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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


  1. Great job!  You must remember to keep showing your address rather than just listing a link; that way it will imprint in people's minds (not a bad thing, eh?).

  2. Ah, a good idea Karen. I really should. :)

  3. Do get a mailbox ASAP! I shudder at the thought of a rare & expensive writing instrument melting (or freezing for that matter) in an outdoor mailbox!

  4. My only problem with a PO box is that it raises my costs and time significantly. Having to check it every other day even, is still approx. 2.5 hours a week of time - just driving to pick up my mail. And then there's the cost of it too. But I will still get one eventually...

    Luckily I get my mail almost the minute it arrives, so it's pretty safe. :)