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Cleaning clogged feeds...


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#1 Rapt

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Posted 29 January 2008 - 14:11

Looking for some insight from the more experienced (that would be just about everyone) smile.gif

I've gotten 3 Esterbrook pens that I've been working on as a learning experience... And two of the three seem to have something in the feeds that is HARD and black, and very difficult to remove. Its clearly not water soluble since soaking said nibs for hours/days produces no effect on the hard black crusty stuff.

Have I just been really lucky to get pens that have been used with some inappropriate sort of ink? Is this fairly common? Is there any hope?

I know alcohol is not typically a good idea, but I think the plastic in these can handle it. At least short term, is it worth trying? If the ink used contained shellac which is what is causing the problem then alcohol should dissolve it shouldn't it?

Being Esterbrook Renew points means that I can simply get new ones but I'd rather try to get these working first. They are all 9XXX series nibs.

Thanks.
RAPT
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#2 Ron Z

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Posted 29 January 2008 - 15:06

No alcohol. Ever.

The feeds may be hard rubber, but the collar around the nib and feed is plastic, and may be celluloid. Alcohol can and will disolve celluloid completely given enough time, which is what you are aiming for with a soak.

The pens have most likely been filled or dipped in india ink. The stuff to use is is Koh-I-Noor pen cleaner. A soak in this will gradually break down the india ink. You may have to run a guitar string down the feed channels to knock out the india ink. It'll take time to completely unclog the nibs, but you'll get there - eventually.


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#3 Rapt

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Posted 29 January 2008 - 16:14

Awesome!

Thanks for that prompt response and the clarity of it. smile.gif

I even know where I can buy the Koh-i-noor cleaner... I saw some the other day and wondered what it would be used for. Now I know!


RAPT
Pens:Sailor Mini, Pelikan Grand Place, Stipula Ventidue with Ti Stub nib, Pelikan M605 with Binder Cursive Italic, Stipula Ventidue with Ti M nib, Vintage Pilot Semi-flex, Lamy Vista, Pilot Prera
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#4 Robert

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Posted 29 January 2008 - 20:24

Ron,
For general soaking of dried-out nibs containing regular fountain pen ink, which would be preferable: Koh-I-Noor or the 10% ammonia + few drops of dish soap solution? How long can nib and section be soaked in this stuff?
Thanks.

QUOTE(Ron Z @ Jan 29 2008, 07:06 AM) View Post
No alcohol. Ever.

The feeds may be hard rubber, but the collar around the nib and feed is plastic, and may be celluloid. Alcohol can and will disolve celluloid completely given enough time, which is what you are aiming for with a soak.

The pens have most likely been filled or dipped in india ink. The stuff to use is is Koh-I-Noor pen cleaner. A soak in this will gradually break down the india ink. You may have to run a guitar string down the feed channels to knock out the india ink. It'll take time to completely unclog the nibs, but you'll get there - eventually.



#5 OldGriz

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Posted 29 January 2008 - 20:36

QUOTE(Robert @ Jan 29 2008, 03:24 PM) View Post
Ron,
For general soaking of dried-out nibs containing regular fountain pen ink, which would be preferable: Koh-I-Noor or the 10% ammonia + few drops of dish soap solution? How long can nib and section be soaked in this stuff?
Thanks.

QUOTE(Ron Z @ Jan 29 2008, 07:06 AM) View Post
No alcohol. Ever.

The feeds may be hard rubber, but the collar around the nib and feed is plastic, and may be celluloid. Alcohol can and will disolve celluloid completely given enough time, which is what you are aiming for with a soak.

The pens have most likely been filled or dipped in india ink. The stuff to use is is Koh-I-Noor pen cleaner. A soak in this will gradually break down the india ink. You may have to run a guitar string down the feed channels to knock out the india ink. It'll take time to completely unclog the nibs, but you'll get there - eventually.




NO DISH SOAP AT ALL.... if you want to clean dried ink, try a 10% ammonia solution first.... you might even need to go a bit higher, maybe 15%...
If that does not work try the technical pen cleaner, that stuff is made to clean india ink which is a lot worse than our FP inks ever will be...

Dish Soap can contain chemicals that might be harmful to your pens...especially vintage pens...
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#6 Robert

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Posted 29 January 2008 - 22:33

QUOTE
NO DISH SOAP AT ALL.... if you want to clean dried ink, try a 10% ammonia solution first.... you might even need to go a bit higher, maybe 15%...
If that does not work try the technical pen cleaner, that stuff is made to clean india ink which is a lot worse than our FP inks ever will be...

Dish Soap can contain chemicals that might be harmful to your pens...especially vintage pens...


Thanks for the cautionary note. I had been adding a few drops of Dawn when mixing up a large batch of 10% ammonia solution but I'll toss the rest of that. For vintage celluloid pens I had been confining myself to water, even if it takes a while. Some of them have survived 80 years, and I'd hate to be the klutz that hastened their demise.

(edited so that your quote shows up as a quote)

Edited by Ron Z, 29 January 2008 - 22:57.


#7 Rapt

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Posted 04 February 2008 - 13:30

Got a chance to try the Koh-i-Noor cleaner... Its great stuff....

So far the hard stuff is coming loose well. Based on current rate of progress I should be well on my way tonight.


RAPT
Pens:Sailor Mini, Pelikan Grand Place, Stipula Ventidue with Ti Stub nib, Pelikan M605 with Binder Cursive Italic, Stipula Ventidue with Ti M nib, Vintage Pilot Semi-flex, Lamy Vista, Pilot Prera
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#8 Paddler

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Posted 04 February 2008 - 15:21

QUOTE(Rapt @ Jan 29 2008, 09:11 AM) View Post
Have I just been really lucky to get pens that have been used with some inappropriate sort of ink? Is this fairly common? Is there any hope?


Unfortunately, use with inappropriate ink is very common. Do what Ron advises. The Koh-I-Noor solvent works best when the feed channel is not completely blocked. I think the feed channel in an Esterbrook nib assy. goes straight through from the back, all the way to the slit in the nib. In that case, a .009" or .010" guitar string can be used to rod the channel out more quickly. If you are working with a Sheaffer Prelude or a TipDip pen, where the feed goes around a corner, you are hurtin' for certain.

Also, if the channel is not completely blocked, Parker's blue black Quink will sometimes clean it out. However, you have to write with the pen every day or so for many months to make any progress. Most people don't have that much patience.

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#9 Ron Z

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Posted 04 February 2008 - 15:33

QUOTE
If you are working with a Sheaffer Prelude or a TipDip pen, where the feed goes around a corner, you are hurtin' for certain.


The Prelude nib and feed pull straight out. It's a snug fit, but they can be pulled out of necessary.


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#10 Rapt

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Posted 04 February 2008 - 15:34

I just happen to have some guitar strings around... I may apply them as well.


RAPT
Pens:Sailor Mini, Pelikan Grand Place, Stipula Ventidue with Ti Stub nib, Pelikan M605 with Binder Cursive Italic, Stipula Ventidue with Ti M nib, Vintage Pilot Semi-flex, Lamy Vista, Pilot Prera
For Sale:
Saving for: Edison Pearl
In my dreams: Nakaya Piccolo, custom colour/pattern
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#11 SMG

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Posted 04 February 2008 - 18:30

Hey Rapt, where did you find the cleaner?? I should probably get some.

Cheers,
Sean
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#12 Ernst Bitterman

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Posted 04 February 2008 - 18:42

In general, look at "drafting supplies" in the phone book. I've never used the Koh-I-Noor, but as the offspring of an architect, I spent much of my life surrounded by the stuff.
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#13 SMG

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Posted 04 February 2008 - 18:44

Yeah we used to have some when I was a draftsman in a former profession. I am interested though as to which store Rapt got it at as he is near me and the same chain may be in town.

Cheers,
Sean
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#14 Gerry

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Posted 05 February 2008 - 05:51

I got mine at Wallacks in Ottawa - an art supply store...well it covers a lot of territory, pens, ink, artists supply, drafting materials, framing etc. etc.

Regards,

Gerry

#15 Robert

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Posted 05 February 2008 - 06:32

The Koh-i-noor cleaner is available from several places online. Here's one.

#16 Rapt

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Posted 05 February 2008 - 13:50

QUOTE(SMG @ Feb 4 2008, 01:44 PM) View Post
Yeah we used to have some when I was a draftsman in a former profession. I am interested though as to which store Rapt got it at as he is near me and the same chain may be in town.

Cheers,
Sean


I got mine at Wallack's also (in Kingston). They are a local chain of art/drafting supply stores, mainly Kingston and Ottawa.

http://www.wallacks.com/

Hope this helps. It was about $15 for a bottle.

RAPT
Pens:Sailor Mini, Pelikan Grand Place, Stipula Ventidue with Ti Stub nib, Pelikan M605 with Binder Cursive Italic, Stipula Ventidue with Ti M nib, Vintage Pilot Semi-flex, Lamy Vista, Pilot Prera
For Sale:
Saving for: Edison Pearl
In my dreams: Nakaya Piccolo, custom colour/pattern
In transit:

#17 Rapt

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Posted 18 February 2008 - 17:36

Update, the nib is still clogged, after soaking all this time... The ooze turns black around the nib breather hole while it soaks....

I guess I'm going to be trying to "floss" the feed channels next... yikes.gif
RAPT
Pens:Sailor Mini, Pelikan Grand Place, Stipula Ventidue with Ti Stub nib, Pelikan M605 with Binder Cursive Italic, Stipula Ventidue with Ti M nib, Vintage Pilot Semi-flex, Lamy Vista, Pilot Prera
For Sale:
Saving for: Edison Pearl
In my dreams: Nakaya Piccolo, custom colour/pattern
In transit:

#18 hazelmorse

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Posted 14 May 2009 - 17:44

I might be having the same problem w/ my Estie DJ w/ 1555 nib. I know it's a fine firm, but the ink will not flow. Well, sometimes it does for a sentence or two - then...scratchy, scratchy (I hate that)!

I had Parker blue-black quink in her.

I soaked the nib & feed in cool water - looks clean - but maybe there's something I'm missing. Should I try the gentle ammonia bath? What about the guitar string?

Checked the sac - looks good - although may be loose, I mean not secure to the nib section. But I don't see evidence of leaking. I need to check it again. But I was up until 500 a.m. w/ her, so she's time-out in pen case for naughty pens. Could this cause feed issues?

Or, tines are too close. Is there a safe way for someone (gulp) to gently open the tines a bit?

Counting down what might be wrong, what's the order of priority? Sorry for all the questions on one post, but one leads to another. Also, she's a little beauty and I'd love to have her in my regular rotation, but too tempermental at this point.

Thanks!


#19 gyrosan

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Posted 15 May 2009 - 12:06

Have you tried ultrasonic bath for cleaning the feed? Ultrasonic cleaner works miracles for me. Nib - feed assembly goes through a three cycle of 2 minutes and I use only water at room temperature.

Kind regards,
gyrosan