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I'm losing ink fast!


passenger
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I have a new Sheaffer Javelin with a medium nib. When I took it out to write with it today, I found there was a little stain of ink on the point. I looked inside the cap to see if there were ink stains, but there was none. I gently wiped the point to get rid of the stain, and to my horror the tissue absorbed a huge amount of ink. After writing a few words I placed another tissue on the point again, just to see what would happen. Again the tissue absorbed more ink. The ink will stop flowing out from the split after a few seconds, but it will spill out again after I write. Many of the splotches are around 1 cm in diameter, but the biggest one is about the size of a quarter.

 

Is this normal with all FPs? My original question was going to be if I can only place my FP upright since I'm a student, and I usually stash all my pens in a pencil case. But now that my Javelin is bursting with ink (when I touch the point), I'm afraid of laying it horizontally. :(

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Any time you dab the nib with tissue paper, ink will flow. That's the way fps work, by capillary action. If they didn't do that, the ink wouldn't flow when you touch the tip to paper. If your pen gets jostled around while in your pocket or bag, it may spill a bit of ink inside the cap sometimes. Even if the pen isn't shaken, a tiny bit of ink may appear on the nib (with certain inks, like many of the Noodler's inks there's a bit if ink "creep", where a smear of ink is visible on the nib). Normally this is no problem, but larger splotches could indicate an excessive flow. You may need to find a pen that behaves a little more securely when carried.

 

Don

These are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives everything its value.--Thomas Paine, "The American Crisis", 1776

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Sounds normal without further information.

 

When you put nib to paper to write, you are merely doing in a controlled manner what you are doing with a tissue. The tissue is a much more absorbent material than is your writing paper. The "wicking" effect is much more rapid with a tissue than writing paper. It is the controlled wicking action that allows a fountain pen to work!

 

As far as whether you can store the pen in other than a nib up position, yes, you can, but to be sure, test it overnight in a nib down position while capped. Best done in a desert dish over the sink. If the cap is dry in the morning, use your pen without further care. It is operating correctly.

Roger

Southern Arizona, USA

Fountain Pen Talk Mailing List

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I did not mean to confuse you all, but I wasn't referring to the nib. It is the metal part of the FP I am talking about, where there is the "split" in the middle (is there an appropriate name for that split?). I've always thought of the nib as the pointed end of a pen (where pen meets paper), and Richard C. Conner would think so too. (Incidentally, I've been using his website as my main guidance to FPs.)

 

So, when I use a tissue to touch the metal part with the split (or the "point"), the ink is quickly absorbed into the tissue.

 

Do you now think my pen is acting truly weird? :unsure:

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Don't worry about keeping it in the pencil case, with the cap on of course. As long as you don't violently shake the pencil case, it should behave. If you touch the nib, ink must come out, otherwise something is wrong. If you shake the pen hard, ink will spray everywhere, so don't do that. :D But if ink also comes out in large drops when you aren't touching the nib, and you didn't shake the pen, then something is wrong and the pen needs to be fixed.

 

Hope that was clear...

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You may need to find a pen that behaves a little more securely when carried.

What brands do you recommmend? (Should I purchase another FP in the future....)

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The split pointed metal part that you write with, IS the nib.

Oh I see the dark cloud above my head moving away.....

 

Just to be sure my Javelin is normal, when you take a tissue and touch it against the metal nib with the split, ink is absorbed into the tissue?

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Unfortunately, Mr. Conner is the only person in the world who doesn't normally refer to the entire metal piece as the nib.

:roflmho:

 

He wasn't alone.

 

Okay, so the nib is the entire metal plate.

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And no, it isn't weird. Touching anywhere on the nib slit with something absorbent, should produce massive quantities of ink.

:bunny1: :bunny1: :bunny1:

 

Thanks david! And everyone else too!

 

I'll try not to touch the nib with anything else besides paper.

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Unfortunately, Mr. Conner is the only person in the world who doesn't normally refer to the entire metal piece as the nib.

:roflmho:

 

He wasn't alone.

Apologies to both of you then. ;) :D

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Hi passenger,

 

The "nib" Mr. Conner is referring to, is called "tipping", "tipping material", or "iridium", and the latter is actually derived from what it originally was made of, namely a tiny piece of crushed iridium ore.

 

The split is simply called "slit", and the slightly bigger opening at the end of the slit, which may be round, oval, heart shaped, crescent shaped, or any other shape that fancies the nib maker, is called "breather hole" or "vent hole". It is called that because in most pens it actually is the vent hole, which allows air into the ink chamber, so that ink can keep on coming out of the pen.

 

If ony the tipping would be called "nib", I really wonder how we would have to rename a dip nib, which normally doesn't have tipping, and which existence well predates the fountain pen with a tipped nib...

 

BTW, a better site for fountain pen info would be Richard Binder's site, http://www.richardspens.com, which has amongst others an excellent glossary and a bunch of interesting articles on fountain pens.

 

HTH, warm regards, Wim

the Mad Dutchman
laugh a little, love a little, live a lot; laugh a lot, love a lot, live forever

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Visual Aid (From http://www.richardspens.com/ )

 

http://www.richardspens.com/images/ref_info/nib_primer/nib-anatomy.jpg

 

Dear passenger,

 

I know exactly how you feel :lol: There seems to be a characteristic "nib anxiety" for students of this generation who have just started using a Fountain Pen :)

 

Welcome to Fountain Pen Network and feel free to post more questions as they arise.

 

Just re-iterating what everyone else said. Everything you have described is perfectly normal fountain pen behaviour. (There are many factors related to it such as humidity, temperature, climate, ink-type). The Javelin writes well, doesnt it?

 

Relax :) Although FPs are more delicate than Ball Pens and Roller balls, they are usually built to be durable and hardworking nevertheless.

 

 

;)

Edited by kissing
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Dear Passenger,

 

I note with a wry smile your question "Should I purchase more fountain pens in future?"

 

:roflmho:

 

Now you are here, try not to :roflmho: :roflmho: :roflmho:

 

It will come....

 

Chris

Edited by Chris
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Wim -- thanks for informing me that the split is actually called the "slit," and for the link to Richard Binder's website. I have visited the website before, but somehow I found it more overwhelming than Penspotters. I should head over there the next time I'm still confused about FPs.

 

kissing -- thanks for your reassurance and for providing the nib visual! There's a lot of names for each area :blush:.

 

The Javelin does write well, but I'm afraid the ink cartridge won't last long. I bought it in the medium nib, and I have to disagree with aircraft_electrician on his/her review. IMHO the Javelin writes with a true medium nib, and not "a bit finer." It also writes wet, but the ink dries quickly (thank God). Oh, and I'll have to be careful about taking off the cap in class. It's a bit tight, and I'm afraid I'll strike someone with my fist :lol:

 

Chris -- No, it has come. I'm thinking of a Javelin with a fine nib :)

 

But I may have to look for something cheaper :(

 

To All -- This forum is one of the reasons I decided on buying my first FP! :D

 

I appreciate everyone who shares his/her FP knowledge here. And to those who show kindness to newbies like myself, thank you!

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The Javelin does write well, but I'm afraid the ink cartridge won't last long.

I recommend a Sheaffer converter for your pen to start filling your Javelin from a bottle rather than with cartridges. It is much much more economic if you bottle - fill.

 

http://www.nexternal.com/swisher/images/Sheaffer_Converter_Med.gif

 

These are not hard to use at all and are quite cheap usually. Most pen stores would have them for sale, otherwise they're easily obtained online or from Sheaffer directly (I got mine for free at Sheaffer :lol: They couldnt be bothered billing me for such a small purchase). Just plug it into your pen like a cartridge, dip the whole pen nib into the bottle of ink and suck up the ink by twisting the piston ;) (kinda like filling a syringe)

 

http://www.levimage.com/image/HelpfulHints/FtnFill/FillingConverter.gif

 

This gives you the flexibility to use any kind of ink you would like in your pen from bottles, gives a generous flush of ink in your nib (I find it that my pens write 'better' when they are piston filled rather than cartridge filled) and makes washing out your pen for a clean much easier ;)

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