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Gold. It's All The Same. Right?


IndianElf
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I was just wondering. It might be stupid. But. I'm going to ask anyway.

 

Is there anyone that would make a custom gold nib? Like just the nib?

 

Because I find branded gold nibs unreasonably expensive.

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So you want to pay less to an artisan who has the skill and tools to make a gold nib to your specs?

Edited by cattar
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Even if a custom nib could be made, what are you going to tip it with? And exactly how much do you think a custom gold nib should cost? What is the artist's time, effort and expertise worth? You really might as well pay 80-100 bucks for a gold nibbed pen from Japan...

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I would expect a custom made gold nib to be much more expensive than a production nib simply due to the cost of the machines involved. And a hand made gold nib would have the problem of the time involved for the artisan to learn to make it. The only way I can imagine custom made gold nibs to be low priced would be for someone to invent a molecular level three dimensional printer, for that printer to become a mass produced design so as to amortize the design cost over many machines while at the same time new supplies of gold are discovered, the cost of gold extraction from marginal deposits drop, alternative materials to gold for electronics are developed at lower price points and with equal or better properties, the cultural attraction to gold disappears globally for jewelry use, as a method of savings and demonstration of wealth and newer better machines start being produced so you can buy an early model molecular printer on sale.

So yes, I can see this happening, say in about Seventy years.

Maybe you are young enough to wait that long. Me, I will spend the extra money and buy another Gold nibbed pen.

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There are few people out there could make gold nibs without go through large manufacturers but i doubt that the price is more "economical" than the mass-produced nibs.

 

And for the first question, the difference between nibs are significant, so not gold nibs are not the same.

 

The best option you can have? Buy a stock Bock or Jowo nib from sellers like FPNibs if your pens can take it.

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I've posed this question to a friend of mine. He's a jeweler and general whitesmith. I'll report back when I've heard from him.

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The trick would probably be making the feed. You might want to talk to Sean Newton, who's been experimenting with the creation of flex nibs recently.

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Thank you guys for replying.

 

As for the fact that custom made gold nibs might be more expensive than production ones, I didn't really think about that.

 

But just for novelty sakes, is it still possible? Are there people willing to experiment with the possibility?

 

I'll check out Sean Newton. Thanks

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Gold for nibs even if delivered in @ width needs to be run through rollers to bring it down to thinner. Then your die maker needs to make a die exactly the size of the nib you want....and the machine shop has to stomp it out.

That's a lot of money for one nib.

Then your maker needs to send it off to be retipped at at least $80.

 

Or your gold smith can hand cut and hand hammer, anneal a 14 or 18K gold alloy .....well do you want a simple gold nail, semi-nail or old 'true' regular flex?

 

Then what geometry do you want .... do you want the nib to be alloyed for semi flex or do you want superflex.

 

Still have to send the nib off to be tipped. Ever since WW2, when tipping was perfected ....it was perfected through high tec machinery....that is still 1940's high tec. Even if it's hidden in a robot, it's the same method. Works fine.....Saw 1950-60's high tec in the Lamy factory for making Lamy/Jotter ball point cartridges. (I really had expected a bit more modern...but it works...the machine is long paid for....and a newer more expensive machine wouldn't produce 10% more; cheaper. That machine makes as much as they can sell, or they'd had two of the machines.

 

Of course I'd guess some sort of jewelry laser could do it....It would take a master make sure it's not lumpy like the 1930's and before tipping.

Needs a small rubber saw to slice the nib. Lamy uses a coated thin rubber round saw, in it's robot.

 

I have a gold smith that could do that, in she trained on nibs when training as a gold smith in East Germany. Of course I'd have to pay Meister wages....minimum of E50-60 an hour. Has your gold smith ever trained in nibs?

 

As mentioned what do you want the feed to do....should it be fast for quicker nibs...semi-flex or superflex....or should it be really buffered for your nail?

 

What ink are you going to design your nib and feed for?

 

In Nibs and Tines.......Feeds-Simple And Complex, gave me a lot to think of.

I learned a lot on that thread.

 

Mauricio who sells adjusted superflex nibs, says it's the fiddling work of perfect placement of the nib to the feed that makes some superflex dance when others of the same brand, nib and feed don't. They are not perfectly aligned nib to feed to depth in the section.

 

I am satisfied with the vintage '50-70 German, MB, Osmia, Pelikan or Geha semi or maxi-semi-flex pens. I have 26 semi's and 16 maxi's. But I have both steel and gold that in Osmia or Geha are = so it's not just that gold is always the 'best' only material.

 

If you want a nail...a nail's a nail, be it gold or steel...IMO same with semi-nail. A gold nail is bling only...in with luck it's as good as a good steel nail.

 

I have steel and gold in the old fashioned once as the normal issue regular flex that are =.

Good quality is good quality. Be that good gold vs good steel.

Normally one would expect a gold nib to be better...but that is not always the truth as some folks with vintage gold nibs have said. There are poorly made gold nibs too.

 

I think anything you want, can be found in vintage gold nibs, with matching feeds....or if your expectations are not too high....modern.

Edited by Bo Bo Olson

German vintage '50-70 semi-flex stubs and those in oblique give the real thing in On Demand line variation. Modern Oblique is a waste of money for a shadow of line variation. Being too lazy to Hunt for affordable vintage oblique pens, lets you 'hunt' for line variation instead of having it.

RIP...200's once great nib, now a double ball.:crybaby::wallbash:

 

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

 

 

 

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Any master jeweler should be able to make a nib for you. That seems to be where many nibs came from in the early days of the 20th century. But unless you can give her a wonderful nib to copy and can explain the writing feel you want, it may take several, or many, tries to get an acceptable nib. And you need a real jeweler, not just someone who sells jewelry or makes settings out of bent and soldered wire as a hobby. She will have to be able to form an alloy, work on a forge, and do electric welding to attach the tipping material. But plan on it being expensive: nibmeisters who already have the welding equipment and experience charge in the range of $50 to $100 just to put new tipping on an existing nib and reshape it.

ron

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It's telling that all of the custom penmakers buy their nibs rather than making them.

I have a lathe which I use to make pens, but I would need thousands of dollars worth of extra equipment to make nibs.

 

It's like the old gun trade - different parts of the gun would be made by different trades. There would be one shop making barrels, another to make the lockwork and another to make the stock.

All used different equipment and required different sets of skills.

 

Nib making is entirely different from making the rest of the pen, and is the work of a specialist.

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If you want a gold nib - the second hand market it where to look.

 

Parker Slimford - comes with a nice 14K nib, and can be bought for less than £20. Same for the Parker 45 - but that nibs tiny compared to the Slimfold's.

 

Put the name of any brand of fountain pen into e-bay and you will find vintage gold nibbed ones going for not much money both 14k and 18k.

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Gold for nibs even if delivered in @ width needs to be run through rollers to bring it down to thinner.

 

And not just a strip rolling mill, but a custom one which produces the correct, partially curved taper across the strip's width.

 

It's telling that all of the custom penmakers buy their nibs rather than making them.

 

Not all.

fpn_1375035941__postcard_swap.png * * * "Don't neglect to write me several times from different places when you may."
-- John Purdue (1863)

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That was interesting. I'd heard of that company....and that was even more intricate than I knew.

FM or MB as nib width :notworthy1: ...........Yes!!!! Of Course. About time. :thumbup: :puddle:

I have them from one company being wider than another...and the slop of tolerance, where a skinny M can be exactly a fat F, and so one.

 

Nail or semi-flex...choice. Oblique should be semi-flex if you want line variation. If you just hold your nib canted due to left eye dominance....well you can get a nail anywhere. But to be able to get semi-flex out side the 1000 is so rare today.

 

Sadly it's ED and I can't find a price. But it certainly sets your nib angle up when one looks at the ordering form. :notworthy1:

:wub: With the standard of how to make a nib fit from far away. I'd have to time a vacation to have the final nib check.

Like getting hand made shoes fitted.

Anybody got six numbers I could borrow????

 

Well back@ 1900 when Morton made the best nibs in the world...they sold them to Kaweco. In April 1914 Kaweco bought machinery from Morton, and even brought American workmen to Germany to teach the Germans how to make the worlds best nibs. Then came August. And the Americans had to go home.

 

At this time Kaweco had better nibs than both Soennecken and MB.

Hand hammered on tiny anvils so the grain was right, and annealed.... the 'iridium' tipping that could burn off was stuck in a small piece of potato.

So I guess the Kanteen served a lot of potato soup.

 

1930 the owner went bankrupt....not the company....crash of '29. The new owner stopped this labor intensive best nib in the world....and dropped down to making run of the mill nibs like Soennecken and MB.

 

If you look on Youtube, you can find Indian nibs being made primitively but those are cheap steel nibs on cheap Indian pens. Sort of like Ahab nibs.

That was quite a clip on how one can still make a nib if one puts one's mind to it.

That is some labor intensive nib work, for a bespoke nib. Look at the ordering form, it is bespoke.....made to fit you.

And it can be even more bespoke. :o

Edited by Bo Bo Olson

German vintage '50-70 semi-flex stubs and those in oblique give the real thing in On Demand line variation. Modern Oblique is a waste of money for a shadow of line variation. Being too lazy to Hunt for affordable vintage oblique pens, lets you 'hunt' for line variation instead of having it.

RIP...200's once great nib, now a double ball.:crybaby::wallbash:

 

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

 

 

 

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