being done as a part of the extremely low price. Even with the legitimate problems we have heard about in cases like yours, I think (not certain) there is still only a 1-2% fail rate. Obviously, I also personally hope that Nathan keeps making and developing new pens with all the features in the Ahab because no one else is doing it like this for such low prices. To review...there's an Ebonite feed, vegetal resin body, plunger filler, adaptable to eyedropper, flexing nib, user self-service....in a Pelikan M800 size pen---for $20.

I don't disagree at all, but I do think that the above seems a bit at odds with what the apparent target market is for this pen -- people who otherwise wouldn't try or would be "afraid" of trying a flex pen. And those people are exactly who I'd guess would never expect to have to dismantle their pen, clean out pieces of ebonite, or cut fins.

--

Glenn (love those pen posses)

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Your point comparing to a Parker is valid, and if Nathan charged more for individual inspection, I don't think we would be seeing this...but that's the downside of all the features in this pen at such a low price. This pen is certainly weeding out those that enjoy/don't mind doing some tinkering taking into account that this is a $20 pen from those that just want a Parker QC reliability--for $20.

 

I think this is a case where Nathan honestly thought he had a reliable QC being done as a part of the extremely low price. Even with the legitimate problems we have heard about in cases like yours, I think (not certain) there is still only a 1-2% fail rate. Obviously, I also personally hope that Nathan keeps making and developing new pens with all the features in the Ahab because no one else is doing it like this for such low prices. To review...there's an Ebonite feed, vegetal resin body, plunger filler, adaptable to eyedropper, flexing nib, user self-service....in a Pelikan M800 size pen---for $20.

 

I don't disagree at all, but I do think that the above seems a bit at odds with what the apparent target market is for this pen -- people who otherwise wouldn't try or would be "afraid" of trying a flex pen. And those people are exactly who I'd guess would never expect to have to dismantle their pen, clean out pieces of ebonite, or cut fins.

 

I agree with you for those new users who got one with a problem, but I still believe the ACTUAL fail rate (retailers would know better) is 1-2% for this new Ahab release of several thousand pens. There tends to be an overreaction when some number of people post here about problems they are having, and in some cases because they didn't read the instructions (i.e. removed the nib/feed and didn't place it back in the cut-out slot). I know all 8 of mine worked perfect out of the box--not even needing a flush. I did later do flushing and cleaning once I mixed up a batch of dish soap and ammonia to see what was involved. It was quick and easy, taking less than 5 mins to do all of them. None-the-less, given the beginning of my second paragraph quoted above, I suspect Nathan will be taking some corrective steps with his team in India.

With the new FPN rules, now I REALLY don't know what to put in my signature.

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I agree with you for those new users who got one with a problem, but I still believe the ACTUAL fail rate (retailers would know better) is 1-2% for this new Ahab release of several thousand pens. There tends to be an overreaction when some number of people post here about problems they are having, and in some cases because they didn't read the instructions (i.e. removed the nib/feed and didn't place it back in the cut-out slot). I know all 8 of mine worked perfect out of the box--not even needing a flush. I did later do flushing and cleaning once I mixed up a batch of dish soap and ammonia to see what was involved. It was quick and easy, taking less than 5 mins to do all of them. None-the-less, given the beginning of my second paragraph quoted above, I suspect Nathan will be taking some corrective steps with his team in India.

While I've never met Nathan (but I sure want to!), I'm confident that any QC issues will be taken care of. He seems to care a lot! I am not worried.

 

As to "fail rate", that's a tough one actually. I'd guess that the fail rate is likely very very very low (probably well below that 1% you wrote above). But there are other types of problems that some of us are having.

 

For me, I've inked two Ahabs. Before doing so I flushed with cool filtered water (only). Of the two pens, one leaked water out of the top of the filler where the piston goes in as I pumped the piston to flush it. Is that a "fail"? I don't know, but if that happened with ink while in a pocket I'd say yes. While flushing it before inking, it might just be some ebonite pieces clogging the feed. So just to be safe I changed the o-ring to the newer style in both pens after that and had no leakage since (either the o-ring change or flushing fixed it).

 

Did they then work? Yep. Nice writing pens. But they don't write the same. One writes very smooth while the other is more like a nail. One is maybe XF and the other maybe F or a bit wider. As for flex... two very different results from each pen. Also, both railroad when flexed. Again, is that a "fail"? Not to me. But it's a problem. Correctable? Sure (I just haven't taken the time yet to un-ink them, pull out the nibs and cut the fins yet).

 

So there certainly appears to be (from my experience and posts here) significant inconsistencies in how different Ahabs write; and some flow issues especially when flexing (all of which is tweakable by the user). I think that part of what we're seeing here is commentary on those tweakable inconsistencies that some translate as failures or on which they over react (this is an online forum, so over reacting isn't uncommon).

 

I wouldn't expect any such issues on an Aurora or Visconti or Montblanc (even if that does happen, I sure wouldn't expect it), but I do expect some minor tweaking / inconsistencies on a $20 pen.

Edited by tenney

--

Glenn (love those pen posses)

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I agree with you for those new users who got one with a problem, but I still believe the ACTUAL fail rate (retailers would know better) is 1-2% for this new Ahab release of several thousand pens. There tends to be an overreaction when some number of people post here about problems they are having, and in some cases because they didn't read the instructions (i.e. removed the nib/feed and didn't place it back in the cut-out slot). I know all 8 of mine worked perfect out of the box--not even needing a flush. I did later do flushing and cleaning once I mixed up a batch of dish soap and ammonia to see what was involved. It was quick and easy, taking less than 5 mins to do all of them. None-the-less, given the beginning of my second paragraph quoted above, I suspect Nathan will be taking some corrective steps with his team in India.

While I've never met Nathan (but I sure want to!), I'm confident that any QC issues will be taken care of. He seems to care a lot! I am not worried.

 

As to "fail rate", that's a tough one actually. I'd guess that the fail rate is likely very very very low (probably well below that 1% you wrote above). But there are other types of problems that some of us are having.

 

For me, I've inked two Ahabs. Before doing so I flushed with cool filtered water (only). Of the two pens, one leaked water out of the top of the filler where the piston goes in as I pumped the piston to flush it. Is that a "fail"? I don't know, but if that happened with ink while in a pocket I'd say yes. While flushing it before inking, it might just be some ebonite pieces clogging the feed. So just to be safe I changed the o-ring to the newer style in both pens after that and had no leakage since (either the o-ring change or flushing fixed it).

 

Did they then work? Yep. Nice writing pens. But they don't write the same. One writes very smooth while the other is more like a nail. One is maybe XF and the other maybe F or a bit wider. As for flex... two very different results from each pen. Also, both railroad when flexed. Again, is that a "fail"? Not to me. But it's a problem. Correctable? Sure (I just haven't taken the time yet to un-ink them, pull out the nibs and cut the fins yet).

 

So there certainly appears to be (from my experience and posts here) significant inconsistencies in how different Ahabs write; and some flow issues especially when flexing (all of which is tweakable by the user). I think that part of what we're seeing here is commentary on those tweakable inconsistencies that some translate as failures or on which they over react (this is an online forum, so over reacting isn't uncommon).

 

I wouldn't expect any such issues on an Aurora or Visconti or Montblanc (even if that does happen, I sure wouldn't expect it), but I do expect some minor tweaking / inconsistencies on a $20 pen.

 

I totally agree on everything you said. All is completely valid, and these idiosyncrasies if continuing in future batches may be too much of a hurdle for a non-FP user to want to deal with. I think if I was buying one of these to give to someone, I would do all the cleaning and tweaking first.

 

One question...when you said you had the leaking water out of the top of the plunger filler, did you mean where the whole plunger chamber screws onto the back of the section, or out the back-most hole where the small moving plunger rod slides back and forth--which would indicate a failed original seal? If it is the screw threads, maybe it was not tightened enough and/or needs a dab of silicone?

 

I told Nathan he should have insisted on putting the new seals in the boxes, or sending a large supply to the sellers with instructions for them to include one. That didn't happen. His idea of sending with the original was wanting people to see that years from now if they needed a new O-ring, they could get one at a hardware store and self-repair. I was not happy with how the original ring initially sticks...thinking of when I had ink I may want to eject before used up.

With the new FPN rules, now I REALLY don't know what to put in my signature.

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One question...when you said you had the leaking water out of the top of the plunger filler, did you mean where the whole plunger chamber screws onto the back of the section, or out the back-most hole where the small moving plunger rod slides back and forth--which would indicate a failed original seal? If it is the screw threads, maybe it was not tightened enough and/or needs a dab of silicone?

The back-most hole where the small moving plunger rod slides into the ink chamber. New O-ring and, after inking, no leak.

 

I told Nathan he should have insisted on putting the new seals in the boxes, or sending a large supply to the sellers with instructions for them to include one. That didn't happen. His idea of sending with the original was wanting people to see that years from now if they needed a new O-ring, they could get one at a hardware store and self-repair. I was not happy with how the original ring initially sticks...thinking of when I had ink I may want to eject before used up.

That's why when I ordered the pens from the Goulets I also bought their replacement o-rings.

--

Glenn (love those pen posses)

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I will give mine a test tomorrow at work.

Received it today, super clean it with toothbrush, and it is not skipping at all.

I only did some buffing in the nib, now it is super smooth even flexing.

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Mine started to blot and leak - the o-ring on the nib end of the pen had split. 30 cents at the hardware store, and all is fine again.

The rung of a ladder was never meant to rest upon, but only to hold a man's foot long enough to enable him to put the other somewhat higher - Thomas Huxley

http://img525.imageshack.us/img525/606/letterji9.png

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Mine started to blot and leak - the o-ring on the nib end of the pen had split. 30 cents at the hardware store, and all is fine again.

 

Hmm... that o-ring really is meant to last a little while.

 

Do you have any silicone grease? I suppose it's also important not to overtighten the section. How's your second pen coming along?

In Rotation: MB 146 (EF), Noodler's Ahab bumblebee, Edison Pearl (F), Sailor ProGear (N-MF)

In storage: MB 149 (18k EF), TWSBI 540 (B), ST Dupont Olympio XL (EF), MB Dumas (B stub), Waterman Preface (ST), Edison Pearl (0.5mm CI), Noodler's Ahab clear, Pilot VP (M), Danitrio Densho (F), Aurora Optima (F), Lamy 2000 (F), Visconti Homo Sapiens (stub)

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The first is now fixed. I didn't apply silicone grease but I have some if needed and it happens again. I haven't inked the second ahab yet. But I'm still happy regardless.

The rung of a ladder was never meant to rest upon, but only to hold a man's foot long enough to enable him to put the other somewhat higher - Thomas Huxley

http://img525.imageshack.us/img525/606/letterji9.png

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Much has been said about Noodler's Ahab pen. I bought one of these out of sheer curiousity. I grew up with pen and ink as a child before the ball point eventually became a viable alternative. Nathan's design is very innovative, and as has already been commented on the filling system is unique and one of the most efficient I've ever come across.

 

Probably the ultimate test I've given this pen is lengthening the ink feed channel to the very end with a narrow slit. The ink I filled it with comes from: "Gates Concentrated ink" which was probably made 80 to 90 years ago came in tablet for - one tablet dissolved in one ounce of water. This ink is unique, and over the past week has shown no sign of residue or sediment.

 

My Ahab pen flows this ink on to cheap printer paper as good as a dip pen, and I've left this pen {It's so easy to dismantle and clean, so I'm not bothered about any potential clogging} a couple of days, and putting it to use it writes first time with the same consistency.

 

 

I'm rather puzzled by some who have been having problems as this is one of the first pens I've discovered which is so simple in its design and tolerates modification for ones requirements.

 

Kind regards,

 

Pickwick

They came as a boon, and a blessing to men,
The Pickwick, the Owl and the Waverley pen

Sincerely yours,

Pickwick

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  • 3 weeks later...

Thanks for the tip, Tanalasta. Wish it worked for me...

 

I have a post in Writing Instruments general category that refers to this... there's a (fairly pathetic) YouTube video I did to show the problem. Any thoughts on fixing it?

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Got ink on my fingers today at work.

I will have to check where is it leaking from.

And let it air a bit.

 

Just wanted to let you know that after a few weeks and different ink mine is learning to behave at work.

He is not leaking anymore.

Today I did some slot opening and channel deepening, changed to Noodlers Black Eel and it is working very fine. No more railroading.

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