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Newbie-Ish Question - Maintenance Of Vacuum Fillers

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#1 PotatoJesus

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Posted 18 March 2017 - 16:56

So I have been considering getting a vacuum filling pen, as from my understanding they seem to hold more ink than piston fillers. I don't swap colors in my pens that much, so having a pen that could have a lot of ink in one fill is great. Cartridge converter pens don't really hold enough ink for me, as I like to practice my writing by transcribing a page or two of a book each day. My only real concern that's holding me back from getting a vacuum filler is that I don't know how much maintainance it would need.Do Vacuum filler pens have about the same amount of maintenance than a piston filler? The only piston filler I have experience with is a Noodler's Konrad which is very easy to clean, as the nib and feed pop right out and I haven't needed to grease anything yet.



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#2 dylim1

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Posted 18 March 2017 - 18:00

It depends on which one you are getting. e.g. TWSBI Vac700, Pilot 823, or Visconti...

 

TWSBI Vac700 is really easy to clean as the nib unit is removable.

Pilot 823 isn't that hard either. The nib and feed can be pulled out and cleaned that way.

Visconti is harder to clean since the nibs are not easily removable.



#3 Ron Z

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Posted 18 March 2017 - 19:15

You know, I don't understand the proclivity to remove nibs for cleaning.  I don't recommend it.You really don't need to do it for routine cleaning in most cases.

 

Nibs are designed to be a snug fit in the section so that they don't shift out of alignment.  I don't even do it every time I restore a pen, but only when I think it necessary.   Repeated removing of the nib and feed leads to a loose nib. 

You are better off leaving it in place and using a mild cleaning solution,  maybe an ultrasonic and flushing well with clear water.  A salad spinner centrifuge removes excess water, or you can shake it down several times with a paper towel wrapped around the end to catch the water.  That usually is sufficient. 

 

A little silicone grease on the piston rod from the outside, with a very sparing application of a little on the barrel it a cotton swab if it's still stiff after lubricating the rod on occasion should be sufficient to keep things sliding along freely.


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#4 jar

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Posted 18 March 2017 - 19:18

As above.  Stop taking pens apart folk.  They will work much better long term if you stop taking nibs out.


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#5 PotatoJesus

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Posted 18 March 2017 - 23:42

You know, I don't understand the proclivity to remove nibs for cleaning.  I don't recommend it.You really don't need to do it for routine cleaning in most cases.

 

Nibs are designed to be a snug fit in the section so that they don't shift out of alignment.  I don't even do it every time I restore a pen, but only when I think it necessary.   Repeated removing of the nib and feed leads to a loose nib. 

You are better off leaving it in place and using a mild cleaning solution,  maybe an ultrasonic and flushing well with clear water.  A salad spinner centrifuge removes excess water, or you can shake it down several times with a paper towel wrapped around the end to catch the water.  That usually is sufficient. 

 

A little silicone grease on the piston rod from the outside, with a very sparing application of a little on the barrel it a cotton swab if it's still stiff after lubricating the rod on occasion should be sufficient to keep things sliding along freely.

Well most of the cleaning  I do with pens I take the grip section off and just flush it with water, so I only really take the nib out on the Konrad which I don't think would shift out of alignment as there is a notch cut out of the grip section for it to fit into but I guess you would know better, as I haven't been into the hobby for that long. While that information is helpful it doesn't really answer the main question of how the maintenance would compare to pens that I can easily take the grip sections off to clean. I'm not really sure what an ultrasonic is though. But I guess that I would have to buy pen flush if i want my cleanings to be as easy as they are now.



#6 jar

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Posted 18 March 2017 - 23:57

There are as many different types of vacuum fillers as there are types of nibs.  Each maker built their own variation.  Fot the plunger type vacuum filler like Onoto or Sheaffer I just fill it up with water and the squirt the water out.  There is no other maintenance except maybe wipe it down with a soft cloth every once in a while.  Now pump type vacuum fillers like the Parker Vacumatic, "51", striped Duofolds were harder to flush but generally users didn't flush them at all so maintenance was really easy.  Just if you changed ink colors you enjoyed watching the color gradually change from old to new.


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#7 PotatoJesus

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Posted 19 March 2017 - 00:05

There are as many different types of vacuum fillers as there are types of nibs.  Each maker built their own variation.  Fot the plunger type vacuum filler like Onoto or Sheaffer I just fill it up with water and the squirt the water out.  There is no other maintenance except maybe wipe it down with a soft cloth every once in a while.  Now pump type vacuum fillers like the Parker Vacumatic, "51", striped Duofolds were harder to flush but generally users didn't flush them at all so maintenance was really easy.  Just if you changed ink colors you enjoyed watching the color gradually change from old to new.

Thanks, I guess I really will be getting some pen flush, or maybe I could make my own. What was it again, 10 parts water to 1 part ammonia? Could I use bleach instead? I'm gonna have to look up some concoctions on youtube


Edited by PotatoJesus, 19 March 2017 - 00:06.


#8 jar

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Posted 19 March 2017 - 00:50

Thanks, I guess I really will be getting some pen flush, or maybe I could make my own. What was it again, 10 parts water to 1 part ammonia? Could I use bleach instead? I'm gonna have to look up some concoctions on youtube

I suggest just plain water, no flush, no bleach, just plain room temperature water.


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#9 ehemem

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Posted 19 March 2017 - 05:15

I suggest just plain water, no flush, no bleach, just plain room temperature water.

 

plus 1. Very good advice.



#10 Old Salt

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Posted 19 March 2017 - 06:56

Plus 2, for plain water. If you introduce pen flush to a piston or vacuum filler you can kiss the silicone grease that is meant to keep the pistons working smooth goodbye.

I think a vacuum filler is a great choice for you. The vacuum fillers take less maintenance than a piston filler. There really is not much to go wrong. There is only a steel rod with a piston head attached. None of the worm gear, or piston assembly of a piston filler.
That said, I'd start off with a TWISBI Vac 700 or Vac Mini. They well made and far less expensive than the other choices. Once you get your sea legs working with those, you can decide if you want to move up, or stick with what you have.

I have TWISBI Vac 700's which i love, a couple Pilot 823's and recently had the privilege to work on a Visconti Homo Sapiens Bronze all wonderful pens. You might want to start off with the TWISBI.
There are lots of great Pen Maintenance Vids on you tube, Goulet Pens has an excellent one on filling a Vac 700 and getting the maximum amount of ink in it.
My favorite spot is http://www.sbrebrown.com/. I've learned more from him than all the other vids combined.
Hope this helps some... keep us updated on what you decide..by the way, we like pics..lol...

#11 Noihvo

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Posted 19 March 2017 - 09:33

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#12 PotatoJesus

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Posted 19 March 2017 - 13:36

Plus 2, for plain water. If you introduce pen flush to a piston or vacuum filler you can kiss the silicone grease that is meant to keep the pistons working smooth goodbye.

I think a vacuum filler is a great choice for you. The vacuum fillers take less maintenance than a piston filler. There really is not much to go wrong. There is only a steel rod with a piston head attached. None of the worm gear, or piston assembly of a piston filler.
That said, I'd start off with a TWISBI Vac 700 or Vac Mini. They well made and far less expensive than the other choices. Once you get your sea legs working with those, you can decide if you want to move up, or stick with what you have.

I have TWISBI Vac 700's which i love, a couple Pilot 823's and recently had the privilege to work on a Visconti Homo Sapiens Bronze all wonderful pens. You might want to start off with the TWISBI.
There are lots of great Pen Maintenance Vids on you tube, Goulet Pens has an excellent one on filling a Vac 700 and getting the maximum amount of ink in it.
My favorite spot is http://www.sbrebrown.com/. I've learned more from him than all the other vids combined.
Hope this helps some... keep us updated on what you decide..by the way, we like pics..lol...

Yeah I was eyeing the Vac Mini, although I am hoping that they come out with an other color option like they've done with the TWSBI Mini AL and the 580 in the past. I'm definitely leaning towards getting one but my only qualm is how dry the nib writes. With me being spoiled with the wetness of a Noodler's Konrad being a fine-medium (I think and I never use it for flex writing), when I got a Ranga Zayante in fine I was disappointed with the dryness (although now I can use my fountain pens in my school notebooks).I know that generalizing a whole brand as "wet" or "dry" writers is not a good idea and there are ways to get the pen more wet but I don't like fiddling around with things that were (relatively) expensive. Probably will still get it as I like heavier pens and it gets to 24g posted

 

Edit: Fixed spelling of pen


Edited by PotatoJesus, 19 March 2017 - 13:39.


#13 Old Salt

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Posted 20 March 2017 - 00:01


Go over to Stephen Browns vids. You will learn how to make a pen write wetter, how to smooth out a scratchy nib and lots of other things. It's not hard. Plus, there are discount codes for pen purchases. You can buy the supplies at GouletPens, Anderson Pen and others.
We use to expect that a pen would come with a well tuned nib that wrote smooth. Just not the case today. Even some of the most expensive pens put out a mistake every once and a while. It's becoming more and more important to be able to do basic nib tuning on our own. Once you learn, a lot of these minor annoyances about how a new pen writes will not matter.

One big plus for the TWISBI is that you can buy replacement nib units. Change to XFine, fine, medium or broad at will. Also if you're practicing your nib smooothing and the worst happens, no worries, you can buy another nib.
Use a fine or extra fine in you school books and you will get less bleed through and feathering. Your ink supply will go farther as well.

#14 Elenita

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Posted 20 March 2017 - 01:51

It depends on which one you are getting. e.g. TWSBI Vac700, Pilot 823, or Visconti...

 

TWSBI Vac700 is really easy to clean as the nib unit is removable.

Pilot 823 isn't that hard either. The nib and feed can be pulled out and cleaned that way.

Visconti is harder to clean since the nibs are not easily removable.

 

As a word of caution, Pilot explicitly warns against removing the nib section from the Custom 823, as it's prone to cracking. There's even a label on the cap of the pen saying that doing so will void warranty.

 

That said, if you are considering this model, don't let this fact discourage you too much. I love mine, and use it as a daily workhorse. So much so, in fact, that I didn't hesitate to pay the hefty repair fee after cracking the nib section doing this exact thing. :rolleyes:

 

Live and learn, I suppose. But preferably learn from others' mistakes first!



#15 PotatoJesus

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Posted 21 March 2017 - 01:24

 

As a word of caution, Pilot explicitly warns against removing the nib section from the Custom 823, as it's prone to cracking. There's even a label on the cap of the pen saying that doing so will void warranty.

 

That said, if you are considering this model, don't let this fact discourage you too much. I love mine, and use it as a daily workhorse. So much so, in fact, that I didn't hesitate to pay the hefty repair fee after cracking the nib section doing this exact thing. :rolleyes:

 

Live and learn, I suppose. But preferably learn from others' mistakes first!

I will keep that in mind! It would really suck cracking the nib section, I guess I will stick to just cleaning my pens the long way







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