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Diamine Registrar's Ink (And Other Modern Iron-Galls)


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51 replies to this topic

#1 FloatingFountain

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Posted 18 May 2014 - 15:57

After first looking at the Noodler's Inks, I'm now (also) looking at the iron gall inks as options for a permanent ink that is water and fade resistant.

 

The most important question is: How SAFE are these inks in a fountain pen? I've been reading until my eyes are square, but the recommendations go like this:

 

- Don't EVER use this in a fountain pen, no matter what the manufacturer says!

- Just flush between every fill and don't let the pen sit for weeks, and you're OK.

- Don't worry; if you use your pen once in a while and flush every few months you'll be fine.

 

The pens I intend to use this iron gall ink in would be:

 

- A Parker Duofold International, and a Parker Sonnet. Fine.

- A Sailor Sapporo, and a Sailor 1911L. Japanese Medium.

- Another pen; possibly a Waterman Carène. Fine.

 

Anything I should know when putting iron gall ink in one of these pens?

 

Some manufacturers recommend flushing after each use. I can't do that; I can't empty a pen in one writing session. Flushing after the convertor is empty (5-7 days) is no problem; I normally do that anyway.

 

===

 

Now, should I get an iron gall ink, these are the ones I can easily obtain:

 

UK, registrarsink.co.uk: ESSRI (€0.09/ml, *INCLUDING* shipping)

UK, multiple sources: Diamine Registrar's Ink (€0.13/ml)

NL: Röhrer & Klingner Scabiosa (€0.09/ml, it's purple)

NL: Röhrer & Klingner Salix (€0.09/ml) (fade resistance only fair)

NL: Akkerman Iron Gall (€0.25/ml, somewhat expensive)

US, EBay, some sellers: Organics Studio Aristotle (€0.21/ml, doable if ordering 2 55ml bottles)

US, Goulet Pens: Organics Studio Aristotle (€0.20/ml, doable if ordering 4 55ml bottles)

US, other sources: Organics Studio Aristotle (€0.2/ml, prohibitive shipping costs and tax duties)

DE, multiple sources: De Atramentis Document Ink (€0.60/ml, way too expensive... edit: not iron gall)

 

They all seem to get good reviews; no feathering on cheap paper, no bleedthrough, moderate dry times. Nothing bad is mentioned about them, except that they are high maintenance inks and write quite dry.

 

Any reason to go for for one of them specifically, or maybe avoid one or more? Can anybody point to another source for ESSRI? (What a fracking name they have....)


Edited by FloatingFountain, 18 May 2014 - 22:37.


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#2 Oranges and Apples

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Posted 18 May 2014 - 16:08

I would recommend you buying an iron gall ink and then test it with a pen your are comfortable having sediment build up in because from experience, it will happen.  If you search up how iron gall ink works you'll soon realize why sediment build up is inevitable.

 

Well anyway.  As I said before purchase an iron gall ink, fill it in a pen you are comfortable having sediment build up in, use the pen just as you would any other of your pens*, and then flush that pen with the iron gall ink in it a white disposable cup.  If you are comfortable having those sediments floating around in your pen converter (or other filling system), feed, and nib then use it with which ever pen you are comfortable with. 

 

This sounds scary and it was especially since I was using the iron gall inks in my Pilot M90.

 

*By "use the pen just as you would any other of your pens" I mean if you go a month without flushing and just filling do that, or if you flush after each fill do that.  You'll be surprised at the results and I was horrified by it especially in a hard to find pen such as the Pilot M90.



#3 Lorna Reed

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Posted 18 May 2014 - 16:12

I have to use a no-name black registrars ink at work for official documents, and use it in a Pilot 78G which is cheap enough not to be a tragedy if the pen gets ruined. I don't empty and clean it every time, only when the pen needs refilling.

At home I use Diamine registrars ink for addressing envelopes. At the moment it's in an Italix Parsons Essential pen. I intend to follow the same procedure - give it a good clean when it needs refilling, keeping fingers crossed and hoping for the best. :blush:


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#4 FloatingFountain

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Posted 18 May 2014 - 16:22

Thanks for the replies..

 

To be honest, I'm not really 'scared' about what could be *IN* the ink. The ink could grow yellow piranha's inside the pen for all I care, *IF* they don't do damage and I can flush them out easily, without having to resort to extremely powerful detergents or cleaning solutions. Soapy luke-warm water, or a 10-20% ammonia solution is the furthest I'm willing to go. What I'm afraid of is that I don't know if the IG ink will destroy any pen parts if I use it continuously.

 

I'm trying to standardize on 4 or 5 rotating pens, and one or two inks, and therefore I'm not willing to dedicate any pen and ink to one another.


Edited by FloatingFountain, 18 May 2014 - 16:22.


#5 blINK

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Posted 18 May 2014 - 16:32

I find that in these days of online banking, I write 6-8 checks per year. Occasionally, I will need to physically sign something. Then again, my mortgage paperwork was done entirely with Adobe e-signatures.

Still, I keep an older Cross ATX inked up with R&K Scabiosa. I love the color and I use the pen to write checks and sign documents.

I have my pen tray on my desk and try to write with each pen several times a week. I find that this is enough to keep the ink flowing in the ATX. When it runs out of ink, I flush the nib/feed/section and converter with Goulet's pen flush and water - then re-ink it with Scabiosa. So far, no issues.

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#6 Strombomboli

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Posted 18 May 2014 - 16:43

The easiest thing would be to just stay with the Noodler's inks. They are cheap and there is nothing to worry about what it will do to your pen. Of course, I am not talking about the legendary Baystate Blue, but about other bulletproof inks I am using, like The Heart of Darkness or Lexington Gray.


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#7 David_W

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Posted 18 May 2014 - 17:02

DE, multiple sources: De Atramentis Document Ink (€0.60/ml, way too expensive)

Document Ink is nano-pigment ink, not iron gall.



#8 FloatingFountain

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Posted 18 May 2014 - 17:04

I have my pen tray on my desk and try to write with each pen several times a week. I find that this is enough to keep the ink flowing in the ATX. When it runs out of ink, I flush the nib/feed/section and converter with Goulet's pen flush and water - then re-ink it with Scabiosa. So far, no issues.

 

This is what I was thinking about. If the pen is used with the same ink over and over again, then what difference does it make to flush it?

 

If the ink eats away at the feed, the pen itself, or maybe the metal ring that separates the nib and feed on the Sonnet, flushing or cleaning the pen won't stop that process if you put the ink right back in. It might look like there are no issues, but I'd want to know for sure that the ink doesn't eat away the feed in five years or so.

 

The easiest thing would be to just stay with the Noodler's inks. They are cheap and there is nothing to worry about what it will do to your pen. Of course, I am not talking about the legendary Baystate Blue, but about other bulletproof inks I am using, like The Heart of Darkness or Lexington Gray.

 

I've been thinking about that as well (in another thread), but there is only one way for me to obtain these inks; that's through PurePens.co.uk. All other options have prohibitive costs regarding shipping, VAT, and import duties.

 

 

Document Ink is nano-pigment ink, not iron gall.

 

What?

:gaah:

 

Thanks for the correction. While reading about the iron gall inks, De Atramentis document ink was mentioned repeatedly as an alternative to ESSRI and Diamine Registrar, so this led me to believe that it was also an iron gall ink. I'll cross it out.


Edited by FloatingFountain, 18 May 2014 - 17:07.


#9 blINK

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Posted 18 May 2014 - 17:08

This is what I was thinking about. If the pen is used with the same ink over and over again, then what difference does it make to flush it?
 
If the ink eats away at the feed, the pen itself, or maybe the metal ring that separates the nib and feed on the Sonnet, flushing or cleaning the pen won't stop that process if you put the ink right back in. It might look like there are no issues, but I'd want to know for sure that the ink doesn't eat away the feed in five years or so.
 

 
I've been thinking about that as well (in another thread), but there is only one way for me to obtain these inks; that's through PurePens.co.uk. All other options have prohibitive costs regarding shipping, VAT, and import duties.


That's why I use a lesser expensive pen where I can replace the feed if I need to. As far as the flushing, that's more to keep the ink flowing smoothly. Scabiosa or any of the other modern iron galls can tend to dry a little in the pen. So I just flush to keep the feed clean. I actually flush all pens periodically for the same reason.

Chris

 

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#10 DanielCoffey

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Posted 18 May 2014 - 20:12

One thing to remember is not to buy more of the ink than you can use in a reasonable period of, say, a year. Over time the IG inks will drop sediment in the bottle too. Never shake them either. I draw from the top and transfer to a small filling bottle.

 

There is a slight colour difference between the Diamine RI and the ESSRI when fresh but they mature to the same black/blue over time.

 

I have had minor clogging issues with a modern feed and iron gall but frequent flushing deals with it fine. I have since transferred my IG to a cheap 1930s pen with a simple ebonite feed. They are a lot less susceptible to clogging than the modern feeds since there are fewer corners for the particles to get in. A good rinse and they spit out any bits.

 

Over two years of use I have had absolutely no detectable ink-related damage to both an 18K modern nib and a 1930s SS flex nib.



#11 Strombomboli

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Posted 18 May 2014 - 22:12


I've been thinking about that as well (in another thread), but there is only one way for me to obtain these inks; that's through PurePens.co.uk. All other options have prohibitive costs regarding shipping, VAT, and import duties.

 

Yes, I know the problem. But one bottle will last a long time, and you could even order two, if you want to be sure. PurePens is as good as any other dealer.


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#12 FloatingFountain

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Posted 19 May 2014 - 00:33



One thing to remember is not to buy more of the ink than you can use in a reasonable period of, say, a year. Over time the IG inks will drop sediment in the bottle too. Never shake them either. I draw from the top and transfer to a small filling bottle.

...

Over two years of use I have had absolutely no detectable ink-related damage to both an 18K modern nib and a 1930s SS flex nib.

 

 



 

Yes, I know the problem. But one bottle will last a long time, and you could even order two, if you want to be sure. PurePens is as good as any other dealer.

 

@DanielCoffey: Thanks for the information. The 110ml bottle is indeed quite large and high.

@Strombomboli: I've thought about that too. However, Noodler's inks (even the normal bulletproof black) receives too much bashing for my liking, where the R&K Salix/Scabiosa, Diamine RI and ESSRI inks all get very good reviews.

 

Mainly because of this thread I have decided to cancel a backlogged order of normal Diamine inks, replacing it with one bottle of ESSRI.

 

When I receive it, I'll decontaminate a syringe using pure alcohol, and syringe-fill the convertor of my Sailor Sapporo Medium. If all goes well, I'll try it in the Sonnet and the Duofold. If I like the ink, I'll get four 30ml bottles to split it up and standardize on it. After using it all, I'll probably try the Diamine, R&K Salix and Scabiosa, in that order



#13 amberleadavis

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Posted 19 May 2014 - 18:03

FF, how come Akkerman's are so expensive for you? You are still in the same country.


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#14 FloatingFountain

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Posted 19 May 2014 - 18:19

When they had the large bottles, Akkerman ink cost 16.95 euro for 150ml, or 0.11 euro/ml. They have noted the international success, and in the smaller bottles, it now costs 15 euro for 60ml, or 0.25 euro/ml. That does not include the 6.75 euro shipping costs.

 

Virtually *every* ink I can easily obtain is cheaper than Akkerman, even if I have to get it in the UK or Germany.



#15 amberleadavis

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Posted 19 May 2014 - 20:13

Dang, what a bummer.  Thank you for the clarification.

 

In that case, unless you love the Akkerman bottle (and it is worthy of love), buy the Diamine inks. You can get working equivalents.


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#16 Strombomboli

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Posted 19 May 2014 - 21:21

@Strombomboli: I've thought about that too. However, Noodler's inks (even the normal bulletproof black) receives too much bashing for my liking, where the R&K Salix/Scabiosa, Diamine RI and ESSRI inks all get very good reviews.

 

There are some Noodler's inks I tried and thus found cause for bashing, but I'd like to unbash the two I mentioned before, The Heart of Darkness and Lexington Gray. They both work very well.

 

But go for ESSRI, I sometimes felt lured to order a bottle. So, please, let us know how you like it, once you have it.


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#17 Sandy1

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Posted 20 May 2014 - 13:25

Hi,

Of the pens you mentioned, I would set aside the Sonnet due to the possibility the cap does not form an effective seal; and the Carene due to the possibility that the inlaid nib and massive feed+collector could require more maintenance than you are prepared to provide. If either the Duofold or the Sonnet has any problems with the plating on the ring at the end of the section (ferrule), it should be set aside as any acidic ink can exploit a flaw in the plating hence degrade the base metal underneath.

I-G inks are not inclined to feather, spread or bleed- show-through, so choice of pen is determined less by the paper and more by the appearance you choose. The pens you mention seem to have a similar nib width, and all seem to be very good picks for a daily writer, so I suggest running trials on the papers you are likely to encounter then determine which one has the desired wetness and smoothness-feedback, then use that pen as your daily writer. The overall appearance of the ink may also be adjusted: slight dilution with [distilled] water if too dark, or adding a surfactant if too dry/pale. (1) (2)
> I do not follow the practice of having many pens charged with ink 'in rotation'. I have one pen+ink combo as a daily writer at the office, and two pen+ink combos when in the field. For personal writing, I choose the pen+ink+paper combo on a per document basis.
 
Prior to charging a pen with I-G ink, it must be free of residue from other inks, especially those that are not based on simple aniline dyes. The sage advice of Ron Zorn, Co-Leader of the Repair Q&A Forum, is to use a cleaner for technical/draughting pens, such as Koh-i-Noor Rapido-Eze, followed by plain water rinses. It seems to have an indefinite shelf life, so it is a long term investment, especially for those who have a low Tedium Tolerance. (3)
> I prefer that approach over trying to boost the effectiveness of a DIY ammonia+surfactant mix by increasing the concentration of those ingredients or extending the exposure time. (4)

ESSRI is known to throw some sediment, so the use of one or two bottles to store the ink and one for dispensing was proposed for ease of handling and keeping the sediment out of the filler bottle. (5)

ESS has suggested storing their ink in the dark away from heat sources. (6)

For over two years a Pilot Plumix remains charged with ESSRI for the sole task of addressing envelopes and random jotting. The pen has had zero maintenance, and is filled before it runs dry. There are no problems whenever it is called on to write. Based on that experience I believe that any problems beyond those in common with simple aniline dye inks have to do with the ink drying out, so it is not the ink itself, but the pen that is used and the manner of handling the pen once charged that cause misbehaviour.

I suggest keeping the pen from drying out by capping it when not writing, and top-up the ink reservoir every day or two. When topping-up, give the nib+feed a quick pass under the water tap to remove any detritus & concentrated ink, then without drying, fill the pen and cycle the converter several times so that the pen is completely flushed with fresh ink. (The bit of rinse water carried forward will off-set any concentration from evaporation.)  

Should you choose to set aside a pen for more than a few days but less than say ten days, empty the ink from the reservoir, fill the pen with plain water, leave the nib+feed wet, then cap the pen. When starting-up, flush the water, shake most of the water from the pen, swab the cap internals, then fill the pen by cycling the converter several times to get ink into the nooks & crannies of the feed+collector.

If one has a lapse of attention or when resting the pen for more than ten days, Member pharmacist has suggested removing any precipitate with a dilute acetic acid rinse prior to using an ammonia-based cleaning solution. (7)

Wheee!

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1) ESSRI Dilution : http://www.fountainp...s-ink-dulution/
2) Surfactant / Flow Enhancer : http://www.fountainp...otle/?p=2996439
3) Limit to Soaking? : http://www.fountainp...king/?p=2453755
4) N54M Review Post № 25 onward : http://www.fountainp...etts/?p=2828540
5) ESSRI Review Post № 374 & links within : http://www.fountainp...-ink/?p=2776007
6) ESSRI Review Post № 364 : http://http://www.fo...-ink/?p=2773554
7) ESSRI Review Post № 271 : http://www.fountainp...-ink/?p=2304216

 


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#18 FloatingFountain

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Posted 20 May 2014 - 16:51

Hi,

<snip massively informative post>

Wheee!

 

 

Thank you for this very informative reply. To answer some of the statements:

 

- If either the Sonnet or the Duofold have problems, whatever they may be, they will be returned. Especially the Duofold. I'm not going to pay hundreds of euro's for a pen and then keep it if it's not perfect. The Sonnet inner cap problem has been fixed 15 years ago already, as far as I've been able to determine. The 2014 Sonnet I did have (which I traded in for the 2014 one that's now in the mail) didn't have any problems with drying out when capped.

 

- The pens all have nib widths between 0.40 and 0.50mm. I don't have any use for anything else for daily writing. I have a ballpoint (a Parker IM) which I use as a loaner, or if I encounter a paper I dare not use a fountain pen on. We have some *VERY* crappy copy paper circulating at work. It actually draws ink out of the pen like a tissue. Beside the ever-present ballpoint, only one (1) fountain pen is inked, which will be used until it runs empty.

 

- As I intend to use all the pens as daily writers, in rotation one by one, I'm not willing to set one or more of them aside, or to dedicate one pen to any ink. Any ink I use must be usable in any pen I use. That's why I'm simplifying my entire setup.

 

- While I do thank you for your extensive post, it contains way too many IF-statements. I want to USE my fountain pens, not keep a journal on which pen/ink-combo should be refilled in what way, and cleaned by which type of solution.

 

===

 

This is the procedure i use now, using Waterman or Diamine ink:

 

1. Fill the pen.

2. Wipe the nib with a paper towel.

3. Wipe the section with a damp paper towel until no ink comes off.

3. Write the pen empty (3-7 days, writing daily.)

4. Flush it with a luke-warm soapy water/dish washer solution.

5. Store the pen.

6. Return to 1, use a different pen.

 

(Leave the Carène out of the equation; I don't have that yet, but the Duofold and Sonnet are in the mail now.)

 

Can i do this with ESSRI and/or other Iron-Gall inks without risking permanent damage to the pen? I'm mostly referring to the gold(plated) trim on the end of the section. I wonder if the ink would actually damage it, taking into account that this part is immediately wiped after filling. What about the rhodium plating (I think it is) on the duo-tone nibs of the Sonnet and Duofold?

 

If answer is that I can use IG ink like this, I'd standardize on it.

 

If the answer is that even modern IG ink really comes with a lot of 'but' and 'or' and requirements (despite what many other people are saying, then I'd rather standardize on Black and Blue from Waterman, Diamine, and maybe Pelikan if a pen requires a dryer ink In that case... would anyone want a new bottle of ESSRI, for €13.50, including shipping?


Edited by FloatingFountain, 20 May 2014 - 19:21.


#19 Sandy1

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Posted 20 May 2014 - 19:49

 

Thank you for this very informative reply. To answer some of the statements:

 

- If either the Sonnet or the Duofold have problems, whatever they may be, they will be returned. Especially the Duofold. I'm not going to pay hundreds of euro's for a pen and then keep it if it's not perfect. The Sonnet inner cap problem has been fixed 15 years ago already, as far as I've been able to determine. The 2014 Sonnet I did have (which I traded in for the 2014 one that's now in the mail) didn't have any problems with drying out when capped.

 

- The pens all have nib widths between 0.40 and 0.50mm. I don't have any use for anything else for daily writing. I have a ballpoint (a Parker IM) which I use as a loaner, or if I encounter a paper I dare not use a fountain pen on. We have some *VERY* crappy copy paper circulating at work. It actually draws ink out of the pen like a tissue. Beside the ever-present ballpoint, only one (1) fountain pen is inked, which will be used until it runs empty.

 

- As I intend to use all the pens as daily writers, in rotation one by one, I'm not willing to set one or more of them aside, or to dedicate one pen to any ink. Any ink I use must be usable in any pen I use. That's why I'm simplifying my entire setup.

 

- While I do thank you for your extensive post, it contains way too many IF-statements. I want to USE my fountain pens, not keep a journal on which pen/ink-combo should be refilled in what way, and cleaned by which type of solution.

 

===

 

This is the procedure i use now, using Waterman or Diamine ink:

 

1. Fill the pen.

2. Wipe the nib with a paper towel.

3. Wipe the section with a damp paper towel until no ink comes off.

3. Write the pen empty (3-7 days, writing daily.)

4. Flush it with a luke-warm soapy water/dish washer solution.

5. Store the pen.

6. Return to 1, use a different pen.

 

(Leave the Carène out of the equation; I don't have that yet, but the Duofold and Sonnet are in the mail now.)

 

Can i do this with ESSRI and/or other Iron-Gall inks without risking permanent damage to the pen? I'm mostly referring to the gold(plated) trim on the end of the section. I wonder if the ink would actually damage it, taking into account that this part is immediately wiped after filling. What about the rhodium plating (I think it is) on the duo-tone nibs of the Sonnet and Duofold?

 

If answer is that I can use IG ink like this, I'd standardize on it.

 

If the answer is that even modern IG ink really comes with a lot of 'but' and 'or' and requirements (despite what many other people are saying, then I'd rather standardize on Black and Blue from Waterman, Diamine, and maybe Pelikan if a pen requires a dryer ink In that case... would anyone want a new bottle of ESSRI, for €13.50, including shipping?

 

Hi,
 

You're welcome!

Thanks you for the clarifications.

I include 'if statements' in an attempt to capture some of the nuances of handling pen+ink that are tricky to convey, and to provide options and encompass contingencies. I try to avoid being didactic or pose as one who knows everything.

As to method:
- Please take steps to avoid drawing any sediment into your pens.
- Washing-up liquid can leave a persistent residue and may contain ingredients that do not play nice with your pens in the long term.

I reckon you'll be just fine writing with the pen chosen to pair with an I-G ink until it runs dry or within a week at the outside, then give it a thorough cleansing and a chance to rest until it comes back into use. :)

 

I look forward to reading of your adventure.

Bye,
S1


Edited by Sandy1, 20 May 2014 - 19:50.

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#20 FloatingFountain

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Posted 20 May 2014 - 20:36

 

Hi,
 

You're welcome!

Thanks you for the clarifications.

 

<snip>

 

I look forward to reading of your adventure.

Bye,
S1

 

Thanks :) You might not know everything, but you do seem to have a lot of experience with inks, and ESSRI / Iron Gall. There are other members here too, like Pharmacist, who actually makes his/her own inks, and someone called Pterodactylus who seems to use IG inks a lot.

 

I've been comparing posts between quite a lot people, and they are just too far apart to draw any definite conclusions. You say, flush every week. Others say, just don't let the ink dry. Flushing after a few refills (up to three months of refilling, some say) will be fine. Everybody seems to have a different opinion.

 

I'll stick to one week, at least in the beginning.

 

The one thing I see that you contradict, and which surprised me, is using dish washing detergent; it's recommended... like... everywhere, also on FPN. Luke-warm water with a drop of dish washing detergent seems to be the nr. 1 recommendation to flush a pen. Some people even recommend to put a drop into dry ink to make it wetter. What could be in it, causing you to recommend to avoid it?

 

=====

 

With regard to the sediment, I assume it will sink to the bottom and stay there. This will be the setup:

 

- Split up the 110ml ESSRI bottle into 4 bottles of 27.50ml, marked 1 through 4. (I hope this will create four very thin layers of sediment, instead of one huge one. I hope it will make decanting ink easier.)

- Fill from Bottle 1, topping that one up using Bottle 2, then 3, then 4, if the nib doesn't submerge anymore.

- Before topping up Bottle 1, move the ink to a new bottle making that one the 'new 1', leaving a thin layer in the 'old 1', where all the sediment is. Clean that one out. Also, leave a thin layer in Bottle 2, 3 and 4 when drawing ink to top off Bottle 1.

 

Moving the ink will be done by using a decontaminated syringe.

 

With regard to taking care of the pens:

 

- Ink only one fountain pen at a time.

- After filling, wipe the nib, and feed. Wipe the section with a damp paper towel until no ink comes off. I can't really believe that the ink leaves stuff that damages the pen even after it was wiped off.

- Write until empty, or until one week passes after last fill, even if not empty.

- Flush the pen and convertor liberally, using luke-warm water. (Maybe, with 10% white vinegar in it, like Pharmacist suggests, when using IG?)

- Put pen in storage, and pick up next pen (I have three now; at the end of the week, at least).

 

I'm not concerned with the loss of ink (wipe-away, flushing the convertor, garbage to avoid sediment); a bottle of 110ml should easily last me for about six to eight months; probably longer.


Edited by FloatingFountain, 20 May 2014 - 20:47.







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