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Dip Pen Storage

dip pen nib storage esterbrook eagle pencil co holders

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73 replies to this topic

#21 Paddler

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Posted 23 August 2015 - 14:31

A good hardware store usually sells a package of paper impregnated with a rust preventive substance. You put a sheet of this paper in your toolbox and the substance vaporizes and coats the metal parts inside. If all those nibs were mine, I would store the boxes in plastic with a sheet of this rust preventive stuff.

 

I don't have quite as many nibs as you do. I keep mine separated by manufacturer and type in partitioned plastic boxes itended for storing fishing lures. The few that are in rotation at any given time are stuck to a sheet of referigerator magnet stuff.


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#22 Goudy

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Posted 23 August 2015 - 14:51

Yes, a Vapor Corrosion Inhibitor (VCI) could be a good idea when storing vintage steel nibs that don't have a factory coating, or where the coating may have worn off.


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#23 Mob Mentality

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Posted 23 August 2015 - 15:50

:wub:  :wub:  All.

 

And I know this is only the tip of the iceberg.

 

I don't know how old you are, Mob Mentality, but I think that, even if you wrote 24 hours a day for the rest of your life, you would not run out of tools for it. :lol:

 

I think you're right that I won't run out. Alos this doesn't included the fountain pens I have which I use when not at home. I also made about 96 oz of irongall ink that is a chestnut brown color (I used acorns instead of oak galls). The one thing I will run out of is paper.  


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#24 fountainpagan

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Posted 23 August 2015 - 15:58

Could you please show a writting sample of your acorn's ink, please? 

 

Are going to stock paper, also, because yiu have a favorite band that may end? Or you just go with the brands you find around?


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#25 Mob Mentality

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Posted 23 August 2015 - 15:58

Yes, a Vapor Corrosion Inhibitor (VCI) could be a good idea when storing vintage steel nibs that don't have a factory coating, or where the coating may have worn off.

I do feel that some means of rust prevention may be nessecary but I'd rather use natural means or something that wouldn't coat the metal. I like the idea of silica gel but need to find some that is cobalt chloride free. I think I may give rice a try. All my boxes of nibs are stored in bags and the bags are put in a plastic containers. The nibs that are just in bags are all double bagged. I belive that the factory coating is still intact on many of the nibs. Also some of them are copper plated and then silver plated so rust on them shouldn't really be an issue.


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#26 Mob Mentality

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Posted 23 August 2015 - 17:33

Could you please show a writting sample of your acorn's ink, please? 

 

Are going to stock paper, also, because yiu have a favorite band that may end? Or you just go with the brands you find around?

 

I'd be happy to. I did a writing sample with the ink once it dries I will post pictures. On a side note the ink doesn't seem brown anymore, more of a grey color but it's not dry yet. I have some older samples of the ink and it was brown.


Edited by Mob Mentality, 23 August 2015 - 17:34.

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#27 fountainpagan

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Posted 24 August 2015 - 12:50

Thank you, Mob Mentality


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#28 Paddler

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Posted 24 August 2015 - 13:40

I do feel that some means of rust prevention may be nessecary but I'd rather use natural means or something that wouldn't coat the metal. I like the idea of silica gel but need to find some that is cobalt chloride free. I think I may give rice a try. All my boxes of nibs are stored in bags and the bags are put in a plastic containers. The nibs that are just in bags are all double bagged. I belive that the factory coating is still intact on many of the nibs. Also some of them are copper plated and then silver plated so rust on them shouldn't really be an issue.

 

Be aware that polyethylene is not waterproof.  Ink cartridges are much thicker than your storage bags and water still evaporates through the cartridge walls.


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#29 Mob Mentality

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Posted 24 August 2015 - 14:13

Paddler what would you suggest? I was considering maybe some air tight containers to put the bags in. From what I've read polyethylene is archival safe that's why I use it.

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#30 Paddler

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Posted 24 August 2015 - 19:26

Paddler what would you suggest? I was considering maybe some air tight containers to put the bags in. From what I've read polyethylene is archival safe that's why I use it.

 

I would pick a few boxes at random and open them to determine their present condition. If they are rust free, I would store them as-is in a cool dry place and not worry about them. After all, they have survived that way for decades. If I didn't have a safe storage area, I would buy some bags of commercial dessicant and bundle the original cartons of smaller boxes with a bag of dessicant in plastic bags. If you do this, however, you are not "done". Every few years you have to remove the dessicant and reactivate it in an oven to drive out any absorbed water and then re-pack. Silica gel, rice, or other dessicant must be re-activated periodically or it becomes saturated and quits working.

 

I would definitely not use vegetable oil on nibs because it will eventually polymerize and turn into a tough, plastic-like coating that is hell to remove. (If you have ever seen the innards of a sewing machine where 3-in-1 oil was used for lubrication, you will know what I mean).

 

In boxes that have been opened and will not be reopened for some time, I would insert a piece of waxed paper (Cut Rite?) in the box next to the nibs. The wax will eventually sublime and coat the nibs. A drop of mineral oil in the box would do the same thing, but would stain the box.


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#31 Mob Mentality

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Posted 24 August 2015 - 19:39

Paddler I know that in one of the boxes there is a tiny rust spot on one nibs. Though almost all my nibs are rust free, should anything be done to nibs with very small traces of corrosion? Also what would you suggest for boxes that are still sealed in the box? Should the dessicant be placed in the bag with the box or inside the actual box?


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#32 Paddler

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Posted 25 August 2015 - 13:05

When I find a nib with rust on it, I use that one first. If that is not possible, I coat the nib with oil (NOT WD40) and return it to its box. I use mineral oil. Motor oil would work. Cosmoline would probably be best, but that stuff is messy to handle.

 

I would leave sealed boxes sealed except for a sample or two taken at random. If the samples are rust free, I would leave the rest unopened and seal the whole lot in plastic with a bag of commercially available dessicant. The bags of dessicant are sized to protect a given volume and you can buy them on that basis. The bags should come with directions for activation; it will be a number of hours in an oven at a certain temperature.

 

When I was a bench tech, an 80 MB disk drive was about the size of an end table. It would come packed with a liter bag of dessicant.


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#33 AAAndrew

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Posted 25 August 2015 - 13:56

If you're looking for a really nice, light oil to keep your pens from rusting, camellia oil from Japan, used as a hair oil, I think originally, is commonly used by woodworkers to keep their high-carbon steel tools from rusting. Even more traditionally, lard.

 

What you want is an oil that won't plasticize or go rancid (just from a smell perspective). Mineral oil will work. But for any of these, make sure you wash then thoroughly and dry them before use with inks.



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#34 Mob Mentality

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Posted 25 August 2015 - 16:35

Any links or suggestions as to where to buy the dessicant?


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#35 AAAndrew

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Posted 25 August 2015 - 18:22

Looks like you can buy it bulk, either silica gel or clay desiccant, on Amazon (and a bunch of other places) as well as little muslin bags to put it in.

 

If you're looking for something more "natural" get the clay. If you're looking for something less toxic, you can try this stuff.

 

I'm now looking because while I'm nowhere near your league, Mob, I have to say, "Hi, I'm Andrew, and I have a nib problem."  I just calculated and with purchases from the last few days I'm up to almost 1000 nibs. Two months ago I had less than 15. I think I'm done now. I only have about 25-30 different kinds of nibs, but they range across the gamut from stiff, to stub, to ultra-flexy. But what deals they were! You just have to look. 

 

Now I need some of those holders you have with the cork grips. More of the ink! and the PAPER!! AND ...

 

Storage. Thanks for this thread.

 

And along that line, for those not in boxes, I saw someone on another forum using these little battery storage cases. They laid out the nibs horizontally where the battery would go. They fit a fair number of nibs in one case, you can label the outside easy, they stack and are cheap.

 

I happen to have a ton of small metal tins. I'll probably use those for the loose ones.

 

My experience with steel woodworking tools says to keep them in a cool, well-ventilated and dry place. No attics, garages or basements. If you're comfortable there, they they will be too. (I'm not comfortable sealed in a plastic bag so I can't imagine my nibs would be either.)

 

Good luck with your collection! If you come up with something cool let us know.

 

Now I've got to get back to using them all up. I have a lot of letters to write!



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#36 Mob Mentality

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Posted 25 August 2015 - 19:25

Andrew thanks for all the great info. The link to the drierite looks like the perfect solution, it's ph neutral and chemically inert except toward water. Not sure how much to buy any thought? I've had to pass up some great deals because, well I have a lot of nibs and holders already. This week I managed to get an older style box of Spencereian Double Elastic with 70 nibs in the box and a box of Esterbrook #14 Bank Pens for a great price. It's nice to know others appreciate dip pens too. If you can belive it I have only been collecting dip pens for about a year [I get really lucky or just attract good deals :) ] I started with a fountain pen and then after using a dip pen realized that I liked that much better. I have Some nice Sheaffer, Waterman, Esterbrook, and Parker fountain pens which I may end up selling to buy more dip pen related things. I can provide some ebay links to some holders if you'd like just let me know. [I've had my eye on them but have convinced myself not to buy them cause I already have 7]. I have found that one of the best ways to find nice holders and nibs is to look in old statonary catalogs and then search the internet for what you like. Also If I am counting correctly I have about 8,000 nibs at last count. When I have time I need to do a recount to be sure. 


Edited by Mob Mentality, 25 August 2015 - 19:28.

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#37 AAAndrew

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Posted 25 August 2015 - 19:37

I love those bank pens. I have three and are the only ones I'd like to get more of. They are a great compromise between durability and flex. And big! If you like them, the Spencerian Commercial #2 is even better, but harder to find and more expensive.

Good luck!

PS do you have an inventory? I'm just starting to realize I need one!

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#38 AAAndrew

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Posted 26 August 2015 - 15:15

My mistake. The Spencerian Commercial is a no. 3, and it is a really nice pen.

 

I also compiled my inventory. I have a number of different types, but for over half of the types I only have 1-3 examples, mostly ones I inherited.



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#39 Mob Mentality

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Posted 26 August 2015 - 19:04

It's the same for me to some extent I have over 20 different types. Some I have a good amount of some I don't. A good example of this is Gillott's #404 of which I only have two.

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#40 Mob Mentality

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Posted 27 August 2015 - 03:21

Sorry for the delay. Here is the acorn ink writing sample after a few days of drying. If you're wondering I did the sample with an Esterbrook Jackson Stub #442.

 

 

Acorn20Ink20Sample_zpsqd1ytdli.jpg


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