Nib 9-1-1: Nib Tuning by Dan Smith

Sailor 1911 Profit fountain pen

I bought this Sailor 1911 Profit (Ivory White Body, Iridium Gold Plated Medium-Fine nib) from Engeika (Japan), having dealt with them in the past without issue even though we are continents apart. I’m not sure I buy the bit about this being a “rare pen,” but I was curious about Sailor pens and nibs and this seemed like a good, and reasonably priced, starting point.

The transaction went very smoothly, with good communication along the way.

A couple of days after the pen arrived, I inked it up and sat poised over the paper, ready to scribble away. (I typically write my name, or the name of the pen and the ink, or my dogs’ names, a million times.) This is always the high point of pen suspense— how will this newly purchased pen write?!?!

As it turns out, not so hot. Well, #&@%.

I have theory, borne out in this case, that the further a pen has traveled— the more difficult it is to return— the more likely it is to act up. This nib was dry and skippy. Really dry. Really skippy. Sad Mary.

The next day I tried the few things I have in my “if a fountain pen doesn’t work” arsenal:

  • Emptied the converter and flushed the pen;
  • Flossed the tines with a brass sheet;
  • Re-inked pen;
  • Crossed fingers. Prayed to pen gods.

The pen gods were obviously tending to more pressing matters because there wasn’t even a hint of improvement. (It would’ve been cool if I had had the presence of mind to photograph the lousy nib performance for blogging purposes, but I didn’t. Trust me, though, it wasn’t a stellar writing experience.) With my meager skills depleted, I had two choices. Shove the pen back in the box and into a drawer, OR send it off for a tune-up. (Normally I’ll contact the vendor if I have a significant nib issue, but in this case, with the vendor in Japan and me in the US, I decided to scratch that option.)

"Fountain Pen Geek" Dan Smith

Though I wasn’t happy, I wasn’t overly distressed either. I immediately knew who could help me out— Dan Smith, Fountain Pen Geek and my go-to nibmeister. I’ve purchased a couple of used pens from Dan— some of my vintage favorites— and found him to be wonderful to deal with. Satisfaction is priority #1, so purchasing a sight unseen pen from him is completely stress-free.

I had him tune a dryish nib some time ago, and immediately knew that he could work wonders on this problem child.

I contacted Dan, packed up the pen (along with a writing sample) after getting the go-ahead from him, and mailed it off. Dan’s good about keeping you posted— emailing when he receives the pen and again when the work is completed, which in this case, was only a couple of days from receipt.

Sailor Profit 1911

The newly tuned pen arrived a few days later— coincidentally on Fountain Pen Day. And it is awesome— smooth with spot on perfect flow. I couldn’t be happier.

Sailor 1911 Profit

The whole process took about a week and the pen writes as I hoped it would when I ordered it. No more frustration. No more #@%&. Well worth the $20 (+ shipping to and from).

Dan does stellar work, at very reasonable prices, with excellent turn-around times (though, of course, that depends on what he has in the queue). He’s who I think of when a nib needs work OR when I want one modified. I purchased the Edison Glenmont 2014 LEA pen with a broad nib so that, down the road, I can have Dan do a custom grind on it. I’m thinking about a medium stub. Or Architect/Hebrew. Still pondering.

100% thrilled

Dan guarantees satisfaction. He wants you to be thrilled. 100% thrilled.

Sailor 1911 Profit

And I am. Thrilled. 100%.

Check out Dan’s services, current turnaround time and prices HERE.

[There are no affiliate links in this post and I purchased both the pen and Dan’s nib-tuning services. I’m just a very pleased, and repeat, customer. The nib issue was probably just a fluke and hasn’t put me off  the Sailor brand or the vendor, Engeika.]


One thought on “Nib 9-1-1: Nib Tuning by Dan Smith

  1. Pingback: Just another pen ?!Blick über den Tellerrand vom 22. November 2014 - Just another pen ?!

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