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"wet Vs Dry" Inks Questions - Pelikan 4001 & Pilot Metropolitan Fine

ink flow pilot metropolitan wet dry pelikan 4001 problem

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#1 AmbassadorZod

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Posted 02 February 2016 - 13:34

Ladies and gentlemen,

 

I checked the repair Q&A forum but my questions are a bit more general I think so I decided to post here.

 

Background:

I'm new to "proper" fountain pens, used a fountain pen for decades as a kid and young adult, always liked that smoothness and speed featherweight pressure facilitates. Now I use Pilot Metropolitan - Fine nib. I was using Pilot black ink (see picture attached) that I got with it. Works like a charm. Extremely light pressure, high speed writing is a breeze and smooth. I saw the Pelikan 4001 Royal Blue which I used for decades is still made and around so I promptly got a bottle and to my surprise, it caused a lot of problems.

 

Issue:

Pen required a lot more pressure all of a sudden. Really heavy pressure to the point of severly slowing down my writing. Even having to repeat some characters because they just got lost. Terrible to the point of uselessness. With medium pressure it would manage extremely thin lines or none at all. It would work okay if I flush it (with a drop of water still in the system) and a refill.

I use a rubber bladder converter that came with the pen.

 

  • Nib is fine. I checked it, it's fine and changed ink back to pilot black and everything is smooth again.
  • Is this normal, is the Pelikan 4001 ink just so "dry"/thick it just won't work with this type of pen?
  • Is this pen generally known to be so sensitive? (because I doubt products like this Pelikan ink would stay on the market if most pens didn't work with it)
  • or do I have a different problem with the pen that I haven't addressed?
  • If's this pen being fussy, any recommendations on more ink-tolerant pens?
  • If I have to limit my choice of ink to only the most wet ones, any recommendations? Looking for blue/blue-black.

 

Thanks in advance,

z.

 

edits: clarity

 

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Edited by AmbassadorZod, 02 February 2016 - 14:06.


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#2 carlos.q

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Posted 02 February 2016 - 14:01

I'm sure other members will offer more complete explanations than mine, but here go my two cents:
Japanese pens tend to be drier and require wetter inks. Thus the Pilot Metro is perfectly paired with the Pilot ink.
German pens (like Pelikan) tend to be wetter so they pair perfectly with dry inks such as Pelikan 4001.
When you use a wet ink with a wet nib you get lots of bleed through and feathering.
When you use a dry ink (like 4001) with a dry nib (Pilot) you get skipping.
Like any other broad statement these categories have exceptions. Only through experimentation will you find the optimal pen-ink combo.

PS. I have a dryish Pelikan M800 that thrives on Pilot and Sailor inks. My other Pelikans won't touch the stuff.

Edited by carlos.q, 02 February 2016 - 14:03.


#3 sirgilbert357

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Posted 02 February 2016 - 14:12

Carlos hit the nail on the head. Either switch back to Pilot inks or adjust your nib to suit the Pelikan ink. Just know that the Pilot ink will be too wet if you tune the nib to work with the Pelikan ink and then switch back to the Pilot ink. This is a big part of why I have dedicated pen/ink combos. Once I have the pen tuned for the ink, it just works and I don't have to worry about frequent flushing to change colors, or if the next ink is going to work in the pen, etc. You could also get something that has swappable nibs (TWSBI, Esterbrook, Edison, etc) and tune each nib to the ink of choice. Lots of interesting ways to address the issue, some more expensive than others, LOL.

Edited by sirgilbert357, 02 February 2016 - 14:13.


#4 Ernst Bitterman

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Posted 02 February 2016 - 14:56

Sometimes a specific pen rather than a the whole production run of them won't have a given ink, too.  The easiest reaction is certainly to switch inks.  In the blue-black department, I absolutely love Sailor Jentle's interpretation.  Diamine Midnight is quite good, too, if you're looking for more of a very dark blue.  I've used both in a lot of different pens, and have yet to have any trouble with them.


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#5 AmbassadorZod

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Posted 02 February 2016 - 15:02

Ah, I see, some good tips there. Strategy seems clear now - nib + ink combos!

 

Thanks for the advice.

 

P.S. TWSBI looks intriguing, going to look for one :)



#6 sirgilbert357

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Posted 02 February 2016 - 15:27

Ah, I see, some good tips there. Strategy seems clear now - nib + ink combos!
 
Thanks for the advice.
 
P.S. TWSBI looks intriguing, going to look for one :)


Some other pens with swappable nibs: Lamy (Vista, Safari, Al-Star, Studio, etc), Pelikan, Franklin-Christoph, Parker 45.

There's probably more. Sometimes it's easier to just buy a whole new pen--and more fun too, so I think you're on the right track with the TWSBIs.

#7 mike.jane

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Posted 02 February 2016 - 16:06

Well, Pelikan is def. on the drier end of the spectrum. I also agree with what has been said already. 

Did you give the pen (after filling it with the Pelikan Blue) enough time to fully settle and saturate? For some pens this never seems to matter, but in some others you still might get a significant improvement after let's say 48 of settling-in period.

If you had some more blue inks (and maybe a vial) you could experiment with using this ink in a mixture. Like 50:50 Pelikan with a wetter blue, like Waterman Serenity, DIamine [any blue really], or inexpensive Parker Blue, or (of course) Pilot blue.

 

People will tell you, 'Oh no, such danger, don't mix inks.' but I'd argue, the chance of anything bad happening with your run-off-the-mill, accessible, user friendly Royal Blues is close to zero.

Besides, constantly inky fingers are a FP geeks hallmark.

 

P.S. I use a blend of Pelikan Purple 2 parts : Pelikan Black 1 part in a lowly mixed-and-matched Indian eyedropper (the Noodler's add-in version of the Airmail 90) with a super wet XF nib and it has been a great delight right from the start. So here we see that a dry, well-behaved ink is often a good match for an extra wet pen.



#8 AmbassadorZod

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Posted 02 February 2016 - 18:54

I shall look for a nib compatibility chart then, excellent tip.

 

 

Well, Pelikan is def. on the drier end of the spectrum. I also agree with what has been said already. 

Did you give the pen (after filling it with the Pelikan Blue) enough time to fully settle and saturate? For some pens this never seems to matter, but in some others you still might get a significant improvement after let's say 48 of settling-in period.

If you had some more blue inks (and maybe a vial) you could experiment with using this ink in a mixture. Like 50:50 Pelikan with a wetter blue, like Waterman Serenity, DIamine [any blue really], or inexpensive Parker Blue, or (of course) Pilot blue.

 

People will tell you, 'Oh no, such danger, don't mix inks.' but I'd argue, the chance of anything bad happening with your run-off-the-mill, accessible, user friendly Royal Blues is close to zero.

Besides, constantly inky fingers are a FP geeks hallmark.

 

P.S. I use a blend of Pelikan Purple 2 parts : Pelikan Black 1 part in a lowly mixed-and-matched Indian eyedropper (the Noodler's add-in version of the Airmail 90) with a super wet XF nib and it has been a great delight right from the start. So here we see that a dry, well-behaved ink is often a good match for an extra wet pen.

 

Good to know. I did give it some time to settle. I used it for a week extensively, to the point where I needed to refill it a couple of times and each refill is good for around 3 full A3 pages of writing if not more. It always wrote great right after a refill, but then after two days and 3 refills it got to the point writing became unbearable, even right after dipping. So I tried flushing it. That helped, but only for a little while. After 2 more days of struggle I went back to try Pilot black ink and smoothness again.

 

Great tip on mixing, I shall give that a try then. It's in my nature to experiment :)

 

The "super wet XF nib" you mentioned, how universal are these nibs.

 

Regarding the Lamy suggestion above, generally Lamy nibs only fit Lamy pens?

 

Thank you all for most helpful replies



#9 sirgilbert357

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Posted 02 February 2016 - 19:40

I shall look for a nib compatibility chart then, excellent tip.

 

 

 

Good to know. I did give it some time to settle. I used it for a week extensively, to the point where I needed to refill it a couple of times and each refill is good for around 3 full A3 pages of writing if not more. It always wrote great right after a refill, but then after two days and 3 refills it got to the point writing became unbearable, even right after dipping. So I tried flushing it. That helped, but only for a little while. After 2 more days of struggle I went back to try Pilot black ink and smoothness again.

 

Great tip on mixing, I shall give that a try then. It's in my nature to experiment :)

 

The "super wet XF nib" you mentioned, how universal are these nibs.

 

Regarding the Lamy suggestion above, generally Lamy nibs only fit Lamy pens?

 

Thank you all for most helpful replies

 

Yes. Lamy nibs only fit Lamy pens.

Esterbrook and Venus nibs (both vintage) fit Esterbrook pens and the Osmiroid 65.

Pelikan nibs fit Pelikan pens.

TWSBI nibs fit TWSBI pens.

Edison nib units fit Edison and Franklin-Christoph pens (and vice versa)

Goulet Pen Co sells nibs that will fit in the collar of both Edison and F-C nib units (among other pens too).

 

Not sure there's a chart or anything, but hang around and search enough threads and you'll figure out what fits what.



#10 inkstainedruth

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Posted 02 February 2016 - 21:23

Sometimes a specific pen rather than a the whole production run of them won't have a given ink, too.  

 

This is true.  I have several Noodler's Konrads -- one writes way drier than the others.  Ditto for some of my Parker Vectors -- I have an F nibbed one that writes like a firehose, and another one that is super dry.  And it's not just inexpensive pens that are like that -- I have a 1990s era Pelikan M400 with an fine nib that writes wetter than the (similar vintage) M200 with an medium; for that matter, it writes wetter than the M200 Café Créme, which has a broad nib on it....

I just keep track of which inks do well in which pens -- and which inks don't.  At the moment, one of the pens in rotation at the moment is a Platinum Plaisir, with a medium nib.  It's a fairly dry writer, so at the moment I have De Atramentis Robert Louis Stevenson/South Seas Blue in it.  That ink was too wet for the pen I had it in before that -- a Parker 45 that was a wetter writer (and which also has a medium nib, as it happens).  But I'm starting to think that my 45 OM is also a dry writer -- so the next ink that goes in *it* will likely be De Atramentis Ruby Red....

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#11 Arkanabar

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Posted 02 February 2016 - 21:27

If this only showed up after the third fill, you might get better results by flushing the nib and feed, say with a bulb syringe.



#12 mike.jane

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Posted 03 February 2016 - 13:27

[...snip]

 

The "super wet XF nib" you mentioned, how universal are these nibs.

[snip..]

 

Well, it is probably as easy as this: A thinner pointier nib brings with it a greater risk to scratch the paper's surface, which would then lead to more ghosting and bleed-through. The same can be said about italic nibs, too; a hasty stroke will scratch the page.

Therefore F and M nibs (in that order) are the popular nibs and everything besides these is basically for eccentric people (like people who would also join fountain pen online forums)



#13 Sandy1

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Posted 03 February 2016 - 13:49

Hi,

 

As you like to experiment, we do have ways to increase ink flow, as mentioned in this Inky TOD http://www.fountainp...lems/?p=3016908

 

I find that I really like some inks, but they need a nudge to bring out their best. It has kept a few inks out of Mixing Corral limbo or languishing unloved under the stairs.

 

Bye,

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#14 the_gasman

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Posted 03 February 2016 - 14:35

ways to increase ink flow ... http://www.fountainp...lems/?p=3016908

 

The idea pointed to by Sandy1 has transformed my enjoyment of many ink/pen/nib combos but I couldn't be bothered being as precise as suggested in the link.

 

I bought the Ilford photographic surfactant from a high-street camera shop (B&W developing is apparently quite popular, so these aids to home developing are easily obtainable -- and inexpensive) and a bottle of distilled water from a car accesories shop. I think that the combined cost of both may have been under £5.

 

I am too lazy for sequential dilution so I just made an approximate 1 in 100 dilution using an approximate 100 ml of distilled water and used a child's medicine syringe (I think it came with some paracetamol/acetaminophen) to squirt in 1 ml of surfactant. I gave it a good shake and then decanted some into a washed-out ink sample bottle (Diamine send a 5 ml sample of a colour of your choice if you spend over £10 when buying direct). This smaller container then serves as a travelling ink thinner.

 

If an ink/pen skips, stalls, or stops I rinse it out thoroughly. Then I fill the convertor (detached from pen) with my dilute surfactant and immediately completely empty it before filling it with my chosen ink -- just one action -- not repeatedly filling and emptying (so the surfactant doesn't contaminate the whole ink bottle). I prime the nib by dipping it into the ink bottle. Voilà! Write on.

 

This simple technique has been consistently successful. I have enduring gratitude to Sandy1, Lapis, and amberleadavis for the guidance. I probably owe them a big hug each for transforming my enjoyment of some of my inks but I suspect that they won't want to call in the debt!

 

Oh, I have only had to do this with pens with ink convertors -- all my lever-filling vintages and old or new piston fillers seem to be naturally wet writers without any flow issues. It may be coincidence, or it may be that they knew a thing or two about making great pens in previous generations.

 

Cheers,

David.



#15 the_gasman

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Posted 03 February 2016 - 14:45

So, bottom line, dipping a paperclip straight into Photoflo and then into an ink cartridge worked just fine to significantly (IMHO) increase ink flow and saturation.

 

This looks even more appealing -- it beats my lazy-man's dilutions. I hadn't read on through the thread previously.

I'm going to give it a whirl.

 

David.

 

PS: That may increase the debt to two hugs!!


Edited by the_gasman, 03 February 2016 - 14:46.


#16 Bo Bo Olson

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Posted 03 February 2016 - 19:19

First, do tell us by flag or country where you are so we can point out 'local' inks.

 

You will get many more inks. So as a beginner you do not need to adjust your few pens.

 

I have an old Geha 725 with an inlaid nib, that I am not going to fiddle with that writes a bit dry. I bought the old Waterman blue for it, in it was a wetter ink. I have no Japanese inks, in they were super expensive in Germany until Amazon got into the game....now I have 50 European inks I've got to use up, before looking at Japanese or British inks.

 

One can fiddle with a classic nib that writes dry by opening up the nib a touch (easy to do...look it up later)....but you have other inks that pen writes just fine with.

Put the dry 4001 aside for a wetter pen.

 

Go to Richard Bender's site, it is the bible of fountain pens, nibs, filling systems and good advice about inks. Should take you 3 days to read through. Once 96% of all I knew came from there. Now it's only 92 1/2%...well, in 7 years one should learn something.

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#17 ac12

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Posted 03 February 2016 - 21:29

I have 2 inks that I use with new pens:
#1 - Waterman, a wet ink
#2 - Pelikan, a dry ink

1 - First I load up with Waterman, and evaluate the ink flow.
2 - If the ink flow is too fast/wet, I switch to Pelikan, to slow down the ink flow.
3 - If the pen does not write properly with the above 2 inks, then the nib needs to be adjusted for flow. Usually the pen is too dry, but occasionally I run into a really WET pen.

If I want to use a specific ink in a specific pen, again the nib has to be adjusted to flow that ink properly. Although as BoBo said, the nib on some pens (like with inlaid nibs) really should not be fussed with very much.

I have not evaluated other inks for this purpose, so I don't know how they compare to Waterman and Pelikan.

A fountain pen should be able to write with ZERO pressure from your hand. Just the weight of the pen on the paper should be enough to write with. If you have to press down on the pen, you need to change to a wetter ink or adjust the nib for more ink flow.

I say adjust the nib, rather casually, but that is anything but a casual task. It is careful, precise, tiny adjustments of the nib. And if you go too far, you could damage/destroy the nib. Nib adjustments is best learned on a CHEAP pen, so if you really screw up the nib, you have not lost much money.

Edited by ac12, 03 February 2016 - 21:29.

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#18 AmbassadorZod

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Posted 04 February 2016 - 00:55

Wonderful replies, thanks to everyone thus far!

 

re flag, for whatever reason edit profile seems to load the my settings page and thus there seems to be no way to change my flag anymore. Perhaps it unlocks with more posts? My current location is Slovenia, the local offering of this stuff seems nonexistent. There's calligraphy stuff but upon asking, they confirmed those are pigment-based so out of the question. North-eastern Italy and southern Austria are in range too. German mail order is acceptable too, of course.

 

That ink mixing link is great. I definitely want to play around with that now.

 

I'm wary about adjusting the nib aye, I'd rather experiment with inks first and get a different pen with spare nibs to play with as per your collective suggestions. I understand any adjustments on mechanical precision devices translate into rather precise fiddling under a magnifying glass before you've had them tasty beers for the evening :)

 

Great clarity about zero pressure! That's exactly what I'm looking for, weight of the pen being enough. So I see this Pelikan 4001 series of inks seems to be a reference dry ink, that far on the spectrum huh. No wonder it's been fussy in my setup, I see that now.


Edited by AmbassadorZod, 04 February 2016 - 00:59.


#19 Sandy1

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Posted 04 February 2016 - 10:49

 

This looks even more appealing -- it beats my lazy-man's dilutions. I hadn't read on through the thread previously.

I'm going to give it a whirl.

 

David.

 

PS: That may increase the debt to two hugs!!

 

 

Hi,

 

FPN is a most convivial site! :)

 

Bye,

S1


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#20 Bo Bo Olson

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Posted 04 February 2016 - 11:11

Slovenia is the new home of Sheaffer inks....so some should be available. Has been Sheaffer inks home for some 10 or more years now. It would be I think a medium ink.

 

We are living in the Golden Age of Inks.....the golden age of papers and pens lies 50-60 years in the past.....sigh.

 

A wetter ink....

De Atramentis makes a wetter ink..but is expensive. MB is also somewhat expensive but you get much more ink than DA. MB is what I think of as a medium ink.

I got rid of my Waterman Blue ink for DA Royal Blue. I've not bought any Waterman in years but should be 7-8 Euros. Waterman is a good safe ink.

 

Herbin makes a good medium ink. Is middle priced..

R&K may be a bit dry...but will be needed for later pens.

 

Do go to our Ink Review section. It is a great tool.

Any review done by Sandy 1... :notworthy1: :notworthy1: our guru, is well worth reading. She uses 5 common width nibs and five good to better quality papers. :huh: :o :yikes: Yep, the same ink looking like it's not. Width of the nib, and different paper can make an ink look like it is another.

 

Writing is 1/3 nib width&flex, 1/3 paper and 1/3 ink, and in that order.


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www.nibs.com/blog/nibster-writes/nibs-germany & https://www.peter-bo...cts/nib-systems,

 

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Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: ink, flow, pilot, metropolitan, wet, dry, pelikan, 4001, problem



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