The 10 Minute Project – Fixing A Slippery Section On A TWSBI 580AL

Ok, today’s post is a quick one and it is based on advice posted on Fountain Pen Network (FPN), my apologies to the original author for not being able to credit appropriately.

Ever since I started collecting and using fountain pens I’ve had a problem with polished or anodised aluminium sections, I have dry hands so my fingers tend to slip off sections that are made this way; so I end up holding the pen in a death grip which never works because the moment I start writing my grip slips.

For some reason I don’t have the same problem with plastics (polished or plain) or plain brass/steel.

All in all, it’s pretty disappointing to have pens that can’t be used so I decided to find out what I could do about it, and this is what I did.

The Problem

As you can see the main part of the section is highly polished making it highly incompatible with me.

02 The Problem Web 500hpx

So, I stripped down the section and as you can see it is in two parts; the part I am interested in is the larger aluminium sleeve.

03 Stripped Down Web 500vpx

The Solution – Part 1

Firstly, I had to stabilise the section to stop it wobbling around when it was being sanded so I used a pencil to support the section which enabled me to stabilise it with my finger ensuring it did not move whilst being sanded.

05 The Solution Part 1.1 Web 500vpx

I started by trying 3000 grit which did nothing except polish the section, next I tried 1200 grit and the results were a bit more encouraging but nothing to get excited about. So, it was back to the toolbox to see what else I had that might work.

The Solution – Part 2

Buried in the corner of the toolbox was the remains of a sponge grit block (the toolbox equivalent of the sponge blocks used to polish fingernails) so I decided to try it and it worked.

06 The Solution Part 2 Web 500vpx


As you can see from the grit sponge worked but aluminium is a hard metal, so the results were less than I wanted but better than I expected so I decided to call it a day.

07 Finished Web 500 vpx


When the pen was reassembled, I was surprised that it looked as good as it does; at a glance it looks like part of the section was made with a matte finish.

08 Installed Web 500vpx

In conclusion for a 10 Minute Project I am pleased with the results and it has improved my grip on the pen, not greatly but any improvement is welcome.

Disclaimer: The pen being modified was purchased with my own funds at retail price. The opinions expressed in this review are my own; and I am not connected with either the retailers or manufacturers in any way.

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