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Keeping A Desk Pen Ready To Write?


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16 replies to this topic

#1 corgicoupe

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Posted 14 September 2015 - 14:04

I posted this question in another thread that seems to have died, so I repeat it here.

 

I have a desk pen in teal that I acquired from the previous user of my desk in grad school. That was about 50 years ago, and it has always been somewhere on a shelf or on a desk, but it always seems to dry out very quickly. Is there a trick to keeping them inked? Is it the choice of ink, or perhaps how well it fits in the holder socket?



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#2 bsenn

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Posted 14 September 2015 - 17:16

I have two currently inked. One is in a tulip-sort of holder, one is in an eight-ball. Both are filled with Noodlers black (semi-permanent). One has been filled a few weeks, the other a few months. Use varies, but they can sit for days without a start-up problem.  Perhaps your pen does not have a tight seal to the holder?

 

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#3 corgicoupe

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Posted 14 September 2015 - 18:09

That is what I am thinking. I may need to hone it smooth and round to properly fit the section. Mine would never last that long. Thanks for the reply.



#4 pajaro

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Posted 14 September 2015 - 18:57

I have an old black eight ball type that came out of the old Pensacola (Florida) City Hall (City moved to a new City Hall from the 1905 building in 1986).  The stuff on the bottom has a small hole, and I think that is why this one dries out with a fountain pen. 

 

You might keep an eye out for one of the nicer looking Esterbrook desk pen bases with an ink reservoir.  I got a couple of these, but alas, my wife uses them for Cross ballpoints.  The red two pen base is nice looking.

 

My Esterbrook desk pen sits in a Parker 21 base.  My wife apparently doesn't like the marble bases.  You have to pick your battles without sweating the small stuff.


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#5 Sasha Royale

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Posted 14 September 2015 - 19:20

The function of a "desk" pen is convenience for those, who use it frequently.  It is intended to be used frequently.  I think the best way to keep it wet is to use it frequently.  Could be the reason the use of desk pens is rare.  


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#6 ac12

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Posted 14 September 2015 - 22:17

 

I posted this question in another thread that seems to have died, so I repeat it here.

 

I have a desk pen in teal that I acquired from the previous user of my desk in grad school. That was about 50 years ago, and it has always been somewhere on a shelf or on a desk, but it always seems to dry out very quickly. Is there a trick to keeping them inked? Is it the choice of ink, or perhaps how well it fits in the holder socket?

 

How fast is "seems to dry out very quickly?"

 

If you leave the pen for a week or two, the ink will evaporate from the pen, and will dry out. 

 

Many bases do not have a snug fitting holder.  So when not used for a day or so, the water in the ink ink in the feed will evaporate, leaving a concentrated ink that will not flow very well.  A quick dip in water (just half the nib, in and quickly out) is usually enough to rehydrate the ink in the feed.

 

If the pen is 50 years old and has not had the ink sac replaced in the last 10 years, my guess is that the ink sac has failed and you only have ink in the feed of the pen.  That is would explain why the pen is drying out fast.  The pen is not able to store any more ink than what the feed will hold.  BTW, ink sacs have a finite life.


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#7 Hobiwan

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Posted 14 September 2015 - 22:33

 I have a desk pen in teal that I acquired from the previous user of my desk in grad school. That was about 50 years ago, and it has always been somewhere on a shelf or on a desk, but it always seems to dry out very quickly. Is there a trick to keeping them inked? Is it the choice of ink, or perhaps how well it fits in the holder socket?

 

If by "teal" you mean the pastel that's kinda light blue ....

If memory serves, those desk pens came with their own teal-colored base; shaped like a round or oval saucer.  The horn that holds the pen is designed to fit it snugly  against a chamber not unlike the inner cap of a pocket pen. 

 

This makes enough of a seal to keep the point from being exposed to an inordinate amount of air flow.  So if you don't have the original, you need a holder that'll at least enable the section to rest evenly and snugly against the inner chamber.


Best Regards
Paul


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#8 corgicoupe

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Posted 14 September 2015 - 23:24

 

If by "teal" you mean the pastel that's kinda light blue ....

If memory serves, those desk pens came with their own teal-colored base; shaped like a round or oval saucer.  The horn that holds the pen is designed to fit it snugly  against a chamber not unlike the inner cap of a pocket pen. 

 

This makes enough of a seal to keep the point from being exposed to an inordinate amount of air flow.  So if you don't have the original, you need a holder that'll at least enable the section to rest evenly and snugly against the inner chamber.

Here's what it looks like. There is an obvious color variation between the pen body and the base, but could that be age? It looks like it fits snugly, but there is a little wiggle room. I'll check the fit, and then actually count the days until it's a hard start or dry.

 

ac12... I did finally change the sac. The old one was getting stiff, but it was still intact.

 

Thanks for the suggestions.

 

Esterbrook desk pen 002 2000.jpg



#9 pajaro

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Posted 14 September 2015 - 23:47

The base looks OK from the angle of the picture.  A wet ink like Waterman's might help.  I use it sometimes.  I have decent luck with Sheaffer's blue black and Montblanc Midnight Blue.  The nib used might make some difference.  I have a 9314-B in my Esterbrook desk pen.  Works OK in a Parker holder instead of the 9556 I had in it earlier.


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#10 Hobiwan

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Posted 15 September 2015 - 08:16

Here's what it looks like. There is an obvious color variation between the pen body and the base, but could that be age? It looks like it fits snugly, but there is a little wiggle room. I'll check the fit, and then actually count the days until it's a hard start or dry.

 

Ahhh, got it.  Yes, I think the color variation could be age (plastic would age differently than porcelain), and it could also be the difference in manufacturing the base vs. the pen.  If you were to clean and polish the base more, the colors might get a bit closer, but the longer I look at the pic, the more I see the base trying to be more blue, and the pen trying to be more green. :wacko:

 

Also, +1 on "snugging up" the wiggle.

 

Very nice set, BTW.


Best Regards
Paul


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#11 jdllizard

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Posted 18 September 2015 - 07:32

Here's what it looks like. There is an obvious color variation between the pen body and the base, but could that be age? It looks like it fits snugly, but there is a little wiggle room. I'll check the fit, and then actually count the days until it's a hard start or dry.
 
ac12... I did finally change the sac. The old one was getting stiff, but it was still intact.
 
Thanks for the suggestions.
 
attachicon.gifEsterbrook desk pen 002 2000.jpg


I have that exact same desk set complete with color differentiation, but I've never inked it up so I'm not much help.
John L

#12 corgicoupe

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Posted 26 September 2015 - 14:22

Okay, please tell me about the car in your avatar. The taillights look like Triumph Spitfire or MG in origin, but the front fenders look like a Lotus 11. The rear end is not ringing any bells. It must be from the 1960s, and originally destined for UK roads.

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Edited by corgicoupe, 26 September 2015 - 23:10.


#13 jdllizard

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Posted 27 September 2015 - 05:56

Okay, please tell me about the car in your avatar. The taillights look like Triumph Spitfire or MG in origin, but the front fenders look like a Lotus 11. The rear end is not ringing any bells. It must be from the 1960s, and originally destined for UK roads.




IT'S A 1957 JAGUAR D-Type XK-SS MAN! With Mr Steve McQueen behind the wheel.


http://selvedgeyard....k-ss-green-rat/
John L

#14 Hobiwan

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Posted 27 September 2015 - 07:16

Thanks for the link, John.  Really great read! Takes me back, it does.  I remember him playin' Josh Randall in WDOA.  One of the great classic B&W TV series. Never was into the "fan" stuff, so never would have made the connection.  But I did like all the westerns ... "Cheyenne", "Sugarfoot", "Maverick", "Have Gun Will Travel", etc.  Spent a lot of time watching when I shoulda been doing homework....


Best Regards
Paul


“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”
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#15 jdllizard

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Posted 27 September 2015 - 08:36

Thanks for the link, John.



It's a very cool blog, worth keeping an eye on.
John L

#16 corgicoupe

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Posted 27 September 2015 - 20:37

IT'S A 1957 JAGUAR D-Type XK-SS MAN! With Mr Steve McQueen behind the wheel.


http://selvedgeyard....k-ss-green-rat/

Thanks for the answer. After I posted I considered the D-Jag, but all the images were of the racing version, so it didn't pop up. That is a beautiful car.



#17 gzp

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Posted 13 February 2017 - 22:17

I'm a little late to this thread but I have an older esterbrook 8 ball, the one with the raised rim. Pens did not seat fully so using water I cleaned the socket. Chunks (yes, chunks) of old ink came out after a little soaking. It's probably worth checking on any socket where a pen is drying out although I suspect the older design may have been more prone to this.






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