Ever since one of my school years where our form class (or home class) was in an art building I have been fascinated with Dip pens and Fountain pens. Eventually I splurged and bought a bottle of ink and a cheap ($25) fountain pen. Two years down the track, I'm still using that same bottle of ink and same pen.
But every time I use it I think:
'I spent $25 on this pen. Why can't I make it? They made them in the 1800's'
But before I can make a fountain pen, I need to make a nib. The nib of a dip pen is similar, and the skills should be able to be transferred over.
So, after a couple of tries I have got making steel pen nibs down to an art. For $2.00 at the local dairy I can get the materials to make 6 or 8 nibs. I've no idea how long they will last, and they are quite fragile, but it's a good start.
Step 1: Materials and tools
- A steel mint can or other, really thin sheet steel. (My mint can was 0.02mm* or so)
A pair of scissors you don't mind cutting thin metal with.
120 grit sandpaper
2400 grit sandpaper (the finest stuff you can find)
A metal rod about 5-8mm diameter (I used a screwdriver shank)
Really tiny drill bit (or a pocket knife)
It will take about 30 minutes.
You will be cutting open a metal mint tin, things are sharp. I cut myself. Be careful.
And, as always, If you have any better ideas about any of the steps or the process in whole, please tell me!
* According to a reference given on the next step, the 'proper' thickness for a steel nib is 0.02mm (or 1/120"). Sheer coincidence that a mint tin is nearly exactly that!