DIY Nib Reservoir

Nib pens are great. Nibs are great. Zebra G nibs are only a couple bucks for a pack of ten and they flex. Line variation isn’t as extreme as it might be on a gold Phono nib from some Victorian era Pitman’s Shorthand school but it’s better than most. The thing that sucks though is flex eats that ink fast. Nothing sucks more than another involuntary psychiatric hold but running a nib dry on a long expressive contour is right up there. Just behind that, a close second to running dry is flexing too hard to fast and loseing flow. You know, when the tines separate and you just get two hairlines instead of nice broad stroke.

I got a solution though. Put you a giant reservoir on your nib and be well. Next time you have an appointment snag you one of those gimmie drug company rep pens. Here’s what you need:

  • A nib, something with some flex makes the most sense
  • The spring from that gimmie pen
  • A soldering iron
  • Solder
  • Needle-nose pliers with a wire cutter

Here’s what you do:

  • Cut that spring in half so it’s about a half inch long
  • Heat up that soldering iron and heat one end of the spring
  • Touch a bit of solder to the hot spring so it melts, that’s called “tinning” it
  • Sit that spring on your nib so the unsoldered portion hangs down to just below the feed on the nib
  • Heat up the “tinned” bit of the spring till it tacks down to your nib

Now when you dip that spring fills up and surface tension gives you ink like nobodies business. A full dip on this sucker puts out seventy inches at about 3/32nds flex. SEVENTY INCHES. Oh, and did I mention that when it’s on the full side (more than half) there’s basically no more speed-limit to keep it from spliting to hairlines? Yeah, and it’s free if you can get access to somebodies soldering iron.

The down-side is you gotta make sure to wash the nib now after you use it. No more wipe and go when you’re in a rush

On the left is about a third of a full load with the spring, lines drawn top to bottom, right to left. On the right is a full load without the spring, lines drawn bottom to top, right to left.