Nib questions & issues

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Amihai

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Oct 8, 2021
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Israel
Hello,
First of all, I will admit that I'm not a fountain pen expert. In fact I turn them much more than I happen to use them 😁

I've the issue of screwing and unscrewing nibs from the section in my kitless pens. I've to apply some force in order to screw the nib, which results in the metal part of the nib slightly changing its position to the feeder.

How would you handle nibs to reduce the chance of damaging them? Can I somehow lubricate the section threads so I'll have to apply less force?

Also, how the hell do you clean fountain pen nibs after testing them with ink? And how do you clean this ink from your hands?!

Thanks,
Amihai Fishman.
 
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Hippie3180

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May 30, 2023
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Is your bore hole the correct size for your nib? Are your threads correct/did you use the right tap for your nib size?

Each brand and nib size has a different tap.

You shouldn't need to place so much torque on your nib to damage them. They should thread into your section easily and come out quite easily as well in my experience.

Ink comes off your hands with regular washing in a day or no, not a big deal, it's part of handling
 
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jrista

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Also, how the hell do you clean fountain pen nibs after testing them with ink? And how do you clean this ink from your hands?!

Thanks,
Amihai Fishman.
Distilled water is best. The process I've used myself, is to unscrew the nib section, and after an initial rinse by pouring distilled water over the nib and its section, you soak it in distilled water for a while. You repeat this soak, until the water is no longer colored by ink (or generally remains pretty clear, doesn't have to be perfect.)
 

jrista

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Is your bore hole the correct size for your nib? Are your threads correct/did you use the right tap for your nib size?

Each brand and nib size has a different tap.

You shouldn't need to place so much torque on your nib to damage them. They should thread into your section easily and come out quite easily as well in my experience.

Ink comes off your hands with regular washing in a day or no, not a big deal, it's part of handling
I've had the same issue (although, just with normal fountain pen kits, I haven't gotten into kitless yet). I don't generally torque my nib sections on hard...but, just a little bit of force seems to shift the nib a little. Is a little bit of shift normal? Or should it be tightly fit into place?
 

Hippie3180

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I've had the same issue (although, just with normal fountain pen kits, I haven't gotten into kitless yet). I don't generally torque my nib sections on hard...but, just a little bit of force seems to shift the nib a little. Is a little bit of shift normal? Or should it be tightly fit into place?
I don't think I've had issues with this, I handle it very carefully, by the shoulder when just handling, and when I'm threading it into my section I handle it down as low as I can by the feed and lower nib. I never handle the tines. I'm not sure why your nib would shift on your feed.

Okay, after talking with my husband he says that he has noticed that the metal nib sometimes rides up on the feed, he thinks perhaps this is because you can get different feeds. 🤷🏼‍♀️
 
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duncsuss

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To flush ink out of a nib unit without disassembling it: buy a nose/ear bulb syringe from a drugstore or Amazon. It lets you force much more water through than just shaking it around in a cup. You can buy "Pen Flush" from a number of sources - I get it from Indy-Pen-Dance.

Ink on fingers: get Ink-Zap (again from Indy-Pen-Dance).

Nib units tight in the section? What I discovered is that certain materials don't cut as cleanly as others. Acrylic Acetate usually is not a problem when I use the drill sizes I computed. Ebonite and Alumilite are different - I suspect they are slightly rubbery and flex out of the way of the cutting edges, so when the drill bit or tap is removed they bounce back and the hole is a smidge tighter than I want. My solution is to go one letter size drill bit larger (such as use drill J instead of I) on all the dimensions. Not so much that the tap doesn't touch the sides to make threads, but large enough there's a little clearance for the nib/feed housing to screw in without binding.
 

Hippie3180

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This sounds reasonable regarding the Alumilite, I use it often and do find them slightly tight once threaded. My solution is to clean the threads well getting all the gunk out, and then turn them several times to losses then a bit.

I think Amihai does wood fountains so probably uses Ebonite for his threads. I haven't used Ebonite yet so I'm unfamiliar with how it works.
 

d_bondi

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Jun 19, 2023
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Utah
To flush ink out of a nib unit without disassembling it: buy a nose/ear bulb syringe from a drugstore or Amazon. It lets you force much more water through than just shaking it around in a cup. You can buy "Pen Flush" from a number of sources - I get it from Indy-Pen-Dance.

Ink on fingers: get Ink-Zap (again from Indy-Pen-Dance).

Nib units tight in the section? What I discovered is that certain materials don't cut as cleanly as others. Acrylic Acetate usually is not a problem when I use the drill sizes I computed. Ebonite and Alumilite are different - I suspect they are slightly rubbery and flex out of the way of the cutting edges, so when the drill bit or tap is removed they bounce back and the hole is a smidge tighter than I want. My solution is to go one letter size drill bit larger (such as use drill J instead of I) on all the dimensions. Not so much that the tap doesn't touch the sides to make threads, but large enough there's a little clearance for the nib/feed housing to screw in without binding.

Another vote for the bulb syringe. For pens that have dried out, you may need to let them soak. You can also disassemble them so that the nib, feed and housing are separate which allows better cleaning.

I have use an inexpensive ultrasonic cleaner to clean kitless pen parts of the cutting fluid, etc., and if there are stubborn dried ink spots, I have also cleaned nib assemblies in it.
 

Bope

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Oct 24, 2018
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Location
Western NY
If you are going to use fountain pens, please learn how to remove the nib. Once you learn how to do that your cleaning and modifications expand a lot. My daughter brought her pens how last weekend. I pulled the nibs out and put the nib, feed and housing in a bowel of water. Took a toothbrush to the feed and got out the dried ink. Rinsed with DI water and put them back together. To about 5-10 min and they are like new again. With the nib out find something new and try it out. Steel nibs are only about $20. Try a stub or italic or a different tip size. Have fun experimenting.

To minimize damaging put thumb on the top of the nib and forefinger on the feed at the base of the nib by the housing. Pull straight out to remove the nib or twist to unscrew from the section. If the nib is a little stubborn just give it a little wiggle while pulling.

If your feed and nib are misaligned, again at the base of the nib push the feed in the direction it needs to move. If it wont move enough pull it out and align them and put it back in.
 

Penfeather

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Oct 7, 2022
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Canada
The way you hold the nib when you unscrew it can minimize misalignment or damage. What I find usually works is to keep the nib itself against the inside curve of the first knuckle of my index finger, and press firmly on the feed with my thumb while carefully turning. That will almost always keep the nib and feed properly aligned. If the nib and feed are a bit loose in the housing, or if the nib unit is screwed in too tightly that won't necessarily prevent the nib from shifting, but it usually works.
 
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