Nib Tuning by Pendleton Brown


After hearing tons of people rave online about how awesome their Lamy 2000s were, I decided that would have to be my next big pen purchase.  So I grabbed one from Goulet Pens and excitedly inked it up only to find, like many people, that my nib was horribly scratchy.  In addition to the scratchiness my EF nib was writing more like a M - very bold for my taste.  I debated sending it back to Goulet, but knowing that most Lamy 2000 EF nibs have these types of issues, I knew that would likely result in a new EF with the same problem.  So I decided to look into some nibmeisters.  

Brad Dowdy over at The Pen Addict had good success with his 2000 from Mike Masuyama.  I shot Mike an email and he let me know that he was about 11 weeks backlogged. As much as I wanted to have my pen worked on by him, I just didn't want to wait that long.  I considered Richard Binder as well, but I'd heard that "Binderized" nibs were notoriously overly wet and wider than what they should be, so that scared me off a little.  Then I remembered Pendleton Brown's name being mentioned on some of the Goulet Q&A videos, so I went over to his website and saw tons of great information on his services and pricing.  I shot him an email and had a response in a couple of hours.  

Pendleton explained that the Lamy 2000 EF nib has so little tipping on it because the iridium is more expensive than gold right now.  In his words, "they are practically 'painting' the F and EF nibs with 'iridium' right now."  Despite that, Pendleton was confident he could get my nib working much better; so I dropped it in the mail to him and requested that he put it in the expedited queue.

Just a few days later, I had an email in my inbox from PB letting me know my pen was finished.  He sent some awesome pictures of him writing with it, all adorned with the distinct PB smiley faces.

PB) - PB's smiley

I PayPal'd him my payment and it was in my hands two days later.  I opened up my pen, gave it a quick cleaning, and loaded it up with Rohrer & Klingner Alt-Goldgrun.  The first stroke on the page was like using a whole new pen - the overly wet, bold line was now a nice EF/F line, and the scratchiness was better.

Though the scratchiness is markedly better, there is still some "tooth" to it.  I mentioned this to PB and he replied that light force is best when using the Lamy EF & F nibs.  I admittedly have a fairly heavy hand when I write, though I don't feel like I push down like I would with a gel pen.  I also noticed that the act of writing sometimes caused the nib tines to misalign - I asked PB if that is a common thing with these Lamy nibs, and he said he thought that the nib could be sliding around as I write and that he could fix it free of charge if needed.  In all honesty, I was not ready to send my new pen back off to be worked on again - I've been dying to use it all week.  It's also not as bad as I'm probably making it sound as I write this - it's still a very great writing pen, and not at all a displeasure to use.  So I plan on using it for a while and if I have any further issues with it, I'll drop it back in the mail to PB.  Despite the headache this pen has caused me up front, I still consider it my 2nd favorite pen, next to my Pilot Custom 74.  Keep an eye out for a full review soon!

All in all, I am very happy with Pendleton's service - he is very professional, realistic, informative and always took the time to wish me a good week or a blessed day.  I will most certainly utilize him in the future for nib work.  His prices are very reasonable - $45 for general smoothing/adjustment, and an additional $20 to expedite.