Seeking Reputable Fountain Pen Nib Repair (U.S.)
February 19, 2016 8:01 PM   Subscribe

I have 3 Namiki Vanishing Point nibs that are in need of a nib doctor. Pilot - owner of Namiki, does not repair bent nibs, and cannot refer me. New nibs are $70. I need a reputable, cost effective repair-person.

Dear HiveMind,

I have 3 Namiki Vanishing Point nibs, tines in varying states of injury, all victims of my ceramic tile floor (and my clumsy fingers). Pilot, which now owns Namiki, is very good about repair - but they have informed me that they don't repair bent nibs, and cannot refer me. New nibs are $70.

So: Does anyone have a resource for reputable, cost-effective repair?

(I am, of course, looking on fountain pen sites as well; AskMeFi has provided me with wonderful leads on all sorts of matters year after year, so I'm posting here as well.)

Thanks in advance!
posted by ferkit to Shopping (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
This is going to depend to some extent on where you are in the US and what your tolerance of waiting times might be. If there's a pen show in your vicinity and you can get to it, then that might be your best option. Otherwise, pack them off to Mike Masuyama and wait a while until your turn comes along.
posted by holgate at 8:09 PM on February 19, 2016

posted by effluvia at 11:23 PM on February 19, 2016

I've shopped with Pendemonium a bunch of times, and gotten custom-ground nibs from them, and been very happy. I don't see any Namiki pens or parts on their site right now, so I don't know if they repair them, but it might be worth reaching out to them to see if they can, or if they can refer you to someone.
posted by sldownard at 2:34 AM on February 20, 2016

I've bought some custom Vanishing Point nibs from - he's great to deal with and a nice guy in person. I imagine he could repair them, although $70 sounds like about what you'd pay for a repair. Maybe a deal if you have 3 repaired at once.

I've also ordered custom nibs from Richard Binder but it looks like he doesn't do that anymore.

It's a shame VP nibs have become so expensive, I used to buy them for $35. Now you can get a complete pen with nib on eBay for $80 or just the nib for $70...

I assume you've found the FPN forum - someone there might be able to do an amateur repair for cheaper. I do some amateur pen restoration myself and have repaired a few nibs, but VP nibs are so tiny I'm not sure I could do anything for those.
posted by mmoncur at 3:24 AM on February 20, 2016

If they are badly damaged, it may cost more than $70 to have them fixed. Two recommendations I have for nibmeisters are Mike Masuyama and Dan Smith. Mike is considered one of the top nibmeisters in the business and is in great demand, so you might get a better turnaround time and somewhat lower prices from Dan.

I have sent several pens to Mike for work and been very pleased with the results (the Delta Dolcevita Oversize Oro he adjusted might be my favorite writer), but I hear very good things about Dan from trusted sources and have been considering sending him a Visconti Homo Sapiens with a somewhat cranky 1.3 mm stub to see if he can get the flow where I want it.
posted by slkinsey at 6:21 AM on February 20, 2016 [1 favorite]

Oh, just FYI, Namiki has always been a part of Pilot.
posted by slkinsey at 6:29 AM on February 20, 2016

Response by poster: Thanks to all for answers thus far - all very helpful. Mike Masuyama is a true rock star ... I hadn't actually considered sending my humble little VP nibs to him; I imagine he would be deservedly out of my price range (ditto Richard Binder). I will certainly look into Dan Smith, Pendemonium, and Evaluation itself generally seems to run about $30... My best bet - and I'm hoping I can find scout out such a thing - would be to go local in NYC, perhaps find a 'semi-pro' nib doctor. Perhaps FPN will help (nothing so far).

And - I bow my head to slkinsey for the correction - it's quite true, Namiki and Pilot are, have always been, one. (now that I think of it - I seem to recall that Namiki came first).
posted by ferkit at 1:17 PM on February 20, 2016

As another data point: is the website of Classic Fountain Pens. It is the web presence for nibmeister John Mottishaw and also his retail site for fountain pens. John Mottishaw is one of the highest profile nibmeisters in the business, certainly being in the same echelon as Binder and Masuyama. Unless you purchase a pen from them, it may be quite some time before CFP can get to your nibs and even then you would be looking at $40-$90 or more per nib.

Since you are in NYC, have you considered taking your nibs to the Fountain Pen Hospital store? Although they are primarily a retail business despite their name, they do offer repair services.
posted by slkinsey at 8:32 AM on February 22, 2016

Best answer: To elaborate on my earlier comment, the Long Island Pen Show is in a few weeks at Hofstra, and might be your best opportunity to get an assessment for repair or replacement. Richard Binder won't be there, in spite of what the site says -- he apologised for his absence in his email newsletter -- but Linda Kennedy of Indy-Pen-Dance will be doing nib work, and you can see whether the nibs can be fixed on-site or will need to be sent away.
posted by holgate at 11:10 AM on February 22, 2016

Response by poster: slkinsey - Fountain Pen Hospital was my first stop - they don't repair these, and referred me to Pilot, who are renowned for generous repairs - but won't fix nibs.

holgate - getting to Hofstra for the show is a great idea, if I can manage it.

all of these answers have been very helpful - hard to pick a 'best' one - thanks, folks! The Long Island Pen show is probably my best bet, if it's feasible.

(what a wonderful community - so thank you, Hivemind, as well.)
posted by ferkit at 7:57 PM on February 22, 2016

« Older Help me find new shirts   |   building more of a relationship with my little... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.