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Finally, Affordable Nib Blocks!



Vintagepens

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http://www.vintagepens.com/images/cat/parts/7835b.jpg

 

It's taken some time, but we now have our first complete production run of nib blocks in acrylic. These are only a tenth the price of the tool steel masterpieces recently custom-made in limited numbers, yet are sturdy enough for years of service. Further information available here: http://www.vintagepens.com/catill_nibs_parts.shtml#7835

 

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  • ac12

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  • Vintagepens

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  • Larry Barrieau

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  • Pendel

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AllieFromDevon

This is a boon to the repairers and repairers to be. But please, someone who knows how to use one, post a video or two to get us started! Thanks

+1

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Mine is on its way to me :D

San Francisco Pen Show - August 28-30, 2020 - Redwood City, California

www.SFPenShow.com

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These are nice and I'm sure they are useful for minor repairs and/or resizing. But

 

This is a boon to the repairers and repairers to be. But please, someone who knows how to use one, post a video or two to get us started! Thanks

 

I agree, a short tutorial should come with these lower cost nib blocks.

In lieu of that see this post:

https://www.fountainpennetwork.com/forum/topic/291227-i-got-my-nib-block-now-what/

and perhaps this post:

https://www.fountainpennetwork.com/forum/topic/205502-the-all-new-affordable-nib-block/?do=findComment&comment=2119595

Here are some pictures of the Steytler combo block ('spensive):

http://steytler.com/nibblock.htm

The page on Vintagepens has links to examples of some burnishing tools to go with the block. However I wonder if an accompanying simple burnishing tool made of matching acrylic might not be more forgiving and extend the tool's life.

TL;DR: Typically you hold the deformed/bent nib down with one hand in or on the appropriate part of the block and use a burnishing tool in the other hand to straighten the nib. Some prefer to tape or glue the nib down.

 

What is "burnishing" you ask? Well, here you go...

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burnishing_(metal)

 

Have Fun, David

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This is a boon to the repairers and repairers to be. But please, someone who knows how to use one, post a video or two to get us started! Thanks

+2

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I used steel punches under my nibs in lieu of a nib block. Crude, but it worked, so I will be glad to get a real nib block.

 

As for learning:

 

Get a few scrap nibs from "junker" pens, and play with it on the nib block.

That is how I learned, though I'm still a novice at this stuff. As they say, you learn from experience, and I'm still learning.

A stainless steel nib will be harder to shape than gold, but it can be done.

 

WARNING, I am NOT a nib meister, so what I am describing may be all wrong, but it works for me.

 

On a bent nib, I will press and burnish down the center ^ of the bend to flatten it. It is just easier for me to do it this way.

I don't work on the leg of a bend, unless I have no choice. Then you end up using your fingers.

 

As is stated in the links provided above, too much burnishing could work harden the nib, so be careful how much you burnish.

 

I use several "tools" that I scavenged from around the house.

 

For the concave side:

- a small spoon shaped dental tool that I got from one of the online pen tool sellers. It is sold to scrape ink sacs off the inside of the barrel.

- a wooden chopstick. The good thing about the wood chopstick is that it won't scratch the gold like a steel burnisher could. But it is softer and will require more effort. They do sell stainless steel chopsticks that would work, though you may have to round and polish the end.

 

For the convex side:

- a steel punch, to flatten on the convex side of the nib. Because it is steel, I roll the punch over the nib rather than drag it.

 

Go look in your tool box or kitchen drawer, you might find something that you can use.

For example, rather than the steel punch, I could have used the handle of a stainless steel butter knife to work on the convex side of the nib.

 

WARNING, be VERY CAREFUL when working around the tip of the nib. If you slip, you could damage the tipping or break off the tip of the nib.

Edited by ac12

San Francisco Pen Show - August 28-30, 2020 - Redwood City, California

www.SFPenShow.com

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Larry Barrieau

I'd be willing to give some money to anyone who knows what they're doing with a nib block to make a video. If we all threw a littly money in, it might entice that person to do it. I know videos are not easy to produce well and they are probably time consuming but maybe someone could come to our rescue.

 

Thanks to those who tried to explain a little of the processes here.

To better see my icon http://fpnlcb.shutterfly.com/pictures

Looking for a black SJ Transitional Esterbrook Pen. (It's smaller than an sj)

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I have a steel block, but this acrylic option is an excellent idea. In fact, for beginners, it will prove easier to use and kinder on the nibs. Nib repairers in Italy back in the 1930s and 1940s used nib blocks made of bakelite and similar early plastics. Great product!

http://s26.postimg.org/fp30mhy6x/signature.jpg

In punta di penna.....

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Yay it arrived.

Now to go play with it.

I need to go look for some junker/damaged gold nibs to practice on.

San Francisco Pen Show - August 28-30, 2020 - Redwood City, California

www.SFPenShow.com

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I just saw this and ordered one straight away - it will be SO much better than the brass conical plumb bob (as used by construction carpenters for vertical plumb lines) that I have been using as a male tool!

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I have a steel block, but this acrylic option is an excellent idea. In fact, for beginners, it will prove easier to use and kinder on the nibs. Nib repairers in Italy back in the 1930s and 1940s used nib blocks made of bakelite and similar early plastics. Great product!

 

Thanks for the input about the Italian blocks, Giovanni. Coincidentally, one of the things that got me thinking about making these out of acrylic was a couple of vintage acrylic blocks that came to me in a lot of pen repair tools out of an old shop in England.

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Vintage Razor

Thanks, I just ordered a block. I have several bent nibs that need fixing. Now I just need to find a good burnishing tool.

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Thanks David,

 

The nib block works great, for this novice.

The convex surface is much easier to use than the side of my punches.

And I finally have a concave surface to work the inside of my nibs.

San Francisco Pen Show - August 28-30, 2020 - Redwood City, California

www.SFPenShow.com

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  • 3 weeks later...

I ordered a block today, but I am still wondering about this: on many nibs the tipping protrudes both on top of the nib, as well as to the underside. When one puts the nib into or onto a half-cone it will rest on that tipping, and pressing on the nib while burnishing will force the tines to bend. Why do the nib blocks not have a groove running down the middle of the cones to avoid this?

 

Hmm...

 

:-)

Edited by Pendel

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I ordered a block today, but I am still wondering about this: on many nibs the tipping protrudes both on top of the nib, as well as to the underside. When one puts the nib into or onto a half-cone it will rest on that tipping, and pressing on the nib while burnishing will force the tines to bend. Why do the nib blocks not have a groove running down the middle of the cones to avoid this?

 

Hmm...

 

:-)

 

 

Working up near the tip is tricky.

 

For the convex side, I end up going to my punches. I look for one of similar diameter to the curve of the nib, and use that instead of the nib block. I put the nib so that the tipping sticks out over the front of the punch. Then I burnish/press onto the nib behind the tip.

 

While nice to have a groove, as I see it, the problem with putting a groove into the nib block is, there are too many different size nibs from XXF to BBB. What size to make that groove? And when I am working further back on the nib, I do not think I want a groove under the nib, as that could end up creating a matching groove or hump on the nib as I burnish the nib.

 

Really, you would need one with a groove and one without a groove.

San Francisco Pen Show - August 28-30, 2020 - Redwood City, California

www.SFPenShow.com

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Thanks, I just ordered a block. I have several bent nibs that need fixing. Now I just need to find a good burnishing tool.

 

 

Look in the kitchen drawer or your tool box.

I used anything with a smooth end; butter knife handle, chopstick, metal punch, screwdriver shaft, etc.

Just match the implement to what you need to do to the nib, and make sure that it is smooth, so you don't scratch the nib.

 

I've already straightened a half dozen old nibs, mostly junkers. Straightening even broken nibs was good experience. After you straighten it, bend it and start over, for more practice.

All that was good practice for the gold Parker Vac nib that I successfully took out a crease in the nib :-)

San Francisco Pen Show - August 28-30, 2020 - Redwood City, California

www.SFPenShow.com

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One advantage of acrylic is that it is easy to customize a block. If you want to make a recess for a bulbous tip, it can quickly be done with a rotary tool and a bur.

 

Working up near the tip is tricky.

For the convex side, I end up going to my punches. I look for one of similar diameter to the curve of the nib, and use that instead of the nib block. I put the nib so that the tipping sticks out over the front of the punch. Then I burnish/press onto the nib behind the tip.

While nice to have a groove, as I see it, the problem with putting a groove into the nib block is, there are too many different size nibs from XXF to BBB. What size to make that groove? And when I am working further back on the nib, I do not think I want a groove under the nib, as that could end up creating a matching groove or hump on the nib as I burnish the nib.

Really, you would need one with a groove and one without a groove.

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One advantage of acrylic is that it is easy to customize a block. If you want to make a recess for a bulbous tip, it can quickly be done with a rotary tool and a bur.

 

Yup, that is what made it irresistible. So far I have not heard anything that would counter-indicate the mod, unless one does not have other tools.I do find it strange that one does not see this mod more often. Anytime one needs to work in the concave cone and burnish the nib along (and around) its axis, without an indent one puts pressure on the tines, and if one moves the nib to the edge of the block, one loses the lateral support. Sure, the skilled craftsmen adjust to this sort of thing, but why not just make a few indents in the not-so-expensive blocks for the most standard nib sizes?

 

:-)

Edited by Pendel

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