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Hand painted nibs.


Floydly

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howdy I’m here to share the end results of 5 months of artistic-scientific dumbassery & experimentation.

 

In short, I had too many steel nibs laying around from my “learn to regrind nibs” journey. Surprisingly I was able to get where I wanted grid wise pretty quick. Now I have a bunch of useless (see also: boring) steel nibs laying around.
 

This annoyed me, so, I put stuff on them.
 

Stuff: FD0D7AE2-F2BC-4438-B7EE-43CF939EA7B2.thumb.jpeg.3b60384d3f01569b608ba0e86f5488b3.jpeg

 

behold, the first two hand painted, writing-normal-capable nibs I produced. Terribly ugly! (And I know the tines on the cloud nib are horrifically misaligned in this photo - it was easy to fix) But, many proof of concepts are. Unexpectedly, the third nib I produced in this project lasted until a week or two ago, when I intentionally removed the coating because I was bored of the plain white nib after 4.5 months! (It now has a cute frog on it.) 
 

This lead to a lot of research. And a lot of paintings that failed: Google drive video of numerous nib-paintings that did not survive testing

 

The perpetual problem was… random delamination of various layers. You can see it happen to a few of the nibs in the video - just near the tipping, where I have the least paint holding itself together. Eventually I got it so only the paint layer would delaminate, and it would remain attached to the sealant, so I could fix it without impacting the art/ the supports of the art.

 

I was able to drill down on solving that problem: I needed a primer that punched waaay above its weight class, and didn’t negatively interact with the sealant. And even more PPE, yay!

 

HOWEVER. All these failures/experiments/nib torture chambers I built to test durability… lead to finally cracking the code this week. 

142DFF7F-F293-4F33-B8A8-2A2219D66922.thumb.jpeg.78190af4f3e033809040ec0056ceff3e.jpeg


Quick writing demos

 

are they flawless-machine-perfect finishes yet? No, but I’m also just a weird human doin’ their best, not a robot. 

 

materials I do not recommend, having tried them and had them not work out:

 

- tremclad (if you just want to paint your nib a single colour, tremclad was great, but you need to thin it, let it cure fully - like weeks, and know how to use acetone/masking tape effectively. Then seal it with something waterproof.)

 - polyurethane (stains easily)

- garlic juice

- oil based primer (I mean it might have been fine but the smell almost killed me.)

- self etching primer (they do okay but this layer was really inconsistent for delaminating) 

- Bar-top epoxy (couldn't handle the Pelikan 4001 soak.)

 

so uh yep I spent several hundred dollars because I wanted to put a jellyfish on a nib, and somehow it still cost less then trying to buy the limited edition sailor LOL. 

Thanks for reading :) I can post more finished nib art if people are not appalled by what I have done here haha. 

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A good idea, you make your nibs look special. How long before the paint begins to peel or change?The paint is baked on the nibs?

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On 1/22/2024 at 12:40 AM, jchch1950 said:

A good idea, you make your nibs look special. How long before the paint begins to peel or change?The paint is baked on the nibs?


oh man I thought I sent a response but I must have forgot!

 

1) the oldest nib is 5 months old now, still looking good as new despite being in my daily driver. I did a lot of troubleshooting/experimenting to make sure they held up to the daily challenges of pen-use. From actively picking at them, to soaking them in Pelikan blue black for 2 months… also freezing them.. sanding them… etc. I don’t know how long they’ll last, but I’m hoping to invest in better PPE so I can use urethane based sealants in the future - which will put us at 10 years as a comfortable lifespan, if the nib is constantly in use. Right now I’m guessing 2-5 years, but it could be longer? Could be shorter, but I doubt that, with the torment I’ve wrought on the test nibs.
 

2) paint is sealed using a verrrry durable clear coat. The primer/base on the nib itself keeps the paint away from the moisture exposure areas. Mmm, and the way I’ve selected/set up the materials,  if/when the paint does peel, it peels uniformly, so it can be reattached pretty easily. 
 

overall it’s real “lets (bleep) around and find out” venture, but it’s been guided by a lot of research and material testing.

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Yep what a wonderful idea and magisterial work! I am greatly impressed, bot by your ingenuity, ability and perseverance. That is certainly some pretty neat work you have done there.

If you are to be ephemeral, leave a good scent.

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I can imagine a large number 10 nib painted with a dragon head mounted in an all-black rubber pen.

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That thought conjures up fantastic imagery :).

If you are to be ephemeral, leave a good scent.

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I'd worry about about the paint flaking off, the way the coating on the older Platinum Plaisir nibs did).  But I've been to pen shows where someone turned old nibs into earrings (by putting the "earrings" parts on them), and I could see that being done with the painted nibs. 

Ruth Morrisson aka inkstainedruth

"It's very nice, but frankly, when I signed that list for a P-51, what I had in mind was a fountain pen."

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On 1/30/2024 at 1:04 PM, inkstainedruth said:

I'd worry about about the paint flaking off, the way the coating on the older Platinum Plaisir nibs did).  But I've been to pen shows where someone turned old nibs into earrings (by putting the "earrings" parts on them), and I could see that being done with the painted nibs. 

Ruth Morrisson aka inkstainedruth

Oh yeah! Completely reasonable worry. That was a problem early on, but after trying a few different primers, it takes quite a lot of physical effort to peel the paint once it’s cured. Like uhh, needed to use forceps to get under the sealant, and then get acetone in there, to remove the art on a piece I wasn’t happy with. The nice thing about artist grade paint is it’s intended to last a lot longer then house paint, so it’s more resilient then you’d initially think.
 

I plan to test out moisture cured urethane sealants this coming week (finally have the PPE) — which by all accounts should make the art… nye indestructible. The biggest weakness in these has been shear-force, specifically if you dig your nails into the side of the art and pull up (and break through the sealant layer first), they peel, but passive flaking hasn’t been observed yet, but time will tell…. However, with the implementation of MCU…. The side-peel-weakness weakness should be vanquished!

 

😂 the attached photo is MUCH more absurd. I haven’t sealed this one yet, it’s a wonderful writer, and it will be the Test Piece for MCU increased durability, lots of edges, so lots of weak points.

 

to Jchch, that is an AMAZING idea. I’m impatient for the Jinhao #8s I ordered to get here. But a #10 canvas? Why that’s downright ROOMY.

BC02288F-DF01-4CAF-A299-535D8FBE8810.jpeg

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That last one is simply amazing!

If you are to be ephemeral, leave a good scent.

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@Floydly -- Guessing that the nib is a home-grind semi-flex one? :rolleyes:

Ruth Morrisson aka inkstainedruth

"It's very nice, but frankly, when I signed that list for a P-51, what I had in mind was a fountain pen."

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9 hours ago, inkstainedruth said:

@Floydly -- Guessing that the nib is a home-grind semi-flex one? :rolleyes:

Ruth Morrisson aka inkstainedruth

Hahhaha, I suppose :) I’ve made flexes on purpose, but I haven’t tested it for that yet.. a good idea when the paint/sealant is cured.

 

I had the horribly inappropriate idea of painting someone’s legs/bottom and cutting in notches so there was a back of knees shape — and reshaping the tipping to a knife/kodachi shape, to emulate a pointy heel shoe! Now that flex is on the menu to think about, hooo boy. Thank you! 

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