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Close Up Photos Of Abrasives Used On Nibs



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  • 1 month later...

A lot has been written about these very fine abrasives in the wood working and knife making communities. I've found the Grand Unified Grit Chart very useful for comparing abrasives, always using micron size as a "real" number <https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1VaTf3MXuwuvH-QLwOci4f9B9Zhkbuu1wjoSCZIUsR-o/edit#gid=0>

 

I find the 3M Microfinishing film 0.5 micron sheet <http://www.leevalley.com/us/wood/page.aspx?p=33004&cat=1,43072> to feel noticeably finer than the 12,000 Micromesh but I don't know on what scale the Micromesh is measured so I have no objective means of comparison. The Micromesh has a cushioned backing whereas the Microfinishing film has no such backing and is typically used on a glass plate or polished steel substrate. One could try using the film on top of a sheet of sponge rubber (many types and densities) to approximate the built-in cushioning of the Micromesh.

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  • 7 months later...

I'd strongly recommend spending a bit more and getting the diamond abrasive version of these same sheets. The abrasive is attached so firmly to the backing that one can work between the tines without scraping off the abrasive.

http://www.vintagepens.com/catill_nibs_parts.shtml#smoothing_film

 

I use these on top of sheets of paper. Three sheets give a good amount of cushioning for most smoothing work.

Edited by Vintagepens
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  • 3 weeks later...
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  • 1 month later...

What's the problem with liquid abrasives? Am I missing something? I was under the impression that they were finer and therefore the final stage. In the old days of vinyl, the perspex lid of the record player would get tiny scratches which would build up into a haze. The solution was to rub with Brasso metal polish. Duraglit used to be the wadding abrasive and Brasso was the liquid, but one firm swallowed the other. Now it's all Brasso, wadding or liquid. (Applies to the UK)

If it is fine enough to give perspex back it's shine then surely it would be suitable for last-stage polishing of a nib? I use it to clean battery contacts.

Edited by Ebberman
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  • 2 weeks later...

I don't why other people want to use abrasives, but I recently bought a pack of ten Hero pens for £6 from a reputable firm and then read about counterfeit Heros being sold. Then I noticed that the nibs were very scratchy on the paper. That's not like Hero, neither is the price. I thought about smoothing the nibs and came to this topic. I didn't like the idea of using abrasive sheets because I would probably make the nibs worse. I'll try the Brasso on a piece of cloth and "write" on it. I'll report my findings here.

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The problem with Brasso is that you really don't know what the grit size is, or whether it's uniform. The Wikipedia page mentions that the product has different ingredients in different countries, which may explain the widely varying reports when people use the polish on their iPhones.

 

If you want to use a liquid abrasive, I'd go for one that's graded, as some glass polishing pastes are.

http://i.imgur.com/utQ9Ep9.jpg

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  • 10 months later...

Mike, this is pretty interesting, especially for someone new to the fountain pen world.

 

Having said that I was surprised that there's no mention of a Japanese waterstone. Perhaps there are good reasons for not using them that isn't apparent to me as I know little about nibs let alone nib grinding.

 

This is why I'm surprised, I hone my plane irons with a waterstone with final grit of 6000. Needless to say the edge is extremely sharp but what reminded me of nibs is that the surface of the honed iron is mirror finish, really mirror finish!

Would a fine waterstone be useful in case I ever need to grind....

 

However, I'm not about to grind any nibs soon, I'm just naturally curious.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I'm a total newbie to this but why would you do this yourself. Is it just if the nib is scratchy or can you change the shape of the nib using these methods. It really interests me to find out.

 

Lee:)

I'm learning as I go. I am slightly obsessed with Fountain Pens!

www.penspaperink.com

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I'm a total newbie to this but why would you do this yourself. Is it just if the nib is scratchy or can you change the shape of the nib using these methods. It really interests me to find out.

 

Lee:)

 

From one newbie to another - it seems so, from what I have read around the traps in the last few weeks..

 

Here's an article on changing - grinding - a nib for italic writing.

 

From the article:

 

"In this article - which will be necessarily lengthy and detailed - I shall describe how monoline (round-pointed) nibs can be ground for Italic use, thereby overcoming some of the limitations of manufacturers' products. I hope to show what an amateur such as myself, without professional experience with pens, is able to achieve following a simple procedure and using some easily obtainable tools.

 

 

If you hunt around you'll find plenty of stuff on grinding to produce smooth nib gliding over paper or removing a :baby's bottom". Here's an example:

 

 

Good luck.

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  • 1 month later...

I’m new in this topic, but, when you ground the nibs, which one is the best option, ink, water or anything else as lubricant? Also, any comment about abrasive paste?

 

Fernando

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