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How to Remove a Parker 75 Nib from its Feed

(This page published May 1, 2020)

Reference Info Index | Glossopedia  ]


Nib
Nib

Introduction

It’s not often necessary to take a Parker 75 nib off its feed, but occasions do arise, e.g., to repair a sprung nib or to floss a feed that’s clogged so badly that even Rapido-Eze can’t clear it out. Once you’ve decided that you need to pull the nib off, you’re faced with the daunting task of actually doing it. This is not a job that you can do easily with your bare hands, or even with a pair of pliers unless you want to destroy the nib, in which case you might as well stop reading right now. What’s needed is a special tool. This article explains how to make and use such a tool.

finished_tool

Tools Required

Materials Required

Supplies Required

Cutting the Parts

The tool you will use to cut the brass tubing to length depends on what tools you have available. You can use a rotary tool, a lathe, or a razor saw. The brass tubing you need is the standard type that you can find on eBay, Amazon, and most good U.S. hobby shops (not craft shops like Hobby Lobby or Michaels). You will need to cut two pieces. Depending on the tool you uses to do the cutting, you might need to cut each piece a little extra long so that you can finish the ends properly.

Assembling the Tool

Squeeze one end of the smaller tubing to deform it very slightly, just enough so that it will resist slipping when it is inserted into the larger tubing. Use the white area of the buff stick to clean about " (6.4 mm) of the outside surface of the squeezed end as shown in the photo immediately above. Roll up a small piece of sandpaper so that it will fit into the larger tubing, and sand the inside surface at one end of the tubing to clean it.

Using a cotton swab, paint the cleaned surfaces with liquid spldering flux to complete the cleaning process. Then slide the unsqueezed end of the smaller tubing into the cleaned end of the larger tubing, and push it in until the squeezed end of the smaller tube is exactly even with the end of the larger one. The cleaned surfaces of the two tubes are now together, and there is a " (4.8 mm) “step” between the ends of the tubes at the other end of the assembly.

Clamp the stepped end of the two tubes in the third hand tool so that the cleaned end of the tubes is free.

03_tubes_clamped

Sweat-solder the two tubes together at the free end as shown in the photo below. You can use either an electronics-type soldering iron or a micro-torch.

WARNING
WARNING

Use care when soldering; the iron itself (or the nozzle of the torch) is extremely hot, and the liquid solder is more than hot enough to give you a nasty burn.

Note the “pinky” finger of the left hand in the photo below. It steadies the left hand, which is applying the solder, but it must touch only the third hand, not the brass tubes. The tubes will become very hot, and they can give you a serious burn.

Test periodically, and when the solder melts, allow capillary action to suck it into the gap between the tubes. Feed a little more, allowing that to be sucked in, continuing until the solder has flowed all the way around the joint, and then remove the solder and the iron/torch. Allow the tubes to cool thoroughly before removing the tubes from the clamp.

04_soldering

Shaping the Business End

The business end of the tool (the stepped end) must be notched by cutting away material on one side. Ideally, this is a task for a machine-shop mill, but most of us don’t have a mill handy, so we shall approach the task a little more crudely.

Make two marks on opposite sides of the tube assembly, " (9.5 mm) from the stepped end. Using the rotary tool or razor saw, cut along the center line of the tubes, extending the cut on both sides to your marks as shown in the left photo below. Next, cut away one side of the tubes, as shown in the right photo, to create the shape shown in the drawing below the photos. Note that the drawing shows the cutout as shaped by the cutting tool(s), not as finished. See the instructions and warning below.

05_cutting_1 06_cutting_2
75 nib tool end

Use the file, the craft knife, and the pink or black area of the buff stick to shape and deburr your new cuts. Deburr and round the exposed edges and corners of the cutout extra thoroughly. For a professional appearance, buff and polish the tool. The finished tool should look like the photo below.

WARNING
WARNING
Rounding the edges and corners of the cutout is critical. You will sometimes be applying great pressure on the feed, and it is easy to slip. If these areas are insufficiently rounded, the edges and corners, as dull as they are, can — and will — cut you painfully and quite likely bloodily.
finished_tool

Using the 75 Nib Tool

To use the tool, stand it up on a solid surface such as a workbench, with the cutaway end upward. Position the nib to be disassembled into the tool with the back edge of the gold nib resting on the step as shown here.

08_nib_in_tool_1
Note
Note
If you have a Mottishaw or Steytler nib block, you can stand the nib tool in the closest-fitting hole in the nib block for added stability. If you do not have one of these nib blocks, you can use a piece of 1×2 lumber about 3" long with a " hole through it.

Grasp the nib and feed as shown in the left photo below, with your thumb on the feed and your index finger pressing the nib against the tool to keep things from slipping. While bracing the tool with your other hand, push down with your thumb to dislodge the feed from the nib, as shown in the right photo.

09_pushing_1 10_pushing_2

If the feed moves at all, it will slide as far as the bottom of the cutout and stop there, as in the next photo.

11_nib_in_tool_2

Sometimes, no matter how hard you push, the feed will refuse to move. If this happens, you will need to break out your heat gun. The least expensive (and generally the best) kind of heat gun for working on pens is the kind that comes from a craft store like Michaels:

Heat gun

Apply a little heat to the gold nib, being careful not to get it so hot that it melts the feed. You can control how rapidly the heat is delivered by varying the distance between the heat gun’s nozzle and the nib unit. With the nib heated up a little, try again to remove it. More than one attempt might be required, but I have yet to see a nib unit that would not come apart using the combination of heat and the 75 nib tool.

12_nib_loose

A Final Word

Except for the lower nib unit shown at the beginning of this article, the illustrations show an early-style nib unit with a “spike” feed. The 75 nib tool works equally well for the later units with the finned collector-style feed.

The information in this article is as accurate as possible, but you should not take it as absolutely authoritative or complete. If you have additions or corrections to this page, please consider sharing them with us to improve the accuracy of our information. My thanks to technical editor Mike Kennedy, whose eagle eye and bloody thumb have made this a better article.

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