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Nib Realignment: In Praise Of Diy


stephanos
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I'd like to share my experience of adjusting a modern Pelikan nib myself.

 

Ages ago, I bought myself a pen that had been on my list for a long time: a black/rhodium Pelikan M1005. It was a disaster! I had hard starts, mid-sentence skipping, couldn't write a frustration-free sentence. The QC problems in modern Pelikans are well-documented; in my case, the tines on the 'Fine' nib came misaligned. Under a powerful loupe, I saw that the tines made a kind of V shape at the tip where they should fit beautifully together. I got the pen just before I went on a big trip, so I didn't have time to have it sorted out before I left; and then when I returned, other stuff intruded. And so time passed.

 

What to do? I seriously considered doing nothing, sending it in to a nibmeister, and even throwing it away (frustration, remember). In the end, armed with information from FPN - notably the pictures from 1000km (and watch_art does some entertaining ones) - I decided to try to fix it myself. My thinking was that, if I was slow and careful, I wouldn't do anything that couldn't be fixed by a professional, if necessary.

 

So, I separated the nib from the collar and feed, realigned the tines, reinserted the nib and feed into the collar, screwed the nib unit back into the barrel, inked it up, and was good to go. The entire operation was actually prety simple and took no more than 15 minutes (plus all the research before starting). Perhaps I got lucky: the only tools I needed were my fingers (and that good loupe). The hardest part was overcoming the mental barrier against working on such an expensive item. It's still not absolutely perfect: it has the occasional hard start on smooth paper (like the Rhodia dotpad in the photo) and the nib and feed are fractionally misaligned. But I now have a very usable pen. It puts down a beautiful, smooth, wet line (though it's just as well I usually prefer broader nibs, because grading this nib as 'fine' is pure fantasy).

 

So, I saved myself time and money, and developed a stronger relationship with my pen: I am very pleased I took the 'do it yourself' approach.

What's your experience been like?

 

Picture: writing is a pleasure now.

post-106543-0-07867000-1417563545_thumb.jpg

 

 

Disclaimer:

YMMV. If in doubt, go to a professional. As one well-known pen reviewer on YouTube says, you do this sort of thing at your own risk.

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I agree. I have adjusted some nibs that were poor writers straight out-of-the-box, and I have also fixed a couple that were damaged in drops. If you read up on the 'net, it's not really that hard.

 

I've also had only mixed results with nibmeisters, which just makes me more inclined to adjust nibs myself.

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I have rehabbed many a Pelikan's beak with the do it yourself techniques of nib repair. Nothing aggressive or irreversible. I totally agree with seeking professional help if at all uncomfortable. I've never broken out the micro mesh though as I'm not that brave. Thankfully I have other pens that can step in should one of the birds arrive with a bum wing so I have the luxury of time when fixing them up.

PELIKAN - Too many birds in the flock to count. My pen chest has proven to be a most fertile breeding ground.

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THE PELIKAN'S PERCH - A growing reference site for all things Pelikan

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Most of the 'damage' caused to Pelikan nibs is from somebody trying to unscrew the nib without getting all the old ink out first. This twists the nib in the feed, so just pushing the nib out od the feed and then resetting it works 98% of the time.

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Whych, I should have mentioned: I bought this one new (though your general point is good to know).

 

Sargetalon, I think the luxury of time is the key term. No rush. That and a good loupe. Before I used the loupe, I thought maybe the nib had the dreaded baby's bottom, and considered breaking out the micro-mesh. If I had, I'd probably have ruined the nib.

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Whych, I should have mentioned: I bought this one new (though your general point is good to know).

I don't think the problem is confined to 2nd user pens. I have bought some new Pelikans (some M400's, though I prefer the older 50's pens) and they have also needed the nibs tuned.

I think some nibs either get sold with the feed misaligned, or someone has unscrewed the nib at some point and twisted the nib in the feed.

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