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  1. Is it common for fountain pens to be severely damaged by heat or cold when being shipped? If so, what are the most common forms of damage? Can anything be done to reduce this risk, such as using packages that can breathe or paying for faster shipping? The reason I ask this is because the first fountain pen I bought online was a gorgeous Parker vacumatic maxima. When it had arrived, the celluloid lacked shine, the cap band was loose (as if the plastic had shrunk), and the iridium on one tine was gone and on the other side it jarred sideways, as if a new piece had been soldered on. I suspected that it had been baked in the mail. Ever since then I have never purchased pens online in the winter or summer. Since Im from Minnesota, that is about eleven months of the year. Ive also noticed the smell of camphor when buying celluloid fountain pens. Does the amount of camphor that is baked out of the pen weaken it substantially or is it too small to make a difference? Thanks
  2. I'm just getting started in homemade inks. I live up in the North, where liquid water is regarded as unnatural. Ok, it's not that bad, but we do have cold winters, especially in hiking areas. Noodler has a line of inks called "Polar". The first generation of Noodler's Polar was resistant to much lower temperatures, but the later versions only work down to -15 - -20°c. Right now it's -25°c here, and -35°c is common. I would very much like to write in my journal while hiking, so I want to make a freeze resistant ink that can handle the coldest winters, let's say -45°c. When it comes to freeze resistant inks, what carrier liquids do they typically use? I usually use a pigment ink, but sometimes use KWZ Iron Gall ink. Pigment and iron gall have different requirements on their carrier fluids. Which freeze resistant carriers could I use for iron gall and pigment inks respectively?





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