Let me share my little project with you. I have a gorgeous Tamenuri Studio urushi pen that came with a Bock #6 steel nib. I thought that this handmade one-of-a-kind pen deserves a gold nib. (Of course steel nibs aren’t bad, I just wanted something more special). I decided to put a Santini 18k solid white gold fine nib into it because I love the writing experience these nibs give. Plus the solid white gold material is also rather unique.
Santini has a massive range of in-house made nibs from XF to B, stub, cursive italic, oblique, flexy, flexy stub, flexy cursive italic, architect, superflexy – all this in gold, solid rose gold, solid white gold and rhodium plated gold.
The regular Santini nibs are about the same size as standard #6 nibs. Santini piston filler pens have a screw-in nib housing into which the nib and the feed is friction fitted. The feed can be made of plastic or ebonite. Santini pens have some silicone paste around the screw-in housing to prevent any ink leak. Thus one must find a good balance to be forceful enough to overcome traction without damaging the pen or the nib unit. (There’s always the option of asking a professional)
Of course I haven’t cannibalised any of my beautiful Santinis but used a spare nib unit. The Santini screw-in housing is different from the Bock one so I had to go with the Bock housing and feed. The base pen was a Ranga, which is hand made and even the threads are hand cut(!!). Thus Ranga pens can vary slightly and this one had a section with a tight fit. I had to be really careful when screwing the nib unit out. Then I removed the friction fitted Bock nib and feed from the housing. It requires a firm grip and a forceful pull. Whenever you remove a friction fitted nib be careful not to deform the feed or crack the housing.
The curvature and shape of the Santini nibs is a bit different than of the Bocks. I expected that the Santini nib may not fit well enough that I can even put the whole thing together, but after some fiddling it did fit. I thought I’d assemble it only temporarily and ask a nib meister later for a proper fit. It seemed that there was a considerable gap between the feed and nib and that it seemed possible that the capillary action wouldn’t work. I screwed the altered nib unit back into the section anyway.
To my pleasant surprise the first try proved to be a success. The nib sits quite securely in the housing. It writes well, there are no hard starts, the feed does seem to keep up without any problems. It writes a bit on the wet side but it’s not a gusher. The nib remains wet even when uncapped for long, it does not dry out easily. So far I haven’t experienced any leaking, there hasn’t ever been ink on the section, no nib creep either.
I thought I’d share this with you. It might be informative for some.
Disclaimer: Changing nib in your pen in almost all cases voids your warranty instantly. You can permanently damage your pen in the process. I take no responsibility if you follow the above steps and end up ruining your pen. If you are not feeling adventurous you can always ask an expert to have your pen altered.
And now for some pictures:
Santini nib with Bock feed in Bock housing
Nib unit screwed into the section.