How to repair fountain pen nibs

Written by samantha volz
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Fountain pens often are associated with the academic and professional world. A person must have great care and concern for the condition of his writing utensils to own a fountain pen. These delicate instruments are meant to be refilled and can last a lifetime with proper care and maintenance. The nibs, or tips, of these pens are particularly susceptible to damage; if the nib is not working correctly, ink flow can be ruined. With some care and precision, you can make basic repairs to the nib of your fountain pen.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Magnifying glass
  • Sandpaper or cardboard

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  1. 1

    Observe the nib under a magnifying glass. Scratchy writing or decreased ink flow are generally signs that one of the tines of the nib is misaligned. Check to see that both tines are aligned; if they are not, apply gently pressure with your fingers to each side until they are aligned again.

  2. 2

    Observe the nib under a magnifying glass to see that it is well balanced. The nib should be perfectly centred from the feed coming out of the pen's top. If the nib is not centred, apply gentle pressure with your fingers to return the nib to the centre.

  3. 3

    Gently draw small circles or figure eights on a piece of cardboard or sandpaper. This technique will wear down any sharp or protruding edges of the nib. Draw only a few circles, until the writing is even again; do not draw too many, or you will wear down the nib too much.

Tips and warnings

  • Only write on sandpaper with a practice pen or lower-quality pen nib; the high-quality nibs, or pens that you intend to use for professional writing, can be damaged by sandpaper. Stick with the cardboard or construction paper for these nibs.

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