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Pilot Custom Sterling Silver Won't Write

pilot custom sterling silver nib

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15 replies to this topic

#1 KingsCountyWriter

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Posted 29 May 2020 - 03:34

The pen arrived with a dried out cartridge that first signaled bad news. 

 

I waited for 2 months for this pen from Japan, and it won't write. I have soaked it for 3 evenings and run it under warm water. It's soaking as I write this now. When water is in the section, it will drain out through the nib. A fresh cartridge or a converter doesn't allow the ink to flow past a few scribbles. 

 

If this were a cheaper pen, I'd attempt to open it up, but I'm not well versed in repair and this was over $100 to acquire. Can someone make a recommendation as to who might be able to solve this issue? I'm in the NYC area but I don't mind shipping it. 

 

 



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#2 AL01

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Posted 30 May 2020 - 01:20

 I don't know if this will be of much help to you, but I have noticed that refilling a cartridge using bottled ink helps, but only if you dunk the pen's nib into the ink bottle after refilling the cartridge.

 

 I know that this advice sounds somewhat weird, but I have had two or three pens give me the same issue, (all of them were from different brands), and the problem was solved once I got ink onto the feed.



#3 KingsCountyWriter

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Posted 30 May 2020 - 03:44

Worth a shot! If not, it's back to soaking. The Rapido-eze arrives on Monday. 

 

Thanks!



#4 Paul-in-SF

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Posted 30 May 2020 - 05:20

Disclaimer: I have only been fiddling with fixing pens for maybe a year or a little more, so read this and then look around for confirmation before trying anything you're not familiar with.

 

If something is blocking the feed, a bulb syringe can blast water through the feed to clear it out. That might work well after soaking that has softened up whatever is blocking the feed. As the shampoo bottles say, rinse and repeat as needed. Also an ultrasonic cleaner would probably help if you have one or can borrow one. 

 

But this also sounds like it might be the nib not seated properly against the feed, so that the capillary action is interrupted (I'm not familiar with this pen, so I'm assuming it's an open nib pen, not hooded or semi-hooded or inlaid). I've had that a few times after I've had a nib and feed out, and it always reacted just like your description, writes for maybe a few words then dries up. Basically if you look at the nib end-on from the front, there should be little to no discernible space between the nib and the feed. If there is space there and/or if the nib feels at all loose, there's a good chance that might be your problem. 

 

Fixing this can be a little tricky if you haven't done it before. In every case I have had, it needed to have the nib pushed in just a tiny bit more, and you have to be careful when you do that. Take one of those rubber grippy cloths and fold it over, or any folded cloth you don't care about getting ink on, use the cloth to protect your fingers from the sharp edge of the nib, and push gently but firmly on the shoulders of the nib (never the point!), straight in towards the pen. When I have done this in this situation I have always heard or felt a tiny bit of give and then the nib was firmly in place. I did this just a couple of days ago on an Osmia nib. 

 

This can possibly result in a misalignment of your tines if you put any sort of angle on your pushing, but that is fairly easy to fix. The Pen Habit has an excellent video on how to do that, and I think Goulet may also have a video. You'll need to check the tines under magnification to be sure. 

 

Disclaimer, just to refer you back to my disclaimer at the top. There are many experts here and if they tell you I'm full of it, probably best to believe them. 



#5 BaronWulfraed

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Posted 30 May 2020 - 18:04

If this pen is anything like my Sterling Panda, it has what I call a "fingernail" nib (not "inlaid" into the section a la Sheaffer, but slid in from the front into a cut-out on the section). It also does not have an accessible feed -- the wings of the nib are bent (similar to Lamy) but slide onto grooves in the section, not the feed.

 

NOT a system conducive to home experimentation!

 

Given the horror of a dried cartridge in the pen, and no history of how it had been stored, I'd consider the section a viable candidate for an ultrasonic cleaner. Just running fluid through the pen using a converter or similar may not disturb dried ink in any fins/channels of the hidden feed -- it's just going shortest path.



#6 KingsCountyWriter

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Posted 30 May 2020 - 20:05

Here's the nib in question. IMG_8680.jpg



#7 KingsCountyWriter

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Posted 30 May 2020 - 20:10

fpn_1590869373__img_8672.jpg[/URL]



#8 AL01

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Posted 30 May 2020 - 22:11

 If the pen is vintage, you could also send 'er off to Pilot for a free cleaning. If they find something wrong with the pen, they will send it off to Pilot Japan. I have sent two vintage Elites for servicing and they do an EXCELLENT job, and charge very little, (less than what most nib meisters charge you for a simple nib tuning.)



#9 KingsCountyWriter

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Posted 31 May 2020 - 00:12

 If the pen is vintage, you could also send 'er off to Pilot for a free cleaning. If they find something wrong with the pen, they will send it off to Pilot Japan. I have sent two vintage Elites for servicing and they do an EXCELLENT job, and charge very little, (less than what most nib meisters charge you for a simple nib tuning.)

That's funny! I waited over 2 months for this pen to be delivered from Japan. It arrived not working, and it might go back to Japan in order to be fixed. If Pilot provides this service for owners of their pens, I wonder why the seller didn't take the time and do that, and sell it for more money as a working pen. 

 

I'll email them to see what they say. It'll soak until Monday when the Rapido-eze arrives. I don't want to open it up or make any "adjustments". That's not my thing. I don't own an USC, so that's off the table for now. 

 

Thanks for the suggestion though!



#10 liubrian

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Posted 01 June 2020 - 16:31

The metal threads at the rear of the section unscrew, though you may need rubber pads for grip and a bit of heat to get things moving.  This will then reveal most of the cartridge piercer, which comes off with the help of a tool you can make at home - it's more or less the same as the Myu, which is described here: http://www.tomattara...1-disassembled/

 

If you can access the feed in this way, maybe it'll turn out to be clogged with old ink.  I find that there's often a lot of old ink in this sort of pen that doesn't come out with just a bulb syringe.



#11 BaronWulfraed

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Posted 01 June 2020 - 22:57

Here's the nib in question. attachicon.gif IMG_8680.jpg

Well, it IS what I refer to as a "fingernail" nib, though I can't state as to the potential of it having been cemented to the section after it is slid on it.

 

You do have visible feed... My Sterling Panda has a section that comes all the way up to where your feed tip is located, and rather than that U-shaped breather notch, mine has a elliptical (circular from the front) hole just back from tip -- in essence making it a "tip dip" filler.

 

ADDED:

 

fpn_1591053186__pilot_sterling_panda-nib

fpn_1591053229__pilot_sterling_panda-nib


Edited by BaronWulfraed, 01 June 2020 - 23:14.


#12 KingsCountyWriter

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Posted 02 June 2020 - 01:41

Yes, a similar nib with the sides folded under at the edges. Outside of the Rapido-eze, which is now going into it's second overnight, I won't be fiddling with this. A fair amount of gunk did come out, but the inner part of the section that attaches to the cartridge/converter looks like it has some rough material in there, which I am attributing to the dried ink. We'll see how this plays out. 



#13 BaronWulfraed

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Posted 02 June 2020 - 16:30

Lack of an ultrasonic cleaner is likely an impediment to this cleaning.

 

Just trying to pump fluid through it is probably running through the larger breather channel and not disturbing anything thing dried in the finer capillary channels, except by turbulence over the surface layer.



#14 AL01

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Posted 02 June 2020 - 20:26

Yes, a similar nib with the sides folded under at the edges. Outside of the Rapido-eze, which is now going into it's second overnight, I won't be fiddling with this. A fair amount of gunk did come out, but the inner part of the section that attaches to the cartridge/converter looks like it has some rough material in there, which I am attributing to the dried ink. We'll see how this plays out. 

 

 IF you must, try to pry around with the rough material with a pair of tweezers or a small jeweler's screwdriver. 

 

 You will get a better idea of what's goin' on in there...



#15 Honeybadgers

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Posted 10 June 2020 - 01:11

If the first attempt came out with rapido eze, I would recommend a $30 ultrasonic cleaner and 10-15 minutes running with dilute ammonia. That has been my trick for cleaning out HEAVILY gunked up feeds. After that, rinse out the ammonia from the cleaner, fill it with water, and run it through another 10 minutes with clean water. 

 

All pens I get that had dried ink in them get run through the ultrasonic with ammonia then clean water, unless very contraindicated. The ultrasonic is just a useful tool in general, even an inexpensive one pays for itself in short order.


Edited by Honeybadgers, 10 June 2020 - 01:12.

Selling a boatload of restored, fairly rare, vintage Japanese gold nib pens, click here to see (more added as I finish restoring them)


#16 KingsCountyWriter

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Posted 10 June 2020 - 06:22

Thank you all for the suggestions. After a few days with a Rapido-eze soaking, which followed an initial few days of plain water soaking and flushed with a syringe, the pen writes nicely. I ordered an ultrasonic cleaner mentioned on another thread that was just under $30, and I plan to give it a run through when its received later in the week..

It seems as if its a beautiful writer that puts down a lovely, bouncy line with minimal effort. Are there any resources available for opening up and maintaining a pen like this and other similar models? Ive seen very documentation about this model and Id like to know more.





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