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Noodlers 'bulletproof' Ink Flow Problems.

noodlers bulletproof flow ink problems fountain pen skipping clog poor

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23 replies to this topic

#21 DaveBj


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Posted 03 June 2017 - 17:52

This falls into the YMMV basket, but I was having flow problems with Bad Black Moccasin in my Invincia fine-point.  I stirred a small drop of dish soap into the bottle before my last reload, and the flow improved dramatically.

Until you ink a pen, it is merely a pretty stick.  --UK Mike


My arsenal, in order of acquisition: Sailor 21 Pocket Pen M, Cross Solo M, Online Calligraphy, Monteverde Invincia F, Hero 359 M, Jinhao X450 M, Levenger True Writer M, Jinhao 159 M, Platinum Balance F, TWSBI Classic 1.1 stub, Platinum Preppy 0.3 F, 7 Pilot Varsity M disposables refillables, Speedball penholder, TWSBI 580 USA EF, Pilot MR, Noodler's Ahab 1.1 stub, another Preppy 0.3, Preppy EF 0.2, ASA Sniper F, Click Majestic F, Kaweco Sport M, Pilot Prera F, Baoer 79 M (fake Starwalker), Hero 616 M (fake Parker), Jinhao X750 Shimmering Sands M . . .

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#22 JamesPVD


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Posted 10 August 2017 - 06:17

I have a new Lamy Joy pen with a 1.5mm nib and the same thing happens to me. One or two pages and then it will not write. Thanks, I will try some different European ink.

#23 matteob



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Posted 14 August 2017 - 02:35

Noodlers tends to be a bit on the thick side. I have the same issue in some of my pens. Diluting it a bit seems to work best. It does tend to bubble on fill if I don't dilute it either. The only Noodlers I use regularly is X feather black for use on crummy paper and occasionally Heart of Darkness.

#24 Memory



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Posted 22 August 2017 - 10:46

I agree it's a problem with different inks, both with the manufacturer and with the type. I disagree that American inks don't work well in European or Japanese pens. That seems like a pretty  biased position to take.


I've noticed that some Noodler's inks, like the eternal lines luxury blue and la reina mauve, tend to have greater surface adhesion that was problematic with some of my pens. As others have suggested, diluting it even slightly can often improve ink flor.


For example, I inked up my new stub nibbed VP with Noodler's Violet Vote (a discontinued bulletproof ink). After a few sentences, I got hard starts and railroading. I was shocked because I've never had a VP that performed that poorly straight out of the box. I flushed the pen many times and tried Iroshizuku aji sai. Suddenly the pen work perfectly. 


Curious if there was some component affecting flow, I tried bulletproof black. I got a hard start again, but as soon as I diluted the ink with a tiny bit of water, voila! I went back and diluted my Violet Vote, and it worked just fine.

I definitely think the ink differences are a two-component problem. First, there's the visosity of the ink which refers to its propensity to adhere to surfaces (like plastics in a converter). Obviously, this affects the speed of ink flow. Additional lubricating factors in eel inks or sediment in Noodler's inks can make ink flow faster or slower indenpendent of its inherent properties. 

For most pens, a reputable ink will work just fine. However, particularly with vintage pens, clear plastic demonstrators, and new types of materials used to make new pens, your mileage may vary. Clear demonstrators are in particular sensitive to ink properties because the plastic is degraded a bit by UV light, releasing compounds in the barrels. @Waksi_the_Squirrel, that is likely the source of your issue. Older plastics especially can degrade over time or offgas chemicals used to manufacture items. (Noodler's ink pens anyone? You can't mistake that distinctive smell).  I suspect that over time, you diluted a chemical that was very sticky and adherent. As for your Edison Collier, it's probable that your converter has a different, more adhesive plastic than the inside of the barrel of your pen. Because your cartridge converter has to prevent ink from going everywhere while moving the pen, the surface tension is higher to "hold" the fluid in a bit. 


Sailor and Pilot (both iroshizuku and Pilot Namiki) are brands that have been around forever without their formula changing significantly. They're also very low viscosity to flow quickly into the nib. As such, sometimes people want to increase the inherent surface tension. That is why glycerine is added. In industrial preparations, it's typically no more than 1-3%, so if you go this route, try a drop! NOTE: glycerine in this concentration is not antimicrobial. There's not enough to create osmotic tension prohibitive to bacterial and fungal growth. If you notice fungus growing in your ink, there's a couple of scenarios. First, mold loves iron gall inks. The iron gall component is made from nut shells, like walnuts. IF you've ever eat a walnut, you know all about the dreaded fuzzy fungus-contaminated walnut that gives you cotton mouth. My understanding is that normal formulations don't have as much of a problem with fungus, possibly because they probably add an antifungal. The second possibility is that like me, you live in a region that is very humid, and moid is an inevitablity as sure as the sun rising and setting. In these cases, you can add some sodium borate. It'll keep your ink basic although it may react with some colors to change them slightly. (I actually like to perform this expermient to find inks that change). Another possibility is methylparaben, a cosmetic and food grade antimicrobial that is more effective against fungi. That's more difficult to come by as a casual user. 


There are some cases where soap have been recommended. In this case, go with the oldest type of dish soap that was made: Dawn. It's literally just sodium dodecyl sulfate. Other factors like antimicrobial compounds, scents, and other detergents may react with your sensitive fountain pens. However, a very dilute solution of plain dish soap can really clean out any gunk that was affecting ink flow.


And coming back the the original post. Noodler's ink are modern. Versions with advanced features should be treated just like Baystate and shimmering inks: a little extra care may be required. Especially for the newer versions with interesting properties, some of the active ingredients can settle down at the bottom. It's one of the few inks where Brian Goulet specficially mentions that shaking a Noodler's ink can often improve performance to get all those precipitated particles back into solution.


That said, his conventional inks are similar to other name brand inks; their conservative versions like Noodler's Blue or Noodler's Purple are less problematic in different pens in my (albeit limited) experience. 


Hope that includes some interesting stuff! I'd love to hear if your experience was different than the basic parameters outlined in this post.


Have a great day y'all,


Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: noodlers, bulletproof, flow, ink, problems, fountain, pen, skipping, clog, poor

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