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Fountain Pen Care


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6 replies to this topic

#1 kma335

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Posted 16 September 2012 - 02:49

Hi,

I'm new to fountain pens and I was just wondering what I should do when I'm not using a pen. I've read that I should make sure that the ink is out and the pen is thoroughly cleaned before putting it away, but where should I store them? Are these pens in any way affected by temperature or humidity? I have purchased the Jinhao 159 and Kaigelu 356 as starters and I'm thinking of storing them in a pencil box of their own.

However, I have Lamy Blue ink as a starter ink, and I've heard that it's easy to maintain. Would it be okay if i left this ink in the pen? I'm not sure how often I'll switch between the 2, but it might be between a week or 2 after I've used them both for a while.

How long should ink be kept in a pen that goes unused that would still be fine for the pen?

Thanks!

#2 guilhermejf

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Posted 16 September 2012 - 03:01

Some pens can be stored inked for quite a long time (a year or so) without drying up. In general, most pens can be kept unused for at least a month without great trouble. So don't worry too much about it.

Temperature... Just don't leave the pen in a hot car, for instance.

Edited by guilhermejf, 16 September 2012 - 03:03.


#3 langere

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Posted 16 September 2012 - 03:03

Great questions! You can keep ink in the pen if you're going to use it in a few days. Otherwise, do clean out the pen with cold water from the faucet before you store it.

Heat and humidity do matter, but mainly in extremes. Do not leave your pen in a car on a hot afternoon in the summer.

A pencil box is okay for these relatively inexpensive pens, but if you get more expensive ones, you should get a pen holder or purchase a pen box (a reconverted cigar box works too), which is lined with felt.

If you get any ebonite or urushi pens, you need to keep them out of the sun. That is actually good advice for fountain pens in general, and even more so for your ink.

Hope this helps!

Erick

Currently in Rotation:
Guider Marala II "F" nib running Rohrer & Klingner's Alt-Goldgruen
Pelikan M101N Red Tortoiseshell "EF" nib running Noodlers' Burgundy

Bexley Corona "F" nib running Fahrney's DC Supershow Blue


#4 kma335

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Posted 16 September 2012 - 15:07

Thanks for the tips! When I clean out my pens with water, does it matter if its tap, or should I use filtered water?

#5 Ernst Bitterman

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Posted 16 September 2012 - 15:15

That rather depends on the local water; if you've got unusually hard water, some minerals might deposit out in the feed from trapped droplets.

I find that the seals on less expensive Chinese pens are not all one might hope; I wouldn't trust most of the ones I've got to sit for ten days between uses without emptying and flushing. If it takes a little coaxing to get running the next morning, it's probably not to be trusted with ink in it for a long sit.
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#6 dali3464

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Posted 16 September 2012 - 15:17

Thanks for the tips! When I clean out my pens with water, does it matter if its tap, or should I use filtered water?


Tap water typically contains trace minerals which can increase the rate of corrosion. Note that stainless steel used in nibs is just that, stain-less, not stain-proof :lol: so the presence of salt (and other minerals) in tap water can corrode your nibs, though it'll take extraordinarily long (we're looking at perhaps 20+ years). With filtered water, the dissolved minerals will still be present, so your best bet is distilled water.

With cheap/easily replaceable nibs, I wouldn't be too concerned and I'd go ahead with tap water and leave distilled water for those more expensive.
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#7 kma335

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Posted 27 September 2012 - 13:31

I just use filtered water to clean them now. They're not those super expensive pens and I purchased them for under $10. If I do get a high end FP, I'll be sure to use distilled!