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Noodlers Problems And Diluting With Water


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#1 markh

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Posted 20 July 2013 - 15:16

As much as I like Noodlers ink, its too unpredictable. In the sense that there are too many pens (including Noodlers pens....) where the pen will occasionally skip, or frequently skip, or not flow after lying down for a few hours or overnight. Some work great, some don't, and even worse some surprise me by working until they suddenly don't when something important is happening. All the marks of its very interesting but problematic color saturation.

 

I know its the Noodlers ink, becasause the same pens, filled with my "standard" inks - Quink black or Waterman Blue/Black, work just fine, no problems.

 

Same for PR, though they are somewhat less of a proablem for me.

 

I have read of suggestions that Noodlers can be diluted with some water to improve performance without reducing the color intensity, or even worse causing flow or feathering problems.

 

 

But how much water? Your experiences would be appreciated....

 

thnx,

 

 



#2 ravantra

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Posted 20 July 2013 - 15:42

The only Noodler's ink I dilute is Kung Te Cheng. I fill a vial (7 ml) and add a few drops of water (2-4 drops) shake and fill my pen. Adding just a little water improves the performance of KTC without noticeably changing the inks color.


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#3 carlos.q

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Posted 20 July 2013 - 15:43

Check out this pinned thread:

http://www.fountainp...lution-recipes/



#4 mhosea

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Posted 20 July 2013 - 16:01

I've been looking at how the starting issues correlate with which pens, and I think one of the big problems with some pens is that they don't have effective inner caps (or any inner caps at all), and then ink choice really starts to matter with respect to hard starts and "clogging" (the common kind of "clogging" that just rinses away easily).  If the ink is fully saturated, evaporation in the feed from a poorly sealing pen design is never a good thing.  Take something like a Platinum Preppy, on the other hand, it almost always just works, but it has a little spring-loaded inner cap that seals quite well.

 

How much water is hard to say.  Usually I figure it out by trial and error, and it's going to be different for different inks.  As you add water, both saturation and lubricity decrease, so I add water until I can tell I've gone too far and then back off to something that seems comfortable.  I ended up diluting Noodler's Heart of Darkness 2 parts ink to 1 part water.  With Qin Shi Huang the result ad 2:1 was a washed out pink, so I use a lot less with that one (don't remember how much, though).   It goes without saying that all dilution is carried out in a small, separate container (a sample vial).


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#5 SallyLyn

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Posted 20 July 2013 - 17:05

The link is good and interesting, I've bookmarked. 

In the past someone often posted that Noodlers Black could be diluted water 10:1 ink vs buying Lexington Gray. I have Lex Gray so never tried. Have diluted many Noodlers usually after using in a pen with an ink. Carefully nib up, squeeze the sac, getting some air out, then stick in clear water, release to inhale the water. Let pen sit for a couple hours, often nib up to gather all the ink stuck on sides of sac. Sometimes comes out almost the same as from the bottle, other times makes an interesting new color. Zhivago, Navy couple good examples of new shading. Can do similar dilution in a cartridge or converter with water in a needle.

 

Water will dilute and speed drying times on paper. Sometimes the dilution color is what you want but the solution in a certain pen is too dry for smooth flow. Needs a bit more lubrication as that has also been diluted. The tiniest bit of liquid hand dishwashing detergent/soap can do the trick. Depending on the amount of water can go from the amount of soap from the tip of a pin to a small drop. Don't want your pen or ink to bubble.

 

If a difficult ink and/or pen may rinse with a water and light dish washing soap mix before loading the ink. Careful not to get the soap in the ink bottle. 



#6 Sandy1

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Posted 20 July 2013 - 17:55

Hi,

 

There are a vast array of inks in the Noodler's line-up, so I find it difficult to generalise. Consequently I cannot address inks from Noodler's, rather only the 'generic' problems you mention.

 

I've done a bit of work with dilution, which was primarily concerned with adjusting the appearance - not to solve a performance issue. However, I have noted that there are minor changes to performance, mostly reducing feathering / wooly line on 'lowest bidder' papers. (Those are in the ICS&T Forum.)

 

I think the prior Posts make very good & useful suggestions on how to approach the problems you're experiencing, but the random nature of those makes a 'silver bullet' solution unlikely. (Vampires are more easily dealt with.)

 

So . . . I suggest doing some dilution trials using ratios of 75%, 60% & 40%. Also run your samples from various [problematic] pens to establish a relationship. That could take quite some time to do, but that's what it takes.

 

In combination with dilution, there is also the option of adding a bit of surfactant to increase the inks' flow rate. There are several threads on their use, one quite recent. (Likely searchwords 'surfactant' 'PhotoFlo') I've not done enough work with adding surfactants to make a firm suggestion. 'A bit on a pinhead' seems a common estimate :)

 

Also, be aware that dilution reduces the concentration of any biocides, so I'd keep batches small enough to be used-up in 6 months or so, and kept in [glass] bottles small enough to fill to brimming.

 

Bye,

S1


Edited by Sandy1, 20 July 2013 - 18:45.

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#7 PJohnP

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Posted 20 July 2013 - 17:58

For the most part, I've found that a 3:1 ink to water dilution (75% ink, 25% water) has been a reasonable compromise with various deeply saturated inks like Noodler's inks.   This has struck the best balance on maintaining colour, perhaps with some added shading, perhaps not, whilst providing reasonable modification of drying time and improved flow characteristics.  Beyond that amount of dilution, the effects are variable, and should be, as Sandy notes above, addressed through trials.

 

As an added note, I (almost) always use distilled water for the diluent, just to minimise unforeseen consequences of the dilution.  I've once or twice used tap water for very small batches, but the various possible contaminants in tap water would make a dubious practice for general dilutions.

 

 

 

John P.



#8 tmenyc

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Posted 20 July 2013 - 18:28

I'm one of those who routinely dilutes Noodlers Black and Old Manhattan Black 10% with water.  I experimented a few years ago and got up to 20%  before the Black I did it with started looking even a little bit different.  As I always point out in these threads, I'm a left-handed overwriter, so the combo of ink and paper cannot be smeary for me.  Noodler's Black smears a lot, but far less with 10% dilution.  

BSB also can handle quite a bit of dilution, with the same effect.  My mix of BSB and Bay State Concord Grape and water is 2:2:1, a full 20% water, and it works perfectly in the Esterbrooks I use it with.  

 

Tim


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home: MontBlanc 149/Parker perm Blue-Black (vintage)

pen case: Inoxcrom 55/Aurora blue; Parker 51 2d test/Waterman Cocktail

bag:  Pilot Metropolitan/Noodlers BSB&BSCG mix

office:  Wality 69L/Diamine Indigo, Delta Fusion 82/Diamine Deep Dark Blue


#9 rockydoggy

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Posted 20 July 2013 - 19:13

This is a helpful.  I was recently trying to figure out how to use a few Noodler's inks with which I've consistently had bad luck.  As a last resort, I filled a Preppy with Noodler's Upper Ganges Blue--lo and behold . . . no problems.  The same with Noodler's Grizzly.  Next I'll try Swishmix Burgundy, an ink I like alot but one that's stalled out in every pen I've run it.  The key must be, as an early poster noted, the cap seal in the Preppy--it's airtightness puts the caps of many of my other, more expensive pens to shame.  This thread makes me think that I should try diluting these and similar inks as well.  



#10 amberleadavis

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Posted 22 July 2013 - 06:45

@RockyDoggy - I've been discovering similar airtight capping issues myself.


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#11 Sandy1

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Posted 22 July 2013 - 09:12

Hi,

 

If a poor cap seal is a significant contributing factor to the OP's problem, then the ink in the reservoir is fine, but the ink in the feed / collector may have become too concentrated over time. I rather doubt that dilution would be a great help, though it may extend the time from last use until the first occurrence of clogging / skipping / poor start-up.

 

For such pens, a change to the manner of handling just might be a 'silver bullet' solution: At the start of a day's writing, rinse the nib, then charge the pen with the same ink. Essentially that will be 'flushing' the nib+feed & collector with fresh ink. (The use of a wee intermediate filler bottle may a good idea to keep the ink in the primary bottle pristine.)

 

Bye,

S1


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#12 mhosea

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Posted 22 July 2013 - 13:56

Hi,

 

If a poor cap seal is a significant contributing factor to the OP's problem, then the ink in the reservoir is fine, but the ink in the feed / collector may have become too concentrated over time. I rather doubt that dilution would be a great help, though it may extend the time from last use until the first occurrence of clogging / skipping / poor start-up.

 

That is correct, though experience tells me your doubts need to be limited somehow, probably to the more severe circumstances coupled with lesser amounts of dilution.  In the average case with the humidity we have here with the levels of dilution I have used, it is the silver bullet.  When I have not diluted, or after enough days have passed with the pen not used that the problem recurs, a quick dip of the nib in water followed by recapping the pen and letting the concentrated ink diffuse into the water-saturated feed works well enough, IMO.


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#13 Bill Wood

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Posted 22 July 2013 - 14:59

Any Noodlers ink I dilute. Noodlers Navy - Noodlers Turqoise (teal).  And the dilution always depends upon the ink - some are more saturated than others. But Noodlers are a very saturated ink. I use some caution and always dilute.



#14 Sandy1

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Posted 22 July 2013 - 18:23

 

That is correct, though experience tells me your doubts need to be limited somehow, probably to the more severe circumstances coupled with lesser amounts of dilution.  In the average case with the humidity we have here with the levels of dilution I have used, it is the silver bullet.  When I have not diluted, or after enough days have passed with the pen not used that the problem recurs, a quick dip of the nib in water followed by recapping the pen and letting the concentrated ink diffuse into the water-saturated feed works well enough, IMO.

 

Hi,

 

Many thanks for sharing your experience! :thumbup:

 

I think it is important to be able to understand what can be done to modify the ink to achieve certain results / behaviour in a given pen, but also to take into account that it may be preferable to change one's manner of handling the ink+pen combo, especially when the ink is 'just perfect' so one is reluctant to modify it.

 

Many many too many options!

 

Bye,

S1


Edited by Sandy1, 22 July 2013 - 18:24.

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#15 mhosea

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Posted 22 July 2013 - 19:27



 especially when the ink is 'just perfect' so one is reluctant to modify it.

 

 

Yes, that's true again.  Fortunately for me, I am as likely as not to think Nathan has overdone it on both the saturation and surfactant load, especially with bulletproof inks. This is less likely with the "standard" Noodler's Inks, but La Couleur Royale in particular benefits from dilution in a big way, if you like inks like Montblanc Royal Blue.


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