I barely got any flow from my Jane Austen iron gall ink or my black walnut inks. But it did work beautifully with my pomegranate (iron gall) ink! Why this one worked and not the other iron gall ink, I'm not sure. But I'm so happy, I could chase down an airplane!
When I rub my fingers over the dried writing, I do feel grit here and there. This is typical of all my homemade inks, and probably the reason they won't work in most pens (i.e. they clog).
Paper & Ink Arts sells sizes of this pen not available elsewhere, including the 1.0 mm size. They have someone in-house who custom cuts the nibs. This was my first Parallel Pen. The nib didn't appear to be sanded after it was cut and was very rough, catching on the paper. I've since sanded it and it's a bit smoother now.
You can see the rough cut of the nib, even after sanding:
But the roughness aside, the ink feed works marvelously. I am thrilled that I found a fountain pen that works with at least one of my inks! I recommend getting Parallel Pen Wizardry by Brenda Broadbent with it, especially if you want to use the pen with more challenging inks. It has more instructions on how to do this than the instructions that came with the pen. I use the pen as an eyedropper, filling the entire barrel (which is plastic) with ink. An o-ring doesn't work with this pen because the screw-top lid interferes with it, but I did put silicone grease on the threads. I haven't had any problems with leaking yet. Also, when I picked up the pen the next day, the ink still flowed well without start-up hassles. The nib feed is really two metal plates on top of each other. The pen comes with a thin piece of plastic film that slides between these two plates for cleaning. You can write on the edge of the nib for a thick line, or even on the side of the nib for hairlines... the ink will be there. It remains to be seen whether my acidic inks will corrode the nib, but so far I see no damage (with Speedball dip pens, I could see some corrosion almost immediately).
I'm very glad to have this pen. And for the other homemade ink makers on the list, this fountain pen has the best chance of working with your inks.
Edited by fiberdrunk, 17 March 2011 - 19:01.