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Post Info TOPIC: Are dip pen nibs inherently scratchy?


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Are dip pen nibs inherently scratchy?
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Using a dip pen, are the nibs inherently somewhat scratchy compared to a fountain pen? Or if it is scratchy does that simply mean it has to be smoothed?
skyp

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Honestly I don't know. I've tried using them several times & just can't get the hang of them. Each time I've used one they have been beyond scratchy, but that may just be due to my inexperience with them. Sorry I couldn't be more help on this one.

Dennis

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Skyp wrote:

Using a dip pen, are the nibs inherently somewhat scratchy compared to a fountain pen? Or if it is scratchy does that simply mean it has to be smoothed?
skyp








Hi Again Skyp. (I'm feeling set free after quitting another board and not having posted for a month or so.) Quills or dip pens were scratchy mostly because tipping was expensive and reserved for only a few pens (the nib was actually called the pen and the barrel a handle or holder). Also, the scratchy tips were suited for the rather rough cotton paper available before the civil war. A light hand is needed. Dip the pen nib all the way in (about one inch) and only wipe off the very tip on the bottle lip. The ink will gradually come down to the point as you write. People 150 years ago tended to write smaller and thus got more letters per page and per dip of their quill. Goose quills continued to be popular even up into the early fountain pen age, say 1890. They held a lot of ink due to the fiberous nature of the material. I have a dozen or so dip pens and have 5 pictured below. The center one is a hybrid from about the 1930s. You would pump the back and fill the body with ink before writing. It also has a feed. The top metal ones are probably from about 1910 and the two wood ones are quite old. Second to bottom pre civil war. The nibs are more recent.

I don't really collect them very actively. I've just come across them and I don't resist their power fully.

PeteWK







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Nice collection. If your interested i have a fist full of dip pens & a bag of points that have been taking up space here for way too long. Send me your address & i'll drop them in the mail to you. I don't have any use for them.

Dennis

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My limited experience with dip pens indicates that they are indeed a bit toothy in comparison to modern fountain pens! Something simiar to a true dip pen  that I have grown rather fond of is a "dip-less" pen. You still dip them, but do so...less than usual. All of them I have seen have feeds. O course glass dip pens are a totally different item. I can write nearly a quarter page on one dip. Nice!



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