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.
I've been using I-G inks for years with nary a problem, which gives me a large comfort zone, but I do not mistake I-G inks for simple aniline dye inks. My first bottle of I-G ink came bundled with an MB149, so I was very careful not to put that pen in peril, especially as it was a gift.
Ah, err, when I mentioned that you'll be OK flushing every week or so does not mean that a person cannot go for much longer periods if the I-G ink is matched to a suitable pen and appropriate steps are taken to avoid dry out and ink stagnation/concentration. I use the [extreme] example of my trial with the Plumix: over two years without maintenance/cleansing. But that pen is used regularly and isn't left sitting around uncapped; the pen has a simple collector+feed, the reservoir has a small capacity which needs to be filled about once a month (flushing with fresh ink); and the cap forms an extremely tight seal and there's little headroom in the cap so the ink doesn't dry out when at rest.
I would certainly not suggest that such trials be taken as a green light to keep I-G ink in a pen for years on end - especially as the trial is ongoing.
One reason I do not support long-term use of washing-up liquid is that the ingredients and potency can vary tremendously. Other reasons have to do with the inclusion of 'grease cutters' which may be quite aggressive, especially for vintage/sac/diaphragm pens; and the persistent 'finishing agents' that give a spot-free shiny appearance can make for problems with ink flow by altering the ink chemistry (contamination) and/or the surface properties (wet-ability) of the nib, feed & collector. (1)
I rather doubt an acetic acid rinse will be needed after one week. When you start the clean-up regimen, flush the full-strength ink from the pen by using the converter, draw water into the pen by using the converter, then empty that into a plain white saucer/plate to check for wee bits - just in case.
It seems your steps for dealing with the sediment and pen handling have low exposure to risks that could cause problems with the ink or the pens.
Can you tell that I prefer to err on the side of caution to enable inky enjoyment?
1) MSDS for Ultra Dawn : http://www.pg.com/pr...DS_Jan_2014.pdf
Edited by Sandy1, 20 May 2014 - 23:05.