I bought my Noodler’s Ahab second hand at a Pens & Pints meet up. I had read a little bit about it and was intrigued by the flex nib. From the get go, I liked the look of the pen. I have a soft clear blue (Truk Lagoon). The whale shaped clip entranced me and I am not much of a clip girl. I have to admit that Nathan Tardiff’s video intrigued me.
I have had lots of interesting experiences with my Ahab. I have to admit, in the spirit of the pen, it is the pen I have mucked around with the most. Which isn’t saying much because I haven’t mucked much. I did try to eyedropper it and that has never worked. The last time I tried it, a couple of weeks ago, I watched aghast as my sample of Robert Oster Khaki went rushing into the sink.
I have only had one good eyedropper experience which is with my Franklin-Christoph Model 66 and a good thing too since it has no other filling system. Necessity may be playing a big role here. My other Franklin-Christoph (a Model 20) acts much like my Ahab when eyedroppered, which is to say a straw. Ink in, ink out. In one fell swoop or, equally distressing, in huge erratically spaced blobs. Eyedroppering is one of my 2017 goals.
I don’t know why I am fond of my Ahab. I just am. I like it and I like to write with it. So, I went back to using the piston filler that came with it. I got the bright idea of replacing the nib only because I liked the look of the Nemosine torched nib and loved the idea of a .6 stub. I bought one from Goulet Pens. I think that my Ahab is one of the few pens I own that I could stick this nib in. Which I did. And then I tweaked the nib with mesh and Mylar.
Regardless of my loving attentions, the pen still squirted ink like an octopus. I decided to go all out and heat set the nib to the feed. It took a long time to get up the courage to do this but I did and, lo and behold, it seems to have worked. The pen is still an incredibly wet writer. I think it is the wettest pen I own. But it is not uncontrollable. My nib tweaking was not quite as good as I thought and every now and then the nib catches a little. I don’t think I will do anything more than write with a piece of mylar at hand to do single strokes as the catches happen in the hope that over time I will iron out the rough spot.
It is currently inked with my J. Herbin Lie de Thé but that is the ink that I polluted by accidentally dumping in a dark Robert Oster (not sure if it was Chocolate or Dark Chocolate) converter full of ink. Yikes. The “new” ink is a straight dark brown with no real character at all. Since I ran through gallons of ink trying to get the Ahab to work I thought it best to do the fill with a throwaway ink. But now I think the time has come to ink it up with an ink that loves to be in a wet pen. I will have to give that some thought.
In the meanwhile, it occurs to me that I have become a bit like the pen’s namesake in my obsession with this pen. Yes, given its price and the fact it was adopted, this is a bit ironic. The latest thing to capture my attention is the narrow rod at the top of the piston. It is full of ink. The rest of the piston is only a quarter full. I lost the breather tube and am unsure if this is connected to the issue. It could also be a Robert Oster issue that I have noticed with another pen. I am totally curious whether or not this ink will eventually drop down into the piston to be used or if it is going to hang there. Storing my pen nib down overnight to see what happens.