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Thread: PenBBS nib unit fitting pointers for nib swap?

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    Senior Member awa54's Avatar
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    Default PenBBS nib unit fitting pointers for nib swap?

    Hi all, I posted this one on the Dark Side as well, but didn't get the flood of secret tips & tricks I'd been hoping for...

    Any and all techniques/suggestions for dealing with the PenBBS nib units are welcome, as I'm sure that others will be able to use this info for their own situations as well.

    My specific issue right now is that when I swapped a Nemosine nib into the PenBBS sleeve (with stock feed) the nib is not held as tightly as the original. It's not flopping around in there, but the nib can definitely be pushed off center with much less pressure than I'd like. I'm wondering if anyone has modified the feed to accept the full length of a Nemosine #6, rather than shortening the nib? In hindsight that seems like it might work better as there is more total volume of nib taking up space in the collar... I didn't do it that way though, since I had wanted to preserve the ability to put the original nib back in if needed. I do have the parts pack on the way though, so I'll probably try it that way once I have spares on hand. I also have an FNF ebonite feed/collar set on the way, any experiences/tips on using that would be much appreciated as well!

    TIA for any input you may have!


    0111201501_2sm.jpg
    David-

    So many restoration projects...

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    Senior Member Jon Szanto's Avatar
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    Default Re: PenBBS nib unit fitting pointers for nib swap?

    Sometimes swaps don't work. Nibs and feeds are so un-standardized, very much more so as you step back in time. All you can do is monkey around with it or make parts fit by alteration, but the length and curvature of a nib base directly affects it's use in sections and collars. You also need to be careful because most nib collars aren't very thick and placing undue stress on them can crack them or distort their shape, which is why the two elements - nib and feed - need to be of the right size and shape to fit inside, just tightly enough to be held but not putting undue outward stress on the collar itself.
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    Senior Member awa54's Avatar
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    Default Re: PenBBS nib unit fitting pointers for nib swap?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jon Szanto View Post
    Sometimes swaps don't work. Nibs and feeds are so un-standardized, very much more so as you step back in time. All you can do is monkey around with it or make parts fit by alteration, but the length and curvature of a nib base directly affects it's use in sections and collars. You also need to be careful because most nib collars aren't very thick and placing undue stress on them can crack them or distort their shape, which is why the two elements - nib and feed - need to be of the right size and shape to fit inside, just tightly enough to be held but not putting undue outward stress on the collar itself.
    Exactly, since plastics aren't easily heat-formed like ebonite, getting just the right balance between "snug" and "cracked" isn't always possible... The good ol' days of thick celluloid or ebonite sections and ebonite feeds, with very thin tail stock thickness on the nibs made fitting more exacting, but when fit correctly the nib is *in there* to the point where a punch and knock-out block are required to remove the feed.

    I'm really hoping that there are sneaky work arounds for use with plastic parts, since the ebonite feed and collar combo is $30 + S&H and can't be used in the 352, since it doesn't have a cartridge nipple
    David-

    So many restoration projects...

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    Senior Member awa54's Avatar
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    Default Re: PenBBS nib unit fitting pointers for nib swap?

    OK, not much new input here, so I'll post some

    As far as the fit on the Flexible Nib Factory ebonite collar and feed combo, *yes* these hold a thinner nib like the Nemosine firmly, not vintage ebonite firmly, but much tighter than the PenBBS collar and feed do. The ink supply may be a bit overkill for an EF nib though

    The feed modification concept (alter PenBBS feed to accept a full length Nemosine nib), the verdict is... not much difference. Which is a bummer, since the PenBBS feed and collar can be had for about $3, rather than $30.

    I guess the next thing to try is an FNF acrylic feed, that may be a hint drier than the ebonite, or maybe a PenBBS feed in an ebonite collar?

    **scratch that**
    Turns out the FNF feed and collar is designed specifically for Jowo nibs, and as such the forward portion of the feed slopes downward slightly, this means that for other nibs that have a totally flat spine, the ebonite feed needs to be heat-set (which I did successfully do using a mug full of hot water), it also means that the acrylic version is *not* compatible with any nib but a Jowo #6 ...and the collars only fit the FNF feed


    As always, let me know if you've tried any of this and how it worked out for you!
    Last edited by awa54; January 14th, 2020 at 11:42 AM.
    David-

    So many restoration projects...

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    Senior Member awa54's Avatar
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    Default Re: PenBBS nib unit fitting pointers for nib swap?

    another update:

    My parts kit from PenBBS and another FNF ebonite feed/collar arrived today, so my project at lunch (rather than eating...) was to mount a Monteverde F nib in the FNF collar and a Nemosine EF in one of the stock feed/collar sets.

    As before the Nemosine needed to be shortened by about 1mm to retain "factory" OAL and feed positioning and like the last attempt the nib is very definitely looser in the collar than a PenBBS nib, not so loose that it flops around, but the nib can easily be moved off center from the feed with a fingertip... which is much looser than the stock nib fit.

    The Monteverde nib is a standard Jowo #6 with a custom imprint and fit in the FNF setup without a hitch. The collar still need to have the tail end of the threads trimmed to screw in without binding... it also benefits from doubling up the o-rings (or using a thicker one) at that end to prevent ink from creeping up between the nib unit and inside of the section, since there's a deep relief cut where the o-ring sits. The overall length is identical to stock, when the feed is correctly positioned and the nib is in there tight!

    On the subject of nib unit overall length, the inner cap clearance available varies from model to model, I can only comment on pens I own that have clear(ish) caps; the 308s "headroom" is close enough, that even slightly longer nibs may interfere, the 309 has a whisker more room, but could still have issues with a nib that was 1mm longer overall, 480s have lots of extra room, but the width narrows at the top, so some nibs might touch there. The 456 is also fairly close, I'd guess theres less than 1.5mm of extra space, pretty similar to the 309... the 491 on the other hand has lots of extra room.
    David-

    So many restoration projects...

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