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Dry Inks For Wet Flowing Pens


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#1 SockAddict

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Posted 14 March 2019 - 23:43

Hello, all!

 

I have a question that people have asked before, but in so many variations that I'm not sure if I can find the answers I'm looking for.

 

I have a vintage pen (a Parker Vacumatic) that writes with a wider line than I'd like. I'm looking for a dry ink, as in an ink that spreads as little as possible on the page.

 

I'm specifically looking for a traditional color: a blue, blue-black, or black. I've tried both Quink and Waterman black, Quink blue-black, and Pelikan 4001 Royal Blue (which is actually brighter than I want).  They all produce too thick of a line.

 

Because it's a vintage pen, I don't want to try iron gall or any other techniques that might damage it.

 

Can anyone suggest another ink, or should I go with one of the techniques for altering the nib?

 

Thanks so much!

 

Edited to add: The nib is very fine, so small variations could help.  Also, I have seen a post that suggests modern iron gall inks aren't as bad as I've previously read -- does anybody have further input?

 

Thank you!


Edited by SockAddict, 15 March 2019 - 00:44.


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#2 pseudo88

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Posted 15 March 2019 - 00:05

In my experience nibs can make a difference with inks (make them look darker or lighter), but not the other way around; this seems to run against the grain, is not statistically valid and only my opinion, but I've rotated my 29+ inks and pens a lot (my hands hurt from so much washing!), so here's the list of what I have tried, three might be considered by others dry inks (in bold) and hence of interest to you:

 

  1. Iroshizuku (9).
  2. J Herbin (5).
  3. J Herbin 1670 Rouge Hématite. This ink will clog all pens and eventually feel like you're writing with a marker, at which point the pen will stop writing.
  4. Jacques Herbin (2).
  5. Stipula Verde Muschiato (1).
  6. Callifolio. (2). Équinoxe 6 will clog up some pens, but they just stop writing.
  7. Edelstein (1).
  8. Diamine (1).
  9. Kyo No Oto (2). Hisoku is the only ink I would consider much drier than the others, so much so that writing with it feels different than with other inks.
  10. Rohrer & Klingner Verdigris.

Verdigris and Verde Muschiato seem to make their pens write even smoother, like on a micro pillow of ink with more viscosity than other inks; the exact opposite of Hisoku (but it's sooooo beautiful).

 

Pens (some inks are in several pens as they look very different).

 

  1. Lamy Vista (7).
  2. Lamy Studio (4).
  3. Muji (4).
  4. Parker Sonnet (2).
  5. Parker 75 (1).
  6. Pelikan m205 (2).
  7. Pelikan m600 (1).
  8. Waterman Le Man 100 (1).
  9. Platinum Cool (1).
  10. Unknown with Waterman nib (1).
  11. Faber Castell Ambition (1).
  12. Sailor Pro Gear.
  13. Pilot Penmanship.
  14. Pilot Metropolitan.
  15. Kaweco Sport.

Hope this is useful!


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#3 SockAddict

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Posted 15 March 2019 - 00:41

Pseudo88,

 

I do know what you mean about the inks making little difference, if any.  I'm just thinking this would be the easiest and cheapest thing to try first, as I am working with a very fine nib (I should have mentioned that before), so slight differences can be noticed.

 

I will consider your suggestions.  Thank you!



#4 ENewton

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Posted 15 March 2019 - 00:59

I am surprised to hear Verdigris described as dry.  I just had a sample several years ago, and it flowed luxuriantly.  

 

I've used Rohrer & Klingner Scabiosa, a modern IG ink, for years and find it to be dry but intriguing and easy to clean.  It unfortunately does not meet your criteria for being blue, blue-black, or black.  Right now I am using it with dip nibs, and it is nearly black, but in fountain pens it is a smoky purple.



#5 chromantic

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Posted 15 March 2019 - 08:56

My Stipulas are the driest inks I have, perfect for taming my wet Souverans. While I heartily second pseudo88's recommendation of Verde Musciato, their blue/black (Dark Blue/Notturno Giannutri) is the cat's pajamas. I've also found them to flush easily compared to more 'saturated' inks like Sailor so I wouldn't hesitate to put them in vintage pens.

 

The Stipulas do have a tendency to feather a bit on cheap paper, though, the Dark Grey and Light Blue more so, the Musciato and Notturno not so much.


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#6 pseudo88

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Posted 15 March 2019 - 18:35

I am surprised to hear Verdigris described as dry.  I just had a sample several years ago, and it flowed luxuriantly.  

 

I've used Rohrer & Klingner Scabiosa, a modern IG ink, for years and find it to be dry but intriguing and easy to clean.  It unfortunately does not meet your criteria for being blue, blue-black, or black.  Right now I am using it with dip nibs, and it is nearly black, but in fountain pens it is a smoky purple.

 

Verdigris has been in an m205 for some time, there might be some effect as it "settles" in the pen, but it's noticeable: it flows very well, but feels thicker than other inks.

 

But it might very well be my imagination! :lticaptd:


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#7 pseudo88

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Posted 15 March 2019 - 18:36

Pseudo88,

 

I do know what you mean about the inks making little difference, if any.  I'm just thinking this would be the easiest and cheapest thing to try first, as I am working with a very fine nib (I should have mentioned that before), so slight differences can be noticed.

 

I will consider your suggestions.  Thank you!

 

I should mention that Verde Muschiato starts as a pretty wild (for me) yellowish green, eventually settles on something darker, which I actually prefer.


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#8 pseudo88

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Posted 15 March 2019 - 18:48

Pseudo88,

 

I do know what you mean about the inks making little difference, if any.  I'm just thinking this would be the easiest and cheapest thing to try first, as I am working with a very fine nib (I should have mentioned that before), so slight differences can be noticed.

 

I will consider your suggestions.  Thank you!

 

As someone who has managed to mangle several nibs in a futile attempt at improving pens, I certainly understand you caution, particularly with a vintage pen. If you haven't done so, you might ask in the Parker forum, the Vacumatic is a popular pen.

 

There is another easily reversible option: a small bit of cellophane between the nib and feed; it sounds counterproductive, and it depends on the shape of the feed and nib, but I have this in three or four pens, and works fine, even if my goal is to have inks look lighter. Clear cellophane usually comes with cookie packages and such, you just need to cut a 5mm - 7mm wide piece, I make it about 3cm in length so it's easy to position, slide it between the nib and feed, and it cut off to size, leaving one mm or so so it can be removed with tweezers. It's not for everyone, just wanted to mention it, it's what makes Vert Empire go from "just some green ink" to perfect for me.

 

t6f0ab.jpg


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#9 Noihvo

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Posted 16 March 2019 - 08:29

fpn_1552724953__img_4999.jpg


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#10 Klarysek

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Posted 16 March 2019 - 10:44

Try Diamine Twilight - gorgeous color and the ink is definitely on the dryer side =D



#11 aardvarkbark

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Posted 16 March 2019 - 15:58

How about the Pelikan 4001 Blue-Black.



#12 geodesigner

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Posted 17 March 2019 - 01:26

The Pelikan 4001 inks are the ones usually employed in order to "tame" wet pens, Blue-Black being the usual recommendation. Other than that, take a look at J. Herbin's offerings, they are usually considered dry inks. 

 

Finally, consider that iron-gall ink was the norm for fountain pens for decades, including when your Parker was manufactured. I have found that vintage pens (early 20th century) actually love iron-gall inks. There is nothing inherently dangerous about them in vintage pens.

 

Cheers


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I'm maintaining a comprehensive list of Iron-Gall inks. Contributions most welcome! bit.ly/irongall

 


#13 pseudo88

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Posted 17 March 2019 - 01:54

The Pelikan 4001 inks are the ones usually employed in order to "tame" wet pens, Blue-Black being the usual recommendation. Other than that, take a look at J. Herbin's offerings, they are usually considered dry inks. 

 

Finally, consider that iron-gall ink was the norm for fountain pens for decades, including when your Parker was manufactured. I have found that vintage pens (early 20th century) actually love iron-gall inks. There is nothing inherently dangerous about them in vintage pens.

 

Cheers

 

I don't have a Vacumatic, or iron gall inks, but I'd like to know: don't these inks require periodic cleaning? I think Vacumatics in particular might not be easy to clean, so it doesn't sound like a good combination; but, again, I'm asking, not affirming.


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#14 Mongoosey

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Posted 17 March 2019 - 02:50

Sailor Kiwa-Guro is known for taming lines and being dry:

 

 

Mike Matteson talks about how it tames his nib (1:30 in the video).

 

I found Iron Gall inks to be fairly dry, but I haven't really used any others besides' R&K Scabiosa, which I recommend highly, especially for a wet pen.



#15 SockAddict

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Posted 21 March 2019 - 00:41

Thank you everyone for your help.

 

Re Iron gall inks: My main concern is that I've heard they do need to be cleaned out of pens fairly frequently, and I have not always been good about that.  I have been much more careful, especially with the Vacumatic and a couple of other vintage pens I have, but I'm not sure I'm ready to risk that.  I'm curious enough that I think I'll get some to try with a newer pen, though.

 

I'll definitely be trying some of these other suggestions.  I've seen the 4001 inks mentions several times.  Are their other colors considered dry, too, for when I'm not trying to look traditional?  I'm always trying to write thinner lines -- don't know why preferences are so out of line!  :lol: (I assure you, that pun was truly unintentional.

 

How are the Edelstein inks compared to the 4001, in terms of flow?

 

(And yes, I do have a couple of Japanese pens.)

 

Thank you again for sharing your wisdom!


Edited by SockAddict, 21 March 2019 - 00:44.


#16 ENewton

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Posted 21 March 2019 - 02:17

I have used Pelikan 4001 Violet for many years and have not found it dry.  In fact, I use it mainly in dry and extra-fine nibs, because it is lubricated enough for a smooth writing experience and vivid enough to produce a legible line even with such nibs.

 

Robert Oster inks tend to be dry and come in a vast number of colors.  You might want to give them a look. 



#17 geodesigner

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Posted Yesterday, 14:49

 

Robert Oster inks tend to be dry and come in a vast number of colors.  You might want to give them a look. 

 

This is the first time I've seen RO inks described as dry. In my experience, they are wet inks, some of them being extremely wet. I own over half of their offerings.

 

It's an artisanal product though, so YMMV.


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I'm maintaining a comprehensive list of Iron-Gall inks. Contributions most welcome! bit.ly/irongall

 


#18 flyingpenman

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Posted Yesterday, 20:20

I have the same issue - a very wet Vacumatic that puts down a western M line with almost every ink I try (despite being a western "EF" when it was examined by a nibmeister at a pen show!).

The best inks I've had success with so far are Diamine Ancient Copper and Pelkian Edelstein Tanzanite, though only Tanzanite would meet your conservative criteria. Diamond Denim wasn't half bad for line thickness now that I look at my log though...

I'm in the process of deciding whether to embrace the wetness of the pen and put a crazy shading/sheening ink in it or try an iron-gall like ESSRI or Scabiosa. I think the Vacumatic would be fine as long as you make sure to use it daily and/or flush it every 2-3 weeks...

Any more experienced vintage users please correct me if needed.

ETA: here's a photo of my ink/pen pairing log to illustrate:

Attached Images

  • image.jpg

Edited by flyingpenman, Yesterday, 20:25.

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#19 sansenri

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Posted Yesterday, 21:27

a "terribly" dry blue-black ink: R&K Salix. But it is IG so, careful.



#20 Driften

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Posted Today, 04:48

...

Robert Oster inks tend to be dry and come in a vast number of colors.  You might want to give them a look. 

 

I find RO inks to be more medium in wetness like Montblanc inks. I guess if you are used to inks like Pilot Iroshizuku or other more wet inks they seem dry in comparison. But maybe it's just the colors I have. I do love the shading though!








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