Author Topic: That thing we call a nib...  (Read 3144 times)

Offline Perfectsettings

  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 330
  • Karma: 13
    • View Profile
    • Perfect Settings
That thing we call a nib...
« on: January 28, 2014, 03:44:31 PM »
So ever since we opened Pandora's box and talked about how long a nib lasts, I have broken 2.  My question is 2 fold; when you're running your nib over the flame how long is too long?  I think I may have weakened the metal.  But the ink wasn't loading so I ran it 2x.
Secondly, I never thought I was heavy handed... could I be?  I don't poke holes, my nib doesn't catch (well, not a whole lot) and I don't spatter ink (well, not too often).  Do you think that perhaps I am?  How do I resolve that?
Daisy
Lover of all things beautiful.

Offline ewigginton

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 213
  • Karma: 21
    • View Profile
Re: That thing we call a nib...
« Reply #1 on: January 28, 2014, 04:42:44 PM »
I don't use the flame at all but that's just me. I spit on a paper towel to clean the nib. That's it. Never broken a nib yet, knock wood.

Ellen

Offline Erica McPhee

  • Administrator
  • Super Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6479
  • Karma: 326
  • Be brave. Love life!
    • View Profile
    • Dasherie Magazine
Re: That thing we call a nib...
« Reply #2 on: January 28, 2014, 06:37:49 PM »
It's literally just a few seconds back and forth.

What ink are you using? I have stopped using iron gall ink (McCaffrey's) because my nibs weren't even lasting one session. Others have reported similar issues. I think it was Schin who was having nibs snap left and right.
Truly, Erica
Lettering/Design Artist, Homeopath, Photographer, Mom, Wife
Dasherie Magazine | Paperwhite Studio | Instagram | Facebook

Offline Perfectsettings

  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 330
  • Karma: 13
    • View Profile
    • Perfect Settings
Re: That thing we call a nib...
« Reply #3 on: January 28, 2014, 08:37:03 PM »
I use Higgins India Ink.  But after the first nib breaking I switched to Speedball's.  I also have been using gouache. 
I DEF ran it over the flame way too long, then.  Ugh.
I was so irritated yesterday that I ordered a couple dozen nibs.
Daisy
Lover of all things beautiful.

Offline Erica McPhee

  • Administrator
  • Super Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6479
  • Karma: 326
  • Be brave. Love life!
    • View Profile
    • Dasherie Magazine
Re: That thing we call a nib...
« Reply #4 on: January 28, 2014, 11:17:38 PM »
Well that's a bummer! Try the saliva method. (Or even the toothpaste.) You won't regret having lots of nibs on hand, though!  ;D
Truly, Erica
Lettering/Design Artist, Homeopath, Photographer, Mom, Wife
Dasherie Magazine | Paperwhite Studio | Instagram | Facebook

Offline schin

  • Super Hero Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 1428
  • Karma: 118
  • Las Vegas
    • View Profile
    • Openinkstand
Re: That thing we call a nib...
« Reply #5 on: January 29, 2014, 12:05:19 AM »
Oh geez! Well try using rubbing alcohol or saliva to remove the oil. The flame is very thorough but sooo risky.

And yep Erica it was me who was breaking like 3 nibs in a row late last year! I even know what I did, I didn't use a flame and they were new nibs. I think maybe I was pressing too hard, or the weather was too cold or something. Since then it has not happened. It's a mystery!
OPENINKSTAND // website | blog |instagramyoutube

Offline tintenfuchs

  • Super Hero Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 1520
  • Karma: 55
    • View Profile
    • Instagram
Re: That thing we call a nib...
« Reply #6 on: January 29, 2014, 03:09:43 AM »
I've never broken a nib before, fingers crossed ... but I once held one over the flame for too long, so the metal kinda changed color :-/
I think a second for each side should be enough. Though I preder the toothpaste-method, since it feels "safer" to me.
Natascha
My Instagram

Offline Estefa

  • Super Hero Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 1505
  • Karma: 122
    • View Profile
    • Federflug
Re: That thing we call a nib...
« Reply #7 on: January 29, 2014, 04:02:06 AM »
I've broken 2 or three. One was a really well-used Rose nib which was already quite scratchy (I nearly only use iron gall ink for practice, and it is a bit hard on the nibs), the other an old Brause 66EF which had spent some years in a drawer and was a bit rusty!

I also use the flame method – and really more for a fraction of a second! When the nib still won't hold ink – I find that it nearly always hold iron gall ink which I use then to break the nib in, so to speak. It reacts with the surface so it gets a little bit rougher and holds other inks also better.

Just my experience ;)

But you never can have enough nibs I guess …
Stefanie :: Website :: Blog :: Instagram

Offline Perfectsettings

  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 330
  • Karma: 13
    • View Profile
    • Perfect Settings
Re: That thing we call a nib...
« Reply #8 on: January 29, 2014, 01:29:06 PM »
Thanks ladies!  I'm so much obliged for the info.  I think I'll switch to the toothpaste.  I can't tell you how frustrating it can be... or maybe I can!
Daisy
Lover of all things beautiful.

Offline Martín

  • Junior Member
  • **
  • Posts: 78
  • Karma: 10
    • View Profile
Re: That thing we call a nib...
« Reply #9 on: February 05, 2014, 01:59:52 AM »
Toothpaste works very well, and it's less risky than the flame. I myself use the "old masters'" method of just popping the nib in my mouth for a couple of minutes, but that's clearly not for everyone...

Regarding breaking the nibs, it's most likely due to a combination of too much pressure and them being weakened by the flame. Regarding  iron-gall ink, it's pretty much the only thing I use for daily practice, and I haven't had a problem with it corroding my nibs (they usually wear out before they corrode significantly, after some tens of pages worth of practice, depending on the type of practice, of course). I do clean them very often with water and/or Windex, even during use (I find that I cannot get consistent hairlines otherwise).

Cheers,
 Martín

Offline Erica McPhee

  • Administrator
  • Super Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6479
  • Karma: 326
  • Be brave. Love life!
    • View Profile
    • Dasherie Magazine
Re: That thing we call a nib...
« Reply #10 on: February 05, 2014, 11:11:27 AM »
Interesting regarding the iron gall ink. I used it exclusively for years without any problems. But this last batch, I snapped three nibs within hours of use. I read reports from 2 or 3 other calligraphers having the same issue. You could visually see the ink corroding the nib in the holder. Not sure what it is or why but I can guarantee it had nothing to do with pressure or the flame in my case.  ;)
Truly, Erica
Lettering/Design Artist, Homeopath, Photographer, Mom, Wife
Dasherie Magazine | Paperwhite Studio | Instagram | Facebook

Offline Martín

  • Junior Member
  • **
  • Posts: 78
  • Karma: 10
    • View Profile
Re: That thing we call a nib...
« Reply #11 on: February 05, 2014, 04:09:43 PM »
Interesting regarding the iron gall ink. I used it exclusively for years without any problems. But this last batch, I snapped three nibs within hours of use. I read reports from 2 or 3 other calligraphers having the same issue. You could visually see the ink corroding the nib in the holder. Not sure what it is or why but I can guarantee it had nothing to do with pressure or the flame in my case.  ;)

That's strange, indeed. I've only used two jars of McCaffery's (one black and one red-violet); I usually buy Walker's and Blot's (easier to get in Europe), and I've never had an issue... Anytime I'm doing pointed pen practice with other inks, I miss the hairlines you can get with IG inks. I sometimes grind my own ink from an inkstick (also allows for nice hairlines), but I find it too time consuming for daily practice.

Offline Marcia Aronow

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 216
  • Karma: 21
    • View Profile
    • Calligraphy by Marcia Aronow
Re: That thing we call a nib...
« Reply #12 on: February 05, 2014, 04:34:30 PM »
I have never had one nib break on me!  To "break" them in initially, I use either Windex or toothpaste.  The only time when I have to replace them would be during or after a large order on either Crane or cotton papers, just because of wear.  Never tried iron gall yet & wondering from others what the difference is between this & Moon Palace Sumi (my favorite black).
Enjoy your day!
Marcia

Offline Erica McPhee

  • Administrator
  • Super Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6479
  • Karma: 326
  • Be brave. Love life!
    • View Profile
    • Dasherie Magazine
Re: That thing we call a nib...
« Reply #13 on: February 06, 2014, 10:41:54 AM »
Martin, it was McCaffreys.  :o

Marcia, Sumi ink is a bit thicker and a deeper black. Iron gall (or at least the McCaffreys) is a thinner black and makes very fine hairlines. It also goes on a little grayer and then darkens as it dries. I *love* it.
Truly, Erica
Lettering/Design Artist, Homeopath, Photographer, Mom, Wife
Dasherie Magazine | Paperwhite Studio | Instagram | Facebook