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Esterbrook 427 Double Dipless Inkwell Desk Set Help Please.


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7 replies to this topic

#1 moomaloo

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Posted 11 February 2018 - 10:10

Good morning fellow FPNers. I have a hankering for one of these desk sets to use with fountain pens (not dip pens) as a snazzy alternative to simply having a couple of bottles of ink on my desk. I love the Bakelite and the general design.

However, I'm confused about whether or not the ones I see in the usual places (eBay mainly) are complete and/or useable. - Most seem to consist of the one-piece Bakelite 'tray' with two glass covers for the wells, each held in place by a stainless steel clip. Is that it?! Does the ink sit within the Bakelite wells directly or should there be some sort of 'well liner'? Also, should there be a seal/washer between the tray and the glass lids?

What is the minimum I should be looking for before these desk sets become totally unusable?

I was hoping to find the Esterbrook user instructions for these sets online, but no luck so far...

Many thanks.

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#2 corgicoupe

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Posted 11 February 2018 - 13:59

I think the ones with covers are for dip pens. Covers are not required for fountain pens.

Google Esterbrook dB 322 desk set for several links

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For love of it. And yet not waste time either.

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#3 PaFitch

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Posted 12 February 2018 - 17:26

The 427, 444, and 447 (other numbers too, I think) are all designed for the dipless system that supplies ink to the nib of the pen so that it is wet when pulled out for use. Like many other Esterbrook users, I like the system and keep a set on my desk permanently (a deluxe 444 style set is on my desk at the moment--my biggest regret is that I don't have more places to keep other sets inked up).

 

To the best of my knowledge they cannot be used as simply an ink well for filling fountain pens. Esterbrook desk pens will fit in the opening and can be used in place of a dipless pen but the section of the pen slides far enough down into the opening that it can get ink on it (which of course then transfers to your fingers).

 

If you use a fountain pen regularly at your desk, I would recommend the Esterbrook dipless system. They will experience some evaporation but the occasional addition of water keeps a unit going for months. Note also, a dipless pen does not need constant dipping in the inkwell but can write a half page or more when pulled out of the inkwell.

 

it safe to mention on this forum that several other companies, like Sengbusch and Sheaffer (even Parker), made similar units because at one time business counters (like banks) across the US had a dipless style pen set sitting on them?

 

Esterbrook has several styles of holders for desk pens. A look at Brian Anderson's Esterbrook website will show you some pictures of them.

 

Esterbrook pens are a delight to use.



#4 moomaloo

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Posted 14 February 2018 - 12:25

Thanks for your help both of you. I was assuming that I could use this simply as a decorative way of storing ink on my desk? Could I not just lift the lid off the individual well, insert fountain pen into the larger well aperture, fill pen and close lid again?

Or am I being stupid...?!

#5 Freddy

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Posted 14 February 2018 - 16:43

Thanks for your help both of you. I was assuming that I could use this simply as a decorative way of storing ink on my desk? Could I not just lift the lid off the individual well, insert fountain pen into the larger well aperture, fill pen and close lid again?

Or am I being stupid...?!

 

  Question # 1..Possible. Question # 2..No. It would be extraordinarily difficult to access the ink.....

  But..if this floats your boat..go right ahead....You do not need anybody's permission......To

  Disassemble and Reassemble...........................................Each time...................

 

  Instructions re 407 from Esterbrook.Net , Brian Anderson , Anderson Pens.................

  http://www.esterbroo...era/dipless.jpg

 

   Fred

"If your gonna fall...sit- a lot easier falling on your butt

than on your face."

~ billy barr


Edited by Freddy, 14 February 2018 - 16:56.


#6 moomaloo

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Posted 16 February 2018 - 12:38

Thank you. I hadn't realised it was this tricky (not having actually seen one 'in the flesh'). I shall turn my interest elsewhere...



#7 tigger23505

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Posted 20 May 2020 - 02:52

It sounds like what you are describing is the 407/427 inkwell.

 

The minimum requirements for successful operation, not necessarily a complete unit are the base, the metering cap, and the base.  Nice to have but you can live without them are the gasket and the metal clip.

 

There is a lot of confusion about the gasket, worst case with an exacto knife and sheet rubber it is relatively easy to cut your own gaskets. Elsewhere the FPN Esterbrook section someone has published the gasket inside and outside diameter and looking at Grainger, McMaster, and your local specialty gasket shops makes that easy to find.

 

As to filling a fountain pen from an Esterbrook inkwell. The 407 is the best bet.  I have been able to extract from the well 2.5 to 3.0 ml of ink with a syringe without much trouble. The 444 maintains ink level in the well by filling the pool as the ink level drops,  The 404 inkwells use capillary flow to wet the feed in the pen.

 

I hope that helps some.

 

One last note, when they were originally in use the typical selection of inks was a blue or blue-black opposite a red ink.  The combination was especially useful in bookkeeping due to the conventional use of red to indicate a negative balance.


festina lente

#8 AAAndrew

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Posted 23 May 2020 - 19:34

yeah, these desk sets will not work well as an ink holding device as there will be evaporation, and it's not so easy to get the ink out. These were made for the Dipless pens, which can use normal Esterbrook interchangable nibs, but they're kept in just enough ink to keep them wet, without so much they are covered. 

 

The later 445 (the ones that are a round disk) are even less well-suited to your needs as they have a set of small rods on which the nib sits. These rods draw up ink through capillary action and deliver it to the feed under the nib. Your nib is never in direct contact with the pool of ink inside the glass well. 

 

Now, they do work quite well and are easy to restore, if you want to use a dipless pen. I wrote about my experience, and added some helpful links here. http://www.fountainp...-hints-welcome/



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