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Kaweco Student As An Eyedropper? Experience?

kaweco student eyedropper

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4 replies to this topic

#1 NomadSteve

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Posted 30 March 2014 - 13:45

Hey folks! I recently picked up a Kaweco Student. I love the pen very much, and it could easily be a workhorse EDC for me if I could get a bit more ink into it.

 

Which leads us to my question: has anybody out there ACTUALLY converted their Student to an eyedropper fill, and if so what was the experience? Here's why I ask.

 

1) The old leaking issues with eyedropper conversion on the Sport (model-specific, or Kaweco problem?); and

 

2) The metal threads on the Student grip section vs. ink/erosion/conversion/etc.

 

Since this will be an EDC if it works out, I don't want a gusher knocking around inside my bag. (And yes, I know it's plastic and it could crack etc etc, but what I'm asking is if it will hold up for reasonably gentle everyday urban school-and-home type stuff) 

 

The only thread I found on FPN that mentioned conversion at all was this old one, but it never seemed to come to any consensus, just the OP saying it worked for him for three days (I've messaged him as well). Digging up info on non-Sport Kawecos is not easy!

 

I'm hoping somebody out there has DONE it and can...wait for it..."fill" me in?  :lol:

 

Thanks!

 

-Steve (The Idle Expatter)



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#2 Jamerelbe

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Posted 18 April 2014 - 04:17

Hi,

 

I have a few Kaweco Sports, plus an AL Sport, all purchased recently (new distributor in Aus has doubled the retail prices overnight - so I got in quick while they were available at the cheaper price...).  I haven't been game to try eyedropper conversion, for the reasons you outline - but came across a neat alternative that's worked for me, namely converting a cartridge into a bulb filler of sorts.  The ink capacity is probably nearly doubled - and it's a trick you can try in any pen, with any kind of cartridge system, as long as you can find the right sized sac - oh, and a bit of shellac.  I don't know how many times you can reuse before the hole in the cartridge becomes too large - but you can always replace, I guess, and reuse the sac.

 

Rather than explain it all, I'll link you to the Youtube video that demonstrates how to do it - I just followed the instructions provided: 

 

 

Just thought you might be interested - if you decide to "go all the way" and convert to eyedropper, I'll be interested to know what your experience is!



#3 erpe

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Posted 18 April 2014 - 08:52

Not sure about the eyedropper thing (never tried it) but for protection in a bag or pocket, you can pay a visit to a good smokers-store and pick up a few aluminum cigar-tubes. Bring your pen for the right size.If aluminum seems not strong enough for you, they come in stainless steel also ;-)



#4 NomadSteve

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Posted 18 April 2014 - 09:15

Oh! Gosh. I forgot I had posted this after it went a while without replies. Here's an update...

 

I went ahead and tried it as an eyedropper, a few days after posting this. Long story short: zero issues, still using it as an eyedropper, so far so good.

 

I did quite a lot of research on the potential for corrosion with the metal section. MOST people warn against doing any pen with exposed metal as an eyedropper. Fair enough. Now, Kaweco say the metal section on the student is chromed brass. That should be reasonably tough as far as corrosion resistance goes. And I wouldn't go chucking an iron gall in there (not that I have any iron gall inks anyway).

 

But let's be honest: I would be pretty surprised to see a modern ink known to be reasonably pen-safe eat through a chunk of chromed brass. Yes, I get that if I drop that section in a bottle of ink and submerge it for years, it'll probably start dissolving. So take everything I am about to say with a big ol' "DISCLAIMER/WARNING!" If you want the safest possible long-term usage of your pen, don't do this. I personally concluded that the risk was probably minimal and went for it anyway.

 

Still, it IS a good idea to go with a predictably well-behaved pen-safe ink, so naturally I filled it with Waterman Serenity Blue.

 

I did NOT grease the section threads. The small bit of prior experience I could find said it was unnecessary as far as leaking, and I didn't have any silicon grease around. This is something I WILL add once this batch of ink is used up and I re-ink the pen. "Impatience" is a very stupid reason not to grease it. And, back to the corrosion issue, grease would help improve the corrosion resistance a bit, at least where you apply it on the threads. That said, there's exposed metal other than the threads in this set-up with this pen.

 

I was nervous about all of this. Worried about leaking, burping, cracking...the lot. I babied the pen for the first week or so, constant checking for any issues, carefully wiping down the section on uncapping each and every time just in case of any stray ink escaping.

 

However, it has been a few weeks now, and I can report that there have been ZERO issues. The pen continues to write an absolute treat. No leaking, no flow issues - except, predictably, immediately after filling: it did take a few minutes for ink to saturate the feed, but I believe this is normal with eyedroppers. Nothing but a fantastic instrument that now holds a colossal amount of ink. That said, a few weeks is not THAT much time, so consider this a very early report.

 

I will try to remember this thread and report back over time if I see any issues developing long-term with the exposed metal on the section having any bad interactions with the ink. It's going to take me a little while to use up this barrel (ha!) of ink I've got in there, but I'll be giving the pen a thorough breakdown and cleaning and inspecting the section for any issues at that time. Will keep you all posted. Hopefully this can serve as a guide for future users.

 

By the way, if anybody is looking for a review of the Student, I posted one recently - my first review! You can find it here.



#5 NomadSteve

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Posted 04 May 2014 - 09:41

Reporting back: one month in, all is still well. No leaking, no burping, no untoward activity to report. Just a pen with a nearly endless supply of ink.

 

I have noticed that it writes slightly drier as an eyedropper, and that seems to be getting a bit more pronounced as the ink level drops. I assume this is because the pen clips nib up, and as the ink level goes down that leaves a significant air gap between ink and feed when it isn't being used. I don't have enough experience with eyedroppers yet to know if this is common. It could also be the Waterman Blue ink that I'm using, which is not super gushy.

 

But all in all, no complaints whatsoever so far. The pen continues to be a real treat!







Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: kaweco, student, eyedropper



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