Pointed Nibs

How to prepare a new Pointed Nib for writing.

When you dip your pointed nib in ink, you want to see the ink cover the nib in an even film so that the ink will flow off the nib evenly. New nibs can come with a protective coating to help keep them from rusting. This coating can repel ink, and when you dip your nib in ink, it will form blobs on the nib. When you then try to write, the ink quickly empties off your pen. To avoid this you need to prepare your pen. There are several ways to do this. You will find you can write much longer with a prepared nib. (You may find some nibs do not need to be prepared when using certain inks.) After prepping your nib, it is important to dry it to avoid rust.



Take it off with saliva. With a decent amount of saliva between your fingers, rub the nib for at least a minute. Add more saliva if necessary. Wipe dry.



Scrub it off: Wet the bristles of a soft toothbrush, add a small amount of toothpaste, and brush the nib for 30 seconds or so (toothpaste is slightly abrasive). Rinse your nib with water and wipe it dry to avoid rust. This method can also be used on broad edge pens as well.



Stick it in a potato: Push your nib, about halfway, into an ordinary potato. Let it sit there for 10-15 minutes. Then remove the nib and wipe it dry. The method works best on sturdier nibs. And you can do multiple nibs at the same time.



Burn it off: With your nib in your penholder, pass the nib through a match or lighter flame 3-4 times. Let it cool. The goal is to remove the coating and not change the temper of the steel, so avoid getting the nib too hot.





Click here to view Corinna Taylor's Bound & Lettered article "Pointed Nibs: Not Just for Copperplate."
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