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Conklin skipping/hard starting....



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Well, I think I am having my first bad fountain pen experience. I picked up a Conklin All American at a big discount early this week and was feeling pretty good about it until I had written about two pages. The pen starting missing and failed to start a couple times. Then it was fine. Then it did it again. And it was getting worse! When it worked it worked so well, but out of nowhere it would start failing to put ink on paper, I would put it down, pick it up again and it was fine...for a minute.

 

I took it back to the store and they exchanged it for another. I took it home, tried a new ink (Noodler's Blue eel) and it was fantastic. A line much closer to a fine (the first one was a broad, wet writer...when it worked), and no skipping or starting issues. The first one could skip for inches at a time then miraculously lay down ink again.

 

Today the replacement pen is doing the SAME DAMN THING! And it's getting worse!

 

Do these symptoms point to any particular issue? The feed maybe? It's the translucent feed and it looks full of ink to me. I can look at it under a magnifier when it's into one of it's "skipping" phases and I can see the tines spread but no ink flow.

 

I really want to like this pen, I love the look of it and the shape, but really I am coming to the conclusion that I could exchange it 20 times and not get a good one.

 

Pretty annoyed as it was a lot of money for me even though it's not really an "expensive" pen.

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Did you flush the pen? I don't know why, but it seems to be possible for a pen that's full of manufacturing residue (grease, etc.) to write OK... at first.

 

-- Brian

 

fpn_1375035941__postcard_swap.png * * * "Don't neglect to write me several times from different places when you may."
-- John Purdue (1863)

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Did you flush the pen? I don't know why, but it seems to be possible for a pen that's full of manufacturing residue (grease, etc.) to write OK... at first.

 

-- Brian

 

Well it's been filled with Sailor Black, written with a little then flushed with plain water and filled with Noodlers. Maybe it needs a more thorough flushing? If I prime it with ink using the converter to push out a drop of ink then it seems to behave for a few lines.

 

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It could be the feed, it could be the converter, it could be the nib itself, or it could be all or any combination of the foregoing. Try flushing the pen with a vinegar and water solution or if you're feeling brave a solution of household ammonia and water (1:2). If this doesn't work you could try another converter or a cartridge and a Waterman's ink. If all this fails you can either send it to a nibmeister or return it to the vendor for a refund.

Bryan

 

"The greatest lesson in life is to know that even fools are right sometimes." Winston S. Churchill

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It could be the feed, it could be the converter, it could be the nib itself, or it could be all or any combination of the foregoing. Try flushing the pen with a vinegar and water solution or if you're feeling brave a solution of household ammonia and water (1:2). If this doesn't work you could try another converter or a cartridge and a Waterman's ink. If all this fails you can either send it to a nibmeister or return it to the vendor for a refund.

 

I will give the nib and feed a thorough flushing and try new converter and cartridge. Hopefully that will solve the problem. I'll be sure to post the results here.

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skipwilliams

I had that problem with several Conklins, esp with F nibs. I attributed it to poor weir design and converter matching. Flushing with soap helped initially.

 

But eventually, I had to live with the fact that it had to be primed every day. You can try a Noodlers eternal ink or PR Tanzanite, all of which seem to help. I also had to tap the pens on the top and bottom to get the ink/air balance in line sometimes too.

 

Now you see why they were sold at such a big discount, me thinks.

 

Skip

Skip Williams

www.skipwilliams.com/blog

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Bummer. I am going to try various remedies and if they don't work hopefully the vendor will let me return it and buy something else. So far they have been accomodating. Now that I have compared it to my Pelikan and Sailor, especially in the case of the Sailor, I can see the results of superior design and quality in those pens.

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  • 7 years later...

Bummer! This is 2016 and I have the same problem with a new one. Does anybody knows where these pens are really made? Thanks!

Edited by alcecena
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  • 5 months later...

I just got Conklin All American Lapis Blue with the 1.1 MM stub. I flushed it as I would any other pen with water quite a few times. Then I filled with a diamine red oak ink. The pen just doesn't write very well. Some what scratchy. The nib is not tipped, but its not a smooth writer and the ink is not really flowing as it should. Not too thrilled with the nib. I will have to work with it a lot more.

Edited by JohnEbach
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  • 2 weeks later...

I found this topic after searching because I am having the same problems with a newly purchased Amber Duragraph with a stub nib.

 

I've only used it on good paper (Rhodia or Clarifontaine) with Pilot Iroshizuku ink, which is usually pretty wet. But just like the posters above, the pen usually doesn't start right away and when it finally does, it railroads and peters out after a few words. I use a lot of italic and stub-type broad nibs, so I don't think it's the writing angle, but, of course I did try changing angles which didn't help. (And unlike, let's say, a Pilot Parallel italic, it generally loses its ink on a downstroke, not an upstroke, which seems bizarre to me.)

 

I have flushed and soaked the nib unit and the ink converter with regular and distilled water and with Goulet Pen Flush. I examined the tines for alignment (fine) and "flossed" the nib with thin brass sheets. None of that helped.

 

It does look like the nib might have some of the fabled "baby's bottom," but wouldn't that affect the way it writes all of the time instead of intermittently? (I'm a noob: what I see is that the tip of the nib is not flat, but rather each tine is rounded off. I think that is "BB", but please correct me if I am wrong!)

 

Any help would be appreciated!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Baby's bottom is usually an ailment of the tipping material. Yet a stub should have no tipping material. None of mine does. Anyway, baby's bottom is evidenced on the inner aspects of the tines, at the, ahem, bum crack, um, er, the intersection of the tip and the slit. If the other parts of the tip are round but this intersection isn't rounded, then it isn't baby's bottom. I check for it with a loupe, but a very strong magnifying glass might do. I look at the tip from two angles: straight on with the underside on the bottom; and underside up, tilted straight towards my eyeballs except at a 45-50° angle to show the actual spot on the tip where it meets the paper and does all the writing.

 

I have a Conklin Duragraph, which came with an F. I ordered M and 1.1 mm stub nib units. All three nibs wrote right out the box. The flow of the stub was excessive, and upon inspection the slit did seem a little wide. I pushed the tines together at the shoulders just a teensy bit and all is well. You have done quite a bit of self-help. If I were in your spot I would contact the seller and arrange a nib swap.

Edited by Bookman

I love the smell of fountain pen ink in the morning.

 

 

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amberleadavis

Bookman, here's what _InkyFingers found with my factory stub.

 

@EliWeisz I believe so. It's a loaner from Amberlea. The stock nib was not on par as yours was. I had to do some nib grind.

 

Picture of before grind.

33325375690_e2e385e5b4_z.jpg

 

Picture of intermediate.

33581311241_190cc72207_z.jpg

 

No finals yet. Still in the works.

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My

 

Bookman, here's what _InkyFingers found with my factory stub.

@EliWeisz I believe so. It's a loaner from Amberlea. The stock nib was not on par as yours was. I had to do some nib grind.

Picture of before grind.
33325375690_e2e385e5b4_z.jpg

Picture of intermediate.
33581311241_190cc72207_z.jpg

No finals yet. Still in the works.

 

You mean I finally got lucky? My luck is improving? Up till now it's always run in the opposite direction. Now I can brag that it almost always runs in the opposite direction. (It's disconcerting to think that if I buy one of these nibs from, say, Goulet Pens, it's likely that only one pair of eyes [at Goulet, the third stop in the chain of distribution] has actually looked at it. I don't mind a fresh-from-the-box tine realignment once in a while; and it has happened a couple of times with very-low-end pens; I suppose misalignment could happen post-inspection through ordinary handling and the slings and arrows of outrageous postal delivery.)

Edited by Bookman

I love the smell of fountain pen ink in the morning.

 

 

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  • 3 years later...
blopez579

2020, and my new All American with the highly touted omniflex nib.  It flexes, all right, but it skips and skips.  I've tried all of the above.  Probably even voided the warranty.  What a disappointment.  It would make a better dip pen than a fountain.  Two thumbs down.

I will try another nib, and see what that does.  

This is making me want to stop buying fountain pens.

Grrrr.

 

Thanks for listening....

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My All-American with the 1.1mm stub nib is a hard starter. I have 3 other Conklin models with the same nib that write well. 

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I own and use 3 Conklin pens. Medium, broad and stub,

all of them work really well, and write like butter. I can't

remember ever having any issues performance related.

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