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Karas Kustoms Fountain-K

karas aluminum esterbrook tough

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47 replies to this topic

#21 tonybelding

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Posted 19 March 2016 - 03:46

Today I refreshed the BSB in mine. . .  mostly because I was too lazy to switch to a different ink, and also because I find BSB is surprisingly lubricative and smooth-writing.  This time I did very carefully blot under the sides of the nib to remove excess ink after filling.

 

The only other fountain pen I've ever had that burped after filling was one of the first FPs that I ever owned: a Reform Czar.  I eventually found that I had to blot ink from under the sides of the nib with a paper towel after filling to prevent the blob of ink.

 

The Fountain-K is worse, though.  It burps even more predictably after filling than the Reform, and blotting does no good.  I can very carefully blot up all the excess ink, but after a couple of lines it burps up some onto the page anyhow.  It seems to be a persistent problem that is really going to put a crimp in the usefulness of this pen.



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#22 TonyTeaBags

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Posted 19 March 2016 - 06:35

Wow, Tony, I'm sorry you are having such frustration with your K. I thought that I had the problem identified and done for, but I guess I was wrong. Your problem seems to be quite different than what caused my problem. If you figure it out please post your finding; I'm curious as hell to know what you find. I can't think of what would cause such a problem. If you had a vacuum leak, I would think that the pen would leak ink pretty steadily. Yours sounds like some sort of slight pressure inequality that corrects itself after the burp equalizes the system pressures. Good luck!

So far, this seems to be a good pen for me. I hope you find the problem.

#23 TonyTeaBags

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Posted 19 March 2016 - 06:59

After I re-read your post, I noticed something you said...

This time I did very carefully blot under the sides of the nib to remove excess ink after filling


Forgive me if I misunderstood your meaning, but that is not where my ink drop came from. If you look under the feed, on the bottom of the feed where it meets the section, there is a square opening. That actually is a channel that runs the length of the feed, and about 1/4 the way in, there is an additional depression cut into the channel. When I fill my pen, that channel and additional depression fill with ink, and the first time I filled my pen I noticed a big globule of ink about to drip from that square hole in the feed. Some of the ink was crawling forward along tho nib, too. I took a paper napkin and touched the globule, and sucked a goodly amount of ink from out of that channel.

If that is what you refer to, then I apologize and defer to your knowledge, and hope you find the problem. But, that is what happened to me, and if that is not what you refer to, then you might investigate that possibility.

#24 tonybelding

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Posted 19 March 2016 - 22:45

If you look under the feed, on the bottom of the feed where it meets the section, there is a square opening. That actually is a channel that runs the length of the feed, and about 1/4 the way in, there is an additional depression cut into the channel. When I fill my pen, that channel and additional depression fill with ink, and the first time I filled my pen I noticed a big globule of ink about to drip from that square hole in the feed

 

Mine has that channel too, but it doesn't seem to accumulate any excess ink there when I fill the pen.  I tried blotting it, but even when I jammed the tip of a cotton swab into that opening, it only picked up a tiny stain of ink.



#25 TonyTeaBags

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Posted 20 March 2016 - 05:05

Mine has that channel too, but it doesn't seem to accumulate any excess ink there when I fill the pen.  I tried blotting it, but even when I jammed the tip of a cotton swab into that opening, it only picked up a tiny stain of ink.


Well, I can't think of anything else, I'm sorry. Good, luck, Tony, and If you happen upon a cause and solution, please post your result. I hope you find out soon!

#26 tinta

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Posted 20 March 2016 - 16:46

Try to install a different (new) Bock 060 feed system, cannibalized from a different nib unit.  Or a completely new screw in nib.

 

Pendleton Brown sweated bullets over my Kaweco branded Bock 060 nib unit.  These nib units are essentially the same as the screw-in nibs used by Karas pens.

 

Pendleton's nib grind turned out to be like a dream, but the ink delivery from the feed of the Bock 060 was a horror. 

I was unable to write more than a dozen lines before the nib would dry up & this nib was correctly set up for a 6/10 for flow.  I've never had this ink flow problem with any of my Sailors or Jowos, all of which have been set up for 6/10 flow.  I love wetter pens, drier inks & wide italic style nibs.

 

My nib will have go back to Pendleton with a couple of extra feeds, so that he can experiment on them, to fix this ink flow problem.

A person should not have to take apart & modify a nib that comes from an old trusted firm like Bock. 


*Sailor 1911-M, Black/gold, 14c. 0.8 mm. stub(JM) *2 Sailor 1911-M Burgundy/gold pens: 14c. 0.6 mm. "round-nosed" CI (MM) & 1.1 mm. CI (JM) *Sailor Professional-Gear Slim Spec. Ed. "Fire",14c.factory "H-B" *2 Kaweco SPECIAL fountain pens: 14c."M" "B",-0.5 mm & 0.7 mm stubs (PB) *Kaweco Stainless Steel Lilliput, 14c "B" -0.6 mm. stub (PB) *Montblanc 254, 14c. "BB" (1.1 mm?) flügelfeder factory stub

#27 Skyppere

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Posted 20 March 2016 - 17:17

I recently got the copper version and it is a joy. I love the sleek design.  Appearance of course is a matter of taste so some don't like it. Oh well there's a Sheaffer or Parker out there with your name on it. I will add that this pen wrote perfectly right out of the box and has been completely trouble free. To such an extent I'm awaiting my second this coming week!

skyppere



#28 Desert Rider

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Posted 23 March 2016 - 15:02

Could the source of your flow problem with your Karas Fountain K & with my problem with my Kaweco Dia2 be the same wonky 060 feed system?  Attached is a picture of the Kaweco feed's underside.  Wonder if the feed for your Karas is similar? 

There doesn't seem to be a big enough contact area between the underside of the nib & the feed on my Dia2.  Seems like there may be too much nib & not enough exposed feed.

 

I just got my Kaweco Dia (not the Dia 2) and I have flow problems already. Changed cartridges a few times from the original in the box, to Pilot and J. Herbin, and the problem is after a day or two without use, the ink doesn't flow. I posted a question in the Nibs forum section and got one response; do a thorough flush and clean. I ordered a converter which arrives today or tomorrow. Can't understand why my Safari is wet and wild, literally going several days before use and it flows like the Colorado River. My Kaweco, retro-cool as it is, also is a little temperamental. 

For me the Karas Kustom is probably too heavy and I never carry my pens clipped to a jeans pocket. I'll wrap the pen in a case and stuff it in my pocket, but never clip to the pocket. 


Edited by Desert Rider, 23 March 2016 - 15:05.


#29 Katherines

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Posted 25 August 2016 - 19:33

Nice to see I'm not the only one, I did have the burping, but I also had the odd problem of it writing very well, then drying up, almost as if there was no ink leaving the converter and I was writing with what I had primed the feed with when I filled it. I swapped out the converter and haven't had either problem since, I put the converter that came with the K in a different pen and it worked fine. The nib is pleasant and I'm happy with the pen.


Edited by Katherines, 25 August 2016 - 19:34.

So space and time are linked together. As we are looking across space, we are looking back in time. The further and further away those stars are the further back in time you are looking. Now you are seeing a star that is say six thousand years ago. Imagine somebody at that star looking at us They would be seeing us as we were six thousand years ago. Which of those two is now? - Alan Parsons Project The Time Machine - Temporalia (Paraphrased)


#30 tonybelding

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Posted 09 January 2017 - 16:39

Here's an update!  I got a bag of parts from Karas this morning to see if I could salvage this pen.  I received a new nib-and-feed unit, and I got a rollerball conversion kit with the plug removal tool.

 

I had a theory that maybe the nipple on the original feed was defective and unable to make an airtight seal with my converter, and that might explain the ink burping and very erratic flow.  That idea is now shot down.  I tested the new feed with two different converters (Schmidt K5 and a Wing Sung squeeze converter), and it behaved exactly the same as the first.  The only conclusion I can reach is that the Fountain-K has an inherent design flaw; the feed and ink collector is too small and inadequate to control ink flow reliably.

 

I think maybe this nib unit wasn't ever designed to work with converters.  I think it was meant to be used with tiny, small capacity, cartridge-only pens.  Although I didn't try it, I suspect it may be perfectly OK with cartridges.  I know some people also remove their converter and fill it, then replace it in the pen, and that's likely to be OK too.  Using the pen with a converter and filling in the normal way, however, doesn't work right, and there doesn't seem to be any obvious way to fix it.

 

Regarding the rollerball conversion...  It's pretty straightforward and accepts Pilot G2 refills.  (It came with a 0.5mm black refill which I immediately set aside and replaced with a 1.0mm.)  I was mildly annoyed by the clicky sounds of the metal tip tapping against the aluminum section as I write, but otherwise it works as expected.

 

EDIT:  And just to dot the final "i" and cross the final "t" on this. . .   I swapped back to fountain pen mode and put in a cartridge of Monteverde Black.  The new nib was dry and a bit skippy (just like the original was before I adjusted it), and the original nib worked fine, and neither of them had any flow or burping problems.  And it does have room for a spare cartridge in the pen body, too.


Edited by tonybelding, 09 January 2017 - 17:07.


#31 Ambimom

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Posted 09 January 2017 - 17:41

I own a Karas Kustom Tumbled Aluminum with M Bock nib.  I like the way this pen writes, but I also appreciate its looks.  IMHO, the tumbled aluminum looks like a piece of art. Tumbled aluminum looks even better with age and use.  

 

When I first got mine, I admit it had an ink starvation issue but an email to KarasKustom describing the issue resulted in an entirely new nib assembly free of charge, no need to return the original.  The pen has performed flawlessly ever since.   

 

From my experience, the company is more than willing to satisfy its customers -- at their expense.  No, the pens are not custom in the usual bespoke sense, but they are "individualized" per customer which, by definition, leads to variations in performance, depending on choices. 



#32 c0sco

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Posted 19 February 2017 - 21:38

Tony, thanks for reporting your findings. I wish I would have seen your post sooner, as I'm a new Fountain K owner and am having the exact flow issues you are. I get about a day at best, and then I have to prime the feed otherwise the pen acts like there is no ink in it.

 

I'll be ordering a new converter this week to see if I have any luck, but it sounds like this pen might just be flawed from the start.



#33 cjr

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Posted 20 February 2017 - 00:09

I have the aluminum anodized Fountain K and carry it every day. I love this pen. It writes well and fits perfectly in my hand. I use short international cartridges I fill myself. I also use the spring-loaded spacer Karas includes with their pens to ensure the cartridge doesn't come loose. Never had the burping or drip problems reported. Since I never dip the pen in ink, I don't have the air channel issue.
Favorite pen/ink pairings: Sheaffer Legacy w/18k extra fine inlaid nib and Noodler's Black; Sheaffer PFM III fine w/14k inlaid nib and Noodler's Black; Lamy 2000 EF with Noodler's 54th Massachusetts; Franklin Christoph 65 Stablis w/steel Masuyama fine cursive italic and DeAtramentis Document Blue; Pineider Avatar w/fine nib and Noodler's Bad Belted Kingfisher; Karas Kustoms Fountain K w/steel extra fine nib and Platinum Pigment Blue; Pilot Decimo w/18k fine nib and Noodles's Black; Franklin Christoph 45 w/steel Masuyama fine cursive italic and Noodler's Zhivago; Pilot Explorer w/medium nib and Noodler's El Lawrence; TWSBI ECO EF with Noodler's Bad Green Gator.

#34 Winegums

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Posted 20 February 2017 - 04:23

I've just ordered an all Brass Fountain K  with a 1.1mm Stub from Goulet. I'm hoping I don't have similar issues with burping or starvation. I wonder if there's bubbles getting trapped in the feed upon filling that are causing the issues? They could expand and burp ink onto the page or block the flow. Forgive me if this doesn't hold water as I'm a novice to fountain pens, but a tinkerer at heart. Nothing gets me interested like a mechanical problem to solve. If my K has the same issues I'll do my best to get to the bottom of it and report back. 

 
I'm super excited to get writing with my K and developing that lovely patina! I'll post my own review from my newbie perspective as soon as I've had a bit of writing time. 



#35 seanruss

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Posted 27 February 2017 - 06:57

i have the 'ink' model with a medium nib.  i really enjoy the weight and feel of the metal body.  i haven't experienced any burping, but this pen does seem to hesitate much more than any fountain pen i own.  I often have to tap it and rewrite words because it doesn't flow right away.  None of my other pens seem to do this.  Still like the pen, though

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#36 c0sco

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Posted 01 March 2017 - 06:31

I decided to combine a few of the recommendations in this thread, and so far, so good.

 

I flushed the feed/nib out with pen flush using a bulb syringe, inked up a brand new converter, and did so using a TWSBI ink well (so I didn't  need to draw ink up through the nib/feed). It's definitely been writing trouble-free longer than it ever has. I'll report back when I get through the entire converter's worth of ink. 



#37 niks122

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Posted 03 March 2017 - 06:42

Hello - here is my INK which recently arrived.

I ordered with a black nib - 

 

Out of the box there were flow issues - i flushed the pen 3-4 times and now its much better - though the upstrokes and left strokes are drier. I tried pulling the tines a little apart from the sides - but this nib is too firm.

 

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#38 Kolyd

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Posted 03 March 2017 - 21:49

I've had my Brass Fountain K for a bit now, just over 2 months (give or take some days?) It writes great with Platinum Carbon Black ink, and Waterman Serenity Blue. No issues whatsoever, except for a little annoyance.

 

Essentially, when in my pocket, the cap comes loose from the pen rather quickly - my solution is just making sure I screw it very tight after using it which seems to work, most of the time... I know that caps will always come loose with pens, but this happens very frequently - not a deal-breaker and my Fountain K is still my EDC pen!



#39 niks122

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Posted 04 March 2017 - 05:26

Has anybody tried the fountain k barstock version - esp the derlin material?

I am waiting on a bars-tock version with black derlin section and silver cap. 

 

Question is will aluminum go well with the derlin material - esp. the thread section for the cap & section - wont the derlin material wear off due to metal cap threads over time?



#40 MCN

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Posted 06 March 2017 - 04:18

I have a barstock K, which I like quite a lot, but all aluminum so I can't help you with your delrin question. I'm guessing if you took care when closing the cap that you wouldn't have a problem.





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