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Tuning Fountain Pen Nibs

Above Photo: Using rough brown packing paper to polish the tip and wear down any high spots that cause the nib to catch and scratch.

I managed to lose my second oldest fountain pen, my 'workhorse pen' which had been in my possession over 30 years. It was an insignificantly priced pen - $1.79 -

I purchased it at a bookstore.

It was my everyday work pen for over 30 years and through time and use the nib became tuned to perfection - it was my favorite pen. But after spending an entire day looking for it I finally gave up and went searching for a replacement. Fortunately they are still on the market and are now priced at $17.95. I ordered one and it arrived yesterday.

The extra fine nib was in deplorable condition. Catching and scratching on every form of paper I used it on. So I began the process of "tuning" it by running it over rough packing paper over and over and over. Extra Fine nibs tend to be scratchy by nature until broken-in. But I don't have another 30 years ahead of me, so I've ordered some micro-mesh polishing pads and we shall see.

This whole lost pen / nib polishing debacle got me thinking about life in general. How my own life over time has "tuned" me and knocked off my hard edges or worn them off entirely through wear and tear.

I think these last 2 years and those 5 years I spent in that little cottage in the late 90's have been the most influential of my life. They were spent mostly in solitude surrounded by books and cats, listening to good music, and fully engaged at my drawing table living the life of imagination - very significant 'tuning' periods in my life.

Until next time ... Here's Chuck Mangione with one of my deeply treasured favorite songs, one which I was so fortunate to see performed live nearly 50 years ago -

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