Are you ready for a Nibmeister?

I have done a post like this before and I think this is a topic valuable enough to repeat, especially for pen enthusiasts who are new to the fountain pen sector. The first fountain pen I ever bought was a disaster nib, I could not understand why anyone would want to write with a dull nail that smeared ink and was attached to the end of a major brand name pen that I paid a lot of money for, at least at the time I thought it was a lot of money for a pen. I should have done more research and not shelved it away in shame. I just needed to be introduced to a nibmeister.

A nibmeister is an affectionate term given to some talented individuals in our community that dawn magnifying optics on their head and work magic with our fountain pen nibs behind a small grinding wheel. Watching them work makes me nervous but I so enjoy the output. There are a variety of pen problems they can help you identify and fix if you tell them what you’re experiencing. Common issues include baby’s bottom, slow starts, skips, scratchy, too wet, too dry, and even repairs from drop damage or other accidents. Most of these nib magicians can also change the shape of the nib into one of the many variations of specialty nibs that make writing more fun and infuse more character in your writing style. Stub, Italic, Architects, these are commonly referred to as grinds as usually they entail grinding away some of the metals from the existing nib.

Granted not all pens need nib work or the services of a nibmeister but unfortunately some fountain pen brands are known for inconsistent nib quality out of the box. It can be a difficult balance for the pen maker. The time and labor required to tune every nib that leaves a manufacturer’s shop floor would raise the cost of the pen to all of us. NOT tuning the nib results in sometimes delivering a less than optimal writing experience that could sour the reputation for a brand in the eyes of the unlucky recipient. Some pen enthusiasts are confident enough to do some nib tuning on their own, I commend them. For others a nibmeister is a great option if you’re really in love with a pen for all the other reasons but it just doesn’t write well.

Mark Bacas is one such talented nibmeister that our community is fortunate to have. I have sent Mark many of my pens that possessed some bad writing characteristics and all of them have come back the first time as almost a completely new pen.

Mark was kind enough to share his story with me and I’m excited to team up with him for a cool giveaway so read on!

Mark has been interested in pens for most of his life and he admits he may be guilty of absconding some fountains pens that his dad brought home when Mark was a young boy. It took a visit to The Great Southeastern Show, that later became The Atlanta Pen Show, where Mark’s eyes were opened up to the world of fountain pens. Mark’s collection grew and like many of us he began having nibs refined and custom ground. A process that fascinated him. An active member of the Southeastern Pen Club Mark and Mike Masuyama became friends and Mike suggested he give the whole nib work thing a try. Mark gives credit and praise to Mike and Jim Rouse, of Franklin-Christoph as his mentors and accomplished nibmeisters that have help many pen enthusiasts over the years.

Around the 2015 Atlanta Pen Show Mark began acquiring tools and building his knowledge to really make a go at nib work. He’s getting busier and busier with work as more people find his talent valuable. A unique bonus that Mark offers with every pen he works on is a
video of him writing with the customer’s pen to give them a sense of how it performs after the nib work. His prices are reasonable and his turnaround time back to me has been less than 3 weeks.

Here’s Mark at the Atlanta pen show working his inky fingers off.

Mark Bacas Hard At Work

Here is his tool of the trade that requires a really steady hand.

Marks Magic Wand

NOW THE GIVEAWAY

Mark has been very gracious to team up with me and offer a free nib tune or grind to one lucky readers. Just leave a comment here with what pen you would like to have tuned and why.

At 8:00 pm est on Tuesday June 27th, 2017 I will use Random.org to draw a winner. The winner will have 5 days to contact Mark and myself to start the process and shipping their pen off to Mark. The only cost for the winner is shipping the pen to Mark. Mark and I will cover the nib work and the return shipping.

Even if you’re not the lucky winner I still encourage you to go to Mark’s website, review his services and have him do some work for you. I’m confident you’ll be delighted.

Thanks Mark for everything you do for our community, for me personally you have truly made my writing and my collection more enjoyable.

Good luck to all and I look forward to reading your plans!

Remember: Write something nice……

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Let’s Giveaway the Perfect Nib

openerHennessey, Lingenfelter and Calloway make great cars extraordinary. They have a specialty in Corvettes. I have owned a Corvette (that’s it on the left) and wish my expendable income would have allowed any of these three firms to work my plastic wonder over but it wasn’t to be before I lost interest and moved on to another hobby.

A parallel in pen collecting are nib tuners, or sometimes referred to as nibmeisters. They take good pens or even damaged pens and turn them into a whole new level of writing enjoyment. I wish I would have known about them when I got my first fountain pen but instead the pen got shelved for a couple of years until I learned how a fountain pen should write.

Many of us have purchased tuned nibs from the likes of John Mottishaw and Richard Binder, both well respected in the pen community. There are many others that do great work on a pen that maybe never really performed like you wanted it to or a pen that has been damaged and needs repair. I have sent off several pens for work and have never been disappointed. About 6 months ago I finally gave up on my big Pelikan M1000 and sent it off to be worked on and I have enjoyed it ever since.

I want to help one lucky winner enjoy the experience of a perfectly tuned nib. I have teamed up with Mike Masuyama of Mike-It-Work to give away a free nib tuning, up to a $30 value, on the pen of your choice. There are many fine nib tuners or nibmesiters in the pen community. Mike has done great work for me and any research you do on him will assuredly bring up glowing reviews. He’s that good.

Here’s how it’s going to work. Leave me a comment about the pen you want to have tuned and maybe a brief explanation of why. I will accept comments until 8:00 pm est on Friday October 10th. I will use Random.org to pick a winner and notify the winner by email. After confirmation I will notify Mike of the winner and tell him to expect their pen in the mail. From there the confirmed winner will send their pen directly to Mike. His website mikeitwork.com has all the details on how. When Mike finishes your pen he will send your pen back to you and send me the invoice so I can pay your bill free and clear. How about that! Mike’s normal lead time is about 10-12 weeks so if you’re not accustomed to having this type of work done I just want you to be aware. It’s worth the wait for all of his return customers who keep going back to him.

Do you have experiences with nib work you’d like to share?

Remember: Write something nice……

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Letter Books Giveaway Winners!

Congratulations to our lucky book winners. Random.org was very generous to:

Jeanne and Sabina

I have sent each of you emails to reply to or you can contact me through the contact me page here on the site to provide your mailing address and claim your prize.

Thanks to ALL for your kind words and stopping by to chat and stay tuned for ANOTHER GIVEAWAY coming Monday. Fountain pen users will not want to miss it!

Maragaret Shepherd Book Giveaway

Remember: Write something nice……

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Book Giveaway

I searched and searched and could not come up with a better way to end MPNI Write More Letters Month of September than with a giveaway! I have two different hardback books, both by Margaret Shepherd, related to letter writing that I hope some lucky reader will enjoy.

Margaret is passionate about handwriting notes and letters. So passionate that she wrote two books on the subject. They were enjoyable reads that gave me some good tips and ideas so I want to pass them on to my great readers to inspire others and maybe add something to your letter writing toolbox

Maragaret Shepherd Book GiveawayFor a chance to win just leave a comment below on whether you think the MPNI theme month was fun, it didn’t matter to you or it was the dumbest idea you’ve ever seen. I will close the comments on Friday 10/3 then pick two winners using Random.org. For two winners the second surprise will be which book you get!

Remember: Write something nice……

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Giveaway – Unique Retro Book Pen Holder

I’m giving away a truly unique travel pen holder made from a vintage children’s mystery book.  My international friends may not recognize The Hardy Boys Series but I grew up surrounded by them. A very loved and talented member of my family created this really cool retro 4 pen holder on the inside with all the accompaniments.  4 separated sleeves, a flap for  security and protection and even a velcro closure.  I guarantee you will will be the only one in your office or social gathering that whips out one of these to retrieve your favorite writing stick.  One lucky winner will be traveling soon in retro style.  Front Cover

Inside with PensInsideAll I ask is for you to leave a witty comment as to why you should win it. Couldn’t be simpler right?

Saturday 3/29 @ 7:59 pm est will be the last time to enter. I will utilize random.org and email the winner Monday morning. The winner will have 3 days to respond. If I don’t hear back I will ask random.org for another number and repeat the notification until I get a winner.

Thanks for reading My Pen Needs Ink. I’m always encouraged by your comments and your wit puts a smile on my face.

Giveaway – Beautiful 8 Pen Wrap

Welcome to my first giveaway that I know somebody is really going to enjoy. Some lucky winner will receive this beautiful handmade 8 pen wrap. I really like this one because the pockets are deep and big enough for my larger pens without swallowing normal size writers. The top flap folds down to protect the clips and the tie is plenty long for secure travels. I think the black and red color scheme contrasts perfectly without being too flashy or loud. Again this one holds up to 8 pens for those of us that tend to carry a heavy rotation.

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Pens shown for demonstration purposes only. They are not included in the giveaway.
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All I ask is for you to leave a comment about one of my past posts so I can hopefully gauge what readers like most.

Tuesday 1/14 @ 11:59 pm will be the last time to enter. I will utilize random.org to select a random winner and email him or her Wednesday morning. The winner will have 3 days to respond. If I don’t hear back I will ask random.org for another number and repeat the notification until I get a winner.

Thanks for reading My Pen Needs Ink. I’m always encouraged by your comments and suggestions.