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Getting Brave... With A Preppy & A ?

japan eyedropper smoothing platinum ef pilot

12 replies to this topic

#1 essayfaire

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Posted 10 November 2019 - 22:42

 I have a Pilot EF that I think needs a bit of smoothing, but I am scared to death of ruining it.  I bought a micro-mesh pad and decided to have a go at a Platinum Preppy that is in a color I don't use.  Then I decided since I was already messing around with the pen that I might as well try to eyedropper it, something I have never done before.  I used silicone grease and all seemed to be well except later on I noticed some ink spots on my hands, so I think it is leaking somewhere.  I do hold my pens fairly close to the nibs.  I can't find an o-ring in an appropriate size so I have temporarily added some plumber's tape but that is unsightly and makes it harder to cap the pen.

 

Below is a photo, minus the plumber's tape.  I think the smoothing went well but was not excessive, but I still need to come up with a better seal for the eyedropper; I'm trying to work up the courage to smooth out the Pilot EF a bit. The ink is Diamine Oxblood, which I'm testing out and seems quite nice.

 

Do people add a ball to their eyedroppered pens to help keep the ink from drying up?

Attached Images

  • eyedropper2.jpg

“It's bad enough wasting time without killing it.”
Norton Juster, The Phantom Tollbooth


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#2 BaronWulfraed

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Posted 11 November 2019 - 01:35

Agitator ball shouldn't be needed... The sheer volume of ink and the diameter of the inside should be enough to overcome surface tension that could be holding ink at the upper end of a cartridge or converter. And on any transparent pen you'd see if the ink was hanging at the end, and could lightly flick the barrel with a fingernail to free it (heck, Parker and [I think] Lamy cartridges are designed with a short section at the end of the cartridge that is explicitly to hold onto a few drops of ink -- when you start to run dry, you can flick the cartridge to release those drops to finish up the current writing, and then look for a new cartridge)



#3 evan-houseman

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Posted 11 November 2019 - 03:17

Don't worry. You haven't lived until you've screwed up a few nibs.

As far as the leaking, did you check for hairline cracks with a loupe or magnifying glass?

How much silcone did you use?

Use the jell variety, and slap it on like you're packing a bearing. Wipe off the excess after you've screwed it back to the barrel. Fill all the threads, but let there be extra to squeeze out where the red arrow is.

The plumbers tape - not something I would resort to. It might deform the cap or crack it.

I think your answer is in the section threads, and how it connects to the barrel.

Best of luck.

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  • threads.png


#4 Paganini

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Posted 11 November 2019 - 14:59

I would hold off on smoothing your Pilot EF until you've done a lot of practice. There's so little tipping material on those Pilot EFs that, even with micromesh, it doesn't take too much work to smooth away the whole point. 

 

I bought a bunch of Wing Sung 659 nibs off of eBay for that purpose. Assuming your Pilot is a Metropolitan or similar, they are interchangeable. Not exactly identical, but close enough to practice with, and they're really inexpensive.  

 

Make sure you have a good loupe, too. It's tricky (at least for me), to get those tiny little tines perfectly aligned and spaced. You really need to be able to see clearly.

 

- N



#5 essayfaire

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Posted 13 November 2019 - 18:44

Agitator ball shouldn't be needed... The sheer volume of ink and the diameter of the inside should be enough to overcome surface tension

That's what I originally thought, but then I started overthinking...


“It's bad enough wasting time without killing it.”
Norton Juster, The Phantom Tollbooth


#6 essayfaire

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Posted 13 November 2019 - 18:48

Don't worry. You haven't lived until you've screwed up a few nibs.

As far as the leaking, did you check for hairline cracks with a loupe or magnifying glass?

How much silcone did you use?

Use the jell variety, and slap it on like you're packing a bearing. Wipe off the excess after you've screwed it back to the barrel. Fill all the threads, but let there be extra to squeeze out where the red arrow is.

The plumbers tape - not something I would resort to. It might deform the cap or crack it.

I think your answer is in the section threads, and how it connects to the barrel.

Best of luck.

 

I don't mind messing up a Preppy nib, which is why I'm starting with it even though it was perfectly functional before. 

 

I thought I used plenty of silicone, then open and closed a few times, decided I hadn't used enough, added some more... I didn't want to drown the poor threads.  I'm not happy with the plumber's tape as it is both bulky and unsightly, but I'm having trouble getting a small o ring without paying more than the price of the pen for shipping.  I don't see a problem with the threads, though I don't have a loupe.  I will look more carefully with a magnifying glass.


“It's bad enough wasting time without killing it.”
Norton Juster, The Phantom Tollbooth


#7 bemon

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Posted 13 November 2019 - 21:33

Don't worry. You haven't lived until you've screwed up a few nibs.

As far as the leaking, did you check for hairline cracks with a loupe or magnifying glass?

How much silcone did you use?

Use the jell variety, and slap it on like you're packing a bearing. Wipe off the excess after you've screwed it back to the barrel. Fill all the threads, but let there be extra to squeeze out where the red arrow is.

The plumbers tape - not something I would resort to. It might deform the cap or crack it.

I think your answer is in the section threads, and how it connects to the barrel.

Best of luck.

Tru Dat as the kids used to say.  I have a Sailor Pro Gear Realo that'll never be the same. Ground the tipping material half off! 



#8 Jamerelbe

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Posted 13 November 2019 - 22:29

 

I don't mind messing up a Preppy nib, which is why I'm starting with it even though it was perfectly functional before. 

 

I thought I used plenty of silicone, then open and closed a few times, decided I hadn't used enough, added some more... I didn't want to drown the poor threads.  I'm not happy with the plumber's tape as it is both bulky and unsightly, but I'm having trouble getting a small o ring without paying more than the price of the pen for shipping.  I don't see a problem with the threads, though I don't have a loupe.  I will look more carefully with a magnifying glass.

 

Goulet Pens sell a 4-pack of o-rings for converting Preppies to eyedropper - as an additional precaution in case silicone grease isn't enough.  Unfortunately they don't specify the dimensions, or you could try out your local hardware store.  For what it's worth, the direct link on their website is https://www.gouletpe...=11884754599979 (you can check out the embedded YouTube video too, it'll be pretty old but still relevant).



#9 evan-houseman

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Posted 14 November 2019 - 16:23

Tru Dat as the kids used to say.  I have a Sailor Pro Gear Realo that'll never be the same. Ground the tipping material half off! 

OUCH! :bawl:



#10 bemon

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Posted 14 November 2019 - 18:31

OUCH! :bawl:

Yep. Poor guy. Not my favorite pen anyway- Sailor nibs are on the scratchy side and the pen is near impossible to flush out. But still. It's a fist full of dollars to ruin. 



#11 essayfaire

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Posted 14 November 2019 - 22:29

Yep. Poor guy. Not my favorite pen anyway- Sailor nibs are on the scratchy side and the pen is near impossible to flush out. But still. It's a fist full of dollars to ruin. 

My scratchy Sailor went back to Japan to get smoothed and now is one of my favorites.

 

Thanks for the link, Jamerelbe.  I am having trouble finding the right size locally but hate the idea of mail-ordering such a small and inexpensive item. Good to know that I have that as an option, though. :)

 

Paganini, the Pilot I want to smooth is a VP so I don't think I can practice as I believe it is a one-piece "nib unit".

 

Y'all now have me a bit terrified as to smoothing the PIlot. evan-houseman, how long were you working on that pen to end up with no tipping left?


Edited by essayfaire, 14 November 2019 - 22:32.

“It's bad enough wasting time without killing it.”
Norton Juster, The Phantom Tollbooth


#12 Paganini

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Posted 06 December 2019 - 17:37

Hey essayfaire,

 

Sorry for the delay in reply! To me, at ~$150, the Vanishing Point is an expensive pen. I don't have one, but if I did I wouldn't risk ruining it by working on it myself - especially not for my first try. Maybe this is a personal idiosyncrasy, but I feel kind of bummed when I mess up a Metro or a Perkeo nib, and those are only like $20. For this reason, I now only fuss with truly inexpensive Chinese-made nibs. I know there are far more expensive pens than the VP, so I suppose it is a matter of perspective, but to me, it'd be worth the $20 or $30 it would take to have a pro fix it up. 

 

Either way, good luck! 



#13 essayfaire

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Posted 06 December 2019 - 23:31

Hey essayfaire,

 

Sorry for the delay in reply! To me, at ~$150, the Vanishing Point is an expensive pen. I don't have one, but if I did I wouldn't risk ruining it by working on it myself - especially not for my first try. Maybe this is a personal idiosyncrasy, but I feel kind of bummed when I mess up a Metro or a Perkeo nib, and those are only like $20. For this reason, I now only fuss with truly inexpensive Chinese-made nibs. I know there are far more expensive pens than the VP, so I suppose it is a matter of perspective, but to me, it'd be worth the $20 or $30 it would take to have a pro fix it up. 

 

Either way, good luck! 

I think it's an expensive pen; were there any nibmeisters available locally I certainly wouldn't be thinking of doing this. Any messed up nib is sad, no matter the price.

 

I used the teeniest bit of micromesh on it yesterday and while it is not yet as smooth as I would like, I'm petrified of doing any more.  It feels as if the difference between the EF and F is much larger than Pilot claims.


“It's bad enough wasting time without killing it.”
Norton Juster, The Phantom Tollbooth




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