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What Ink For Cross Century


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#1 doginabag

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Posted 04 August 2017 - 09:05

Good morning all.  New user here hoping for some advise.

 

I have a cross fountain pen which I believe to be a century, or century II with a medium nib, about 6 years old if that helps.

I know in the grand scheme of things it is not anything particularly special, but it has some sentimental value so I would like to get the most out of it. 

 

Since I have had it I have found it pretty unreliable in that it often stops writing for no good reason and needs some tinkering to get it going again.  This put me off using it and it has lived in the draw unused pretty much since new.

but a few months ago I decided to give it another go, but I still have the same old problems.

 

I have been using the cross cartridges and am now on my last one so am considering what other options there may be.

 

It gets uses every 1-2 days and is always capped when not in use.  I have washed the nib through with warm water many times which always gets it going again, but hasn't been a long term fix.  Often I either put a drop of water on the nib which normally gets things going again, or more often than not have to disassemble the pen, give the cartridge a squeeze to get the ink flowing through to the nib again and carry on.  But this can need doing several times a day if doing a lot of writing.

 

The nib is in good condition and not bent out of shape at all.  Some pictures below.

 

I am wondering if a possible solution may be to get a converter which will allow me to try different inks, maybe something less viscous would help?

 

Can anyone suggest a particular ink work trying or offer any other suggestions?

 

Thanks

 

 

IMG_20170804_093756.jpg

IMG_20170804_093945.jpg



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#2 adyf

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Posted 04 August 2017 - 10:06

Try a Waterman ink, through a converter if you have one. I always fill newly acquired pens with Waterman Serenity Blue as it gives a good indication as to the ink flow.

 

Welcome to the forum by the way.  :W2FPN:


Edited by adyf, 04 August 2017 - 10:08.


#3 doginabag

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Posted 04 August 2017 - 10:30

Great, thank you.  I tend to prefer a black ink, but I assume that won't make any difference.  My nearest shop stocks this so I shall pick some up on the way home.

 

https://www.penshop....nk/waterman-ink



#4 RocketRyan

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Posted 04 August 2017 - 10:37

Diamine inks work well in my medallist.

#5 Chrissy

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Posted 04 August 2017 - 11:20

it might need a good soak in some warm water overnight to clean out all of the old ink.

 

Then fill your new converter with your new ink and it should be fine.


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#6 rh968

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Posted 05 August 2017 - 11:55

Cross ink writes very dry, so that may be part of the problem. Try Waterman Serenity Blue for a little while, just to try and get the pen working, say a few days, then clean the pen thoroughly and try with Waterman Black -another good ink, if you prefer black. I've never had any problem with a Cross pen doing this - is it possible that there was some dried ink left in the pen from when it was first bought. In which case, giving it a good overnight soak would be the best solution, as recommended above, or try what I sometimes do, buy a bottle of Herbin fountain pen cleaner (Nettoyant pour stylo) from Amazon. That usually does the trick.



#7 RMN

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Posted 07 August 2017 - 21:20

With problems like this, there are four main reasons possible.

 

Pen, Ink container, ink, paper.

 

Pen:  You say you washed the nib. How do you do that? Hold it under a running tap, Flush it with a converter? Flush it with a bulb syringe?

I personally prefer the bulb syringe when using c/c pens. You have apparently not used the pen for a while? There may be dried ink in the feed. Try flushing the pen till the water is clean, then soak your nib and section in luke warm water for an hour or so, and flush again. Probably you will see ink again. Repeat until no ink after soaking.

 

Ink container.  Do you use a cartridge or converter? If cartridge, do you use a Cross cartridge? (Cross has a proprietary size cart)

If converter, do you have the right type (Cross has a push and a screw converter) If the ink flow stops, have you looked at the converter? Are ther big bubbles visual? Problem with converters is the formation of air bubbles that hamper flow. If you use a converter, try a cart and see if the problem persists.

 

Ink  As said, Cross ink is rather dry. The ink used to be made by Pelikan, Pelikan is dry. The ink in the cartridges is made by a different company. (Don't know which) Try a well behaved ink, like, indeed, Waterman blue or blue black.

 

 

Paper: some paper, especially high density smooth paper does not soak up ink very well. If there is grime on the paper (from hand-oils and dirt from your hands) the paper will be slippery (like an oil slick on the road) and the ink won't take. Try writing with a support paper sheet, or plastic sheet under your hand.

 

 

hth

 

 

D.ick


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Freedom exists by virtue of self limitation.

 

 

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#8 dadbar

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Posted 09 August 2017 - 14:35

I've had similar problems with using Cross cartridges in Cross pens. Once you start using the converter and trying different inks, you will be a lot happier.

 

I use Montblanc, J Herbein and Waterman inks in my Cross pens and all of these brands work a lot better than the stuff in the Cross cartridges.



#9 doginabag

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Posted 10 August 2017 - 10:24

I picked up a converter and waterman black in last week.  One week on and it's been like a whole new pen, the ink hasn't stop flowing once.  



#10 dadbar

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Posted 10 August 2017 - 15:41

I picked up a converter and waterman black in last week.  One week on and it's been like a whole new pen, the ink hasn't stop flowing once.  

 

Nice to hear a happy ending......



#11 CSSD

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Posted 10 August 2017 - 23:38

I'm seeing a Century II in your picture.  Very Nice Pen !!

 

For a while I didn't have a converter, so I bought a syringe into which I would draw ink from a bottle, then refill the cartridge.  Worked/works just fine.



#12 Chris

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Posted 05 September 2017 - 16:33

Glad it has worked out well.

I had a similar issue, but in reverse. I realised a had a bundle of old Cross cartridges that were not being used, so I popped them in my Century II for doing the crossword in the evening. Ink flow was not great yet the newsprint paper was absorbent enough. The last few cartridges went in the bin and the converter went back in the pen. All worked properly once again.

I have yet to find an ink, even the 'dry' Cross/Pelikan, that does not work well in Cross pens.

#13 adyf

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Posted 06 September 2017 - 12:09

I picked up a converter and waterman black in last week.  One week on and it's been like a whole new pen, the ink hasn't stop flowing once.


Amen.

#14 jslallar

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Posted 04 October 2017 - 17:52

my two cents
1. cold water works as well cleaning the ink without any danger of damaging plastics
2. cross and pelikan are considered drier inks. waterman is wetter. Schaeffer and montblanc too are less dry.
3. blue inks tend to clog less than black for any make
Enjoy your pens
Have a nice day
Junaid

#15 JonathanBarboza

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Posted 17 November 2017 - 06:01

That is definitely a Century II chrome with barely corn pattern.  That's a pretty nice pen.  There seems to be three questions within your post.  I'll address each one as best I can:

 

1. The first is "why will the pen not write reliably"?  You mentioned it has been sitting a while and tends to sit in a draw for periods.  You also mentioned that you ran the nib under water which gets it writing again.  However, there may be some dried up ink clogging the feed in the section where the water is not reaching.  To clean this, the best way is to take a latex glove or something else made of soft rubber-like material.  Grip the nib with the rubbery material with your thumb on the top side of the nib, and your forefinger underneath gripping the feed.  Gently rock the nib back and forth slightly as you pull outward.  The nib and feed should come out together.  You can then soak these in warm water with a few drops of dish liquid.  You may have to soak it for a long time and with several changes in the water until all of the dried ink is removed.  After that reassemble by lining up the nib on the feed and pushing it back into the section gently.

 

2. Should I get a converter? Get a cross converter if you don't have one.  If you need one, I have some extras and I can sell you one.  Just PM me if interested.  But these are all over the place on the internet and shouldn't' be hard to find at all.  The good thing about converters is that they allow you to "prime the pen".  If it has been sitting for a while, you can use the converter to push some of the ink down into the feed to get the feed primed with ink again.

 

3. What ink type?  There is an entire section of FPN dedicated to this and everyone will have differing opinions on which is the best to use.  I have many brands and like many different ones.  In my town, there is a guy who manufactures ink that is pretty popular here, Noodler's.  You get a lot of ink for a good price.  I recommend Noodler's ink.  Another popular option is Waterman.  People in my pen club up in Boston swear by this stuff.  They like the way it behaves in vintage pens.  I personally like the Waterman Inspired Blue color because it shades well.  Another well regarded manufacturer is Diamine.  Diamine has a ton of colors in their lineup and I've always had good luck with their inks.  However, if you have a little extra money to spend, the Pilot Iroshizuku colors are wonderful!

 

Good luck.  If you have any more questions, let us know! 


Edited by JonathanBarboza, 17 November 2017 - 06:02.

WTT: Conklin Nozac Cursive Italic & Edison Beaumont Broad for Pelikan M1000 or Something Cool (PM me to discuss. It's part of my One Red Fountain Pen trading post)

 

WTB: 1. Flexible Music Nib from any brand in any usable condition with or without a pen.

2. User Grade Parker Vacumatic in Red.


#16 Chris C

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Posted 17 November 2017 - 18:30

I think all the responses here are pretty on the mark: Waterman is a wet ink, Cross quite dry. My current pen is a Cross Verve that 6 months ago was writing perfectly with the older Cross cartridges I had stockpiled, containing Pelikan ink. Now that I bought new carts using a reformulated ink, apparently made in China, it is so dry and skips a lot. I cleaned it throughly following the instructions for the Platinum cleaning kit and it only helped a little. I am not happy about this new Cross ink. If you don't mind using a converter that is the way to go.



#17 FlippyThePen

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Posted 17 November 2017 - 23:42

I think all the responses here are pretty on the mark: Waterman is a wet ink, Cross quite dry. My current pen is a Cross Verve that 6 months ago was writing perfectly with the older Cross cartridges I had stockpiled, containing Pelikan ink. Now that I bought new carts using a reformulated ink, apparently made in China, it is so dry and skips a lot. I cleaned it throughly following the instructions for the Platinum cleaning kit and it only helped a little. I am not happy about this new Cross ink. If you don't mind using a converter that is the way to go.

 

That is definitely a Century II chrome with barely corn pattern.  That's a pretty nice pen.  There seems to be three questions within your post.  I'll address each one as best I can:

 

1. The first is "why will the pen not write reliably"?  You mentioned it has been sitting a while and tends to sit in a draw for periods.  You also mentioned that you ran the nib under water which gets it writing again.  However, there may be some dried up ink clogging the feed in the section where the water is not reaching.  To clean this, the best way is to take a latex glove or something else made of soft rubber-like material.  Grip the nib with the rubbery material with your thumb on the top side of the nib, and your forefinger underneath gripping the feed.  Gently rock the nib back and forth slightly as you pull outward.  The nib and feed should come out together.  You can then soak these in warm water with a few drops of dish liquid.  You may have to soak it for a long time and with several changes in the water until all of the dried ink is removed.  After that reassemble by lining up the nib on the feed and pushing it back into the section gently.

 

2. Should I get a converter? Get a cross converter if you don't have one.  If you need one, I have some extras and I can sell you one.  Just PM me if interested.  But these are all over the place on the internet and shouldn't' be hard to find at all.  The good thing about converters is that they allow you to "prime the pen".  If it has been sitting for a while, you can use the converter to push some of the ink down into the feed to get the feed primed with ink again.

 

3. What ink type?  There is an entire section of FPN dedicated to this and everyone will have differing opinions on which is the best to use.  I have many brands and like many different ones.  In my town, there is a guy who manufactures ink that is pretty popular here, Noodler's.  You get a lot of ink for a good price.  I recommend Noodler's ink.  Another popular option is Waterman.  People in my pen club up in Boston swear by this stuff.  They like the way it behaves in vintage pens.  I personally like the Waterman Inspired Blue color because it shades well.  Another well regarded manufacturer is Diamine.  Diamine has a ton of colors in their lineup and I've always had good luck with their inks.  However, if you have a little extra money to spend, the Pilot Iroshizuku colors are wonderful!

 

Good luck.  If you have any more questions, let us know! 

One thing I learned from using fountain pens, don't use Parker Quink with a Century II.

 

Spoiler: it doesn't end well.


Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of the truth

 

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Cheers before jeers!

 

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