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Dipless Performance Expectations?


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#1 Chiro75

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Posted 05 April 2011 - 18:05

I started using my dipless 484 set (two 444's in one unit) at work and I'm not terribly impressed. One side has Noodler's black and 2668 nib while the other has Private Reserve Black Magic Blue and a 9550 nib. The 9550 nib presses into the plastic rods in the holder nicely, but I have to kind of jam the 2668 in.

Anyway, I can get 2.5 lines of writing on a legal pad with the 9550/PR and one line of writing on a legal pad with the 2668/Noodler's. I could get better performance if I WAS dipping!

So, questions:

1) Fill level: I'm guessing that I only filled each reservoir about 75% of the way to the red "don't fill past this level" mark. Should I have filled higher?

2) Are these bad nibs to use? I have a few of the later model 9xxx nibs with the little filler hole in the feed. Should I use those to wick more ink into the feed?

3) I figured ink would pull into the feed and my understanding was that I should expect several pages' worth of writing, not one line.

Any help is much appreciated as I am unhappy I switched away from my lever filler and wedge. :crybaby:
Steve. Just plain ol' Steve.

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#2 ImolaS3

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Posted 05 April 2011 - 18:45

Could you post some photos as I have no idea what you are talking about, but am intrerested and intrigued (I don't use vintage pens you see)
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#3 Chiro75

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Posted 05 April 2011 - 21:14

Posted Image
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#4 tmenyc

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Posted 06 April 2011 - 12:25

hi -- nice double 444! Mine is the leatherette style. I've never gotten "pages", but certainly "paragraphs". A couple of thoughts.
1) don't jam the pen in there; replacing those little threads is going to be a challenge and a half. I'd suggest checking carefully how you position the pen on its way in, and either turn the pen or turn the well a bit so the nib lands right between the threads and not crosswise.
2) I've gotten much better dipless performance from Noodlers Black by diluting it a bit, maybe up to 20% by now. Same with the BSB I use on the other side. Seems to pick up better without diluting the color or changing drying. My feed is definitely wet when I remove the pen, but not dripping.
3) You don't need the well to be 3/4 full, for sure, but if the threads are dry it's time to add ink and water. I got it down to a puddle before it wouldn't pick up at all, but that was too far. The threads and the point need to be in ink.
4) Did those nibs work well for you in a sacced pen?

best,
Tim

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#5 Chiro75

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Posted 06 April 2011 - 15:51

1) I'm being careful with the little rubber bars. I gently push with a little wiggle so they go into the "nest" a little.
2) I diluted both wells when I filled them.
3) I gave the thing a swirl/gentle shake and that seemed to bring a little more ink into the nest, so that was part of the problem, but I'm still only getting 3.5 good lines out of the black/2668 and 4 good lines out of the 9550 before they dry out. No ink is climbing into the feed at all on either pen.
4) Both nibs worked fine on pens.
Steve. Just plain ol' Steve.

#6 tmenyc

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Posted 07 April 2011 - 00:23

Hmm that's weird. Don't know what to tell you. My nice wet nibs are nice wet on both types of pen, same for the drier pointier ones. This one is outa my pay grade, for sure.
Tim

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#7 Chiro75

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Posted 07 April 2011 - 14:18

I'm guessing there are two things going on (I mean, really, not much can really happen here, right?):
1) I think I need more ink
2) I think I need to "charge" the rods better, which may be a factor of #1.

I'm going to fill both wells up to the red warning and then use my syringe to bathe the rods with ink from the pen-hole (?) side.
Steve. Just plain ol' Steve.

#8 tmenyc

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Posted 07 April 2011 - 20:49

yep -- I think you'll be charged when it's full.
Tim

Current Rotation:

home: MontBlanc 149/Diamine Twilight; Esterbrook SJ/Diamine Deep Dark Blue

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office: Varuna Vishal/(vint) Sheaffer Blue
 

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#9 Inka

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Posted 08 April 2011 - 00:36

I have several of these in the 444, many used ones I've fully refurbished and a few that are NOS in original boxes/ wrappings and so on that have never been used.
So my questions to you are:
Were these unused units, or did you get them as used?
If new, the seals usually still hold the Bakelite tops on tightly and will normally work very well with just about any nib you use in them.
If used, were they fully cleaned before use?
Used 444s often have lots of dried ink inside them, the rubber seal rings are often dry-rotted and cracking thus no longer sealing tightly, even the rods are typically caked with dried ink and cannot usually just be flushed out.
I've had to remove the filler cups from several, carefully dump all of the tiny pencil-lead-thin rods into a glass filled with a 10:1 solution of pure water:ammonia and let them soak.
Once the water/ammonia solution becomes inky, I'd carefully pour it off being extra careful not to lose any rods in the process, then refill with solution to soak longer.
I'd do this soak/ dump/ refill/ soak/ dump.... until the solution ran clear, sometimes having to roll the pins between forefinger & thumb to help loosen dried ink, then rinse thoroughly with pure water, dump water, carefully dump pins onto several folds of clean paper towels and pat the pins dry.
After all of that I'd make sure the glass base was cleaned & dried, the pin cup the same, then carefully replace the pins doing everything I can to make sure they're all lined up properly and seated below the inner ridge of the cup.
Once all that was done, I'd invert the top and gently press the pin cup back onto the cylindrical fitting inside the underside of the Bakelite top.
It's time-consuming and a bit tedious to do this sort of careful cleaning/ restoration, but the rewards of a well-working 444 have been well worth all of the effort it takes to do it right.
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#10 Chiro75

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Posted 09 April 2011 - 04:07

I'm pretty sure it was new. The rubber seals seemed brand new and after I cleaned the glass out with water and reinstalled them I could barely get the tops off the seal is so tight. Also, both wells had the instructions still in them.
Steve. Just plain ol' Steve.

#11 JFB

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Posted 05 October 2017 - 03:22

Is there a source for replacement gaskets for the 444's? Could the lack of a tight seal affect the wicking ability of the "feed" of the well? Are there special nibs for the dipless wells?

 

Pax,
John



#12 ac12

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Posted 06 October 2017 - 05:17

John

The seal should not affect the wicking of the feed or well.  More to prevent ink from splashing out of the well, if the well is jarred.

Any of the Esterbrook nibs "should" work in the dipless pens/wells.


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#13 JFB

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Posted 06 October 2017 - 18:36

AC12,

 

Thanks. I would like to snug up the tops a bit-I do worry about spillage. I felt like the nib without the extra hooles in the bottom of the feed wasn't filling with ink. Although I think I many not have given it enough time and I hadn't fully flushed the charger and the rods-only given it a quick rinse.

 

I'm going to give them an overnight soak and open them up to inspect the rods.

 

Pax,

John



#14 ac12

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Posted 08 October 2017 - 20:46

John

As was said by inka, you NEED to CLEAN the ink well, very well.  Dry ink in the rods could prevent the ink from saturating the rods, and you don't get a decent fill on the nib.

But also remember that this is not a fountain pen, it is a "dip less" pen.  You dip it less, than a dip pen without a feed to hold ink.


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#15 JFB

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Posted 11 October 2017 - 18:55

John

As was said by inka, you NEED to CLEAN the ink well, very well.  Dry ink in the rods could prevent the ink from saturating the rods, and you don't get a decent fill on the nib.

But also remember that this is not a fountain pen, it is a "dip less" pen.  You dip it less, than a dip pen without a feed to hold ink.

 

AC12,

 

Yes, I got another (earlier model) and removed and cleaned the rods. I will do that on this one as well. I do understand it's a dip pen, it's just that from the very first stroke it seems to write very dry, it write a long time with a steady but dry flow. I do think it's may well partially be that I didn't clean out the rods, as you say; and I'm going to try a different nib.

Thank you for all you help. I think these wells are fascinating and I want to get my in optimal shape.

 

Pax,

John



#16 Plexipens

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Posted 12 October 2017 - 01:37

After cleaning my rods I fill through the pen-port and rods to make sure they get good saturation of ink ... Also, the "gasket that seals the unit from air is most important in my dry desert environment. I buy o-ring cord and assemble my own gaskets to keep the ink from evaporating, but find fair loss just through the pen-port.

 

Still love them for quick notes and sigs at work!



#17 Tom Heath

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Posted 12 October 2017 - 14:17

Top 'O The Morning FPN'ers

Last evening after reading the posts here I thought I'd do a Drip less Test

Using My Red Taper , equipped with a 2442 Falcon Tip

I opened a nearby Vintage bottle of Sheaffer Royal Blue

Next I placed the nib into the bottle covering the full nib and feed, I then withdrew
the pen and lightly shook and wiped the excess.

I then began writing on my Yellow Legal pad

TEST RESULTS 35 words on about 6 1/2 lines

I did not employ the Red Glass base as I did not wish to clean it .
Hope this helps

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#18 irrigger

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Posted 12 October 2017 - 17:45

fpn_1507830202__img_1258.jpg

1554 Nib and Sheaffer Skrip Purple, pretty good mileage but the inkwell was NOS snd very clean when I put it into service.



#19 JFB

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Posted 12 October 2017 - 17:58

... the "gasket that seals the unit from air is most important in my dry desert environment. I buy o-ring cord and assemble my own gaskets to keep the ink from evaporating,

 

 


Next I placed the nib into the bottle covering the full nib and feed, I then withdrew
the pen and lightly shook and wiped the excess.

I then began writing on my Yellow Legal pad

TEST RESULTS 35 words on about 6 1/2 lines

 

 

Plexipens what is this o-ring cord of which you speak? (Kidding I can look it up) but how do you attach it? I spent last evening researching ways to rejuvenate toe old rubber gaskets w/o harming the Bakelite. I came to the conclusion I have to heat the top enough to temporarily soften the rubber to pry it off, then treat the rubber separately.

 

Tom, so a nib that has been sitting should hold substantially more ink?

 

Irrigger, does your 1554 Nib have two little holes at the end of the feed?

 

Pax,

John



#20 irrigger

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Posted 12 October 2017 - 18:52

it is just your standard 1554 nib that you would use in any Esterbrook pen.  It has the channel for use in a fountain pen in the feed.








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