A quick tutorial on nib replacement, with a photograph of my testing on two pages.
If you've taken my recommendation or received a fountain pen from me, you're almost almost certainly in possession of a Noodler's Ink Ahab
, pound-for-pound the best FP available. One of the reasons I recommend it is it's a flex pen (flexing can provide line variation) with an Ebonite feed (which is malleable.) The advice below applies equally to the Ahab.
Flex writing is a particular thing. Line variation is achieved through pressure, typically applied on the downstrokes.
The model up from the Ahab in the Noodler's range is the Neponset
. Whilst both are flex pens, the Neponset is a MUSIC NIB
, meaning it possesses three tines instead of two. This supplies greater ink flow thus greater line variation than the standard flex nib of the Ahab.
I use the Neponset and its music nib for my Christmas cards. This Christmas I stressed the nib with too much pressure and fucked it, beyond repair.
I obtained a replacement nib and feed combination from Noodler's. They offered me a replacement pen free of charge which I declined, because the damage was my fault and not a design flaw, and I'm -pretty much- an honest person.
Using a paper towel I pulled the broken nib/feed from the section and discarded them. I inserted the replacement nib/feed into the section.
Now here's where it DOESN'T
get tricky. There are two things you can do to adjust the ink flow in a pen with an Ebonite feed, such as a Noodler's. You can:
(•a) Let's call this the VERTICAL
- adjust the depth of insertion, of the nib/feed into the section.
The further you insert the nib/feed, the less the ink flow will be.
(•b) Let's call this the HORIZONTAL-
Adjust the relationship between the nib and the feed.
By heating the feed in hot water or with a hair drier, it becomes malleable. When it's malleable one can use finger pressure to mould it into position against the nib.
Now consider the photograph. I had to perform (•a) but I didn't have to perform (•b).
When first writing with a nib it can be a little stiff. I spent five minutes testing the nib with poor results. As you can see on the right-hand page, I had railroading when I applied pressure. To remediate this I pulled the nib and feed out a bit and voilà! the pen is laying down so much ink it's feathering on the page.
It may be the case that over time I might need to heat the feed to adjust the (•b) HORIZONTAL but right now it's performing fine. And all I did was (•a) the VERTICAL: insert the replacement nib/feed, and push it out/pull it in until I was happy with it.
This took five minutes. It wasn't hard, requiring merely a little patience and a willingness to accept inky fingers.
-SRA. Auckland, 24/i 2018.