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View Full Version : What is a "stub" nib, exactly?



kcdan108
May 22nd, 2013, 12:37 PM
OK, so obviously I'm new to this stuff, and if this has already been answered, please refer me to the correct thread.

I'm failing to understand what a stub or italic nib is exactly. I was under the impression that it was broader than a broad nib, but I've seen some people say things like, "ground to a fine stub nib. I only have a couple of fountain pens thus far, and I lean toward fine nibs (as I am an accountant), but understand that the real "art" of writing happens with broader nibs, and shading and such. Just need some definition/clarification. :confused: Thanks.

jar
May 22nd, 2013, 12:57 PM
A stub nib is a (usually) broad nib that has a flat end but smoothly rounded corners.

Note the flay tip to the upper nib and the rounded tip on the lower nib.

http://www.fototime.com/D5DE61E12DA2E94/medium800.jpg

http://www.fototime.com/D29D43A22EE3CBA/medium800.jpg

http://www.fototime.com/829583F3F0D689D/medium800.jpg

Nomdeplume
May 22nd, 2013, 01:36 PM
Not neccessarily broad! I have several fine stubs. The stub nib gives line variation without the need for flex.

jar
May 22nd, 2013, 01:41 PM
Not neccessarily broad! I have several fine stubs. The stub nib gives line variation without the need for flex.

Generally what you have would be called a Cursive Italic.

drgoretex
May 22nd, 2013, 01:45 PM
Nibs can come as specially produced stubs (flared tip); alternatively, and nib with a bit of tipping can be reasonably stubbed by grinding the tipping from ball-shaped to more spatula shaped. The broader the nib, the more line variation you will see with a stubbed nib. But even a fine nib can show some line variation when stubbed. Some of my absolutely favourite pens are pens whose medium nibs I have stubbed. You might consider getting someone to stub a cheap pen fro you so you can try it out - if the stub is done well, it can be incredibly addictive.

Ken

Sailor Kenshin
May 22nd, 2013, 02:01 PM
Or you could go ahead and try one yourself. I've done two, with varying success, using....manicure tools.

drgoretex
May 22nd, 2013, 02:05 PM
Or you could go ahead and try one yourself. I've done two, with varying success, using....manicure tools.

I'll '+' this idea. Get a few cheapies, read a few tips on how to do it, go for it. A lot of fun!

Ken

KrazyIvan
May 22nd, 2013, 02:36 PM
And if you're brave, I have done a couple myself with power tools. :D :p

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8088/8522240562_0ecc7b052b_z.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/ivan_romero/8522240562/)
I have never ground a nib this fast. 5 mins flat. Writing sample next. (http://www.flickr.com/photos/ivan_romero/8522240562/) by IvanRomero (http://www.flickr.com/people/ivan_romero/), on Flickr

snedwos
May 22nd, 2013, 02:58 PM
Or you could go ahead and try one yourself. I've done two, with varying success, using....manicure tools.

I've done one. And it was reasonably successful, actually. Not an enormous amount of variation, and still a little bit of catchiness on the corners, but pleasing, none the less.

dannzeman
May 22nd, 2013, 04:29 PM
I have some images and writing samples of the various nib shapes you'll run into on my site where I offer restoration services and nib grinding: Examples of Nib Grinds (http://www.dannzeman.com/examples-of-nib-grinds/).

In general, a stub makes a thin horizontal line and a thicker vertical line to give your writing some line thickness variation. Stubs can come in different sizes, i.e., fine, medium, broad, or you may see specific widths designated: 1.1mm stub, 1.3mm, etc.

kcdan108
May 22nd, 2013, 06:04 PM
Thank you all so much for your explanations, ideas and pics. This is a lot clearer to me now.

Annie
May 23rd, 2013, 10:55 AM
And if you're brave, I have done a couple myself with power tools. :D :p

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8088/8522240562_0ecc7b052b_z.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/ivan_romero/8522240562/)
I have never ground a nib this fast. 5 mins flat. Writing sample next. (http://www.flickr.com/photos/ivan_romero/8522240562/) by IvanRomero (http://www.flickr.com/people/ivan_romero/), on Flickr

Power tools are the way forward though a bit nerve racking at first.

oldstoat
May 23rd, 2013, 03:37 PM
I may add that Annie has stubbed a number of nibs for different people and does a fine job!

KrazyIvan
May 23rd, 2013, 03:44 PM
And if you're brave, I have done a couple myself with power tools. :D :p

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8088/8522240562_0ecc7b052b_z.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/ivan_romero/8522240562/)
I have never ground a nib this fast. 5 mins flat. Writing sample next. (http://www.flickr.com/photos/ivan_romero/8522240562/) by IvanRomero (http://www.flickr.com/people/ivan_romero/), on Flickr

Power tools are the way forward though a bit nerve racking at first.

When it's with low cost practice nibs, not so much. I will work my way up slowly and I know the nerve racking nib will be that gold nib. I may still just do those by hand.

Sailor Kenshin
May 23rd, 2013, 05:06 PM
How tough is it to do a Hebrew nib like on Dan's site? I think the 'opposite' thick-and-thin intrigues me.

dannzeman
May 27th, 2013, 08:49 PM
It's a bit trickier grinding a Hebrew nib than a stub since the angle at which the user holds the pen is a significant factor.

Sent from my mobile. Please excuse my brevity.

Bogon07
May 28th, 2013, 05:22 PM
I have some images and writing samples of the various nib shapes you'll run into on my site where I offer restoration services and nib grinding: Examples of Nib Grinds (http://www.dannzeman.com/examples-of-nib-grinds/).

In general, a stub makes a thin horizontal line and a thicker vertical line to give your writing some line thickness variation. Stubs can come in different sizes, i.e., fine, medium, broad, or you may see specific widths designated: 1.1mm stub, 1.3mm, etc.

Dan, thanks for the great information.

Interesting, my Lamy EF 14K is like a Hebrew nib.


Richard Binder also has some useful information and diagrams to further explain basic nib terminology such as round, stub, italic and oblique.
http://www.richardspens.com/?page=ref/00_refp.htm
scroll down to see links to:
Nibs and Feeds

Nibs I: The Basics (http://fpgeeks.com/forum/nibs/primer.htm)
Nibs II: Beyond the Basics with Specialty Nibs (http://fpgeeks.com/forum/nibs/beyond.htm)
Nibs III: Flex vs. Italic (http://fpgeeks.com/forum/nibs/flex_italic.htm)

dannzeman
May 28th, 2013, 10:50 PM
I have some images and writing samples of the various nib shapes you'll run into on my site where I offer restoration services and nib grinding: Examples of Nib Grinds (http://www.dannzeman.com/examples-of-nib-grinds/).

In general, a stub makes a thin horizontal line and a thicker vertical line to give your writing some line thickness variation. Stubs can come in different sizes, i.e., fine, medium, broad, or you may see specific widths designated: 1.1mm stub, 1.3mm, etc.

Dan, thanks for the great information.

Interesting, my Lamy EF 14K is like a Hebrew nib.

You're welcome. I've noticed the same thing on my Lamy 14k F nib in my Dialog 3, although it's very subtle.

ethernautrix
May 29th, 2013, 12:18 AM
Ah. It seems (looking at Dan's nib page) that what I want is a right oblique stub - fine. Can I get that? And how much is it?

:-)

velo
August 4th, 2013, 10:49 AM
Like a lot of people I've been caught by the bug. What I would really like though is something finer than the common 1.1 stub. Something more towards a medium. Would I see much line variation?

I see Richard Binder sells them for certain pens. Is he the only retailer or are there other online sellers?

sdmason
August 4th, 2013, 11:29 AM
This is a Jowo medium that is my first attempt at a stub.

velo
August 5th, 2013, 01:05 AM
I'm not sure I trust myself to grind my own nibs.

KrazyIvan
August 5th, 2013, 08:48 AM
I'm not sure I trust myself to grind my own nibs.

Niether did I, so, I started practicing with cheap pens.

kemuri
August 5th, 2013, 09:53 AM
I'm not sure I trust myself to grind my own nibs.

Niether did I, so, I started practicing with cheap pens.

Hello, folks!

I just love this kind of DIY stuff. I was insecure about doing this myself and with some "odd" tools.

I used a very cheap pen (got it for $5 dolars), nail tools (don't know the name in english) to scrub the nib and some oil used to sharp knifes.

Turn out great, very similar to the stub nib I got from a Pilot 78g (broad, stub nib).

It takes some time till it get ok...

Thanks!

-kemuri

Sailor Kenshin
August 5th, 2013, 11:07 AM
That's what I did. Chewed-up garage sale nameless lever pen for one dollar was subjected to nail clippers and nail buffers. Made a scratchy italic to practice on.

KrazyIvan
August 5th, 2013, 11:20 AM
That's what I did. Chewed-up garage sale nameless lever pen for one dollar was subjected to nail clippers and nail buffers. Made a scratchy italic to practice on.

I have to give you props, I have not had the um, bravery to go at a nib with nail clippers. I guess tearing into them with a Dremel is about the same or worse but for some reason nail clippers have not made it into my fountain pen tool box.

Sailor Kenshin
August 5th, 2013, 01:03 PM
That's what I did. Chewed-up garage sale nameless lever pen for one dollar was subjected to nail clippers and nail buffers. Made a scratchy italic to practice on.

I have to give you props, I have not had the um, bravery to go at a nib with nail clippers. I guess tearing into them with a Dremel is about the same or worse but for some reason nail clippers have not made it into my fountain pen tool box.

Heh... It was literally dog-chewed. And one dollar. I decided to ledge-walk. ;-)

tandaina
August 5th, 2013, 01:05 PM
I'm not sure I trust myself to grind my own nibs.

Niether did I, so, I started practicing with cheap pens.

I've tried it... And either I am doing something wrong, my cheap Indian pen's nib is made of space age steel, or my nail boards are WAY wimpier than those of tutorials I've read online... But 20 minutes at it and my emory boards were toast, nib seemed utterly unchanged. So umm, I'm a failure at nib grinding.

KrazyIvan
August 5th, 2013, 02:02 PM
I'm not sure I trust myself to grind my own nibs.

Niether did I, so, I started practicing with cheap pens.

I've tried it... And either I am doing something wrong, my cheap Indian pen's nib is made of space age steel, or my nail boards are WAY wimpier than those of tutorials I've read online... But 20 minutes at it and my emory boards were toast, nib seemed utterly unchanged. So umm, I'm a failure at nib grinding.

That's exactly what I found. It was just taking too long to cut the nib shape I wanted. 45 minutes is about how much time I would work on a weak stub. I moved on to honing stones and now Dremel powered stones. With the Dremel it's 5 minutes tops to rough out the shape and smooth down/polish with the triple grit nail file. Messing up also comes at a very fast pace. :D I was not paying attention to the rotation direction of the stone once and I touched the nib to the stone just slightly. Instantly the right tine was gone about 3 mm's above the tipping. Luckily it was a cheap pen and I do not make that mistake anymore. :D I just need to draw an arrow with a Sharpie on the tool so I can skip the rotation check.

scrivelry
February 10th, 2014, 11:19 AM
I did this with a pen that came to me with part of the tine broken off - cheap nib, absolutely no reason to think I'd ever want it professionally repaired, so nothing to lose. It's ok, but I am looking for the sharpening stones I know I have somewhere for the next one.

T

raging.dragon
February 11th, 2014, 06:43 PM
An italic nib has a rectangular (instead of round) contact patch between nib and paper so it produces thick vertical lines and thin horizontal lines.

Historically: a stub was an italic nib with the rectangular contact patch perpendicular to the long axis of the nib, a hebrew nib was an italic with the contact patch parallel to the long axis of the nib, and an oblique nib was an italic nib with the contact patch at any angle in between. This terminology is still used in the context of dip pens and calligraphy pens and nibs. Regardless of the orientation of the contact patch, it may have sharp corners (to maximize line variation) or rounded corners to allow cursive writing.

In the modern fountain pen community the terms often have a different meaning. Italic, cursive italic and stub nibs all have a rectangular contact patch pependicular to the long axis of the nib. An italic or crisp italic has sharp corners. A cursive italic has slightly rounded corners allowing careful cursive writing. A stub has more rounded corners making it more forgiving when held less than perfectly aligned with the paper. An oblique has an angled round contact patch to accomodate writers who rotate their pen, but will have little if any line variation. Thus you could have an oblique stub, which would be a contradiction of terms in contexts using the historic meanings of these words.