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Nib Repairs: Before & After
Confronted with a damaged or mangled nib
unit, may pen owners may throw their favorite writing instrument
in a drawer and think it beyond repair--and that is how many
vintage fountain pens have come to light after years of being
lost and forgotten. But the repair and restoration work that
can be done on a 14k or greater gold nib unit can often be
astounding, returning both nib and pen to full functionality.
Whether you have a contemporary pen that has just taken a
nose-dive off the dining room table, or a vintage pen that
has been sitting in a box for the past fifty years, the nib
repair work done here at Classic Fountain Pens, Inc. can often
result in a pen that writes as well - or better - as when
it was first sold...
Although these two pictures do not show the nib before work began, they show the progress of the repair.
This Waterman Ideal 14K Music nib had one tine partly broken off, shortening the tip. We had to shorten the other tines and make it into a wider music point. The process involved a splint and spacers in order to keep all three tines in alignment. Then a piece of iridium wire was welded to the tines. This restored nib is now a very broad and wet writer.
The Parker Black Giant is one of the landmarks of
fountain pens. It was produced in very small numbers
by Parker as a show model, attracting attention
to other more affordable and practical models
at the sales counter. These are rare pens, and
working nibs even rarer.
This nib as seen on the left was unusable, with
a mangled slit and with tines worn so thin as
to be unworkable. So this re-tip had to start
almost two-thirds of the way back towards the
heart-shaped vent hole. In order to preserve as
much of the original nib as possible, It was necessary
to cut back the tines and start over with an entirely
new front end.
The restored tines were fused onto the nib using
electro-welding and then gold solder. It was then
possible to retip the point to Medium. When examining
the nib in person, the line of the join is just
barely visible at a forty-five degree angle to
the nib slit. And while a certain amount of care
must be used in handling a restored nib of this
kind, this is nonetheless a fully functional unit
that writes well and has returned this pen to
full working condition.
This Aurora Leonardo Da Vinci took a
nose-dive. The softer 18K metal responded well to straightening.
This Extra Fine Sailor nib as seen
from above had seen better days. The Extra Fine
is Sailor's most delicate tip, especially in the
soft 21K gold.
Pilot inlayed nib had a very bad day. The left tine was bent under and twisted.
The right tine was bent to the left just below the tipping.
This is the same nib three hours later after
being straightened, polished, and reset. We
were able to preserve the original tipping,
and make this a nib that writes well once
Above: This is a customer's Senior Parker Lucky Curve nib
from a circa 1925 jade pen. The customer informed us that it had been dropped
on its tip. The crossed tines presented several challenges: they had to be straightened
and realigned, and good ink flow had to be reestablished.
Montblanc 146 nib suffered a collision with something firmer
than itself. We don't know how it happened, but partly because
it is an eighteen karat nib, it was able to be straightened
without fatigue to the metal. The feed was also slightly deformed
and had to be returned to proper alignment under the nib.
This Sailor 21K gold nib went through
the wash with the cap off. In the left image, notice how the tines are lightly
hammered through repeated and consistent blows.
is soft and pliable, and more easily returned to its correct shape than nibs with
lower gold content. After straightening, this Medium-Fine size Sailor nib is ready
for smooth sailing again.
of the body and the tines of the nib.
Above: We straightened this
super flex nib after the tine was caught on rough paper.
This Moore's Maniflex
nib was cracked all the way through the imprint and into the tail.
Through the whole
crack repair and straightening process, we were able to save
the original tipping on this Waterman's Patrician nib. Note
the typical Waterman's bevel on each side of the tipping.
was missing from one tine of this Grieshaber #6. We've
tipped it to a medium, duplicating the original grind.
With multiple imprints as well as being in three separate
pieces, this nib was a challenge to assemble, re-engrave,
and fit into the section.
TINE REBUILD We were asked to rebuild the tines
on this Azura. Although fragile, this pen can write again.
Smallest Nib We've Ever Worked On...
This is one of the smallest nibs we've ever worked on.
(That's a real penny next to it.)
The Zero size Montblanc Simplo was worth