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Thread: Fear of the Dip Pen Nib!

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    Senior Member eachan's Avatar
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    Default Fear of the Dip Pen Nib!

    When I was in school (a very long time ago) we wrote with pencils at first. Then, at the age of seven, we were introduced to the joy of writing with a dip pen. I didn't do well with that! Perhaps my touch was too heavy. In any case, the nib, which was very pointed, would dig into the paper and send a spray of blots across the page.

    Our teacher, who had been trained in the School of Sadism, indicated her displeasure with a crack across the knuckles with the edge of a ruler. My hand, now paralysed with pain, did not do a better job. The result was that any mention of dip pens brought on an attack of post-traumatic stress, to this very day!

    Some time ago I bought a charming little wooden pen box which held a somewhat chewed dip pen and a tiny wooden box of nibs, some used, others in an unused condition. I of course put them away and tried not to think of them again.

    This afternoon, fortified with a couple of stiff drams of Laphroaig, I daringly attached one of the nibs - an Esterbrook Relief - to the holder and found, to my great surprise, that I could actually write with the thing. There were some very pointed nibs too, and with great daring, I tried one of those. In the absence of Mrs. Stuart and her punishment ruler, I was able to apply a very light touch and found that I could write with this delightfully flexible nib too. The experience has been cathartic and I have, at the age of 70, been able to banish the ghost of my hideous old teacher who made my life such a misery when I was seven. May she rest in peace.

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    Default Re: Fear of the Dip Pen Nib!

    Well done that man!

    Nicely written too.

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    eachan (February 14th, 2021)

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    Default Re: Fear of the Dip Pen Nib!

    Thank you Eachan for sharing such a touching and cathartic story. I'm glad you can enjoy the joys of dip pens and their panoply of nibs. The next step will be to do it without the dram

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    eachan (February 14th, 2021)

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    Default Re: Fear of the Dip Pen Nib!

    Quote Originally Posted by Yazeh View Post
    Thank you Eachan for sharing such a touching and cathartic story. I'm glad you can enjoy the joys of dip pens and their panoply of nibs. The next step will be to do it without the dram
    But why???

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    manoeuver (February 15th, 2021)

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    Default Re: Fear of the Dip Pen Nib!

    Quote Originally Posted by eachan View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Yazeh View Post
    Thank you Eachan for sharing such a touching and cathartic story. I'm glad you can enjoy the joys of dip pens and their panoply of nibs. The next step will be to do it without the dram
    But why???
    Too face miss Stuart's ghost without the help of liquid sunshine.....and then to celebrate after with a dram or two

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    eachan (February 15th, 2021)

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    Default Re: Fear of the Dip Pen Nib!

    She has gone already, swept away with a confident stroke of a pointy nib! She was a dreadful embittered old crone really, more to be pitied than feared - unless of course you were a little kid in her realm. Single teacher schools were a fine institution unless you were unlucky enough to attend one that was the lair of a monster.

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    Default Re: Fear of the Dip Pen Nib!

    Thank you for the touching story. I'm so pleased that your attempt at writing with a dip pen nib was a success.

    Sadly, having recently tried it myself after having broken the tip off of my glass dip pen, I couldn't do it and ended up with blots across the page just as you described in your first paragraph.

    I've bought 6 new glass dip pens from Amazon.
    Regards, Chrissy | My Blog: inkyfountainpens

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    Default Re: Fear of the Dip Pen Nib!

    There are many people here who could give advice from much greater experience than me, I'm sure! However, I can say that the Esterbrook Relief nibs were very easy to write with, Chrissy. The nibs with long, flexible tines and a sharp point are much more of a challenge. A very light touch is required and I think it would take lots of practice to do well with such a nib. Deb is more committed to using the dip pen than I am. I'm perfectly content with my Swan 1060.

    Anyway, enjoy your new glass dip pens! Nobody says we have to use metal nib dip pens!

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    Default Re: Fear of the Dip Pen Nib!

    Well done Sir.

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    Default Re: Fear of the Dip Pen Nib!

    I enjoyed your story Eachan thanks for sharing it. I write with flexy dip pens as my primary writing form and encourage anyone who wants to try.
    JBBPensPaper an Etsy store

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    eachan (February 16th, 2021)

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    Default Re: Fear of the Dip Pen Nib!

    Now that I've made a start I will persevere.

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    Default Re: Fear of the Dip Pen Nib!

    And show us your achievements.....

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    Senior Member eachan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fear of the Dip Pen Nib!

    I'm not ready yet to do much more than a hen scratch. Once I've had a bit of practice...

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    Senior Member Yazeh's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fear of the Dip Pen Nib!

    An idiotic question: What is the difference of Esterbrook Relief nibs from the Esterbrook Relief pens?
    Were the nibs exclusively for dip pens or could they be used in the respective fountain pens too?

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    Default Re: Fear of the Dip Pen Nib!

    Quote Originally Posted by Yazeh View Post
    An idiotic question: What is the difference of Esterbrook Relief nibs from the Esterbrook Relief pens?
    Were the nibs exclusively for dip pens or could they be used in the respective fountain pens too?
    I'm pretty sure the nib is the same shape/style, one just has a feed.....well and, the nibs on fountain pens are stainless steel so they won't rust. Here's the fountain pen version: https://www.etsy.com/listing/8824291..._manager_table
    Last edited by jbb; February 16th, 2021 at 04:42 PM.
    JBBPensPaper an Etsy store

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    Senior Member eachan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fear of the Dip Pen Nib!

    As well as the screw-in relief nib, Conway Stewart made Relief pens for Esterbrook. You'll find them here:
    http://conwaystewart.wesonline.org.u....htm#cusrelief

    The nibs on these pens are gold and made by Esterbook. Like the dip pen nibs the angle is only slight and they are very comfortable to write with.

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    Default Re: Fear of the Dip Pen Nib!

    An effort, with a scratchy stub nib I won't use again.


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