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Refilling A Selectip Cartridge

experimentation cross selectip rollerball refill ink

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3 replies to this topic

#1 TeaHive


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Posted 21 August 2014 - 03:23

I tried searching for an answer to this and couldn't, so I hope this isn't a repeat thread.


I was playing around with my Selectip RB, trying to decide if I could open up the cartridge and refill it myself with fountain pen ink. The gel ink is... not the best. It takes forever to dry, and seems to skip a lot when I use the pen. At any rate, I discovered you can pull the very tip of the refill off easily (and got covered in ink in the process), but I was wondering if anyone else has tried, and how exactly would you get the gel ink out of such a narrow opening?


I've yet to get an ink syringe, but it looks like one would fit in to actually do the refilling bit, but I'm at a loss at how to go about getting the gel ink out, other than just writing it empty. Maybe using a syringe to add water, soak, shake it around a bit and suck it back out?


These refills are pretty expensive as single units, do-able as two-packs, but at the price, I'd rather get a disposable fountain pen! I actually got this pen (an ATX in Solstice Yellow) to convert into a fountain pen, but I may just go ahead and try to empty/refill the cartridge myself anyway for curiosity's sake. I just had to ask if anyone else out there has tried!


Have you? Did it work? What did you do?

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#2 Sasha Royale

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Posted 21 August 2014 - 03:55

So, it is a roller ball refill ?   If you get the very low viscosity fp ink to flow around the ball, how do you get it stop ?   

Writing with ink is essentially controlling the leakage of ink onto paper.   The solution is fascinating !  


Thank you, Louis Waterman.

Auf freiem Grund mit freiem Volke stehn. 
Zum Augenblicke dürft ich sagen: 
Verweile doch, du bist so schön ! 

#3 TeaHive


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Posted 21 August 2014 - 05:24

I've put fountain pen ink into a Pilot V5 with success. Granted, it has a feed. I'm not sure how fast the ink would flow out of the Selectip rollerball, or if the tip would be narrow enough for surface tension to slow the flow. I haven't tried it yet.


I suppose if you needed to add some viscosity, maybe adding gum arabic would work? At this point, it's all speculation. But I'm going to get an ink syringe and try my luck soon. And if I end up with a big ol' flowy mess, oh well. I'll have wasted one cartridge on a roller ball pen I plan to turn into an FP anyway, and loose a couple milliliters of ink. Plus, I'll finally have a syringe for all my other inky uses.

#4 TeaHive


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Posted 19 September 2014 - 18:55

As a follow-up to this, I did end up putting fountain pen ink into an empty rollerball cartridge. While the flow of the ink out of the tip made a bold line, it didn't make a mess unless I let the pen linger on the page. I did end up making some interesting ink droplet doodles that way, though!


The actual problem was the hole in the back end of the cartridge, which would normally be blocked on the inside by a bit of viscous grease that moves along with the gel ink. When I cleaned the cartridge, I removed that grease. So storing the pen with fountain pen ink in it became an issue if I left the hole open. Letting the pen rest horizontally on my desk seemed to work. I did block the hole at one point, but that meant the ink could not flow at all, and I had to remove the block to get the pen working at all.


I ended up getting a bit inventive, by suspending a small ball of beeswax in silicone grease in the dimple on the back outside part of the cartridge. It allowed some air-flow and slowed the flow of the ink a bit. But it was messy and fiddly. Good for the sake of the experiment, but not something anyone would like to do every time a refill is needed.


I imagine adding some kind of oil or grease to the ink itself might have worked. But I gave it up as an experiment and ended up throwing the cartridge out before I thought of that. I WILL however get some of the porous tip Cross cartridges and attempt refilling one of those. They seem like they might work much like a Pilot Petit 3, with a felt wick and tip.

Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: experimentation, cross, selectip, rollerball, refill, ink

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