Thursday, May 15, 2014

Nibswap Knight

Caution: pen nerd-ism ahead...

Tony posted a question in the comments of the previous pencast entry:
I'm curious about the perfect width of what looks like an italic nib.
Well-spotted: it's actually a hybrid of a Pilot Knight fountain pen with the italic nib pulled out of a Pilot Plumix italic. The Knight was a Staples clearance find (I think it's discontinued?) and the Plumix came from Target. Both are cartridge/converter pens, and of course, Pilot has a proprietary refill (grr) that is at least easy to refill (yay) using nothing more high-tech than an eyedropper or in desperation, a coffee stir-straw liberated from the office break room.

It wasn't until relatively recently that I discovered that both have the same nib and feed, so they could be swapped out with relative ease. I've had enough practice pulling the nibs out of Pilot's Varsity pens that I assumed the process would be much the same: start with an empty pen, wrap the nib and feed in paper towel, grip firmly and pull straight out.

The Plumix is more useful to me now as a carrying-around pen, since the thinner nib sips ink instead of guzzling it. The now-italic Knight stays at my desk, and the nib is good for pencasts, or for notes where I'm never far from an ink bottle. The nib runs a little dry, and tends to skip when the ink gets low in the cartridge, two fact that frustrated me when it lived in the Plumix. Plus, I like how it tarts up my handwriting. I've always had a weakness for calligraphy pens for the same reason.

Now both pens are getting more use, which is a happy day indeed.

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