Drat.

Well, this wasn’t supposed to happen.

Alstar bits

Look closer…

Feed2

That’s the feed of a Lamy Al-Star. It’s not supposed to be out in the open–it’s normally stuck inside the grip section–but very rarely when trying to remove a nib, the whole thing comes out.

Feed

The culprit is a very, very tight 1.1mm italic nib. Normally all you need is a bit of tape to pull the nib off, but this time the feed gave up first… not a good thing with a full pen.

In hindsight the tight nib was responsible for dry writing–once I replaced it with a nib that didn’t need excessive force to swap in and out, the flow improved a lot too.

Luckily the feed slides back in with a bit of care (there are a couple of rails on the bottom of the section–misalign the feed and jam it in, and you’ll be in the market for spare parts).

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