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Heartbreak! Doomed John Holland Nib


sidthecat

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If Dan Smith says it can't be fixed, I'd take him at his word. My superflexy John Holland nib had too damn many cracks to be saved. That's a total drag, but it also raises a question:

what makes a nib crack?

I'd imagine that each company had its own alloy, and maybe some are less stable than others.

Or is it the design of the nib? Conklin Crescent nibs tend to crack across the ends of their distinctive breather holes, but others split lengthwise.

 

Has anyone had a think about this?

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well from my old metallurgy classes, fractures in metals can occur from 3 main characteristics.. shear, tensile and tear. basic fracture mechanics.

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From the medical literature, lots of things. As an old lady, one starts to take such things more personally.

 

But what can a person do to a nib to split it down its length?

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Before declaring the nib a loss how about a picture?

As for nibs cracking, I've seen a fair number that cracked due to over stressing the metal to demonstrate extreme flex that wasn't.

San Francisco International Pen Show - The next “Funnest Pen Show” is on schedule for August 23-24-25, 2024.  Watch the show website for registration details. 
 

My PM box is usually full. Just email me: my last name at the google mail address.

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I'll see if Mr. Smith will describe the damage in a little more detail, although it might make me cry.

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Is it a John Holland dip nib? I.e. the kind without a breather hole? The lack of a hole to distribute the stress when flexing makes these nibs very prone to lengthwise cracks if they're not handled carefully.

 

A "how not to" picture from a recent eBay listing:

 

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

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

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it is a John Holland nib, but there is a breather hole.

 

This isn't it, but it's similar:

fpn_1477431891__holland_bchr_ph11_2.jpg

Edited by sidthecat
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There was an interesting thread, where someone showed 1930's Waterman info, that they only wanted @ 3X tine spread....on nibs that we today push to 6 and 7X,

 

They seemed to be more interested in ease of nib bend rather than tine spread. :huh:

 

With the famous colors of Waterman....like a Pink nib....reputed to be so very flexible, could be being overflexed by the modern folk.....when originally it was more a super springy....with some flex; than the super over flexed nibs we now think they were making.

 

Richard Binder has a very good article about how to spring your nib.

One of the reasons I tend to keep my superflex nibs one X under what I feel is max. I have a Pelikan 100n, that is an easy full flex (the level under a wet noodle), superflex nib, that will do 5X....but I strive to keep it at 4 X and under when using it. Thanks to Richard.

 

Could be my dip pen nibs are not designed to do the Olympic splits I demand of them (Hunt 99-100-101 and others very similar super weak kneed wet noodle nibs)....but they are not the rare gold nibs being mourned. :(

Edited by Bo Bo Olson

In reference to P. T. Barnum; to advise for free is foolish, ........busybodies are ill liked by both factions.

 

 

The cheapest lessons are from those who learned expensive lessons. Ignorance is best for learning expensive lessons.

 

 

 

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What do you mean "we", kemosabe? :)

If you and I are standing alone opposite the 6 or 7X side of the street then together we are [a we].

San Francisco International Pen Show - The next “Funnest Pen Show” is on schedule for August 23-24-25, 2024.  Watch the show website for registration details. 
 

My PM box is usually full. Just email me: my last name at the google mail address.

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Have you consulted John Mottishaw about your John Holland nib? Being that John is one of the premier nibmeisters in the world, you might want to consult him for a second opinion. I know that he does some repairs on nibs, so he might be able to give you his considered opinion. he can be reached at : www.nibs.com

 

And since you are in LA, and John is also located in LA, you dont have to ship you pen and nib across the country.

Edited by Wolverine1
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I normally stay one width narrower than what I think the nib can do....often enough too lazy to work at making the nib spread it's tines.

 

I have a Pelikan 100n Easy Full Flex/ the first stage of Superflex; that can go 5X but I keep it at 4 X. I have a Waterman 52 that if my hand was light enough it could go from XXF to BBB or a 7X.....I make sure I don't go over BB....and mostly because I'm still a tad heavy handed....it writes to an F....when I just grab it as just a pen to scribble.

 

I almost always put in a reference to Richard's article, of how to spring your nib....in springing nibs is against my religion.

 

Also why I always recommend working one's way up the flex ladder, instead of jumping into the deep end of the pool with out waterwings.......and having someone with too little experience to feel a limit......going for Olympic Splits........whoops. :( And or finding it more difficult than thought....needing work....and then they run back to the safety of Nails....and never even get up to semi-flex...........in the last half the word scares them away. :unsure: :crybaby:

 

IMO everyone should have at least one semi-flex...just for the fun of it. A 3 X tine spread max. It is rugged enough to naturally lighten the Hand....I went from Ham Fisted to Slightly Ham Fisted in only three months. :happyberet:

 

Dip pens is the way to go ..... I have some that make a Wet Noodle look uncooked.....and if I spring one....it is not the end of the world........got to start using my oblique holders and do more than talk. ;)

Edited by Bo Bo Olson

In reference to P. T. Barnum; to advise for free is foolish, ........busybodies are ill liked by both factions.

 

 

The cheapest lessons are from those who learned expensive lessons. Ignorance is best for learning expensive lessons.

 

 

 

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Fair enough, but I jumped into flex with both feet some time ago. I have a very light hand, so I rarely press a nib to its limit. I love the expressiveness of these things.

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You are lucky.....I was the typical returning Ham Fisted Ball Point writer. I remember some Jr. High teacher telling me a couple of times to hold my fountain pen lighter....but it didn't take.....way back in silver money and we still had B&W TV days.

 

When I got my first semi-flex a 140 OB, I was still Ham Fisted....everything was real wide for a while, until slowly my hand got lighter.....until I was only Slightly Ham Fisted.....that took three months.....just in time to go over to a maxi-semi-flex OF 400nn.....again my hand got lighter.

 

It's not what I'd call real light now......not super light enough to go XXF with that Waterman with out sweating effort.....I guess I get a 2X tine spread with maxi rather than a 1 X tine spread in regular writing. As I said, the Waterman looks an F to me when I scribble regular.

In reference to P. T. Barnum; to advise for free is foolish, ........busybodies are ill liked by both factions.

 

 

The cheapest lessons are from those who learned expensive lessons. Ignorance is best for learning expensive lessons.

 

 

 

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I normally stay one width narrower than what I think the nib can do....often enough too lazy to work at making the nib spread it's tines.

 

I have a Pelikan 100n Easy Full Flex/ the first stage of Superflex; that can go 5X but I keep it at 4 X. I have a Waterman 52 that if my hand was light enough it could go from XXF to BBB or a 7X.....I make sure I don't go over BB....and mostly because I'm still a tad heavy handed....it writes to an F....when I just grab it as just a pen to scribble.

 

I almost always put in a reference to Richard's article, of how to spring your nib....in springing nibs is against my religion.

 

Also why I always recommend working one's way up the flex ladder, instead of jumping into the deep end of the pool with out waterwings.......and having someone with too little experience to feel a limit......going for Olympic Splits........whoops. :( And or finding it more difficult than thought....needing work....and then they run back to the safety of Nails....and never even get up to semi-flex...........in the last half the word scares them away. :unsure: :crybaby:

 

IMO everyone should have at least one semi-flex...just for the fun of it. A 3 X tine spread max. It is rugged enough to naturally lighten the Hand....I went from Ham Fisted to Slightly Ham Fisted in only three months. :happyberet:

 

Dip pens is the way to go ..... I have some that make a Wet Noodle look uncooked.....and if I spring one....it is not the end of the world........got to start using my oblique holders and do more than talk. ;)

 

I have noticed that while some nib tines spread, others spring or the tines actually bend when pressure is applied on paper. It appears the nib in question has been spread too far beyond its stress limit for far too long thus causing it to fail.

 

In your experience is it better to find nib tines that bend open as opposed to spreading with regard to durability?

They came as a boon, and a blessing to men,
The Pickwick, the Owl and the Waverley pen

Sincerely yours,

Pickwick

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Another question has come to my mind. Why is there a need to spread nib tines so wide beyond its seeming capability in any case unless anyone has a tendency to write an extremely large script?

 

If that's the case then there would be a need to keep a box of spares on hand.

They came as a boon, and a blessing to men,
The Pickwick, the Owl and the Waverley pen

Sincerely yours,

Pickwick

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