Author Topic: When do you change your nib?  (Read 1112 times)

Offline dimins

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When do you change your nib?
« on: October 27, 2015, 06:01:13 AM »
I'm a beginner so I'm still on my first nibs, but I'm wondering what would be a good frequency for me to change my nibs?

How often do you change yours?
- Mandy

Blog: Unravellations | Instagram: @dimins | Twitter: @unravellations

Offline JanisTX

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Re: When do you change your nib?
« Reply #1 on: October 27, 2015, 07:28:02 AM »
Hi, Mandy!

Most pointed pen nibs do not last very long. - When they start to drag on upstrokes or snag the paper, it's usually time to toss the nib.  Trust me, you'll KNOW when a nib is past it's prime!  I have a couple of favorite nibs & I generally try to order then in big quantities. - I'm less reluctant to toss a nib when I can see that I still have a whole box of new nibs sitting there.  I have in the past tried to "save" a nib that's old by sanding it, etc., and I've finally concluded that it's not worth my time or effort.  When a nib starts misbehaving, just replace it!

Janis

Offline dimins

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Re: When do you change your nib?
« Reply #2 on: October 27, 2015, 07:32:37 AM »
Hi, Mandy!

Most pointed pen nibs do not last very long. - When they start to drag on upstrokes or snag the paper, it's usually time to toss the nib.  Trust me, you'll KNOW when a nib is past it's prime!  I have a couple of favorite nibs & I generally try to order then in big quantities. - I'm less reluctant to toss a nib when I can see that I still have a whole box of new nibs sitting there.  I have in the past tried to "save" a nib that's old by sanding it, etc., and I've finally concluded that it's not worth my time or effort.  When a nib starts misbehaving, just replace it!

Janis

Hi Janis! That's good to know. I find that my nibs are currently stabbing the paper on upstrokes, but I've always put it down to it being a problem with my technique, rather than the nib becoming past its prime. :O I'll keep that in mind!
- Mandy

Blog: Unravellations | Instagram: @dimins | Twitter: @unravellations

Offline Ergative

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Re: When do you change your nib?
« Reply #3 on: October 27, 2015, 08:48:06 AM »
Hi, Mandy!

Most pointed pen nibs do not last very long. - When they start to drag on upstrokes or snag the paper, it's usually time to toss the nib.  Trust me, you'll KNOW when a nib is past it's prime!  I have a couple of favorite nibs & I generally try to order then in big quantities. - I'm less reluctant to toss a nib when I can see that I still have a whole box of new nibs sitting there.  I have in the past tried to "save" a nib that's old by sanding it, etc., and I've finally concluded that it's not worth my time or effort.  When a nib starts misbehaving, just replace it!

Janis

Hi Janis! That's good to know. I find that my nibs are currently stabbing the paper on upstrokes, but I've always put it down to it being a problem with my technique, rather than the nib becoming past its prime. :O I'll keep that in mind!

Try changing your nibs now. If they stop snagging then it was the old nib. If they still snag when they're new, then it's technique.

I also find that there's a psychological component. When I'm practicing I ride them hard to the end of their lives, but if I'm working on something important, and I know it's been a while, or I've used a nib heavily, then I get a new one before starting the final copy just so that I won't always be wondering in the back of my head, "is it time to change yet? Is it going to snag here?"
Clara

Offline dimins

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Re: When do you change your nib?
« Reply #4 on: October 27, 2015, 12:38:56 PM »
Hi, Mandy!

Most pointed pen nibs do not last very long. - When they start to drag on upstrokes or snag the paper, it's usually time to toss the nib.  Trust me, you'll KNOW when a nib is past it's prime!  I have a couple of favorite nibs & I generally try to order then in big quantities. - I'm less reluctant to toss a nib when I can see that I still have a whole box of new nibs sitting there.  I have in the past tried to "save" a nib that's old by sanding it, etc., and I've finally concluded that it's not worth my time or effort.  When a nib starts misbehaving, just replace it!

Janis

Hi Janis! That's good to know. I find that my nibs are currently stabbing the paper on upstrokes, but I've always put it down to it being a problem with my technique, rather than the nib becoming past its prime. :O I'll keep that in mind!

Try changing your nibs now. If they stop snagging then it was the old nib. If they still snag when they're new, then it's technique.

I also find that there's a psychological component. When I'm practicing I ride them hard to the end of their lives, but if I'm working on something important, and I know it's been a while, or I've used a nib heavily, then I get a new one before starting the final copy just so that I won't always be wondering in the back of my head, "is it time to change yet? Is it going to snag here?"

Wow, I've just taken your advice and broke out a new Nikko G and the snagging is drastically reduced! Thanks so much for the advice. I didn't think that a nib would wear out so fast, though. I think I've only used my previous Nikko G for less than a month, though I do use it almost every day.
- Mandy

Blog: Unravellations | Instagram: @dimins | Twitter: @unravellations

Offline Ergative

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Re: When do you change your nib?
« Reply #5 on: October 27, 2015, 02:00:28 PM »
Every day for multiple weeks is definitely enough to wear out a nib. Now you know!
Clara

Offline Bianca M

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Re: When do you change your nib?
« Reply #6 on: October 27, 2015, 02:05:10 PM »
I am pretty sure I tear through nibs a little faster than most- I looooooove a fresh new, sharp nib!  Before I chuck them, however, I gently look between the tines by vertically separating them, and if there's dried ink in there, I clean it out as much as possible.  Again... gently.  Sometimes this will earn me extra time with it, but if it's a real chore, then, like Janis said, it's not worth the trouble. 

It's worth noting, since you've mentioned in posts that you've been using the G nibs, the life of a nib depends on what it is.  The Nikko G will last far longer than the sharper, more delicate nibs, like Hunts, Principals, Etc.  Your paper will also factor in (rough vs. smooth), how much pressure you're applying, and the ink you're using (is it a nib eater, like Iron Gall or Yasutomo?). 

Lots to consider! But, the more you go along, the more you'll be able to quickly recognize the need for a new nib.  Always keep lots on hand! :)

Offline dimins

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Re: When do you change your nib?
« Reply #7 on: October 27, 2015, 02:53:06 PM »
I am pretty sure I tear through nibs a little faster than most- I looooooove a fresh new, sharp nib!  Before I chuck them, however, I gently look between the tines by vertically separating them, and if there's dried ink in there, I clean it out as much as possible.  Again... gently.  Sometimes this will earn me extra time with it, but if it's a real chore, then, like Janis said, it's not worth the trouble. 

It's worth noting, since you've mentioned in posts that you've been using the G nibs, the life of a nib depends on what it is.  The Nikko G will last far longer than the sharper, more delicate nibs, like Hunts, Principals, Etc.  Your paper will also factor in (rough vs. smooth), how much pressure you're applying, and the ink you're using (is it a nib eater, like Iron Gall or Yasutomo?). 

Lots to consider! But, the more you go along, the more you'll be able to quickly recognize the need for a new nib.  Always keep lots on hand! :)

I think it's because I've been using this sketch paper that seems rather rough, and this probably wore the Nikko G down faster than usual. I'm also still trying to learn how to lift pressure off upstrokes, so I may be applying a tad too much pressure sometimes. As for ink, I practise mainly with Kuretaka Sumi ink, I'm not sure but I don't think it's a notorious nib eater.

Thanks! I will be going down soon to shop for more calligraphy supplies. I was cautious with my spending because I wasn't sure if I'd take to this hobby, so I only have 2 Nikko G nibs and 3 Brause Leonardt Steno. I'm definitely going to vastly expand my nib reserves in a few days' time.
- Mandy

Blog: Unravellations | Instagram: @dimins | Twitter: @unravellations

Offline unscripted

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Re: When do you change your nib?
« Reply #8 on: October 27, 2015, 06:30:48 PM »
Thanks! I will be going down soon to shop for more calligraphy supplies. I was cautious with my spending because I wasn't sure if I'd take to this hobby, so I only have 2 Nikko G nibs and 3 Brause Leonardt Steno. I'm definitely going to vastly expand my nib reserves in a few days' time.

Shopping soon? I went crazy a few weeks ago picking out nibs online! Now they are here, I'm going through them slowly so I always have a new one to try! Have fun!

I too don't know when to change a nib! I am not at a stage where I can tell if I'm having a bad-hand day, or it's the nib. Or it's the humidity, or the paper, or some other obscure reason... For now I just stick to what I'm using and if my writing sucks, it's me ::) One day, I think, I'll know.