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Hello Folks - What Metals Are Nibs Made From?



alexcurly

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Greetings to all you pen pals,

 

I hope this is an appropriate place to ask my question.

 

For me a pen can have the magic of a wand and the power of the sword. I have designed and developed my own feather quill pens that I call LightScribes. I am very happy with the final outcome, they are gorgeous and make me very proud. I am just working on the nib attachment a little more and am considering using a magnet to make it nice and click click slick.

 

I know that stainless steel, copper and aluminium does not stick to magnets.

 

in your knowledge, what metals are nibs mostly made from?

 

I would be really grateful for any guidance.

 

Thanks

 

Alex

 

http://www.leviathanscribes.com

 

 

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You could place a small magnet on the end of the nib (not on the tip but on the other end) that would drag the nib into the grib part of the pen (just about the way magnetic screw drivers work). Or you could magnetize a normal steel nib (regular stainless steel is far too hard for a nib by the way) by rubbing it in one direction with a powerful magnet - and place another magnet in the section. Anyway the nib would have to go into the pen - otherwise it will fall off when you write.

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Nibs are mostly made of non-ferro metals. That way they don't rust. Alas that also means they will not react to a magnet.

 

The so called ferromagnetic metals are Iron, Nickel, Cobalt

 

No such in most nibs, or only as trace elements.

 

 

D.ick

~

KEEP SAFE, WEAR A MASK, KEEP A DISTANCE.

Freedom exists by virtue of self limitation.

~

 

 

 

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Not to burst your bubble, but Hewlet-packard will have a field day if you start to sell your dip pens under that name. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LightScribe

Also, rare-earth magnets corrode easily, especially where there is moisture (and ink) involved. Most dip pens either have metal sockets or rubber/plastic sockets to avoid this. I would look into that, because other than disposable, consumable dip pen nibs, you would be hard pressed to find any fountain pen nib that is magnetic, since most are made from either stainless steel, gold, or some other precious metal.

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Regardless, the pens are beautiful. Nice work.

Brad

"Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind" - Rudyard Kipling
"None of us can have as many virtues as the fountain-pen, or half its cussedness; but we can try." - Mark Twain

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Not to burst your bubble, but Hewlet-packard will have a field day if you start to sell your dip pens under that name. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LightScribe

I'm under the impression that the essential purpose of a trademark is so that someone doesn't cause confusion by using the same name in the same field. Fancy pens and CD labeling techniques have little or nothing in common.

 

I am not a lawyer.

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Starbucks recently pitched a fit over a microbrewery that made a beer they named Frappicino. It was one letter off from the frappucino that Starbucks sells. They complained that people could be confused.

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I'm under the impression that the essential purpose of a trademark is so that someone doesn't cause confusion by using the same name in the same field. Fancy pens and CD labeling techniques have little or nothing in common.

 

I am not a lawyer.

However, the name is theirs and theirs alone, and just the fact that I though of them instead of this pen, is an issue. It's not whether or not it's related physically.

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I know that stainless steel, copper and aluminium does not stick to magnets.

 

in your knowledge, what metals are nibs mostly made from?

 

Generally, stainless steel (many ss alloys are either non- or only weakly-magnetic), gold alloys, rarely other materials like titanium or glass.

Edited by Water Ouzel
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Jerome Tarshis

Fountain-pen nibs are most commonly made of alloys: of iron, referred to as "stainless steel," and of gold, referred to as 14K or 18K gold. Some nibs have less gold than that (my Hero 100 has a 12K gold nib) or more. The tipping material, which is part of the nib, is most often made with metals of I think the platinum family, notably ruthenium, osmium, iridium in former times, or what you will. Experiments have been made with other substances; in some cases wartime shortages have resulted in the use of metals that weren't in normal use for that purpose during peacetime.

 

Cobalt, one of the metals referred to by RMN above, is the principal ingredient of the alloy Octanium, used by Parker in the nibs of Parker 51 Specials and Parker 21s. Iron is a relatively minor ingredient. In spite of that, Octanium is colloquially referred to as "steel" or "stainless steel." We just don't have a convention of saying "cobalt nib."

 

A possibly diverting sidelight is that Octanium is hard enough so that Parker used it as its own tipping material. There may well be other alloys where that could be done.

 

If I may refer to Ursus's post above, it isn't clear to me that magnetism is a good way to attach a nib to a pen. But it may be that magnetism is intended to do something else here.

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Montblanc owner and lover

steel for cheap pens,for more expensive ones generally gold(14k,18k,21k) or more rarely palladium or titanium

A people can be great withouth a great pen but a people who love great pens is surely a great people too...

Pens owned actually: MB 146 EF;Pelikan M200 SE Clear Demonstrator 2012 B;Parker 17 EF;Parker 51 EF;Waterman Expert II M,Waterman Hemisphere M;Waterman Carene F and Stub;Pilot Justus 95 F.

 

Nearly owned: MB 149 B(Circa 2002);Conway Stewart Belliver LE bracket Brown IB.

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What a beautiful pen!

 

With regard to affixing the nib, it may be better to attach the nib to a section assembly made of a ferromagnetic metal, and then magnetically attach the entire section to the body of the (presumably dip) pen. I love the idea of instant interchangeable nibs, but I am also worried about the practicality.

 

Good luck on your pen turning and selling endeavours!

“My two fingers on a typewriter have never connected with my brain. My hand on a pen does. A fountain pen, of course. Ball-point pens are only good for filling out forms on a plane.”

Graham Greene

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inkstainedruth

Starbucks recently pitched a fit over a microbrewery that made a beer they named Frappicino. It was one letter off from the frappucino that Starbucks sells. They complained that people could be confused.

And I just saw a story on the news a day or two ago about the even bigger fit they pitched over a parody coffee shop called "Dumb Starbucks"....

Ruth Morrisson aka inkstainedruth

"It's very nice, but frankly, when I signed that list for a P-51, what I had in mind was a fountain pen."

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I have several pens with Titanium nibs and they are among my favorites -- gold is nice but titanium is equal or a close second

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Fountain pen nibs have been made in a pretty wide variety of metal throughout their history:

Gold (I've seen 10K, 12K, 14K, 18K and 21K)

Brass

Stainless steel

Parker's "Octanium" steel alloy. It was an alloy of eight metals (mostly cobalt, about 40%).

Palladium

Sheaffer's "Palladium Silver," which varied. The nibs marked PdAg had 95% palladium and 5% silver and unmarked nibs had a higher silver content.

Also, glass as Water Ouzel stated.

Parker: Sonnet Flighter, Rialto Red Metallic Laque, IM Chiseled Gunmetal, Latitude Stainless, 45 Black, Duovac Blue Pearl Striped, 51 Standard Black, Vac Jr. Black, 51 Aero Black, 51 Vac Blue Cedar, Duofold Jr. Lapis, 51 Aero Demi Black, 51 Aero Demi Teal, 51 Aero Navy Gray, Duofold Pastel Moire Violet, Vac Major Golden Brown, Vac Deb. Emerald, 51 Vac Dove Gray, Vac Major Azure, Vac Jr. Silver Pearl, 51 Vac Black GF Cap, 51 Forest Green GF cap, Vac Jr. Silver Pearl, Duovac Senior Green & Gold, Duovac Deb. Black, Challenger Black, 51 Aero Midnight, Vac. Emerald Jr., Challenger Gray Pearl, 51 Vac Black, Duofold Int. Black, Duofold Jr. Red.

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Fountain pen nibs have been made in a pretty wide variety of metal throughout their history:

Gold (I've seen 10K, 12K, 14K, 18K and 21K)

Brass

Stainless steel

Parker's "Octanium" steel alloy. It was an alloy of eight metals (mostly cobalt, about 40%).

Palladium

Sheaffer's "Palladium Silver," which varied. The nibs marked PdAg had 95% palladium and 5% silver and unmarked nibs had a higher silver content.

Also, glass as Water Ouzel stated.

Add Titamium

 

D.ick

~

KEEP SAFE, WEAR A MASK, KEEP A DISTANCE.

Freedom exists by virtue of self limitation.

~

 

 

 

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Add Titamium

 

D.ick

 

That's a good point (no pun intended :P).

 

Titanium seems to be a very trendy material right now for making FP nibs out of.

Parker: Sonnet Flighter, Rialto Red Metallic Laque, IM Chiseled Gunmetal, Latitude Stainless, 45 Black, Duovac Blue Pearl Striped, 51 Standard Black, Vac Jr. Black, 51 Aero Black, 51 Vac Blue Cedar, Duofold Jr. Lapis, 51 Aero Demi Black, 51 Aero Demi Teal, 51 Aero Navy Gray, Duofold Pastel Moire Violet, Vac Major Golden Brown, Vac Deb. Emerald, 51 Vac Dove Gray, Vac Major Azure, Vac Jr. Silver Pearl, 51 Vac Black GF Cap, 51 Forest Green GF cap, Vac Jr. Silver Pearl, Duovac Senior Green & Gold, Duovac Deb. Black, Challenger Black, 51 Aero Midnight, Vac. Emerald Jr., Challenger Gray Pearl, 51 Vac Black, Duofold Int. Black, Duofold Jr. Red.

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  • 4 weeks later...

 

Sheaffer's "Palladium Silver," which varied. The nibs marked PdAg had 95% palladium and 5% silver and unmarked nibs had a higher silver content.

 

I'd be interested in a source for this assertion. Sheaffer advertised the nibs as being made from a combination of of palladium, sterling silver, and 14K gold.

 

--Daniel

"The greatest mental derangement is to believe things because we want them to be true, not because we observe that they are in effect." --Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet

Daniel Kirchheimer
Specialty Pen Restoration
Authorized Sheaffer/Parker/Waterman Vintage Repair Center
Purveyor of the iCroScope digital loupe

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  • 7 months later...

 

I'd be interested in a source for this assertion. Sheaffer advertised the nibs as being made from a combination of of palladium, sterling silver, and 14K gold.

 

--Daniel

 

I too am interested in this assertion and whether there is evidence behind it?

 

This link claims the opposite:

http://www.richardspens.com/?page=ref/profiles/snorkel.htm

 

"Nibs marked Palladium Silver have a higher silver content than nibs not so marked, which can contain as much as 95% palladium."

Edited by trauha
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