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Thread: Did I over-smooth my Montblanc nib???

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    Default Did I over-smooth my Montblanc nib???

    I have a Chopin Meisterstuck that I found in my dad's closet. I immediately put it to use as I journal near-daily with a fountain pen.

    The nib was a tad scratchy. I was comparing it to my Cross Aventura, which is pretty smooth. I took my Montblanc nib to a fine Arkansas stone, then to a brown paper bag, then I did the penny trick.

    I think I overdid it. The pen writes very smoothly now, practically glides, but I'm just not sure if the medium nib is supposed to be this thick and inky.

    Is this what it's supposed to look like?

    I'm an amateur BTW. I know this may have been cringe-worthy to read.

    https://imgur.com/a/XSdmf7Q
    Last edited by rjc149; February 13th, 2020 at 07:39 PM.

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    Senior Member Jon Szanto's Avatar
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    Default Re: Did I over-smooth my Montblanc nib???

    Ouch.
    "When Men differ in Opinion, both Sides ought equally to have the Advantage of being heard by the Publick;
    and that when Truth and Error have fair Play, the former is always an overmatch for the latter."

    ~ Benjamin Franklin

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    Default Re: Did I over-smooth my Montblanc nib???

    Sounds like it could use a visit to a nib meister. This is the place to get tips about tips and those who fix them . . .
    Fortibus es in ero

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    Default Re: Did I over-smooth my Montblanc nib???

    Quote Originally Posted by Jon Szanto View Post
    Ouch.
    I'm also going with ouch. Sadly rjc149 the short answer to your question is yes.
    The only thing I ever use to "smooth" the nib of any of my pens is a nib smoothing board similar to the one used in this video clip However, my one has been used so much that most of the grit has worn off leaving it much smoother to start with.
    Regards, Chrissy | My Blog: inkyfountainpens

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    Default Re: Did I over-smooth my Montblanc nib???

    I also think you spoiled it.

    To only smooth a nib you never need a grinding stone (unless you want to reshape the nib geometry).

    I also think that brown paper and glass or ceramic are also not suitable (I donít know your penny trick).
    You most likely make your nibs worth than before (micro scratches on the surface).

    Such a bit of scratchiness could also come from a slight misalignment of the tines (Check such things first with a loupe).

    You only want to polish your nib, not reshape it.

    I use a leather strap (smooth leather belt part) glued to a board with a tiny amount (not even really visible) of very fine polishing paste (I use Dialux green) on one end to polish nibs (8s and circular motions, first on the part with the paste and finally on the blank leather).

    Others use the finest part of nail polish sticks.


    Whatever you do, never overdo it, less is more!

    As others said you most likely need professional help as you likely reshaped your nib (in case you want to restore the original shape).
    Last edited by Pterodactylus; February 14th, 2020 at 01:01 AM.

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    Default Re: Did I over-smooth my Montblanc nib???

    When smoothing a nib it's always better to remember the rule: less is best. Use a smoothing board or micron lapping film only for 3 or 4 strokes then check, check, check, before you do any more strokes.
    Once it's gone you can't add it back on, so only ever do it a little at a time.

    My OH likens it to cutting wood/panels/boards/guttering etc to a specific size. Measure 4 times then cut once.
    Regards, Chrissy | My Blog: inkyfountainpens

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    Default Re: Did I over-smooth my Montblanc nib???

    All is not lost. Put it in the hands of an expert and it'll be brought back to proper form.

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    Default Re: Did I over-smooth my Montblanc nib???

    Quote Originally Posted by Jon Szanto View Post
    Ouch.
    Ouch.

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    Default Re: Did I over-smooth my Montblanc nib???

    Thanks for the replies and advice.

    Judging from what I've written, yes, I overdid it. But, how about the photos? The nib tip looks pointy, would you all say that's the result of inadvertently re-profiling the nib? I don't have any "before" photos to compare the "after" to.

    Again, the pen writes very smoothly -- but I think that may be the result of the extra ink lubrication from the opened-up nib.

    Any suggestions for a good nib meister? I called a fountain pen servicing shop in NYC, they estimate it'll run me over $100 to have it restored properly -- I saw a replacement nib on Etsy for $113 shipped, I'm considering that.

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    Senior Member FredRydr's Avatar
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    Default Re: Did I over-smooth my Montblanc nib???

    Quote Originally Posted by rjc149 View Post
    ...I called a fountain pen servicing shop in NYC, they estimate it'll run me over $100 to have it restored properly -- I saw a replacement nib on Etsy for $113 shipped, I'm considering that.
    I sense a theme here. Stop going cheap on such a nice pen.

    Since you seem to favor NYC, my advice is to put the pen aside for three weeks until the 2020 Long Island Pen Show at Hofstra University on March 7-8. Get to the show early enough to be among the first in the door to put your name at or near the top of one of the nibmeister's lists. The nib work will be performed in front of you, and you get to test your nib until it's the way you want. It'll be much less than $100, and you'll get to see the pen show with your savings.

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    Default Re: Did I over-smooth my Montblanc nib???

    No way I would save money at a fountain pen show, I'd certainly splurge.

    But thanks for the head's up! I may check that out.

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    Default Re: Did I over-smooth my Montblanc nib???

    I'll 2nd Fred's theme, and we are NOT being jerks: this is a fine pen. It deserves good treatment, so don't low-ball what you are doing or do anymore DIY. Take the time and the small amount of money and get it fixed up right. The pen show thing would be a great way to go, *especially* because working with a nib person in real time allows you to try the pen and then hand it back for more adjustments. I just had two pens done last weekend, each by a different person, and they are *spectacular* writers now.

    If you cheap out, I will slap you.
    "When Men differ in Opinion, both Sides ought equally to have the Advantage of being heard by the Publick;
    and that when Truth and Error have fair Play, the former is always an overmatch for the latter."

    ~ Benjamin Franklin

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    Default Re: Did I over-smooth my Montblanc nib???

    Just looked at the nib photos in detail (must have overlooked it before),looks not good..... it looks like you ground half of the tipping away .... sorry.



    I would also take Fredˋs advise and let a Meister look at it to make the best of a bad job.

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    Senior Member FredRydr's Avatar
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    Default Re: Did I over-smooth my Montblanc nib???

    Quote Originally Posted by Pterodactylus View Post
    ... it looks like you ground half of the tipping away ....
    The good news is that Montblanc puts large balls of tipping on their nibs, and there still appears to be plenty to work with on rjc149's nib.

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    Default Re: Did I over-smooth my Montblanc nib???

    Ahhh damnit. Yeah I get -- zealous -- with DIY fixes. I just hate myself for doing this to such a nice pen. Thanks for taking a look guys. Ugh.

    Curious, how would a nib meister salvage this? I'm not going to try more DIY I swear.

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    Senior Member FredRydr's Avatar
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    Default Re: Did I over-smooth my Montblanc nib???

    Quote Originally Posted by rjc149 View Post
    ...how would a nib meister salvage this? I'm not going to try more DIY I swear.
    It all depends on what you want in the end. You should look at http://www.richardspens.com/ref/nibs/basics.htm and any links from there, then get on Richard's list at the show, then discuss what you read and what you want with the man himself. He'll look at your nib and tell you what should be done (and what shouldn't be done) depending on the tipping and the shape of your nib. He will also adjust the flow to match your nib.

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    Default Re: Did I over-smooth my Montblanc nib???

    Quote Originally Posted by rjc149 View Post
    Curious, how would a nib meister salvage this? I'm not going to try more DIY I swear.
    Fred's right, it depends on exactly what you want to achieve and what can be done to the nib as it is now. It might be possible to take the point down a little and shape it into something else, maybe a stubbish nib, that you will be happy with.

    If you read Richard's pages you might be able to pick a shape you like?
    Regards, Chrissy | My Blog: inkyfountainpens

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    Default Re: Did I over-smooth my Montblanc nib???

    Quote Originally Posted by FredRydr View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by rjc149 View Post
    ...I called a fountain pen servicing shop in NYC, they estimate it'll run me over $100 to have it restored properly -- I saw a replacement nib on Etsy for $113 shipped, I'm considering that.
    I sense a theme here. Stop going cheap on such a nice pen.

    Since you seem to favor NYC, my advice is to put the pen aside for three weeks until the 2020 Long Island Pen Show at Hofstra University on March 7-8. Get to the show early enough to be among the first in the door to put your name at or near the top of one of the nibmeister's lists. The nib work will be performed in front of you, and you get to test your nib until it's the way you want. It'll be much less than $100, and you'll get to see the pen show with your savings.
    Will there be a nibmeister at the LIPS? There wasnít the last time i went (3 or 4 years ago) Itís a small show. I wouldnít want someone to hike all the way out to Huntington in search of a nibmeister who isnít there.

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    Default Re: Did I over-smooth my Montblanc nib???

    Quote Originally Posted by guyy View Post
    Will there be a nibmeister at the LIPS? There wasnít the last time i went (3 or 4 years ago) Itís a small show. I wouldnít want someone to hike all the way out to Huntington in search of a nibmeister who isnít there.
    Did you look at the linked website?

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    Default Re: Did I over-smooth my Montblanc nib???

    No and thatís on me, but it might help the OP more to say that 3 people are doing it.

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