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Amateur Regrind On A Broken Nib?


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I like Parkers, mine are very reliable and well behaved, but I only have the cheapest ones as everyday carries. However, I've spotted a Parker Sonnet with a broken nib on ebay that I'm wondering about bidding on. One tine has snapped off just below the tipping but, other than that, the pen looks like new (perhaps someone bought it and broke it very quickly by trying to use it like a biro :headsmack:). If I can get it cheaply, is it feasible, as a total novice (I've done the occasional bit of smoothing, but that's all) to snip off the end of the other tine and use abrasives to give the nib an untipped italic end that would last me a year or two? Or is this more complicated than I think?


So far, the pen is up for 99p and has no bidders, with a day and a half to go, so if it still has no bidders by tomorrow morning, I'll probably see if I can get it cheaply. I could get a brand new Sonnet for very little more than I could get a new gold-plated nib for this one, so if regrinding this is something a ham-handed first-timer is likely to make a mess of, I'd be better passing it up. I suppose I could snip the tips off one or two of my ultra-cheap pens and try regrinding them first...?


This could all be academic, if the pen gets a few bids in the next 24 hours, of course. I won't buy it if I have to pay more than about £10. More money than that would be better put towards getting a decent pen that works straight out of the box. For instance, when I priced new Sonnets and nibs I found a smart-looking stainless steel bodied Sonnet, brand new, for just over £40, so I don't see the point in spending more than about 25% of that on a broken one).

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I've done this on some vintage pens with steel nibs and it was actually ar easier than I expected. I don't know hw it works on the newer steel that is used for the Parker nibs though. But if you can get this pen that cheap there's no loss if you don't succeed, is there? And apart from that, you can always find a replacement nib. Why not give it a try and tell us how it went?


Best wishes,



Have a look at my pens for sale here or follow me @penatelier.
And if you have any information on OWA pens, made by Peter Jungmann somewhere near Heidelberg, Germany, please let me know.

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If I do get it I will be sure to post whatever mess (or otherwise) I manage to make of the nib!

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A pen like that came my way some time ago, the cherished property of a good friend. I had rashly told her that I could now help fix fountainpens with trouble. Seemed like I had bit of more than I could chew, but a friend with access to a polishing machine came to the rescue and we ground off the other tine until it was the same length as what was left of the other. I then took it home and was able to finish the grind by hand, and I had my first stub! I tried the pen out, and immediately fell in love with its nib. I've bought several stubs since, for my own pen, and this is my current preference for nibs...

My friend, too, liked the result, so I made good on my promise.

So, if you can grind off the remaining tine, I think you'll have guaranteed success. I don't know about snipping though.

Good luck!

a fountain pen is physics in action... Proud member of the SuperPinks


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Parker Sonnet nib sections are fairly inexpensive and easily to come by. They come as a whole nib section unit so you replace the whole of the grip, nib and feed. I would just buy a new section if I won it.

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Whether or not it was a good idea, it won't be happening now - I've been outbid. That's probably a very good thing, I didn't really have enough confidence to do what I was contemplating! Thanks to those who took an interest and proffered advice.

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I happened to win an auction for an italic Sonnet nib recently. The nib came, and it was an oblique. I don't usually like obliques, so I used a file and nail smoothing block to file the tip straight, removing the oblique cut, and then I smoothed it into a stub, working within the tipping. It's passable.


Once the tipping is lost, as in the case you were contemplating, what have you got to lose? Nothing, right? Anything you did in that case would be an improvement. So, if it comes your way again, why not try it?


I have over time bought two Parker 51s where someone cut the tipping off of the nib to make a stub. I replaced those nibs with NOS 51 fines. It's a different thing to butcher a nib that's still good, but if it's yours all you have to lose is resale value.


A broken nib, or one with the tipping gone is fair game. Retipping them probably costs a hundred dollars or more. It would be cheaper in a case like that to indulge yourself and have some fun. It's always your call anyway. The whole aim of a hobby like this should be enjoyment.


Nibs like Sonnets that are still in production are not a dwindling resource like the vintage nibs.

"Don't hurry, don't worry. It's better to be late at the Golden Gate than to arrive in Hell on time."
--Sign in a bar and grill, Ormond Beach, Florida, 1960.



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