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Fertile, Ground

Posted by Dirck on 14 May, 2012

“Nose to the grindstone” might well apply to the past weekend.  Physically, the biggest challenge lay in dealing with the return of life to the backyard, as the combined mowing and weeding has left me with hardly a non-stiff joint.  Mentally and morally, the great challenge was a client’s pen, which seems to have been glued shut (a recurrent theme, if happily infrequent).  It was not, however, just my own nose applied to the stone, nor was that stone metaphorical.

I have, you see, followed through on the threat I made just about two months ago in the direction to learning to reshape points.  After a little bit of preliminary practice on hopeless cases, I turned upon a not-completely-hopeless case.  Of the Parker 45s I’ve gathered over the years, one of them had a point that was something of a misery; a relatively late example, it was dry and slightly misshapen.  I never really applied myself to convincing it to work, since I could swap it for one of the various other points at hand (which I suspect is exactly the sort of response Parker hoped for), so it was sitting unmolested and excess to need.

What better subject for a mad experimenter than a lone, neglected misfit?  I did not, in my own defence, rush madly at the exercise, but took some time in an effort to get it right.  Frequent pauses for examination through the loupe, equally frequent pauses to consider the correct angles, vectors and subsequent steps.  This approach was… rewarded:

The semi-obligatory before and after (although “before” is a different and much better-behaved point)

Here we are, then– a Parker 45 cursive italic, which has retained the capacity for non-italic writing when inverted.  This was something I nearly didn’t retain, too, since slavish adherence to my guides would have seen it flattened out.  Before too much tipping came away, though, I remembered things I’d seen as possible when staring in envy at the pages of Richard Binder’s website, and I made the effort at developing a bipolar pen point.

I don’t at all put forward this gratifying result as an announcement that I’m in the business of nib-grinding.  It’s an early success.  It took too long to be economical and it went too easily to be educational.  I need to come a lot closer to ruining a lot more points (and, in all likelihood, step over the line itself) before I can hang this particular addition to my shingle.  At the moment, I am nothing more than the monkey whose typewriter happens to have emitted something similar to Charles Dickens.  The name-dropping in the previous paragraph was not meant as an attempt to grasp any coat-tails.

Having made the disclaimer, though, I am extremely pleased with the result.  It’s smooth, it produces ink with far more consistency than before the procedure, and it’s cosmetically the same as when I started.  If kept well shy of the slip into hubris, there’s no sin in pride, and I’m pretty proud of having done this.  That’s why I’m bragging in public.

Today’s (as yet) unamended pen: TWSBI Vac 700
Today’s ink: Diamine Syrah

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3 Responses to “Fertile, Ground”

  1. […] reshaping that might eventually earn one the appellation “nibmiester” (and which I do have as a distant goal) but the simpler putting right of gross deformity.  Well… not too […]

  2. […] of stages less riveting.  Leave it at, by taking things only slightly less cautiously than the previously mentioned application, I have managed another pleasing result: Unlike last time, the before and after are actually both […]

  3. […] a fan of.  Like all humans, I’m an inconsistent creature, and have committed stubbing upon some of my own pens, and even bragged about the results, and which I continue to […]

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