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Seeking Second Opinion Before Trying First Nib Smoothing


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I have identified my first victim: a nib that's scratchiness and poor behavior has annoyed me to the point of my needing to do something about it. It is the stock nib on a Jinhao X750 and I have 2 loose nibs I could swap on if I screw up. Since I have not done this before, I was hoping I could get a second opinion on my diagnosis and treatment before I begin.


Part I


Symptoms: The tines are usually aligned pretty well. I say usually because if I push slightly down on one tine, there will be an audible click and the tines will be out of alignment. Push back on the other one, another click and they are back to where they started. Even when I look and they appear aligned, I still find scratchiness in some motions; if I click it into the misaligned position, it is definitely worse.


Diagnosis: The tines are too close together. This is further supported by needing to apply pressure when writing to get consistent flow.


Treatment: Spread the tines to increase ink flow and hopefully eliminate the ability for whatever to catches causing the click. Test by holding at back of pen and seeing if pen weight is sufficient to leave a line on a page (I think that what I have seen in videos).


Part II


Confirm tine alignment and that the nib is still scratchy (I expect it will be). Then hit with micromesh per Goulet instructions video, checking results frequently. If still wanting to go further, or just want to experiment, hit next with mylar paper.


I already have a loupe and all the supplies I mentioned use of above. Does it sound like a good approach? Are there any glaring faults coming from my inexperience?

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It is great that you are taking a methodical approach with this.


Your description of the problem is excellent - the click you hear when you move the tines suggests a problem that is generally ignored during nib smoothing. Often times it is the inside edge of the tine that is left a bit too sharp that causes the scratchiness. The tip of the nib is not entirely static - even on hard-as-a-nail nibs the tines move just a tiny fraction in relation to each other when we write. If the inside edge of the tines is left sharp, it will dig in and cause a feeling of scratchiness.


The solution is very clearly described by Richard Binder in his notes from his workshop on nib smoothing. You can find a link to the pdf on this page: Nib Smoothing Kits as 'basic instructions for nib smoothing' (look at section VI).


Be careful though - being too aggressive with it can result in the baby-bottom problem.


I suggest this as a starting point, the nib might need other work once this is resolved but you'll be surprised how much this helps (if it indeed is the problem).


- Salman

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Ahh, Thank you! Thank you!


I read through the guide you linked and managed to get some 2000 Grit sandpaper locally this morning. After just a small number of passes there is a marked improvement with the scratchy strokes, so it seems that was definitely a factor. It still needs work, but I do not think I have the time to give this the attention and focus it needs yet this weekend so it will have to wait.


Thanks again!

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