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Can I store open cartridges?


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#1 wallacdw

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Posted 28 November 2007 - 15:49

I have just entered the world of fountain pens and own a single Levenger True Writer, medium nib. I came with a black cartridge plus a converter, and I purchased a bottle of cobalt blue and packs of red and green cartridges (the long ones). So I've got plenty of ink to start, but only one pen.

So the question is, can I change colors before running out a cartridge?

Obviously, I can change the cartridge (or put in the converter), but would I then lose whatever ink is left in the half-used cartridge? Is there a good way to store open cartridges?

On a related note, when switching inks, do they blend for a bit initially until the first ink is washed out of the nib? Or should I wash out the nib before putting on the new cartridge? If so, how would I do that?

Basic questions, I'm sure, but with a total of 2 weeks of fountain pen experience, all with the first black cartridge installed (with which I am becoming bored, hence the switching question), I find my ignorance to be significant. Thanks for your help!

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#2 kissing

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Posted 28 November 2007 - 16:08

Hello biggrin.gif Welcome to Fountain Pen Network.

There have been topics in the past discussing whether there are ways to store opened cartridges. We came up with all sorts of ideas, ranging from candle wax to highly sophisticated wrapping plastic used to seal test tubes unsure.gif I think the general conclusion was that it's not really worth going through the trouble of re-sealing cartridges to save a couple of millilitres of ink...

So what I would do is, try use up the existing cartridge before moving onto a different colour, or just discard the cartridge and not worry about it.

Oh yes, and it is recommended that you flush the pen out with water thoroughly when changing colours. Otherwise you might get a yucky, mixture of colours coming out of your nib (unless you actually wanted this effect. But it is also important to note that in occasional cases, different inks have chemical reactions with each other and clog).

Using a converter to draw up water, and out again continuously is a good way of cleaning out the nib. If you wish to get rid of the water in the nib from cleaning, you could wrap the nib in some tissue and flick several times to try get the water out by centrifugal force biggrin.gif

If you have a converter, and some bottled ink handy - I really think using the bottled ink is the way to go. Otherwise, use your cartridges up first, then go to bottled ink. Remember, you can buy all your colours in bottled form too.

Edited by kissing, 28 November 2007 - 16:10.


#3 OldGriz

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Posted 28 November 2007 - 16:10

QUOTE(wallacdw @ Nov 28 2007, 10:49 AM) View Post
I have just entered the world of fountain pens and own a single Levenger True Writer, medium nib. I came with a black cartridge plus a converter, and I purchased a bottle of cobalt blue and packs of red and green cartridges (the long ones). So I've got plenty of ink to start, but only one pen.

So the question is, can I change colors before running out a cartridge?

Obviously, I can change the cartridge (or put in the converter), but would I then lose whatever ink is left in the half-used cartridge? Is there a good way to store open cartridges?

On a related note, when switching inks, do they blend for a bit initially until the first ink is washed out of the nib? Or should I wash out the nib before putting on the new cartridge? If so, how would I do that?

Basic questions, I'm sure, but with a total of 2 weeks of fountain pen experience, all with the first black cartridge installed (with which I am becoming bored, hence the switching question), I find my ignorance to be significant. Thanks for your help!

--David


OK, let's start with the ink color change.... I would suggest flushing out the old color by using an ear syringe (like they use for babies) to flush out the section and feed of the old color ink. Use clear COOL water until it runs clear... just fill the syringe and put the end into the back of the section and flush, but not aggressively... after it runs clear blow it out with some air in the syringe and dry it off and put in a new cart...

As for keeping open cartridges, I have no doubt it could be done, but is it really worth the effort when ink is so inexpensive. On top of that if not sealed properly the ink is going to thicken and cause problems...

Of course this is only my take on the situation... others will most likely have different answers.
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#4 limesally

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Posted 28 November 2007 - 16:16

When I was a kid playing with my Sheaffer calligraphy pen and I wanted to change colours, I did in fact take out the half used cartridges and store them - I'd seal off the ends with plasti-tack - you know, that white or blue stuff you use for sticking posters on walls.

I don't necessarily recommend it, but it did work, and there was nobody around to tell me not to smile.gif
I actually think the suggestion upthread is pretty good - that weird film used for sealing off test tubes, petri dishes is called Parafilm, and it might work a bit better.

I'm pretty sure I wouldn't do it now, I'd be afraid of residual tacky stuff gucking up the nipple or whatever. But you know, a kid with a Sheaffer cartridge pen is fearless laugh.gif

eta: I'm also one of those people that actually kind of likes the effect of inks blending as they change, so I don't always rinse it out, if I think I'm going to like it. Again, as a kid, I'd do this often just to watch the effect. I've since learned from reading this forum that some inks will gunk up and clog upon blending, which has not happened to me yet, but it's good to be aware of the possibility.

Edited by limesally, 28 November 2007 - 16:19.


#5 greencobra

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Posted 28 November 2007 - 16:20

As for storing open cartridges, someone suggested not too long ago that they had good luck sealing the open end with packing tape, you know the stuff you buy to seal up packages to mail. I don't know how long that would keep the ink usable but I'm also in that school of thought that cardtridges are cheap enough to just toss and maybe save yourself an issue later. Whatever works I guess. smile.gif
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#6 Shangas

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Posted 28 November 2007 - 16:23

Your pen has a converter, right?

Cartridge-ink is no different from bottled-ink. Do what I did.

In some restaurants/hotels, they serve you jam (jelly, in the US), in little glass jars with metal screw-lids. If you can find a couple of those, wash them thoroughly. Once clean, you can just split the half-used cartridge open, and drip the ink into the little jar. Screw it on tight and store away from light, heat and moisture like you do with all bottled ink. This is not harmful at all. I know, because I've done it to about a dozen of my old Parker & Sheaffer cartridges with no ill-effects. The jar of ink is on my desk right now and it's just fine, thank you.
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#7 framebaer

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Posted 29 November 2007 - 15:19

Here's an easy trick.

Use a rubber ink sac to cover the open cartridge. I forget the size. It might be a 16 or so. Just pull the sac over the cartridge until it is tight against the open end. The cartridge will eventually dry out but they will last quite a while and they won't leak if you use a tight fit!
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#8 Pariah Zero

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Posted 01 December 2007 - 05:49

QUOTE(Shangas @ Nov 28 2007, 09:23 AM) View Post
Your pen has a converter, right?

Cartridge-ink is no different from bottled-ink. Do what I did.

In some restaurants/hotels, they serve you jam (jelly, in the US), in little glass jars with metal screw-lids. If you can find a couple of those, wash them thoroughly. Once clean, you can just split the half-used cartridge open, and drip the ink into the little jar. Screw it on tight and store away from light, heat and moisture like you do with all bottled ink. This is not harmful at all. I know, because I've done it to about a dozen of my old Parker & Sheaffer cartridges with no ill-effects. The jar of ink is on my desk right now and it's just fine, thank you.


You do realize they don't put jam in little jars like that anymore, right? Now it's in a little disposable plastic tub with a piece of foil glued to the top. Much like a container of barbeque sauce at mcdonalds.

#9 nimrod

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Posted 01 December 2007 - 21:07

QUOTE(Pariah Zero @ Dec 1 2007, 12:49 AM) View Post
alize they don't put jam in little jars like that anymore, right? Now it's in a little disposable plastic tub with a piece of foil glued to the top. Much like a container of barbeque sauce at mcdonalds.

I still see the glass ones at times.

#10 Dillo

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Posted 01 December 2007 - 21:27

QUOTE(Shangas @ Nov 28 2007, 11:23 AM) View Post
Your pen has a converter, right?

Cartridge-ink is no different from bottled-ink. Do what I did.

In some restaurants/hotels, they serve you jam (jelly, in the US), in little glass jars with metal screw-lids. If you can find a couple of those, wash them thoroughly. Once clean, you can just split the half-used cartridge open, and drip the ink into the little jar. Screw it on tight and store away from light, heat and moisture like you do with all bottled ink. This is not harmful at all. I know, because I've done it to about a dozen of my old Parker & Sheaffer cartridges with no ill-effects. The jar of ink is on my desk right now and it's just fine, thank you.


Hi,

Cartridge ink and bottled ink are not always of the same formulation even if they have the same name. Sometime there are certain additives that make the ink more suitable for cartridges, and sometime, the cartridges have different colors than the bottles.

You can store open cartridges with Para-film. I've also had good results with soft beeswax.

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#11 Shangas

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Posted 02 December 2007 - 01:23

Is that so, Pariah? Strange. I've never seen that. I always seem to remember little glass jars with metal caps.
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#12 elalan

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Posted 02 December 2007 - 01:48

Duct tape is the answer to most things. Take a thin strip (1/8-1/4 inch) sticky side out and cover the hole. Another like strip sticky side in to wrap around the barrel of the cartridge. Presto. Should drastically limit evaporation and leave no gunk on the end of the cartridge.