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Esterbrook Flo-master


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#1 PaFitch

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Posted 06 March 2009 - 20:57

3 Esterbrook Flo-masters just arrived (2 Advanced models and a "Made in England" model). Wasn't really wanting that many, I didn't manage my Ebay bidding very well.

But they're all in nice condition, 1 possibly uninked. I've researched this forum and Esterbrook.net to glean the information that I can but some questions still remain.

1. What is the solvent in the ink? The two used units need internal cleaning.
2. Only one tip was included (a metal holder with a small round felt). Is it possible to get felts or, even, to make them?
3. One poster talked about using a hi-lighting ink in a Flo-master. Does a thinner medium (than the original ink) cause problems with leaking?

Thanks for any tips

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#2 FarmBoy

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Posted 07 March 2009 - 02:59

QUOTE (PaFitch @ Mar 6 2009, 12:57 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
3 Esterbrook Flo-masters just arrived (2 Advanced models and a "Made in England" model). Wasn't really wanting that many, I didn't manage my Ebay bidding very well.

I'd agree you only got three. Try again next week.

QUOTE (PaFitch @ Mar 6 2009, 12:57 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
But they're all in nice condition, 1 possibly uninked. I've researched this forum and Esterbrook.net to glean the information that I can but some questions still remain.

Esterbrook.net. Dangerous isn't it.

QUOTE (PaFitch @ Mar 6 2009, 12:57 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
1. What is the solvent in the ink? The two used units need internal cleaning.
2. Only one tip was included (a metal holder with a small round felt). Is it possible to get felts or, even, to make them?
3. One poster talked about using a hi-lighting ink in a Flo-master. Does a thinner medium (than the original ink) cause problems with leaking?

1: I've never had a tin of the ink that wasn't goo. I'd guess it was an alcohol or chlorocarbon though. I filled up the US cleaner up with either methanol or propanol and blasted away until they were clean.
2: There are all sorts of different tips. I've never tried to make one but tips show up pretty often and you can easily clean the old ones.
3: That was probably me. I used a noodlers fluorescent yellow I think. It seemed to work just fine but I put (or replaced) an o-ring at the barrel seal. I only used it on my desk to mark things up. I generally don't like highlighters but I was moved to do so for a while. I put a big fat wedge tip in it and the ink sort of went on thick. (It really annoyed the guy I was working for at the time so I guess it worked pretty well!)

QUOTE (PaFitch @ Mar 6 2009, 12:57 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Thanks for any tips

Remember this after you have a large quantity of Esties and keep buying more. (Some may say I'm an Estie pusher but I fully deny this-Right Bruce?)

Before you fill them up with ink make sure the barrel isn't cracked and doesn't have a rot hole in it. I'd fill it with something other than ink first just to make sure it doesn't leak.

Now how about a picture or two. Not everyone is going to have seen a FlowMaster!

Enjoy

Todd

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#3 gregamckinney

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Posted 07 March 2009 - 03:26

I had a pic of a few of my flo-masters handy, so I'll share:
Picked the red, yellow and orange up in one lot a couple years ago. Haven't seen others with these colors. The silver body/ black cap version is not too uncommon.



Regards, greg
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#4 FarmBoy

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Posted 07 March 2009 - 03:36

Just when you think you are closing in on the end, Greg shows up and smacks you on the side of the head with a pair of FlowMasters you haven't seen.

I'm going to start following you around and hope you drop pens so you can find your way home.

Nice, very nice.

Todd
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#5 AndyH

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Posted 07 March 2009 - 03:54

Wow!

Just. Wow.
I'm Andy H and I approved this message.

#6 PaFitch

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Posted 07 March 2009 - 03:59

Thanks for chiming in, FarmBoy! One of the pens is soaking in mineral spirits. I tend to be impatient, so rather than wait to hear the recommendations (yes it is dangerous and it has resulted in irreparable harm sometimes) I decided to try mineral spirits as likely being a safe cleaning fluid. It does cut the ink--quite well. The only non-metal part that I see is the small o-ring where the section (? if that is the right term) screws into the barrel.

Thanks, too, for the pictures, Gregamckinney! I haven't figured out the picture taking and posting process yet. The chrome model in your picture looks identical to my two "Advanced" models. The colored cap models seem very similar to my "Made in England" model except mine is only black.

Would I be correct in thinking that Flomaster tips prior to Esterbrook taking over would still likely fit in my pens? Something to add to my search list.

#7 krz

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Posted 07 March 2009 - 04:17

Way back when I was the shipper at a mfg. company so I'd write on boxes with one all day, and then take it out and draw with it at night.

I used to use the black pigmented ink in mine. I went through many points, and I think I found a suitable O-ring that the solvent wouldn't degrade and make the slip cap come off too easy. I don't remember what solvent they had in the ink but you wouldn't want to use it anywhere that wasn't well ventilated. Great marker pens.

I think I would also use Marsh ink when the Flo-Master ink got scarce.


How can you tell when you're out of invisible ink?

#8 EventHorizon

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Posted 08 March 2009 - 14:30

THEY COME IN COLORS!!!!! Well just CR*P!!
I got the solid silver one and thought "Hey, now I just need to get some ink, maybe a few felt tips and I can try it out"

Oh well................
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#9 gregamckinney

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Posted 08 March 2009 - 15:00

QUOTE (FarmBoy @ Mar 6 2009, 08:36 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Just when you think you are closing in on the end, Greg shows up and smacks you on the side of the head with a pair of FlowMasters you haven't seen.

I'm going to start following you around and hope you drop pens so you can find your way home.

Nice, very nice.

Todd


Thanks, Todd. But in reality, the few unusual Esterbrooks I have tend to be later weirdness. I would collect the earlier, exotic Relief pens if I could.
greg
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#10 pmorin

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Posted 08 March 2009 - 19:20

I wonder if it was Xylene based.

I know they used to use Xylene as the solvent in some markers. Had a set of that type of marker when I went through Art College. Great markers, great colours, brain killing solvent.
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#11 PaFitch

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Posted 09 March 2009 - 14:10

Mineral spirits are cutting the ink but it has been a slow process. I haven't tried lacquer thinner yet, feeling that mineral spirits were less likely to do harm and I could wait. A little brush that would fit inside the barrel would be great but it is hiding somewhere. Over time the ink became thick and doesn't dissolve without some scrubbing help.

#12 TimFor

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Posted 12 July 2012 - 23:24

Mineral spirits are cutting the ink but it has been a slow process. I haven't tried lacquer thinner yet, feeling that mineral spirits were less likely to do harm and I could wait. A little brush that would fit inside the barrel would be great but it is hiding somewhere. Over time the ink became thick and doesn't dissolve without some scrubbing help.

I used a series of things, including mineral spirits, on my flow master; it sat unused for almost 40 years. Everything had SOME effect. The most effective were OXICLEAN MaxForce (amazing) and Nail Polish Remover (with acetone, etc.). The latter was the one that did the most--it was hard to even get the nib out of the holder.

I would just start with the nail polish remover. Pour it into a glass baby food jar, dump the nib and holder in, put the lid on (toxic), and let it sit for a week--swirling it when ever you think of it. The nib on mine is out, and the holder is clean (a Q-tip helps put the finishing touches on the holder). I still have to work to clean the nib portion that was in the holder--ink is like granite.

Yes--the ink had xylene in it.

I'm trying to find new felt nib material. The only hits I have online are either a few old flowmaster nibs, or an industry that is in China, catering to other industries. I would have thought that felt dowels would have been more common--or less expensive.

TP

#13 melissa59

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Posted 12 July 2012 - 23:42

The original post is about 3 years old, but I'm glad this popped up.

Flowmaster ... a felt-tip marker. Hmmm... can one of these be used as a lighter by using Noodler's highlighter ink????
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#14 FarmBoy

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Posted 13 July 2012 - 05:52

The original post is about 3 years old, but I'm glad this popped up.

Flowmaster ... a felt-tip marker. Hmmm... can one of these be used as a lighter by using Noodler's highlighter ink????

Yes they can.
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#15 melissa59

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Posted 13 July 2012 - 05:57

The original post is about 3 years old, but I'm glad this popped up.

Flowmaster ... a felt-tip marker. Hmmm... can one of these be used as a lighter by using Noodler's highlighter ink????

Yes they can.


Thanks!
And thanks for knowing that I wanted to make it a highlighter and not a lighter. I don't smoke. :doh:
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#16 PaFitch

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Posted 15 July 2012 - 03:05

Mineral spirits are cutting the ink but it has been a slow process. I haven't tried lacquer thinner yet, feeling that mineral spirits were less likely to do harm and I could wait. A little brush that would fit inside the barrel would be great but it is hiding somewhere. Over time the ink became thick and doesn't dissolve without some scrubbing help.

I used a series of things, including mineral spirits, on my flow master; it sat unused for almost 40 years. Everything had SOME effect. The most effective were OXICLEAN MaxForce (amazing) and Nail Polish Remover (with acetone, etc.). The latter was the one that did the most--it was hard to even get the nib out of the holder.

I would just start with the nail polish remover. Pour it into a glass baby food jar, dump the nib and holder in, put the lid on (toxic), and let it sit for a week--swirling it when ever you think of it. The nib on mine is out, and the holder is clean (a Q-tip helps put the finishing touches on the holder). I still have to work to clean the nib portion that was in the holder--ink is like granite.

Yes--the ink had xylene in it.

I'm trying to find new felt nib material. The only hits I have online are either a few old flowmaster nibs, or an industry that is in China, catering to other industries. I would have thought that felt dowels would have been more common--or less expensive.

TP


I used carburetor cleaner on a dried out Marsh pen that appears identical to the flomaster (wonder if there is some kind of connection). It cut the ink quite well but the valve is resisting coming completely clean. Someday-----someday I'd like to take the tip out of a regular magic marker or other felt tipped marker and see if they could be cleaned and cut to fit the flomaster.

#17 TimFor

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Posted 15 July 2012 - 06:40

Mineral spirits are cutting the ink but it has been a slow process. I haven't tried lacquer thinner yet, feeling that mineral spirits were less likely to do harm and I could wait. A little brush that would fit inside the barrel would be great but it is hiding somewhere. Over time the ink became thick and doesn't dissolve without some scrubbing help.

I used a series of things, including mineral spirits, on my flow master; it sat unused for almost 40 years. Everything had SOME effect. The most effective were OXICLEAN MaxForce (amazing) and Nail Polish Remover (with acetone, etc.). The latter was the one that did the most--it was hard to even get the nib out of the holder.

I would just start with the nail polish remover. Pour it into a glass baby food jar, dump the nib and holder in, put the lid on (toxic), and let it sit for a week--swirling it when ever you think of it. The nib on mine is out, and the holder is clean (a Q-tip helps put the finishing touches on the holder). I still have to work to clean the nib portion that was in the holder--ink is like granite.

Yes--the ink had xylene in it.

I'm trying to find new felt nib material. The only hits I have online are either a few old flowmaster nibs, or an industry that is in China, catering to other industries. I would have thought that felt dowels would have been more common--or less expensive.

TP


I used carburetor cleaner on a dried out Marsh pen that appears identical to the flomaster (wonder if there is some kind of connection). It cut the ink quite well but the valve is resisting coming completely clean. Someday-----someday I'd like to take the tip out of a regular magic marker or other felt tipped marker and see if they could be cleaned and cut to fit the flomaster.


Could be a relation (the colored pencil industry is so intermarried that you get dizzy trying to order products). I'll try the carb. cleaner on my nib. Nail polish remover did a nice job on my valve (40 yrs. worth of stuck ink), but I had to leave it soak for about a week. A little prodding with a q-tip, and further polishing of the well with q-tips, and it is good.

I didn't think of a magic marker...good idea.

TP

#18 melissa59

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Posted 15 July 2012 - 07:27

Here are a variety of replacement nibs for a Copic marker. Not cheap, but maybe you can match yours to one of these:
http://www.dickblick...placement-nibs/
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#19 PaFitch

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Posted 16 July 2012 - 02:56

Here are a variety of replacement nibs for a Copic marker. Not cheap, but maybe you can match yours to one of these:
http://www.dickblick...placement-nibs/


Thanks, a great tip.

#20 TimFor

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Posted 16 July 2012 - 08:01

I'll check into the Copics myself. The only caveate is that my flowmaster nibs are cylindrical with a diameter of approx. 1/4 inch (closer to 5 mm). Have to take a closer look at the specs on the Copic pens.

Edited by TimFor, 16 July 2012 - 08:01.







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