August 23, 2010 § 1 Comment
It has been brought to my attention that there are a few people who do not dare to use the pen cap for changing the nibs, because they are afraid that this method could ruin their nibs. Please rest assured that as long as you don’t exert too much force while pushing the cap onto the nib nothing bad will happen.
Anyway, for those who prefer a method other than using the pen cap or their fingers for pulling off the nib, here is the tape method.
Yet, please let me state beforehand that I do not recommend this method. Some tapes don’t adhere well enough to the nib to get it off, especially if you haven’t cleaned off the ink properly, whereas other tapes are horribly sticky and tend to leave glue residue on your nib. Be careful, if this residue gets into the part of the ink flowing system of your nib it will be ruined.
The right way to use sticky tape would be to cut a piece to this length, like illustrated in the picture below. Most tapes will be wider than that, so you might have to cut the tape in half. Gently clean the nib and make sure there isn’t any ink (or water if you have just cleaned your pen) on the nib before applying the tape. Then pull gently on the tape until the nib slides off.
What not to do:
Don’t apply the tape over the ink flowing part of the nib. That would be the parts I’ve marked red in the following picture:
In the best case the ink therein will spread under the tape causing it not to stick to the nib, yet in the worst case glue residue from the sticky tape might clog up your ink flow. And believe me, it’s very difficult to get glue out of a nib, most likely you will have to get a new one.
January 10, 2009 § 1 Comment
I’ve had it happen a few times, that readers of this blog contacted me to ask me where they can get nibs and and/or ink erasers. Tough question, I know of only a few stores within the US that carry Lamys, but none where you could by the erasers. So those of you who really want an ink eraser/eradicator and a special nib (only steel!) and who do not fear the high shipping costs from the EU to the US (around 10$) just contact me. I cannot promise that I will be able to get the nib you want, but I will try.
January 24, 2008 § 28 Comments
[This article + much more can be found as a separate page now:
When it comes to sketching with fountain pens, I do prefer my Lamy pens, since their abillity to write in almost each position is legendary.
Recently I noticed that more and more people seem to be interested in them, but only few know the facts, so I decided to write this little tutorial. I really hope that it will be of help to some of you and if you still have any questions left, don’t hesitate to ask me, chances that I might know the answer aren’t that bad :).
A little bit of background information on Lamy. Lamy is a German company (located in Heidelberg btw) that produces high quality writing instruments and accessories, mainly fountain pens. In Germany kids at school write only with fountain pens (and non waterproof, erasable ink) and Lamy has probably been the most popular brand among them for many years now.
To meet the demands of all of their customers, the company regularly produces pens in new colors, styles, materials, etc. The insides of these pens and the nibs stay very much the same, it’s only colors and materials that vary. Oh, and yes, the prices, of course ;).
Here’s just a little part of my private Lamy collection:
What I consider more important than the outward style of the pen, is the nib:
Nibs can be bought separately (every nib will suit every pen – they are all built in the same way!) and they come in different sizes. There is also a special nib for the left-handed, its size being medium (nice for writing, but perhaps a little bit large for sketching?), although AFAIK most left-handed people won’t face any trouble using the regular nibs.
You can get your pen with these nibs:
- EF (extra fine)
- F (fine)
- M (medium)
- MK (medium kursive/ballpoint tip)
- B (bold)
- LH (left-handed, medium)
- Calligraphy-nibs (1.1mm, 1.5mm, 1.9mm)
For sketching you should try the EF nib or F, depending on what you like better. Nibs are made either of steel (black or silver) or of gold (F,M,B only). I’ve never observed any differences between the black steel nibs and the silvery steel nibs, but there is a big difference between the steel nibs and the gold nibs, the latter being much more elastic and thus more pleasant to write with. Unfortunately the gold nibs do not come in EF, they would be gorgeous for sketching :).
How to change nibs.
Get your pen and a nib. Since changing nibs is a little bit messy, you might also want to wear some disposable gloves and get a piece of scratch paper to work upon.
Turn your pen upside down:
The pale pink circle indicates the spot where you should place the cap…
…push the cap gently down with one of your hands while pulling the pen with your other hand…
…this should remove the nib from the pen. Clean the removed nib with warm water (never use soap or anything else for cleaning, just warm water) and carefully dry it with the help of a tissue.
Now get your pen and gently slide-in the new nib…
… until it has reached its final position.
Congrats, you’re done :)!
How to fill your pen with ink.
Now, if you are going to sketch with your pen, you surely will like to have a waterproof ink and since the ink that is supplied with your Lamy isn’t waterproof at all, it’s time to replace it with a water-resistant ink like Noodler’s.
There are two possibilities for doing this.
The safe method would be, to get a converter, to fill it with ink and use it in your pen. It isn’t difficult to handle, the only thing I do object about the converter is that it tends to suck up too much air and too little ink and it’s an annoying procedure to fill and refill this thingie until it’s acceptable filled.
The second method is to use a disposable syringe to refill your ink cartridge. Well, I assume that you are all old enough to know that you should be very careful while working with a syringe. Always reclose it immediately after using. And don’t let your children/pets/whatever play with them. The advantages of this technique is that it is much cheaper and that you will have more ink in your pen. (Check the photo for size comparison between ink cartridge and converter.)
Now you should be ready to start working with your new pen. Enjoy!