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3 Questions About Platinum: Adapter, Iron Gall Ink, Refilling Cartridges

platinum iron gall cartridge adapter refill

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#1 Kalikrates

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Posted 12 December 2017 - 11:20

After asking for recommendations here, I bought a Platinum Century #3776 and I am delighted with it. After a couple of months using it, it's the most reliable fountain pen I've ever had (although this may be normal as the other pens I had were cheaper...), and I love the nib's feel too.

 

The only downside of it is the fact that it doesn't take standard cartridges. I have bought the international cartridge adapter, and it works, but at least in my case (with Waterman serenity blue ink) it decreases reliability. With a Platinum blue-black cartridge, the pen never ever skips. But with the adapter, it sometimes does, and I need to squeeze the cartridge to get it working reliably for a while.

 

So, question #1: is this just a necessary evil with the adapter, or should I be able to get the same reliability as with Platinum cartridges if I find the right ink and/or replace the adapter with another?

 

If it's a necessary evil, then one possibility would be to stick with Platinum ink. I like their blue-black color, but I have read horror stories about it being an iron gall ink that eats nibs for breakfast. I definitely don't want to damage my pen. However, since it's a gold nib, maybe this shouldn't be a problem?

 

So, question #2: can Platinum's blue-black ink damage a 14K gold nib, or is there no risk of damage in this case?

 

Finally, a third option (which is not my favorite as it's more uncomfortable, but it can be a good B plan) would be to refill cartridges using syringes. But I have also read horror stories about bad stuff happening when you mix iron gall ink with other inks (in fact, Platinum themselves warn about this).

 

So, question #3: can I refill a cartridge which originally held iron gall ink with a different ink? What precautions do I need to take to do so?

 

PS: I know there is also the possibility of using a converter, but this is not something I like in my case, as my pen travels a lot between home, work, and various places and it would be a bit too messy for that kind of use.

 

Thanks in advance!


Edited by Kalikrates, 12 December 2017 - 11:21.


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#2 hari317

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Posted 12 December 2017 - 11:26

I have been using Bottled Platinum BB for years now. It is a very good and safe ink.

 

The adapter is indeed unreliable IME.

 

To refill just flush the older cart with clean water using a syringe, fill and suck water using the syringe till the old ink is fully removed.

 

you can also use a Platinum converter. This allows you to use any brand bottled ink. Similar to refilling cartridges, you refill your converter at home in the evening or the morning as you prefer.

 

HTH


Edited by hari317, 12 December 2017 - 11:27.

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#3 iruciperi

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Posted 12 December 2017 - 14:24

#1. I don't have any idea because I've not used the adapter. But, the material of the adapter may cause some issues. If it is a cheap plastic, the ink can more be stuck at the end of the adapter than the Platinum's cartridge. It is a common problem in most cheap standard international converters made out of cheap plastic, rather than clean one. 

 

#2. Iron gall inks are mostly advertised as it may damage the steel nibs, so it is recommended to use them only to gold nibs. So I can't see any possibility to damage your 3776 century. But take care: iron gall inks usually needs more careful maintenance than normal inks. 

 

#3. In principle, it is not a good idea to mix any ink with any other unless both are mix-free. So if you want to reuse your cartridge, it is necessary to wash the empty cartridge completely before filling it with another. In my experience, cleaning an empty cartridge is an easy task if you use a syringe. I mostly can guarantee that there will be no remnant ink in the cartridge if you clean it with syringe. And if you don't feel safe enough, you can use any pen flush with the syringe to clean the cartridge. 

 

 

But I strongly recommend you to use converters, rather than reuse cartridges. I don't think refilling your cartridge with syringe is less messy than filling the pen with converter and wipe the inks with tissue. Note that you can't carry multiple reused cartridges filled with inks because the seal of the cartridges are already broken. You can seal them using glue gun in principle, but I don't think it's safe. If you seal them too thick, your nib section cannot break the sealing to use it. 


Edited by iruciperi, 12 December 2017 - 15:20.


#4 ENewton

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Posted 12 December 2017 - 14:45

I'm confused about how it is messy to use a converter.  



#5 Bo Bo Olson

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Posted 12 December 2017 - 15:06

IG inks made today are less a problem on steel nibs...less Iron Gall and steel nibs are mostly stainless steel today..............and much of the problem lies in not cleaning. Old pens with corroded nibs comes from The Day of Ignorance......when no one knew about cleaning pens.

It need not be a gold nib, if you clean the pen. Use a rubber baby bulb syringe. Stick it over the spike and just suck water in and out of the bathroom sink until it runs clean.

Then put the section and barrel in a paper towel and shake it like an old style thermometer and put in a cup with the clean section of the paper towel either over night or for a few hours...........that is for cleaning the pen with any kind of ink.

 

If you clean your pen like you were using a supersaturated ink, every second or third refill you should have no problems. R&K makes two nice IG inks also. I have no worries about using them....in a steel nibbed pen......in fact I don't even think about it, in my pens do get cleaned sooner or later. :rolleyes:

In our in section would be more about which inks not to mix.

Some folks mix inks to their own desire...very often.

 

R&K Sepia is a no mix ink....that is the only one I have I know of........and it warns to clean the pen well........but I don't mix my own inks......in there are some thousand inks covering all hues, shades and colors.I failed to make a Blue Black ink by mixing a blue and black ink.....so never tried again. :(


Everyone says poor Mozart dead at only 36. None say poor Mendelson, dead at only 38. His family only allowed him to start at 20, but before, musicians use to come to the Mendelson garden to steal the music of Mendelson and his sister. A good artist also, can still buy prints of his famous Scottish drawings in Scotland.

 

www.nibs.com/blog/nibster-writes/nibs-germany      Info on Bock nibs

 

The cheapest lessons are from those who learned expensive lessons. Ignorance is best for learning expensive lessons.

 

Pens/inks/paper on hold for a year....new addiction pocket watch chains. :happyberet:


#6 Kalikrates

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Posted 12 December 2017 - 16:07

I'm confused about how it is messy to use a converter.  

 

I haven't actually ever used one, but from my understanding, one needs to dip the nib into the ink, which will result in a messy nib that needs to be cleaned with a kitchen towel or similar (and being relatively clumsy, as I am, I suppose the risk of some ink making its way to my hands in the process also exists). This is what I call messy. It's certainly not the end of the world, and I would happily do it if there is no alternative, but in principle I prefer cleaner alternatives, especially at work.

 

That said, maybe the syringe alternative is not much cleaner, as iruciperi says, as the cartridge seal would be broken (I hadn't thought about that).

 

Thanks a lot for the replies. With the tips about iron gall ink, I now know that my pen is safe using it, so I will probably keep using it as main ink as I like the blue-black color. I still have to think if I want to try a converter or a syringe if I feel like trying different inks that don't come in Platinum cartridges.


Edited by Kalikrates, 12 December 2017 - 16:22.


#7 sidthecat

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Posted 12 December 2017 - 16:28

R & K Sepia has been my go-to ink for some time, and it’s pretty well-behaved. I dilute it a bit to reduce drying time, but otherwise it’s solid as a rock.

#8 iruciperi

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Posted 12 December 2017 - 17:09

 

Thanks a lot for the replies. With the tips about iron gall ink, I now know that my pen is safe using it, so I will probably keep using it as main ink as I like the blue-black color. I still have to think if I want to try a converter or a syringe if I feel like trying different inks that don't come in Platinum cartridges.

 

Using converters and bottled ink is definitely more messy than using cartridges. But you may not have inky fingers after you become familiar with it. Mostly, I get some ink on my fingers when I completely clean the pens to change ink. And I think you may have similar problem even if you only use the cartridges: you have to completely flush the grip and nib section with water to avoid any clogging issue due to mixed inks. 

 

And in my experience, due to the material, converters give wetter writing experience than cartridges.

 

I think you should at least try converters, for example, in weekend not at work. It's not that messy as you imagine if you prepare some kitchen towels or clothes. 



#9 Bo Bo Olson

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Posted 12 December 2017 - 18:53

Didn't say R&K Sepia has any problems ..... other than R&K says its self....don't mix it.  Do Clean the Pen Well!!!

I have some my self.....don't really use it,,,I prefer my MB Sepia's color over that more cuttlefish inkish R&K Sepia.

xxxxxxx

As long as you are not filling on an old shaking subway line, you should have no problem filling from a bottle.

You wipe the section and perhaps just dab at the nib....I normally don't even dab at the nib in it's seldom dirty enough to worry about...or if I do I don't think about it...........what ever you do, don't 'clean' the feed!!!!  Most of the time the drop on a nib if there is one, will end up sliding down to the paper.

 

If you like the Lamy Ink....and turquoise is/was the shade all turquoise  inks were compared too, they have a fantastic looking bottle, with a roll of little paper squares for cleaning your pen. If you have Rhoda 80g or the new heavier Rhoda, or any 90g laser Lamy Turquoise will shade if you use a western F or wider nib.


Everyone says poor Mozart dead at only 36. None say poor Mendelson, dead at only 38. His family only allowed him to start at 20, but before, musicians use to come to the Mendelson garden to steal the music of Mendelson and his sister. A good artist also, can still buy prints of his famous Scottish drawings in Scotland.

 

www.nibs.com/blog/nibster-writes/nibs-germany      Info on Bock nibs

 

The cheapest lessons are from those who learned expensive lessons. Ignorance is best for learning expensive lessons.

 

Pens/inks/paper on hold for a year....new addiction pocket watch chains. :happyberet:


#10 inkstainedruth

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Posted 12 December 2017 - 20:58

Okay.  Answering a lot of questions and comments.

1. Platinum makes their own converters.  You install it the way you would a cartridge and use bottled ink.  Yes, you have to dip the nib (probably to halfway up the section to make sure the nib is fully submerged).  Then wipe the nib with a tissue or cloth.  I don't recall if the converter for my Plaisir is the same as for a 3776, but even if not the correct converter is probably a piston style.  You may have to run the piston up and down a couple of times for a complete fill, due to capillary action and the possibility of air bubbles.  But that way you're also getting ink into the feed, which will help with ink flow.  I don't remember OH if they use International Standard converters and cartridges as well -- I think there's a chart on the Goblet Pens website saying which brands take IS and which brands (Parker is one) take proprietary cartridges and converters.

2. I don't know if Platinum Blue-Black is an iron gall ink or not.  Iron gall inks do take a little extra maintenance when flushing, in that you should flush with distilled water, then a 9:1 solution of distilled water and white vinegar, then more distilled water -- and then maybe a 9:1 solution of distilled water and clear ammonia [not the sudsy stuff], followed by more distilled water.  But I use IG inks in nibs with stainless steel nibs all the time.  Modern IG inks are not nearly as corrosive as old formulations -- and stainless steel is way sterner stuff than the plain steel of vintage dip pen nibs.  And to flush your pen, you're just filling it -- only instead of ink, it's the flush solution.   This is not rocket science....

3. Yes, most converters do not hold as much ink as cartridges do.  But are more cost effective in the long run in that a bottle of ink is going to be more cost effective than a pack of cartridges (which are, frankly, a PITA to refill IMO -- especially if you're refilling with a different ink because you have to flush the cartridges out before refilling them....  And yes, you're going to have to flush out a cartridge which formerly had an IG ink -- or for that matter ANY other brand of ink, because you don't necessarily know what the other ink's pH is.  Chemical interactions between inks can be bad -- even with the same brand (I routinely point people to a thread from a few years ago where someone decided that the "ideal" blue black ink would be to mix Noodler's Black (which I believe is a neutral pH) and Noodler's Bay State Blue (very high pH).  And the results were not pretty -- the ink came out the pen in chunks  :yikes: -- I've seen the photos....  And (speaking from experience) flushing cartridges is a major league PITA, and you'll need a blunt tip syringe.  Flushing a pen and converter is way easier in the long run.

4. Yes, you might get ink on your hands.  Join the club -- we all do at times (some people consider it a badge of honor :rolleyes:) -- and there's an entire thread on FPN where people post what color their hands are on any given day....  ;)  You might want to search for threads which discuss various methods of cleaning your hands (and your counter or desk).  A lot of people have built little frames to hold bottles or sample vials in place (so they're less likely to tip over), and hand cleansers with something like pumice or another abrasive will help clean your hands (as will wiping the edge of the bottle before replacing the cap, which -- admittedly -- I very seldom actually do.  

Ruth Morrisson aka inkstainedruth


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#11 Runnin_Ute

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Posted 12 December 2017 - 23:04

Others have said it too, but why not a converter. Just this morning, I refilled one of my Pelikan M200's with Levenger Pomegranate and didn't get ink on my hands. And if I did, so what? I just use a paper towel or napkin to wipe the nib. Easy peasy.

I have had no issues with my 3776 and converters. I haven't used Iron Gall inks in it, but not because they would damage the pen (they won't). I have just used non-IG inks in it. I usually fill at night, and when I wash my hair the next morning my hands are clean. My 3776 is a B nib and I use it almost daily. It is a EDC pen and I fill it about every 7-14 days.

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#12 Jezza

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Posted 13 December 2017 - 15:18

I dont know whether Platinums standard blue/black cartridges are IG or not. I suspect they are standard dye-based inks. Platinum does make IG bottled ink, and it is advertised as such. Regardless, I dont think IG ink is a problem if you periodically flush the pen. The 3776 century (Im not sure which 3776 pen you have) doesnt have a trim ring to worry about corroding. As for the nib, 14K gold can handle the very mild acidity of IG ink for many, many decades.

I generally refill old platinum cartridges as opposed to using the converter for two reasons: first, they hold more ink than the converters. Second, the ink flows better. That little steel ball in the cartridge is a big help.

#13 Arkanabar

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Posted 13 December 2017 - 16:52

Absolutely you can refill Platinum cartridges.  There are three Plaisirs in my home, and none of them have converters.  Not only that, but I refill the cartridges with disposable pipettes, such as Goulet sells.  No syringe is needed.

As for Platinum converters, there are a lot of reports that they fail quickly; some say this can be avoided by lubricating the piston with a little dab of silicone grease.


Edited by Arkanabar, 13 December 2017 - 16:53.


#14 bluebellrose

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Posted 13 December 2017 - 19:47

#1. I don't have any idea because I've not used the adapter. But, the material of the adapter may cause some issues. If it is a cheap plastic, the ink can more be stuck at the end of the adapter than the Platinum's cartridge. It is a common problem in most cheap standard international converters made out of cheap plastic, rather than clean one. 
 
#2. Iron gall inks are mostly advertised as it may damage the steel nibs, so it is recommended to use them only to gold nibs. So I can't see any possibility to damage your 3776 century. But take care: iron gall inks usually needs more careful maintenance than normal inks. 
 
#3. In principle, it is not a good idea to mix any ink with any other unless both are mix-free. So if you want to reuse your cartridge, it is necessary to wash the empty cartridge completely before filling it with another. In my experience, cleaning an empty cartridge is an easy task if you use a syringe. I mostly can guarantee that there will be no remnant ink in the cartridge if you clean it with syringe. And if you don't feel safe enough, you can use any pen flush with the syringe to clean the cartridge. 
 
 
But I strongly recommend you to use converters, rather than reuse cartridges. I don't think refilling your cartridge with syringe is less messy than filling the pen with converter and wipe the inks with tissue. Note that you can't carry multiple reused cartridges filled with inks because the seal of the cartridges are already broken. You can seal them using glue gun in principle, but I don't think it's safe. If you seal them too thick, your nib section cannot break the sealing to use it. 

I solved thst issue by ordering a hello kitty Preppy. Comes with a capped cartridge . Now why can't platinum sell carts with caps?

#15 iruciperi

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Posted 14 December 2017 - 02:36

I solved thst issue by ordering a hello kitty Preppy. Comes with a capped cartridge . Now why can't platinum sell carts with caps?

 

 

Good for you! I actually didn't know that they sell sth like that. So I don't know how the cap works, but I think they don't sell it separately because basically cartridges are not supposed to be reused I guess. 

 

Anyway, I'm doubtful whether the cap of your coming cartridge will keep working securely after you open the cap. I found pics showing there is a cap on the cartridge, but I'm not sure whether it is for sealing purpose.



#16 Kalikrates

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Posted 14 December 2017 - 13:48

I dont know whether Platinums standard blue/black cartridges are IG or not. I suspect they are standard dye-based inks. Platinum does make IG bottled ink, and it is advertised as such.

 

On the Platinum website, they say that their blue-black ink is iron gall, and as far as I can see they don't make any distinction between bottles and cartridges in that respect: http://www.platinum-..._about_ink.html



#17 Jezza

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Posted 14 December 2017 - 16:42

 
On the Platinum website, they say that their blue-black ink is iron gall, and as far as I can see they don't make any distinction between bottles and cartridges in that respect: http://www.platinum-..._about_ink.html


I followed the link, but perhaps we are not looking at the same thing. All of the blue black inks are called dyestuff ink. Theres no mention of iron gall.

#18 Kalikrates

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Posted 14 December 2017 - 18:31

I followed the link, but perhaps we are not looking at the same thing. All of the blue black inks are called dyestuff ink. Theres no mention of iron gall.

 

In point 6 of that link:

 

Blue Black ink is one of our flagship products of the PLATINUM brand.

When a fountain pen was the major business tool about 50 years ago, official documents or semi-official documents like a medical chart needed mothballs because it was difficult to keep them in a good condition without them.

The Blue Black ink was developed to meet these needs.

The Blue Black ink is not a pigment but a dye ink but it remains on paper for a very long time.

Well, why does this ink last so long although it is a dye based ink ?

Many decades ago, we could not develop pigment ink for fountain pens. So we mixed ferrous tannic acid and blue dye-based ink to make ferric tannic acid, so to say “Blue Black” colored ink. I will skip boring details, but we compounded blue dyes together with ferrous tannic acid, and this Blue Black ink is became oxidized in the air after writing and become ferric. Hence, its color turns blue after writing.

 

 

Does that not mean iron gall?


Edited by Kalikrates, 14 December 2017 - 18:31.


#19 MsRedpen

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Posted 14 December 2017 - 21:19

Yes, this means IG ink.

I can share my experience with few Platinum pens

My Preppy has been in (light but constant) use for 2 years with Platinum blue-black cartridge, I run 4 carts in this time, flushed the pen after the 2nd. Absolutely no issues with the steel nib. If preppy is well with BB, after 2 years, your 3776 should be no different!
Empty carts are one of the sturdiest I have had so far. Good flush with water, drying and you can re-use them with any ink of your liking.

Platinum adapters are a different story. From apx 10, 2 were a loose fit in all Platinum pens - so straight to the bin. Other 8 are a god fit, no flow issues with any 3776 and int’l carts, unless ink is dry (Pelikan).
When travelling overseas I carry at least one 3776 with adapter and int’l carts - never had any problems.

My preference at home and office for 3776 is re-filled Platinum cart because of the capacity, or converter.

Platinum recommends use of their IG inks with something like “flush and dry the pen if you plan not using it for extended periond of time” (I would say few weeks and above), and “clean after few fills”.
Of course, flush down to clear water and dry if changing to a different ink, I would not worry on any residues of IG ink if pen is flushed well

Hope this helps and enjoy!

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#20 Kalikrates

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Posted 14 December 2017 - 23:50

Platinum adapters are a different story. From apx 10, 2 were a loose fit in all Platinum pens - so straight to the bin. Other 8 are a god fit, no flow issues with any 3776 and int’l carts, unless ink is dry (Pelikan).
When travelling overseas I carry at least one 3776 with adapter and int’l carts - never had any problems.

 

Interesting, maybe I got a bad adapter and I should just buy a couple more to see if they give reliable flow, then...

 

Mine indeed fits quite loose. Not so loose that it will fall if the pen is held upside down, but loose enough so that a rather light pull is enough to remove it, very little force needed. And if I pull the cartridge, it comes out with the adapter, i.e., the attachment between adapter and cartridge is stronger (much stronger, I'd say) than between pen and adapter.

 

Should the fit be much tighter?







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