Preparing Speedball nibs for your pen

If you intend to draw, write or letter with a Speedball nib in our pens, you must prepare your Speedball nibs for use. The work isn't difficult. All you need is some manual dexterity and a craft knife or something similar to pry up two brass tabs.

Note: Although we sell the more popular Speedball nibs already prepared for our pens, we suggest you master the technique. It isn't difficult, but if you can't do it or you don't want to do it, you can order Speedball nibs ready to use.

What you have to do is remove the strip of brass that extends over the top and bottom sides of the Speedball nib. The strip serves as an external reservoir. Since our pens feed ink and paint directly and automatically to the Speedball nib, you no longer need the strip. In fact, the strip gets in the way of the bottom feed.

Here is an example of the Speedball pen nib before any changes:

Speedball nibs intact

The gold colored strip is made from brass, very flexible, and it extends above and below the nib. It is folded over where it attaches to the nib, and held in place by two tabs.

Once you remove the strip, your Speedball nib will look like this:

Speedball nib stripped

Removing the strip is a two step process. First remove the two extensions above and below the Speedball nib, then remove the attachment point.

Removing the extensions

Begin by putting a finger under one of the extensions and pulling it backwards. Wiggle it back and forth until the strip breaks from fatigue. Brass is weak so this will happen quickly. Flip the nib over and do the same thing to the extension on the other side.

Here is a picture of a Speedball pen nib with both flaps pulled back and ready to be broken off:

The now-removed extension can be discarded.

Removing the attachment

Now remove the attachment point of the Speedball nib. The strip is secured to the nib by a section of the brass strip that is folded over and pinched together by two small tabs. You have to loosen the tabs, then pry the strip free.

Take the knife and slide the thin side under one of the two tabs on the bottom side of the nib. Be careful with the knife blade. It is better if you can use a dull knife blade that can still fit underneath the tab.

Knife under tab

Pry up the tab so it no longer pinches tightly. You don't have to bend the tab all the way up. Just make sure it releases its grip. Bend back the second tab so both tabs are no longer pinching the nib.

Both tabs pried back

Flip the Speedball nib and insert the knife point under the attachment, then pry up. If the tabs are sufficiently loose, the attachment should give way easily.

Insert the attachment

Steer the attachment through the slot in the nib, and remove it. Voila!

Removing the attachment point

You can now use the Speedball nib in your Speedball Pump Pen.

Why do all this? You want your Speedball nib to rest flat on the feed. You can see below how the bottom of the nib and top of the feed are pressed together. 

Nib with no gap

If the attachment is left on the Speedball nib, the nib will not be able to seat correctly, as shown below.

Nib and feed with gap

The space between the feed and the nib doesn't allow the ink to flow correctly. And if there’s one thing we love most about Speedball pens, whether for drawing or calligraphy, it’s the flow of the ink on paper.