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Waterman 52 Nib And Feed Don't Like Eachother


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Hello all! I'm a long time reader, first time writer on this forum. I figured that, with the vast pool of knowledge in here, this issue might have been addressed, but I cannot find it anywhere. so here goes.

I recently bought a waterman 52, "wood grain" pen. it is very flexible for what I was expecting. Not too much and not too little. but i'm noticing a serious issue with it. The nib and feed, when starting a line. begin parallel. "====" like this. But as I apply pressure to flex the tines a bit, the nib and feed are pressed away from each other. closer to a "<" sort of shape. This angle is exaggerated to be sure, but it is still extreme enough to cause the ink to travel away from the tines. which causes railroading for a line, then a completely cut from all ink stores.

This is all resolved with a simple tap on top of the nib to restore it to the parallel position.

So my question is this.

Is there any way that I can fix this in a way that would not involve shellac? I've heard a thin swab inside of the section will resolve most loose nib and feed issues, but I'm a little timid to perform this. And I don't necessarily want to send it to a professional restoration place just yet.


PS. the pictures that I added (if it works) are of the nib and feed.
The one pointing to the side shows a "before writing" position. nib and feed are nestled in close to each other.
the one pointing to the camera shows the nib and feed separated just enough to stop writing.

Hope the pictures and description help with getting ideas.

Thank you.



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I think the feed should be further forward or nib further back on the feed. That would keep the nib hole in contact with the feed and prevent what is happening.

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It could also be that if your pen was refurbished and resaced that the nib might not have been inserted properly. Over time a nib seats itself into the section. If the nib isn't inserted in the same way the nib may not be inserted into the feed deeply enough and encourage a bit of play between nib and feed. Force's suggestion is also a good one and you can try both suggestions at the same time.

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Update: Thanks guys! I think it's working a lot better now. There are a lot fewer railroading times now. but it still tends to lift away from the feed when I try to push for a wider line. but now, I'm curious in regards to this "setting" idea. Should I continue to allow this to happen for some time instead of readjusting the nib and feed every few minutes in an effort to allow it all to self adjust with the feed to allow them to settle in the way I would like them to stay? The longer I let it sit, the more it seems to be able to write without having to do the almost habitual tap on the top of the nib.

Also, Can the feed for the Waterman 52 be almost heat set at a bit of an upward angle? I remember heat setting my noodler's ahab nib and that corrected a lot of problems, is the hard rubber similar in that respect to the ebonite in those pens?

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I would go with setting it correctly both axially and in rotation rather than heat bend the feed. As stated by linearM, the feed and nib should be correctly oriented in the rotation direction. The inside of the grip is shaped to accept the parts in one position. Once that position is found and the nib/feed distance set the nib should function correctly.


This is a very good reference point for all pen work. Select Reference pages.

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So I aligned it in every way possible. I kept the feed forward and the nib back. and it started to work like a dream but the nib kept separating from the feed as I was writing. so, out of frustration, i gave up.

I heat modified the feed a little bit. and to my surprise, it went perfectly. I was terrified, but now it writes without any railroads.
Thank you guys for all the help.
I will definitely be using FPN for everything.

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Here are some pictures of the post- heat set feed. and how it flexes after.
more macro shots of course.

But this pen is now perfect to me. :) Thank you guys again.





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There are several possibilities as the cause of the problem. Among them are:

  • Bad sac
  • Clogged feed
  • Improperly seating of the feed and nib
  • Incorrect and/or worn parts
  • Improperly filled pen
  • Improperly primed pen
  • Pen has been left inked and unused long enough for the ink to start drying inside the pen
  • Applying excessive pressure to what that nib was designed for, a common practice among folks who do not know much about flex nibs

Without significant knowledge and experience on each of the subjects above, it will be hard for anyone to properly diagnose and correct the cause of the problem.

Tu Amigo!

Mauricio Aguilar




E-Mail: VintagePen@att.net

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