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Ahab

Maker: Noodler’s.

The second pen made by Noodler’s to mount a flex point, it is also the second to be a convertible.  One of the company’s first pens mounted a press-bar filler which could be detached for eyedropper filling.  The Ahab can similarly be rendered into an eyedropper, but its filler is rather more unusual.  Casual observation would lead one to believe that it is a simple stick-piston, but is it in fact a pump (somewhat similar to the Dunn filler), a piston/bulb hybrid capable of taking in rather more than a stick piston of the same dimensions could through multiple draws.  It’s a neat little toy, and I don’t personally see ever unscrewing it to make way for the increased capacity of an eyedropper.

Those dimensions are, by the way, rather large.  This is not a petite pen.  The name implies a certain motif, and the overall size is part of that.  It also has a clip which, once you’re told what your looking at, does indeed put one in mind of a whale as seen from above.  The instruction sheet also suggests that the barrel is shaped in emulation of the eponymous character’s leg, and that the filler is a reflection of the ship’s pumps.  This last I dispute slightly, as chain-pumps were somewhat more common on ships of that era, but that’s hair splitting.

I have a little trouble addressing functionality.  When not called upon to produce flex writing, there is nothing to be said against the pen, as it is smooth and reasonably comfortable in the hand.  When one starts chasing flex, things become a little less clear.  Ink starvation and “railroading” of the line are fairly common, but the instructions actually anticipate this problem and direct the user in adaptation of the feed to increase flow until it pleases the owner.  Is this an abdication of responsibility for a pen that works properly on delivery, or an engagement of the user in the inner life of the pen?  There’s arguments to be made on both sides, and I’m not going to suggest which way a person should lean.  It is, however, something to be aware of.

Important!

Also something to be aware of; the filler is extremely stiff, and on purpose.  The instructions suggest twisting the filler’s gripping knob, and after reading about a small disaster I want to emphasize this direction.  Twist clockwise (or the knob will come off), and twist at any point resistance is felt, up- or down-stroke.

Production Run: Began in 2011.

Cost When New: Noodler’s suggested retail price $20.00.

Size: 13.8 cm long capped, 16.8 cm posted, 12.7 cm uncapped.

Point: Steel.

Body: Vegetal Resin.

Filler: Pump, capacity approx. 1.7 ml, or eyedropper of approx. 5.5ml, which is a stupendous amount of ink.  Noodler’s recommends refilling when two-thirds empty to avoid the dribbling of this format of filling, but that leaves a functional capacity of 3.6ml, which is still vast.

Noodler's Ahab in "Cardinal Darkness"

The Ahab filler. Even the shaft of the pump fills with ink.

 

 

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