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Sunday, November 20, 2011

Noodler's Ahab O-ring Replacement



Noodler's Ahab Flex Pens are a novelty, there's no question about that. But one of the best things about the pen is that the whole thing is easy to take apart and maintain. The design of this pen is genius in its simplicity. And Nathan (the pen's designer) has already improved upon his already good design.

Noodler's Ahab Flex Pen, taken apart

The original o-ring that is shipping on the first batch of Ahab Flex pens is a standard o-ring, that is there specifically because it's replaceable with o-rings you can get at any home center. Nathan designed a new double-wall o-ring for the Ahab pen, so that a bead of silicone grease can fit between the two walls.

Left: Original Ahab o-ring, Right: New  double-wall Ahab o-ring

We're told that future batches of the Ahab pens will be coming standard with the double-wall o-rings, but for the first batch of pens, they will include the regular round ones. If you want to upgrade to the new ones, you'll need to drop just an extra $1 for a pair of them. It's not something you have to do to have a well-functioning pen, but the option is there for you if you so choose.

21 comments:

  1. Hi Brian,

    are the Ahabs which are about to be on stock tomorrow already equipped with double-wall o-rings?

    Cheers,
    Tristan

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  2. Excellent job, Brian.

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  3. It would be nice if you could put this video on the product page for these o-rings.

    I love the filling mechanism for these Ahabs. First, it's transparent so even if you get a colored pen you can still unscrew the body and see how much ink you have. Second, it's so easy to take it apart. In fact I'm sure that I would fill mine with a syringe (yeah, I know, I'm weird like that) instead of dipping the nib in the ink bottle.

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  4. I certainly am going to do that tonight, don't worry! I'll embed it on all the Ahab product pages too.

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  5. Tristan,
    No, the ones tomorrow will have the 'old' o-rings. The ones coming in a few weeks will come equipped with the new ones. It's just an extra $1 to get a set of the new ones. :)

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  6. If it's not needed for the pen why then change the o-ring in the second batch? I thought at one point Goulet Pens was going to include the "updated" o-ring with each pen purchased? It seems a little petty to charge $1 for something that is enough of an issue that Noodler's is replacing the thing in all subsequent pens. 

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  7. Marco, I hear what you're saying. I have been sharing information as we've been given it, and originally we were told the number of pens that we'd be getting would be much lower, and that the original (very few) pens that we had for the last couple of months from Nathan's first quality control batch would be the only ones with the round o-rings. We found out just last week that the entire first batch of pens was going to have the round o-rings, and that was not within our control. We were also told that the pens with the original o-rings would have the o-rings provided to us, and that turned out not to be the case either. We've had to buy these new o-rings at our own expense. 

    Let me reiterate what I said in the video, the new o-ring is simply improving on the original design, the round o-rings are not by any means 'defective'. If Noodler's (or if we) felt that they were, then we would include the new ones with the pens. If these pens not having the new o-rings is a deal breaker for you, then the next batch of pens (that should have the new ones on them) is only a couple of weeks away. 

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  8. Thanks for the reply Brian. I am, simply I guess, disappointed. I feel like I am paying a premium for buying the first batch of pens. It's not the $1 it's about the principle of having Noodlers intentionally "update" a part of the pen in the second batch when they know the first batch does not have the "update." It screams of a product shipped by a company knowing a change should have, or could have, been made. I love Noodlers and I love Goulet Pens. If we are expecting less from either company, it only serves to bring down the community instead of pushing it forward. 

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  9. Brian, thank you so much for your thoughtful and much appreciated response. As a consumer, I am not behind the curtain seeing what actually goes on in the design and what it takes to bring these pens to market. After your explanation I can see where the o-ring was an "upgrade" instead of a "replacement." Knowing the original o-rings work as they should, changes everything. Thank you for explaining this to me and renewing my faith in Noodlers. Needless to say....building my cart now! :) 

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  10. I really appreciate your willingness to talk with me about this whole issue, Marco. It's because of the responsiveness and communication that we (and Noodler's for that matter) have with the fountain pen community that we're able to address issues when they arise, as well as clarify anything that needs it, like this o-ring improvement. There is sometimes a lot of drama that goes on behind the scenes before anew product is released, and it's not always easy to make it clear why things are done the way they are. But in this case, it's really a matter of everyone trying to do the right thing, and I'm glad that I was able to help you to see that. And of course, I'd love to hear how you like your pen once you have a chance to try it out!

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  11. Hi Brian,
    In one post you mentioned testing an eyedropper conversion with the Ahab, but only with water. I am curious if you have done any further testing with this. The humongous ink capacity would be really fantastic with the flex nib... I find my regular Noodler's flex can sometimes run out quickly - especially when using it for drawing.

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  12. By the way, I have a question about the Ahab piston fill as opposed to eyedropper...same pen, right? 

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  13. I haven't gotten the chance to ink it up as an eyedropper yet, but I plan to (and of course, I'll do a video on it). I did measure the difference it makes in the ink capacity, it's pretty dramatic!

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  14. Yes, same pen. The pen can be filled with the piston, or you can remove it and fill the whole body with ink. I'll do a video soon, I promise!

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  15. Looks pretty nice. 

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  16. Thanks Brian!  I saw the graphic but it didn't have any explanation with it...you might want to add that that's without the piston filler till you have time to do another video.

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  17. Yep, it would be a simple thing just to add a line under that graphic to explain the piston is optional.  Travel was my concern, too, I am not sure about airport security and a container of liquid ink...

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  18. A video on the eyedropper conversion is one the way, I've been focusing more on shipping out the Ahabs that have been purchased from us before we shut down for Thanksgiving. It may be next week before I get an Ahab eyedropper video done.

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  19. You shouldn't have any problem bringing a pen on a plane, I think the rule is that if it's under and ounce you're fine, and this pen won't hold that much. Still though, I wouldn't travel with this pen filled unless you have to, the larger the body of ink in a pen, the more likely it is to leak on a plane! Just be careful.

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  20. Great walk through, Brian! I got it done in no time with your help. One more reason Goulet Pen Co. Is my go-to pen shop! Thank you.

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  21. I'm so glad this was helpful! I appreciate the compliment, I'm going to keep doing what I can to educate!

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