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Hacking the Pilot Parallel Italic Nib to a Penbbs 456



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Pilot Parallel italic nibs perform wonderfully in italic calligraphy applications, and they can be successfully ground, hacked, and shaped for a variety of effects. With simple shrink-wrap tubing usually used for electronic connections, the diameter of the nib unit can be expanded to fit snugly into the section of a Penbbs 456 fountain pen. This enables calligraphers to place the high-performing Pilot Parallel nib in a more elegant pen, and to add wide italic functionality — from 1.5 mm to 6 mm — to the Penbbs 456.

 

Use scissors to create a 5-mm-long “collar” from 7-mm heat-shrink tubing. Then, use a hair dryer to shrink the tubing tightly around the Pilot nib unit. The additional diameter enables the modified nib unit to fit snugly into the Penbbs 456 section. The interior diameter of the Penbbs section is about 5 mm, and the interior diameter of the Pilot Parallel is about 4.5 mm, so the tubing needs to increase the diameter only slightly. Because heat-shrink tubing is slightly elastic, it also serves as a type of extended o-ring in this application.

 

My first attempt, with a 10-mm-long collar that covered all of the Parallel feed’s fins, proved too difficult to insert into the Penbbs section. But 5 mm is about right.

 

There is plenty of room within the Penbbs 456 cap for the Parallel italic nib, and the nib starts up quickly after two days of non-use. The Penbbs 456 is a vacuum filler, and it’s also still possible to vacuum ink into the barrel through the Parallel nib.

 

These photographs display the 2.4 mm Parallel nib in a Penbbs 456 in the koi material, described in English as “tiny happiness.” The ink is Diamine marigold. 

 

Spoiler

 

 

 

 

 

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