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Thread: Visible/functional nib lengths - #6 and #8?

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    Default Visible/functional nib lengths - #6 and #8?

    Hey folks, I need some info.

    In modern pens (being made now) #6 is a quite common nib size and #8 is becoming common for larger pens. What I want to find out is the difference in functional length of the pen: if you measure from the edge of the section (where you first start seeing the nib) to the tip of the tines.

    I ask because someone brought up "I like the #8 because it puts my hand farther away from the paper". However, while I don't have a lot of modern #8, I did measure that distance as well as measuring a few #6. What I'm coming up with is on the order of 0.1mm or so - IOW, very little difference in length (though circumference, shoulder width, etc are different).

    Can anyone come up with examples with a lot greater distance, but sticking with nibs that are known by those size numbers (i.e. not custom nibs, etc)?

    Thanks for any input.
    "When Men differ in Opinion, both Sides ought equally to have the Advantage of being heard by the Publick;
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    Default Re: Visible/functional nib lengths - #6 and #8?

    I measure about 5mm of difference between an MB 146 and a 149.

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    Default Re: Visible/functional nib lengths - #6 and #8?

    Quote Originally Posted by guyy View Post
    I measure about 5mm of difference between an MB 146 and a 149.
    Thanks, Guy. Im trying to nail down the lengths of, say, a Jowo or Bock 6/8. As in, for pens where the nib is not made in-house. That is a good metric to have, anyway!
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    Default Re: Visible/functional nib lengths - #6 and #8?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jon Szanto View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by guyy View Post
    I measure about 5mm of difference between an MB 146 and a 149.
    Thanks, Guy. Im trying to nail down the lengths of, say, a Jowo or Bock 6/8. As in, for pens where the nib is not made in-house. That is a good metric to have, anyway!
    You're welcome. Not having a #8 around here, that's the best i can do. The 146 nib is a pretty close in size to that of the Jowo/Bock #6. The 149 nib is a #9, at least by MB's reckoning.

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    Default Re: Visible/functional nib lengths - #6 and #8?

    Not all sections are held at the same distance from the end due to balance (the pen's not the writer), thread location, and section width tapering.

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    Default Re: Visible/functional nib lengths - #6 and #8?

    Two popular models which spring to mind are the Franklin Christoph 20 and 31. Both have #6 Jowo nibs which are recessed into the section. I have read a reviewer describe the experience of writing with those pens as (quote not verbatim) "mixing the precision of a #5 nib with the behaviour of a #6".

    I don't know what that is supposed to mean, other than a smaller nib implies fingers nearer the end of the section and therefore more precise control of the nib? I don't have either pen although I have been waffling back and forth about them. Perhaps someone who owns a recessed #6 can add more?

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    Default Re: Visible/functional nib lengths - #6 and #8?

    Quote Originally Posted by BayesianPrior View Post
    Two popular models which spring to mind are the Franklin Christoph 20 and 31. Both have #6 Jowo nibs which are recessed into the section. I have read a reviewer describe the experience of writing with those pens as (quote not verbatim) "mixing the precision of a #5 nib with the behaviour of a #6".

    I don't know what that is supposed to mean, other than a smaller nib implies fingers nearer the end of the section and therefore more precise control of the nib? I don't have either pen although I have been waffling back and forth about them. Perhaps someone who owns a recessed #6 can add more?
    Right, Ive got a 20 and I know what you are saying, but thats not my question. It really has to be how much longer, mounted in the same pen, is a #8 from a #6 nib?
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    Default Re: Visible/functional nib lengths - #6 and #8?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lloyd View Post
    Not all sections are held at the same distance from the end due to balance (the pen's not the writer), thread location, and section width tapering.
    I get that, too. See previous reply for the info Im after. Compare two nibs, report difference in length, especially when mounted in (same) pen.
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    Default Re: Visible/functional nib lengths - #6 and #8?

    There cant be many pens that could take either. A #8 is called a number 8 because it takes a feed with an 8mm diameter. A larger feed would presumably require a larger diameter section & a larger pen.

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    Default Re: Visible/functional nib lengths - #6 and #8?

    Jon,
    Seems obvious to me, the difference is 2.

    Farmboy

    (Just wanted you to know Im not slipping yet)

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    Default Re: Visible/functional nib lengths - #6 and #8?

    Just pulled a #6 Jowo nib from its housing and a quick measure shows that it is 35mm long, 9mm wide at the shoulders and 6mm wide at the base (feed diam is 6mm).


    However, a quick shufti on FPNibs.com HERE and HERE shows that the portion of the nib extending beyond the housing/collar for a #6 Jowo and a #8 Jowo nib is 23mm and 25mm respectively.

    There was a report on the Pen Addict describing the #8 Jowo as being somewhat inconsistent.

    Even more rare is the Jowo 8, which may seem surprising considering the dominance by Jowo in the smaller, 6 sized nibs. I recently was able to use a Jowo 8, and now understand why it is so rare. It is a bit short compared to the other oversize nibs, not capitalizing on the opportunity to be a longer and more interesting nib. In addition to being rather bland as a writer, there seems to be something off about the feeds of the Jowo 8. If I carry one at all, the ink falls off the feed and pools in the cap. The maker who sent me this nib has had this experience with multiple Jowo 8's, and does not use them anymore. I will be following his lead. While the Jowo 8 does seem to be available to purchase from FPNibs.com, I would pass. The Jowo 8 seems to be as finicky as the Jowo 6 is dependable.
    Last edited by Empty_of_Clouds; July 31st, 2021 at 10:38 PM.

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    Default Re: Visible/functional nib lengths - #6 and #8?

    Quote Originally Posted by guyy View Post
    There cant be many pens that could take either. A #8 is called a number 8 because it takes a feed with an 8mm diameter. A larger feed would presumably require a larger diameter section & a larger pen.
    And yet... There are a bunch of people using the Jowo #8. I know that the examples I have to compare are Leonardo Officina Italiana pens with both #6 and #8. One of the things that sparked the convo I'm trying to illuminate was dealing with the Schon Designs pens, which can have section, etc made for 6 or 8. Another new penmaker was mentioned in the convo about a new #8 option and a bunch of people got excited. All my research here is to answer part of that.

    Quote Originally Posted by Farmboy View Post
    Jon,
    Seems obvious to me, the difference is 2.
    I am going to insert an obvious difference next time I see you, pal.

    Quote Originally Posted by Empty_of_Clouds View Post
    Just pulled a #6 Jowo nib from its housing and a quick measure shows that it is 35mm long, 9mm wide at the shoulders and 6mm wide at the base (feed diam is 6mm).
    Thanks, friend. That's very helpful and will get me a long way to a final answer. Appreciated!
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    Default Re: Visible/functional nib lengths - #6 and #8?

    Are you sure the Jowo #8 is that common? Pablo at FPNibs, for example, only has them in 18k, whereas the Bocks come in Ti and Au. Almost all the generic #8's that I know of are Bock. Conid, Ranga, Onoto, et al, all use Bock eights.
    Vintage. Cursive italic. Iron gall.

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    Default Re: Visible/functional nib lengths - #6 and #8?

    Quote Originally Posted by silverlifter View Post
    Are you sure the Jowo #8 is that common? Pablo at FPNibs, for example, only has them in 18k, whereas the Bocks come in Ti and Au. Almost all the generic #8's that I know of are Bock. Conid, Ranga, Onoto, et al, all use Bock eights.
    Oh, I can't say. I only know that the pen that was referenced in the conversation comes standard with a Jowo 6 and will also have option for an 8, and I don't see any indication they would switch to Bock simply for a larger nib. These are Gravitas Pens in question, but the larger picture is simply someone positing that they like a #8 nib because it puts their fingers/hand further away from the page while writing, and I'm wondering if that is primarily in the imagination. Simple measurements will answer the question! In this instance, either brand will make a valid point if I can get some data.
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    Default Re: Visible/functional nib lengths - #6 and #8?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jon Szanto View Post
    the larger picture is simply someone positing that they like a #8 nib because it puts their fingers/hand further away from the page while writing, and I'm wondering if that is primarily in the imagination.
    I would say so. Whatever the difference in actual nib lengths (around 2-3 mm, which is likely only perceptible when the subject knows it is a larger nib) is going to be mediated by section shape, balance, and all of the other factors that subtly influence where we grip our pens.
    Vintage. Cursive italic. Iron gall.

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    Default Re: Visible/functional nib lengths - #6 and #8?

    Pete says that a "#5" has between 16 mm and 19.6 mm visible nib length depending on specific nib system.
    "#6" - 23.0 mm visible nib length.
    "#8" - 26.0 mm visible nib length.

    Source:
    https://www.peter-bock.com/products/nib-systems

    060 TRIPLE EXTRA SMALL NIB AN INCLUDING INK-FEED SYSTEM
    Shoulder width: 6.8 7.0 mm *
    Visible nib length: 16.0 mm *
    Ink feeder: 5.0 mm, ABS
    Available versions: Iridium and calligraphy nib
    Available iridium point sizes: EF, F, M, B in gold and stainless steel
    Available calligraphy line widths: 1.1, 1.5, 1.9, 2.3 in stainless steel

    180 TRIPLE SMALL NIB INCLUDING AN INK-FEED SYSTEM
    Shoulder width: 6.7 7.0 mm *
    Visible nib length: 19.6 mm *
    Ink feeder: 5.0 mm, ABS
    Available versions: Iridium and calligraphy nib
    Available iridium point sizes: EF, F, M, B in gold, titanium, stainless steel
    Available calligraphy line widths: 1.1, 1.5, 1.9, 2.3 in stainless steel

    076 TRIPLE MEDIUM-SIZED, BROAD NIB INCLUDING AN INK-FEED SYSTEM
    Shoulder width: 8.0 8.4 mm *
    Visible nib length: 19.6 mm *
    Ink feeder: 5.0 mm, ABS
    Available versions: Iridium and calligraphy nib
    Available iridium point sizes: EF, F, M, B in gold, titanium, platinum, palladium and stainless steel
    Available calligraphy line widths: 1.1, 1.5, 1.9 in stainless steel

    220 TRIPLE MEDIUM-SIZED NIB INCLUDING AN INK-FEED SYSTEM
    Shoulder width: 7.8 8.0 mm *
    Visible nib length: 23.0 mm *
    Ink feeder: 6.0 mm, ABS
    Available versions: Iridium nib
    Available iridium point sizes: EF, F, M, B in gold

    250 TRIPLE LARGE NIB INCLUDING AN INK-FEED SYSTEM
    Shoulder width: 8.4 8.8 mm *
    Visible nib length: 23.0 mm *
    Ink feeder: 6.0 mm, ABS
    Available versions: Iridium and calligraphy nib
    Available iridium point sizes: EF, F, M, B in gold, titanium, platinum, stainless steel
    Available calligraphy line widths: 1.1, 1.5, 1.9, 2.3 in stainless steel

    380 TRIPLE EXTRA-LARGE NIB INCLUDING AN INK-FEED SYSTEM
    Shoulder width: 9.5 9.8 mm *
    Visible nib length: 26.0 mm *
    Ink feeder: 8.0 mm, ebonite
    Available versions: Iridium nib
    Available iridium point sizes: EF, F, M, B in gold and titanium

    Further materials and sizes on request.
    * The dimensions specified here are guidelines for better orientation and may vary.

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    Default Re: Visible/functional nib lengths - #6 and #8?

    The human hand is quite sensitive and a 2-3mm difference would be noticeable to many. However, given that larger nibs tend to come in larger pens, i suspect that whatever the big nib gives you, the larger pen takes away.

    I notice that i hold a 146 and a 149 in the same relative position, with the pad of my index finger just behind the threads. Theres more pen & nib in front of me with the 149, but also more pen in back. I also notice that my fingers gravitate to that hourglass curve on vintage MBs, which are smaller than their modern analogs. This has me thinking that size isnt the most important factor, at least for me.

    At any rate, guys give all sorts of rationalization for their obsession with the size of their instruments, most of them specious.

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    Default Re: Visible/functional nib lengths - #6 and #8?

    Quote Originally Posted by guyy View Post
    The human hand is quite sensitive and a 2-3mm difference would be noticeable to many. However, given that larger nibs tend to come in larger pens, i suspect that whatever the big nib gives you, the larger pen takes away.

    I notice that i hold a 146 and a 149 in the same relative position, with the pad of my index finger just behind the threads. Theres more pen & nib in front of me with the 149, but also more pen in back. I also notice that my fingers gravitate to that hourglass curve on vintage MBs, which are smaller than their modern analogs. This has me thinking that size isnt the most important factor, at least for me.

    At any rate, guys give all sorts of rationalization for their obsession with the size of their instruments, most of them specious.
    The hourglass seems to be the most effective ergonomic solution for long writing, and it's a shame so many modern pens have abandoned it. On my Soennecken 111, it somewhat balances out the extra effort required to control the very long nib. The '50s 146s have slightly shorter nibs AND hourglass secitons, and therefore, at least from my experience, are all the more comfortable.

    I think it's important for people to factor in what sort of writing they intend for the pen--if you never intend to write at length (~15 minutes of non-stop), this level of comfort difference might not be noticable; I'm inclined to think these effects are emergent.
    Last edited by fountainpenkid; August 1st, 2021 at 08:59 AM.
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    Default Re: Visible/functional nib lengths - #6 and #8?

    Thanks all, good stuff to wake up to! I think I know most of what I need to at this point. Very helpful, kudos to the community, shout out to Wile E for all those numbers.
    "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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