• Troubleshooting the Brause EF66 Nib

    If you’ve ever found yourself frustrated with the Brause EF66 nib, look no further than this article! In it, we’ll discuss six ways to troubleshoot this fabulous little nib and how to harness its power.

    Troubleshooting the Brause EF66 Nib
    People love the Brause EF66 nib for its sumptuously thick downstrokes and razor-thin upstrokes. The nib’s effects really shine in this Flourished Calligraphy Country Art.

    The Brause EF66 nib is known for its ability to transition from delicate upstrokes to thick downstrokes. Its considerable flexibility makes those transitions easy and enjoyable! But — and this is a big “but” — the nib has a learning curve that can be a source of frustration for those who are new to it. In today’s article, we’ll talk about six ways to troubleshoot the Brause EF66 nib if it’s just not working for you.

    How to Use Coffee to Write Calligraphy

    Common Brause EF66 Nib Problems

    Before we jump into troubleshooting solutions for the Brause EF66 nib, let’s talk about its problems. The most common issue I hear about is ink that stays on the nib and refuses to descend onto the page. Sometimes, people can get the ink to descend, but the nib works in unpredictable ways, with ink that blobs on downstrokes or skips on upstrokes. Some EF66 users also report a nib that catches on paper or cannot produce reliable stroke contrast.

    Brause EF66 Nibs | The Postman's Knock

    These common Brause EF66 nib problems can have a variety of causes. For that reason, we’ll walk through several tweaks, adjustments, and things that you can doublecheck.

    Problem #1: Split/Scissored Tines

    Before you do anything, examine your Brause EF66 nib from the side. The nib should have a slim profile, with tines that are on the same level. If one tine is a little higher up than the other, the nib is not in working condition. Remember that the Brause EF66 nib is delicate, so the scissored tine scenario is not uncommon. The only solution to this issue is to get a replacement nib. To avoid this problem, treat your nib with care. Don’t let it fall off your writing surface (especially while it’s in your pen), and don’t exert excessive pressure on downstrokes, which can cause the tines to permanently split.

    How to Know When a Calligraphy Nib is Done | The Postman's Knock
    Examine your nib closely for split tines if it’s not working well for you! Split tines are caused by trauma to the nib (such as a fall or the nib bumping into something).

    Problem #2: An Untreated Nib

    If ink refuses to descend from a brand-new, untreated Brause EF66 nib, blame the manufacturer’s waxes. Every pointed pen nib has waxes (or oils) on it to keep the nib in good condition, and those substances should be removed before using the nib. Otherwise, ink tends to clump into beads on the oily nib. I like to remove manufacturers’ waxes with a potato, but you can use several other methods as well.

    How to Prepare New Calligraphy Nibs for Use | The Postman's Knock
    I like to stick new calligraphy nibs — Brause EF66 and otherwise — in a potato to remove manufacturers’ oils.

    Problem #3: Too-Thick Ink

    The Brause EF66 is a delicate nib that demands a fairly thin ink viscosity. If ink is not descending from the nib or it’s acting erratically (blobbing on downstrokes, skipping on upstrokes), you likely need to dilute your ink with water. You’ll rarely experience flow problems with naturally thin inks like iron gall. However, thicker inks like sumi, Bleed Proof White, and Ziller will need some tinkering. You can read about how to dilute your inks with water in this article.

    Common Calligraphy Ink Problems + Solutions | The Postman's Knock
    Never underestimate the power of diluting your ink with water! It’s okay to be aggressive with your dilution. If you end up with too much water in the ink, you can always let your ink sit out overnight (or longer) with the lid off to let that water evaporate out.

    Problem #4: Not Exerting Balanced Pressure on the Tines

    It can be tricky to troubleshoot unbalanced pressure because the issue tends to be subtle. If you’re not exerting balanced pressure on both tines of a Brause EF66 nib, the nib may still write — it just won’t write well. You have to make sure that, as you write, both tines of the nib bear an equal amount of pressure. Apply more pressure to one tine, and that tine may dig into the page, potentially causing the nib to catch in the page’s fibers and spatter ink. Another potential issue is stroke contrast. If one tine is doing most of the work, you won’t get a lot of contrast between your upstrokes and your downstrokes. The only way to combat this problem is to pay attention to your pressure exertion. Try to slow down as you’re writing, and, if you’re right-handed, consider using a Brause EF66 oblique pen, which can really help you to put balanced pressure on the nib.

    Using an oblique pen can help right-handed writers to more easily exert balanced pressure on both tines of the nib.

    Problem #5: Writing Too Fast

    Unlike nibs with less flex (like the Nikko G), the Brause EF66 demands a fairly slow and deliberate writing pace. If you write too quickly with this nib, you won’t have the time to adjust firm pressure to the nib when you reach downstrokes. Your stroke transitions will likely suffer, too, leading to letters that have thick and sloppy transition horizontal strokes and upstrokes. Consider your practice with the Brause EF66 nib as an opportunity to slow down and relax. Take deep breaths, be mindful of your posture, and leave the rush of everyday life behind.

    Remember to write with a slow, deliberate pace.

    Problem #6: Fibrous Paper

    The Brause EF66 nib’s fine tines easily catch on paper fibers. If you’re writing on a smooth, non-fibrous paper (like 32# Premium Laserjet), your nib won’t catch in the paper. More “gourmet” papers, like handmade or watercolor paper, might give you some grief, though. There’s not a foolproof way to work on fibrous paper, but slowing down will help a lot. If the paper simply won’t let your nib move up to make some upstrokes, feel free to make those strokes with a downstroke motion while exerting a minimal amount of pressure to the nib.

    Inking Over Family Tree Names
    My nib caught on the fibers of this handmade paper while I was writing the first “a” in “Margaux”. Sometimes, mistakes like these are unavoidable, but they can be fixed later.

    How to Master the Brause EF66 Nib

    If you want to feel comfortable using the Bruase EF66 nib, you simply have to keep using it and experimenting with it. Alternate filling out calligraphy drills and worksheets with making projects like envelopes and birthday cards. (Remember: it’s important to switch up what you’re doing to keep things fresh!) The more familiar you become with the nib, the easier it will be to harness its power.

    Not Your Average Calligraphy Drills: Garden Edition | The Postman's Knock
    Filling out calligraphy drills is a great way to become more familiar with your tools (and more adept at calligraphy in general)! This is a page from the Not Your Average Calligraphy Drills: Garden Edition worksheet.



    A Word of Encouragement

    The Brause EF66 is a useful little nib, and you can count on it to give you wonderful stroke contrast no matter what calligraphy style you’re using. However, it requires practice to master the Brause EF66 nib. If it’s not love at first write, be patient and try all of the troubleshooting tips in this article. If the nib still won’t work for you, remember that there are tons of different types of nibs out there for a reason. You might not “click” with the Brause EF66, and that’s totally fine. Try a different nib instead!

    Kaitlin Style Calligraphy Envelope | The Postman's Knock
    This casual envelope was created using a Brause EF66 nib, Kaitlin Style calligraphy, and white ink.

    I hope that this article helps you to connect with your Brause EF66 nib. Or, if it helps you make the decision to move on to a nib that’s a better fit for you and your goals, that’s great, too!



    Thanks so much for reading, and enjoy the rest of your week!


    Lindsey's Signature | The Postman's Knock