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Thread: Making Nibs / Handmade Nibs

  1. #21
    Senior Member carlos.q's Avatar
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    Exclamation Re: Making Nibs / Handmade Nibs

    You could also make nibs the really old fashioned way:

    https://youtu.be/3xkOETcaVSk

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    Senior Member mizgeorge's Avatar
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    Default Re: Making Nibs / Handmade Nibs

    I have pretty much all the kit necessary (including slitting saws of the right size, presses etc, and still have little desire to try to make my own nibs, even though it's an interesting process. The tipping would be a problem - I don't have a welding setup (though I know a man who does...) but the actual material is pretty specialised as well, and would be of no use to me for anything else.

    I'll stick to what I enjoy, which is being able to repair/modify them.

    Kudos to those that make them from scratch.

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    Senior Member mizgeorge's Avatar
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    Default Re: Making Nibs / Handmade Nibs

    Quote Originally Posted by carlos.q View Post
    You could also make nibs the really old fashioned way:

    https://youtu.be/3xkOETcaVSk
    Crikey - I thought my slitting saw setup was terrifying until I saw that - and he carries on with the grinder on the other side with that thing just inches away from his bare arm. I'd have to book a season ticket at A&E!

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    Senior Member eachan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Making Nibs / Handmade Nibs

    Quote Originally Posted by carlos.q View Post
    You could also make nibs the really old fashioned way:

    https://youtu.be/3xkOETcaVSk
    Wonderful craftsmanship with the bare minimum of equipment.

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    Detman101 (January 12th, 2021)

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    Senior Member Cyril's Avatar
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    Default Re: Making Nibs / Handmade Nibs

    Quote Originally Posted by AzJon View Post
    From my research, gold nibs on dip pens were not originally tipped with any material. To the extent that the large gold nibs you see on older dip pens served one purpose: being sharpened periodically. The gold will naturally dull over time, so you would take it to a jeweler and have them put a new point on the pen.

    Here is an old manual that outlines the nib making process:https://archive.org/details/historyofinventi00fole
    This is a nice reference and thank you for the link!!!

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    Senior Member Yazeh's Avatar
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    Default Re: Making Nibs / Handmade Nibs

    The difference between before and after is like night and day... Great job and an amazing sketch....

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    Default Re: Making Nibs / Handmade Nibs

    You can make your own iridium tips. Melt your iridium in a shallow, circular, graphite crucible with a hand torch until it beads up like you were making a gold bead but super small. Think 2.5-3 mm diameter.

    As a jeweler you should have no issues rolling your gold sheet to slightly thicker than your desired thickness and lapping it flat before using finer grits to achieve your desired thickness. Cut out your rough shape with your jeweler's saw and then use a small rotary stone to grind it to shape. Then use a super fine grit to perfect the shape. It'll have a shine but if you really wanna make it pop take a super hard wooden dowel about 2 cm long and around wine cork circumference and drill a 3 inch wood screw through it and use a drop of thin slow set CA on the head of the screw where it meets the wood. It'll wick in using capillary action and seal the screw in there for good. Snip the end and rough file the sharp edges if you feel like it. Make a few of these. They're easy to make and come in handy for smooth grinding/polishing hard small items. Insert the the screw into a rotary tool's chuck and then turn it on. Coat the wood with a white honing compound like from Beaver Craft and use the compound coated dowel to super smooth all of your filing and cutting marks. Then use another one coated in green polishing compound to bring it all to a super shine. Alternatively finer and finer grits of wet sandpaper can achieve the same effect but with more effort on the sharp edges.

    Here's your polished flat blank. Now it's time to shape it. Anvil and plastic coated mallet if it's what you have. Wooden dowels can be used that have been gently ground down to a point. Think very acute triangle as opposed to pencil. Center the nib blank on the dowel and then tape it down with piece of thinly rolled masking tape from past the tip to past the tail. Now roll on a hard flat surface like a cutting board until you get your desired shape. Fine tune the shape with plastic or hard silicone tipped pliers. Now you've got your nib blank rolled into shape.

    The fun part comes. Use a jewelry spot welding machine with a foot switch to weld the iridium tip on to the front of the nib. Use a small graphite plate with a tiny divot to hold the iridium tip and plastic/silicone tipped pliers to hold the nib. Line it perfectly at the electrode, exhale and hold your breath, close eyes, then tap the welder with your foot. The ball will fuse to the tip of the nib. Use a .13-.15 mm cutting disc to cut the slit and then grind it down to your specs.

    Just Google "jewelry spot welder" and they'll come up pretty cheap.

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