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Noodlers 'bulletproof' Ink Flow Problems.

noodlers bulletproof flow ink problems fountain pen skipping clog poor

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#1 Dodobrains

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Posted 22 January 2014 - 08:24

Gday everyone, 

Long time lurker first time poster  :)  :D  :blush: 

 

I'd like to jump straight into it and go ahead and say that I've been having problems (or should i say A problem) with my Noodlers Bulletproof black.

    It's an absolutely wonderful ink in pretty much every way, except one.

 

My 'Online German: Event' Pen doesn't seem to agree with the Noodlers ink.

(I have a Noodlers Flex pen inked up in Noodlers black which works perfectly fine)
 

I've inked it up through a converter and for about, I would say the first page and a half of writing, it writes fine. It flows well with no skipping etc.

 

However once that 1-2 page thresh-hold has been passed the problems occur:

  •  The flow becomes weaker and the nib starts to dry out
  • Minor skipping occurs (some shaking and tapping remedies this)
  • Flow becomes near non-existent 
  • Every second stroke skips (No amount of shaking or tapping or wetting the nib remedies this)

​I've went back and talked to the boutique owner and he says that he's not surprised that an American ink, especially the 'Bulletproof' line, works poorly with a European pen.
At first I thought that maybe there was a problem with the nib/feed.

 

However after purchasing some J-Herbin and Mont-Blanc inks I'm starting to think he may be right.

MY PEN WRITES PERFECTLY!!

It's a very wet writer and has never skipped or been prone to dry or anything of the sort.

I decided to brave the Noodlers in my Online German again, but alas, the same exact problem.

 

I've recently read a post somewhere that the Noodlers 'Bulletproof' line is not a very well lubricated ink and is prone to flowing problems.

 

Anyway tell me what you guys think of my situation and if you've had any similar problems with any of the Noodlers inks.



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#2 msolok

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Posted 22 January 2014 - 09:58

What a load of bulls....

Ahh, sorry about that. Don't know what came over me.
Anyway, a American ink will work fine in European pens. Hell they will even be fine in Japanese, Indian and Chinese pens. The same as European inks will work fine in any other countries pens. Manufacturers don't 'lock out' what pens their ink works in. They would be cutting an already limited market.

There are a couple of things that could be happening. The first is the Noodles ink is clinging to the sides of the converter and not going down the feed. This would lead to the ink in the feed already (from filling) getting used up and nib drying out. To test this attempt writing with the pen until the ink dries up. Open the pen and check if there is an air bubble at the top, and that the ink sloshes around in the converter as you move it. If it doesn't this is likely your problem (and it does happen with a few brands of converter). To help fix this put a couple of drops of dish washing liquid in some water. Then fill and empty the converter a few times and leave the water in it for a couple of hours. After this empty the water and rinse really well with clean water. Now test the ink again. It should be behaving at least a little better now (this issue can take a while to fully resolve sometimes).

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#3 Medsen Fey

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Posted 22 January 2014 - 22:03

I would agree that I don't think there is any particular incompatibility between inks/pens based on continent of origin, but I have found (even in my limited experience) that there are some pens that just don't like some inks. I have a Sheaffer legacy with a fine point that doesn't like Luxury Blue ink. Everything else I've used in it works fine, but every time I try Luxury Blue, it starts skipping.

 

 

I don't like to eat liver. Some folks hate broccoli and Brussels sprouts. Some pens just don't like to be fed some inks.

 

I think that is part of the magic of owning a fountain pen. You get the joy of discovering all of its idiosyncrasies.


Edited by Medsen Fey, 22 January 2014 - 22:04.


#4 flyingfox

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Posted 22 January 2014 - 22:44

Some of the Noodler's bullet proof ink perform better when you dilute them a bit, maybe ink:H2O=4:1 or so.  You can set aside a small amount of ink in a sample vial or something, add a bit of water, and go from there.  I have a couple of Online pens, and they write fine with Noodler's ink (I have 54th Mass., Bad Blue Heron, and a few others.)  



#5 ethernautrix

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Posted 22 January 2014 - 22:56

I'm very surprised, as I have used Noodler's Black for several years in many, many pens - vintage, modern, a range of nationalities (even German!) - and I have never encountered a problem like this, with Noodler's Black specifically. I have had this problem with other inks, which I can't recall off the top of my head, and probably another Noodler's ink was in that group. Noodler's Black, in my experience (for what it's worth), has always been problem-free, which is why it's my standard ink - my standard black and my first choice for inks in general. And I use many brands and colors regularly.

 

Hm. How odd. I wonder what caused such a problem.


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#6 WirsPlm

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Posted 22 January 2014 - 22:56

The guy from the boutique is making stuff up off the top of his head to try and get you to buy his ink, don't worry about it.

What is probably happening is that the converter design isn't enough to overcome the ink's surface tension, this is irritating but easily fixable. If a short sharp forward shake doesn't work, a bit of distilled water in the ink should help a lot. Seriously, don't use dish soap, there's all kinds of stuff in it that shouldn't go into a pen, it's an absolute last resort. A tiny amount of surfactant (use PhotoFlo or pure glycerin) or a small amount of distilled water may help the ink work better with your pen, or you can try getting another converter if your pen uses the international kind (if it's a branded converter you may just be out of luck, sadly). Distilled water is probably the safest bet, put a drop or so into the converter before filling with ink and shake the pen gently.

The other likely issue is that the converter may be having a hard time seating properly, some international converters are prone to this. Maybe try opening the pen and checking the converter when the pen dries out?

Edited by WirsPlm, 22 January 2014 - 23:00.


#7 Chemyst

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Posted 23 January 2014 - 01:02

My 'Online German: Event' Pen doesn't seem to agree with the Noodlers ink.

(I have a Noodlers Flex pen inked up in Noodlers black which works perfectly fine)

 

<snip>

 

Anyway tell me what you guys think of my situation and if you've had any similar problems with any of the Noodlers inks.

 

You're already halfway there, owning a NI brand pen.

 

If you want to improve performance the other pen, you might try replacing the feed with one made of ebonite and modifying the nib so you can see a ray of light between the tines.  


Chemyst is not and never was a representative of Noodler's Ink. As misrepresentations like this are not allowed on FPN, Chemyst's right to participate on our board was therefore withdrawn, as from March 2016.
 
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#8 amberleadavis

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Posted 23 January 2014 - 01:24

Welcome aboard!

 

As the owner of several Online pens, I can say that all mine were finicky and prone to feed issues.  I assumed it was just me.  If you find an ink that works well in it, then by all means use that ink.  Pens / Paper and Ink combos just behave differently.


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#9 Waski_the_Squirrel

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Posted 23 January 2014 - 01:48

Noodler's Bulletproof Black is my favorite ink, but I have experienced this same problem.

 

After a while, I figured out that the pens which had this issue shared one feature: a narrow tube for the ink. Most were converter pens. What happened was that the ink would cling to the side of the converter and not flow down to the feed. I would flick the side of the pen or tap the nib on paper to make it go down.

 

I had this trouble originally in my Pilot Custom 823, but the problem has gone away. I don't know why.

 

Others have suggested diluting the ink. My solution was the occasional flick or tap to solve the problem.

 

ETA: in my Edison Collier, I have this problem when I use the converter. When I use it as an eyedropper, there are no issues at all. This helps convince me that I'm right.


Edited by Waski_the_Squirrel, 23 January 2014 - 01:50.

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#10 Dodobrains

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Posted 23 January 2014 - 06:18

Thanks everyone for all the input and suggestions.
 

@Waski_the_Squirrel   

 

I would flick the side of the pen or tap the nib on paper to make it go down

I do the exact same thing (sometimes shaking it) and it gets the flow go again, nice and wet and saturated. But doing this every half a page or so is very annoying.

 

@msolok
Thanks for the suggestion, I've flushed my converter and nib with clean water and a tiny amount of dish soap in the past to try to solve this problem but I've found it didn't work.

 

@WirsPlm

Distilled water is probably the safest bet, put a drop or so into the converter before filling with ink and shake the pen gently

I'm very eager to try this, i've been reading on the forums that a few drops of glycerine to the bottle of ink well lubricated it. 

 

Thanks all. Anybody hear of Glycerin to lubricate ?? Apparently this was a trick that a Noodlers Manufacturer used. I wonder if it helps flow? 3 drops of pure Glycerin to 1 ounce of ink. I'd like to try it. I've found that soap is not the best for increasing the flow of inks.


Edited by Dodobrains, 23 January 2014 - 06:23.


#11 Sasha Royale

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Posted 23 January 2014 - 14:34

I am a humble, kind, beloved, folk-hero type.  I have actually met a few persons who didn't appreciate my charm. 

 

Noodler's is very conscientious about the properties of its inks. I am confident that all are SAFE to use in fountain pens.  I have tested the claimed properties of all the Noodler's inks that I use.  They check out.  However, any given pen can have preferences.  Same with people.


Edited by Sasha Royale, 23 January 2014 - 14:34.

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#12 ziptrickhead

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Posted 23 January 2014 - 15:46

Definitely sounds like a feed problem to me. I do feel that the Bulletproof Noodlers inks are slightly thicker than other inks. On the other hand, the Montblanc and J. Herbin inks are wetter and don't seem to have as much surface tension. If the ink is flowing down the converter properly (a problem that can happen as shown by the previous suggestions) then it's very likely the feed isn't allowing the ink to flow well. It probably isn't the nib since you say the flow is wet with the other inks.

 

My suggestion would also be to try a few drops of water into a few mLs of ink. Won't dilute the ink so much that you'll affect the color but will help to "loosen up" the ink so to speak.

 

As for the whole American inks not working with European pens.... some people...   :headsmack:


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#13 WirsPlm

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Posted 23 January 2014 - 16:01

I'm very eager to try this, i've been reading on the forums that a few drops of glycerine to the bottle of ink well lubricated it.

Glycerine can work well, but I don't know if it's appropriate for your issue, and the big problem with it is that it's a great food for mold (mold already loves ink, which is water with stuff in). So if glycerine gets added, it's a good idea to add a biocide like carbolic acid (I prefer a 4% solution from Natural Pigments in the US made for art preservation, but IDK how you'd get some in Europe). That can get tricky and change ink properties, and you may not want to spend a lot of time going down that rabbit hole, which is why I suggested distilled water, because properly distilled pure water won't have contaminants or lifeforms in it, it will just make the ink a little thinner.

Glycerine may not be the best tool here because it doesn't help as much as pure water when the problem is the ink being too thick, as seems to be the case here, because while it will make an ink flow better but it's thicker than water. It's slightly more useful when the problem is the ink flowing freely but feeling dry on the page. That might have been more information than you wanted. :)

Edited by WirsPlm, 23 January 2014 - 16:02.


#14 amberleadavis

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Posted 23 January 2014 - 16:35

Actually, glycerin and glycol are not necessarily mold food.  They are used to preserve herbal tinctures and are known to inhibit bacteria.   If you are interested,  have a copy of the a report from the soap industry about the magic that is glycerin.  I've been using glycerin for years in various forms and never had a problem. The only mold issue I have ever experienced with my ink was with a sample of JH ink and you can see an entire topic printed about that issue.  

 

Though, I also have some of the NP phenol and use it as well.  Keep in mind that glycerin is pH neutral and phenol is an acid which can change the pH of your ink, especially if you use too much.


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#15 amberleadavis

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Posted 23 January 2014 - 16:36

I am a humble, kind, beloved, folk-hero type.  I have actually met a few persons who didn't appreciate my charm. 

 

Noodler's is very conscientious about the properties of its inks. I am confident that all are SAFE to use in fountain pens.  I have tested the claimed properties of all the Noodler's inks that I use.  They check out.  However, any given pen can have preferences.  Same with people.

 

Giggle and I agree with you.


Fountain pens are my preferred COLOR DELIVERY SYSTEM (in part because crayons melt in Las Vegas).

 

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#16 minthe

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Posted 24 December 2014 - 05:18

This is a very interesting thread to me. There's so much to learn....


Edited by minthe, 24 December 2014 - 05:54.


#17 ac12

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Posted 24 December 2014 - 05:59

I'm digging this thread out again ... because today I've just learnt to not use Noodler's bulletproof ink with fountain pens because it can damage them. I'm still pretty new to this forum but I've read around the topics here a bit and I have never encountered a warning ... so I'm surprised. What are your opinions?

Cheers, m.

 

There are pros and cons to that statement, a lot of here-say and probably some "politics."

Some people have experienced problems, and many have not.

But I have also read posts where some have problems with "standard inks" damaging their pens, specifically the ink sac turning to goop.  Don't take care of your pen, and you can make a "standard ink" clog up your pen so it won't write, and may need a trip to a pen doctor to unclog the pen.  I received several such clogged pens from eBay and local estate sales, which required serious cleaning to get them to flow ink again.

There are also specific Noodler's inks that behave "differently" from the normal inks you may be familiar with.

Ask for feedback on the forum about any specific ink you have in mind.


Edited by ac12, 24 December 2014 - 06:01.

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#18 JimCouch

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Posted 24 December 2014 - 06:36

I have had both flow problems, and nib creep problems with a number of Noodler's inks. It is not really an American ink vs European pen problem in my estimation. It is a Noodler's problem. The inks are great and the bulletproof feature is wonderful, but it does, in my experience, lead to problems. I have learned which of my pens get along with Noodler's and which don't and ink my pens accordingly.


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#19 Arkanabar

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Posted 24 December 2014 - 07:18

I'll just say that I use a couple Noodler's inks -- Red Black, which is what it says on the bottle, a mix of Noodler's Red and Black inks, and Heart of Darkness.  Dilution works for me.  I'd recommend no less than four parts ink to 1 part water.

 

That, and not putting it into just any ol' pen.



#20 Fuellerfuehrerschein

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Posted 03 June 2017 - 16:26

I noticed Noodler’s Black tends to adhere or "stick" against the inside of my Schmidt converter.

 

As I routinely clean my converters and nib units before use I knew I had to do something else. I realized car paint manufacturers use mixing balls in touch-up pencils and spray paint aerosols that contain less well flowing content than fountain pen ink. The nipple size of standard international nib units is approximately 2.5 millimeter and standard international ink cartridges are often sealed with a steel or glass ball that drops into the cartridge during mounting.

 

So, I solved my problem with Noodler’s Black by inserting one 2.5 mm diameter 316 Stainless Steel bearing ball in the converter. As this steel is 8 times denser than water it moves around in my converter filled with Noodler's 'bulletproof' ink with ease. Adding a 2.5 mm diameter sphere translates to sacrificing only 8.18 microliter or 0.00818 milliliter ink capacity.


Edited by Fuellerfuehrerschein, 04 June 2017 - 10:49.






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