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Thread: Drop-in #6 flex nib - gauging interest

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    Default Drop-in #6 flex nib - gauging interest

    Questions:
    1. How much interest would you have in a "old school" flexible nib that you could "drop in" to replace a #6 Bock or Jowo (using factory feed assembly)? High/Medium/Low?
    2. What would you be willing to spend on said nib?

    Background:
    I have a childhood friend that is a goldsmith / bench jeweler. They have temporarily closed their store due to corona. They have a bunch of old nibs that were sold to them as scrap gold, and I remarked how people want nibs that write like vintage flex nibs. After demonstrating the differences between a vintage Omas, Namiki Falcon, and a few different Bock nibs (steel, gold and titanium); I went on to say that no manufacturer has really replicated what they made in the past, and it would be cool if you could just swap a factory nib with one that flexed like the old ones. They said they could probably make one. We wondered about feasibility, since something like that would be labor intensive.

    Caveats / requests: I'm well aware of the many potential hurdles and pitfalls, from metallurgy to feeds, business models, profitability, etc... We're just talking about it at this point, have no intention of starting a business, etc... Please save electrons and don't distract from the topic with Eeyore-opinions.

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    Default Re: Drop-in #6 flex nib - gauging interest

    I would pick up a couple if they performed well

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    Default Re: Drop-in #6 flex nib - gauging interest

    it would be nice if someone could duplicate vintage flex nibs and do so for around 100-200 dollars in a #6.

    The odds of doing that are extremely low.

    The manufacturers can't or won't do it now because of the tremendous costs involved in what is an extremely small market of who would buy it. Gold prices will only go up in the short term and probably for a couple of years at the least.

    Perhaps your friend could learn nib repair and use what he has in old nibs. But I don't think that one learns the nib making and repair business in a short while.

    Best of luck. Maybe you'll come up with something.

    Cheers.
    Sg
    Last edited by sgphoto; March 23rd, 2020 at 09:45 AM.

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    Default Re: Drop-in #6 flex nib - gauging interest

    I would love an older Omas in F or EF in a JoWo #6. I have a Sheaffer Feathertouch that I love in a JoWo #5, and it is excellent.


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    dneal (March 23rd, 2020)

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    Default Re: Drop-in #6 flex nib - gauging interest

    Quote Originally Posted by Radonactionservices View Post
    I would love an older Omas in F or EF in a JoWo #6. I have a Sheaffer Feathertouch that I love in a JoWo #5, and it is excellent.


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    Id be willing to pay up to $150 for such a nib.


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    dneal (March 23rd, 2020)

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    Default Re: Drop-in #6 flex nib - gauging interest

    As a vintage pen restorer, I look for jewelers who are open to do fountain pen-related stuff.

    I tried to approach a few jewelers locally and I haven't been successful (one flat out refused and actually took the time to "educate" me that fountain pens are the thing of the past and no one cares about those anymore).

    There are several things that your friend can try to do before attempting to replicate a high-quality vintage flex nibs:

    1. Replace missing cap rings.
    2. Create replacement for missing pocket clip. At least for models that can be replaced. From the order of easy to tricky: Z-clips, Conklin see-saw clips, to Waterman style rivet-clips.
    3. Create a custom rollstop. Finial ornaments, and other accessories that can be added to restoration to make a pen unique (I have samples of these).
    4. etc.

    Back to flexible nibs, your friend would have to either be able to come up with a flex nib that is far superior or cheaper than the best of the modern ones, and that means replicating the best samples from Paul Wirt nibs, Aikin Lambert, Wahl, of course Waterman, or the kind of flex nib that Pilot made before WWII.
    - Will
    Unique and restored vintage pens: Redeem Pens

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    Default Re: Drop-in #6 flex nib - gauging interest

    Quote Originally Posted by penwash View Post
    As a vintage pen restorer, I look for jewelers who are open to do fountain pen-related stuff.

    I tried to approach a few jewelers locally and I haven't been successful (one flat out refused and actually took the time to "educate" me that fountain pens are the thing of the past and no one cares about those anymore).

    There are several things that your friend can try to do before attempting to replicate a high-quality vintage flex nibs:

    1. Replace missing cap rings.
    2. Create replacement for missing pocket clip. At least for models that can be replaced. From the order of easy to tricky: Z-clips, Conklin see-saw clips, to Waterman style rivet-clips.
    3. Create a custom rollstop. Finial ornaments, and other accessories that can be added to restoration to make a pen unique (I have samples of these).
    4. etc.

    Back to flexible nibs, your friend would have to either be able to come up with a flex nib that is far superior or cheaper than the best of the modern ones, and that means replicating the best samples from Paul Wirt nibs, Aikin Lambert, Wahl, of course Waterman, or the kind of flex nib that Pilot made before WWII.
    Not to hijack the thread, but are there pen stops that are adjustable and don't require permanent attachment to the pen?

    Thanks.

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    Default Re: Drop-in #6 flex nib - gauging interest

    Quote Originally Posted by sgphoto View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by penwash View Post
    As a vintage pen restorer, I look for jewelers who are open to do fountain pen-related stuff.

    I tried to approach a few jewelers locally and I haven't been successful (one flat out refused and actually took the time to "educate" me that fountain pens are the thing of the past and no one cares about those anymore).

    There are several things that your friend can try to do before attempting to replicate a high-quality vintage flex nibs:

    1. Replace missing cap rings.
    2. Create replacement for missing pocket clip. At least for models that can be replaced. From the order of easy to tricky: Z-clips, Conklin see-saw clips, to Waterman style rivet-clips.
    3. Create a custom rollstop. Finial ornaments, and other accessories that can be added to restoration to make a pen unique (I have samples of these).
    4. etc.

    Back to flexible nibs, your friend would have to either be able to come up with a flex nib that is far superior or cheaper than the best of the modern ones, and that means replicating the best samples from Paul Wirt nibs, Aikin Lambert, Wahl, of course Waterman, or the kind of flex nib that Pilot made before WWII.
    Not to hijack the thread, but are there pen stops that are adjustable and don't require permanent attachment to the pen?

    Thanks.
    You could use a detachable clips, also known as "accomodation clips". But on top of my head I can't think of a rollstop that was specifically designed to be detachable.
    - Will
    Unique and restored vintage pens: Redeem Pens

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    Default Re: Drop-in #6 flex nib - gauging interest

    Quote Originally Posted by sgphoto View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by penwash View Post
    As a vintage pen restorer, I look for jewelers who are open to do fountain pen-related stuff.

    I tried to approach a few jewelers locally and I haven't been successful (one flat out refused and actually took the time to "educate" me that fountain pens are the thing of the past and no one cares about those anymore).

    There are several things that your friend can try to do before attempting to replicate a high-quality vintage flex nibs:

    1. Replace missing cap rings.
    2. Create replacement for missing pocket clip. At least for models that can be replaced. From the order of easy to tricky: Z-clips, Conklin see-saw clips, to Waterman style rivet-clips.
    3. Create a custom rollstop. Finial ornaments, and other accessories that can be added to restoration to make a pen unique (I have samples of these).
    4. etc.

    Back to flexible nibs, your friend would have to either be able to come up with a flex nib that is far superior or cheaper than the best of the modern ones, and that means replicating the best samples from Paul Wirt nibs, Aikin Lambert, Wahl, of course Waterman, or the kind of flex nib that Pilot made before WWII.
    Not to hijack the thread, but are there pen stops that are adjustable and don't require permanent attachment to the pen?

    Thanks.
    Yoshi Nakama of 18111 Pens has some examples which I believe are removable. His pens are exquisite by the way. Some of these are shaped like tree branches. Very cool.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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    Default Re: Drop-in #6 flex nib - gauging interest

    Quote Originally Posted by penwash View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by sgphoto View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by penwash View Post
    As a vintage pen restorer, I look for jewelers who are open to do fountain pen-related stuff.

    I tried to approach a few jewelers locally and I haven't been successful (one flat out refused and actually took the time to "educate" me that fountain pens are the thing of the past and no one cares about those anymore).

    There are several things that your friend can try to do before attempting to replicate a high-quality vintage flex nibs:

    1. Replace missing cap rings.
    2. Create replacement for missing pocket clip. At least for models that can be replaced. From the order of easy to tricky: Z-clips, Conklin see-saw clips, to Waterman style rivet-clips.
    3. Create a custom rollstop. Finial ornaments, and other accessories that can be added to restoration to make a pen unique (I have samples of these).
    4. etc.

    Back to flexible nibs, your friend would have to either be able to come up with a flex nib that is far superior or cheaper than the best of the modern ones, and that means replicating the best samples from Paul Wirt nibs, Aikin Lambert, Wahl, of course Waterman, or the kind of flex nib that Pilot made before WWII.
    Not to hijack the thread, but are there pen stops that are adjustable and don't require permanent attachment to the pen?

    Thanks.
    You could use a detachable clips, also known as "accomodation clips". But on top of my head I can't think of a rollstop that was specifically designed to be detachable.
    Now, there's a market. I have several pens without clips but at times I'd love to have a roll stop, but not permanently attached. And clips for pockets too.

    A springy back, lined with a soft material like non-slip shelving material. It would go around the pen, not show the material, and the clip attached to the front of the springy back. Vary the back size, make it somewhat flexible to take some bending, and you've got a good product.

    That's not rocket surgery. That's doable.

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    Default Re: Drop-in #6 flex nib - gauging interest

    I think it would be better and easier to just sell the nibs. Sometimes people find old pens without the nib. Being able to buy an old nib would fit the bill for them. Just list them here or on eBay. Trying to modify them for flex may be hit and miss and I believe you'll make more money with less work by just selling them as they are.

    Thanks,
    Rick

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    Default Re: Drop-in #6 flex nib - gauging interest

    Quote Originally Posted by sgphoto View Post
    it would be nice if someone could duplicate vintage flex nibs and do so for around 100-200 dollars in a #6.

    The odds of doing that are extremely low.

    The manufacturers can't or won't do it now because of the tremendous costs involved in what is an extremely small market of who would buy it. Gold prices will only go up in the short term and probably for a couple of years at the least.

    Perhaps your friend could learn nib repair and use what he has in old nibs. But I don't think that one learns the nib making and repair business in a short while.


    Best of luck. Maybe you'll come up with something.

    Cheers.
    Sg
    Eeyore.jpg

    Please. Stop.

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    Default Re: Drop-in #6 flex nib - gauging interest

    *sigh*

    I should have expected it. Thanks, but I don't need any of your pontifications or advice and I specifically asked that you don't.

    I have known my friend since the 4th grade. We're in our 50's now. We even dated for a while. She's been a jeweler for 25+ years, and even does lost wax carving and casting.

    This is simply something that piqued both of our interest. It's a challenge. She doesn't have to know anything about fountain pens or nibs to shape gold. Yes, I understand there would need to be much experimentation to get the right temper. Yes, I understand volume producers aren't interested or don't see the profit in it. That has no bearing on whether or not it can be done.

    Exhibit A

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    Default Re: Drop-in #6 flex nib - gauging interest

    I'm sorry - allow me to rephrase my response.

    Oh God Yes! I'd pay at least a million dollars for a new gold flex nib like an old Waterman! Why hasn't anyone thought of doing that before? Shouldn't take more than $75.00 to start manufacturing them next week.

    They'll fly off the shelves - Walmart, Target, and Family Dollar won't be able to keep them in stock. Why Death Valley alone will account for at least 100 million or more.

    Is that better?

    Just kidding, of course. I meant no harm, you poor little snowflake.

    Cheers,
    Sg
    Last edited by sgphoto; March 25th, 2020 at 10:51 AM.

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    Default Re: Drop-in #6 flex nib - gauging interest

    I know this can be done, because it has been done. I have just such a nib that used to be a typical firm Sheaffer Lifetime nib taken from an oversize Balance, and is now one of my best F flex nibs. It was sent to me for approval by the penmeister, and I returned it for another effort to reach the attributes we were both looking for, and on its second arrival, I was dumbfounded. One would never know it wasn't a factory F full flex nib. I didn't think it was possible. Mind you, he also had the pen the nib was going into, so the nib, feed and section are, like...married. Inseparable. And totally complimentary. Goodness, I haven't used that pen in quite a while! I think I'll get it out.

    Now, on the other hand, another well-known penmeister on the west coast promised a similar result on a Waterman 58 nib a decade ago, and it turned out to be an expensive disappointment, both the initial cost of the nib and the failed workmanship. I sent him the pen, and he removed gold from the back of the nib in some manner, and one tine became somewhat floppy compared to the other, and it never wrote well. I found that it had weakened, and when I showed it to Richard Binder when he was still in full swing at pen shows, he pointed out the microscopic cracks that had spread across the nib. It had been made 14k scrap.

    Anecdotes for sure. But there you are.

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    Default Re: Drop-in #6 flex nib - gauging interest

    Fred,

    Were all the vintage flex nibs I hear about Fine nibs? or were there Mediums as well? How about italics- would they also offer flex?

    Thanks.

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    Default Re: Drop-in #6 flex nib - gauging interest

    1: yeah, that would be awesome.
    2: from a brand-new, untested manufacturer, probably up to $200.

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    Default Re: Drop-in #6 flex nib - gauging interest

    manoeuver: read your blog about the Penlux ebonite pen and cross flex nib. Marvelous pair. If you ever need to part with it let me know...

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    Default Re: Drop-in #6 flex nib - gauging interest

    The old nib collection is sought after enough to sell. Either firm or any degree of flex sells on ebay for much more than the gold value itself. Flexy nibs are tricky for a number for reason, the old 14K or 18K nibs leave room for quite a lot of variation in the metal blend used. Shape and cast is of course one them. I guess your friend knows all about it. These nibs are worth taking to a pens show, maybe let a pen repair shop know about them. I buy them on ebay for 20 to 50 with out hesiting too much. I am willing to pay more if I know it fits a specific pen and is just what I am looking for. It's all about reaching the right people.

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    Default Re: Drop-in #6 flex nib - gauging interest

    Quote Originally Posted by sgphoto View Post
    Fred,

    Were all the vintage flex nibs I hear about Fine nibs? or were there Mediums as well? How about italics- would they also offer flex?

    Thanks.
    I simply prefer EF nibs for writing with flex. Yes, there are medium and broad vintage nibs that flex, but as for me, a broad cursive italic or stub nib gives me line variation without its tines having to flex as well.

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