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Inks For Esties?

esterbrook ink inksafety

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24 replies to this topic

#1 Lovely_Pen

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Posted 30 March 2015 - 06:07

So I'm still pretty new to vintage pens and I was just wondering if there were any types of ink I should avoid using in my Esterbrooks (due to the sacs)? So far, I've only inked up my Esties with Mont Blanc Daniel Defoe Palm Green and Organics Studio Foggy Bottom--both of which seemed like safe bets. 

 

I have some Sailor Jentle ink though which I'd love to use too, but because they have such a chemical smell to them, I wasn't sure how safe they would be in a sac/lever filler pen. I have a bottle of J. Herbin Stormy Gray but I couldn't imagine trying to clean out all the bits of sparkles...

 

Many thanks for your advice!


μὴ ζήτει τὰ γινόμενα γίνεσθαι ὡς θέλειςἀλλὰ θέλε τὰ γινόμενα ὡς γίνεται 

καὶεὐροήσεις. - Epictetus

 

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#2 whych

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Posted 30 March 2015 - 08:13

You shouldn't have a problem using most inks in the pen. The nib unscrews so you can soak and flush the nib separately.

The main problem I find with pens that have ink sacs is they take longer to clean out, so stay away from inks that are difficult to clean out.

If you have more than one, you can dedicate a pen to the reds which are usually difficult to flush out,  another for lighter colours and another for blacks and dark colours.

 

The general advice is to stay away from Private Reserve BSB in a sac filler.



#3 OcalaFlGuy

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Posted 30 March 2015 - 15:00

It is generally accepted that most any Very saturated ink will lessen the life over time of a latex sac.

 

This can possibly be minimized by not letting loads of ink dry in the sac and perhaps pulling the nib and flushing all the saturated ink out every couple months if the pen is in steady use.

 

Most of us that regularly use Very saturated inks accept the possible latex sac issues and use them anyway.

 

I also would not generally[1] use BSB in an Estie but mainly because of it's staining over it's affect on the sac.

 

[1] Perhaps in a dedicated to BSB only Black Estie.

 

Bruce in Ocala, Fl

 

 

 

 



#4 Brian Anderson

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Posted 30 March 2015 - 18:22

The general advice is to stay away from Private Reserve BSB in a sac filler.

 

I think you meant to say Private Reserve _or_ BSB

 

If you are concerned, the easiest thing to remember is to stick with companies that make pens, so Sheaffer, Parker, Waterman, Sailor, Pilot, Montblanc, etc.  Boutique brands may or may not give you an issue, but those aforementioned definitely won't give you any issues.


www.esterbrook.net All Esterbrook, All the Time.

#5 sombrueil

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Posted 30 March 2015 - 19:03

 

I think you meant to say Private Reserve _or_ BSB

 

If you are concerned, the easiest thing to remember is to stick with companies that make pens, so Sheaffer, Parker, Waterman, Sailor, Pilot, Montblanc, etc.  Boutique brands may or may not give you an issue, but those aforementioned definitely won't give you any issues.

Noodlers makes pens.



#6 SteveE

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Posted 30 March 2015 - 20:05

Noodlers makes pens.

 

 

Sort of. . .



#7 OcalaFlGuy

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Posted 30 March 2015 - 20:49

Lovely, one other thing to consider.

 

IMO, under worse case saturated ink situations, the sac would still last 1.5-2 years.

 

A fairly large percent of the Estieville residents here have resacced one. Sacs run about $2. If you've done it before, you can probably resac one in 10 minutes. 

 

In the grand scheme of things, having to replace a sac a little more often to be able to use a Vibrant ink is worth it to many Estie owners.

 

Bruce in Ocala, Fl



#8 northlodge

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Posted 30 March 2015 - 21:01

I have been advised against using Registrars ink in any fountain pen I value (by a Registrar who swears the ink ruins his pens). As I have no call for such ink I have never tested his claim, but have simply heeded the warning. 



#9 gweimer1

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Posted 30 March 2015 - 21:12

Having succumbed to the Esterbrook addiction, once you start matching inks to pens, you've thrown all caution to the wind.  You'll need a handyman's talents, or just simply a handyman.



#10 mmg122

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Posted 31 March 2015 - 06:36

Agree with Bruce that any adverse affects of using highly saturated ink on Estie sacs is easily remedied by most Estie collectors and a small price to pay for the pleasure of using these beautiful inks.

#11 Lou Erickson

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Posted 03 April 2015 - 21:08

I have been advised against using Registrars ink in any fountain pen I value (by a Registrar who swears the ink ruins his pens). As I have no call for such ink I have never tested his claim, but have simply heeded the warning. 

Well, I'm testing that now in a copper Estie.  Not so much to test it, but because it's nice to have the registrar's ink (ESSRI in my case) in a pen with a Manifold nib to write checks with.  That meant an Estie, and this copper one got the job.

 

Almost six months with no trouble.


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Lou Erickson - Handwritten Blog Posts


#12 pajaro

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Posted 03 April 2015 - 23:35

Lovely, one other thing to consider.

 

IMO, under worse case saturated ink situations, the sac would still last 1.5-2 years.

 

A fairly large percent of the Estieville residents here have resacced one. Sacs run about $2. If you've done it before, you can probably resac one in 10 minutes. 

 

In the grand scheme of things, having to replace a sac a little more often to be able to use a Vibrant ink is worth it to many Estie owners.

 

Bruce in Ocala, Fl

 

I fully agree that it's worth it to use the inks you want.  I used some Noodler's inks in Esterbrooks without any apparent issue, and I haven't repeat resacced any of the Esties.  Not using stuff like Bay State Blue, though the purple shade was tempting.


"Don't hurry, don't worry. It's better to be late at the Golden Gate than to arrive in Hell on time."
--Sign in a bar and grill, Ormond Beach, Florida, 1960.

 

They took the blue from the skies and the pretty girls' eyes and a touch of Old Glory too . . .


#13 blazingthrough

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Posted 08 April 2015 - 14:15

I think the main problem with staining inks is that it's visible, especially through transparent converters or demonstrators. But esties have sacs that are covered by the barrel of the pen. So unless you're using something like Baystate Blue (or any ink that tends to physically damage pens), you should be fine with any ink. :)



#14 kestrel

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Posted 08 April 2015 - 19:45

A blue J with issues was my dedicated BSB test pen for two years and I had no trouble with pen or ink.  The 2668 nib had existing corrosion/pitting problems and the barrel had been stained by something obnoxious that refused to come off.  My only problem with the BSB was a pale blue ring it deposited on the barrel where the posted cap sat while I wrote.  Nib creep deposited ink on the inner cap when I accidentally left the pen horizontal overnight.  The ink did not increase the pitting nor did it cause clogging nor did it visibly stain any part of the pen except for that ring.  Estie ink sacs are easily flushed by removing the nib and using a blunt-tipped needle and syringe to irrigate the sac a couple of times.  I will put any ink I own in an Estie as long as I can do a thorough flush afterwards.


Dave Campbell
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Every day is a chance to reduce my level of ignorance.

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#15 pajaro

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Posted 09 April 2015 - 03:02

It has been stated that saturated inks damage pens.  Here it's also said that saturated inks reduce the life of the sac.  What I have not seen is an explanation of what it is that a saturated ink does.  I am making an assumption that what is meant by a saturated ink is an ink where the dye is in a saturated solution.  So, if a saturated ink somehow damages sacs and pens, what kind of damage is done by any ink?  What kind of action is it that damages pen and sac materials. 

 

All I have ever read about this is that saturated inks damage pens.  I haven't read a convincing explanation of how this is accomplished, just the assertion that saturated inks damage pens, and now that saturated inks shorten the lifetime of sacs.  Is there some chemical action? 

 

I have used manufacturers' inks in Esterbrooks. Noodler's inks in Esterbrooks and some inks that probably fall into the "boutique ink" bucket.  Regular Noodler's inks, bulletproof Noodler's inks.  No damage has yet manifested itself in these, or in Parker 51s, Montblanc 144s and 146s, Pelikan M400s, and others.  I don't see the damage, but I would like somebody who actually knows the score to explain it.  

 

I think you can use any ink marketed for fountain pens in an Esterbrook.  I wouldn't use pigmented inks or India inks.  I think pigments will clog a feed.  India ink should be expected to clog a feed with varnish.

 

Artists' paints use pigments.  Writing inks use dyes.  


"Don't hurry, don't worry. It's better to be late at the Golden Gate than to arrive in Hell on time."
--Sign in a bar and grill, Ormond Beach, Florida, 1960.

 

They took the blue from the skies and the pretty girls' eyes and a touch of Old Glory too . . .


#16 OcalaFlGuy

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Posted 09 April 2015 - 03:49

I've seen BSB melt a line around the inner circumference of an Estie cap where the inner cap is.

 

 

I have the pics to prove it.

 

BSB stained a Blue Streaker of mine so bad I had to Simichrome it out. 

 

If *I* was going to make an Estie a BSB pen it'd be a Black one.

 

Bruce in Ocala, Fl



#17 mmg122

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Posted 09 April 2015 - 03:54

I have a very nice blue Icicle LJ dedicated to BSB and haven't had any issues at all. I don't post my caps so the problem Kestrel mentioned I've been able to avoid. The great joy of this hobby IMO is being able to use our pens and inks. While I would hate to see this pen damaged, I'm willing to take the risk. So far, no issues.

#18 OcalaFlGuy

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Posted 09 April 2015 - 04:04

Telling you WHY it happens is Farmboys pay grade.  :P  

 

WHAT I have seen is this.

 

I do not know if the rubber is doing it or it's the ink but it happens from the inside. Parts of the sac will start to stick to

itself. At first, it's not so bad and it'll release pretty quickly by itself. When it get worse, it will start not releasing and staying

stuck together in places in the sac. This of course, reduces the ink intake on a fill. 

 

At terminal/post mortum stages, whatever is happening inside leaves the sac in somewhat a gelatinous blob.

 

My experience with either NOS or much older than modern sacs is they usually develop hard spots on the inside of the sac

that progress until the sac is the shatterable solid, rock hard piece you can sometimes pull out mostly intact.

 

VERY different death symptoms.

 

Bruce in Ocala, Fl



#19 mmg122

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Posted 05 May 2015 - 12:24

Geez, Bruce...I almost tossed my lunch after reading your description of what you've seen happen. Although I haven't had any problems...YET...I decided to clean the BSB out of my Icicle and put it in one of my free Noodlers. Thanks for the post...even if it was difficult to read.

#20 delano

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Posted 05 May 2015 - 18:28

There was a mantra repeated in my neighborhood growing up in the 70s -- "If you can't do the time, don't do the crime."  Some say it's a crime to use certain inks in an Estie; others say it's ok if you are willing to do the time in repair if need be.

 

Is there a compiled list (however old) of what inks actually are usable in an Estie without (possible) damage to the pen?

 

If not, might we be able to compile such a list here, for a sticky in the forum?







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