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Sunday, August 28, 2011

Three cursive italic re-grinds and one happy client!

I recently had the pleasure of grinding three nibs for a client of mine. I love grinding nibs! These were all cursive italics, and all for Bexleys. I haven't seen or handled very many Bexleys before, so this was a real treat.

To the left - a Bexley Simplicity II, now fitted with a lovely broad 777 Pen Repair cursive italic!
To the right - A Bexley Elegancia, now sporting a medium 777 Pen Repair cursive italic!

I really enjoyed testing out both these pens during the grinding process! They are very comfortable in hand.

Here are all four nibs. We have one 2 M CI's, and 2 B CI's. One broad was ground by someone else, though I adjusted the flow, and used it as a template for the other nibs per the customers request. One medium CI started as a B, but I was asked to reground it to a M CI, since the client prefers his nibs in that size.

Another close up shot. Makes me wish I had a better camera to show of the details of the tipping shape. :)

You'll want to click on this one to get a super-sized view of it! Each nib shows wonderful variation, and they're all very smooth too!

Here's that lovely broad CI! I was really liking the way this nib turned out.

Here's a medium CI. Not quite as much variation as the B, but still excellent.

I also had the enjoyment of tuning-up a Sheaffer for this client.

Best of all, it was equipped with a lovely Sheaffer semi-flex "feather touch" nib!

The client was very pleased with the nibs when he got them back! Here's what he told me in an email:

"Hi, Tyler--

It's the first day of classes here at college, and while I am never thrilled to see another summer end, this year, thanks to you, I have lots and lots of options for grading papers and taking notes during lectures.  

Now that I have had several weeks to experiment with your handiwork, I write to thank you very much.  I tend to prefer fine and extra-fine nibs, so I naturally gravitated toward the medium cursive-italics you ground for me.  And they are indeed lovely--fine, with subtle variation, and incredibly smooth.  I have one in my briefcase right now.  But the broad CIs might bring me over to the big side--even greater line variation and even more smoothness; I keep looking for excuses to ink up one of those and enjoy the ride.

The German nibs you ground sell for $15 each at  As round nibs, they are perfectly serviceable.  But add your reasonably priced grinding, and they are a superb bargain.  If other customers ask you about the possibility of custom-ground steel nibs, I will be glad to sing their praises. With money tight and with the price of gold reaching new records constantly, these are a terrific budget option.

Thank you again, Tyler!  You can bet that I will be back in touch with more work later.  In the meantime, best wishes for success in your business."

- R. I.

Needless to say, I was very happy to hear that he was pleased with the nibs! It's my favorite thing to hear a client who is happy with my work, and willing to return again for more.

Let me know if I can do anything for you. My nib grinding prices are very inexpensive, at only $25.00 a nib! And my amazing 1 week turn-around time lets you enjoy your nibs sooner!

Just send me an email anytime! I'd be happy to answer any questions you might have. :)

777 - Tyler Dahl

Saturday, August 27, 2011

A very happy customer, and a really neat nib grind!

I recently had the pleasure of working with yet another customer who was in need of some nib work. Three pens were sent my way, two in need of re-grinding, and another one that needed some feed-to-nib adjustment.

The feed-nib adjustment job was a fairly easy fix, and was fun to do. The really fun job however, is always grinding nibs! At the request of the sender, the first pen, a red Waterman Phileas, was taken down from a medium nib, to something between an XF and a fine. The other pen, another Waterman Phileas in grey this time, was given one of my buttery-stub re-grinds. Originally we were going to take the nib down a size first and then grind it into a stub, but it was decided to leave the nib as is. It came in as a broad and left as a broad stub!

Along the way of fixing these pens, we encountered a slight problem. To this day I still do not know how it happened, but as the professional, it is my job to assume responsibility for any mistakes, even if made by the USPS. :)

The Grey Waterman Phileas had a crack running down the section of it! Uh oh, you can't have that. When you have a cracked section, you have inky figners. The crack allows the ink to flow out onto the section and to your hand, fingers, etc. It's basically a mess. Again, I don't know how a crack could have gotten here by simply grinding the nib, but, I do have a guess. It is very, very hot were I live. It gets up to 103F-107F degrees on some days. It was one of those days when I went up to the mailbox and got this pen out. It's just a guess, but it would seem to make sense that in the heat, the plastic may have stress cracked from expansion of the plastic. It also should be noted that the section cracked at a known weak point. There was a large gouge out of the lip of the section where the crack started. Put that together with the heat and I think we have our misterious FP "killer".

Anyway, I chose to fix it free of charge since it wasn't there when he shipped the pens to me. Unlike all my other pens that are guaranteed for 1 year, this section repair is guaranteed for life! If it ever breaks again on him, he simply needs to send me an email, and I'll ship a new replacement section ASAP. You can check out my crack repair below:

Of course, when I say you can see my crack repair below, I mean this: You can see the absence of a crack. Meaning I did a good job. :)

As you can tell, there is no evidence of any cracks in the grip-section.

If I hadn't fixed it, you would totally see the crack in this shot. The camera is aiming right at it.

So, after this problem was overcome, it was on to the fun stuff!

Here is the Waterman Phileas after the stub-grinding.

Upon receiving his pens back, here's what this customer had to say:


WOW! What a difference! You are a genius. The Phileas Red pen is fine and spidery and lays down my red ink for a line as smooth as spiders silk!

The Phileas Grey is sporty, has a nice flair and while still broad, not bothersome like it was before.

And the Bulow writes as good as any of my “good” pens, and it cost me only $20 and your fix.

Amazing. I am VERY happy. Don’t see the fixed crack in my Phileas Grey at all.

I will definitely send the Pelican, which writes like a goose quill in comparison; and since you were kind enough to offer to look at that Falcon, (soaping did no good) I’d be fool not to have it working as well as these three favorite pens of mine (now)!

I may have had my doubts when you told me of the problem, but I’m here to testify! You are a miracle worker! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Best Wishes,

Your Happy Customer,"

- Jim B.

I think we were both very pleased with the way these pens turned out! The crack repair has still been holding STRONG for over a month now, and I suspect it will never change. :) I'm still investigating the possibility of the heat-cracking. If that is indeed what it was, which it most likely is - I need to get myself a PO box soon. I believe the main reason for it however, was that  lip crack on the section. The thick edges of the section are what prevent it from cracking. Take away that thick "retaining-wall" and there goes your crack-protection...

Either way, the crack is fixed now, and the customer is very happy! He is still enjoying his nibs, and is preparing more pens to send me. That's the best "thank you - your work is fabulous" gift any customer can give me: sending more pens. A repeat customer lets me know that they really are happy!

Let me know if I can grind any nibs for you. My price is extremely competitive, at only $25.00 a nib! My turn around time for nib grinds is a mere 1 week! That's including shipping. No 6 month waits here! Just one week to get your new-ground nib back into your hand, so you can start using it sooner. Just send me an email, and let me know how I can help you out.

777 - Tyler Dahl

Friday, August 26, 2011

Ink Review - Iroshizuku Yama Budo

Here's the next ink review from my massive ink sample order. I was really eager to try this one out, and I wasn't disappointed! For certain, this is another winner from Iroshizuku. I really like this ink, a lot! It's color, and superb behavior make it a keeper for sure. Prepare yourself, for Iroshizuku Yama Budo!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

777 Pen Repair SUPER sale!!!

If you're looking for amazing deals on fabulous pens - you're in a good place! If you've just spent the last of your monthly pen-budget, you may want to leave right now. :)

I have a bunch of pens and nibs that have been sitting around my shop, taking up space. I decided I needed to clear things out a bit! So, you're going to benefit from my inventory clearing!

If you're liking the pens and/or nibs you see on this page, you better act quick! These are going to go FAST.

I'm going to number each pen/nib for sale, that way when you email me, you can reference a number. Makes it easy for all of us!

All prices included priority shipping within the USA. International customers are welcome! If you're outside the USA, please just shoot me an email so we can discuss shipping options. I try to keep shipping as low as possible, so anyone can have a chance at these pens. I'd be happy to talk with you and work out a deal!

Know your nibmeister

Today's post is a lesson in business. As a customer, you really need to know who you are dealing with. When you're preparing to send your pen to someone, and pay for there services, you need to be sure you can trust them. You want to see if they have a track-record of excellent work, and good customer service.

As an example today, I am going to show you two pens that came to me for nib work. I'll begin with the full story - The client sent these pens off to a semi-well-known nibmeister, who's name will remain undisclosed. The client requested both nibs (a  modern Sheaffer Balance and a Pilot Custom 74) to be ground to stubs. After coming back to the client, they were found very unsatisfactory. "Why?" These nibs were not ground properly. They presented this client with the following problems:

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Ink Review - Diamine Sunshine!

This ink is the first yellow I have ever tried. I'll reserve my full opinion until I try all my yellow samples I just purchased.

For now, I LOVE this ink! It's a fabulous yellow color with great shading. I've always wanted a yellow ink, and for now, this is it. Again though, I have 5 +- other yellows I need to try before I get a full bottle... :)

Diamine Sunshine really looks like the sun. It's a bright yellow with orange undertones, and is actually not to hard to read. I agree, for a 15 page letter it might be a bad choice, but for quick notes, special cards, and doodling for fun - it's awesome!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Ink Review - Noodlers Black (Bullet-Proof)

This is an ink I am very happy about. I know it's not the most interesting ink. It's not really even a fun ink. What it is however, is a true performer! This ink is built to work. It's fairly well-behaved, business-worthy, and bullet-proof to boot. "What exactly is bullet proof?" - good question. Let me explain. :) From the Noodlers website:

“Bulletproof” refers to any Noodler’s Ink that resists all the known tools of a forger, UV light, UV light wands, bleaches, alcohols, solvents, petrochemicals, oven cleaners, carpet cleaners, carpet stain lifters, and of course…they are also waterproof once permitted to dry upon cellulose paper. Some inks are more bulletproof than others – generally in descending order (most bulletproof with the most testing – to less bulletproof): blacks, blues, yellows, invisible (“blue ghost” and “White Whale”), greens, browns, purples, reds….all are equally bulletproof with one exception: the resistance to strong industrial bleaches to the point where the paper structure itself decomposes. Reds are prone to more fading when exposed to strong bleaches (sometimes fading to a yellow) than the other colors.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

The ultimate TWSBI review! Part 6!

Well, this is the last part of my ultimate TWSBI review. Half of this part is going to be an in-depth re-cap of previous parts. The rest of it will finally conclude this mega-review. Once part 6 is done, it'll be time to move on and start reviewing other stuff! :)

As I will continue to do - Here's a quick re-cap  with links to the 5 previous parts of the review:

Friday, August 12, 2011

Notebook review - Clairefontaine Crok Book!

Here's a review of a really fun new notebook by Clairefontaine! As with all my reviews, they tend to get really long. This was supposed to be  a mini-review, but...  So anyway, prepare yourself for a good read - relax, and enjoy!


I'll start with some background - This notebook was generously given to me by a member of the Fountain Pen Network. The reason for the gifting has a story behind it, which I will tell.

Monday, August 8, 2011

The new and improved 777 Pen Repair service form!

Here it is! The all new, easier to fill-out, simple to understand, 777 Pen Repair service form! The last version had some issues, making it hard for my clients to fill out when they were going to send me a pen. The last thing I want is for you all, as my clients, to have trouble sending me pens/nibs to work on. So, I've made a new form that I think you all will like. :)

For those who are new to the use of a repair-form - Here's what it is:
This form is for you to fill out when you send me pens for repair. You might be wondering "Why the trouble of having to do this? - It's rather simply actually. What happened a few months ago is what drove me to make this form. I was wasting time, time that could be spent repairing your pens, on getting contact information, calculating shipping-insurance prices, and getting information via email. I decided that I needed to cut this wasted time out, to be both efficient and economical. This form provides me with your name, email, shipping info, pens/nibs that you're sending, and what repairs you want done to them. It saves me the trouble of asking for this information via email. Overall, it makes me process your pens quicker, thus allowing you to enjoy them sooner!

This new form, which can be found here, is super-easy to fill out. You can use the computer keyboard to fill it out! Just open it up in your web-browser, fill it out with the keyboard, and then hit the print button on the little pop-up toolbar (in the bottom right corner). It's as simple as that! This eliminates you having to hand-write everything, and me having trouble reading peoples handwriting. :)

I hope this new improvement will be useful, convenient, and helpful for you. Let me know if you have any questions, comments, and suggestions for this new form. I'd love to hear from you. Feel free to drop me a comment and give me your thoughts!

777 - Tyler Dahl

Friday, August 5, 2011

Here are some really cool pens...

This is one of the many parts of my job that I really love! I get to work with, and test out so many different types of pens. Vintage, modern, cheap, and expensive - I get to handle them all. It's a lot of fun, and I'm always excited about getting to work on a new type of pen.

This last week, I got to work on some amazing vintage specimens. These were sent to me by a repeat customer of mine. I've worked on quite a few pens for him and have immensely enjoyed having him as a client.

I shot some pictures of these for you all too see. These pens are pretty rare, so most of us will not get to see them in person ever.