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  1. Hey guys, not sure if best in this forum or maybe maintenance/repair... but if it needs moved I'm sure it'll be moved. I'm sure many people probably have done this but, earlier this year I started getting into fountain pens beyond that of my Pilot V-Pen disposable. I like to keep my stuff clean so a couple of months ago I made my own flush using a 'recipe' found on here and YouTube. In addition to using the flush (which is rare and only when changing colours completely in a pen) I wanted a better way to flush so came up with this. I took one of a few syringes that I have. All plastic syringe with the curved end, I think maybe 3 for $5 off eBay, commonly used for wood glue. I cut the end off and left about 1cm / 3/8". I then took a Lamy cartridge and I think a Kaweco cartridge, and cut the very end off (not where the opening is). Cutting is very easy, syringe/cartridges are a soft plastic so I basically took an exact-o utility knife and rolled the piece back and forth beneath it and is sliced right through... don't use scissors, it'll pinch/buckle the tubes. Now, I can interchange between the two and they slide on and fit snugly onto the syringe. I can pop them into the section and slowly/carefully push water in/out. Usually I fill up a small bucket with warm water with a few drops of soap for the initial flushing pushing water in/out, then dump the water and switch to warm water without soap and flush water out only. Works quite well... the Kaweco fits most of my pens, the Lamy fits my Lamy and Parker pens. Just thought I'd share... cheap/easy DIY pen flusher tool. And, if anyone is wondering... the flush I use is a 1:10 ratio of Pure Ammonia (not scented) and Distilled Water, with a few drops of Dawn dish soap. http://i1286.photobucket.com/albums/a611/THRobinson/Fountain%20Pens/20151127_225632_zpsk0phgqxo.jpg http://i1286.photobucket.com/albums/a611/THRobinson/Fountain%20Pens/20151127_225744_zpsuiaswrap.jpg
  2. Hi folks, Here's a method to fit a syringe needle over a piston converter to suck the very last drop of ink from an ink bottle. rgds kenneth PS: Forgot to add, this method doesn't require a syringe that would take up extra space in your pen case. It's also one less item to clean. In any case, choose your favourite method :-)
  3. I've seen them at 1" and 4", with plastic needles and with metal ones. For refilling cartridges are there any preferred choices in length or material? Reusable? Disposable?
  4. bizhe

    Best Ink Transfer Tool?

    I was ready to purchase the item in the photo, but then I wondered, does it have enough suction to suck ink in? If you have experience with this either way, please reply. The reason I chose this rather than a syringe is that syringes become increasingly tight/dry over time, at least in my limited experience.
  5. A disclaimer first: this is basically a repost of an idea mentioned by member suchan271 here, but in a thread on rollerballs, so it's well possible that vintage pen afficionados didn't see it. In fact, this filling method seems to work quite universally, with most types of fountain pens -- including some vintage pens whose inbuilt filling system is out of order for certain reasons (such as bad washer seals in vacuumfil pens). All one needs is a feed that allows ink to pass, and a tank that holds ink. Plus a syringe and a piece of PVC tube. In essence, the pen gets winded by external force, and when it gulps for air, it only finds ink to inhale. As referenced in suchan271's post, the method was devised, or at least publicised, by Kenneth Lee -- for use on a Pilot Varsity pen. His page shows two videos, which are also available on youtube, see video1 resp. video2. (The first of the two is more specific to the Varsity; only in the second does the connecting tube appear, and this makes the method much more widely applicable.) Here's a text description of the procedure: 1. One needs a piece of tube (rubber, PVC, or some flexible plastic) that fits the section of the pen snugly, and a syringe (minus needle) that fits just as snugly into the tube from the other end. 2. Fill the syringe with ink, but not to the brim: the first move of the procedure will be to pull the plunger further back. 3. Plug pen and syringe into the tube, hold with nib pointing upward. 4. Pull out the syringe plunger, then push in. Repeat until the pen is filled. 5. At the end, pull the plunger back, hold pen-tube-syringe aggregate so that syringe points upward, then unplug the pen from the tube. (This avoids having surplus ink soiling your hands.) In step 4, one creates a partial vacuum inside the pen, which then sucks the ink through the feed into the tank. Repeating the action really helps: pulling the plunger back out will remove the remaining air rather than the ink from the tank -- as long as the nib points upward. If the tube fits tightly enough, the procedure is surprisingly clean. Filling the syringe with no more ink than the pen will hold does of course help. An even cleaner, but slightly more fiddly, variant is shown in this video3 by Kenneth Lee. (Here the syringe merely serves as an air pump, without coming into contact with the ink.) Personally, I find this method ingenious. It is "conceptually elegant" in the sense that it works pretty universally and doesn't require any high tech components (I cut my piece of tube from an ancient shower hose I kept on the eminently sound principle of "you never know what it might be good for"). From an aesthetic point of view, it's of course less elegant and pleasing than operating a functioning vintage vacuum filler, or a smooth Pelikan piston, or a Conid bulkfiller. (And there is another aesthetic caveat: one has to decide beforehand whether a snugly fitting PVC tube might scratch the surface of the section. Didn't happen to me even with a fairly stiff piece of tube, but generally the softer the tube, the better.) I used the procedure successfully to ink two defunct vacuum fillers (one Sheaffer Balance, one Eversharp Doric) that wouldn't create enough suction anymore, but I also conducted water trials on various eyedropper pens, piston fillers, c/c fillers and even a sac filler: worked each time. My sincere thanks to suchan271 and to Kenneth Lee. I hope some of you find this useful, too.
  6. Hello everybody, A little more than a year ago, when I first started using fountain pens seriously, I was not really aware of the pleasure of using bottled ink. So I ended up buying tons of cartridges. Now, however, I almost exclusively use bottled ink, and those cartridges that I bought initially just sit in a box. I was wondering if I can empty them with a syringe and collect the ink in separate ink bottles? Thank you very much!
  7. Let's talk about a pen which is seldom mentioned here (or anywhere else for that matter...). The Gate City Belmont Syringe Filler. 1. Appearance & Design (9/10) This is the caribbean version, which looks pretty amazing, under my lamp the material sparkles like metal flake paint on cars (I tried to capture that in the first photo following this paragraph), the material is resin as far as I can tell. The pen tapers towards the end of the filler cap and the section, with the biggest circumference at the thread of the filling 'mechanism'. The ink chamber is translucent with a slightly blue/turquoise hue. It has a black section and a two-tone steel nib (it's possible to order the pen with a gold nib) and a pretty big cap with some engraved text on it. All in all, a pretty looking pen. Three things which bother me: The threads at both ends of the ink chamber look somewhat rough, the cap is build from two parts and I don't like the seam between them and finally the clip, which is too small for the cap and looks like a joke. ] 2. Construction & Quality (6/10) Not sure if I wanna go down even further to 5 points. This is a 160,- US $ pen and it just doesn't feel the part. The whole thing and its components feel flimsy. There was glue (or pretty old silicone grease) at the threads, making the thing feel sticky. Nib wasn't correctly aligned to the feed and now for the thing which drives me nuts: The filler cap sits slightly askew on the barrel (see photo below), I can feel a ridge with my thumb. Maybe this is because I'm German and precision craftsmanship is something we germans like very much, but I could rant for hours about this... Addendum: For folks who think a Ford Lightning pickup truck is nicely build, this won't be a problem, you can add 2 points to the score... 3. Weight & Dimensions (8/10) Not much to say, it's light (that's nice, at least in my opinion) and a bit bigger than a Pelikan M200. For me (6'2 guy with small hands) this is the right size. It posts pretty well, if that's important for you. To add a bit more text to this paragraph I've made three photos of the box, as you can see the pen seems to be made by Bexley. 4. Nib & Performance (9/10) Now for the important part: The nib is a two-tone steel nib and it would look nice if there was just a Bexley-logo and not this big, ugly "Iridium Point Germany" text... This was a broad, which Richard transformed into a 0.8 stub nib. After aligning the feed and a bit of writing it skipped, a lot. After some extreme flushing/cleaning/scrubbing/cursing this was solved and now the pen writes as it should. The line is easily as wide as my Lamy 1.1 and shows nice variation. I've ordered a 6/10 wetness (Richards default wetness) and the pen lays down beautiful wet lines. It's smooth and writes with minimal feedback, but it's not as smooth as my TWSBI 1.5 stub, which glides without any feedback at all. 5. Filling system & Maintenance (9/10) System or mechanism is a big word for something which is essentially a simple syringe. Unscrew the filler cap and you can move the plunger up and down. That's it... Great for fast flushing and it holds a ton of ink, around 1.8ml! If you are into nifty filling systems, buy a piston or vacuum filler, this here is easy, fast, reliable and pretty simple. Everything can be disassembled for cleaning and re-greasing. Nib and feed are friction fit and pull out easily. I would give it 10 out of 10, but there's a thread insert which holds the plunger and is screwed into the ink chamber. The filler cap also attaches to that insert and the thing is pretty difficult to remove. If this could be unscrewed with -let's say- a TWSBI wrench, this would be pretty close to perfect... 6. Cost & Value (7/10) It looks really nice, I love how it sparkles in bright light, it writes really well and it's a syringe filler, which is something you don't see that much. But it's also a pen with a very simple filling mechanism, mediocre build quality, average materials and an ugly steel nib to put it very bluntly. I know that Bexley isn't the biggest manufacturer and that I shouldn't compare it to mass production pens, but in the end a 60,- $ TWSBI seems the much better deal than the 160,- $ Belmont. 7. Conclusion (48/60) I'm sure that in some parts this review sounds like I hate the thing. But no, I like it, really! It looks really great, it's a great writer and the filling system is special (even if it's as simple as it gets). I'm disappointed with the quality, I've expected something that was built like a tank but I've got a paper plane...made out of thin paper... I hope this was useful to some of you and if you have questions/unsolicited criticism/useful info/bitter rants/etc. please voice them below
  8. Anyone refill emptly cartridges from botted ink with a blunt tip syringe? I thought it would be less expensive than buying cartidges, the convenience of cartridges, yet the variety of bottled ink. Any thoughts, advice, suggestions or warnings?

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