Posted 12 December 2011 - 16:27
My problem is that it stops writing after a while (like about half a page). I write at a standard pace but the pen stops putting out ink. I have flushed it with detergent (a drop in water), made sure that all the soap was out of it, filled it with ink and it writes like mad. But then it stops.
My theory is this: the pen is pulling out so much ink to write with that it is building up a little vacuum in the air at the inside top of the converter and that vacuum is stopping the ink from flowing out of the converter and into the feed. There is no breather tube but there is a little spring in the bottom of the converter (for what reason I don't know but it has a purpose).
So, how do you think I can solve my problem of ink stoppage? I do stop what I am doing when this happens and take off the back of the pen and twist the converter to get ink to come out of the feed. When I see ink flooding the area between the feed and the nib I stop, put the back of the pen on and continue. It writes fine until this happens again.
I thought it might be because I did not put the converter back to the starting position and so did not have enough air in the chamber of the converter to counteract a vacuum but now I am not so sure since I put the converter back to the piston all the way up and there is plenty of air in the chamber and its still happening.
Like I said, the ink flow is amazing in this pen, it's just that it stops after a while. I suspect that the two observations are related. What do you think? How can I solve my problem? Many thanks.
Posted 12 December 2011 - 17:11
First things first: is the nib sitting on the feed properly? If there is a gap, then when the ink runs dry in the feed there won't be a meniscus of ink to fill the gap & it'll suddenly go dry. If that's the case, remove the nib, clean underneath, put the nib back & check the seating. If not correct, try to gently deform the feed to match the nib. This may help. If not...
I'd suggest you now check for blockages at the top of the feed where the c/c goes onto the spigot - there may be something blocking the end of the feed where it goes through the spigot. Clean the blockage away if present.
Next (assuming there was nothing visible) pull the nib & feed out, and inspect the feed slit all the way to the c/c spigot. There should be a wide groove with tiny slits on either side. Ensure both are clear all the way to the top, if not the blockage will be stopping ink flowing. Now look through the feed hole in the section for bits of debris & clean out if necessary.
Put together & try inking up. If it doesn't work, you may have to consider opening up the feed with a craft knife, but that is a drastic option.
Posted 12 December 2011 - 17:55
Posted 12 December 2011 - 18:50
Thanks, Richard, I will take your suggestions and tell you how they worked out. By the way, I was mistaken about the spring in the converter, there isn't one. I must have seen that somewhere else and thought it was in the Jinhao.
All my Jinhao converters have the spring. Perhaps you accidentally switched the converter?
Posted 12 December 2011 - 19:02
By the way there IS a spring inside. It kind of hides but it is there.
Edited by Fabienne, 12 December 2011 - 19:17.
Posted 12 December 2011 - 19:16
I have been tugging on the nib and feed for all I am worth. Can you take the nib off a Jinhao x450? I can do this with a Lamy and several other pens, but this thing is as if it is stuck in there. Is there a trick to it? I am using my bare hands and a paper towel wrapped around the assembly. Thanks.
I just removed the nib and feed from an X450 by twisting back and forth gently while also pulling outward. When I twisted the nib and feed I could feel it move slightly and then I started also pulling it out.
Edited by Easterner, 12 December 2011 - 19:17.
Posted 12 December 2011 - 19:30
Posted 12 December 2011 - 20:26
Once apart, I took a look at the feed. That is the problem. the feed has multiple problems. First there is a big piece of lint or something jammed into the bottom of the central groove. The central groove is very very thin, so cleaning this thing out is going to be a real pain. I am going to use an Exacto knife tip to try to dislodge the lint. There is more lint stuck between the fins of the feed, too.
There was a disconcerting film of iridescence blue/red coating the feed. I suspect that is the residue from my encounter with Electric D.C. Blue. I get the feeling that EDCB and Jinhao are not destined to be friends.
I also saw a nifty video about the spring inside the converter and how to get it out. You don't need it and it's just one more thing to rust. The two halves of the converter snap apart and it comes out.
Now for one more question: there is a short what looks like a breather tube sticking out of the butt end of the feed. Shall I take that out? Or does that need to be there? It has a VERY small diameter hole in the middle, and I was reading something somewhere else which said that the breathing tubes on the Jinhao's are not very good. What do you advise? Picture below, it is the little stick like object on the left of the feed.
Posted 13 December 2011 - 09:16
I have an X450 that only writes if the convertor is advanced enough to fill the feed (and stops once that "ration" of ink is used up). I've two Baoers (517s) with the same problem. They've all had the breather tubes removed, and on my "to do" list is Watch_art's feed channel enlargement hack.
FWIW, the most reliable Chinese pens I own are the cheapest - 3 Hero 616 Jumbos that write without hesitation, even after being left for a week or so at a time.
Posted 13 December 2011 - 11:33
It may be possible to clean out the narrow slits along the feed with a piece of brass shim material or a 0.05mm feeler gauge.
Anyway, removing the lint & cleaning the feed as you have done should help.
Posted 13 December 2011 - 11:47
That stick-like bit of the feed is VERY important. it's the bit that sticks into the end of the cartridge convertor & makes contact with the ink to draw the ink down. Don't remove it. If it gets damaged, you could replace the feed (I get my pen making ones here: http://www.theturner...=75&prod_id=457 [awful photo I know]) but it may be better to replace the pen...
Interesting - is that needed in addition to the hollow peg in the section (the part that "opens" the cartridge)? I've kept mine - from what you say, replacing the tube and paying more attention to the feed is the way to go?
Posted 13 December 2011 - 12:03
The feed goes up through a hole in the middle of the piercing tube. The feed diameter in this spot is 1.5mm, while the spigot diameter seems to be around 2.4-2.5mm for international cartridges. The ink flows through the feed which provided the accurately sized cross section to allow ink out at the correct speed.
Both are present because both are needed.
I did an engineering drawing of a prototype section (which I later made), as below, which shows the piercing tube fairly well:
In practice the 6.35mm dimension was a bit big in Delrin (needs to be 6.1 or 6.2mm), and I actually used a 2.5mm drill for the rose cutter I used to machine the c/c spigot, so the final diameter was probably just under 2.5mm.
Edited by richardandtracy, 13 December 2011 - 12:19.
Posted 13 December 2011 - 12:09
I'll have another look at my Jinhao...
Posted 13 December 2011 - 13:03
First, I took all of the disassembled nib/feed/collet/breathing tube and put it in an ultrasonic bath of warm water and a drop of detergent. I let it buzz for 4 minutes. I rinsed like mad and then took the feed and really looked carefully at it under the 5x magnifier. It is rough, a brown, and there is a lot of manufacturing dirt in the fins and the channels. There are burrs (or what appear to be burrs) where the fins were cut.
I cleaned all this out with a needle point. It came out pretty easily and it was miniscule stuff but there under a 5x.
When I got the feed so that there were no more bits in the channels, and I had to look at everything. then it was time to reassemble.
Here is a tip for anyone who is brave enough to do this: make sure you hold the nib just right over the feed just the way you want it. Make sure you push it in in regard to the depressions on either side of the collar just the way you want it to fit. If you didn't get it lined up and try to twist it into place the entire thing will twist out of shape. The feed and nib will mis-align and the nib might even end up sticking out of the collar at an angle.
They were fit in there so tightly I had to use a pair of pliers to pull out and re introduce them. I just used the lightest pressure that would work and wrapped the nib and feed in as much paper towel or rag as I could. The nib remarkably did not deform.
For all this mauling on my part, the pen remained remarkably unscathed. It wrote just fine after the great clean out. I hope it persists. If it doesn't then I might have to repair to watch_art's great suggestion.
I have another Jinhao x450 which was acting up and found out One Of Life's Truths: There are TWO DIFFERENT KINDS OFNIBS AND TWO DIFFERENT KINDS OF FEEDS FOR THE JINHAO X450!!!!! The second pen's feed slides out easily. It looks like it was cast in that shape (a slightly different shape than the ebonite one. It looks more plastic, very smooth, not a hint of burrs or fuzz. These nibs are also different. I think that they might be shorter and the do not say 18K GP on the bottom. they seem to be meant to be pushed further into the collar.
Posted 13 December 2011 - 22:52
Just looked at the tip of the nib under a strong magnifier and it looks like the very point of it (where there is a little rounded part) is slightly separated, into kind of a "Y". I think that a careful attempt to bring that point together will yield the desired result. I think I had this problem once before. Could be from my manhandling the nib so often.
Edited by Fabienne, 13 December 2011 - 23:47.
Posted 15 December 2011 - 12:29
right now I am embarking on the dangerous job of cutting a better channel down the center of that feed. Not simple using an X-Acto knife. So far I have only managed to make it deeper and that has not really allowed the flow to flow BUT I want to try once more to fill the pen up through the nib and see if it will flow for good. I know there is a lot of capillary action associated with what I am trying to do (surface tension and a bunch of physics ju-ju). Just want to see if getting the flow started with a deeper channel will pull the ink through the converter to the feed into the nib and onto the paper.
My suspicions are centered around the fact that when the pen runs dry and I flex the nib on paper I don't see any evidence of ink inbetween the tines. I think that the ink is used up out of the feed and the feed is not allowing ink to flow in because that channel is not wide enough. There is a trip to Michael's in my future. Hope I don't end up covered in American Eel Blue this afternoon!<-----Such a perfect smilie
Posted 15 December 2011 - 13:55
When I do nib smoothing, I use micromesh, but only after the rest of the nib setting & feed modification has been carried out.
On 6000 grade I write 8-10 of the marks that cause problems, then try it on paper to see if the skipping still happens. Note, it will feel as rough as anything after being rubbed on 6000 grade micromesh, but don't worry.
If it does still skip, do the same again until the problem stops. If the problem doesn't stop after 4 iterations, the problem won't be due to the point shape unless it was in a catastrophiclly distorted condition - so stop & consider other options.
Then on paper see if there are any other unpleasant areas by drawing circles or figures of 8. If that's OK it's time to smooth the nib with writing 8-10 figures of 8 on 8000 grade micromesh, and then repeating the process on 12000 grade. You may need to do a bit more on the 12000 grade to polish it up. Do the absolute minimum you can get away with, as you will be grinding the tipping material and you can't replace it once it's all gone.
Hope this helps,
Posted 15 December 2011 - 16:11
This pen is more fussed over at this point than any Mont Blanc ever was.
Posted 15 December 2011 - 17:51
I carved away at the feed last night and managed to make the channel deeper not wider though. It seems to have helped somewhat but not cured the problem because the pen does still stop writing.
HOWEVER, WHEN I FLIP THE PEN OVER AND WRITE WITH IT WITH THE NIB FACING THE PAPER IT WRITES LIKE A CHAMP. What is up with that? Does the nib no longer contact the ink flowing through the channel and gravity puts the ink in touch with the channel between the tines, and therefore is it that the nib was deformed and needs to be flattened? Or am I going down the right road by doing more carving and widening of the center channel in the feed?
The Jinhao with the newer and smoother feed is working like crazy.
Posted 19 December 2011 - 09:32
The Baoer 517 (tube removed, feed cleaned (possibly widened slightly, although I didn't cut a "v" into it) is still going. I used it for several pages of notes whilst talking to insurance call centres this weekend (it's ALL fun here) and it's still laying a nice wet line.
The Jinhao X450 (tube still in place, feed cleaned using a pin) has written for a few days, and then packed up again. I may try the same approach to the feed (not cutting a "v", but running a craft knife along the channel) with this pen. It's tantalising, as when the Jinhao does work, it's really quite nice to write with.
Posted 19 December 2011 - 11:54
Posted 19 December 2011 - 12:34
Posted 20 December 2011 - 00:08
I've been following this thread and I too have a Jinhao with the same problem. I own 2 Jinhao's and the one with a large nib is a fantastic writer, but the one with the smaller nib has the same problems you guys are discussing. I've just gone through your latest challenge of it writing well when turned over and here's what I found:
The nib at the tip was too far from the feed, keeping the ink from flowing down to the end. I got out my 10x loupe and bent one tine at a time, as described by John Mottishaw on Nib Smoothing, until I got them a little closer to the feed and evened them out.
So far, my pen is writing fairly wet. I'll keep you posted, as I only did that last bit about an hour prior to writing this.
Just so you know, the steps I've taken:
1. Rinse & flush with H2O & 3 drops dishwashing liquid
2. Add new ink ..... Same problem
3. Remove nib/feed, examine with loupe & attempt to clean with exacto - got some dried ink out, but no change after replacing nib
4. Again, remove nib/feed, try to channel out with exacto - no change
5. Remove nib/feed, remove breather tube - with loupe can see ink now in nib, but not past tip of feed - only writes when turning nib upside down.
6. Bend each tine carefully with fingernail until lowering them closer to feed and making sure they are even - SUCCESS
Hope that helps,
PM me if you have one you'd like to sell. Thank you!
Posted 20 December 2011 - 00:32
Posted 20 December 2011 - 00:55
I used my loupe to view the tip and applied the slightest pressure on one tine until it was lower than the other, or closer to the feed. They may spring back a little, but may not. Just warning you to not overdo it. LESS IS MORE. ;-) I then applied the same method on the other tine until I got them both even again. I had attempted to move the feed on the nib, and it never got ink flowing past the end of the feed, so it seemed to me that the nib itself was too straight, at the tip that is, to touch the end of the feed. I could see the ink through the slit as I attempted to write a stroke. I could only see all of this through the 10x loupe, so if you don't have one, I would not attempt what I describe.
Just so you know, what I did is actually described to decrease flow, as it moves the tines closer together, but it definitely worked in my case. I'll try to take some photos for you this evening, if you'd like.
I'll pick up the pen again this evening and check it to make sure nothings changed. :-)
PM me if you have one you'd like to sell. Thank you!
Posted 20 December 2011 - 02:24