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Thread: Vintage Fine Nib question

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    Senior Member jackwebb's Avatar
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    Default Vintage Fine Nib question

    I donít use fine nibs so I have no comparison. I restored a vintage Conway Stewart 58 today, full restoration, including polish. The nib tines were quite tight and I worked it a while to get it in shape. Writing was scratchy and I smoothed it out, however, there is I very tight window for writing. If the nib is held perfectly it writes like glass. If I write faster or hold the nib to the left or right itís scratchy. At more extreme angles it wonít write at all. Is this something normal with vintage/fine nibs? Is it something better addressed by a professional? Thanks






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    Senior Member eachan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vintage Fine Nib question

    To answer part of your question: no, it isn't at all normal for vintage nibs. Conway Stewart nibs are usually very pleasant and not scratchy. It sounds as though you have done what you can and it might be best to send it to an expert.

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    Senior Member jackwebb's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vintage Fine Nib question

    Quote Originally Posted by eachan View Post
    To answer part of your question: no, it isn't at all normal for vintage nibs. Conway Stewart nibs are usually very pleasant and not scratchy. It sounds as though you have done what you can and it might be best to send it to an expert.
    I think it could probably benefit from a trip to a nib meister. I did a writing sample and itís so smooth, but misalignment of the nib just ruins it. I have never seen this before. Very strange. Thanks


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    Senior Member Ron Z's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vintage Fine Nib question

    It had a life long and was used a lot before you and the pen met. The previous owner(s) left their mark on the shape of the nib. It wouldn't be unreasonable for it to write differently than other CS pens. Having someone work on it would not be unreasonable.

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    Default Re: Vintage Fine Nib question

    I played with it for hours more trying to sort it out. It is very nice if I donít use any downward pressure. I think the tines are still too tight and this causes a misalignment after you use down pressure. I am very heavy handed and may be the issue. I donít want to remove the sack if I donít have to. Iíll try opening it up a bit more before tearing it apart again.


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    Senior Member jackwebb's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vintage Fine Nib question

    Quote Originally Posted by Ron Z View Post
    It had a life long and was used a lot before you and the pen met. The previous owner(s) left their mark on the shape of the nib. It wouldn't be unreasonable for it to write differently than other CS pens. Having someone work on it would not be unreasonable.
    I was wrong, about adjusting the tines. I think you are right., it just isnít used to me, or me to it. Iíll write with it for a week and see if we can get along. As of now, Iíll just plan to send it off for adjustment. Thanks


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    Senior Member Ron Z's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vintage Fine Nib question

    Tines out of alignment, tines worn unevenly, tines with a flat spot or a flat spot at an odd angle, with the inner radius too wide.... there are all kinds of things that can make a difference. Sometimes we end up reshaping the nib a bit, and then all is well.

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    Default Re: Vintage Fine Nib question

    If the pictures are accurate, I think the whole nib is out of alignment, and is slightly bent along its length - so too 'domed' which closes up the tines on the underside. They're also definitely too tight at the tip. It's a relatively straightforward fix, but you do need to have the right tools and a feel for the metal, which can become over work-hardened very easily. It also looks slightly oblique, which could explain the scratchiness if it's not at just the right angle - though whether this is how the nib started out or if it's through long term use by a single writer is impossible to guess on a fine.

    It's worth getting it sorted, they're lovely pens.

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    Default Re: Vintage Fine Nib question

    Quote Originally Posted by mizgeorge View Post
    If the pictures are accurate, I think the whole nib is out of alignment, and is slightly bent along its length - so too 'domed' which closes up the tines on the underside. They're also definitely too tight at the tip. It's a relatively straightforward fix, but you do need to have the right tools and a feel for the metal, which can become over work-hardened very easily. It also looks slightly oblique, which could explain the scratchiness if it's not at just the right angle - though whether this is how the nib started out or if it's through long term use by a single writer is impossible to guess on a fine.

    It's worth getting it sorted, they're lovely pens.
    When I got it, the nib and feed were out of alignment and I noticed, what I thought was a bend. But after polishing and opening the tines it seemed ok. And initial writing seemed ok. I only thought itís my inexperience with vintage, and maybe I was expecting too much from an 80 year old pen. As this was my first attempt at a restoration I was hoping for perfection . I just wanted to be able to do it all. The feed is aligned with the breather hole and the flow is excellent. I think you are right about the nib needing more than just smoothing. Photo of the nib as I received it.






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    Default Re: Vintage Fine Nib question

    This nib looks good but one side of the nib tines have different traction and it could be due to the size different of the slit .
    So it is working perfect at certain angles but gets - Catches or "splatters" when the angle change with the direction or the speed.
    I have several vintage nibs like this. They are not the best to my writing style but someone could get adapted to them.
    I think most of the pens will adapt anyone's style but it is rare to find a pen that doesn't do the same.

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