Jump to content

The Fountain Pen Network uses (functional) cookies. Read the FPN Privacy Policy for more info.  To remove this message, please click here to accept the use of cookies






Photo

A Mystifying Problem - About To Give Up In Frustration!

visconti michelangelo le ink flow double reservoir skipping

  • Please log in to reply
57 replies to this topic

#21 _InkyFingers

_InkyFingers

    Antique

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,705 posts
  • Location:San Jose, CA USA
  • Flag:

Posted 08 September 2019 - 18:29

Here try this first:

 

Kodak Photo-Flo 200 Solution

 

Just one drop is sufficient for the entire bottle of ink.  Please use very sparingly.  Alternatively, try a smidgen -- a tiny dot with a toothpick on a small same of ink (the 50/50 solution of ink to water)

 

if you like to use it to flush your pen is okay too.  It helps everything move a bit better. 



Sponsored Content

#22 Beechwood

Beechwood

    Donor Pen

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 4,337 posts
  • Location:London

Posted 08 September 2019 - 18:40

@Beechwood, my sense of having solved the issue was premature....the pen has started to skip again, and I'm at a solution of about 55:45 water:Sherwood Green

 

When the pen starts to skip, the feeling I have is as if I'm trying to write on waxproof paper - there is no feeling of connection to the page, and the stroke looks thin and appears unabsorbed into the paper (this isn't a consequence of diluting, this also happened when the pen was filled with 100% undiluted ink). 

 

Could it be baby's bottom? Or skin oils?

 

Is it worth me increasing the dilution to a 62.5:37.5 (i.e. 50:30) water:ink ratio (the way that you say that you do?)

 

Or should I change to a less saturated ink (I have a bottle of Waterman black that I could try....)

 

Or just smash the pen with a hammer?!?

 

In reverse order:

 

Step away from the hammer.

 

Try the Waterman.

 

If the Waterman doesnt work try other things before more dilution of the Diamine, I add 50 ml of water to 30ml of Sherwood green, but none of my pens are as complex as your Visconti.

 

I dont think its skin oils, unless you use a lot of hand cream on.  As a  test ask husband to write for a page with your pen, promise a steak and kidney pie if he does as he is told.

 

 

Are you using good paper? I have some coated paper that really sucks the ink out of a pen, if there is any problem with the ink flow some papers will really show that up, try some Rhodia or a good writing paper.

 

A nibmaster will sort the problem if its a mechancial issue with the nib and feed but before you spend £40 plus I would suggest that you find out if there is a nib and feed problem by eliminating possible issues with ink or paper.

 

 

 

 

If you need a UK nib person try Oxonian on here, he is excellent. Send him a PM saying you would like to send the pen to him explaining that the flow is poor after a half page of A4.


 


#23 BDarchitect

BDarchitect

    Rare

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 109 posts
  • Location:Seattle
  • Flag:

Posted 08 September 2019 - 18:43

If you are worried about hand oils causing your pen skipping, you might invest in a smudge guard glove:

https://www.jetpens....-Gloves/ct/2308

I use one of these when the weather is warm and my skin is slightly sticky no matter what I touch.  Forget how it looks, they work great!


Edited by BDarchitect, 08 September 2019 - 18:45.


#24 Ciliegia

Ciliegia

    Rare

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 116 posts
  • Flag:

Posted 08 September 2019 - 18:52

 

In reverse order:

 

Step away from the hammer.

 

Try the Waterman.

 

If the Waterman doesnt work try other things before more dilution of the Diamine, I add 50 ml of water to 30ml of Sherwood green, but none of my pens are as complex as your Visconti.

 

I dont think its skin oils, unless you use a lot of hand cream on.  As a  test ask husband to write for a page with your pen, promise a steak and kidney pie if he does as he is told.

 

 

Are you using good paper? I have some coated paper that really sucks the ink out of a pen, if there is any problem with the ink flow some papers will really show that up, try some Rhodia or a good writing paper.

 

A nibmaster will sort the problem if its a mechancial issue with the nib and feed but before you spend £40 plus I would suggest that you find out if there is a nib and feed problem by eliminating possible issues with ink or paper.

 

 

 

 

If you need a UK nib person try Oxonian on here, he is excellent. Send him a PM saying you would like to send the pen to him explaining that the flow is poor after a half page of A4.

 

OK, I've put the hammer down for now. 

 

My gut tells me it's not a skin oil problem - I rarely use hand lotion, even though I should because my hands are really dry. 

 

So that suggests a flow/feed issue. I'll try it with the Waterman black...I have some Rhodia, Clairefontaine and Midori MD (both cotton and non-cotton varieties) paper that I can carry out some tests on...

 

Oxonian restored a vintage Parker 51 for me and did a wonderful job...if the Waterman black and good quality paper tests fail, I'll send the pen off to him and see if he can resolve the issue...



#25 OMASsimo

OMASsimo

    Vintage

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 764 posts
  • Location:Ink Blue Planet
  • Flag:

Posted 08 September 2019 - 19:38

The behaviour you mention points a lot towards a nib with slight baby bottoms like TheDutchGuy already pointed out. A well tuned nib can handle hand oils on slick papers like Clairfontaine or Rhodia without any problems. A nib with slight baby bottoms is prone to skipping on such papers and even more so on the bottom of a page due to the usual hand oils getting onto the page if you don't use a protective sleeve. Get it fixed and you'll have a marvelous pen.



#26 Beechwood

Beechwood

    Donor Pen

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 4,337 posts
  • Location:London

Posted 08 September 2019 - 19:49

 

OK, I've put the hammer down for now. 

 

My gut tells me it's not a skin oil problem - I rarely use hand lotion, even though I should because my hands are really dry. 

 

So that suggests a flow/feed issue. I'll try it with the Waterman black...I have some Rhodia, Clairefontaine and Midori MD (both cotton and non-cotton varieties) paper that I can carry out some tests on...

 

Oxonian restored a vintage Parker 51 for me and did a wonderful job...if the Waterman black and good quality paper tests fail, I'll send the pen off to him and see if he can resolve the issue...

 

 

Sounds good to me, let us know how you get on, its just a case of eliminating issues before you need to bring in the experts.


 


#27 evan-houseman

evan-houseman

    NOS (New Old Stock)

  • Member - Silver

  • PipPip
  • 15 posts
  • Flag:

Posted 08 September 2019 - 19:50

At first I thought this was an air flow problem. Small air bubbles form where the feed meets the reservoir. Either, 1. the ink is too viscous and prevents the air bubble entering and equalizing pressure, or 2. not enough air is coming in to create a forceful enough bubble. When you used a 50% water solution and it worked, I thought that was it.

Now I have to revisit the Baby's Bottom idea. Feels like wax paper? This sounds like a Waterman Expert 3 I have. Major Baby's Bottom before I micro meshed it out.

Any way, love to know what it was when you track it down.



#28 Ciliegia

Ciliegia

    Rare

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 116 posts
  • Flag:

Posted 08 September 2019 - 20:32

OK, first off I want to say thanks to you all for taking the time to help me get to the bottom of this....despite my quips about the hammer, I AM going to get to the bottom of this issue, and I really appreciate all your interest and input. 

 

I'll continue with my ink and paper experiments, and if those fail I'll send it off to be looked at by an expert...

 

So, tonight's experiments:

i) A thorough flush to get rid of every last drop of Diamine Sherwood Green.

ii) Filled with Waterman Black 

iii) Started a new A4 Rhodia dot grid notebook (very smooth writing surface). 

iv) DIDN'T use a protective sheet between my hand and the paper

v) Wrote three full close-written sheets (6 pages) - about 1500 words in total.  

 

Verdict: No issues at all. Not a single skip.  It wrote like a dream. 

 

Past experience tells me that the pen skips badly with Aurora Black...and Visconti Black....but tonight's experiment suggests it's OK with Waterman black.

 

My next step is to leave it overnight and see if it continues to behave tomorrow with the same ink and the same paper. 

This may seem over-pessimistic, but last night it was writing perfectly with the diluted Sherwood Green, but today - on the same paper as I used last night - it skipped badly from the first stroke. Yet it still had plenty of ink. 

 

IF it passes the overnight test and still writes perfectly on the Rhodia paper with Waterman Black ink, what would that suggest?

 

Would it suggest it is a air/flow/feed issue and that I just need to be a bit choosier about the inks and paper I use? 

 

Or would it suggest that it's all of the above AND potential nib misalignment and/or baby's bottom?

 

But I'm getting ahead of myself...I need to see how it behaves in the morning before I even begin to start drawing conclusions....



#29 Beechwood

Beechwood

    Donor Pen

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 4,337 posts
  • Location:London

Posted 09 September 2019 - 03:57

Good result.

 

I only have limited experience of pens with Babys Bottom, I have been using pens for 40 years and have never known the problem but logically I would have thought that a nib with that problem would firstly skip with all inks and secondly  would skip from the first stroke of the pen, not after a half page of writing. Perhaps that is a wrong assumption.

 

I am really hoping that your nib/paper and ink fix is the way to go.

 

Before you start writing on Monday just dip the nib in a half inch of water, a single dip, then take a tissue and do a single wipe of the nib from the section to the tip


 


#30 5Cavaliers

5Cavaliers

    Antique

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,571 posts
  • Flag:

Posted 09 September 2019 - 04:49

Very interesting reading.  I had very similar issues with one of my most expensive pens.  

 

Generally, whenever I have a new pen, after a thorough cleaning, I fill with Waterman Serentity Blue.  That is my "gold standard" for inks.  It works well in almost every pen I use it in.  Other Waterman inks are good, but Serenity Blue seems to be the best for establishing how well a pen will function for me. 

 

Regarding my expensive pen, I cleaned and filled it with Waterman ink, and wrote several pages until the converter was empty.  I refilled it again and did the same thing.  What I noticed is that at first the pen seemed to have baby's bottom. Baby's bottom is where the tip of the nib is so rounded where the tines come together that it prevents the capillary action  of the ink flowing to the page.  Baby's bottom is characterized by hard starts, skips and an inconsistent flow of ink to the page.  It is very frustrating!!!! 

 

But after writing many pages, I noticed that these issues seemed to become less and less.  The more I kept writing with the pen, the issues eventually disappeared. 

 

What I can say, however, is that this same pen is very particular with regard to what ink I use in it.  I have found that it does not tolerate heavily saturated inks very well (such as most of my Sailor inks, many of my Diamine inks and even some of my DeAtramentis inks).  This particular pen seems to really like most of my Pilot Iroshizuku inks, my Stipula inks and most of my Montblanc inks.  I made the mistake once of putting Sailor Yama Dori in this pen and it was a disaster.  I could not even get a paragraph written without skips and poor starts.   I felt like the pen was screaming at me "Get this stuff out of me NOW!".  

 

Another thought.  I purchased a "limited edition" pen last year.  It had baby's bottom very badly.  I ended up returning it.  


"Today will be gone in less than 24 hours.  When it is gone, it is gone.  Be wise, but enjoy!  - anonymous today

 

 

 


#31 Tadeo

Tadeo

    Mint

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPip
  • 71 posts
  • Flag:

Posted 09 September 2019 - 12:27

My main suspect is that it's a combination of both.

Something that may work is to intervene the nib in the least aggressive manner possible. You can try and use the brown paper bag trick in reverse. Let me explain: brown paper is abrasive and is used to reduce scratchiness from tough nibs. My suggestion is to use it to remove the smoothness of your nib just a bit, enough to allow the ink to adhere between the tip and the paper. It should work kinda the same as when a plastic feed is surface-treated to adhere to ink.

Tadeo

#32 dumaresq

dumaresq

    Mint

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPip
  • 58 posts
  • Flag:

Posted 09 September 2019 - 15:23

My guess is that it's a case of very mild, "high-functioning" baby's bottom.

 

At the best of times, when you're using a free-flowing ink, and the paper is free of hand oils, there's just enough contact between the ink and the paper surface to pull the ink to paper, and the pen writes freely. But when one or both of these factors is not in place, the delicate balance is thrown off, and skipping may start to occur. Like if the ink is a less-than-enthusiastic one, it may not be able to reliably bridge the baby's-bottom gap to meet the paper surface. And for oil patches, I kinda see it as the oil slicking down the fibres and unevenness of the paper (on a microscopic level), so you lose the "bumps" that would previously have risen into the baby's bottom gap to draw down the ink.

 

Here's a series of diagrams that shows the interaction between nib, ink and paper (reposted from this great article by permission of the creator). For the problem at hand, I think Samples 8, 9 and 10 are particularly relevant. #8 shows a typical baby's bottom, with the ink failing to contact the paper, hence no capillary action initiated. #9 shows how a wetter ink might allow the baby's bottom to be overcome. #10 shows how a rougher paper (with the "bumps") might help.

NIBINKPAPER.jpg

So I think it's possible that by experimenting with different inks and papers and oil-prevention methods, you can find the right conditions for your pen to write well. But this makes for a finicky pen. If you really want to get to the root of the problem, consulting with a nibworker would probably be best :)



#33 Ciliegia

Ciliegia

    Rare

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 116 posts
  • Flag:

Posted 09 September 2019 - 19:45

 

Before you start writing on Monday just dip the nib in a half inch of water, a single dip, then take a tissue and do a single wipe of the nib from the section to the tip

 

I did exactly as you suggested, and I've used the pen off and on all day, on a variety of papers (Rhodia being the smoothest)...with Waterman Black the pen has behaved perfectly all day. 

 

My guess is that it's a case of very mild, "high-functioning" baby's bottom.

 

...by experimenting with different inks and papers and oil-prevention methods, you can find the right conditions for your pen to write well. But this makes for a finicky pen. If you really want to get to the root of the problem, consulting with a nibworker would probably be best :)

 

I think you may be right - it seems as if I can get it to write well when I hit on the right combination of ink and paper, but I suspect it will remain a very finicky pen...I will try it with a few more inks and papers and if it remains finicky, I'll definitely bring in an expert to take a look at it. 

 

Once again, theanks for your help and suggestions everyone! I really appreciate them! 



#34 _InkyFingers

_InkyFingers

    Antique

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,705 posts
  • Location:San Jose, CA USA
  • Flag:

Posted 09 September 2019 - 20:17

@dumaresq Thanks for the reference article.  It is worth reading.

 

Kodak Photo-Flo is a wetting agent.  It will enhance your ink flow.  As @dumaresq have mentioned, baby bottom can be remedied with a quick nibmeister or DIY with micromesh paper.

 

Most people likes to use a wetting agent so they can enjoy every type of pens.



#35 BrassRatt

BrassRatt

    Mint

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPip
  • 76 posts
  • Location:California
  • Flag:

Posted 10 September 2019 - 05:22

You might consider whether your hand is burnishing the lower half of each page -- flattening out the tiny fibers that can reach up into the nib slit and initiate capillary transfer.  This could have a similar effect to oil transfer, and could be happening in the complete absence of oil. Different paper types would  be expected to show very different degrees of burnishing, and some very smooth paper might have none at all, being in effect already burnished all over. 



#36 txomsy

txomsy

    Vintage

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 438 posts
  • Flag:

Posted 10 September 2019 - 06:36

Next time you flush your ink, add a drop of ammonia to the water you use to flush it. Then fill the pen and use it.

 

What I'm thinking is that the behaviour is erratic, so it looks like a matter of fine balance. Iff the innards of the pen are tightly letting ink/air flow, maybe the problem is slightly on the feed/nib. It could be that there is a slight baby's bottom. It could be that the feed is on the limit. Or maybe there was some dry ink or machining oils left...

 

My experience with skin oils is a) it gets better with age, B) it depends on the amount of oils and on the wetness of the pen, not all pens are equal.

 

If your pen is on the limit or close to the limit, regarding ink flow, any small improvement in any other variable (paper, oil, ink...) will help it, but you'll be constrained to those improvements (i.e. will have to be careful always). If you can improve ink flow in the pen, it should help equilibrate the equation.

 

If ammonia does not improve, then maybe there wasn't curd, machine oils or dried ink inside. Then, simply moving the nib a bit outwards or inwards over the feed may be all that's needed. If not, then maybe writing 8 eight figures on kraft paper will fix it.



#37 Beechwood

Beechwood

    Donor Pen

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 4,337 posts
  • Location:London

Posted 10 September 2019 - 17:16

I still think its mainly an ink and paper issue, especially as the issue is not on the first line but half way down the page.

 

Mike Matsuyama suggests that a test for BB is to do a line of dots across the page, if dot one looks as agood as dot 10 then your nib is probably in good shape.

 

Youtube has some good vids on fixing BB, especially the one from Mr Brown


 


#38 Ciliegia

Ciliegia

    Rare

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 116 posts
  • Flag:

Posted 11 September 2019 - 10:36

For those folks who may still be following the saga of my pen, I can report on the results of my latest experiments. 

 

Since flushing out the diluted Diamine Sherwood Green and refilling with Waterman black, the pen has written consistently well from the first stroke across five different types of quality paper -  90g satin finish Clairfontaine, 80g Rhodia, 120g acid free Paperblanks, Midori MD and Midori cotton - as well as across three other type of unidentified paper in cheap notebooks from Paperchase. 

 

An overnight pause doesn't impair the performance the next morning. 

 

So it seems as if it behaves well with all papers when filled with Waterman black. 

 

Which is great!

 

But also frustrating, as I'd like it to behave as well with a green ink like Sherwood Green. 

 

I may now revisit my diluted Sherwood green and tweak the dilution a little to see if I can get consistent performance from that ink...



#39 Beechwood

Beechwood

    Donor Pen

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 4,337 posts
  • Location:London

Posted 11 September 2019 - 14:44

Excellent news.

 

Must admit, if I were you, that I would be tempted to say Waterman inks are for use in my Visconti and I will keep the Sherwood Green for everything else. I have this ink in a Parker Frontier today and it works like a charm.

 

I had a look at the Waterman green, too pale for my taste but with a couple of drops of Waterman black it could be much better.

 

There is a good Green ink review from jetpens

 

https://www.jetpens....pen-inks/pt/142


Edited by Beechwood, 11 September 2019 - 14:45.

 


#40 A Smug Dill

A Smug Dill

    飽食終日無所用心

  • FPN Supporter - Rhodium

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,729 posts
  • Location:Sydney, Australia
  • Flag:

Posted 11 September 2019 - 14:46

But also frustrating, as I'd like it to behave as well with a green ink like Sherwood Green.


A good excuse to try out numerous green inks in the market. :) You can't make the pen behave with a particular ink, but surely you can find one out of a hundred or more with which it'll play well enough?

Let's give each other due respect, and approach discussion rigorously. I believe we're all peers and equals here as fellow hobbyists, with common interests in the acquisition and use of fountain pens, but no shared values and no obligation to offer each other moral support for one's narrative.

Don't think 'cos I understand, I care
Don't think 'cos I'm talking, we're friends

'6 Underground' by Sneaker Pimps






Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: visconti, michelangelo le, ink flow, double reservoir, skipping



Sponsored Content




|