Frankenflex! Noodler’s Ahab with a Zebra G

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Yeah, I know what’s coming!

Why? Just because!

And how did it go? I’ve almost cracked it!

Here’s the story: I was looking at some images on Janinesribbles instagram account and loved not only the way she called her customised creations ‘Frankenpens’ but she got some good lines too, so I thought I’d have a go and call mine ‘Frankenflex’. Now, there are several videos out there on this very subject of pen customisation for the Zebra G, most of which involve shaving the feed component down to accommodate the shape of the nib! I did this with an Ahab and it worked okay, but not for long. I then took apart my Desiderata and had a look at the feed component within. What I immediately noticed was the depth and size of the feed channel, the zebra G needs ink! So no more feed shaving! Take note!

So what I did was take another Ahab, gave it a good clean and extracted the feed and nib from the body. Taking a new degreased Zebra G nib I put the back of the nib between a pair of pliers and gently applied some pressure flattening it a little. I then placed this onto the feed to see if it fitted correctly. I repeated this process 3 times until it did. Now, a zebra G flex nib is slightly thicker than a Noodler’s flex nib so how to get it back into the body? All the ink chemists and pen engineers know exactly what I did don’t you? Yup, I put the kettle on, and once boiled poured hot water over the main body chamber. This process expanded and softened the plastic allowing me to push the feed component, with Zebra G nib, into the body. After a little jiggling to line up the nib accordingly, I waited for the plastic to cool. Then filled up the pen and BINGO! I had a great time. The pen behaved superbly with great flow, great line thickness variation and provided I didn’t get too speedy, limited railroading. Overnight of course the ink dried a little and the next time I used it I had to dip it into the ink bottle to kick start the action, which is no different to the experience I have had with the Ahab in any case. I now know the issue and now do you. When I get the time, I’ll deepen the feed channel and I think I’ll be there.

So why an Ahab? Well I have 6 of them so why not? But that’s not the real reason, the Ahab is already set up to be nib customised, but importantly, it’s a comfortable pen and far more comfortable that using a dip pen AND provided you get the position between the nib and feed correct, the fins work by sucking up the ink via capillary action into the feed channel so where previously I might have got 4-6 words written from a single dip, I can now get 18-20! The feed acts as reservoir and it’s far more efficient than a clip on. Now I can use it fully charged for larger projects OR purely as a dip pen for ink testing! And it’s easy to clean too.

So there we have it. As soon as my titanium Zebras arrive I’ll be customising my other 4 Ahabs to Frankenflexes too.

Please Note:
“I have friends that swear the Jinhaos (450 and 159) are made for this modification.  Nothing to do to the feed, just replace nib and go.” Extremely AWESOME !!! Toronto

You can get spare feed components from Noodler’s stockists! Just saying. N

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17 thoughts on “Frankenflex! Noodler’s Ahab with a Zebra G

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  2. Hi Nick, wow I feel honoured by your mention but the term frankenpen already existed before I started to mess about putting dip nibs on assorted pens… so kudos to whomever thought up frankenpen. Love your newly coined term! It’s so fitting. Great blog post! I had the same issues and took care of them in a similar manner. I also restart with dipping in ink to pull the tanked ink through the feed.
    Love your IG post and these pics.
    Happy flexing! Janinescribbles

  3. I’m still trying to wrap my head around your description of what you did to make this happen. Did you modify the feed, then heat-set by getting the section plastic pliable?

  4. No. I modified the nib to fit the feed and then heated the plastic housing to accommodate the feed and zebra g nib. I aim to enlarge the feed channel in the near future. N

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