Damocles Full-flex prototype nib
The Regalia Damocles nib. Full-flex prototype.
The Damocles prototype is my attempt to create a nib worthy of the title of "Full-flex", in feel and softness. A steel nib, seeking to emulate the sensation and performance of a dip calligraphy flex nib, rather than vintage gold. Fitted on a custom ebonite feed by the incredible Joey Gratsy of @flexiblenibfactory.
Named after the figure in the story "The Sword of Damocles", this handmade nib involves hours of hand-filing and forming, in the pursuit of letting the structure of the steel hang by a thread. In line with the moral of the story, each cut delivered has the potential for peril, disaster, and failure. Hundreds of nibs were turned into scrap metal to discover this design. Even now, out out every three that are attempted, two fail, only one survives production.
The sensation of this nib is intended to feel like a dip-calligraphy nib with linear softness, rather than a vintage gold flex nib. It's impossible to compete with 14k gold using steel, so I sought something different. Rather than try to ressurect the past, I tried something entirely new. A flex nib for modern times, that doesn't try to pretend it's something else.
The design aims to provide the most softness without compromising the structure and integrity of the nib. Specific points of the nib have been reinforced by reshaping, and work-hardening using a burnishing technique. Material has been removed in precise areas to reduce stress at critical points. The hardest thing to design was the "locking" sensation that dip nibs provide, that signal to the user that maximum flex has been reached.
I will not claim that this is the "best" or "flexiest" or whatever. Being steel, it simply can't be. But it's the greatest I have to offer at this time, the culmination of everything I've learned so far. The Damocles.
(Current version shown)