Replacing A Nib On a Kit Pen

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crokett

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Someone ordered one of my brass fountain pens and wants to replace the nib with a Bock. The kit is the Commander from Woodturningz. They want to know what size the nib is - they referenced a No. 5 or No. 6 in their email. Does the size refer to tip size or the threads where the nib attaches to the pen? I only know that the nib is a medium point. I called Woodturningz, they don't know the size but say they use the same nib for all of their fountain pens. I'm hoping someone here knows.
 
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FGarbrecht

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The size refers to the actual size of the nib itself. #5 is a small nib and #6 is larger. The nib usually attaches by a friction fit with the feed and housing. If you can pull the nib and feed directly out of the housing, you may be able to replace the current nib with a Bock nib. If the current nib is permanently attached to the housing then you would need to replace the entire nib/feed/housing/section assembly which won't be easy to do, since the Bock section has its own set of threads into the pen barrel. I don't know anything about Woodturningz fountain pen kits, but the other common fountain pen kits that I have seen in my limited experience would be a PITA to modify to accept a custom Bock nib UNLESS you can pull the nib out from the housing and replace just the nib. If you have to replace the whole assembly then all bets are off. You can get specific dimensional drawings of the Bock nibs from Beaufort Ink (you have to email them and request the technical drawings).
 
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DrD

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Nib size is measured from wing tip to wing tip on the nib. A # 5 is more common than a # 6. Although it may be difficult initially, using a dish towel, one can most of the time separate the nib and feed from the section by grasping the section in one hand and with thumb and forefinger of the other grasping the nib and feed, behind the wings, and pulling with an ever so slight twisting motion. If it is a really inexpensive kit, none of this may be possible.
Just a word of caution: going to a more expensive nib does not guarantee smoother writing. ALL nibs may need tuning. A cheap nib when properly tuned can write very, very satisfactorily.
 

FGarbrecht

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I happen to have a Churchill kit fountain pen on my desk and was fiddling with the nib assembly and was unable to pull it out of the section; I assume it was manufactured in one piece and not intended to modify. I don't know about other kit fountain pens but suspect they may be similarly difficult to modify. I suspect that the only way to get a Bock assembly in there is to maybe find another kit that uses a Bock manufactured nib assembly with an M10x1 thread for the section - and I don't think such a thing exists since Bock assemblies themselves cost more than most kits. Maybe a more experienced pen builder will chime in to correct me.
 

DrD

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I happen to have a Churchill kit fountain pen on my desk and was fiddling with the nib assembly and was unable to pull it out of the section; I assume it was manufactured in one piece and not intended to modify. I don't know about other kit fountain pens but suspect they may be similarly difficult to modify. I suspect that the only way to get a Bock assembly in there is to maybe find another kit that uses a Bock manufactured nib assembly with an M10x1 thread for the section - and I don't think such a thing exists since Bock assemblies themselves cost more than most kits. Maybe a more experienced pen builder will chime in to correct me.
As far as the Churchill/El Grande pens are concerned, you must give the nib/feed a real tug, and they will in fact dis-assemble - done it literally on a hundred or so of these. You must really work at it the first time.
 

FGarbrecht

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As far as the Churchill/El Grande pens are concerned, you must give the nib/feed a real tug, and they will in fact dis-assemble - done it literally on a hundred or so of these. You must really work at it the first time.
Thanks for correcting me Don. I was afraid I'd ruin it if I put the vice-grips on it! Good to know.
 

More4dan

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As far as the Churchill/El Grande pens are concerned, you must give the nib/feed a real tug, and they will in fact dis-assemble - done it literally on a hundred or so of these. You must really work at it the first time.
DrD is it a #5 or #6 nib in the Churchill?

The #5 and #6 refers to the diameter in mm of the nib at the back end.

Some kits use an oddball #5.5 that makes it really difficult to upgrade the nib. Kits like the Graduate and Vertex use a 5.5 nib.


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Curly

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First the disclaimer. My wife, Marla makes Blanks for Beaufort Ink.

Beaufort Ink https://www.beaufortink.co.uk/ sell kit compatible nib/feed/housing/sections. From the tube sizes it looks like a Jr Gent series type of pen and they are usually #5 bib sizes but some are now #6. Contact Phil Dart, owner of Beaufort for recommendations.
 

DrD

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DrD is it a #5 or #6 nib in the Churchill?

The #5 and #6 refers to the diameter in mm of the nib at the back end.

Some kits use an oddball #5.5 that makes it really difficult to upgrade the nib. Kits like the Graduate and Vertex use a 5.5 nib.


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On the Churchill/El Grande I have been told it is a #6. I just compared a Churchill/El Grande nib to the #6 Jowo nib on a Jr Milton and the width across the wings is identical, however the width at the base - non writing end - of the nib appears to be ever so slightly wider on the Jowo. I may be mistaken about my understanding of how nib size is determined, and I must apologize for giving incorrect information if that is the case. In a quick check, at least 2 independent sources allow that nib size refers to the size of the feed the nib rests upon, and neither say how feed size is determined; it is logical it may be the circumference of the nib, or like measurement, and in such case, the diameter at the back end of the nib would seem to be correct.
 

crokett

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I checked one of the pens I have that I made with the Commander. The housing screws into the front of the pen. The nib pulls out of that. Looking online the pictures of the bock the whole assembly (housing + nib) seems to be the same as the Bock 180. I also see a refernce that a #5 is 5mm diameter, but I'm not sure which part of the nib that refers to. is that the part that goes in the housing?

I also have a Churchill sitting here, but I am unable to get the nib out of the housing on the one I have.
 

crokett

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I got the churchill apart. It is a larger nib than the Commander. I also found the sizing chart, so will measure the feeder. thanks for the help, I learned something that I needed to know when I decide I am brave enough to try a kitless.
 

More4dan

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Also check the plastic part (feed) that you pulled out of the pen. Is it straight along the top that contacts the metal nib or is it slightly curved along its length? If it’s straight it should work with a Bock nib. The standard JOWO style feed is slightly curved and the nib is too. Mixing the types can lead to ink feeding/ leaking problems.


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crokett

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It looks straight to me. A friend of mine has one I made that is the Churchill kit. I have another. I'm going to tell him he should be able to change out the nib for a medium point - the kit came with a fine point. I also prefer a medium but am also not happy with the nib on that kit. The nib on the Commander is noticeably smoother writing.
 
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