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Platinum Balance nib condition after R&K Salix
 
© A Smug Dill

Platinum Balance nib condition after R&K Salix



This Platinum Balance pen, with a gold-plated steel nib, held Rohrer & Klingner Salix for ten or eleven weeks.

 

At no point did the nib hard-start, despite the known shortcoming that the cap seal performance on the Platinum Balance is nowhere near as good as on cheaper Platinum models equipped with Slip & Seal inner caps. However, by the end of said period, less than 10% of the initially full fill of ink remained in the converter, even though the pen was only used moderately lightly for writing in the meantime.

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© A Smug Dill

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Bikerchick

Posted

Was the Salix ink responsible for stripping the gold-plating from the tip of the nib? 

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Bikerchick

Posted

Thanks Dill. Good to know. I just purchased a bottle of Salix, my very first IG ink. I had read that, as far as IG inks go, this was rather kind on pens. After seeing this, I think I'll only use it in pens that cost less than a fiver. 

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A Smug Dill

Posted

… or use iron-gall ink in a pen with a decent gold nib, and preferably not one with an integrated filling mechanism (e.g. piston-filler, or vacuum-filler with an internal plunger rod).

 

I just cleaned out a gold-nibbed, c/c-filled Aurora in which a fill of ESS Registrars Ink — one of the strongest iron-gall inks presenting in the market — had unfortunately dried out over a number of weeks. It was a pain to clear out completely, and there was some very stubborn tarnish on the nib. Nevertheless, gentle but persistent polishing with a Japanese ‘sunshine cloth’ eventually restored the nib's original condition; but for all I know some molecules of the gold alloy may have been removed by all that polishing, without damaging the nib's appearance (or structurally).

 

Whereas gold-plating, once gone from the underlying steel, would be very noticeable on a nib.

 

So, either go high-end or low-end; and if you must use a pen with a steel nib to write in iron-gall ink, use one that has no plated or PVD-treated parts. (I'm afraid the black coating on, say, a Lamy Z52 nib may not stand up all that well to prolonged exposure to iron-gall ink.)

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I use Salix in MB 146s & 149s and 1950s Pelikans with no problems. Eyedroppers, lever fill, or piston filled pens with gold nibs are perfectly fine with iron gall inks.

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A Smug Dill

Posted

I used Platinum Classic Ink Khaki Black in my Pelikan M200 Smoky Quartz (then fitted with the original gold-plated steel nib) for over six months, and had no problem with that. These days it is still filled with that ink, but has a gold nib from an M400 (because I consider the steel nib to be the better nib, and thus the M400 pen is more deserving of it). Nevertheless, if someone is not completely confident that some given iron-gall ink will not damage the internals of a pen, cause the piston in the ink reservoir to run less smoothly in time, etc. it's better to use either a c/c-filled pen, in which the ink reservoir can be easily removed and replaced if required, or an eyedropper-filled pen with nothing but the inside of the barrel to possibly be attacked by the iron-gall ink.

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Bikerchick

Posted

2 hours ago, gyasko said:

I use Salix in MB 146s & 149s and 1950s Pelikans with no problems. Eyedroppers, lever fill, or piston filled pens with gold nibs are perfectly fine with iron gall inks.

I'm glad to hear that you didn't have any issues, but this Salix is my first IG ink so I'd rather err on the side of caution. I'm with ASD on this one, converters are a dime a dozen and can easily be replaced.

 

I have a propensity for Pelikans, so most of my gold nib pens are piston-fillers. So are my vintage non-Pelikan pens. The only gold nib pen I have with a C/C is a 20-year old Sheaffer which was given to me by someone very special. It's one of the only pens in my collection that I treat with kid gloves, so I'd hate to damage it by using IG ink. So for now, until I get to know this ink a little better, I'm using it in a cheap Wing Sung. 

Thanks to the both of you for sharing your experience with an IG noob like me. 

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A Smug Dill

Posted

13 minutes ago, Bikerchick said:

I have a propensity for Pelikans, so most of my gold nib pens are piston-fillers.

 

My Pelikan M200 Smoky Quartz (discontinued special edition, so not a most readily replaceable model irrespective of price) is ‘permanently’ inked with Platinum Classic Ink Khaki Black, my M200 Gold-Marbled (also a discontinued SE) ‘permanently’ inked with Platinum Classic Ink Citrus Black, and my (run-of-the-mill) M205 Blue-Marbled sometimes with Platinum Blue-Black; and I've not had any troubles with the piston mechanism in any of those pens as far as I recall.

 

(On the other hand, my Lamy 2000 blue Bauhaus, which has only ever been filled with Lamy Benitoite — not an IG ink, as far as I know — got a bit stiff in its piston movement, and had to be disassembled by me for servicing.)

 

But then, I trust Platinum iron-gall inks more than I do Rohrer & Klingner and KWZ Ink IG inks, even though the former are generally stronger in IG content.

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The issue is not the filling system so much as whether there is metal in contact with ink.  Many C/C pens have metal cartridge nipples or other metal parts in contact with ink.  This makes them less than ideal for iron gall inks.  In any case, C/C pens are not any easier to clean than an eyedropper or a Pelikan with its screw-in screw-out nib.  

 

Another potential issue with iron gall inks is iron particles collecting in the feed.  If enough accumulate, they can restrict flow.  Flushing helps, but it may not get all of the particles out if the feed has fine and/or deep recesses.  When it comes to IG inks, simpler vintage feeds are an advantage.  An old Waterman feed has few nooks and crannies where particles can accumulate.  Cycling water through the pen is also more likely to get everything out.

 

Finally, if you have a modern Pelikan or some other pen with a plated section trim ring, very acidic inks — of which IG inks are a subset —  may accelerate plating corrosion. 

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