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Limit To Soaking?


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23 replies to this topic

#1 wbc

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Posted 05 September 2012 - 13:24

I have a triumph vac-fil that Ron Z did a great job restoring last year. I have been using Noodler's bulletproof ink in for a year, and it has had a harder time sucking up ink, to the point where it wouldn't suck up any. I don't want to try taking apart the nib and feed on that model, so I tried soaking the pen in water for a few days, and it didn't improve much. So I tried soaking it in dilute ammonia, and after a few days it became possible to get a little of the ammonia and water solution into the pen. Then a few days more more water would go in to it, and now after two weeks it will fill to almost half way up the transparent barrel (I have taken the outer barrel off, it is the later model with a plastic outer barrel.) Now I am wondering if there is a limit to just how long I shold be soaking the pens nib, feed, and section in the dilute ammonia, as I think it might work even better in another week. And if wonder if using bulletproof ink is an issue, and whether I should make a habit of flushing the pen more often to keep it from clogging again?

Wayne

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#2 Ron Z

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Posted 05 September 2012 - 14:39

I suspect that the ink is an issue. Try using Koh-I-Noor Rapido-Eze in an overnight soak, and then flush with it, then clear water. ...and yes, regular cleaning would be good. I consider Noodlers and Private Reserve inks to be high maintenance inks.

Don't go too strong on the ammonia on these pens. Ten to twenty percent is OK. It corrodes the threaded ring with extended exposure if the solution is way too strong, and also can break down the thread sealant.

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#3 viclip

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Posted 05 September 2012 - 16:00

This reminded me of the hapless black hard rubber pen subjected to 70 years of salt water immersion:

U-Boat vs Onoto

The pen was restored by Laurence Oldfield, co-author with Jim Marshall of Pen Repair. The good Dr. Oldfield occasionally posts in this forum, it would be interesting if he had anything to add...

#4 wbc

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Posted 06 September 2012 - 14:57

Thanks Ron - I was using 10 - 12% ammonia, but the Rapido cleaner helped a lot.

Wayne

#5 Vintagepens

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Posted 06 September 2012 - 16:05

Really try to avoid long soaks if at all possible -- overnight should be maximum. This is especially the case with celluloid, which is permeable and can end up stained or otherwise discolored as the soaking solution penetrates.

#6 Sandy1

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Posted 07 September 2012 - 11:40

Hi,

I certainly agree with the prior posts, and would like to make a few wee suggestions.

I suggest that at the first sign of a pen not performing/filling as it did initially, one should flush the pen to remove any ink residue that may be the cause - it won't get better by itself.

I do a flush & soak with water until the stuff coming from the pen is pretty clear; then if I used an I-G ink, I give it a quick rinse with dilute vinegar, then a water rinse; then go to a dilute ammonia+surfactant solution. At the same time I clean the cap's internals.


As mentioned above, the exposure time to the cleaning solution should be limited, so I cycle the fill/flush mechanism from time to time which keeps the cleaning solution from stagnating, dislodges residue, and gets fresh solution in place of any that might be exhausted.

I also alternate the pen orientation from nib down in the cleaning solution to nib up with cap on.

If the expelled cleaning solution is too inky, I'll replace it.

So at the end of the allotted time, the expelled cleaning solution is clear, and I do the final water rinsing.

My tuppence worth.

Bye,
S1

The only time you have too much fuel is when you're on fire.


#7 tinta

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Posted 07 September 2012 - 14:58

How much should one dilute 5% acetic acid for a pen flush?
*Sailor 1911S, Black/gold, 14c. 0.8 mm. stub(JM) *1911S blue "Colours", 14c. H-B "M" BLS (PB) *2 Sailor 1911-M Burgundy/gold pens: 14c. 0.6 mm. "round-nosed" CI (MM) & 1.1 mm. CI (JM) *Sailor Pro-Gear Slim Spec. Ed. "Fire",14c. (factory) "H-B" *2 Kaweco SPECIAL fountain pens: 14c."M" "B",-0.5 mm & 0.7 mm stubs (PB) *Kaweco Stainless Steel Lilliput, 14c "B" -0.6 mm. stub (PB) *Montblanc 254, 14c. "BB" (1.1 mm?) flügelfeder factory stub

#8 Go Strangely

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Posted 07 September 2012 - 21:12

Be careful, I forgot a Parker 61 section that I had left in a 10% ammonia solution, I'm uncertain how long it was left but at least a couple of weeks, the section was blistered and useless, fortunately I was only soaking to release the nib and section from a donor pen so no real harm, but very much a lesson learnt.

Paul

#9 Sandy1

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Posted 08 September 2012 - 15:35

How much should one dilute 5% acetic acid for a pen flush?


Hi,

Member pharmacist suggested diluting vinegar to 10%. Post № 273

As Wiki says that vinegar is 4 - 18%, I'll let you do the arithmetic from there.
As I do not let ink linger in an unused pen, I would start with lower concentration, increasing % only if problems are subsequently encountered.

Bye,
S1

The only time you have too much fuel is when you're on fire.


#10 tinta

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Posted 08 September 2012 - 19:39

Thanks Sandi1.

Since my tangental post on this thread, I have contacted FPN member "pharmacist" re: the dilution of our Canadian 5% acetic acid white vinegar.
Though I really suck at maths, I basically understand that one part of our vinegar plus nine parts RO water should do the trick.
I must be flushing with RO water quite thoroughly, as neither the vinegar/water solution, nor the Pen Flush w. ammonia has been colouring up.
My pens seem happy with Salix, Scabiosa & Akkerman #10.
I'm ready to widen my ferro-gallic horizons.

Cheers:
Istvan

Edited by tinta, 08 September 2012 - 19:43.

*Sailor 1911S, Black/gold, 14c. 0.8 mm. stub(JM) *1911S blue "Colours", 14c. H-B "M" BLS (PB) *2 Sailor 1911-M Burgundy/gold pens: 14c. 0.6 mm. "round-nosed" CI (MM) & 1.1 mm. CI (JM) *Sailor Pro-Gear Slim Spec. Ed. "Fire",14c. (factory) "H-B" *2 Kaweco SPECIAL fountain pens: 14c."M" "B",-0.5 mm & 0.7 mm stubs (PB) *Kaweco Stainless Steel Lilliput, 14c "B" -0.6 mm. stub (PB) *Montblanc 254, 14c. "BB" (1.1 mm?) flügelfeder factory stub

#11 andreasgarrett

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Posted 10 September 2012 - 23:16

As mentioned above, the exposure time to the cleaning solution should be limited, so I cycle the fill/flush mechanism from time to time which keeps the cleaning solution from stagnating, dislodges residue, and gets fresh solution in place of any that might be exhausted.

Hey, thank you for what sounds like excellent advice. BUT what does "cycle the fill/flush mechanism" mean? And what do you mean "keeps the cleaning solution from stagnating"? Stagnating in the pen? Do you mean you leave it in the pen? Sorry to be dense!

Thanks,
Andrea

#12 Sandy1

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Posted 12 September 2012 - 09:21

As mentioned above, the exposure time to the cleaning solution should be limited, so I cycle the fill/flush mechanism from time to time which keeps the cleaning solution from stagnating, dislodges residue, and gets fresh solution in place of any that might be exhausted.

Hey, thank you for what sounds like excellent advice. BUT what does "cycle the fill/flush mechanism" mean? And what do you mean "keeps the cleaning solution from stagnating"? Stagnating in the pen? Do you mean you leave it in the pen? Sorry to be dense!

Thanks,
Andrea


Hi Andrea,

As with most pens that have an integral ink reservoir, and their nib+feed cannot be removed, the mechanism used to fill the pen is also used to flush ink from the pen, hence my term 'fill/flush mechanism'. Those are seen on some piston fillers, most lever+sac pens, and aerometric fillers, such as the Parker 21.
(The well-regarded Richard Binder includes comprehensive descriptions and diagrams of many fill systems on the richardspens.com site, under 'Filling Systems: How They Work - an Overview'.)

Before the fill/flush mechanism is cycled, the pen's nib should be immersed in water or the cleaning solution to the depth recommended for filling the pen with ink.
To cycle the fill/flush mechanism of the Sheaffer vacuum fill system of the pen mentioned by the OP, the plunger rod would need to be drawn up out of the pen barrel, then pressed down to complete one cycle of the mechanism.

By 'stagnation', I refer to the cleaning solution that is in contact with an amount of inky residue greater than the cleaning solution's ability to dissolve that residue: the cleaning solution can no longer do its job - it is exhausted, and needs to be replaced with fresh cleaning solution. The action of cycling the fill/flush mechanism will also expose more of the pen's ink handling system to the cleaning solution, augmented by inverting the pen several times as mentioned in Post № 6.
(I mix my own cleaning solution, so it is very inexpensive, which allows me to replace cleaning solution that I think is too inky, even though it may not be totally exhausted. AFAIK commercial pen cleaning solutions can be re-used may times - so long as plain water is used to remove most of the ink prior to their use.)

So the pen is kept full of cleaning solution for the maximum duration, (about eight hours), and the effectiveness of the cleaning solution is kept high by filling and flushing the pen with [fresh] cleaning solution, and changing the orientation of the pen during that time.

I hope my explanation has clarified my previous Posts to an extent that the method makes sense and can be successfully applied to give pens a thorough low-risk cleansing. :)

Bye,
S1

The only time you have too much fuel is when you're on fire.


#13 Doug1426

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Posted 14 September 2012 - 13:39

Hi,

I certainly agree with the prior posts, and would like to make a few wee suggestions.

I suggest that at the first sign of a pen not performing/filling as it did initially, one should flush the pen to remove any ink residue that may be the cause - it won't get better by itself.

I do a flush & soak with water until the stuff coming from the pen is pretty clear; then if I used an I-G ink, I give it a quick rinse with dilute vinegar, then a water rinse; then go to a dilute ammonia+surfactant solution. At the same time I clean the cap's internals.


As mentioned above, the exposure time to the cleaning solution should be limited, so I cycle the fill/flush mechanism from time to time which keeps the cleaning solution from stagnating, dislodges residue, and gets fresh solution in place of any that might be exhausted.

I also alternate the pen orientation from nib down in the cleaning solution to nib up with cap on.

If the expelled cleaning solution is too inky, I'll replace it.

So at the end of the allotted time, the expelled cleaning solution is clear, and I do the final water rinsing.

My tuppence worth.

Bye,
S1


This whole thread has been really helpful. I'm a little in the dark (ink) though about the term "I-G". Does that refer to specific components of inks? Thanks in advance.
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#14 zuku

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Posted 14 September 2012 - 22:07

(I mix my own cleaning solution...


Sandy, I am sorry... I swear that I did read, but I am thick. How was your mix made? Not the one for Iron Gall (IG) inks, but the other one, for regular FP ink.

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#15 pencils+pens

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Posted 15 September 2012 - 02:12

This whole thread has been really helpful. I'm a little in the dark (ink) though about the term "I-G". Does that refer to specific components of inks?



Iron gall, a type of ink.

#16 Sandy1

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Posted 15 September 2012 - 11:01

(I mix my own cleaning solution...


Sandy, I am sorry... I swear that I did read, but I am thick. How was your mix made? Not the one for Iron Gall (IG) inks, but the other one, for regular FP ink.


Hi,

For "regular FP ink" I mix a solution of 0.5% plain
[lab grade] ammonia, then add a two eyedropper drops of Kodak Photo-Flo per 50ml of the 0.5% ammonia solution.

In some places, for various reasons (marketing, compliance with statutes/regulations, etc.), plain ammonia is not available over the counter to the average consumer. I have no suggestions as to possible substitutes.

The KP-F is a proprietary surfactant (wetting agent) used in the processing of black & white photographic film. There are numerous other B&W photo film wetting agents that may be substituted for KP-F. e.g. Ilford Ifotol, Form-a-Flow. Do not use a wetting agent for colour film. LINK

Bye,
S1

Edited by Sandy1, 15 September 2012 - 11:27.

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#17 Sandy1

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Posted 15 September 2012 - 11:08

This whole thread has been really helpful. I'm a little in the dark (ink) though about the term "I-G". Does that refer to specific components of inks?



Iron gall, a type of ink.


Hi,

As mentioned, I referred to inks with an iron-gall component.

Montblanc uses the term 'ferro-gallic', which AFAIK is in effect the same thing.

Bye,
S1

The only time you have too much fuel is when you're on fire.


#18 Tinjapan

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 11:44

Very useful thread. Learned a lot. Thanks to all.

#19 RonLyke

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Posted 23 September 2015 - 15:14

 

I consider Noodlers and Private Reserve inks to be high maintenance inks.
 

 

Ron--

Are these inks "high maintenance" because they're so saturated / concentrated, or some other reason? In other words, if they are diluted, are they less "high maintenance"?



#20 mhosea

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Posted 24 September 2015 - 01:51

Ron--
Are these inks "high maintenance" because they're so saturated / concentrated, or some other reason? In other words, if they are diluted, are they less "high maintenance"?


I'm not Ron, of course, but the "bulletproof" ones behave in some respects like a pigmented ink. They aren't pigment inks, of course, but nevertheless, something settles out if they are left undisturbed, and they like to leave a thin film behind on non-porous surfaces (you'll find it on the underside of your nib, most likely).  Diluting them doesn't change this property, though it stands to reason that the amount of settling is reduced proportionally by dilution.  Still think they'd be high maintenance no matter how much you diluted those sorts of inks.


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