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Stupid Question About Dip-Less Pens


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#1 Willowandme

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Posted 13 September 2013 - 11:06

Hi. I know someone out there will say there is no such thing as a stupid question, but I am new enough to vintage fountain pens that this question feels stupid.

I have gotten my first Esterbrook. It's a 444 dip-less. I can't wait to start using it. My question: is there no sac in this pen? Or should I be checking to see if there is one I should replace before I start using it?

Another question: I know the nibs are changeable which is one of the reasons why I wanted one in the first place. Once I start using it, do I have to empty it before I change nibs or can I just hold it upside down and change the nib unit without spilling all the ink out?

Thanks.

#2 ANM

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Posted 13 September 2013 - 17:30

Hello fellow blue-eyed cat lover.

 

There is no sac in a dip-less.  It isn't a real 'fountain' pen but rather a dip pen and they came with an ink well.

 

To change the nib, just rinse it clean, dry it, remove it, and screw in another one.  The only ink in the pen is in the nib itself.


Edited by ANM, 13 September 2013 - 17:33.

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#3 Willowandme

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Posted 13 September 2013 - 17:34

Good. Kind of what I thought. It started to second guess myself.

Thanks so much!

Lisa

#4 ANM

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Posted 13 September 2013 - 17:48

Just FYI, the front two are typical inkwells for the dip-less and the bottom photo shows them apart. Ink goes in the bottom of the flat one and in the glass part of the other one.  Ink then feeds to the nib from the holder.

 

DSCN0713_zps69305613.jpg

 

DSCN0714_zpsc311b647.jpg


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#5 pajaro

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Posted 13 September 2013 - 18:27

My dipless pens have a recess behind the feed.  Does that area ever get partly filled with ink by capillary action?  Just wondering because it has been a long time since I filled one of these with ink.  Ink costing upwards of $7.50 a bottle today compared with the $0.19 to $0.25 that Carter's or Sheaffer's ink sold for when I was a kid in the fifties, when these were current. 


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#6 ANM

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Posted 13 September 2013 - 18:36

Dip-less pens with dip-less nibs don't have any way for the ink to get in the recess behind the feed but the regular nibs might allow ink in there.


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#7 brgmarketing

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Posted 15 September 2013 - 02:03

Wow, I'm glad I started on this thread. I like the idea of using a dip pen sometimes but really did not want to decant ink into an old (candle stick holder) I use to contain the ink. I have no cap or cover for it so I just put a piece of cellophane on top until I use it again. I guess I will keep an eye out for one in the classifieds.

 

Thanks for something new to learn about.


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#8 seanruss

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Posted 15 September 2013 - 06:19

Dip-less pens with dip-less nibs don't have any way for the ink to get in the recess behind the feed but the regular nibs might allow ink in there.

I have 3 dipless pens.  2 of them are like you said with no normal 'section' just a place to screw in the nib, while the third dipless pen does have a normal section but of course no lever.  

Just my 2 cents worh

 

http://www.fountainp...8__imag1243.jpg



#9 Lirleni

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Posted 15 September 2013 - 17:20

I came across 3 Esterbrook pen sets yesterday, and in looking at them, I couldn't see any type of refill method, so I assume they were the dip-less style.

 

Does the pen act as the lid for the inkwell? Does it evaporate?



#10 PaFitch

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Posted 16 September 2013 - 02:26

Dipless sets are great and you will find others like myself who think the same. A search on this forum will turn up other threads with details including pictures of a 444 set disassembled. They do experience some evaporation (the pen doesn't make an air tight seal in the holder). A little water can be added about once a month. Distilled water is best.

 

One user put bay state blue in his 444 well. Staining isn't an issue in a 444 set and because only the nib & feed touch the ink, the pen holder isn't likely to stain either.

 

One cautionary tale: I experimented with ink (including food coloring and vintage inks that had lost their color and tap water) and then didn't open the well for 5 or 6 months. It was a rather interesting sight when I finally lifted the lid. But it has cleaned up fully and is waiting its turn to be used again.

 

"Try it, you'll like it" :)



#11 Frankiex

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Posted 16 September 2013 - 03:19

My dipless pens have a recess behind the feed.  Does that area ever get partly filled with ink by capillary action?  Just wondering because it has been a long time since I filled one of these with ink.  Ink costing upwards of $7.50 a bottle today compared with the $0.19 to $0.25 that Carter's or Sheaffer's ink sold for when I was a kid in the fifties, when these were current. 

 

Not enough to worry about really pajaro- just a drop or two!

 

;)



#12 Sasha Royale

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Posted 16 September 2013 - 11:50

Thanks, Willowandme !

 

I appreciated your "stupid" question.  I didn't know about dipless pens.  I have no difficulty asking

the brilliant questions myself.  :lticaptd: However, the other question seem to elude me.  I need them

answered, as well. 

 

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#13 ANM

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Posted 16 September 2013 - 13:09

In my picture above, the two rear pens are Esterbrook Desk Fountain pens and have a longer body and a lever for filling.  They were intended to set in bases that did not hold ink.  These were most commonly black bases with black pens with clear tapers. The normal composition of these bases was glazed white ceramic, probably porcelain or white stoneware. Colored ones are less frequently seen.  Dipless pens have a shorter body, no lever and  and were intended to be used with bases that you could fill with ink.  


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#14 Lirleni

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Posted 18 September 2013 - 03:11

Hmmm...

I may go back to the antique mall I saw them in, and look at them closer. I was looking more at the pen itself, and didn't look at the inkwells at all. (so was confused with no filling mechanism...)

 

Pricing ranged from $11 - $15. Is that fair pricing?

 

What I would be using it for would be at work, mostly signing letters and doing notary work. Notes and phone messages.

What is the volume of the inkwell of the dipless pen inkwell?

 

Thanks!!

 

Dipless sets are great and you will find others like myself who think the same. A search on this forum will turn up other threads with details including pictures of a 444 set disassembled. They do experience some evaporation (the pen doesn't make an air tight seal in the holder). A little water can be added about once a month. Distilled water is best.

 

One user put bay state blue in his 444 well. Staining isn't an issue in a 444 set and because only the nib & feed touch the ink, the pen holder isn't likely to stain either.

 

One cautionary tale: I experimented with ink (including food coloring and vintage inks that had lost their color and tap water) and then didn't open the well for 5 or 6 months. It was a rather interesting sight when I finally lifted the lid. But it has cleaned up fully and is waiting its turn to be used again.

 

"Try it, you'll like it" :)



#15 ANM

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Posted 18 September 2013 - 03:49

The glass dome inkwell holds about 2 ounces and the flat one holds about 1 1/2 ounces.  A bottle of Pelikan 4001 ink holds 1 ounce.  An old fashioned bottle of Sheaffer Skrip ink- holds two ounces.

 

Fortunately Esterbrook desk pens are not overpriced (most of the time).  $11- $15 is reasonable. 

 

PS I estimate a dip less pen will write at somewhere around a page and a half without re-dipping. Your milage may vary. :)

 

DSCN0721_zps1242803d.jpg


Edited by ANM, 18 September 2013 - 03:54.

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#16 Chiro75

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Posted 19 September 2013 - 21:04

My favorite Esterbrook is my double 444 (not sure what it's really called) desk set. Don't really write enough to keep it fed and watered though.


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#17 Willowandme

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Posted 22 September 2013 - 01:36

I have fallen in love with the 444. It does write for a very long time. I would like to get a double, too. I did buy a desk fountain pen with base, but I still like the idea of the dipless. No "filling" but it's not very portable....

#18 pajaro

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Posted 22 September 2013 - 03:06

I have the double.  My wife has put a Cross desk ballpoint and a Parker Jotter desk ballpoint pen in it.  :( 

 

You have to pick your battles.

 

I have another pen coming Monday.  My 65th birthday.  Another NOS Sonnet fine.  Yet another black one.

 

I am not crazy about black pens.  Parts pen.  With Sonnets, most of them are parts pens. :D 


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#19 Ernst Bitterman

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Posted 23 September 2013 - 15:47

On the evaporation front-- I use a 444 for red ink at my day job, as I use that colour so infrequently it gums up a FP.  In an extremely dry environment (particularly in the winter), I find I get about a year of use out of a fill, writing as many as fifty words in a week.


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#20 fncll

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Posted 26 September 2013 - 00:33

Do Esterbrook desk pens with feeds (which might just mean the Dip-less models?) use the same nib units as "regular" Esterbrook pens?



#21 JonSzanto

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Posted 26 September 2013 - 01:58

Do Esterbrook desk pens with feeds (which might just mean the Dip-less models?) use the same nib units as "regular" Esterbrook pens?

 

I happened to answer this when I saw it over on FPG about an hour ago...


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#22 ANM

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Posted 26 September 2013 - 15:05

Do Esterbrook desk pens with feeds (which might just mean the Dip-less models?) use the same nib units as "regular" Esterbrook pens?

I am not sure exactly what your question is.  There are desk pen that have ink sacs and levers and fill just like a pocket pen and use the same nibs.  Those same nibs will fit on a dip less pen as well.  They originally came with a nib and feed without any channel to the inside of the pen because there was nothing inside, but the regular nibs will fit and work just fine.  I hope that answers your question. 


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#23 fncll

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Posted 26 September 2013 - 15:35

Let me put it this way: Esterbrook made a lot of desk pen sets. Mu understanding of the "Dip-Less" lines it that they are distinguished by having a nib and feed. So, my question has/had two parts, one perhaps not explicit enough:

 

1) Are all Esterbrook desk pens with feeds from the "Dip-Less" line or are there other desk pens with feeds that are not?

 

2) For those Esterbrook desk pens that do have feeds, do they have the same interchangeable nib *units* that my J, SJ, etc fountain pens do?

 

I'm not asking about desk pens or other dip pens without feeds...

 

Based on Jon's answer in the other forum, it would seem that most of the time, the answer to #2 is YES.



#24 fncll

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Posted 26 September 2013 - 15:37

 

 

I'm pretty sure this was unintentional...I asked the exact same question in the other forum (since the audiences don't overlap entirely) so I suspect Jon was basically meaning to give me a heads-up...and I'd know where it was, since I posted the question. Unintentional, I'm sure.

 

Here's the link to his answer: http://fpgeeks.com/f...-same-nib-units



#25 ANM

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Posted 26 September 2013 - 18:36

All nibs made for the dip less models and the ones made for pens with ink sacs have feeds.  All are interchangeable on the dip less pen.  On the other hand, you can't use a dip less nib in a pocket fountain pen  or desk fountain pen because the ink from the sac can't get to the nib, but it will screw in.

 

 

Esterbrook did made dip nibs  without feeds but they don't fit either the dip less or fountain pen models.


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#26 Willowandme

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Posted 27 September 2013 - 13:35

so ANM, what you are saying is that I can't switch out the nib on my dipless and put it in a regular fountain pen?  If it's a 9556 or whatever, I thought those were all interchangeable no matter what pen they were put on.  I thought that was the whole point of them.  I haven't done that yet, but I am waiting for a couple of nibs that I think I would like better than the 9556 that is currently in my dip-less.

 

Thanks.

 

My only problem with dip-less is that I  like them so much if I bought more they would just take up more and more space on my desk.  :o)



#27 ANM

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Posted 27 September 2013 - 14:09

Sorry for any confusion.  A 9556 nib unit is made for a fountain pen but will screw into and work on both a fountain pen and a Dip Less unit.  It is the other way around that won't work. A nib made just for Dip Less pens will screw into an Esterbrook fountain pen but it has no way to accept ink from the ink sac so it won't work on a fountain pen unless you keep dipping it in a bottle of ink or ink well.


Edited by ANM, 27 September 2013 - 14:15.

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#28 Willowandme

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Posted 27 September 2013 - 17:27

Gotcha. Thanks.

#29 johnmc2

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Posted 27 September 2013 - 19:07

I've developed a fondness for Esterbrook dip-less pens lately and I picked this double set up a few weeks ago.  I just need another red "tail".

I'm curious to know the reason for the "spiral" effect when you look down the tail at an angle, anyone know?

IMG_0890.JPG



#30 Willowandme

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Posted 27 September 2013 - 19:28

I am guessing that it might have something to do with the threads as (at least the ones I have) the clear portion screws onto the black part.  The plastic (resin?) probably magnifies it.  I could be wrong though.

 

Very cool set, too.


Edited by Willowandme, 27 September 2013 - 19:28.