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Nib Meister


mwduffy
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Okay, a while back, I purchasd a red M800 Pelikan with a cursive italic nib - the nib was a first for me and I looked forward to a new writing experience. I don't know, maybe I was expecting too much, but I had problems from the get-go. Was it the nib? Was it me? Was it just an expensive gamble that didn't pay off? After looking around to see what a new nib would cost, and kicking myself for opting for a cursive italic nib, I decided it was worth taking a chance to see what a nib meister might be able to do with the nib. I mean, things couldn't be any worse. Scratch. Skip. Hard start. So, after reading reviews on the web, I settled on Daniel Smith, the Nibsmith. Fast forward a little more than a month and I am enjoying my amazingly smooth Pelikan nib with just the right amount of stubbiness. A cursive italic as it should be! Daniel worked his magic quickly and for a ridiculously low price and what really impressed me was his honesty in recommending what had to be done to bring my nib back from the dead (that was my assessment - he saw it as something superb that just needed a little TLC.). Anyway, I'm glad to say I now have a nib meister of choice who I will use again as my pen collection grows. If anyone out there needs professional help with their nibs, I can't recommend Daniel Smith enough. Let's just say you couldn't do better than seek out the Nibsmith!

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Here's a list of the commonly mentioned and well regarded nibmeisters based on comments on blogs and FPN (no personal experience). I'm happy to update the table if people suggest changes. 

 

 

Nibmeister

Specialty

Notes

Website

Pendleton Brown

Butter line stub

Also sells pens

http://pendletonspens.com

Mike Masuyama

fine nibs, Rounded Nose Cursive Italic

Trained with Nobuyoshi Nagahara (Sailor Pen founder) and Mr Kawaguchi (Sailor's nib master)

http://mikeitwork.com

John Mottishaw

Everything

Offers retipping. Also sells pens. Tends to be a little more expensive, long turn around time.

http://nibs.com

Greg Minuskin

Retipping

Well trained but a bit abrasive.

http://gregminuskin.com

Dan Smith

 

Quick turnaround and reasonable prices.

http://nibsmith.com

Indy-Pen Dance

DailyItalic, Binderizing

Trained by Richard Binder. Offers pen restoration.

http://www.indy-pen-dance.com

Richard Binder

 

Very well regarded. Tradeshows only.

http://richardspens.com

 

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Here's a list of the commonly mentioned and well regarded nibmeisters based on comments on blogs and FPN (no personal experience). I'm happy to update the table if people suggest changes.

 

 

Nibmeister

Specialty

Notes

Website

Pendleton Brown

Butter line stub

Also sells pens

http://pendletonspens.com

Mike Masuyama

fine nibs, Rounded Nose Cursive Italic

Trained with Nobuyoshi Nagahara (Sailor Pen founder) and Mr Kawaguchi (Sailor's nib master)

http://mikeitwork.com

John Mottishaw

Everything

Offers retipping. Also sells pens. Tends to be a little more expensive, long turn around time.

http://nibs.com

Greg Minuskin

Retipping

Well trained but a bit abrasive.

http://gregminuskin.com

Dan Smith

Quick turnaround and reasonable prices.

http://nibsmith.com

Indy-Pen Dance

DailyItalic, Binderizing

Trained by Richard Binder. Offers pen restoration.

http://www.indy-pen-dance.com

Richard Binder

Very well regarded. Tradeshows only.

http://richardspens.com

 

 

Outstanding post.

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  • 1 month later...

Are there any nib wranglers that you know of in the UK?

 

Sorry, only just seen this post. If you are still looking, John Sorowka is based in the UK.

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Sorry, only just seen this post. If you are still looking, John Sorowka is based in the UK.

My vote +++++ for John Sorowka, but don't let him hear you call him a nibmeister as he dislikes the pretentiousness of the name. Nibsmith, nibwright, or nib technician would be more acceptable but I think of him as a gentleman nib artist. He is extraordinarily skilled, so a large part of the pleasure is in watching him at work (if you meet him at a pen show). Not only that but he is an engaging companion and utterly honest and trusting.

 

The first nib that John ground was a complete surprise to me -- I had wanted a cursive italic grind. After watching me write a sample he suggested that, as I write with a rotated nib (I hadn't realised), I might enjoy a left oblique cut (i didn't realise that such a beast exists) for my cursive italic. Wow! It was like seeing in color for the first time. I couldn't believe how good it felt and I have been reluctant to ask for any other kind of grind since. I'm not advocating oblique nibs, just recommending an artist that knew what I wanted better than I did myself! On the infrequent occasions that I have sent him more nibs to grind I have given him artistic licence to give me something that I might enjoy. He remembers my writing preferences and hasn't disappointed me yet. I doubt he ever will.

 

Cheers, David.

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Danny, excellent list of "nibmeisters". From my experience, I've used John Mottishaw a number of times for cursive italic grinding. A job well done!

 

Pete

There are a thousand thoughts lying within a man

that he does not know until he takes up his pen to write.

Thackeray

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My vote +++++ for John Sorowka, but don't let him hear you call him a nibmeister as he dislikes the pretentiousness of the name. Nibsmith, nibwright, or nib technician would be more acceptable but I think of him as a gentleman nib artist. He is extraordinarily skilled, so a large part of the pleasure is in watching him at work (if you meet him at a pen show). Not only that but he is an engaging companion and utterly honest and trusting.

 

The first nib that John ground was a complete surprise to me -- I had wanted a cursive italic grind. After watching me write a sample he suggested that, as I write with a rotated nib (I hadn't realised), I might enjoy a left oblique cut (i didn't realise that such a beast exists) for my cursive italic. Wow! It was like seeing in color for the first time. I couldn't believe how good it felt and I have been reluctant to ask for any other kind of grind since. I'm not advocating oblique nibs, just recommending an artist that knew what I wanted better than I did myself! On the infrequent occasions that I have sent him more nibs to grind I have given him artistic licence to give me something that I might enjoy. He remembers my writing preferences and hasn't disappointed me yet. I doubt he ever will.

 

Cheers, David.

 

 

That's great news. It's nice to know there's someone good not so far away. I'm thinking of buying a Falcon and I have a tiny suspicion that Namiki's typically 'soft' nibs might need a tweak or two for my tastes. I'll have to see. I'd love to see what John might make of my hand writing!

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The three I have used are John Mottishaw,Greg Minuskin, and Pendleton Brown, all top notch. I would not consider Greg to be "abrasive." My interactions with him have been timely and friendly.

 

YMMV

 

Glenn

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  • 4 months later...

I sent a year old Pelikan M600 to Dan Smith(The Nibsmith) because I found the Fine nib to be broader than my notion of Fine and I found the pen to be wetter than I desired. Dan narrowed the nib(not to an EF) and made it drier. His work was excellent;exactly what I wanted and the nib is smoother than ever. Kudos to The Nibsmith!

 

virtuoso- aka spetkov

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