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How Does One Learn Nib Grinding?



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Laurence, Thank you! I have all of the supplies needed save the thermal paste that you refer to. Now I need to just get brave and try it.

Larissa

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Here's most of my setup...

1897843_462922227140542_1510438760_n.jpg

All one really needs, I got a dremel a month ago and now I have 5 more stub/italic nibs:)

@arts_nibs

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You can't solder a cracked nib. It would do nothing and possibly wreck it. There are only a few people with the resources to weld a nib crack shut and they use very specialised equipment. If it's a valuable nib that you really need repairing, possibly try contacting Greg Minuskin or John Mottishaw. They're pretty good at that stuff, but because it's a specialised skill, it might cost a pretty penny.

 

This is totally incorrect.

 

High temp. specialty soldering is used as much or more to "weld cracked nibs" as well as applying tipping.

 

Everyone thinks only laser welders can be used. Well, back in the 1920's-50's they had NO LASERS Kimosabay.

Sensitive Pen Restoration doesn't cost extra.

 

Find me on Facebook at MONOMOY VINTAGE PEN

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What's the best way to learn the intricacies of nib grinding?

 

To return to the original question, I'd say a good place to learn is to practice on a Lamy Safari. The nibs are soft metal (compared to, say, a Pelikan M200 nib) which means you can make good progress without a power tool, and if you get it wrong you can buy another and swap it easily and cheaply.

 

I now have a number of stubbed medium nibs shaped just as I like them, but I did have the odd casualty when starting out ...

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If you watch the Masters of the fountain pen thread, all 8 videos are posted, and in one of them, they do use a dremel like tool to grind nibs. However, There is a lot of skill involved, but that's how I have seen it done, so it's not impossible. You just might need very fine stones. Also, watching all 8 videos is enlightening.

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Sorry for the previous hijack of the thread. I have a quantity of cheap pens/ nibs that I would like try an EMF modification and or a nib smooth, or grind to italics. I would suggest buying a few chap pens of ebay and trying some of the things discussed here.

Regards,

Larissa

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So repairing a crack with gold solder is the only way to fix the split. There are several temperature ranges of gold solder available and the lowest will work just fine. Be aware that the heat of a soldering iron will not work. You need a torch with a microtip. it takes very little heat to fix and not a lot more to make the nib a puddle of gold. Practice on totally garbage nibs before you even attempt a good one. It takes practice. You will screw up and puddle a few nibs.

 

I use the higher range gold solder and several times platinum, to retip old nibs that have no iridium left. It comes as wire or as sheet that you cut into little tiny bits. It takes a lot of shaping/grinding but I have some amazing nibs afterwards. I use stones that are very fine grit for grinding 10,000-18,000. They are available all the time on the Bay as reject stones with small nicks or cracks that were originally tasked for sharpening straight razors. In spite of their being 20,000 grit, it takes material off rapidly. These gold-tipped nibs may not last as long as iridium but I have several in rotation that I use everyday and have detected little wear over the last 2 years. Ron Zorn has written with several of them, maybe he will chime in on this. The cost is very small compared to a professional fix but the learning curve is steep. I still have pros fix some of my nibs especially the valuable or rare ones.

 

In relation to the original post, I use stones for all my grinding but VERY slowly and testing in between each stroke. There is a tactile feedback that grinding mylar plastic sheets can not match. On the other hand, I use straight razors and sharpen them regularily, so the tactile feedback maybe due to my use of the stones on a regular basis. On a straight razor, the metal "sings" when the edge is set!

 

Cheers,

Rob.

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So repairing a crack with gold solder is the only way to fix the split. There are several temperature ranges of gold solder available and the lowest will work just fine. Be aware that the heat of a soldering iron will not work. You need a torch with a microtip. it takes very little heat to fix and not a lot more to make the nib a puddle of gold. Practice on totally garbage nibs before you even attempt a good one. It takes practice. You will screw up and puddle a few nibs.

 

I was going to get extra easy gold solder wire, as it is cheaper than sheet solder, I have a micro torch and just enough metalsmithing experience to get me into trouble (Mostly silver experience). I have a couple garbage nibs waiting to be fixed. I am curious about the tempering gel (shunt paste) that someone mentioned above. Do you have a product you would recommend? Or should I not worry about the tempering? Rio grande has a heat shield product.

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The product I use is 'Thermo-Gel' available from AG Thomas in the UK. They also sell gold solder paste (includes flux) in a syringe. It is much easier to use than gold wire and can be placed precisely where you want it.

Laurence

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  • 3 weeks later...

I'm pretty new to nib grinding. Although I've used a Dremel with success, I also ruined a couple of nibs. I found that you can do a nib with little more than a multi-sided nail buffer block you can buy at a dollar store. That and a good loupe. And patience. You might best do a nib over a couple of sessions. No need to rush one through. A lot of the effort is carefully writing with the nib to see what adjustments are still needed. You should make sure the nib is decently wet when test writing. Many "problems" are nothing more than a dry nib.

 

I have some nice custom nibs. Nothing better to use as a benchmark than a really good pro nib job.

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