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Old 02-16-2017, 04:09 PM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Question Need A Little Help with Nib Replacement

Fountain pens are less common sales items for me than other pen types. My issue is that when I upgrade the stock nib on a 'kit' pen to a Heritance or Bock, I almost always have problems getting the replacement nib to work properly.

I do the basic steps to check for tine alignment using magnification, floss the slit with a thin piece of brass (.02" thick) shim stock, insure good symmetrical, proper alignment of nib to feed. I know how to press on the individual tine to work on the alignment. None of these steps seem to help my issue. I have done a fair amount of research, but have failed to find a solution. One specific problem that I often encounter is that the nib looks fine, but once mounted to the feed and holder, the tines will then be spread apart, resulting in no ink flow. I may be wrong, but I have the impression that the overall diameter of the replacement nib does not match diameter of the mating surface of the feed. I put the stock nib back on, and there is no issue with the tines spreading. It is kind of difficult to go back to the buyer and offer the stock nib after selling him on the wonders of the upgraded nib!

I am seeking specific feedback to the spreading tines issue, and also any general advice or tips that any of you have found to be useful when mounting a replacement nib. Is it appropriate to press the new nib to a rod (transfer punch for example) to increase/decrease its diameter? My most common kit for nib replacements are the Dayacom Jr. Series. I will very much appreciate any help on this issue. I am contemplating taking the step of no longer offering nib upgrades, which I consider to be tantamount to giving up!
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Old 02-16-2017, 04:58 PM   #2 (permalink)
 
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Steve, Can you tell if it's harder to press in the replacement nib? If it is then it's definitely larger and is probably being forced out of shape. How does the actual slit from the feed look, both in and out of the pen? If it is only getting wide near the tip you may be able to tweak by pushing down on each tine alternatingly till you get it closed up. If I have a chance I'll see how some of the Heritance nibs I have fit. I bought them years back but never really marketed them with my pens.
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Old 02-16-2017, 06:24 PM   #3 (permalink)
 
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Thanks for your thoughts Vic. My sense for what is happening is that when the replacement nib and stock feed are inserted into the holder, the nib is being distorted slightly, causing the slit in the nib to widen out. I am wondering if the nib is formed to a diameter either larger or smaller than the stock nib. It is not something that can simply be measured, and the differences (if they exist) are likely on the scale of a couple of thousands of an inch, not something that can be readily seen. What can be observed is the slit in the nib spreads apart as the nib/feed are inserted into the holder. That is why my guess is that either increasing (spreading) or decreasing the overall radius of the nib prior to assembly may resolve the issue. I might just need to experiment with things, but am hoping someone has already run the experiments. I would be somewhat surprised if others have not had these problems, as I seem to encounter it often when upgrading a nib. (Just to mention again, the issue occurs most often with Jr series (#5 size nib).
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Old 02-16-2017, 11:16 PM   #4 (permalink)
 
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Steve, I did a little playing and comparison. I discovered you can bend the heck out of the back end and it won't spread much. I both spread and compressed the curve and didn't get much spread. However when I did the same near the shoulders I did get the spread up at the tip end. I have several pens with a greater spread at the breather hole that write fine. At the tip it does make a difference.

I pulled the #5 from a Montverde and although the feed and nib look Identical the feed is a touch larger then kit pens. (couldn't insert all the way) If you can look close at the fit between the feed and nib they look smooth and snug on the matched components. The Montverde nib on the kit feed showed a gap between the edge of the nib and the feed. This would indicate a larger radius on the Montverde nib. Either use a loupe to look at or I found the zoom on my phone camera gave me a better look. Since the nibs are matched to the feed and feed housing the inner radius, on the kit, would be smaller and yes cause some warpage. Changing the radius would take a bit of work, practice. I still think that bending the tines down should close the tip.
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Old 02-17-2017, 10:35 AM   #5 (permalink)
 
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I do appreciate your doing a little experimenting, and your observations are helpful. I am trying to establish some sort of routine to use if ink flow is a problem when swapping to an upgraded nib. I tried some of the same things you mentioned, and ended up spreading the Heritance nib (spread the nib overall by pressing to slightly firmly against a slightly oversized rod). Then I was not getting ink flow even as far as the breather hole! Next I tried to compress the radius back down a bit. At this point, the tines were looking good, with the slit tapering down toward the tip, but when placed on the feed, the spread reappeared near the tip. So I worked on the tines to close them further, ending up with a functional nib/ink delivery for this particular pen. I feel that I now can deliver this pen, and will have a 'happy camper' customer.

Thanks Vic, for taking the time, and putting a second set of eyes on this issue.
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Old 02-17-2017, 10:41 AM   #6 (permalink)
 
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Because I have recurring issues getting my upgrade nibs to work well, my guess is that others have dealt with the same issue. Perhaps it is just my limited experience with doing this type of upgrade. In any case, I am requesting that anyone who has any experiences (and solutions) to share, that you do so here. Thanks!
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