Hello dear readers,
I have been lagging on updating my blog with new entries for several weeks now. I have many ideas but can’t find the time to put them all to life.
Today I want to share with you a recent discovery I made about Kaweco pens.
Pretty much every retailer out there sells Kaweco Ice & Classic Sport nibs separately from the nib replacement units for the Dia2.
The so-called Kaweco Nib Replacement 060, which, according to the product details, says that the 060 nibs are only compatible with the following Kaweco models: Lilliput, AL Sport, AC Sport, Student, Allrounder, Special AL, and Dia2. And admonishes the buyer that these nibs are not compatible with the Kaweco Ice/Classic Sport models.
The main difference between the two items appears to be that the classic sport nibs come with the nib and feed installed into the grip section, ready to be screwed together with the barrel of your pen and off you go. The Nib Replacement 060, on the other hand, comes with the nib and feed installed into a nib housing which you then have to screw into your grip section (Pelikan-style).
Well, I discovered, just today, that they both use the same nibs, and with a little bit of tinkering, you can swap them out for each other’s nibs without any issues.
Let me spend a minute to go into why someone would want to do a nib-swap of this nature. I simply love the feeling of the Kaweco Dia2 in my hand. It’s wonderful to hold and write with. It’s got the ideal balance, and the build quality is very nice! The only problem I have with the Dia2 is that the only nibs I see available out there for these are the rounded tip sizes, medium, broad, and double broad etc..
I almost exclusively own and like to write with fountain pens with italic or stub nibs. The line variation, for me, sets fountain pens apart from ball points and give a little bit of pizzazz to my writing. I seem to write a lot better with italic nibs. Don’t ask me how or why, but I sometimes cannot believe that the lettering done with an M nib by me is so much worse than the pristine letters that flow from an italic nib in my hands.
Putting a 1.1 or a 1.5 italic nib on a Dia2 would be a perfect combination for me. With that objective in mind, let me take you through the process of interchanging the nibs between the Kaweco Dia2, and a Kaweco Sport (which comes in a wide array of italic nib choices: 1.1, 1.5, 1.9, and 2.3).
Let’s start first with dis-assembling the section of the Dia2 into its individual components. I have a BB nib on this one.
Grab the nib from the base of it, using your fingers.
Be careful not to go near the tip of the tines as you might mis-align the tines by doing so. And unscrew the nib from the section.
I received the instructions below from Abi at Chartpak/Pelikan (who in-turn credited Richard Binder’s webpage for this info). They do a good job of explaining how to remove the screw-in nibs.
Removing and Installing Screw-Interchangeable Nibs
The ability to change nibs in your pen by simply screwing one out nib unit assembly and screwing another in is a great feature. But if you’re not careful, the nib can shift on the feed. This misaligns the tines, and the nib will suddenly be scratchy or exhibit poor flow control, or both.
(This feature is often thought of as peculiar to Pelikan, but Pelikan isn’t the only pen brand with interchangeable nibs. The instructions here also apply to many other brands and models. But note that most pens other than Pelikan’s Souverän and Tradition series use a cartridge/converter filling system. You should remove the cartridge or converter from one of these pens before removing the nib unit.)
To remove the nib unit from your pen, hold the pen in your “weaker” hand. (If you are right handed, this is your left hand.) Place the ball of your “stronger” hand’s thumb on the top surface of the nib and wrap that hand’s index finger around underneath the feed to cradle it in the joint closest to the fingertip. Squeeze firmly, applying pressure to hold the nib and feed together, and then “unscrew” the pen, not the nib, with your other hand until the nib assembly comes loose. (If it seems really stuck, stop! Soak the nib end of the pen in cool water for a few minutes, and try again.) Once the nib assembly is loose, unscrew the pen the rest of the way.
To install a nib into the pen, reverse the above procedure. Screw the pen onto the nib until it stops, and then “tweak” it just a little further so that it turns against resistance. The ideal installation has the nib firmly finger tight, neither loose enough to work its way free nor forced until the pen “cries out in pain.”
With this approach you should be able to unscrew the nib-housing from the grip section and they should look like the following.
The nib housing shown above is the one that you can buy from JetPens/CultPens etc and it is called the “Kaweco Fountain Pen Nib Replacement 060” (and it is ‘apparently’ incompatible with Ice Sport and Classic Sport models)
Now, the fun part. Grab the nib again, much in the same way as before and grab the nib housing with the other hand (taking heed, not to get near the tip of the tines). And gently try to pull the nib and the feed out of the nib housing. It is put together by friction fit, so it should pull right out. Maybe soaking it in some water for some time would help to move the nib.
The nib doesn’t need to conform to a particular orientation inside the housing, so it could go in at any orientation. There are no grooves or notches inside that must align to force the nib to go in or out only in one way.
That being said, you could try to also rotate the nib while keeping the housing stationary, and it may help the nib to slide out more easily.
BE CAREFUL not to try to pull out the nib from the housing before unscrewing the housing from the section. This could cause un-due pressure on the threads of the exterior of the plastic housing.
Once the nib and feed is removed from the housing, it should look like the following:
The Kaweco Ice Sport nibs are friction fit into the grip section as well, and can be pulled right out, much in the same manner.
See Brian Goulet pull out the nib on a Kaweco Sport here, zip over to 6:20 in the video.
I have a 1.5 italic nib on this yellow Ice Sport.
Now we can compare the two nibs side-by side.
Aside from the flamboyant swirl patterns on the Dia2 nib on the right, they are essentially the same size nib and can be used interchangeably.
Now to put everything back together. Put the 1.5 nib together with the Dia2 feed.
There’s a groove on the feed where the nib is supposed to reside, make sure that the nib rests on the feed in the groove. This ensures that the nib is not to far in or too far out with respect to the feed, and also ensures that the ink slit on the nib rests squarely on top of the ink channel on the feed.
The nib+feed then go into the Dia2 nib housing. Make sure to push it in firmly so that the back of the housing looks like this.
The feed channel should be visible through the nipple. Here’s where the ink from the cartridge or converter will make contact with the feed.
The nib housing, now, will screw into the grip section of the Dia2 and then the pen is ready to be inked.
I’ve just converted my Dia2 into a nice 1.5 mm italic writer.
This completes our transformation of the Dia2 pen. I hope you enjoyed this entry.
Sorry for the long ramblings, and this post does have a lot of pictures, but I believe this does a comprehensive enough job for the un-initiated.
Please let me know in the comments below if you like anything about this post or if there’s something I should change in the way I do these.
Thanks for visiting and thanks for reading.