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Ink Crud On Feed Of 400Nn


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12 replies to this topic

#1 icarus33

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Posted 10 February 2020 - 00:46

I used this Pelikan 400NN today and had a great deal of crud on the feed when uncapped. Used last around a week ago and didn't notice at that time. I've had this happen with a modern pen and red ink which I've read can be common with the reds depending on the ink formula. This one is filled with P.W. Akkerman SBRE Brown at the moment.  Pen had only a drop or two left in it.   I haven't removed the nib/feed on this tortoise since I've had it.  Could this just be  "feature" of the ink or is there some seepage possible in the feed assembly to the body?    

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Edited by icarus33, 10 February 2020 - 04:05.


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#2 Uncial

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Posted 10 February 2020 - 01:34

It happens with some inks. It washes away with water.

#3 Ray-Vigo

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Posted 12 February 2020 - 14:17

Try washing it away to start. The longitudinal fins on these old Pelikan feeds can be very fragile and replacements can be expensive. Avoid scrubbing the feed if at all possible - if a rinse will solve it, that's the best way.

 

Has this ink done this before for you? Frankly, I would be concerned about the level of solids being left behind by this ink. Certainly inks leave a residue when they dry, but this rises to the level of a build-up.



#4 G-S

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Posted 13 February 2020 - 10:04

I have heard that Akkerman ink uses a bit more pigment than other inks which might be the reason for this.



#5 OMASsimo

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Posted 13 February 2020 - 19:46

This happens with quite a number of inks, particularly with reddish pigments. It's not a real problem except for aesthetics when looking at the nib. I'd strongly advise NOT to unscrew the nib unit for cleaning. Countless Pelikans have been damaged by this unnecessary maneuver already. Just flush the pen and all will be good. Red inks can be somewhat stubborn to clean out but it's only a matter of patience. I flush a few times, then let the pen sit filled with water over night. Then I repeat over a few days till it rinses clear. That's all.



#6 austinwft

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Posted 15 February 2020 - 17:22

I also had the same crud develop when one of my 400nn Pelikans was inked with SBRE Brown. What I observed, similar to what you noted, was that this only occurred when the ink level was very low to near-empty and the pen was left unused for a longer time. As a habit, I now clean any pen that I have filled with highly saturated, heavily pigmented ink when it gets really low and I don't plan to refill and continue use immediately. Voilà, no more crud!

 

As far as removing the nib unit to clean, I do it regularly without any ill effect or expectations that there ever will be. I have many vintage 400/400nn's as well as early production M200's with an assortment of nib units, many with custom grinds, and I swap them around from pen to pen often. I also always remove the nib unit to thoroughly clean it and the pen if I am changing inks. The only real possible concern of damage, in my opinion, would be if you have a nib unit that has one of the clear polystyrene threaded collars which are known to be quite brittle but are easily replaced with readily available collars made of Delrin.

 

YMMV. :)



#7 OMASsimo

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Posted 15 February 2020 - 20:00

Do as you like but please take into consideration that you risk cracking the section by that and for no good reason. It's totally unnecessary to disassemble any pen for cleaning. Even if you have stubborn inks like reds. Patience is the trick rather than ripping pens apart which are not meant for this kind of treatment. 



#8 austinwft

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Posted 15 February 2020 - 20:42

I thought I would make this post in addition to my earlier one and tell the stories of how I learned just how tough and durable these little vintage Pelikan 400 pens really are, in my opinion.
 
***I DO NOT RECOMMEND ANYONE TEST THIS WITH THERE OWN PEN***
 
I have purchased a number of these pens from both well-known, respected sellers and on eBay, one of which was a very nice looking example. Unfortunately, it had a very stiff piston and when looked at with a strong backlight there was dried ink around and behind the piston seal. I have become very comfortable removing the piston assemblies from these pens and replacing the seals so I proceeded to get it taken apart and cleaned up. After getting everything ready to reassemble I found myself in the front yard with a freshly cleaned and polished Tortoise 400nn pen barrel still in hand, for what reason I no longer remember, and for whatever reason while paying attention to one of the dogs I proceeded to swing my arm and without intending to let the pen barrel go, launching it into the air. As I watched, it came down 6-8 feet in front of me landing on the cement sidewalk where it bounced several times like a ping pong ball, which is what it sounded like. After verbally expressing displeasure with myself I picked up the barrel expecting it to be destroyed but to my surprise found minimal damage. There were a few small dings on the outside edge of the piston end of the barrel, several small scratches to the tortoise finish on the side of the barrel and the worst damage was a small chip on the inside edge of the section. Figuring I couldn't make things worse I went to work buffing and polishing on the visibly damaged areas and after putting everything back together the pen works and looks as good as ever with the only sign of the incident being a small indention on the inside edge of the section where I polished the area that was chipped, and it can only be noticed when the nib unit is removed.
 
I doubt that Pelikan views the removal of nib units from their pens as ripping them apart since they still use the same system today and produce nib units that fit and function perfectly in the vintage pens. The pen I speak of above is currently inked and has a new broad M200 nib with Linda Kennedys DailyItalic grind on it.
 
But to each his own.

Edited by austinwft, 15 February 2020 - 21:15.


#9 OMASsimo

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Posted 15 February 2020 - 21:25

I totally agree that (vintage) Pelikan pens are extremely robust and withstand a fair amount of abuse. But you are mistaken about removing the nib unit. I've read the original user manuals from the 1950s onward carefully and every single one states explicitly "DO NOT UNSCREW THE NIB UNIT". This is for experts only. The problem is less removing it but screwing it back in. Countless pens were damaged by that. And once again: It's totally unnecessary! If you are an experienced restorer like me and several others here on the com, you might be fine. But for most others it's simply risking your pen for no good reason.



#10 austinwft

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Posted 15 February 2020 - 23:20

Again, too each his own.



#11 Ray-Vigo

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Posted 16 February 2020 - 04:30

I like staying as vintage as I can, but I will say I remove and replace those clear plastic collars with the new-production black ones. That being said, I've never actually found a pen with a clear plastic collar totally intact. They're always at least cracked, if not just plain broken. Maybe that's just bad luck on my part, but at this point, I assume that it's a part I need to replace when I buy Pelikans of a certain vintage "in the wild".

#12 Bo Bo Olson

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Posted 18 February 2020 - 21:49

Akkermann is a slightly thicker or more vivid Diamine ink (thought by some as 'better').............not a major catastrophe as mentioned.

 

If your piston has become hard to twist.............

 

OK....after a nib and section is well soaked for a day.....very well soaked ....so there is no ink at all when swirling the pen in the bathroom sink.

With the delicate 3 rill/comb '30-40's or 4 rill/comb '50-65 nib.....fold a paper towel, in the crease of your left hand forefinger. Place the feed there, thumb down on top of the nib. Twist the pen barrel towards you........the nib will come loose..............OF Course you are not Cranking it....a little bit at a time.

The nib twists out...................take a half a rice corn of pure silicon grease and smear it around barrel wall, just under the up piston, toothpick or Q-tip.

Be very careful putting the nib/section back on......many some how are in a big hurry and 'f' it up. How I don't know, but sometimes if there is a will there is a way. Take your time. There is no reason to crank it shut....just so it is closed...no firm needed.

 

Rick recommends doing this, greasing your piston, every three years............so don't get AR/OCD on cleaning your Pelikan..taking it apart like it is an Ahab or Twisbi..........They are designed to be taken apart. The vintage pens not.

The 800/1000 are made to take apart, none of the others....in spite of folks doing it all the time. I've not found a reason to dismantle any of my piston pens. like it's a Twsbi.

 

Back in the day....when one used one ink.....it was suggested one cleaned one's pen with water every three months :o ***.....so don't get paranoid if you have IG or BB inks. It's not a daily scrub.

 

Over the last decade I've seen three Pelikan factory nib unscrewing machines being sold on Ebay......for real, real money.

 

 

*** Back in the '50's didn't even know one cleaned a fountain pen....much less as often as every three months. :P


German vintage '50-70 semi-flex stubs and those in oblique give the real thing in On Demand line variation. Modern Oblique is a waste of money for a shadow of line variation. Being too lazy to Hunt for affordable vintage oblique pens, lets you 'hunt' for line variation instead of having it.

www.nibs.com/blog/nibster-writes/nibs-germany & https://www.peter-bo...cts/nib-systems,

 

The cheapest lessons are from those who learned expensive lessons. Ignorance is best for learning expensive lessons.

 

 

 


#13 Kalessin

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Posted 25 February 2020 - 20:54

With regard to the Pelikan instruction to not unscrew the nib unit:  Their concept is that end-users will cross-thread or over-tighten their nibs, and they recommend only dealers remove the nibs to exchange them for another nib grade.

 

On the other hand, I tend to buy extra nibs in the used market and swap nibs relatively frequently on an M400 tortoise from the early 2000s, an M600 of the same age, an M620 Berlin, and even a late-1990s M910 Toledo.  If you're careful to keep the threads straight, and don't overtighten, there's nothing to be worried about.  I've been doing this for almost 15 years on my M400 Tortoise, and the threads haven't worn out yet.  I might recommend against unscrewing the nib every two weeks or every cleaning.  

 

I don't think I've ever seen a report here or on Reddit or on Facebook about there being problems with (carefully) removing and replacing Pelikan nibs.

 

(It isn't exactly the same, but Montblanc recommends using only Montblanc ink in their owners manuals, and you can see how well that goes over with collectors...)


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INK (noun): A villainous compound of tannogallate of iron, gum-arabic and water,
chiefly used to facilitate the infection of idiocy and promote intellectual crime.
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