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Filling a Jinhao X450


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#1 Ghosofat

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Posted 03 November 2009 - 20:48

So my wife bought this Chinese pen in India, and I like it a lot. But I found that the filling mechanism is different from what I'm used to in old U.S. made pens. I don't think I'm filling it up correctly.

I find that when I fill it up (unscrewing the fill-up valve it with the pen dipped in ink), ink goes only a small distance into the reservoir.

It writes fine, but if not used for a few days it seems to dry up completely, even with ink in the reservoir. It helps to screw down the valve to push ink into the nib, but this is messy, believe you me.

So, question is, what am I doing wrong?

Edited by Ghosofat, 03 November 2009 - 20:50.


#2 Chthulhu

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Posted 03 November 2009 - 21:00

Try this: run the piston down to the end of its travel toward the nib. Immerse the nib and the front end of the section in the ink. Run the piston as far back the other way as it will go, drawing up ink, then back down toward the nib a turn or two. Take the pen out of the ink and turn it nib upward. Turn the piston all the way back away from the nib to draw air into the converter. Give it a couple of taps to get all the ink down against the piston. Now, with the nib still upward, slowly turn the piston back toward the nib to get all that air out. Keep turning until ink (not just bubbles) starts to load up on the feed. Now put the nib back into the ink and turn the piston back the other way completely to fill it with ink. Take the pen out of the ink and clean the nib and section, and soak just a little ink out of the feed.

That method always lets me get the most ink into a piston-converter-filled pen.
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#3 Ghosofat

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Posted 03 November 2009 - 22:31

OK, I tried that. Let's see if that rectifies the problem. Oh, I was getting ink in the pen, but the nib was not staying wet. My old Sheaffer, even with a cracked barrel, is always ready to go.

That piston arrangement leaves me a bit cold. What would've been wrong with a lever?

#4 dogpoet

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Posted 03 November 2009 - 22:57

I think it's a standardisation thing. Most of the chinese pens that are being made at the moment are cartridge converters (apart from the Heros, I've seen precisely one JInhaa and a couple of Huayiboas that aren't), and it probably saves a lot on tooling costs as well as making it easier to replace lost converters.

#5 Silvermink

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Posted 03 November 2009 - 22:59

I find that when I fill it up (unscrewing the fill-up valve it with the pen dipped in ink), ink goes only a small distance into the reservoir.


I usually dip the pen in with the piston up, then cycle it down and up (sometimes a couple of times) to get all the air out. Dipping it with the piston down and then just cycling it up doesn't work very well because you're trapping the air that was in the feed between the piston and the ink.

It writes fine, but if not used for a few days it seems to dry up completely, even with ink in the reservoir. It helps to screw down the valve to push ink into the nib, but this is messy, believe you me.

So, question is, what am I doing wrong?


Nothing - I have the same problem with my X450 and I'm pretty sure it's just a design flaw. The cap doesn't seal sufficiently to keep the nib from drying out. It's one of the main reasons (the other one being weight/balance) that I don't use mine more often. Wiping it a bit with a wet paper towel is my preferred method for getting it going again, but it's a pain so I prefer to use pens that don't dry out so quickly.

Edited by Silvermink, 03 November 2009 - 23:05.

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#6 Ghosofat

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Posted 03 November 2009 - 23:19

Too bad. It's a nice pen otherwise.

But you know, and I hate to be chauvinistic about this, this shows the superiority of our old-fashioned American-made pens. I have an Estie that I keep at a country house. Sometimes two weeks may go by between uses. It always writes! That pen is a half-century old.

#7 dogpoet

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Posted 04 November 2009 - 00:12

True, and that's why it's still in working condition: they still made stuff to last in the '50s.

#8 Ghosofat

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Posted 04 November 2009 - 20:21

True, and that's why it's still in working condition: they still made stuff to last in the '50s.

Not just the fifties. I found a really old pen, not sure if it belonged to my father or my mother, from the 1920s--a Parker Lucky Curve. Yup, still writes.

One of my Esties still had its original rubber sac. I replaced it, but I'm not sure I needed to.

#9 dogpoet

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Posted 05 November 2009 - 13:30

Cool. I think lucky curves are very desirable, aren't they?

#10 Ghosofat

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Posted 05 November 2009 - 14:59

Yes, I lucked out with that one. If my parents were alive I'd thank them for making such a good pen investment when they were kids!

Actually my Lucky Curve, though fully restored, has a bit of the same problem as the Jinhao, so I don't use it that often.

#11 jniforat

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Posted 05 November 2009 - 15:01

i wouldn't give up. message EMM, he knows all about these pens.

#12 cuza

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Posted 05 November 2009 - 19:34

I have several X450s. Some have been problematic while others have worked very well. I particularly like the recent classic black Jinhao X450 that I picked up. Looks great, feels good, ...


They are big and heavy enough that if they don't work as a proper fountain pen, they serve as a jolly good door stopper.



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#13 vans4444

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Posted 05 November 2009 - 20:57

I have an X450 and it is not a bad pen except the ink flow is a little erratic.

You could try pulling the converter our of the section and filling it by putting it directly in the ink.

I don't know if filling the converter this way is advisable, but I have done it one or twice when it would not fill sufficiently using normal methods.

Vans

#14 Tumbleweedtoo

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Posted 06 November 2009 - 04:37

I, too, enjoy my 450 (even after I dropped it on the carpet and it became upcapped when it hit the floor). I have also bought some extra 450's to use in fountain pen evangelism. It is a heavy, well made, large, and good-looking pen, IMO. My only real complaint is that it writes as well or better than some of my other pens costing well over $100.00, including some of my Japanese pens. Currently, I plan make the 450 the pen I carry outside of the house and not be afraid to lose. I do not want to lose any of my Japanese pens. Maybe I should also add that my 450 did not write well out of the box and had to be cleaned thoroughly after my first fill so it would write properly and not be a hard starter or skip. My Japanese pens wrote exceedingly well right out of the box.

All the best,
Tumbleweedtoo

#15 ZeissIkon

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Posted 07 November 2009 - 02:59

My only real complaint is that it writes as well or better than some of my other pens costing well over $100.00, including some of my Japanese pens.


This is a common complaint about Chinese pens. I've got two Wing Sung 230 pens now, the second one already proving the excellent writing of the first isn't a fluke by writing just as well straight out of the bubble wrap (and this is a $3 pen). I also have a Hero 257, another Hero of unknown model, two Hero 70, and a Huashlai 2375 that are all excellent writers, and my newly arrived Wing Sung 233 (visually, a copy of a pre-War Sheaffer Triumph, but with aerometric filler) writes well enough to embarrass my Sheaffer Imperial and Parker 51 Vac.

Come right down to it, though, I can't really find anything to complain about when pens I can afford to own in multiples write as well as those I have to plan for a couple months to afford...
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#16 dogpoet

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Posted 07 November 2009 - 12:53

I'd go along with that, too. Apart from a Hero 616 (which is completely rubbish) and a Shure 2112 (which dries out very quickly) all of the cheap Chinese pens I've got hold of have been pretty good at least, and often excellent. You can forgive the occasional reluctant start in a cheap pen, I'd have thought, just so long as it does write well once it's been coaxed.

#17 coldman

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Posted 07 November 2009 - 19:59


True, and that's why it's still in working condition: they still made stuff to last in the '50s.

Not just the fifties. I found a really old pen, not sure if it belonged to my father or my mother, from the 1920s--a Parker Lucky Curve. Yup, still writes.

One of my Esties still had its original rubber sac. I replaced it, but I'm not sure I needed to.

There's a small sampling bias here, though—most of the fifty year old pens that are still around belong to the group of pens that didn't break in those fifty years.

#18 dogpoet

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Posted 07 November 2009 - 20:34

A good point. There's a few of the models from the 40s and 50s that are still easily found that had massive production runs as well, aren't there?