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Ink Starvation On Fountain Pens?

ink starvation wing sung pilot parker

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28 replies to this topic

#21 pajaro


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Posted 13 September 2020 - 01:50

I have this problem here in southern Michigan.  Happens on pen models where some are great and don't have it and where other pens of the same model have stingy ink flow that seems to dry up.  Pens thar work like this are in a box, so I don't bother with them any more. 

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#22 Arkanabar


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Posted 13 September 2020 - 12:07

The Himalaya isn't exactly a converter pen, as it can't use cartridges, but it does have a removable internal filling mechanism (syringe for v1, piston for v2) that lets one convert it into an eyedropper.  The mechanism screws onto the back of the section, and there is an O-ring seal.


Several of mine have recently proven to be too wet.

#23 SenZen



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Posted 13 September 2020 - 16:38

Very odd, I can only contribute my experience with 40 something pens and 30 something inks which I've rotated mercilessly to find the "right"combinations based on ink colour: this only happens with blocked feeds, a good cleaning has solved 99% of any problems, that single drop of dishwashing liquid can do wonders.


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#24 Estycollector


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Posted 13 September 2020 - 17:29

The problem is the user. Sorry, but how can it be otherwise?

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#25 wallylynn



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Posted 13 September 2020 - 23:08

I wonder if a wick feed like a preppy or varsity would exhibit the same problem. While I also encounter the "skin oil" problem, it happens on the lower half of the same page, not 3-4 pages later.

I wonder if the problem is something else, like really low humidity, or holding the pen at a very low angle.

#26 A Smug Dill

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Posted 14 September 2020 - 01:17

I've been into the hobby for 3 or so years and have amassed a moderate collection of pens. _...‹snip›... . Without fail, it seems that my pens' ink flow will weaken the more I write in a sitting, to the point that some of them even completely dry up and I have to push more ink into the feed to get it writing again. _...‹snip›... I have had issues in both eyedropper and converter-filled pens, even after thoroughly washing them and even placing a ball inside to break up surface tension. It seems, regardless of what I do with my pens, air is simply either not exchanged fast enough for a constant flow or not exchanged at all.

Never mind (just for now) which inks you'd like to be using, or which filling methods or type(s) of ink reservoir you prefer in your pens.


Does the problem you described happen even when you use the ink cartridges supplied with the pens in their retail packages? As far as I'm concerned, that's a good starting point for establishing whether there's something fundamentally defective with a pen as designed and made.

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#27 AmandaW



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Posted 14 September 2020 - 13:16

Put a piece of blotting paper under your hand as you write.

This ^


I used to have a problem with a number of pens with stub nibs on Clairefontaine paper: they would write drier and drier down the page. Then the problem was solved using a sheet of paper as a guard and I came to realise it had nothing to do with the stubs, the ink or the paper.

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#28 gerigo


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Posted 14 September 2020 - 14:16

I have found that with a lot of tricky and harder to solve pen problems, the issue usually lies with the user. There are many examples of people attributing hard starts or nib problems to their pens. But the actually the problem is the way they grip the pen.


Now I am not saying your grip is the problem. My point with the starting example is that user individuality can contribute to how poorly a pen operates but many of us always assume we are in the range of "normal". However if this problem that you have is consistent with ALL your pens, then I would say it's the problem of the user or some unique aspect of your environment. You have described the problem with the pens, but there is a assumption that everything else is the same, which we know is not probable. 


There are so many factors that could contribute. Some that people have mentioned possibilities like writing speed, oiliness of skin. There is also the possibility of the combination of ink and paper. Or even something very extreme like you have lots of animals around you and their stray hair is clogging up the nibs.


It does sound less than ideal. Hopefully you're able to find the solution to your issue.

#29 Bo Bo Olson

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Posted 23 September 2020 - 11:34

Gerigo, good post.

Many do hold a fountain pen too high, like it was a ball point. There are very many 'odd' ways folks grab a 'writing instrument', that no teacher cured when they should have. (I often ask how the hell can they write like that; but they do.)


Today there are many overly rounded tipping on a stiff or stiffer nibs so that one can hold the fountain pen wrong like a ball point and get away with it.


Wrong hold can also be a factor if the nib is scratchy. Misaligned is the other factor for scratchy.


One should/can hold their ball point at 45 degrees just after the big index knuckle, or a touch lower at 40 degrees at the start of the web of the thumb.

If the pen is very heavy or due to posting making a heavy pen is heavier. Letting it rest at 35 degrees in the pit of the web of the thumb, will lighten the pressure on the nib.


The idea is to let the fountain pen rest at those positions, not forcing it to stay there only. Where ever the pen feels good with in that range of 45-35 degrees.

Look up Classic Tripod and 'Forefinger up' method of holding a fountain pen. I favor the latter.

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.




Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: ink starvation, wing sung, pilot, parker

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