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Where To Start With A Leaking Eyedropper?


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#1 thudthwacker

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Posted 22 November 2017 - 17:38

I got a free Muft eyedropper with a recent order from Fountain Pen Revolution, and I like it a lot.  I filled it with Iroshizuku Momiji, and for a week, had no real problems -- the FPR pens come with a coating of silicone grease on the body threads, so I was able to just take it out of the shipping package, ink it, and go.  It's a very wet writer, which is nice, but after about a week, it began to leak out of the nib.  A sudden blob on the page, and when I looked at the nib, it looked like there was a *lot* of ink welled up between the feed and nib.  After awhile, the occasional blobs became pretty constant.

 

it is my understanding that, when eyedroppers get low, many of them become prone to spitting ink in this manner.  But when mine started, it wasn't *exceptionally* low.  Perhaps a touch under half-full, I think.

 

My question: if I want to address this, where should I start?  Is this likely to simply be the way a smallish eyedropper works, or are there nib/feed aspects I can investigate to make it less likely?

 

Sorry if all this is uselessly vague, and many thanks for any suggestions.



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#2 hari317

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Posted 22 November 2017 - 17:51

If you refill the pen at this point and the problem goes away, you have found the source of the problem. You can improve things by looking for a better feeder.
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#3 Needhelp

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Posted 22 November 2017 - 17:59

I have an airmail 69T eyedropper fountain pen and i live in kuwait which is a desert country which has quite high temperatures and i have yet to get a leak and even a blob. I used it completely untill the pen stopped writing (due to lack of ink) and still no leak. I dont know why. And i dont use silicone grease on the threads. I bought it from some local shop. I actaully really like the pen. Try heatsetting the feed, maybe that should help. Take hot boiling water in a glass cup and place ONLY the nib for about a minute and then take a tissue,papertowel,cloth and GENTLY press the nib and feed.

#4 rwilsonedn

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Posted 22 November 2017 - 20:38

As Hari317 said. Some eyedropper pens (old ones, ones with inexpensive feeds) will leak as you described even when they are half-full. The issue is that when the pen is cold and you pick it up to write, your hand warms the air in the barrel. The air expands, and forces ink into the feed. The more air in the barrel, the more expansion, and the more ink gets pushed out. If the feed doesn't have a lot of internal fins to absorb this ink, the ink will leak out onto the nib, and then onto your paper. Refilling the pen should make the problem vanish.

In many cases, you can avoid the problem even when the pen is nearly empty by simply wrapping your palm around the pen barrel and holding the pen, nib-up, until the barrel is thoroughly warm--a minute or two on a cold day. If that proves inconvenient, then as Hari writes you can often replace the feed with a more modern one. There is also an outside chance that a crack or some other leak has developed in your pen, but since it was working fine until about half-full, that seems very unlikely to me. I think you are seeing the normal behavior of simple eyedropper pens.

ron



#5 thudthwacker

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Posted 22 November 2017 - 21:00

Many thanks, all.  My first course of action will be to refill and see how it behaves; obviously, if a complete fill fixes the issue, it's likely just how this particular eyedropper works.  I don't feel at all hard done by; it was a free pen, and even if it's never a pen I'll put in my bag or pocket and can only be trusted if it's more than half full, it's still enjoyable to write with.



#6 Needhelp

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Posted 24 November 2017 - 03:41

Well now I know why my airmail pen does not leak. The airmail 69t's body is so thick or the acrylic is very thick even if you drop it it wont crack and maybe thats why its keeping the ink cooler because it is so thick the heat from the hand does not enter inside the barrel.

#7 hari317

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Posted 24 November 2017 - 04:37

I have an airmail 69T eyedropper fountain pen and i live in kuwait which is a desert country which has quite high temperatures and i have yet to get a leak and even a blob. I used it completely untill the pen stopped writing (due to lack of ink) and still no leak. I dont know why. And i dont use silicone grease on the threads. I bought it from some local shop. I actaully really like the pen. Try heatsetting the feed, maybe that should help. Take hot boiling water in a glass cup and place ONLY the nib for about a minute and then take a tissue,papertowel,cloth and GENTLY press the nib and feed.

 

 

Well now I know why my airmail pen does not leak. The airmail 69t's body is so thick or the acrylic is very thick even if you drop it it wont crack and maybe thats why its keeping the ink cooler because it is so thick the heat from the hand does not enter inside the barrel.

 

your ambient atmosphere is quite warm already so there is no question of cold air inside barrel getting warmed up by hand heat and expanding while you are writing with the pen with the nib pointing downwards...

 

similarly in India, burping is a non issue unless there is a mechanical defect in the pen like a loose fitting feeder or an out of round section bore etc...

 

Burping etc is a major problem in the cold countries where people travel in a warm vehicle, step out into the cold for a short walk, then again enter a warm building, so lots of fluctuations. So you will get burping with a simple feeder, when the air inside the pen is at a lower temperature than your hand temperature at the beginning of the writing session.


Edited by hari317, 24 November 2017 - 05:30.

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#8 thudthwacker

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Posted 29 November 2017 - 16:30

I emptied and flushed the pen, and while doing so, pressed gently on the nib to make sure it was seated properly.  It moved a bit, which makes me suspect that it wasn't all the way back in the section when I started.  I refilled with a different ink (J. Herbin Emerald of Chivor), and thus far, have had no spitting -- even though the ink level is now a bit lower than when I was having problems with the Momiji.

 

As there are a couple of variables (different ink, reseated nib), I don't think I've got a definite culprit.  Which is largely academic, as I really like EoC in this pen -- none of the clogging or hard starts I've sometimes had with shimmering inks, and in an eyedropper it's easy (almost unavoidable, really) to slosh the ink around a bit while writing to ensure the particles remain fairly well-distributed.  I suspect that EoC is going to have a long-term home in this Muft.





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