CB21-026 - how to assemble a calligraphy pen (First time set up)

How to assemble a calligraphy pen? (First time set up)

The first time you set up a calligraphy pen can feel daunting. Despite how exciting the moment may be, the setup is actually quite simple. Only a few steps are needed to learn how to assemble a calligraphy pen.

To assemble a calligraphy pen, you will need to put together the metal fin and the nib of the pen. Depending on the type of calligraphy pen, you will also need to insert the ink cartridge into the base of the pen. 

While felt tip and dip pens may differ, all calligraphy pens are put together with the same steps in the beginning. You’ll always look to click or screw the pen into place securely. Knowing what to look for will help extend the life of your pen. 

Read on to learn the ways to assemble a calligraphy pen no matter the type. Then get writing with tips to help your ink start flowing. 

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How to assemble a calligraphy pen

To assemble a calligraphy pen, click or screw the pen together ensuring the nib is securely in place. A calligraphy pen consists of the base of the pen and the nib. 

There are two main styles of nibs, one is the italic and the other the flex nib. Both nibs are assembled the same way. To assemble a calligraphy pen you’ll need to do two things: 

  • First, you will take a look at your metal fin.
  • Then place the nib between the fins and the rim of the pen

And that is all it takes. 

To disassemble your pen, pull the nib out of the pen. 

You can use a calligraphy pen that is dipped in ink called a dip pen. However, some pens use an ink reservoir, ink cartridges, or converters, which require additional setup.

To get ink into a calligraphy pen, follow these steps:

  • Push the cartridge up firmly into place. 
  • Hold the pen vertically to get the ink to come down the nib
  • Hold the pen over paper and tap until the ink begins to flow. 

Once your pen’s parts are altogether be sure that the nib is not loose. Both the base and the tip of the pin should be tight.

How do you use a calligraphy pen for the first time?

To use a calligraphy pen for the first time, assemble the pen and test the ink flow. Using a calligraphy pen is different from a regular ballpoint pen, so practice getting used to the flow.

The important first step is to be sure that your ink is flowing. After you assemble your pen, by clicking the nib securely in place, gently squeeze the cartridge to be sure your ink is flowing. 

You may need to unclog the ink if it is the first time you are using your pen. Using a match or lighter, hold the pen to the flame for only a few seconds. The heat will melt the ink in the tip and the ink will begin to flow. 

Be sure to test your pen. Now is the time to make adjustments and find out if this is the most comfortable pen for you to create with. 

How do you put together a calligraphy pen?

To put together a calligraphy pen you will need to combine the nib, the inkwell with the metal fin. The key is to connect the metal fin with the nib, but different pens will have different ways to add ink. 

Most pens unscrew and will have a nib and nib holder. Simply place the nib into the nib holder and be sure the nib isn’t loose. All pens will have this step, but different pens may have a fountain pen that requires ink cartridges. 

For pens with ink cartridges, the base and tip often screw together. Here are a few types of pens that may have slightly different assemblies.

  • Felt tip pens
  • Brush pen
  • Dip pen
  • Fountain pen
  • Oblique pen

Once you know what kind of pen you have, you can take the step of putting your calligraphy pen together and adding ink.

How do you open the ink on a calligraphy pen?

To open the ink on a calligraphy pen, you will unscrew or detach the top of the pen from the base. Some will have a decorative piece that screws together while some pens will click into place. 

Inside the base, an ink cartridge will sit steady. The ink and the tip of the pen should be firmly in place without moving. 

Make sure any decorative rings are in place as well. While they look like pretty pieces, they often ensure the base and the top of the pen fasten together. 

How do you encourage ink to flow?

To encourage ink flow, be sure your nib and ink cartridge are in working order. Then try techniques involving tapping or heat to get the ink to flow. 

You’ll need to be sure that all parts of the pen are working before you start to address the issue with the ink. Once you’ve washed your nib and made sure all parts of the pen are securely in place, try getting the ink to flow. 

Gravity is your first and best bet to get the ink flowing. Place your calligraphy pen over paper and tap until the ink comes down. Be patient, don’t squeeze the cartridge, you may damage it. For first-time use, you may want to add heat. 

Here are a few ways to get the ink flowing in your calligraphy pen:

  • Tapping the pen until the ink flows 
  • Heating the ink by putting the tip of the pen to a flame
  • Wet the nib by dipping in water
  • Wash the nib to remove any clogs
  • Add water to the ink cartridge
  • Change the ink

When all else fails, you may need to change out your ink cartridge. There’s always the possibility that your ink has dried out. These techniques help, but for the best quality use fresh ink.

Can you leave the ink in a calligraphy pen?

You can leave the ink in modern calligraphy pens. Modern pens were designed to leave the cartridge in until you’ve used all the ink. Ink should be removed from infrequently used calligraphy pens.

However, leaving ink in a calligraphy pen depends on whether or not the pen is being used frequently. Leaving ink in a pen that isn’t used often will dry out the ink. 

For traditional calligraphy pens, use the pen’s ink as much as possible and store both the ink cartridge and the pen properly. 

Never store a calligraphy pen with an ink cartridge face down. Gravity will pull the ink down and it will be wasted in the bottom of the container the pen was stored in. Store your pen in the case or pouch vertically with the nib pointing up to avoid drying or clogging. 

To care for your pen, it’s best to clean your pen after use and store your nibs and pen in a cool dry place. 

Summary: How to assemble a calligraphy pen

Now you know that it only takes a few steps to assemble a calligraphy pen. To put the pen together you need to place the main parts, the nib, and the metal base, together.

Some fountain pens will require you to add an ink cartridge into the base of the pen. However, if you are a classic pro using a dip pen you won’t need to learn the step of getting ink to flow. 

If you do need to get your ink flowing a few techniques will help. Simply tap the pen to get gravity to bring the ink down. 

For first-time users don’t let using a calligraphy pen feel too daunting. If tapping the pen doesn’t work to get the ink flowing, add heat. Placing the nib to an open flame from a lighter or match will help with first-time ink flow. 

Once you’ve got your pen together you’re ready to create works of art. Your pen will last as long as you want it to if you care for it and store it properly. Good luck assembling, I look forward to seeing what you create.