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Iron Gall Doubts

iron gall doubt carene waterman salix permanent ink

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#1 miguelpitti

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Posted 10 May 2016 - 11:46

Hi everyone:

 

I've just registered into this forum as I have a doubt about iron-gall inks:

 

I currently own a waterman carène, which is the best pen I have and has a great sentimental value, as it was given to me as a special gift. I'm trying to find a permanent ink for taking some notes i'd like to review on the future, and, from what I've read, iron-gall inks are permanent ones. I like the R&K Salix one, as I've seen it on this website reviews along with other inks.

 

My doubt is: will my carène be harmed, or corroded if I end up using this ink? It has some kind of a gold cover on the nib, hence my doubt.

 

And, a second one, but closely related question: Should I get a different pen for iron-gall inks? A TWSBI, for instance?

 

Thanks for your advice



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#2 lapis

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Posted 10 May 2016 - 11:57

Well first of all a big welcome to the forum! As to IG inks, have no fear. I have a Waterman Charleston (also with a gold nib). IGs today are less "dangerous" than they ever were, and pens. too, are now made to hold up more than they were 50 years ago. I've never ever had any problems with any IG inks in any pens. Of course, you have to clean the pens every now and then. I'd say at least every two or three months, whether you use that ink in them that long or not.

You can, of course get any special pen devoted just to any IG ink (or, to any other ink for that matter). Why not buy an inexpensive but IMO very good pen like a Safari and use that (at least "first") for any IG ink. Salix is a very harmless IG ink. Use that pen (or a handful of others) to try out a handful of different IGs.

 

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#3 miguelpitti

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Posted 10 May 2016 - 12:40

Hi Mike, thank you for your quick answer. So there shouldn't be any problem if I use salix with my carène. That's good to read, for a beginner like me. I like to write with fountain pens, because it feels lighter as pressure is not required, it's faster and, with a good ink, prettier.

 

I usually clean my pen with fresh water when I switch inks, or when I've used between 4-6 cartridges of the same type. The time is variable, as there are some times when I write quite often, but other ones when I seldom do it. I suppose it will be enough.

 

I haven't tried the safari yet. I've included it in my "future pens" list.



#4 the_gasman

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Posted 10 May 2016 - 13:46

Welcome to FPN, Miguel.

 

I use Diamine registrar's ink every day at work and have done so for 2 years. I use it with a Lamy Alstar but not because I am worried about the effect of iron-gall ink on the pen/nib, rather I am concerned about the effects of gravity/floor on the nib of a more expensive pen if I drop it when using it in a busy environment. Also, I don't want a better pen to go walk-about.

 

I have no concern about the effects of iron gall on the pen/nib, although it does tend to stain the clear parts of either demonstrator pens or cartridge converters. As lapis has said, modern IG inks are formulated to be benign, unlike the inconsistently mixed, haphazard iron galls that were used on mediaeval documents. I would reinforce lapis' advice for frequent, regular, and thorough wash and flushing. I use a 50ml wide-mouthed syringe with a section of rubber tubing to attach to the section of the pen and then flush several times with clean water. I do this once a month, which is probably more often than is necessary but I would rather be sure than sorry.

 

In any case, it is steel that is more vulnerable to corrosion by IG than gold. Also, it is worth remembering that gold & IG inks have been with us for a lot longer than stainless steel & dye-based inks. The latter pair are mere upstarts!

 

Cheers,

David.



#5 Arkanabar

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Posted 10 May 2016 - 15:40

The consensus opinion around here is that R&K is the most benign of all IG inks.  I understand the appeal of IG inks, as that's what Catholic monks used to save Western civilization through the Dark Ages Early Medieval Period.

IG inks do not use dye (much).  The blue in classic blue-black inks is so that you can see what you're writing, and is a colorant more than a dye.  The working chemical in IG inks is tannoferrogallic acid, which is colorless in solution, and oxidizes to an insoluble gray-black solid.

This should point out the real issue with the ink -- if enough of it dries in the pen's feed channels, it will be hard to get out.  With regular use and occasional flushing using dilute vinegar, this shouldn't be a problem.

Somebody mentioned the Safari, so I have to mention my favorite starter pen, the Platinum Plaisir.  It has all the virtues of the Preppy save price, XF nibs, and easy conversion to eyedropper.  In addition, it has an anodized aluminum body, eliminating the primary concern people have with the Preppy, that the caps can be cracked fairly easily. I refill my cartridges using a disposable 3ml bulb pipette, no syringe needle required.  I prefer it to the Safari because I just don't like the "ergonomic" facets on the Safari's section ... or its elementary-school styling ... or its excessive length when posted ... or its other flat spots ... or how, after some 4-5 drops to a concrete floor from a 4' height, it developed cracks.  But I do have to give kudos to Lamy for making it easy to buy another nib for around $10US and put it on yourself.  Someday, I may get a Logo for that purpose.


Edited by Arkanabar, 10 May 2016 - 16:05.


#6 akustyk

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Posted 10 May 2016 - 15:55

As others have said, the ink will not harm your pen. However, in my experience, the Carene is a dry writer, and Salix is a dry ink, so you might experience poor ink flow. It's not necessarily a bad thing, particularly if you write a lot on cheap office paper. Dry ink will perform very well on such paper, without feathering and bleeding through. So it's really up to you to decide if you prefer dry or wet ink flow.


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#7 alaskazimm

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Posted 10 May 2016 - 18:01

Somebody mentioned the Safari, so I have to mention my favorite starter pen, the Platinum Plaisir.  It has all the virtues of the Preppy save price, XF nibs, and easy conversion to eyedropper.  In addition, it has an anodized aluminum body, eliminating the primary concern people have with the Preppy, that the caps can be cracked fairly easily.

 

I thought that converting metal body pens to eyedropper is bad since the ink can react with the metal and create all kinds of havoc. Or does the ink not react with the aluminum body like it would with brass?



#8 Sandy1

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Posted 10 May 2016 - 18:58

:W2FPN:

 

Hi,

 

Perhaps the most my most extensive discussion about pairing I-G inks to pen/s and their care & feeding is included in this Topic: http://www.fountainp...alls/?p=2995239 

 

I hope it does not render you comatose.

 

Bye,

S1


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#9 Pensei

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Posted 10 May 2016 - 19:36

I'll defer to others as to your Waterman. I have a Safari Al Star that I use for a rotation of Salix and Scabiosa. The latter has become one of my very favorite inks. 



#10 the_gasman

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Posted 10 May 2016 - 19:37

 

I thought that converting metal body pens to eyedropper is bad since the ink can react with the metal and create all kinds of havoc.

 

That is correct. If you read Arkanabar's post again, you will see that he says that one of the disadvantages of the Plaisir is that it CAN'T be converted to an eye-dropper [like the Preppy, which can].

I'm sorry if I sound schoolmasterly but to mitigate the tone I can confess that I got caught out on the first read too.

 

David.



#11 Occipital Lobe

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Posted 10 May 2016 - 20:46

I have had my Sheaffer Legacy inked with Montblanc Midnight Blue (the old IG formula) for 2½ years, and only rinsed it twice.

No problems whatsoever.



#12 alaskazimm

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Posted 11 May 2016 - 00:47

 

That is correct. If you read Arkanabar's post again, you will see that he says that one of the disadvantages of the Plaisir is that it CAN'T be converted to an eye-dropper [like the Preppy, which can].

I'm sorry if I sound schoolmasterly but to mitigate the tone I can confess that I got caught out on the first read too.

 

David.

 

Ah you are right indeed. The commas caused me to read it the wrong way. Not to worry on sounding schoolmasterly - my lack of reading comprehension deserved that. :blush:



#13 miguelpitti

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Posted 11 May 2016 - 10:11

Thanks to everyone for your kind advices, with a special mention to that Sandy1's dissertation on the issue...  :o 

 

Well, I guess I will probably try the salix (and maybe the scabiosa, which has a mysterious colour...) when I finish the current long waterman cartridges that I'm currently using. I also have a French pen which is pretty wet, or at least, wetter than the carène (the pen is a Récife, altough I don't know exactly which model is it). So, if the ink is very dry to use with the carène, as somebody suggested, I would try with this pen. I don't know if it is a good or a bad pen, because it was a gift as the other two fountain pens that I have, but I think it writes pretty well.

 

The main purpose would be taking annotations from the books and articles I read, and maybe, next year, for studying a serious specialisation postgrade course for my recently started job, so these are the reasons I want my ink to be resistant.



#14 inkstainedruth

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Posted 11 May 2016 - 15:14

R&K Salix is a very nice color.  It stays more blue than many IG Blue-Blacks.  Although I'm increasingly fond of the KWZI iron galls (at least some of the colors).  My favorite of those is IG Violet #3 for color; after that it's a toss up between IG Blue-Black and IG Blue #3).

@Arkanabar -- I have a Plaisir with a medium nib.  I would *not* consider putting IG inks into mine, because it's a very dry writer (and also because the color coating on the nib is starting to flake off  :angry:).  YMMV

@miguelpitti --  I don't have any Waterman pens, so I can't say.  But one consideration for using iron gall inks is that they tend to be somewhat drier than other inks (by "drier" I mean they don't have as good a flow as some inks).  So, in my experience, dry inks in a dry-writing pen leads to a less than happy combination.  OTOH, I'm considering trying an IG ink into my Pelikan M200 Café Crème with the firehose of an italic nib....  Because Edelstein Topaz is way too wet in it (my first Café Crème had a B nib, and once it was tuned to not be skipping, I had lots of different inks in it -- Topaz worked very well, IIRC, before I lost the pen in March.  It just isn't out working well  in this pen with this nib....  :( 

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#15 Arkanabar

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Posted 12 May 2016 - 21:24

I understand, Ruth.  My own Plaisir is a bit drier than eg my M200, and certainly more so than the M Safari I have.  And yes, the green finish is flaking off the nib of my green Plaisir.  But I think Platinum has stopped putting those colored finishes on the nibs of the Plaisirs, as well as the groove down the middle of the clip.



#16 SeeksAdvice

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Posted 13 May 2016 - 05:35

​Will note: IG ink + Lamy Al-Star + heat can be a problem.  I had an Al-Star loaded with Salix that I took with me on a trip to Louisiana in April.  Forgot the pen on the dash during the day, and later noticed pitting where some of the Salix had sat on the nib.    Just would suggest good hygiene with an IG ink.

Also, experienced some pretty bad fading problems with IG's:/  They work excellently on almost any paper type.  However, they are not lightfast. 


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#17 the_gasman

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Posted 13 May 2016 - 07:19

However, they are not lightfast. 

 

Hmmm, that messes with my brain. I have it in my head (I know not where from!) that registrars of births, marriages, and deaths are obliged to write (not type) a record that must last 100 years. That is why they use ferrogallic (registrar's) ink. I'm sure that they couldn't achieve that standard if they accidentally leave the light on in the office.

 

Yes, I know -- they keep their documents in deep dark dungeons to archive them.

 

Also, we were lucky enough to see an exhibition of the Lindesfarne Gospels in Durham in recent years. I suspect that there must have been some IG ink used by those monks 1400 years ago and it's still clearly legible -- well, if you're a Latin reader, it is.

 

Perhaps either a registrar or a 1400 year old monk might pop onto the forum to clarify the photo-stability of IG inks.

 

Cheers,

David.


Edited by the_gasman, 13 May 2016 - 07:19.


#18 grainweevil

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Posted 13 May 2016 - 08:41

But I think Platinum has stopped putting those colored finishes on the nibs of the Plaisirs, as well as the groove down the middle of the clip.

 

The nibs I knew about, but the clip groove? That's a shame; I always thought it a nice detail.

 

Sorry, off topic. To make amends, if I see any 1400 yr old monks today I'll be sure and direct them to this thread.  :D



#19 the_gasman

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Posted 13 May 2016 - 09:53

... if I see any 1400 yr old monks today I'll be sure and direct them to this thread.  :D

Oops, sorry! My sense of humour leaves me in a constant state of near-divorce.

 

D.



#20 grainweevil

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Posted 13 May 2016 - 10:54

No need to apologise; the thought amused me a good deal. And as I have nothing of note to contribute to the use of IG inks, it would have been helpful to find one! Alas, Hobbycraft (my destination this morning) was devoid of monks of any age. No Herbin cartridges any more either, which is sad. But I digress - again.







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