This tutorial will explain how to fabricate calligraphy pen nibs from brass stock and simple tools. Total material cost for one nib is less than $1. The most expensive part are probably the tools needed, but who doesn't love tools?


  • Flat Brass stock 1/2" to 1" wide x 0.025" and 0.0125" thick
    • Brass stock can be found at most hobby supply stores for low cost. It can also be ordered online for significantly more money.
  • Round Brass Tubing 1/4" diameter, wall thickness 0.014"
    • Anything thicker will have trouble fitting in most calligraphy pen nib holders. Any thinner will probably be too weak.
  • Sandpaper 600, 350, 150 grit
  • Solder 50/50 tin/lead
  • Flux for soldering
  • Jeweler Saw blades 4-O and 4 gauge


  • Jeweler's Saw
  • Bench vise w/ rubber pads
  • Keyhole files (optional, but helpful)
  • Ruler
  • Pencil
  • Soldering Iron (50-75w)
  • Third-hand Tool

Step 1: Measure and Cut Stock

The nib being made in this tutorial is a dual-line nib, used for drawing parallel lines. This is obviously a more complex nib because of the extra cuts and its functionality is limited in use. Obviously, you do not need to make the extra cut-out and could very well use it as a whole nib.

The stock used for this nib was piece of flat brass stock 1" x 1/2" x 0.025" and 1" x 1/2" x 0.0125". The thicker piece forms the base of the nib and the thinner acts as the reservoir which holds the ink on the nib through surface tension.

Measure and cut the pieces together so that they are the same size. When clamping the stock in the vise keep the working piece outside of the jaws and support it while sawing with your fingers. This will help prevent bending the pieces of brass while sawing. Use the jeweler's saw with a 4 gauge blade to make the cut.

After cutting the pieces off of the base stock it is a good idea to sand off any rough edges. Use each of the three grades of sandpaper to do this. Then measure and mark the small lines at top every 1/16" at a length of 1/8" each. These fine cuts will allow the ink to flow to the tip of the nib when writing. The deeper channel for the is marked at 1/4".

<p>i made it and im confused why the ink is not flowing for me , i used a different design. but otherwise this is brilliant and i am going to try to make a pointed nib !!!! </p>
<p>It looks like you only made one blade. The reason there are two blades on most pens is one acts as the reservoir that holds the ink. The gap between the blades allows the ink to stay in place by surface tension. When you touch it to paper, the grooves act as capillary action, and the ink flows out across the nib.</p>
<p>Wow, simply beautiful.</p>
<p>i am in awe....thanks!. I am not sure I am up to making a nib but I am truly impressed!</p>
<p>Better than My tailor made ones. Favorited, but I don't think It's letting Me vote. Thank You much. ~( : - } )={&gt;--- ]</p>
<p>ugh, so brilliant!!</p>
<p>I am a calligraphy nut....</p><p>And I have designed and modified nibs and all that..</p><p>I also create and formulate inks...</p><p>Quite a work of art actually.</p><p>The mix of fluidity, surface tension or it's reduction, pigment concentration, paper penetration, writing speed etc...</p><p>I have never used a nib that solid - no big deal, with such a large ink carrying slot.</p><p>The slot size used, seems to act as a reserviour and as a feed channel.</p><p>Have you thought about cutting a finer slot, honing it so the insides are square and flat, and then drilling a reseviour hole at the far end and pinching the sides of the slot together - to leave a hair gap, so the ink feeds by capillary action? </p><p>Ahh I read the instructions and I think what your saying - not that clear... is you have stuck two brass plates together, and soddered them only at the handle joint - leaving the gap between them to hold the ink.</p><p>Ahhhhh IC.</p><p>I like the solid more or less indestructible nib..... Long lasting and tough.</p><p>I would not mind making a few plain writing nibs... </p>
<p>great idea..... double plus good....</p>
Very good. keep it up. ....
<p>Ultracool and creative. </p>
<p>Way cool. I'm going to have to get into this. Been a pen freak for years. </p>
<p>Very nice result.</p>
<p>Back in the early eighties I had a set of steel brush pens similar to this which I lost when I moved. Calligraphy is a fun hobby as you know and I think making my own nibs would be a fun way to get back into the hobby. Thank you for getting me to start thinking about it </p>

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