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Only Washable Inks In Vintage Pens?


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#1 DielsAlder

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Posted 05 June 2013 - 03:24

So I was seeking advice in the kinds of ink you put in vintage flex pens, so I asked Greg M. He said to only use washable inks, which limits the ink colors quite a bit unfortunately.

But then I look at posts by Richard Binder and Mauricio, not necessarily on FPN, and I see diamine and other more fun colors, and not necessarily washable ones, being used. 

 

Is there any way to use more fun inks in vintage flex pens? Or even some form of agreement in ink use, though this is quite an esoteric topic it seems

 

 

ps: if anyone knows where to get colored inks for dip pens or a good washable black ink for fountain pens, thatd be great


Edited by DielsAlder, 05 June 2013 - 03:27.

"We stand on a mountain pass in the midst of whirling snow and blinding mist, through which we get glimpses now and then of paths which may be deceptive. If we stand still we shall be frozen to death. If we take the wrong road we shall be dashed to pieces. We do not certainly know whether there is any right one. What must we do? 'Be strong and of a good courage.' Act for the best, hope for the best, and take what comes. ... If death ends all, we cannot meet death better."

     ~ James Fitzjames Stephen

 


#2 circlepattern

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Posted 05 June 2013 - 04:37

I suppose if you don't care for the color of your pen and firmly believes that you will not be selling it, then average ink that stain a little could be used. But don't take my word, this is only my logic, but so far I haven't heard of pens melting because of wrong ink or whatnot.



#3 linearM

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Posted 05 June 2013 - 04:38

If you want to find out about he characteristics of an ink you think you might like to try go to the ink review forum.  You will find out the personal experiences users have had with the ink, whether it is washable, if it is saturated, if it stains, etc.  

 

I base my ink choice on the type of nib in the pen I'm using.  When I use a flex nib I like some shading.  The ink I enjoy using for correspondence is Noodler's Golden Brown. It also looks good with cursive italic nibs.  



#4 Sandy1

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Posted 05 June 2013 - 10:37

Hi,

 

I'm still climbing the learning curve of using flexi nibs, so am not an authority on suitable inks. However, I've found the unsaturated 'simple' aniline dye inks, with a low dye-load, seem to match the flexi nibs.

 

Over time, I found a number of inks that can be completely cleansed from a freshly inked pen with plain water, so I use those in my vintage flexi pens. Such inks are typically considered safe, though few are Washable.

 

Our friends at Scribal Work Shop have recently introduced a line of Washable 'Bunny' inks, so those should be considered. (To broaden your palette, you may wish to inquire if those can be safely mixed/intermingled.)

 

The higher maintenance iron-gall inks also seem a good match; similar inks were common when the now-vintage pens were new. There are numerous recent threads on use of I-G inks, so I won't repeat those points here.

 

I'm exceptionally fussy about caring for my vintage pens with flexi nibs, so they're cleansed immediately after a flexi writing training session.

 

Bye,

S1


Edited by Sandy1, 05 June 2013 - 10:44.

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#5 Bo Bo Olson

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Posted 05 June 2013 - 10:57

Vintage pens used iron gall ink, and non iron gall ink. Certain milk based 'plastic' might be just for washable inks, so you don't stain the outside with it.

 

I'd not use the Ink Monster that demands it's very own 'cheap pen, and no other.

 

I know certain pen repair folks have seen many a ruined pen; one or two do not warrant their repairs, with Noodler inks. I am sure there are many Noodler inks that are quite safe. Do your research first.

 

I think MB, Pelikan, Herbin, Aurora, Visconti; or other old time European  pen companies inks would be OK. And you have a very large color palette. I've never heard of them causing any problems. Of course you have to clean out your pens using an iron gall ink every month to six weeks.

Sheaffer made in Slovainia could well be good. Parker seems rather limited...don't know where they make their inks.

 

True some are not forgery proof or allow you to write in a shower....use a modern c/c pen for that. How often are you writing something that must be forgery proof? Buy a brief case if you live in Seattle. 

 

Yep, vintage pens require some adjustment to writing style. Learn to place liquid containers at an arm's width on the far corner of your desk.

 

 

Depends on what you want....nice two toned shading ink....or vivid monotone inks, and how often you are going to clean out your pen.

Personally, I don't see any appeal of using a vibrant monotone ink in a more flexible nib. I want the shading.

 

With a nail nib vintage pen...don't you have a modern nail pen for US ink?

 

If you have a vintage pen with some to much flex....Then I recommend the European Continental inks.

Some folks have had some problems with Diamine. In that I have more than enough Continental inks to catch up with I only have three samples and two bottles of Diamine.

Most of my pens are vintage...pre'66 and I never had a second thought, in none were those Diamine inks folks seemed to be having problems with.


Edited by Bo Bo Olson, 05 June 2013 - 11:00.

Semi-flex is an “almost” flex; not a ‘flex’ nib. It is great for regular writing. It can give you some fancy; but it is not made for real fancy writing. For that get a 'flexi' or a "flex" nib.

"

 

Wider than Normal does not exist. Wider than Japanese does. Every company has it's very own standard + slop/tolerance. Developed from the users of it's pens only; not the users of other companies pens. The size you grind a nib to, is your standard only. Paper and ink matter to nib width. Thank god for 1/2 sizes or it would be boring.


#6 inkstainedruth

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Posted 05 June 2013 - 16:55

Other than being a little cautious about what pens I would put iron gall inks into (a lot of my vintage pens are less easy to clean than some types of fill systems) I personally would probably use whatever I thought would look good coming out of them.   And one of the Esties, with a broad(er) nib may end up as a dedicated Bay State Blue pen -- the pen I currently use works well but has an F or EF nib, which I'm really starting to think doesn't show BSB to its best advantage.

Just flushed Iroshihzuku Winter Persimmon out of my Parker 21 (well behaved ink, but really, really orange...).  I've used Noodler's Manhattan Blue in that pen as well.  Trying to decide now whether to put that ink or Liberty's Elysium or something else in one of my 51s (mostly because I currently have too many pens inked up :headsmack: and the stash is getting a bit unwieldy -- but, hmmm, haven't used North African Violet in anything for a while....).    And just did a fill of De Atramentis Dante Alighieri in the 51 Special, and want to replace it with the "regular" DA Ruby Red as a comparison. 

I do (mostly) start with boring Quink Black in most of the vintage pens to: it's sort of my tester ink for vintage, because it is well-behaved and not super-saturated -- and washable (I think).  But I don't want to be limited to using that on a regular basis (I'm really just not a black ink person at heart and wasn't even in my BP days)  I will probably do a refill of that in the Plum 51 for now, because refilling is faster and easier; but then I will do a good flushing in a couple of weeks and then put in something more, well, *interesting* than black....

Ruth Morrisson aka inkstainedruth


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#7 jgrasty

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Posted 05 June 2013 - 22:01

The only inks I avoid in my vintage pens are those known to stain, such as the Noodler's Baystate series.  I don't really worry about any other inks, though I am very careful about maintaining proper pen hygiene when using bulletproof or iron gall inks.


Regards,

Joey

In use: Pelikan M200 Green Marbled (EF nib) with Noodler's Black and Pilot Fermo (M nib) with Noodler's Legal Lapis.

#8 DielsAlder

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Posted 10 June 2013 - 06:32

Wow, thank you for all the information everyone :) I have decided to start with Pelikan black and brown ink!


"We stand on a mountain pass in the midst of whirling snow and blinding mist, through which we get glimpses now and then of paths which may be deceptive. If we stand still we shall be frozen to death. If we take the wrong road we shall be dashed to pieces. We do not certainly know whether there is any right one. What must we do? 'Be strong and of a good courage.' Act for the best, hope for the best, and take what comes. ... If death ends all, we cannot meet death better."

     ~ James Fitzjames Stephen

 


#9 welch

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Posted 10 June 2013 - 14:56

Note that "washable" has at least two different meanings.

 

(1) The original meaning, marked on ink labels, was an ink that washed off easily. Students were encouraged to use Skrip Washable Blue or Black, or various Carter's Washable colors. A permanent ink in the late '50s was tough to wash out, but could be washed with extra scrubbing. People tried to avoid ink spills, spots, splatters, leaks. Parker still markets a Washable Blue, and it appears that another maker has formulated "bunny" inks for school kids.

 

(2) It is common for pen fans now to describe any ink except a few specially formulated inks as "washable". The specially formulated inks attach to paper and cotton fibers; specialty ink makers argue about which is is the most resistant.

 

(3) As you'd guess, "vintage" pens used all sorts of what were called "permanent" inks. Parker had an advertising campaign for Quink during WW2 that argued for Quink "with Solv-X" because rubber was being rationed; Quink will save your pen from a broken ink-sac. (Parker also made a "Parker 51 Ink" that is said to have been one of the harshest inks of all time.). Typical vintage inks were what people would call non-saturated inks.  


Edited by welch, 10 June 2013 - 16:17.

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#10 MKeith

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Posted 18 June 2013 - 18:49

Noodlers V-Mail North African Violet will STAIN.  I have experienced it staining Nalgene, convertors and feeds. I have also had cloging problems. I would not  recommend it's use in vintage pens. So sad because it is a beautiful ink.


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#11 DielsAlder

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Posted 18 June 2013 - 19:44

after a bit of thinking i guess what i mean is what inks wont destroy the ink sac. yea sure they can stain it as long as the stains dont affect w/e ink is inside them currently and the color on paper

 

has anyone had experience with de atramentis or rohrer and klinger? i havent found anything on them for sitting in an ink sac for >2-3weeks


Edited by DielsAlder, 18 June 2013 - 19:48.

"We stand on a mountain pass in the midst of whirling snow and blinding mist, through which we get glimpses now and then of paths which may be deceptive. If we stand still we shall be frozen to death. If we take the wrong road we shall be dashed to pieces. We do not certainly know whether there is any right one. What must we do? 'Be strong and of a good courage.' Act for the best, hope for the best, and take what comes. ... If death ends all, we cannot meet death better."

     ~ James Fitzjames Stephen

 


#12 MKeith

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Posted 20 June 2013 - 03:46

Here is something that is sure worth reading:  http://www.richardsp...f/care/inks.htm

 

I know that what I have to say now will draw some flak from some, but as the saying goes "It happened to me."  I recently had to replace two sacs (approx. 8 months old) in my Esterbrook J's after they became soft and sticky. When I say sticky I mean that once the lever was released it would take 2-5 seconds for the sac to re-expand usually with an audible gooey  "pop" sound. This was after a thorough cleaning. And yes I clean my pens regulalry, I had used Noodlers Golden Brown, Burgundy, V-Mail Burma Rd. Brown, North African Violet and Blue in these pens for 2-3 months. I never let the pens set for more than 1-2 days without writing with them enough to keep the ink flowing generously, and usually refilling them once a week  Prior to this, Pelikan 4001, Waterman  and Diamine inks had been used in these pens without any problems..

 

Well this being said, I was really disappointed with the Noodlers inks as I liked the colors. Since this happened I am going to stay with Diamine, Pelikan, Waterman, Lamy, Pilot/Namiki inks, which have so far never failed me. I know that there are others who will argue with my comments, which admittedly are not scientific. However, after talking to Richard Binder and having read some problems other repairers ie. Ron Zorn have commented on concerning these "boutique" inks, I am just not willing to risk more problems in my vintage pens or for that matter my modern pens of some value.
 


Edited by MKeith, 20 June 2013 - 15:39.

"Are we at last brought to such humiliating and debasing degradation that we cannot be trusted with arms for our defense? Where is the difference between having our arms in possession and under our direction, and having them under the management of Congress? If our defense be the real object of having those arms, in whose hands can they be trusted with more propriety, or equal safety to us, as in our own hands?" Patrick Henry

#13 betweenthelens

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Posted 04 July 2013 - 00:26

Thank you for that link, MKeith. RichardsPens.com is so very informative and the bit on safe inks is great.



#14 mhphoto

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Posted 04 July 2013 - 19:38

My two cents? Eh... 

 

I have around 50 sac-filled vintage pens and most are inked at any given time. They're filled with Waterman inks, Parker inks, Sailor inks, J. Herbin inks, Diamine inks, iron gall inks, Private Reserve inks, and, yes, a lot if Noodler's inks (*gasp!*). 

 

I've never had an issue with persistent clogging, sacs melting, or some Noodler's-induced nuclear criticality event. The only issue I've ever had was a pen that wouldn't fill, and it turned out to be a rather obvious hole in the end of the sac (purchased from a widely known and respected fella). 

 

YMMV. 



#15 mhosea

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Posted 04 July 2013 - 21:22



 

I know that what I have to say now will draw some flak from some, but as the saying goes "It happened to me."

 

 

FWIW, I stopped using Noodler's North African Violet in vintage pens because it is so hard to clean.  It also sort of reminded me of BSB in how the ink likes to stick to stainless steel (for awhile, anyway).  I don't know if it leaves long-term permanent stains on any non-porous surfaces, but it sure seems to want to.  Also, when I tried mixing it with a couple of other inks (even Midway Blue, I think) it reacted and threw a precipitate.  My feeling was that this ink was really not a great idea in sac'd pens for all those reasons.  


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#16 requiescat

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Posted 04 July 2013 - 21:40

I know that Noodler's Texas Bluebonnet can get cloggy; I like it a lot, but I mostly use it in a Nemosine Singularity eyedropper conversion, which is easy to flush out.  I've had reasonably good luck with Noodler's Black in various pens, including a vintage Webster; haven't experimented much with others.



#17 Scriver

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Posted 05 July 2013 - 12:54

As others have suggested, the term " washable" is not particularly helpful in thinking about which inks to use in vintage pens.  Whether or not an ink is branded as washable from clothing may not tell you as much as you might like about its behavior in your pen.  More useful, I think, is to classify inks in terms of degree of trouble and maintenance required.  Quink Blue Black, for example, is not marketed as a washable ink, but I find it a very low maintenance ink that rinses easily from pens, doesn't seem to stain, clog, or otherwise cause trouble, and has good flow characteristics in old style feeds.  I wouldn't hesitate to use it in a vintage pen simply because it is not useable.

 

Another factor to consider is the particular type of vintage pen you are using.  Some vintage pens are so hard to flush clean that I would hesitate to use an ink prone to clogging or hard to rinse clean (unless you dedicate the pen to that ink).  To me, both the Parker 51 and the Vacumatic fall in that category.  A Sheaffer plunger filler is theoretically easy to rinse, but I am so afraid of blowing a gasket with that mechanism, I tend to stick to low maintenance inks with those too. 

 

On the other hand, a lever-filler is relatively simple pen to maintain, so I tend to experiment much more with those and haven't had a serious problem yet (though I haven't yet tried BSB in anything other than a CC).  Candidly, the problem I have had with some of the older vintage pens is that the less-channeled feeds have more trouble controlling flow with some of the more modern inks.  For example, I have a Waterman 55 that writes dependably with Quink Blue Black, Waterman Havana Brown, or Sailor Red Brown, but tends to splatter (particularly if I move my wrist too quickly) with MB Royal Blue or Diamine Sargasso Sea.  I still use the latter inks from time to time--the Sargasso Sea looks great from the Waterman semiflex nib--but I have to be very careful when I do. 



#18 Wheatflower

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Posted 05 July 2013 - 17:03

I've never had an issue with persistent clogging, sacs melting, or some Noodler's-induced nuclear criticality event. The only issue I've ever had was a pen that wouldn't fill, and it turned out to be a rather obvious hole in the end of the sac (purchased from a widely known and respected fella). 

 

 

Today's goal: Work the phrase 'ink-induced nuclear criticality event' into a workplace converstion.


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#19 amberleadavis

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Posted 05 July 2013 - 21:43

 

 

Today's goal: Work the phrase 'ink-induced nuclear criticality event' into a workplace converstion.

 

 

Okay, I did it.  It wasn't pleasant.  It may have had something to do with a bottle of ink shattering over the paper and hard word floors and swear words were not appropriate.


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#20 mhphoto

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Posted 10 July 2013 - 20:15

 

 

Okay, I did it.  It wasn't pleasant.  It may have had something to do with a bottle of ink shattering over the paper and hard word floors and swear words were not appropriate.

 

:lticaptd:



#21 amberleadavis

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Posted 10 July 2013 - 21:28

It's pretty dang funny now.


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#22 PDW

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Posted 11 July 2013 - 11:08


Another factor to consider is the particular type of vintage pen you are using.  Some vintage pens are so hard to flush clean that I would hesitate to use an ink prone to clogging or hard to rinse clean (unless you dedicate the pen to that ink). 

 

Another approach - choose the pen for the ink you want to use.

 

People might not class it as a 'vintage' pen, but the Parker 45 can be disassembled down to separating the nib/feed with fingers only, which makes it an easy pen to clean out at the front end if it does clog.  Refill cartridges with a syringe to avoid problems flushing converters. And the P45 gold nibs should resist most nasties.

 

The only problem I've found is cleaning out the section, but a soak seems to do the job, with one exception when I unwisely tried to unscrew the nib against continuing resistance. Luckily I had a spare feed in stock ....