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Ink Recommendation For Vintage Pens

ink vintage blue black blue black sheaffer touchdown

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25 replies to this topic

#1 fitz123

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Posted 10 July 2016 - 16:25

I know that this topic is already kind-of discussed in various places on FPN but I can't seem to find a straight answer.

 

My question:

 

I would like to find a nice water resistant or proof, good performance on cheaper paper blue, black or blue-black ink safe for my vintage Sheaffers (Touchdown and Snorkel). 

 

I've been using some vintage Watermans B/B that I picked up a while ago, but it's too pale and doesn't perform very well on cheap paper. I wanted to try Namiki Blue, but I read some other reviews that people don't recommend it in vintage pens-- It's a shame. It's one of my favorite blues. 

 

Would some of the modern IG Inks ( Diamine Registrar, Rohrer & Klinger, Mont Blanc, etc....) be ok to use?

 

Any or all suggestions would be really appreciated. 

 


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#2 sciumbasci

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Posted 10 July 2016 - 16:42

This site offers many valuable informations

 

http://www.richardsp...f/care/inks.htm

 

I gathered some informations regarding inks, and safety. Altough I'm far from an expert, I wish to share the little I know

 

Do not use japanese inks in your vintage pens, as they are alkalyne. Good inks for vintage pens seem to be Pelikan 4001, Waterman line and Parker Quink. Unsure about Monteverde and Sheaffer. Golden standard would be J. Herbin because it's neutral in pH and made of organic (or natural?) stuff.

 

Modern IG inks are deemed safe, altough extra care is needed in regards to pen hygiene.



#3 zwack

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Posted 10 July 2016 - 18:15

Most of the pen restorers say to use "Inks made by pen manufacturers" But be aware that Japanese inks tend to be alkaline so you should avoid them.

This gives you several options.

Watermans, Parker, Sheaffer, Pelikan, Mont Blanc. Personally I have no problems using Noodlers Inks in vintage pens. Good pen hygiene is key. Don't let the unk dry in the pen, flush betweeen changing inks.

Edited by zwack, 10 July 2016 - 18:16.


#4 kapanak

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Posted 10 July 2016 - 19:53

Golden standard would be J. Herbin because it's neutral in pH and made of organic (or natural?) stuff.
 
Modern IG inks are deemed safe, altough extra care is needed in regards to pen hygiene.

I have to dispute the J.Herbin neutral claim, since I just took my pH probe, calibrated it with distilled DI water, and tested six of my J.Herbin regular lineup inks and they all read below pH 4, so definitely acidic and not neutral. Most of Waterman, Aurora, Montblanc and Sheaffer lineup of inks I have also read in that same ballpark of weak acidic pH.

For vintage pens, J.Herbin and Pelikan are safe and dry inks, so less chance of feathering on cheap paper. Other than that, Montblanc, Waterman, Aurora, Parker and Sheaffer modern inks are all considered safe for vintage pens with a few singular exceptions in their lineups.

Avoid Japanese inks inside vintage pens, especially ones that come in contact with celluloid directly inside the pen (Vacumatic), as they are very alkali/basic in nature, reading as high as pH 9-10 for the Iroshizuku lineup.

Parker 51 I believe is the sole exception of a vintage pen that can use just about any ink, and was originally designed to take the alkali superchrome ink that even had almost as high as 30% alcohol in it too. However, for the sake of preservation, avoid using Japanese inks in those Parker 51s too.

Edited by kapanak, 10 July 2016 - 19:53.


#5 carlos.q

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Posted 10 July 2016 - 20:32

Some nice inks with varying degrees of water resistance that I have used with vintage pens are:

Pelikan 4001 Blue-black (you'll have to buy this one from across the pond)
Pelikan 4001 Black
Pilot blue
Pilot blue-black
Diamine Sapphire Blue
Diamine Prussian Blue
Herbin Perle Noire
Sheaffer Skrip Black

IMO the Pelikan and Pilot inks have the greatest water resistance. However the Pelikans are best for cheap paper. Pilot inks are wetter inks so will tend to feather on cheaper paper. Since you will be using your vintage Sheaffers maybe you should try out Skrip black. It's nice and cheap.

#6 haruka337

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Posted 10 July 2016 - 21:56

Avoid Japanese inks, as such has matted the plastics on some of my vintage pens.


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#7 ac12

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Posted 10 July 2016 - 22:07

 

I know that this topic is already kind-of discussed in various places on FPN but I can't seem to find a straight answer.
 
My question:
 
I would like to find a nice water resistant or proof, good performance on cheaper paper blue, black or blue-black ink safe for my vintage Sheaffers (Touchdown and Snorkel). 
 
I've been using some vintage Watermans B/B that I picked up a while ago, but it's too pale and doesn'tperform very well on cheap paper. I wanted to try Namiki Blue, but I read some other reviews that people don't recommend it in vintage pens-- It's a shame. It's one of my favorite blues. 
 
Would some of the modern IG Inks ( Diamine Registrar, Rohrer & Klinger, Mont Blanc, etc....) be ok to use?
 
Any or all suggestions would be really appreciated. 
 

 

You may need to have the nibs on your pen adjusted to flow more ink.

Waterman blue is a nice ink when it flows enough. If the pen writes dry and/or has a XF nib, the ink will look faded in color.

Some vintage inks are faded. I picked up an old bottle of Sheaffer ink, and it wrote a really light blue. It was no where near as dark as a new bottle of Sheaffer blue. It was so faded that I got rid of it as unusable. Some people say inks don't fade, but that one experience told me that inks can fade.

XF nibs need DARK inks to keep the ink line visible. This is an optical illusion, as the eye sees more white paper than ink.
I have a few XXF nibs that I have to use BLACK ink with, as the blue ink that works fine in other pens looks too faded out of the XXF nibs.

If the paper sucks the ink down, then MANY inks will not show well, because the dye is sucked down into the paper where your eye does not see it. Not all CHEAP paper behaves the same way; some will suck the ink in, some won't. You just have to experiment with YOUR paper, and if necessary change paper. Or if you are stuck with that paper, change ink or ink flow.

And switching from a wet Waterman ink to a dry Pelikan ink could slow down the ink flow enough that the pen writes DRY.
So you will need to have the nib adjusted to flow the Pelikan ink.

What do I recommend and use in my vintage pens:
- Parker Quink, Sheaffer Skrip, Pelikan 4001, Waterman.

Water resistant/proof is something that I do not bother with or test for.
In my inks, probably Pelikan blue-black (non-US) is the only kind-of water resistant standard ink I have.

Edited by ac12, 10 July 2016 - 22:11.

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#8 bwnewton

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Posted 11 July 2016 - 11:10

Sheaffer Skrip Black--safe, water resistant, pretty good behavior on low quality paper.

#9 fabri00

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Posted 11 July 2016 - 19:17

I'll not use herbin Inks in an expansive or vintage pen. I see the tendency of many herbin inks to clog nib and feed.
on the contrary, I never had any issue in many years with parker, waterman, sheaffer and pelikan inks.
This is my experience in about 30 years of FP use, and is not coming from reading articles.

#10 Sandy1

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Posted 11 July 2016 - 20:08

Hi,

 

In addition to the excellent suggestions above, kindly consider:

 

 > Montblanc Royal Blue, while not profoundly water resistant is worth a shufti 

 > Sheaffer BlBk, which is a bit of a yawn, so I often add a whisper of a simple Blue/Indigo ink, such as Diamine Sapphire or their Denim.

 > R&K Salix is in there too. It is a small bore iron-gall ink, having just enough I-G to reap most benefits of that family of inks, without the greater maintenance burden of the large-bore Registrars inks. Also, the R&K FP inks, save Sepia, can be intermingled, so should Salix alone not jangle your bangles, then blending with other R&K inks might have you dancing till dawn. Note that I-G inks both oxide and react with the paper stock over time, and there some reports of the hue of Salix fading / becoming quite Grey.

  >> As a personal nuance, which is most likely unnecessary, I pair I-G inks with Snorkies that have a 14K filler tube. 

 

But don't you really want a jeroboam of Pelikan Edelstein Topaz?

 

Please let us know of your inky adventures. :)

 

Bye,

S1


Edited by Sandy1, 11 July 2016 - 21:40.

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#11 Olya

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Posted 11 July 2016 - 21:33

I have often read that the normal ink line up is actually pH neutral and not basic/ alkaline of Japanese manufacturers, like Pilot Blue and Sailor Blue. I have also successfully mixed those inks with inks considered to be acidic, like Quink Blue and neutral inks like J Herbin Eclat de Saphir. Would recommend all of those inks, too.

Never had a problem with J Herbin (Sapphire blue).



#12 ENewton

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Posted 12 July 2016 - 13:42

Most of my pens are from the 1990s, so not vintage, but when I bought my first older pen (from the 1930s), my first thought was J Herbin--the conventional inks, not the newer, more saturated ones with the sparkles.  All the J Herbin inks I've tried have flowed well and been easy to flush from my pens. 

 

But then I became concerned about the lack of fungicide in J Herbin inks and how much trouble it would be to experience a mold infestation in a lever-filling pen that isn't easy to take apart, clean, even see inside.  Note that I've never actually had a problem with a J Herbin ink, but I understand that it might be statistically more likely than with an ink containing fungicide.

 

Is this a valid concern? 



#13 Runnin_Ute

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Posted 13 July 2016 - 03:13

RIght now I have a Esterbrook J loaded with Blackstone Daintree Green and a Parker 51 Special with Waterman Serenity Blue. I have used KWZI Iron Gall Turquoise in a Esterbrook J. I have had no problems with these or others.

 

I usually run the Serenity Blue or say Diamine Blue Black in the 51 Special. Pretty easy to clean out of a pen that isn't the easiest pen to clean. I have run all kinds of stuff in my Esties. Noodler's, Pelikan, Waterman, Levenger, Diamine and more.


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#14 TruthPil

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Posted 19 October 2016 - 13:15

Any thoughts on the Levenger line of inks?

They seem to lack water resistance, but I'm wondering if there's any potential for staining the sac on a vintage pen.

I just grabbed one of the last bottles of Levenger Pomegranate in China and would like to put it in a Sheaffer Craftsman.

 

Another question... how about Pelikan's Edelstein line?

Would their saturation make them stain-prone for vintage pens?


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#15 Sasha Royale

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Posted 19 October 2016 - 19:30

I have mostly vintage fountain pens.  My "rule-of-thumb" (Don't put your thumb into the ink. :lticaptd: ) :

If the fountain pen ink existed when the pen was made, it is probably safe to use.   My choices for safe ink are Pelikan 4001, Parkers Quink, Montblanc, Sheaffer, and Levenger.  


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#16 Runnin_Ute

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Posted 20 October 2016 - 01:32

Any thoughts on the Levenger line of inks?
They seem to lack water resistance, but I'm wondering if there's any potential for staining the sac on a vintage pen.
I just grabbed one of the last bottles of Levenger Pomegranate in China and would like to put it in a Sheaffer Craftsman.
 
Another question... how about Pelikan's Edelstein line?
Would their saturation make them stain-prone for vintage pens?


Pomegranate has been in several of me Esterbrook pens without problems. In fact I think I have used it in all but the 51 Special. I don't worry about staining, especially in a lever filler where you can't see the sac anyway. And most are opaque.

Brad
 
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#17 Old_Inkyhand

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Posted 21 January 2017 - 21:04

Do you think that standard Montblanc inks won't do any harm to a celluloid Mabie Todd Swan from the 40s? Irish Green, for example? I am not a big fan of Waterman's and Pelikan's standard colours (is the Edelstein line as safe as the 4001?). Well, actually I like some of them, especially Waterman Mysterious Blue, but fading issues are driving me nuts. I do love most of the Montblanc's offerings, though. 


Edited by Old_Inkyhand, 21 January 2017 - 21:06.


#18 Kolyd

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Posted 21 January 2017 - 23:24

Quick question. What about Noodler's Apache Sunset and J. Herbin Violette Pensée? I've heard reds/purples aren't too good for pens due to staining? :(



#19 Inkquest

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Posted 21 January 2017 - 23:47

For black ink in vintage pens, I use Skrip and Aurora exclusively.  Skrip has medium to light water resistance. I don't remember about Aurora, I know it does perform very well on this cheap off-brand Rollabind wannabe compatible paper I picked up at SqWalMart. Either of those gives a decent black line and is easy on the pens.  Aurora has an added lubricant (probably designed to squelch those feedbacky Aurora nibs a bit), and it can clog if left for a while (easily cured with a splash or two of water). I've never had Skrip clog a pen.



#20 Arkanabar

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Posted 22 January 2017 - 02:52

Before reading this thread, I'd have said Pilot (not Namiki) blue-black.

As far as I can tell, never having owned any (but having chosen it as The Essential Blue-Black), it's super-well behaved, has good water resistance, good fade resistance, and is still made with phenol, instead of more modern surfactants and biocides.  And in the 350ml soda bottles, it's the cheapest ink on the market (possibly barring some Indian or Russian brands when purchased domestically).

If somebody could test it with a pH probe, and come back to us with the results, that'd be swell.







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