Nib Grinding - Pendemonium!
Updated February 15, 2017
Updates - **Scroll down to see our latest updates**
Our nib grinder will be taking some time off to be with family and
soak in a little
sunshine thru the winter holidays.
UPDATED February 14, 2017: Our nib grinder has extended her winter holiday and will be back at the grinding wheel in late March! Please email us: firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.
Thanks for your patience - Letta's grinding is worth waiting for!
Custom Ground Nibs
Pendemonium can have most fountain pens nibs custom ground for you to a cursive italic style or several other styles of writing. You may select a fountain pen from our Writing Instrument listings or we can grind the nib of a fountain pen provided by you.
Custom Nib Styles
Cursive Italic - straight nib end with iridium, corners slightly softened for exceptionally smooth cursive italic writing, suitable for left or right handed writers. A cursive italic nib allows you to achieve nice line width variation for everyday writing. There are no sharp corners as with straight italic nibs, so the nib will not catch on the paper.
Cursive Right Oblique - nib end ground to approximate 30 degree right angle, corners slightly softened for exceptionally smooth writing. (Look down at your right foot and see the outline of your toes! A Right Oblique nib angles the same way.) Many left handed writers prefer Right Oblique nibs. Most people who enjoy oblique nibs, do so because of the way they hold their pen, it angles down to the paper instead of being straight on. Oblique nibs *can* offer some line variation to users, but this is not their main function.
Cursive Left Oblique - nib end ground to approximate 30 degree left angle, corners slightly softened for exceptionally smooth writing. (Look down at your left foot and see the outline of your toes! A Left Oblique nib angles the same way.) Many right handed writers prefer Left Oblique nibs. Most people who enjoy oblique nibs, do so because of the way they hold their pen, it angles down to the paper instead of being straight on. Oblique nibs *can* offer some line variation to users, but this is not their main function.
Straight Italic - straight nib end with reduced iridium, produces a clear crisp italic line. Corners are left sharp for producing traditional Italic style calligraphy. Suitable for left or right handed writers. Straight italic nibs are not usually used for everyday writing, the sharp nib corners can easily catch on your paper if not held exactly the correct way!
Straight Right Oblique - nib end ground to approximate 30 degree right angle with reduced iridium, corners are left sharp for those of you preferring a very crisp line. (Look down at your right foot and see the outline of your toes! A Right Oblique nib angles the same way.) Many left handed writers prefer Right Oblique nibs.
Straight Left Oblique - nib end ground to approximate 30 degree left angle with reduced iridium, corners are left sharp for those of you preferring a very crisp line. (Look down at your left foot and see the outline of your toes! A Left Oblique nib angles the same way.) Many right handed writers prefer Left Oblique nibs.
Stub - nib end ground straight across with rounded corners. Stub nibs will provide some line variation, but not as much as an italic as more iridium is left on the nib and the corners are generously rounded.
Round Pointed - Most of the fountain pen nibs you purchase and use have round pointed nibs in varying widths from extra fine to extra broad. We can reduce the nib width of any of your round pointed nibs to a narrower width, ie: broad nibs can be ground to fine points.
Please Note - When nibs are ground, some iridium is removed. We can make nibs narrower, but we cannot increase the size of your nib. We can only grind the iridium that is on the pen to begin with. We are not set up at this time to do re-tipping of nibs.
As with any type of pen repairs, there is always a small risk factor that something could go wrong during the grinding process. We inspect nibs before grinding to look for signs that may indicate the iridium is not stable - some iridium tipping becomes pitted over the years and is difficult to fully polish to a smooth writing surface. Other times, iridium tipping may have hidden bubbles inside or on the edges that can break open when grinding. We just want you to be aware that unforeseen things can happen when grinding a nib. We do our utmost to try to avoid any nib accidents and are pleased to report that to date, we have not lost a single nib!
Many of us have fountain pen nibs that are not as smooth writing as we would like them to be. This can be caused by a number of factors and may even be related to the paper you are writing on as opposed to the actual surface of your nib end. If the surface of your nib end - the iridium tipping material is the culprit due to poor initial grinding or wear from use, we can finetune the surface for smooth writing.
Pricing & Details
Our nib grinder has over 50 years of experience in grinding nibs. Normal turn around time for nib grinding services is about 2-4 weeks from the time you send your pen until the time it is returned to you. From time to time, we are away or our nib grinder takes a few days off and we note any delays in grinding on our News & Updates page.
Our Keep It Simple Philosophy! We grind nibs while they are ON the pen, this enables us to keep the grinding fees low, possibly the lowest of any nib grinding services currently available. This means we do not disassemble your pen and have to reassemble your pen. This also means there are a few nibs we are unable to grind, primarily hooded nibs like the Parker 51 series where the hood and feed are just too close to the nib and the risk of nicking the hood is high. These types of nibs can be removed from the feeds and sent to us separately for grinding. We have also discovered problems with grinding Lamy 2000 nibs and TWSBI nibs. Unfortunately, they have not been meeting our high finished grinding standards. We ink test each pen we grind for smoothness before it is returned to you and make sure the flow is adjusted properly.
In spite of their popularity, custom nibs are not for everyone! Please take a moment to read the info above on the various nib grinds. We'd like to get it right for you the first time. If you have questions or aren't sure if a custom nib is for you, please email and we will be happy to answer your questions. email@example.com
Custom nib grind pricing:
Any custom grinds to fine, medium or broad nibs $20 each
Any custom grinds to (or from) extra fine nibs $30 each
Smoothing to any size nib $20 each
Straightening $20 each
Shipping and Handling fees:
Basic shipping fees for 1-5 pens is $7 via USPS priority mail in the US. Insurance is suggested and is available for $3 for the first $100 and $1 for each additional $100. If you are sending more than 5 pens or if you are located outside the US, please email with details & we will provide shipping info.
You may pay for your nib grinding by including a check or money order in the package with your nibs. You may also pay by credit card using the secure order form on the website, use item description: Custom Grinding. We will not charge your credit card until the pens are ready to be sent back to you. We do not recommend sending cash through the mail, and doing so is at your own risk.
How to Pack Your Pen:
Please Note - Fountain pens are fragile objects and we recommend that you wrap them securely in bubble wrap and then pack in a sturdy cardboard box for their trip to Kingman. Bubble bags are easily torn in postal equipment and do not offer adequate protection for your pens. PVC tubes inside of a bubble bag can easily tear the edges of the bag and escape from the envelope! It is rare that a pen does not arrive safely, but we urge on the side of a little bit of extra care and packing when you ship them. Remember to EMPTY all INK from your pens before shipping!
Include your Contact Info:
Every day, we receive many packages of nibs for grinding. Remember to include your contact info: name, address, email and phone number in the package you send us, along with nib grinding instructions.
Send your Pen to:
PO Box 4088
Kingman, Arizona 86402
We recommend John Mottishaw at http://nibs.com for nib services we are unable to offer. John is an expert at re-tipping, crack repair and adding flexibility. Check out some of John's before and after work, the results are truly amazing. http://nibs.com/beforeandafter.htm
Here's What People Are Saying About Custom Ground Nibs from Pendemonium
March 24, 2016 RT in New Bedford, MA
Just wanted to give you all a shout. My Pelikan M600 is AWESOME! I literally had about 20 minutes to ink it and start playing with it. I've figuratively thrown everything in a box and moved a few states south, but I'm writing with it at every opportunity (hotel receipts, bar tabs, etc.) Great follow up after I dropped the ball with the addresses too. I wouldn't want to start my new job without it. Thanks so much again. And yes, it is 12:54 am and I'm finally able to put it down.
MB: The pens you sent back from grinding are fabulous.
I’ve had a chance to try them all now and I am particularly impressed by what Letta did with the medium-nibbed Targa. The cursive italic grind on that one has transformed it into a stellar writer. It’s wet, it’s smooth and the line variation makes for nice crisp lettering. She also did some fine work on the Touchdown because although the nib started out on the fine side, I can notice definite line variation now without any scratchiness. The others turned out pretty much as I expected, except for the Duofold. That one, I asked for a CI grind but also a reduction from medium to fine. I find it now writes closer to a Japanese fine, which makes it difficult to observe any line variation. However, it’s remarkably smooth for a nib that fine and more useful to me than it was before because before the feed could not keep up with the demands of the medium nib, which wrote closer to a broad. This is the first time I’ve sent out any pens for nib grinding and given the results and the quick turnaround, it’s likely I’ll be sending more your way.
JB in Houston, Texas
I got my Waterman back yesterday. The cursive italic grind is excellent, the pen glides smoothly with just a hint of width in the line. My compliments to you and the folks at pendemonium. You can be certain I'll be coming back to you in the future.
RH in Jacksonville, FL
Words cannot express my pleasure regarding the nib grind of my True Writer and Safari pens!! The XF cursive italic is perfect for Moleskine writing--or doodling!--and I fear I'll have to let most of my pen collection take the trip to Fort Madison in the coming months! Thanks so much!!
MM in Corvallis, OR
My Lamy 2000 arrived home yesterday. Thank you for the wonderful job. Now I have a pen I can actually write with and I'm very happy.
RS in Stroudsburg, PA
The Platinum arrived home today and all I can say is Wow!! I feel as though I have a new pen and I am looking forward to using this pen more than ever. Thanks for the great service, quick turn around and most of all the great nib grind. There are a few others that will find their way to you when funds permit.
ES in Kingsport, TN
Thanks for the excellent job on my pen nib grind. It's great. I look forward to using your service again with my next pen purchase.
JE in Louisville, KY
My Submariner and Viscontina pens returned home today. Thank you for the, uh, "fine" work! The nibs are stupendous. I've been trading off writing with both of them most of the day. Wonderful!
BN in Owensville, IN
I just received my MB 144 Classique back from you. You took a boring "M" nib and custom-ground it into a smooth-writing, "F" cursive italic piece of art nibbery! I inked it up with Private Reserve American Blue and slid it across some Rhodia. Perfect!
PH in Uppsala, Sweden
My customized fine italic Cross nib arrived today and I'm so happy with it! Thank you so much for a very nice nib! Please send my very best regards to your nibmeister. Have a nice week!
JS in Summerfield, NC
I have received the pen back. It writes beautifully, as expected. Thanks for the consistently good work you folks do.
RS in Chanhassen, MN
I want to thank you for the new grind on my LAMY 2000. Looking at the work under a loupe, I am very impressed. Writing with this NEW pen is fantastic. I really like the width and performance. Great job and thanks for keeping this work affordable.
LBZ in Haifa, Israel
The nib is great!! Thank you very much and you can tell your nib grinder that i think he did excellent work, the nib is exactly the way i want it to be: fine and smooth. Thank also for the fast communication 7 days a week,
LH in Norfolk, VA
Many thanks, my pens are wonderful! At last I can use the Duofold without feeling like I'm writing with a Magic Marker. And the cursive italic Sheaffer is lots of fun.
AL in Woodstock, CT
hello, Pendemonium - the pen that you mailed last week (Sheaffer Agio FP, 0.7 mm italic) is perfect! thanks so much. it's exactly what i need, and i am grateful.
CB in Ponte Vedra, FL
I am amazed and very, very, happy with my "new pens." You do great work!!! There will be more coming. Thanks!!!
AG in Laval, Canada
I wanted to let you know that the nibs arrived last week. I got to them just last night, and am very happy with the work: the nibs are smooth and work well. As a matter of fact, they are better than the first batch I sent to you several months ago! Thank you very much.
MZ in Austin, TX
Just wanted to let you know that I got the pen back, and have been happily taking notes using it ever since... you guys did an amazing job. I wasn't sure a Japanese fine nib could even be ground/fixed, but now this pen writes better than it did when it was brand new. I had to look at it under a magnifying glass to even see any change. :) Thanks so very much for bringing one of my favorite pens back to life. I'll certainly refer everyone I know who needs fountain pen customizations to you. I do hope pen nib work does not go the way of buggy whips and wagon wheel repair.
JB in Cranston, RI
Just a quick note to let you know the Cross Verve and Townsend with two nib units have arrived safely. Your turnaround time has been nothing less than stunning and I am torn between telling every pen nut I know about it or keeping the secret to myself. Maybe I'll share the information AFTER I have sent you all the pens in my collection I want attended to The cursive italics are perfect (all three) and including the chocolate square in the package was a nice extra. Thanks again and you'll be hearing from me again very soon. I'm going through my collection as we speak. Here's wishing all of you a safe and joyful holiday season.
JSB in Chattanooga, TN
I just wanted to send a big thanks on my new Ocean Lamy and custom ground EF Right Oblique Lamy nib. They are both fabulous especially with the Noodler’s Legal Lapis Ink! After using EF Lamy nibs for years as a lefty and learning how to turn the pen so as to minimize scratchiness (don’t know if that’s a word, but I’m going with it) I find I almost have to re-teach myself how to write correctly with the custom nib! It is so smooth I am still in “shock and awe” mode!
JU in Urbana, IL
The three pens I sent recently for nib grinding arrived today. The person who did the work did a wonderful job, in my opinion. I really like the way the pens write now. I finally can use the Duofold and the large Montblanc I've had for years and never liked to write with!!! Please pass on my deep appreciate for the good work and craftsmanship.
CP in Kingsport, TN
I received my Pelikan nib in the mail Saturday. I am well pleased with the grind and how smooth it writes. Thanks so much for your excellent service.
DH in Atascadero, CA
I just received the Visconti Voyager that I sent to you for a Fine/ Medium (0.7mm) Cursive Italic Custom Nib Grinding. I am very pleased with the way the pen now writes.
HK in Aromas, CA
I picked up my Parker with the reground nib on Friday, and I've been using it nonstop for several hours a day Monday and yesterday. It writes so beautifully--gliding across the page, no snagging regardless of what direction I'm going, laying down a perfect line. This is so much better than I had hoped--even though I understood intellectually what a regrind could accomplish, the experience itself is the proof. My hearty thanks to the regrinder for such finesse and the speed of turnaround! I'm so delighted to be able to use this pen after so many years of it just sitting in limbo. Thanks to all so very much.
ND in Rock Island, IL
The pens just arrived, & I loaded 'em up. They write great! They once again confirm the fact that the Pendemonium cursive italic is my favorite nib for smoothness & line-variation. Thanks.