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The Ink Blame Game

ink pen repair

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44 replies to this topic

#21 mhosea

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Posted 07 May 2014 - 06:48

Defects in design and workmanship have been common enough since the dawn of manufacturing.  I wish I had a dollar for every time something in this world that was supposed to have been glued or welded properly in a factory came undone prematurely because it wasn't done right or because the method used was prone to failure.  OTOH, it does seem to me that adhesive failure in a joint that is exposed to ink is one of the more plausible consequences of ink interactions.


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#22 OcalaFlGuy

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Posted 07 May 2014 - 12:25

Rick Propas is a major reseller of modern and vintage Pels and also does repairs on them.

 

The following is directly C/P from his PENguin website.

 

Please note: the use of Private Reserve or Noodlers' inks will void The PENguin warranty. I cannot be responsible for pens in which those inks have been used.

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So, it's NOT Just From the Bird's Mothership.

 

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#23 white_lotus

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Posted 07 May 2014 - 18:13

Another thing to consider is that Noodler's has 100+ inks listed for sale at the usual places. Kind of hard to phantom the array of chemicals arose the whole line. This isn't a knock on the brand, just a comment. Kind of hard for the manufacturer to know what the user is going to put in the pen. And pen parts are going to wear out over time, otherwise there wouldn't be a need for pen restorers and we wouldn't find sacs that have crumbled away with time (and perhaps due to the effects of that last fill of ink).

 

When I first got into fountain pens, it was amazing to me that there were so many inks. And I thought that any one of these could go into any pen. But now that I've learned a tiny bit more from the more knowledgeable folks here, I see that that is not the case.

 

It'd be amazing too if pen manufacturers made indestructible pens.

 

But on the OP's topic, the service center still should have taken the pen in for repair because as they could have then given a proper diagnosis and recommendation for repair, as well as cost.



#24 Flounder

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Posted 07 May 2014 - 18:41

The section leak was your fault, for using non Pelikan ink in a Pelikan M600. The packaging clearly states you must only use Pelikan inks to prevent section leaks.

 

 

 

A manufacturer should not hide behind his own ink bottles but sell a durable and well made product.

As far as I know, Diamine, Private Reserve, J Herbin to name a few only sell ink and not pens.

How could these companies have remained in business if their products caused all of the damage pen makers claim?

This is why I don't accept the pen manufacturer's explanations for such problems especially when they have not fully investigated defect in question.

 

Dude, I was being facetious, I share your sentiments. If Pelikan do make it known their pens are only compatible with Pelikan ink before point of sale, it's too well hidden for me to find.


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#25 mhosea

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Posted 07 May 2014 - 23:09

It'd be amazing too if pen manufacturers made indestructible pens.

 

Indestructible would be amazing, but it is well beyond what is needed here.  Most modern cartridge and twist-converter pens on the market are apparently suitable for use with a very wide variety of FP inks, maybe with almost all of them, save one or two.  Obviously that category (C/C) doesn't include most Pelikans.


Edited by mhosea, 07 May 2014 - 23:09.

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#26 white_lotus

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Posted 08 May 2014 - 00:08

I'd agree that c/c pens should be able to handle most modern inks. For some reason I thought the M series of Pelikans were piston fillers. Guess I was wrong.



#27 mhosea

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Posted 08 May 2014 - 02:25

I'd agree that c/c pens should be able to handle most modern inks. For some reason I thought the M series of Pelikans were piston fillers. Guess I was wrong.

 

They are, and you were not wrong, but the thread is not constrained to Pelikan piston fillers just because that was the OP's specific case, or so I thought.  Piston fillers tend to be quite robust as well, but whereas one tends to just toss a cartridge converter that binds up or leaks, the piston filler needs repair work, perhaps new seals, that kind of thing, and usually it's a bit more work to flush them, so inks that tend to clog or are hard to clean out can be a pain.


Edited by mhosea, 08 May 2014 - 02:31.

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#28 pajaro

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Posted 08 May 2014 - 03:34

I'd agree that c/c pens should be able to handle most modern inks. For some reason I thought the M series of Pelikans were piston fillers. Guess I was wrong.

 

I used Parker black Quink exclusively in my Parker Sonnets.  The ink flow got worse and worse.  I finally took out the nibs from each of them in turn, washed the nib and feed, cleaned out the section, and dried each.  After doing about 25 of them I put most away and inked one, with Sheaffer's blue black.  A week and a half later it's still writing well.  I always used to use Sheaffer's blue black back in the day, and never had a problem with it.  No problems with Montblanc inks, and Noodler's black eel is also good.

 

I used to hate Pelikan inks, because I tried their blue black on the recommendation of someone from Fahrney's pen store.  It looked totally washed out.  I suspect that if I had left the ink, the iron gall might have darkened it.  Well, another reason to avoid Pelikan.  Still have M200s and M400s.  The M640 has to go.  But I'm lazy.


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#29 Ron Z

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Posted 08 May 2014 - 12:37

I used Parker black Quink exclusively in my Parker Sonnets.....

 

Your experience mirrors what Richard and I have found, that is, that black Parker Quink causes flow problems.  We've had cases where a pen simply will not write with black Quink, but will write great with any other ink.  One of the few cases of a pen manufacturer's ink causes problems.


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#30 PrintersDevil

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Posted 09 May 2014 - 01:24

 

 

 

Dude, I was being facetious, I share your sentiments. If Pelikan do make it known their pens are only compatible with Pelikan ink before point of sale, it's too well hidden for me to find.

 

Ok, I understand.

Was a little confused.

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#31 PrintersDevil

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Posted 09 May 2014 - 01:53

This entire topic really comes down to 2 points:  the quality of the pen itself and an adequate investigation into the customer's complaint.

 

Let's begin with the quality of the pen itself.

I have a TWSBI Vac 700 with a medium nib which I purchased from the fine folks at Goulet Pens.

TWSBI is a contract manufacturer of high precision injection molded plastic parts.

As per their website, they make Legos for the Asian market and as we all know, Lego's are a highly durable, precision made plastic toy.

I can completely disassemble my TWSBI Vac 700 pen in under 1 minute.

The cap comes off, the nib/grip section unscrews from the barrel, the end cap unscrews, I lift the piston up revealing a threaded section with two flats milled on it, I take the wrench TWSBI so nicely included in the box and I unscrew the vacuum assembly from the barrel, and I am done.

At this point I can get to every part of my pen so that I can rinse/flush and clean it up.

This is an extremely well made pen which cost me about $65 and it writes like a dream.

Replacement nibs are about $20 just in case I want a nib other than a broad.

I wish every other pen was as well made because if they were, there would be far less problems.

 

Customer complaints are very important and if well understood can be used to improve product quality.

A customer complaint contains two elements: a customer narrative of the problem and the physical evidence represented by the pen itself.

The physical evidence of the pen is the most significant as it presents the most objective statement of the problem where as the customer narrative may contain a particular bias or omit a relevant detail.

Nonetheless, any reputable manufacturer owes themselves and the customer a thorough examination of the problem presented and some attempt to identify the root cause of the problem reported rather than just taking the easy way out by blaming the problem on the ink used without conducting a proper root cause analysis.

If the root cause can be identified, and if it is can be tracked and trended, the pen manufacturer may be able to identify design or manufacturing defects that they can improve upon and thus reduce the number of product defects and customer complaints.

There are so many products made today which have been subjected to continuous product improvement by which we all have benefited.

 

The failure of a pen manufacturer to take the time to truly determine the root cause of product defect is just sheer laziness, and that ladies and gentlemen is the root cause of my problem with the ink blame game.



#32 FarmBoy

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Posted 09 May 2014 - 03:12

My Parker 51 had a special ink that could destroy all other pens.
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#33 lcoldfield

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Posted 09 May 2014 - 08:40

My student pen was a Waterman with plastic section.  I ignored Waterman advice and used only Parker Quink.  Thirty years later the section was found to be in a state of near disintegration - rather like the many Parker 61 connectors that I see.  I never use Quink now, but maybe in another thirty years someone else will blame whatever damage on the Sheaffer Skrip and Pelican inks that I now use.   However, Quink was designed for the Lucite based Parker 51 so I only have myself to blame for damage to the only pen in my collection that has high sentimental value.

Laurence.



#34 mhosea

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Posted 09 May 2014 - 14:10

The use of other inks is a ubiquitous and apparently increasing trend, if the growth of internet businesses that focus on such things is any indication, and apart from Pilot and (if you are willing to import it yourself) Sailor, manufacturers are not keeping pace with the demands of the market for a large variety of colors and better performance characteristics. Consequently, in addition to protecting the company from a potentially widespread failure that is not their fault, the policy of voiding the warranty when other inks are used can obviously be abused to weasel out of fixing a fair percentage of legitimate warranty issues. Giving only yourself the benefit of the doubt is not a practice to be admired, even if the policy per se is defensible.


Edited by mhosea, 09 May 2014 - 15:23.

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#35 French

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Posted 09 May 2014 - 16:23

I wonder what ink Nathan blames when Noodler's pens have issues  :D



#36 FarmBoy

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Posted 09 May 2014 - 16:44

I wonder what ink Nathan blames when Noodler's pens have issues  :D

Probably non-Boutique inks in general...


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#37 mhosea

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Posted 09 May 2014 - 18:03

Probably non-Boutique inks in general...

 

A half-joke, perhaps. He doesn't seem to blame inks for any issues that Noodler's pens might have, citing the materials used as being robust, so no hypocrisy on that point.  But if there is a warranty of any kind on Noodler's pens, I'm not aware of it, and there is no after-sales support to speak of.  All of this apparently falls to the dealer, if anyone.  I've heard of people getting replacement parts from Luxury Brands (the distributor), but I've also heard of people getting the "I'll see what I can do..." treatment followed by nothing, especially in the case of things that go wrong with the "free" pens that sometimes come with the 4.5 ounce bottles, where "free" is in quotes because the price of the ink invariably reflects the cost of both pen and ink insofar as prices can be compared between different 4.5 ounce offerings (with different free pen situations) and 3 ounce offerings.


Edited by mhosea, 09 May 2014 - 18:06.

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#38 Jerome Tarshis

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Posted 12 May 2014 - 07:13

 However, Quink was designed for the Lucite based Parker 51 so I only have myself to blame for damage to the only pen in my collection that has high sentimental value.

 

Laurence Oldfield is known to our community for his work on pens and his authorship of a highly regarded book on pen repair, so I rather hesitate to post this, but:

 

Don't blame yourself for using an ink designed for the Lucite-based Parker 51. Quink wasn't. Quink was on the market by 1931, before the development of the Parker 51 began. There was in fact an ink or series of quick-drying inks that Parker designed the 51 to use, called variously Double Quink and Parker 51 ink and Superchrome, but those weren't Quink. Both types of ink were sold concurrently, and I used both. Sorry about your pen, but if it's any consolation, the younger Oldfield had no Parker 51 reason to hesitate.

 

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#39 viclip

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Posted 12 May 2014 - 11:03

The special P51 fast-drying ink was discontinued by Parker after it was found to be damaging to rubber components, whether sacs or diaphragms.  Apparently that ink was highly basic on the pH scale & which didn't react well with 1940s & earlier rubber.

 

Links have often been posted here to pH test results for currently available inks.  Their pH's range from quite basic to quite acidic & everywhere in between.

 

I believe that there's something to be said about not using certain inks with certain pens, not only due to the wide pH range at play but also taking into account the inclusion in some inks of solvents such as alcohol.  I can see that certain inks would tend to attack various glues used in pen manufacture.

 

But still, surely pen manufacturers could utilize adhesives &/or production methods which would lead to the output of more robust pens calculated to handle commonly available inks.



#40 PeterPenPencil

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Posted 14 May 2014 - 22:48

Well, to add to the discussion, I have a Pelikan 600 pen, which  I started to use with Noodler's ink and other brands. The problem with the pen is that the pen is too wet if you use non Pelikan brands of ink. It is wet as a sea, and even a fine nib line dries out like a broad one. After one or two ink changes, I finally purchased two bottles of Pelikan 400 ink and the pen started to write very well with the ink. Seeing that the problem was the same for a Parker Duofold Centennial, I tested the Pelikan ink with the Parker, and the pen ceased to be wet. For any other pen I use the Noodler's black because it has proved to be the one that I can easily use because I am a left handed writer. Noodler's ink has the advantage of being very strong in the paper, and in some hours it becomes indestructible, water cannot smudge it. I also use my pens to draw. Noodler's is very good for that. Another brand I like is Shaeffer ink, it is very dark and it also dries very strong. I think that no pen can be indestructible, and any ink that comes for a fountain pen can be good, and this is a matter of much debate among fountain pen users. At times I also purchase many other brands of ink, to test them. Whatever we are saying here adds to the liberty of making a decision to purchase the ink we want. I don't think that it is an absolute thing that a pen should use that particular brand of ink. Period.







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