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New Fountain Pen, Need Advice


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#31 JohnZ

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 04:11

Thank you once again Scott. I thought for sure that I would be a cartridge only guy, until I realized my ink consumption. I would spend around $50-60 a year in ink cartridges. Do you know how greatly that changes with bottles? That number drops to about $16. Taking another minute or two to refill suddenly does not seem like such a sacrifice. I still do not think I will get that creative with inks, but I could see myself investing in a very nice bottle of ink further down the road.
EDC: Pelikan M200

#32 RMN

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 08:19

Hi John

AFAIK the ink in the catridges is from a different supplier than the bottles. I think the bottled ink is Pelikan ink. I don't remember who supplies the carts.


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#33 JohnZ

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 14:47

Okay, thanks. I'll clean it before using the converter.

One more thing: after filling the converter, what do you use to wipe the nib with?

Edited by JohnZ, 15 January 2013 - 15:24.

EDC: Pelikan M200

#34 nickapos

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 17:10

I use a paper towel.

Keep in mind that there are companies that sell ink in larger containers than the usual 60ml you may find in a stationery shop. In the end with these containers your ink may come even cheaper than the average bottle.

I will not supply links because there are a lot of options so it would be best for you to do your own research and choose what suits you best.
Also check out Indian inks. They are very affordable.
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#35 JohnZ

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 17:19

Okay, I wasn't sure if I needed to use a cloth or just a paper towel.

Yes, I know they can come in very big sizes. The largest I have seen is 130ml. I think 60mL is perfect though. I can easily fit a 60mL bottle in my desk drawer. Since I am ordering the converter through cross, I am just going to get one of their bottles with it. The Pelikan ink they use is reliable and good quality. I am not going to buy premium inks until I have used my pen more and I know what I want in an ink.
EDC: Pelikan M200

#36 nickapos

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 15:40

Cool. Enjoy your pen! :thumbup:
Nick Apostolakis
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#37 JohnZ

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 22:52

Well, another cartridge ran empty today and since my converter and ink will be here tomorrow, I decided to clean it. My nib section is wrapped in paper towels inside of a mug as I type this. I was going over the process of filling a converter and it is pretty straight forward: Put converter in pen, twist counter-clockwise, dip nib in ink, twist clockwise, and wipe nib.

Now, my question is about the dipping process itself: How much of the nib is being dipped? I want to make sure I do not get too much air, but I also do not want to be cleaning my entire gripping section. Also, it says to hold the pen by the converter and twist. The converter is tight enough that the nib section will not fall off into the bottle?
EDC: Pelikan M200

#38 Frank C

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 02:47

Well, another cartridge ran empty today and since my converter and ink will be here tomorrow, I decided to clean it. My nib section is wrapped in paper towels inside of a mug as I type this. I was going over the process of filling a converter and it is pretty straight forward: Put converter in pen, twist counter-clockwise, dip nib in ink, twist clockwise, and wipe nib.

Now, my question is about the dipping process itself: How much of the nib is being dipped? I want to make sure I do not get too much air, but I also do not want to be cleaning my entire gripping section. Also, it says to hold the pen by the converter and twist. The converter is tight enough that the nib section will not fall off into the bottle?


"Put converter in pen, twist counter-clockwise, dip nib in ink, twist clockwise" --After I submerge the nib, I twist the converter up and down three or four times in order to fill the feed with ink. You will see the level of ink rise in the converter each time you do it. Most people drip out about three drops back into the bottle so the pen is less like likely to drip.

"How much of the nib is being dipped?" --There is usually a vent hole on the feed near the section. This must be submerged in order to suck up ink. You should immerse part of the section into the ink in order to fill it. I often run a little water on the section after filling in order to facilitate cleaning it.

"Also, it says to hold the pen by the converter and twist. The converter is tight enough that the nib section will not fall off into the bottle?" --I have never had a section fall off a pen. If it were that loose, you wouldn't want to use it; it would leak like a sieve!

Glad to see you decided to go this route. It is what most fountain pen users do. I actually prefer pens that use a filling system other than c/c.

WARNING: You will get ink on your fingers! This is part of using a fountain pen. Some inks are removed with hand soap, some aren't. I have found that the process shampooing my hair removes any ink from my hands.

I hope this helps; Good Luck!
"One can not waste time worrying about small minds . . . If we were normal, we'd still be using free ball point pens." —Bo Bo Olson
I'm still trying to figure out how to list all my pens down here.

#39 JohnZ

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 01:09

Well, I have some bad news. I got my ink and my converter today, but after multiple attempts I could not get the converter to fill with ink. I even cleaned the pen twice and spent 2 hours on it. After awhile I found the problem... The converter has a crack in the plastic. That crack is all it took to destroy any chance of creating a vacuum it looks like. I filled the converter with water and sure enough, the water seeped through the crack. It looks like I will be contacting cross to get a replacement.

On the plus side, I am happy that my pen was not the problem and I still have cartridges to use in the mean time.

Thanks for the advice Frank.
EDC: Pelikan M200

#40 Frank C

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 01:42

Well, I have some bad news. I got my ink and my converter today, but after multiple attempts I could not get the converter to fill with ink. I even cleaned the pen twice and spent 2 hours on it. After awhile I found the problem... The converter has a crack in the plastic. That crack is all it took to destroy any chance of creating a vacuum it looks like. I filled the converter with water and sure enough, the water seeped through the crack. It looks like I will be contacting cross to get a replacement.

On the plus side, I am happy that my pen was not the problem and I still have cartridges to use in the mean time.

Thanks for the advice Frank.


Sorry to hear about that. At least the crack manifested itself before the converter was full of ink! That would have been a mess. I'll be waiting to hear about your new converter. FYI, I have tested a few converters by occluding the opening with my finger while twisting the plunger back. You can see if it will pull a vacuum that way. Sometimes you have to wet your finger to get a seal.

Chances are good it wasn't your pen, because it works fine with the cartridges. I do admire your pertinacity; most people would have given up well before two hours.

Best of luck,

Frank
"One can not waste time worrying about small minds . . . If we were normal, we'd still be using free ball point pens." —Bo Bo Olson
I'm still trying to figure out how to list all my pens down here.

#41 JohnZ

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Posted 02 February 2013 - 23:01

Tuesday I finally got around to contacting them and got the replacement today. I cleaned my pen and popped it in. Right away I noticed it required a little force to push in. The broken one just flew in, so this was reassuring. Once in, I dipped the nib in the ink and it almost filled up on the first draw! Couple more rinses and I was happy with how little air I had. Plus, I didn't get ink on my hands.

The ink itself is Pelikan 4001 Brilliant Black re-branded for Cross. I can't believe a 2oz bottle is only $8. This black is great and flows better than my cartridges. I think I have everything I need now. Great pen, great ink, and great paper.

Once again, thanks everyone for helping me out so much. I am ready for a lifetime enjoyable writing.
EDC: Pelikan M200

#42 Frank C

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 04:29

Glad to hear the new pen, etc. are working out. I wish you the best.
"One can not waste time worrying about small minds . . . If we were normal, we'd still be using free ball point pens." —Bo Bo Olson
I'm still trying to figure out how to list all my pens down here.

#43 fpconvert

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Posted 13 September 2013 - 13:43

1...If you store with ink in it, it is always best to rest it nib up. It is not a good idea to leave ink in a pen as ink can dry out and clog the nib. Also, be sure to keep your ink in a dark place and well sealed because it can grow mold which could harm a pen and be a pain to clean.
2... Always write with a light touch as you don't need much pressure to write....
3...I would clean every time I didn't have ink in it (at the end of every use)... so basically fill a pen, use it for the day -- work day or whatever-- then put the unused ink back into the ink bottle and flush the pen with cool water by taking water in and out of the pen the same way you filled it with ink until the water comes out of your pen clear.
4. It is always best to use a converter because they hold more ink. those cartriges can leave you hanging if they run out. converters make the pen easier to clean too. My earlier instructions for cleaning assumed you already had a converter. Cross's green converter is the one that fits Townsend. It installs, I believe, just like the cartriges do.

one other thing. After you clean your pen, what I find helpful to me is to take a coffee cup and a paper towel. fold the paper towel and place it in the bottom of the coffee cup. rest the pen, nib down, where the nib is resting on the paper towel and let sit like that over night. The paper towel will draw the excess water out of the pen.

 

 

Hey You sound like a seasoned user? I have a question for you? I use a Cross century II fountain pen and really like them. I use my pen with a convertor installed. Everytime I pump ink into the pen the covertor for whatever reason is never 100Q% full but rather only 75% full. I dip the nib completely into the bottle and I never can get full 100% fill. IS this normal?



#44 rwiker

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Posted 14 September 2013 - 12:30

Hey You sound like a seasoned user? I have a question for you? I use a Cross century II fountain pen and really like them. I use my pen with a convertor installed. Everytime I pump ink into the pen the covertor for whatever reason is never 100Q% full but rather only 75% full. I dip the nib completely into the bottle and I never can get full 100% fill. IS this normal?

 

 

If you get 75%, you're doing rather well... I suspect that the only way to get a converter 100% full would involve using a syringe to fill it.



#45 ac12

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Posted 14 September 2013 - 22:58

John

If you write as much as some of us, you may want a cheaper notebook.  There are a few threads in the Paper section about looking for "inexpensive" paper/notebooks for everyday use.  Here is one.

http://www.fountainp...ooklined-paper/

But you will be stepping down from the "black and red" notebook you have, which is pretty decent stuff.

 

BTW, I wish I knew what I do now when I was in college.  All I used was cartridge ink, the cartridge just seemed more convenient to use, which it was.  In reality I could have simply refilled/topped off the FP every day.  That would have save my parents some $$ in ink each year.