Nibs

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arehrlich

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RussFairfield,

I would certainly appreciate information on the Bexley nibs - where to get in contact with them, as well as how you attach the nib to your pen body.

Any info would be very much appreciated.

Alan
 
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nilsatcraft

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Ed4Copies let me know about this thread so I thought I'd give a brief update. We have heard our customers saying that they'd like more varieties of fountain nibs, including higher end nibs. As our line of high end pens grows, so does the demand for nicer nibs. At the moment, we're awaiting a shimpment of samples of higher end nibs to investigate. We anticipate carrying more nibs in our Fall Catalog but for now we're just doing our homework. If I find out anything new, I'll let everyone know.
 

Old Griz

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Thanks Nils, I figured you guys were going to try to help.. you always do...
I for one would definately be interested in seeing what you come up with... please keep us informed..
 

DCBluesman

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Not intending to steal anyone's thunder, but Arizona Silhouette is also adding replacement nibs for the Baron to it's online catalog. They should be there real soon!
 

driften

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Really cool Nils! I am also been waiting for BB's Baron replacement nibs.
I am also looking for any way to put other high end nibs into pens like the Bexley nibs.

Nils, anything CSUSA can do to help us sell to the collector market as well as the current market would be great!
 

RussFairfield

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Who says these Vendors don't listen? When the volume is sufficient for them to see the prospect of some $$'s, they will do something. There are other folks who are also looking at the same market, so we may have multiple choices in a few months.

Several of you have asked me about the Bexley nibs. The Bexley nib has a thread that is 8mm dia. X 0.7mm pitch, and that doesn't match any kit that is available on the market, and it not a common metric tap size in any of the tool catalogs. I would suggest waiting for the nibs from Craft Supplies or whoever else chooses to supply them because they will be sized to fit the kits that they are selling.

We just returned from being away from home for 11-weeks, so give me a couple weeks before asking any personal questions about pens. I holding off on everything in the shop intil the trees are trimmed, the weeds are dead, the grass is cut, and the motorhome is washed and cleaned. Then I have to remember where I was in the shop when we left.
 

ed4copies

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Russ,

Having sold my motorhome (in Wisconsin, upkeep is STUPID), I would really LOVE to help you wash one, But, alas, it's a bit of a trip to Idaho.[8D][8D]

Thanks for the info and good luck on the lawn!
 

JimGo

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Russ, where are your priorities???? [:D] Thank for all the great contributions you make, both here and on your site.

I'm an electrical engineer by training, so this mechanical stuff is kinda Greek to me, but I wonder if one of our metalworking guys might not be able to make an appropriate tap and re-sell it here.
 

scubaman

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Originally posted by JimGo
<br />I'm an electrical engineer by training, so this mechanical stuff is kinda Greek to me, but I wonder if one of our metalworking guys might not be able to make an appropriate tap and re-sell it here.
You can make taps for use on plastic fairly easily with a metal lathe. You can also get custom taps ordered. Check out e.g. etaps.com But just having the tap is not all that's necessary - it's one necessary piece. Plenty of more opportunities or challenges to incorporating e.g. a Bexley nib into a pen. I sort of suspect that you will not have a complete solution offered up on a silver platter any time real soon - and I'm sure it's not unwillingness to share. Even for a supplier it's not just a simple matter to just order a part and be done. If you're looking for a quick solution you gotta put in the hours... I've had a Bexley nib for a while, in fact I steered Russ there, I tried making a section to fit it and failed with my first attempt - and simply have not had the time for the next iteration yet. Of course it can be done - but it requires development
 

scubaman

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Originally posted by btboone
<br />Sounds like it is an interesting challenge Rich. What are the issues that needed to be overcome on that one?
Bruce, with your background in mechanical design and machining this is not a problem. For someone to think all you need is a tap and you can use that nib is just not realistic. What are you going to cut that thread into? The Bexley assembly is a complete assembly of nib, feed and a houseing - but it still needs to go into a grip section. You need to make that section, plus something with the right internal and external threads. And you still want to use a cap somehow. It's not a simple drop-in assembly, that's all
 

DCBluesman

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Originally posted by scubaman
It's not a simple drop-in assembly, that's all
Tap. Tap holder (to get the tap straight). Die. Die holder (to keep the die straight). Pressure fitting for nib. Cap seal. There's a lot more to this than I expected when I started out. And I STILL don't have a working model!
 

Mac In Oak Ridge

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I have been kind of amazed at how long this thread has held up and the contributions to it. It sounds like our craft is heading somewhere and we just need to go with the flow.

However, it has gone way away from what I started out with and I sure would like Nils or some other supplier comment on what I have asked.

The little metal tip of a fountain pen is called the "nib". Pen kits come with the nib installed in a nib holder with the feed assembly. I want to buy the nib alone. Just the little metal part that has the slit in it and applies ink to paper. If you damage or a customer damages the nib, the only way to solve the problem right now is to waste an entire pen kit to get the dang nib. I would like to be able to change the nib from medium, all of them we get are medium, to fine or broad.

From the price that pen kits sell for the part of that price that represents the nib is less than $1.00 more like $0.25. Why can't a pen kit supplier go to their supplier and get 10 packs of nibs of the different line width? The 10 packs of nibs alone would sell, least ways I would buy them. I would guess that they could be sold for a profit at $5.00 per pack but most would pay more, I would.

All it takes is a drop on the floor of a fountain pen that lands on the point and the nib is gone. Again, right now the only cure is to trash a pen kit to change the nib.
 

nilsatcraft

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In answer to your question, Mac, the nibs are currently sold sepparately for most of our pens. We don't neccessarily have the nibs only (just the tip without holder or assembly) but it's an entire replaceable piece that can be easily threaded on and off. We carry these nibs in Extra Fine, Fine, Medium, Broad and Caligraphy for just $4.50-$5.99 each. We also carry the replacement Medium Fountain nibs for Gents and Jr. Gents pens and they range from $8-$12 dollars each. It's true that we don't have all varieties of all nibs but we're trying to stock a better variety so that you can replace damaged nibs for a relatively low cost or upgrade a nib for a higher cost. I don't think we're likely to carry the nib tip only in the very near future but it is a possibility. I also believe that the tips would cost a lot more than 50 cents or a dollar each. The tips are not so simple that they can be sold for that little. We appreciate the feedback we get from these discussions and I'll be sure that this information is brought to the attention of the product specialists here. We're trying to accomodate the requests of our customers but it's a 'little by little' process [:)]. Everyone here is so talented that we have a hard time keeping up! [;)]
 

PenWorks

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Nils, the quality of your replacement nibs in the 5.00 range are an excellent value. I personally use the fine & calligraphy with no problems at all.

Now my question to you is....will the replacement nibs offered in the 5.00 range fit into the new Jr. II ???
 

woodscavenger

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I have been watching this thread and this forum with amazement. The craftsmanship that I have seen develop just in the last four months is amazing. It reminds me of another hobby I was into about two years ago. I got into RC airplanes, specifically SPADS (Simple Plastic Airplane Design) which basically means that guys got tired of spending 100s of hours on balsa planes and started to make planes of alternative materials (corrugated plastic, aluminum, etc). I watched that hobbly develop from very simple SPADs to very complex airplanes that were literally undetectable from balsa products. For any of you interested go to www.spad.org
 

nilsatcraft

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Anthony, the standard nibs we sell aren't fitted to the Jr. Gents but we sell the Jr. Gent nibs for $3.99 and $4.99 for 10K and Platinum respectively. They don't have product numbers but you can order them by phone. They'll fit either the Jr. Gent or Jr. Gent 2. We also have those for the full size Gentlemen's Pen but they're priced at $8.99 and $9.99 each.
 

RussFairfield

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Nils,
The question that has been asked but not answered -

Does your definition of an "Upgrade" nib include an 18k solid Gold??

Or, does "upgrade" just mean a greater variety of widths and platings on the steel nibs that you already have available??
 

PenWorks

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Originally posted by woodscavenger
<br /> I got into RC airplanes, specifically SPADS (Simple Plastic Airplane Design) which basically means that guys got tired of spending 100s of hours on balsa planes and started to make planes of alternative materials
OT: Shane I built a Spitfire balsa plane, can't remenber the scale, but it is big. The last thing I would do, is to stick a motor in there and crash it. [B)] 100s of hour, is about right [:p] I have 3 others that are unfinished after years of laying around [V] Never flew anything, just enjoyed building them.
 

driften

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Originally posted by nilsatcraft
<br />Anthony, the standard nibs we sell aren't fitted to the Jr. Gents but we sell the Jr. Gent nibs for $3.99 and $4.99 for 10K and Platinum respectively.
The nibs in the catalog says they are brass. What are these nibs made out of?
 

ed4copies

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Nils can listen, BB may not be too happy.

Although, this also means if BB gets his nibs for the Baron, they will probably fit the Jr. Gent (All-in-all, there appears to be light at the end of this tunnel if ANYONE develops an 18kt nib)[:p][:p]
 

ed4copies

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Woodscavenger,

Years ago I found myself in an art & craft show, exhibiting in competition with Dick Sing. Since he started this industry (in my mind, I had read his books to learn how to do it), I apologized and tried to find a different avenue rather than head-to-head competition. I will never forget Dick's response. Essentially, he said, Keep competing with me, head-to-head, it will make BOTH of us better.

As I look back, I was no competition to him at that time. But that attitude was certainly refreshing. We were in shows together for a few more years and I always consider him a pleasant acquaintance. You'll never meet a nicer gentleman.

So much for reminiscing (sp?)!! His philosophy is certainly prevalent on the IAP site. Everyone tries to improve with each posting-it has to create better end products and more expertise!!

Back to making pens.
 

PenWorks

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Originally posted by ed4copies
<br /> (All-in-all, there appears to be light at the end of this tunnel if ANYONE develops an 18kt nib)[:p][:p]
Be carefull what you wish for Ed, [:D] This is a glimpse at at the 14K gold nib in Fine writing grade that will fit the Jr/Baron/Navigator. I will probablly be ordering these within the month [:)]





 

RussFairfield

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Doing something to customize a kit pen can lead to some interesting challenges. Here are mine.

Replacing the nib was easy. All that took was machining a new fitting for the end of the pen barrel with a thread that matched the nib.

Since I was machining the fitting, I could now attach it directly to the pen barrel without using the brass tube.

Since I am machining the fitting from Sterling, I now have to use a Sterling clip. Making and attaching the clip requires another series of trial and errors.

However, I am trying to modify a snap-cap pen, and that requires the little bead on the end of the nib that locks into the nylon cup that is inside the cap. The new nib doesn't have this bead. What follows has been a lot of trials and errors to add a bead to the nib I am trying to use, or find a new way to attach the cap. A different way to attach the cap is winning.

And that leads to removing the brass tube inside the cap, and finding another way to attach the clip.

What started with modifying a "kit" will now use none of the kit parts.

This journey has taken me far from making a "kit pen" but it is an enjoyable trip. The advantage that I have is that I served an apprenticeship as a machinist many years ago, worked in the trade for several years, still have a tool box full of presision tools, and recently purchased a lathe that will cut any metric thread I want. The Silversmithing skills are something that I am learning.

The final risk is being able to sell this pen at a price that will recover my time and materials. If that doesn't work out, I will have some nice personal pens and an investment in Sterling.
 

Mac In Oak Ridge

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Originally posted by nilsatcraft
<br />In answer to your question, Mac, the nibs are currently sold sepparately for most of our pens. We don't neccessarily have the nibs only (just the tip without holder or assembly) but it's an entire replaceable piece that can be easily threaded on and off. We carry these nibs in Extra Fine, Fine, Medium, Broad and Caligraphy for just $4.50-$5.99 each. We also carry the replacement Medium Fountain nibs for Gents and Jr. Gents pens and they range from $8-$12 dollars each. It's true that we don't have all varieties of all nibs but we're trying to stock a better variety so that you can replace damaged nibs for a relatively low cost or upgrade a nib for a higher cost. I don't think we're likely to carry the nib tip only in the very near future but it is a possibility. I also believe that the tips would cost a lot more than 50 cents or a dollar each. The tips are not so simple that they can be sold for that little. We appreciate the feedback we get from these discussions and I'll be sure that this information is brought to the attention of the product specialists here. We're trying to accomodate the requests of our customers but it's a 'little by little' process [:)]. Everyone here is so talented that we have a hard time keeping up! [;)]
Nils,
Thank you for the response. I don't reply to argue with you,just to point out something.

You sell the end assembles for pens. The most expensive one you mention sells for $5.99. I don't know your costs nor do I wish to but it wouldn't be out of the ordinary to figure that your cost is in the $3.00 range for that part, perhaps even less than that.

That part consists of the metal nib, feed assembly and holder with a thread on it.

Whom ever you buy it from is most likely making the plastic parts, or metal if they are metal and buying the nibs from some company that makes nibs. They then assemble the unit, put it in a package and ship it to you.

They, in turn have a cost of around half of what they are selling to you for and that would make the complete assembly cost him around $1.50. If you figure that in that cost to him the most of it is for the more complex parts that need to have molds made and threads machined or cast in the molds and plating if needed. You can figure that 75% of that $1.50 is for the parts he is making, 25% (I suspect it is even less than 25%)for the cost of that nib that he is buying in. That comes out to his cost of the nib of around $0.38. So he scoops up a coffee mug full of them out of the barrel he gets them in and has someone count them out, just like he does with all the other parts.

Double that price to you and he sells to you for $0.76 each. And double that price to me and you sell for $1.50. That is a whole lot less than $5.99 to fix a dropped pen.
 

DCBluesman

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Mac--I think your analogy breaks down along the way. If this were the case, I could buy a replacement engine for my Cutlass for about $300. As long as there are economies of scale for distribution networks between the original manufacturer and the end customer there will be sizable markups. Many of those on this site that sell fountain pens increase the price to our customers by significantly more than the increased cost of the components.

In a relatively free market, those costs are only incurred if they are less than the cost of direct distribution. If the elusive $1.50 nib were something that manufacturers could sell profitably without hurting their other business, they would still be in existence. The same can be held for my customers. If they could by a rollerball pen from me for $50 and upgrade it to a fountain pen for $6 I doubt I would sell many $75 fountain pens.
 

woodscavenger

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Anthony, you are such a tease! That is fantastic looking! Is that only in fine? I am a lefty and my paper looks like it has been attacked by a swarm of termites if I write with a fine point.
 

PenWorks

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Originally posted by woodscavenger
<br /> I am a lefty and my paper looks like it has been attacked by a swarm of termites if I write with a fine point.
Sorry Shane, the first batch is just a fine writing grade. Due to the quantity neded to order, I had to draw a line someplace. I noticed, most fine writing grades are so close to a medium, you really cant't tell the difference.

Some other suggestions, you can start practicing writing righty [:D] or take a hammer and smash the nib till it looks like a broad [:D]
 
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PenWorks

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Ed, they will be offered for sale. ( the Jr nibs are 2 months out) I just recieved the large 14K gold nibs from Germany that will fit into the Gent/Statesmen pen. I will be offering these as well within the next week. Look for my post Monday [:)] I have to figure my costs over the weekend.
 
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