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Pilot Metropolitan / Plumix 1.1 Stub "leaking"

pilot metropolitan plumix leaking splatter hood

12 replies to this topic

#1 Paganini

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Posted 07 November 2019 - 19:25

My girlfriend has one of those purple "retro-pop" Pilot Metros with a transplanted 1.1 stub nib from a Plumix. She keeps complaining that it's "leaking," which seems to mean that when she uncaps it to use it there's ink all over the section, so she gets inky fingers.

 

I've inspected it fairly closely over the course of several weeks and I can't find anything wrong with it - no cracks in the section, the nib/feed is sitting properly, I've swapped out a couple of different cartridges / converters, etc., all the usual suspects. 

 

I have noticed on my own two Metros that a substantial quantity of ink appears to pool under the hood of the nib, sometimes even working its way around to the under side of the feed. If you give either pen a pretty good shake ink will come splashing out and splatter all over your paper. I realize that fountain pens should, generally, be treated gently. However, my other similarly priced pens do not exhibit this behavior - I have a Platinum Plaisir (F), a Kaweco Classic Sport (1.1 stub), and a Parker Urban (M) inked up in daily use and they do not splatter when shook. 

 

My suspicion is that there is something about the design of the Metro that leads to this ink pool forming (since I observe it in all three of our pens) and that in my girlfriend's case, living as it does in the pen-loop of her padfolio, at various points throughout the day her pen is sometimes jostled, leading to ink from the pool spraying all over the interior of the cap. 

 

I know this is a cheap pen, but she really loves it, and I would like to make it useable for her, if I can. Has anyone else observed this phenomenon or come up with a way to solve it?

 

Thanks!

- N 


Edited by Paganini, 07 November 2019 - 19:25.


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#2 Intensity

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Posted 07 November 2019 - 19:57

If the nib was transplanted from another pen, it sounds like it wasn't set properly with the feed.  More specifically, there are probably air gaps between the feed and the nib somewhere.  I would remove both and try to very carefully reposition them back in the section, assuring a close and careful fit. 

 

(Also, I don't have any knowledge about this, but the curvature of the Metropolitan nib might be slightly different from that of a Plumix nib, which could lead to aforementioned poor fit with the Metropolitan feed and section.  Just a possible guess.

Edit: looks like the nibs are interchangeable between these models, so I'm still suspect it's the first issue of improper setting:  http://www.fountainp...itan/?p=3550999)


Edited by Intensity, 07 November 2019 - 20:00.

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#3 Paganini

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Posted 07 November 2019 - 22:40

Hi Intensity, 

 

I don't think that's it, since I get the same splattering in my own Metro with its default nib - unless the mass-produced feeds that Pilot uses in all these pens just aren't a good fit for any of the variety of nibs they pair them with. Just for kicks, this afternoon I inked up my Wing Sung 659 (Pilot 78G knockoff that uses the same nib/feed combo) and it splatters too. 

 

Any other Pilot users want to shake your pens over some paper and see what comes out? 



#4 Intensity

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Posted 07 November 2019 - 23:05

If you shake a fountain pen, would you be surprised if some ink flies out?  In normal carrying, a pen is not usually shaken much or with enough change in acceleration or direction to cause splattering.

 

I don't own a Pilot Metropolitan, but I have read lots of highly positive reviews of those pens.  I did do a google search on your issue and found this older discussion:

http://www.fountainp...ion-is-leaking/

 

Perhaps there's a small crack causing problems.  It's could be a crack was developed over time or during the switch of the nib.


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#5 Paganini

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Posted 07 November 2019 - 23:26

Hi Intensity,

 

In a word: yes. Out of all the pens I have inked up, only the Metros do this, and with a pretty light flick at that. I even violently shook my Kaweco Classic Sport and nothing came out. Same with my Plaisir, and two different Parkers. I haven't inked up my Lamys in a while, but I never thought very well of them, and used to treat them pretty roughly (just tossing them into backpacks and the like) with no problems. In short, I expect the ink to stay inside the pen except when I'm writing with it, barring some kind of catastrophic event. 

 

Thanks for taking the time to find that link. Like I said in the first post, the section is definitely not cracked. And, just in case, (since these parts are all interchangeable), I've tried switching sections / feeds between the various pens, in case one specific one has some kind of unique manufacturing defect - with, alas, no luck.

 

- N



#6 A Smug Dill

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Posted 08 November 2019 - 00:06

My suspicion is that there is something about the design of the Metro that leads to this ink pool forming (since I observe it in all three of our pens)


There are six Pilot MR pens in this household. They used to stay inked all the time, but because the cap on this product line has proven ineffective at sealing the nib and feed, and allows the ink to dry out while the pen is unused more quickly than we'd like, that's not the case any more. That goes to demonstrate that there is continued traffic through the nib and feed when the pen is capped; either ink is continually being drawn from the ink cartridge/converter through the feed to the nib through capillary action, or air is going through in the opposite direction.
 
However, I have not observed the excessive flowing and pooling of ink on any of our Pilot MR pens, including the three which have CM nibs transplanted from Plumix pens. In fact, I was using one such pen several times just this week (writing a bunch of place cards and thank-you cards for my wedding reception), and at no point was there any "leaking" observed.
 
Our pens are usually lying on their sides in a large pen storage box, or standing nib up in a test tube rack or pen cup, but I have carried them out of the house at times in a shirt pocket or (inside a leather pen pouch) in my rucksack.

 

You could try using a "drier" ink with higher surface tension, and see if it ameliorates the problem. Or try pushing the nib and feed more firmly into the gripping section, to ensure there is no air gap between the nipple on the feed and the hollow plastic post that goes around it inside the section.
 
 
Pilot has no other, or actual, model of pen named Metropolitan. Metropolitan only designates a "collection" style of the MR model, with the two other styles being Animal and Retro Pop. This is true even for the US market, irrespective of whether individual careless sellers list the pens as simply Pilot Metropolitan. I've purchased MR pens from retailers in Australia, Malaysia and the US, and in each case an identical pamphlet with this cover was included, even though the converter format may differ (some with Pilot CON-B, others with international standard converters). It is not true that MR only designates a sub-range of pens that use international standard converters.


Let's give each other due respect, and approach discussion rigorously. We're all peers and equals here as fellow hobbyists, with common interests in the acquisition and use of fountain pens, but not necessarily any shared values, and no obligation to offer each other moral support for one's narrative or position.
 

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#7 Intensity

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Posted 08 November 2019 - 00:19

That's interesting, I've had to look it up, and apparently "MR" stands for "Middle Ring"--indeed not for "Metropolitan".


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#8 Honeybadgers

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Posted 08 November 2019 - 00:24

Your problem is very common but lots of people just don't seem to know what the (stupid easy) fix is - The feed and nib need to be pushed in HARD for some reason in pens that use that pilot nib/feed design (even the chinese knockoffs, but they have the issue less commonly)

 

just squeeze the nib by the top and bottom and PUSH it in, and the problem will go away. Give it a little twist as you push if that doesn't work. it'll stop blurping.


Edited by Honeybadgers, 08 November 2019 - 00:25.

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#9 Paganini

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Posted 08 November 2019 - 02:21

A Smug Dill:

 

That is an interesting observation about there being continued traffic through the nib and feed. I should have mentioned in the first post that I did try a variety of inks, ranging rom Waterman Serenity Blue (pretty wet) through Pilot Blue Black (that most medium of inks) to R&K Salix (verrry dry). 

 

I am really stumped by this. I am by no means a nibmeister, but neither is it my first day. I will try to reiterate what I meant to convey with the first post: there is nothing obviously wrong with this pen. I exhausted all the "have you turned it off and back on again" type solutions before posting in the first place. The feed and nib are pushed in as far as they're supposed to be. They are aligned properly. It's not the cartridge (tried two different ones) or the converter (tried sealing it with silicone grease). The only part I haven't switched out with another (theoretically)identical part is the nib itself (I don't have a spare Plumix nib). 

 

I guess maybe next I could try grabbing a 3-pack of Plumides from Amazon and switching out the nibs. 



#10 Honeybadgers

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Posted 08 November 2019 - 02:40

You aren't pushing hard enough. I'm serious, You need to push very, very VERY hard. I know precisely what you're describing. Push HARD and twist about 1/8th - 1/4 turn while holding the nib in such a way that you're pinching the nib and feed together

 

I have the exact same issue every time I take apart to clean my plumix nibbed sing sung 698 and pilot metro (because I always forget about it). I solve it every time the same way. I push very, very hard, I don't feel a "click" or that the nib/feed's position has "changed" but it just kinda finds its way to mate against the section completely at the base and once I get it in there.


Edited by Honeybadgers, 08 November 2019 - 02:43.

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#11 Paganini

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Posted 08 November 2019 - 03:18

Honeybadgers,

 

I mean, it's easy enough to give it another try (I just did, since, why not!) - but it's definitely in all the way. I can feel the back of the feed kind of squeak against the back of the section when I rotate it. If I push any harder either the pen will break, or I will! 

 

Just to double check, there was an old thread where a guy posted a photo of a Metro where the air channel at the bottom of the feed was protruding out of the section by a milimeter or so. You're not talking about that, right? You're talking about, once it's already in all the way, to jam on it some more to try and get it to make a really tight seal. 



#12 Paganini

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Posted 08 November 2019 - 03:19

Double post! 


Edited by Paganini, 08 November 2019 - 03:20.


#13 Honeybadgers

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Posted 08 November 2019 - 03:48

Honeybadgers,

 

I mean, it's easy enough to give it another try (I just did, since, why not!) - but it's definitely in all the way. I can feel the back of the feed kind of squeak against the back of the section when I rotate it. If I push any harder either the pen will break, or I will! 

 

Just to double check, there was an old thread where a guy posted a photo of a Metro where the air channel at the bottom of the feed was protruding out of the section by a milimeter or so. You're not talking about that, right? You're talking about, once it's already in all the way, to jam on it some more to try and get it to make a really tight seal. 

 

Yes, I'm talking about the latter of the two you described. The pressure you're putting on it shouldn't make the feed physically "feel" like it's moving further in. Just like you're pushing on a brick wall, but it's enough that the seal forms.

 

If that doesn't work, you could try using the plumix feed as well, or if you are, swap with the metro feed (they're technically the same but may have "settled" together) though I've never had to actually go that far.


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