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How Can I Save This Nib?


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#1 Venemo

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Posted 19 December 2017 - 23:31

I had some clogging issues with an Esterbrook J with a 9550 nib. Some people in another thread of this forum suggested it may be the fault of a previous ink I used in the pen (ESSRI, which has a high iron gall content, was used in this pen.) I decided to clean the pen, so tried to screw off the Esterbrook nib. It was stuck, so I tried a bit harder... then the nib and feed came out from the pen separately, without the threaded collar which is still stuck in the pen.

 

The underside of the nib looks shocking... :(

 

20171219_234227.jpg

 

Two questions:

  • Can the nib assembly (the nib + feed + collar) be put back together?
  • How do I clean off the iron gall remains from the nib?


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#2 AL01

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Posted 20 December 2017 - 02:30

Ok...

 

First things first: put the pen in a little bit of water and let it soak soak soak.

 

Then put the nib and feed in some water and let it soak soak soak.

 

 As of now, it's the best thing you can do in order to start to fix this problem.

 

 Hope that helps!


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#3 EMQG

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Posted 20 December 2017 - 04:02

Ok...

 

First things first: put the pen in a little bit of water and let it soak soak soak.

 

Then put the nib and feed in some water and let it soak soak soak.

 

 As of now, it's the best thing you can do in order to start to fix this problem.

 

 Hope that helps!

That's about it. Hold the nib and feed in position against the opening and slowly turn the pen around until you find the spot where they slide in with least resistance. Then let 'em soak for a few hours or however long it takes.



#4 Venemo

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Posted 20 December 2017 - 07:50

It has been soaking overnight. So far, the iron gall remains.



#5 Hobiwan

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Posted 20 December 2017 - 08:03

You can take one of those kitchen sponges with a rough edge on the back, cut off a small piece of rough edge and scrub the nib with that.  It won't hurt it.  You can also gently ream out the inside of the threaded sleeve the same way.  That usually works for me on hard ink residue.

 

Like EMQG says, when all is clean and rinsed out, use his technique to reinstall the point and feed. You hold the nib and feed tightly together between thumb & forefinger so as not to misalign them as you push it back into the sleeve.  Check with pics of the nib/feed alignment to be sure.

 

Esterbrooks are children of the 1950s, and wrote well with inks of the day like Sheaffers Scrip.  So look for inks with that consistency (I have no idea how to determine that).

 

HTH


Edited by Hobiwan, 20 December 2017 - 08:05.

Best Regards
Paul


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#6 cattar

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Posted 20 December 2017 - 10:00

That's what iron gall does. It's a useful but not gentle ink, and needs more than water to clean.

Use ascorbic acid (crushed vitamin c pills or powder) roughly 500-1000mg in 30-50ml of water.
Soak the nib and feed overnight.
The ascorbic acid will pull the iron from the nib and feed.
Rinse.
Repeat until clear.

As other folks said, Estie nib and feed are friction fit inside collar that's inside the section. Align the nib and feed together, then gently push them back into place.

When using iron gall inks, rinse regularly and clean well before using any other ink.

Inky thoughts forum sometimes is quicker for ink issues.

#7 Chrissy

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Posted 20 December 2017 - 10:33

If you have a small square of micro mesh 12,000 grit that might be worth a very careful try.

 

Failing that, if you have any Meguiars polish that is very very slightly abrasive that will smooth out the surface if it's pitted.

 

I agree that you will need to find the correct place inside the collar where the nib and feed came from before pushing them back in.


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#8 Venemo

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Posted 20 December 2017 - 11:50

Thanks everyone for your advice! This means a lot to me!

 

If I push the nib and feed back into the collar, will it fit so well that I will be able to screw off the nib assembly from the pen, or should I accept that it is stuck there forever? :huh:

 

I agree that the best and easiest would be to mechanically remove the IG residue (with a piece of cloth, etc), so I'll do that. But I have to admit that this 9550 is (unfortunately) not the only Estie nib which I used this ink with. I have a 9461 which has also seen its fair share of iron gall. So even though this 9550 came apart by accident, I would also like to clean the 9461 whose nib assembly I don't intend to take apart. So I will try ascorbic acid as suggested and see how it goes from there. :)



#9 Chrissy

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Posted 20 December 2017 - 12:19

Once you get the pen really clean, and the nib & feed back into their correct position, then a little heat might make the feeder case screw out. Please be very careful with heat though.  :unsure:


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#10 JakobS

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Posted 20 December 2017 - 22:27

It may be a matter of dried ink, or possibly oxidized ferro gallic acid that is keeping the feed sleeve/case stuck in the pen. When the cleaned nib and feed is back in the pen, a few flushes either with slightly warmer than room temperature water and/or with the ascorbic acid water mixture would help dislodge or dissolve these particles enough to allow the sleeve/case to unscrew. 


Edited by JakobS, 20 December 2017 - 22:27.

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#11 cattar

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Posted 20 December 2017 - 23:38

Pen sacs also need to be cleared of iron gall residue. Use the ascorbic acid (vitamin c) and water. Rinse. Repeat til clear.

Some inks don't play well with others, iron galls especially. Unfortunate mixes can clog a pen.

As suggested, the insert may be stuck in the section from dried ink. Probably from a damaged sac at some point.
After the nib & feed are cleaned and replaced, try the overnight soak. Nib & feed provide stability to the Estie section, which can crack easily. Use cool water, always cool water. Or, since it could be the iron gall, use, ascorbic & water, then rinse.

After that, as suggested, maybe try gentle dry heat.
Again, with nib & feed in place to stabilize the easily cracked section.
And take a moment to consider that the pen is functional as is.
Heat and turn with care.

#12 Venemo

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Posted 21 December 2017 - 11:33

I was able to buy some ascorbic acid today. The nibs are now soaking in it. So far so good! :)



#13 Larry Barrieau

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Posted 22 December 2017 - 02:56

Don't try to remove the section without putting the feed and nib back in.  If you use section pliers you could easily crush the section without the nib/feed in it.  I know.


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#14 Venemo

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Posted 22 December 2017 - 09:53

Larry,

After soaking, the section came away from the barrel without a plier, by just gently pulling it. In fact now I decided to clean all of my Esterbrooks in the same fashion. Interestingly, two of them have a sac which smells like mint candy. And the lever fill mechanism is slightly rusty in all of them. Is that okay? (I'm not actually sure if it's rust, or just some sort of dirt. Is stainless steel supposed to rust?)


Edited by Venemo, 22 December 2017 - 09:54.


#15 corgicoupe

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Posted 22 December 2017 - 19:02

It's easy enough and cheap enough to to replace both the sac and the J-bar. Just do it.

 

And refrain from using those inks. ;-)


Edited by corgicoupe, 22 December 2017 - 19:03.

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#16 Venemo

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Posted 22 December 2017 - 19:43

It's easy enough and cheap enough to to replace both the sac and the J-bar. Just do it.

 

And refrain from using those inks. ;-)

 

I believe the guy I bought them from had already replaced the sac (I trust him to be the kind of person who would not sell them with faulty old sacs), but I'm not sure how to tell. At least none of the sacs have Esterbrook branding.

 

Looks like I did a misfavour to myself by also soaking the barrel. :( Just now that I searched a bit more around the forum have I realized. Not sure if the J bars really need replacing now, but it feels like a good idea to buy a couple of new J bars in the near future. :) But... how could it rust? Isn't it made of stainless steel? Should I also worry about replacing the lever and the ring that holds the lever?



#17 Hobiwan

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Posted 22 December 2017 - 22:32

I believe the J-bars (at least the old ones) were made of spring steel; subject to rusting. The lever is chrome plated, if I remember correctly, and can corrode if the plating is rubbed/worn off.


Best Regards
Paul


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#18 Venemo

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Posted 22 December 2017 - 22:58

I believe the J-bars (at least the old ones) were made of spring steel; subject to rusting. The lever is chrome plated, if I remember correctly, and can corrode if the plating is rubbed/worn off.

 

What are the replacement J-bars (eg. those sold by Anderson Pens) made of?

 

(EDIT: fixed typo)


Edited by Venemo, 23 December 2017 - 00:42.


#19 Hobiwan

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Posted 22 December 2017 - 23:43

I'm not sure; I've looked, and they appear to be stainless. But whatever it is, if you use it with a new sac, and take care of the pen, it should last for a long time. 

 

The new ones might be a tight fit in the barrel, with a lot of internal pressure on the plastic, so you may have to bend it a bit for a good fit. But I've used them and they work.


Best Regards
Paul


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#20 Venemo

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Posted 23 December 2017 - 00:53

Ok, as I understand the rust must come from the J-Bar since the lever and ring are, as you say, chrome plated. So I decided to remove the J-bar from the pen whose lever had the most rust on it. The J-bar made quite a fight for its life and was very hard to pull out with a pair of tweezers. It broke when it finally came out. But examining it closer, I think it would have held for a long time despite the rust. In retrospect I think it is not worth to mess around with these unless they fail. At least that's my impression.








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