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  1. tonybelding

    Rubber-Friendly Ink

    I recently pulled a couple of my Edison bulb-fillers out of storage. One had traces of ink dried in it, as I must have neglected to flush it before putting it away. The other looked clean. Both of them had the rubber bulbs partially melted. The conventional wisdom says rubber bulbs and sacs (as in lever-fillers, touchdown-fillers, etc.) should last for many years, perhaps decades. I've been having a lot of failures with them, and I've heard about friends having problems with them too. I've had restored vintage pens that failed too, much sooner than I would have expected. My first impulse was to blame today's rubber sacs. I've heard about bad batches of rubber sacs getting out, and I was left wondering whether today's "good" batches are as good as they were in the Good Old Days. However... I also am a fan of Noodler's ink, and I was beginning to wonder if the bulletproof/eternal inks are degrading the rubber and reducing its life span. I sent the Edison Morgan back to Brian Gray for repair, and he had some interesting comments about the situation. His observations: Inks that he recommends include: Waterman, Sailor, Aurora and Diamine. As luck would have it, I currently have no ink from any of those companies! (I've had Waterman and Diamine in the past, though. I didn't ask about Herbin, perhaps I should?) He also pointed out this article from Richard Binder: http://www.richardspens.com/?care=inks I found this most pertinent: "Some other Noodler’s inks, whose identities I have not yet pinned down, will reduce latex sacs to goo." I haven't pinned them down either, but I've gradually come to believe it. So... Where does this leave me? Do I give up all my favorite "boutique" inks and permanent inks and switch everything out for old-fashioned weak-and-washable colors? Or do I get rid of all my pens with rubber sacs and bulbs? OK, let's calm down. I'm not getting rid of all my vintage pens, that's for sure. However, I don't write with them all that much on a daily basis anyhow. I'm using mostly modern pens these days. So... I doubt I'll be buying any more modern pens that use rubber sacs or bulbs. There are plenty of other ways to fill a pen. Now I just need to pick out a rubber-friendly ink or two for those vintage pens, I guess. It's an excuse to buy more ink!





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