Saturday, December 13, 2014

Resetting fountain pen nibs

Ok, the new Fine point Pen & Ink Sketch pen came in and it gives a nice broad stroke compared to the Extra Fine I've been using. I think I already said that. I started drawing in the Stillman & Birn Alpha sketchbook, working on some figures from New Masters Academy and Croquis Cafe, and I was having no end of trouble with it. Suddenly it's all scratchy and the ink flow keeps cutting out or getting really thin. No good at all! I tried a few things like filling it all the way, making sure there's no air in the cartridge, I even scrubbed it gently on a piece of 600 grit wetsanding paper (god I hope that didn't screw it up!). I read about somebody doing that on Amazon. Well, today I went back to that comment and found a followup where somebody linked to a post about misalignment of the nib, which causes exactly the issues I was having. They used a 10x Loupe and a fingernail to realign it. I don't have a 10x loupe, but I do have a fingernail, so I just ran it gently across the back of the nib - where it should feel perfectly smooth. Couldn't feel anything, but I pressed slightly and suddenly I felt the nib pop into place! Tested it and it was working beautifully again. So I grabbed the pair of sofa cushions I lay on my lap to place the sketchbook on to get to work again, and the nib snagged on one of the cushions!! Well there ya go - that's probably what caused it in the first place!! The original XF was snagging too when I tested it - need to give it the treatment as well.

Starting to feel good about fountain pen sketching again.

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