Posted 23 June 2011 - 16:11
Hi The Scribbler,
IMO, ebonite is not easily damaged or destroyed. There are really only two cautions.
1) Oxidation due to UV light. Keep the pen out of direct light as much as possible. The oxidation does not 'damage' the pen as much as discolor it. Discoloration (fading) can happen surprisingly quickly at times. When I use my ebonite pens (modern and older,) I carry them in a case, rather than in my shirt pocket.
2) Oxidation due to immersion in (usually warm) water. Same impact on the pen (fading/ hazy finish) as with UV. In the normal course of use and maintenance, there isn't a need to immerse the pen in water anyway, but if your pen has an ebonite section, it is likely to have contact with water when you flush the pen. Just use cool water, and don't submerge more of then pen than is necessary, and you should be fine.
To directly answer your questions:
1. Any ink intended for fountain pens is fine. (Don't use India or Drawing inks, of course.)
2. Are you talking about washing the inside of the pen, or the outside? If your pen is a C/C filler, there should be no reason to need to wash the inside. You should avoid as much contact between water and the outside of the pen as possible. Discoloration isn't the end of the world, and sometimes doesn't occur very quickly, but better to be safe than sorry.
3. Flush the pen (nib, feed, filling system) thoroughly with water until the water runs clear. Let the pen dry thoroughly before storing in a cool, dry place. Nothing special for an ebonite pen that isn't standard for most pens.
4. Keep your pen away from lots of direct sunlight, bathtubs and curious/playful dogs. Store it clean and dry.
Best Regards, greg
Don't feel bad. I'm old; I'm meh about most things.