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Safe Removal Of Noodler's Black Ink Stain From Visconti Opera Master Crystal

visconti demonstrator stain

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#1 Nibbage

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Posted 19 April 2014 - 21:26

Hello Fountain Pen Network,

 

My Visconti Opera Master Crystal has been stained by my favorite black ink, Noodler's Black.  The stain is cosmetic only and does not affect the beautiful performance of this wonderful fountain pen.  I have tried several recommended safe methods of removing the stain.  The stain location is within the demonstrator ink reservoir.  The heaviest stain is located behind the piston and along the etched lines.  The flushing and soaking has helped very little.  The stain does seem a shade lighter and I am able to see a metal ring more clearly.  I am open to any and all safe suggestions.  Noodler's Black has been the only ink used in this pen.  I have only owned this pen for a couple of months.  The ink has never dried in the pen.  The ink may have attached itself to some soap residue.  My second bottle of Noodler's Black may be old stock.  I now use Waterman Serenity Blue in this fountain pen.  Maybe, given enough time, the black stain will fade away.  The methods I have tried are listed below.

 

I have tried overnight soakings with the following:  

     1. Distilled Water

     2. Goulet Pen Flush

     3. Mix of 10% Household Bleach & 90% Distilled Water

     4) Dawn & Distilled Water.

 

Methods I contemplate using:

     1.  Purchasing an Ultrasonic Cleaner

     2.  Sending the pen to Visconti for cleaning

     3.  Selling this pen to someone who does not mind the stain and purchasing a new one (last option only)

 

Thank you for your support.

 

The following pictures represent the current status of the stain for Saturday, April 19th:

 

 

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Edited by Nibbage, 19 April 2014 - 23:52.


#2 Waski_the_Squirrel

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Posted 20 April 2014 - 00:09

 From the location of the stain, I would guess that it is caught in the lubricant used on the piston.

 

I own a Pilot Custom 823. When I bought it, it came with blue ink. I hate blue ink, but I had the pen delivered at work because the post office here is so miserable about picking up packages: I work when they're open, so I sometimes have to wait weeks to pick up a package. So, being impatient, I inked the thing up with Pilot Blue ink, even though I don't like blue.

 

I blew through that refill in just a few days, and then tried to clean the pen out so I could put in my preferred black ink (Noodler's, as it happens). I could not get the blue out in the parts where you can't get the black out. So, I just filled it. It took a few fills, but eventually the blue disappeared.

 

The trouble is, the lubricant has to be waterproof, so all the cleaning methods you mentioned won't touch it. With my TWSBI Vac 700, I felt safe taking the pen apart, cleaning these areas with a Q-tip, relubricating it, and putting it back together. With a more expensive pen like the Pilot I did not feel safe doing this.

 

I'm not familiar with Visconti pens. I considered one this winter, but talked myself out of it. So, I can't tell you if the pen can be taken apart or how to do so. But, I really do think it's the lubricant. Noodler's Black is a very "safe" ink, unless it gets on paper or clothing.


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#3 Russ

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Posted 20 April 2014 - 03:03

I had staining in the ink window of my Opera (Amber).  Someone suggested using Noodler's American Blue, based on their random experience.  I ran it through the pen, and after a week or so the stain came out.  Your stain is more severe, and in a different area.  Just sharing an oddity -- that one ink removed a stain caused by another.



#4 Nibbage

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Posted 20 April 2014 - 03:05

Thank you Waski_the_Squirrel.  I very much appreciate your time and evaluation of my issue.  I hope you are right.  I really like Noodler's Black,  Noodler's Black is my personal favorite and so is the Visconti Opera Master Crystal.  To physically reach the area behind the piston would require the removal of the large bolt.  I am concerned that doing so would compromise the integrity of the seal or possibly crack the celluloid barrel.  Removing the large bolt seems the only access to allow for a thorough cleaning.  Being that this fountain pen incorporates a vacuum filling system, I would surmise that the larger ink resevoir has been hermetically sealed, I will leave that alone. The pen is too expensive.  I would think there would be a safe product that could remove the Ink.  If the ink has mixed with the lubricant, it seems the only way to remove the color is to remove and replace the lubricant.  Thank you again.



#5 Nibbage

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Posted 20 April 2014 - 03:48

Hello Russ.  That does seem odd that one ink would completely remove another ink's stain.  I am guessing the original ink is Pelikan Edelstein Amber.  What size is the ink window on your Opera?  Since the original stain was removed, have you inked your Opera with Amber?  If so, what were the results?  Thank you Russ.  If Noodler's American Blue would work in my situation, it would be an inexpensive repair.  Thank you for sharing.



#6 Nibbage

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Posted 20 April 2014 - 17:30

Hello Russ.  I did a search for Noodler's American Blue.  I found Noodler's Blue.  I also found Noodler's Blue Eel, a lubricated ink for piston-fillers, also referred to as American Blue Eel.  The only ink I found using "American Blue," in the name, is made by Private Reserve.  Was the suggested ink Noodler's Blue?  Since Noodler's inks country of origin is America, the association of "American" with "Noodler's can become synonymous, with reference to their products.  I wonder if a lubricated ink, over time, could clean out the trapped color.  Thank you again.



#7 Dr.Grace

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Posted 20 April 2014 - 19:07

With bulletproof Noodler's inks, I've only had success by disassembling the pen and wiping with a cotton swab and/or ultrasonic cleaning. It seems like the particulate residue that builds up over time just doesn't come out, even with Rapido-Eze, my go-to pen flush. 


These are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; he that stands it now, deserves the love of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives everything its value. --Thomas Paine, "The American Crisis", 1776

#8 Nibbage

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Posted 21 April 2014 - 00:58

Thank you for the information Dr. Grace.  That is not what I was hoping to hear.  Will an ultrasonic cleaner be effective and safe in the removal of the deposit?  If so, it will allow for a more diverse selection of usable inks in this fountain pen.  Will an ultrasonic cleaner work if the fountain pen cannot be completely disassembled?  I will not remove the large rear bolt, for fear of compromising the seal.  The nib, feed, and feed tube can all easily be removed.  This allows for a nice opening through the first reservoir to the second, larger, storage resevoir and piston.  The piston can be moved into a position that will allow water to move through a narrow passage past the piston all the way to the large bolt at the end.  Will an ultrasonic cleaner work in this situation?  Thank you.


Edited by Nibbage, 21 April 2014 - 02:09.


#9 Dr.Grace

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Posted 21 April 2014 - 04:55

You could try it and let us know. I only started using an ultrasonic cleaner a few months ago and have not tried something like this.
These are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; he that stands it now, deserves the love of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives everything its value. --Thomas Paine, "The American Crisis", 1776

#10 Nibbage

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Posted 21 April 2014 - 16:43

In several posts, I have read that a celloid pen should not be used in an ultrasonic cleaner.  Has anyone tried this?  If so, I am curious of the results.  Thank you.


Edited by Nibbage, 21 April 2014 - 20:19.


#11 Nibbage

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Posted 18 May 2014 - 01:56

Hallelujah!  The stain is gone, thanks to a new 95563 Chicago Digital Ultrasonic Cleaner from Harbour Freight.  With sale price and coupons, the unit totaled $66.60 out the door.  Using distilled water only and the heat setting turned off, the Noodler's Black Ink immediately began breaking up and removing itself from the Visconti Opera Master Crystal.  I used the 180 second timed setting.  I repeated the process, with the piston moved to a different position.  As the pictures show, the result is amazing.  The Ultrasonic Cleaner also removed hidden ink from within the Visconti Snorkel (Mosquito) Filler.  If used properly, this is an excellent device for cleaning fountain pens that are compatible to this cleaning process.

 

I hope this has been helpful.  

 

 

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#12 gerigo

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Posted 18 May 2014 - 02:04

You are very lucky to have removed the stain. I also have the same pen, which I bought very early on when I started collecting. In my ignorance, I filled the pen with Noodler's  Rome is burning. To my horror, the barrel has been stained a light purple tinge. After lots of reading together with a a now much clearer understanding of pens, and unique inks, I have come to the conclusion that it's because Noodler's RIB is a bullet proof ink, and the Visconti Opera Crystal is a cotton based celluloid. The stain is probably not removable. :(



#13 George

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Posted 18 May 2014 - 02:13

Why do you believe that the Opera Crystal pen is made of celluloid?



#14 Algester

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Posted 18 May 2014 - 02:23

Clear Showcase Resin says on Visconti's website... I have no other idea what that means... Resin is soo... diverse

#15 Nibbage

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Posted 18 May 2014 - 05:46

I asked Bryant Greer of PenTime that same question.  I too thought the Visconti Opera Master Crystal was made of Celluloid or Acryloid.  Bryant assured me that it was Resin.  This was the same answer given by Coles of London.  I proceeded to use the Ultrasonic Cleaner, to remove the stain.  As the pictures indicate, the Ultrasonic Cleaner did not damage the Visconti Opera Master Crystal.  I would like to thank Bryant of PenTime and Coles of London for the excellent service I have received, with regard to Visconti products.

 

Gerigo, the stain I had was also from a Noodler's Bullet Proof and Eternal Ink.  It was not a red or purple.  I understand those colors may have a greater potential for staining.  An Ultrasonic Cleaner may be the answer to a clean Visconti Opera Master Crystal.  Within seconds, the Ultrasonic Cleaner began removing the black ink residue.  It was clean within three minutes.  I still believe Noodler's Black is a fantastic black ink.  But in the future, in the Visconti Opera Master Crystal, I will be using inks that are less saturated in color and completely washable with water.  I am currently using Waterman Ink.  From information I have gathered, Waterman ink seems to be the Gold Standard, for a safe fountain pen ink.

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Edited by Nibbage, 18 May 2014 - 05:46.


#16 KBeezie

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Posted 18 May 2014 - 06:06

I wonder if anyone has ever suffered the same issue with Noodler's Black Eel. For whatever reason the lubricant in it doesn't seem to leave behind staining like some of my other inks. But I rarely notice because I only have two Piston pens, and the one I use noodler's black eel with isn't a demonstrator, but now I'm curious. 



#17 Nibbage

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Posted 18 May 2014 - 12:21

I believe all inks, given enough time, will leave behind residue.  Frequent and thorough cleanings reduce that accumulation.  Unfortunately, many of our fountain pen parts are not accessible for thorough cleaning, such as the Visconti Opera Master Crystal.  That is where the beauty of an Ultrasonic Cleaner shines.  Even disassembled and cleaned parts may contain ink residue that has been consistently missed.  I found this to be true, while using the Ultrasonic Cleaner, with various fountain pens in my collection.



#18 superglueshoe

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Posted 19 May 2014 - 02:07

Noodlers black leaves behind a of black film on most pens. Its not really a stain - more like a coating. It usually disappears by itself (Albeit after many many fills of different ink). Its harmless but ugly. Especially in demostraters.

#19 Komitadjie

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Posted 19 May 2014 - 03:17

Ain't ultrasonic cleaning awesome?  We use it at work all the time, and here just a couple weeks ago I ended up with one at home myself!  I've used it on a Parker 51 already, plus a Lamy that had a bunch of gunk in it, and in both cases it just BLASTED that crud out!  :)

 

That's some good work there, man, and a beautiful pen!



#20 Nibbage

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Posted 19 May 2014 - 03:44

Thanks superglueshoe.  Yes, ugly in demonstrators.  The Ultrasonic Cleaner helped it disappear much quicker.

 

I agree Komitadjie, Ultrasonic Cleaning is awesome!  Thank you for the compliments.



#21 Algester

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Posted 19 May 2014 - 04:10

question remains how will you lubricate your pen now.... does it even need to be lubricated?

#22 EclecticCollector

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Posted 19 May 2014 - 06:20

question remains how will you lubricate your pen now.... does it even need to be lubricated?

I'm curious about this too, if the ink really was in the lubricant, that means the lubricant is now "cleaned" out also... doesn't it?



#23 Nibbage

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Posted 19 May 2014 - 11:03

Before using the Ultrasonic Cleaner, this too was a question on my mind.  The lubricant has remained.  It may have been slightly displaced.  A light haze remains, within the barrel; an indication the lubricant is there.  Piston movement is very smooth.  I found no noticeable difference.  If needed, lubricant can be applied to the inside wall of the barrel and on the piston rod.  I am very pleased with the results.

 

Three times, I ran the Visconti Opera Master Crystal through a three minute cycle.  The first cycle cleaned off the residue very quickly.  The second cycle, I repositioned the piston, to remove the residue from the side of the piston head and the wall of the barrel, where the piston was resting.  The third cycle, I repositioned the piston all the way to the end.  With a total of nine minutes cleaning, the lubricant has remained.  Only distilled water was used for cleaning.  The lubricant is waterproof.  In the process, the lubricant was cleaned.


Edited by Nibbage, 20 May 2014 - 02:19.


#24 Algester

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Posted 20 May 2014 - 03:50

well as long as you are a happy camper then its good with us

#25 Nibbage

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Posted 20 May 2014 - 15:08

Thank you Algester.