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Nib And Collector Creep, Is It Normal?

nib creep

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#1 ernestrome

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Posted 05 August 2016 - 15:50

I recently bought my first esterbrook, a black lever fill 9550, my first vintage pen. I have flushed and resacked it with a #15 silicone sac as no 16s were available. This was my first resacking. It writes very nicely.

 

The trouble is that there is a lot of ink collecting on the nib and collector, even when it is stored nib up. Ink fills the valleys of the collector and onto the nib itself. Oddly, it seems to start from the flared sides of the nib rather than the slit or hole, almost as if it flowing round from the underside. I am using diamine jet black which I now know is a 'wet' ink. 

 

Is this a normal part of owning an older pen? Will a drier ink help? Should I consider other means of reducing flow? Could it indicate poor sealing of the sac?

 

Thanks in advance.



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#2 pajaro

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Posted 05 August 2016 - 16:32

What ink are you using? 


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#3 corgicoupe

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Posted 05 August 2016 - 16:46

Diamond jet black. Is your age showing? And you're younger than I am.

#4 Hobiwan

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Posted 05 August 2016 - 17:52

If you think the nib may be leaking around the threads, try sealing it with a tiny bit of vaseline or "non-permanent" sealant around the threads (being sure to wipe off the excess after screwing the nib back in).  Over the years, the vaseline has worked for me.   


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#5 Witsius

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Posted 05 August 2016 - 17:54

Barring the notion that you've just got an ink that's a functional laxative, I suspect you've got an air leak somewhere.

 

I wonder if this could be a result of the silicone sac.  I recall a post where Brian from Edison Pens would not use silicone sacs in his self-filler pens, because silicone was not gas impermeable enough to prevent pens from leaking.

 

From my understanding, there are certain silicone sacs that work well, but they are not all created equally.  Also, the plasticizer in silicone sacs may eventually react with the plastic walls of your Esterbrook. Silicone sacs should only be used in pens where the sac is fully protected from any plastic parts of the pen, like in a Snorkel where the sac protecter is metal, and completely encases the sac. 

 

Try a latex sac and see if that solves your problem.  Unless there is another avenue for air to enter the system, like a crack in the section, I suspect the silicone sac is the culprit.  

 

Also, what kind of cement did you use to secure the sac to the section?  You need to use a silicone cement for that.  Shellac won't stick to silicone.


Edited by Witsius, 05 August 2016 - 18:02.

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#6 ernestrome

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Posted 05 August 2016 - 20:55

I used a silicone sealant to attach the sack sac.

#7 ernestrome

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Posted 05 August 2016 - 21:07

I have also screwed the nib feed unit into the section a little tighter. There is already a little silicone grease on it. Hopefully that will do it

I may test the seal to see if there is any leak. I was aware the silicone sac was more permeable than latex but thought the longevity made it worthwhile.

#8 pajaro

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Posted 16 August 2016 - 01:38

I have this exact thing happen to an Esterbrook J pen with a 9550 nib.  Ordinary sac.  Noodler's 47 Brown I think was the name of the ink.  It was one of those permanent inks they called "bulletproof."  This ink caused nib creep on every pen I used it on.  Montblanc 144s, Sheaffer Touchdown inlaid nib pens, and it was the only ink that would stay wet on some of my Sonnets.

 

I have used Diamine black green and Diamine Midnight (a blue black) in Esterbrooks with good results, so perhaps a different ink might help.  Failing that perhaps some defect in the sac or the way the sac attached to the nipple.


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#9 estie1948

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Posted 16 August 2016 - 07:25

If you try all the possible solutions provided by the earlier posters and do not find success, then I have some suggestions for you. First, you have used a 15 sac in a pen that needs a 16 sac. Perhaps the sac is just overfilled. Using the lever, "burp" out just a drop or two. With your pen rag, wipe the excess ink from the nib and feed. See if that solves your problem.

 

Second, you used a silicone sac. A regular sac will only last you two or three decades of constant use with none of the reported difficulties of silicone. I have never used one and so am entirely ignorant of their benefits and vices. Perhaps it is your problem. I could not say. Did you dust the sac with talc? The heat of your hands may be causing the ink in the sac to expand, forcing more out the feed and nib.

 

I have found several inks that cause "nib creep". It is not a problem that bothers me. But you have more than "nib creep" with ink filling the feed or collector and coming around the sides of the nib. There is a difference between the silicone used to attach the silicone sac and Vaseline.  

 

The 9550 is my favorite nib and I am very sorry that you are having such a troubling experience with it. While I have never owned one nor seen one that was flawed, the possibility does exist that the problem is the result of a flawed, or cracked nib unit. After all other possible cures have been tried and failed, let me know and we will go to work on your nib unit. Don't give up. We will all put our heads together and solve this problem and you will have an excellent writing fountain pens to give your children or grandchildren.

 

-David (Estie).


Edited by estie1948, 16 August 2016 - 07:29.

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#10 pajaro

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Posted 16 August 2016 - 18:40

If this were my pen, after reading the advice above, I believe I would resac the pen with a size 16 latex sac.  Sometimes you get in a situation like this where it seems nothing works, and it can be frustrating.  Perhaps taking a step back, and redoing the resac with the usually recommended sac would help to give you a known starting point and remove the uncertainties of ink, silicone sac adhesion, sac size, etc. 


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--Sign in a bar and grill, Ormond Beach, Florida, 1960.


#11 ernestrome

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Posted 16 August 2016 - 18:44

Yes that's one variable. Ink is another I could change, probably going for cross ink.

The nib moves slightly side to side on the feed, a mm or two, is that typical.

#12 pajaro

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Posted 16 August 2016 - 18:55

Cross ink is dryer.  It might help.  Some nib movement with respect to the feed is normal for most pens.  I suppose to permit proper alignment on the feed.  When the nib is aligned on the feed the friction fit should be sufficient to hold the nib in place.  It shouldn't wobble.


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#13 ernestrome

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Posted 16 August 2016 - 19:58

It doesn't wobble when writing, I think the movement is not excessive.

I am certainly thinking about fitting a latex sac instead as advised.

Testing the sealing of the silicone sac might be first. I thought since the 15 sac would have good clearance in the body, heat pressure would not be likely, anyway the problem is seen laying flat on a desk.

I also considered another renew point (or another pen) to switch things around, ruling out the nib and feed as the problem. Maybe a 9128 :)

#14 ernestrome

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Posted 07 September 2016 - 16:06

You were right. I have removed the silicone sac, it was very easy to remove and so I think the adhesive was not good. I replaced it with a latex sac, sealed with shellac (knotting solution). 

 

The excessive flow seems to be resolved.

 

Thanks for your help.



#15 Ron Z

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Posted 07 September 2016 - 16:17

It wasn't the adhesive. The true silicone sacs from Vintage Pens (vs the "silicone" sacs from Woodbin) are gas permeable.  i.e. pens will ooze and tend to flood, especially if not stored nib UP.  I gave up on using the silicone sacs. 

 

Take at look at this article.


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#16 gweimer1

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Posted 07 September 2016 - 16:39

If the nib moves, even only slightly under pressure, you might try unscrewing the nib and looking at the sleeve closely.  Some of your symptoms suggested an air leak, and replacing the sac seems to have helped.  If the sleeve is cracked, that's another instance of an air leak.  It might be easy to correct with some silicone grease, which you did, but it's really only a band-aid.  If you removed the nib when you replaced the sac, then you also changed the physical position of the nib in the section, which may have also helped you.

 

The degree of the problem, and what you can live with, will tell you what you want to do next.  If it's working, then you are probably fine.  If the problem comes back, you have some other things to look at.  There's only so many variables in these pens.   B)



#17 ernestrome

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Posted 07 September 2016 - 16:54

I also removed the silicone grease and lubed the nib to section joint with beeswax instead. I could not see any crack in the nib unit or colllar when i had it out but did not disassemble it.


Edited by ernestrome, 07 September 2016 - 16:57.


#18 Ron Z

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Posted 07 September 2016 - 17:17

Esterbrooks are designed to seal at the inside end of the section when the nib is screwed in.  They did not, nor is there a need to, use any kind of sealant on the threads. 


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#19 Vintagepens

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Posted 07 September 2016 - 21:24

Permeability of the sac is very likely the problem. Silicone sacs really are special-purpose items, best for those who either use their pens very little (and are chiefly concerned with color preservation) or who like to use them a lot (and with inks that may not play well with latex rubber). 

 

But note that real silicone is nonreactive: plasticizer migration is a big issue with PVC sacs, not silicone. The confusion arises because the main seller of PVC sacs advertises them as silicone, which they definitely are not.

 

Barring the notion that you've just got an ink that's a functional laxative, I suspect you've got an air leak somewhere.

 

I wonder if this could be a result of the silicone sac.  I recall a post where Brian from Edison Pens would not use silicone sacs in his self-filler pens, because silicone was not gas impermeable enough to prevent pens from leaking.

 

From my understanding, there are certain silicone sacs that work well, but they are not all created equally.  Also, the plasticizer in silicone sacs may eventually react with the plastic walls of your Esterbrook. Silicone sacs should only be used in pens where the sac is fully protected from any plastic parts of the pen, like in a Snorkel where the sac protecter is metal, and completely encases the sac. 

 

Try a latex sac and see if that solves your problem.  Unless there is another avenue for air to enter the system, like a crack in the section, I suspect the silicone sac is the culprit.  

 

Also, what kind of cement did you use to secure the sac to the section?  You need to use a silicone cement for that.  Shellac won't stick to silicone.



#20 ernestrome

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Posted 24 March 2017 - 11:09

Unfortunately I am still experiencing a lot of ink flowing into the collector despite switching to a rubber sac, trying another renew point, and a different ink, waterman's.







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