This thread over at FPN has me feeling flustered:
Jim Baer’s comments, in particular, leave me wondering if I even know the first thing about how to smooth a nib correctly…
…Smoothing a nib has been the hardest skill to master for me. It is somewhat easy to fool around with and get some beneficial results, heck we even sell nib smoothing kits! Lots of folks are smoothing their own nibs. It seems easy to do but the reality is much more subtle.
Smoothing properly is all about shape and correct tine alignment. I still show Richard nibs where the tines look properly aligned to me after I have adjusted ,but aren't!! Many nibs start out from the factory with asymmetrical tines due to vagaries in manufacturing. Adjusting those suckers is truly an art--again it's all about shaping compensation, pad, corner edges on the nib- both inner(slit wall) edges and outer edges. Also the actual surface of the nib can have micro roughness in spots and removing them makes a HUGE difference to smoothness.
Anyhow I could go on for pages and pages but to distill down most of what I have learned about fixing nibs is that it truly is an Art to do right. There is a huge amount of feel involved and very minute changes have drastic effects!
Do I say don't do it? No, practice on pens you don't mind messing up. Have fun. But please refrain from giving advice that isn't necessarily sound to a newbie who has never tried to fix a nib without knowing the particulars. It's too easy for them to make matters worse.
Is it just me, or is there way too much conflicting information on this topic? I have seen everything from the likes of Jim’s post above (which I am sure is 100% correct), all the way down to people suggesting that figure-8’s on a brown paper bag is perfectly acceptable…!
For the benefit of newbies like me, could someone please point us in the direction of some good/accurate/correct information on nib smoothing? I want to aspire towards professional-quality restorations, not amateurish hack-jobs that “work for me”…
On my most recent acquisition, (a VERY humble P51 Vac: http://www.ebay.com/...984.m1497.l2649), I have refrained from attempting any smoothing whatsoever, until I re-learn some basics…
Edited by JanesvilleJones, 13 January 2014 - 10:39 PM.