The Kaweco Sport Flex Mod Failure Report

I was browsing the internet when I stumbled upon this lovely post on Fountain Pen Network by andymcc who modified a Fountain Pen Revolution flex nib to fit in a Kaweco Sport. Renderboy was able to do it to five other Kaweco Sports, so I figured I had a pretty good chance. Unfortunately for me, my attempt was a failure.

Tools Used

  • 1 Old Fountain Pen Revolution Flex Nib (all silver type)
  • Knife sharpening stones
  • 2000 Grit Sandpaper

The Modding

Andymcc said he needed to take off the a bit of the back end of the FPR nib to fit in the Kaweco Sport. I figured the best way to go about this was to put the Kaweco nib on top of the FPR nib then use a permanent marker to colour in all the areas I need to grind off. Once all the permanent marker is gone, I know I should stop grinding. The coarse grinding stone was a great choice as it made fast work of the nib. Once I had it down to size, I rounded off the edges a bit with the smoother Arkansas stone and then removed the burrs with a curled piece of sandpaper. All good so far.

I decided to go for broke based on andymcc’s experience and just put the nib on the Kaweco Sport right away. It was definitely a tight fit, but the bigger problem was the nib and the feed refused to sit tight enough together to write. Cue an hour of trying to adjust the nib so it would sit closer to the feed without success.

Figuring Out What Went Wrong

I tried a ton of things to try to coax the nib to sit nicely on the feed, I figure either the shape of the nib or the curve of the nib is off. I decided I’d go a little high tech to see if the FPR and the Kaweco nibs were similar in shape. I uses some photo editing software to get a really accurate comparison.

FPR-Kaweco-Nib-Overlay
Red overlay – Kaweco Sport Nib

As you can see from the overlay, the shape of the nibs are quite similar, so the overall nib shape isn’t the issue here. So that leaves me with the curve of the nibs. The Kaweco curve is definitely more aggressive, sitting close to the feed. The FPR nib flares out away from the feed.

What I’ll be Doing Next

So now the big question is how best to change the curve to the shape I need. Based on a clip from the show How It’s Made on fountain pens, the punched out nib is curved into the desired shape with a hydraulic press and a mold. Unfortunately, I have neither, so my solution will have to be a little more creative. I’ve attempted to use a nylon ball link pliers to force the nib to curve, but the FPR nib is small enough to slip right through. Using regular pliers to squeeze the size didn’t give me enough control on the curve either. So I think the next thing to try will be to find a metal rod with the same dimensions as the feed and attempt to hammer the nib to the right curve, maybe with a little heat to soften the metal. If you have other ideas to shape the nib, feel free to leave them in the comment section below!

Inked Up – January Edition

Welcome to our very first edition of a new monthly segment called Inked Up. Every month, a member of the fountain pen community and I will share our current rotation that has been inked up!

Our very first guests are Jon and Liz Chen of Wonder Pens, hailing from Toronto, Canada. Wonder Pens is currently my local store and carries pens, pencils, journals, notebooks, office supplies, tons of fountain pens, and fountain pen accessories. I often plan to visit with the intention of picking up an item or two and end up leaving with a lighter wallet and bag full of ink. If you live in the Greater Toronto Area, be sure to swing by their brick and mortar shop to pet Super the store dog in training while you stock up on ink. Liz gave us a peek at her very colourful rotation.

(Be sure to click the thumbnail for the full image in all its glory!)
wonder-pens-inked-up-001
Continue reading “Inked Up – January Edition”

Kaweco Sport Demonstrator Review

The Kaweco Sport is a pen designed to be as small as possible when closed for easy storage in pockets, bags, purses, and so forth. When capped, the pen expands to a small pen that fits comfortably in the hand. The pen is available in plastic and aluminium in a wide variety of colours.

The pen is built like a linebacker. The thickest part of the cap measures in at 1.5 cm and the body measures 1.1 cm in diameter. When capped, the entire pen measures 10.6 cm in length. From nib to end, the body is a measly 10 cm. I have really small hands, so I find writing with the Kaweco Sport uncapped to be perfectly comfortable, but I believe most people will want to write with the pen capped. When capped, the pen is 13 cm long. I found the small size is perfect for sticking in jacket pockets and on the outside pouch of backpacks. Because the pen is so small, most user’s grips will sit on the threads of the pen. The threads are not sharp at all and are actually pretty comfortable to hold.

Disassembling the pen is very easy. The nib and feed is friction fit and best removed with a rubber grip pad. The barrel is one single piece which makes the Kaweco Sport a popular choice for converting into an eyedropper pen with a little bit of silicone grease. For people who prefer cartridges and converters, the Sport accepts the standard international short cartridge. Some people have had luck with using the Monteverde Mini converter, but I found it was too loose and could not make a seal to draw up ink. Kaweco offers a squeeze converter for those who like them. Personally, I have been refilling the short cartridges with a blunt syringe.

The Kaweco Sport accepts Kaweco nibs from extra fine to 1.5 mm stubs. The stainless steel nibs come in silver or gold colouring. The standard Kaweco Sport line comes with gold coloured nibs will the ICE editions come with silver coloured nibs. Although a standard #5 nib fits the feed, they are too long and will stop the cap from screwing in. As Kaweco is a German company, nib sizing is European. A pen clip can be purchased separately. I found pen clip to be extremely tight. Trying to slip it into the pen slots in my jacket pocket often resulted in the pen clip being pushed off the pen.

I have a 1.1 mm stub and an extra fine nib for the Sport. The 1.1 mm stub is buttery smooth. My previous experience with a stub nib was rather scratchy and even after extensive tuning, I still haven’t quite smoothed out all the edges. Normally, I’m a huge fan of extra fine nibs. The finer, the better! However, the Kaweco Sport’s 1.1 mm stub sold me on the experience of using stubs! The extra fine nib is smooth for an extra fine, but does have a bit of feedback to it.

The ink flow is very well balanced, if not a little on the wetter side of the spectrum. The pen cap has an inner cap that does a pretty good job of slowing evaporation of ink when left unused. Since the pen lives in my jacket, I was rather worried about ink leaking from the pen. I tested how water tight the cap was by pouring some water into the cap of the pen then screwing in the body of the pen. For the most part, water did not escape the cap. If the pen was shaken extremely vigorously, then water trapped between the inner cap and the outer cap would leak. However, the level of force used to cause ink to escape the cap was really high, I don’t see myself experiencing that level of force short of being caught in a bad car accident.

The Recap

Pen Check – December 20th, 2013

Today’s pen check, brought to you by reddit.

Kaweco Sport demonstrator with 54th Massachusetts in the cartridge. I try not to dump out the ink that comes in cartridges, but the Kaweco blue ink that came with it was possibly the ugliest blue I laid eyes on. Strangely enough, my last cartridge of Kaweco blue was rather pleasant. Review of pen and ink to come soon!