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Vanishing Point Stops Writing...


PenandDesign
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Hi FPN,

 

I've encountered a rather unexpected problem with my Medium VP (modern) over the last few days. Sometimes, over the course of a page, the ink flow will dwindle until the pen stops writing. After retracting the nib and lightly shaking the pen a few times, it (quite literally) gushes back to life. I have Noodler's Black in the cartridge, and haven't yet heard of this ink being problematic to the VPs. I've flushed the pen in tap water for 12 hours, and filled it with MB ink, but I'm going to be needing a darker black (MB's is purplish) tomorrow onards. Any suggestions?

 

Thanks!

Pen&Design

 

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You say cartridge - is it a cartridge or the converter? I ask because I've had issue with some inks in the VP converter (twist). I've also had to floss the VP nib occasionally (I have a range of nibs from EF to M and they all require it) as well as flushing with water.

 

I've used Noodler's Dark Matter with good success and now I am using Thistler's blue black (made from powder) with good results in my VP's. I am of the opinion that ink selection is important with these pens.

May we live, not by our fears but by our hopes; not by our words but by our deeds; not by our disappointments but by our dreams.

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Hi FPN,

 

I've encountered a rather unexpected problem with my Medium VP (modern) over the last few days. Sometimes, over the course of a page, the ink flow will dwindle until the pen stops writing. After retracting the nib and lightly shaking the pen a few times, it (quite literally) gushes back to life. I have Noodler's Black in the cartridge, and haven't yet heard of this ink being problematic to the VPs. I've flushed the pen in tap water for 12 hours, and filled it with MB ink, but I'm going to be needing a darker black (MB's is purplish) tomorrow onards. Any suggestions?

 

Thanks!

Pen&Design

 

 

Sounds like something has clogged, most likely in the air exchange. First try an ultrasonic cleaner with 10% ammonia water solution followed be a good rinsing with an ear bulb. Lather-rinse-repeat

 

For black inks: Sailor Kiwa Guro or Aurora black.

Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

-Albert Einstein (1879-1955)

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Thank you for your advice Kelly/Wile :) I'm using the cartridge (and refilling it with a syringe.) And unfortunately, I don't have any access o an ultrasonic cleaner. Hmmmm...

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When I first started refilling cartridges for use in my Pilot pens, I noticed that the plastic "disc" inside the cartridge, which is is pushed out of the way when you insert it onto the feed, had dislodged and was blocking ink flow. That is the only thing I can think could be the problem. VPs are remarkable in their steady operation, in my opinion.

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When I first started refilling cartridges for use in my Pilot pens, I noticed that the plastic "disc" inside the cartridge, which is is pushed out of the way when you insert it onto the feed, had dislodged and was blocking ink flow. That is the only thing I can think could be the problem. VPs are remarkable in their steady operation, in my opinion.

 

I wonder if it is that. Hmm...I thought that maybe Noodler's Black had some particulates that could coagulate and block the feed, but I don't think many other FPN'ers have reported about problems similar to mine... I wonder what it could be...

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@penanddesign

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When I first started refilling cartridges for use in my Pilot pens, I noticed that the plastic "disc" inside the cartridge, which is is pushed out of the way when you insert it onto the feed, had dislodged and was blocking ink flow. That is the only thing I can think could be the problem. VPs are remarkable in their steady operation, in my opinion.

 

I wonder if it is that. Hmm...I thought that maybe Noodler's Black had some particulates that could coagulate and block the feed, but I don't think many other FPN'ers have reported about problems similar to mine... I wonder what it could be...

 

Have you unscrewed the barrel and looked at the cartrage when this happens? I don't use cartrages, but in my VPs with old style CON50s filled with Noodler's Black I sometimes have the same problem. Turns out that the ink was stuck at the piston end of the converter. Maybe the same thing is happening with your cartrages. Just a thought...

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The trap door on a VP does not provide quite the air tight seal that many caps do, so there is a bit of a tendency to dry out more. Some inks are more prone than others to drying out. I quit using Parker blue/black and Montblanc blue/black because they dried out in my pens.

 

But the bigger problem is the continuous use of cartridges wtihout cleaning. Even a regular fountain pen that is never cleaned or flushed when cartridges are used will quit writing. Maintenance is needed. The reason is that when you use bottled ink you in essence flush the pen. Paper fibers, dried ink and such are cleared out of the pen in the process.

 

I've had many clients send pens to me because they quit writing. I clean the pens, and when I return them suggest that they can avoid the expense if they switch to a converter and bottled ink. When I check back later, sometimes months later, to see if they have had any more problems the answer invariably is "no, not since I started to use bottled ink."

 

If you can, buy an ultrasonice. A couple of uses and you've paid for my service charge. Just avoid the units with the buttons on the lid. If you can't do that, soak over night in water and diluted ammonia, flush with clear water, and shake out the excess water.

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Thanks for all the help everyone! Maybe I will try the converter again. In other news, I shook my Noodler's Black container, and when the ink all sank to the bottom again, there was some solid particulate-like residue on bottle. Is this normal? Perhaps this has been causing the 'jams' all along...

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Is this normal?

 

For Noodlers black, yes. For ink in general, no. I have seen Noodlers black separate in the bottle.

 

 

 

Perhaps this has been causing the 'jams' all along...

 

I think it's quite possible, likely even. Try a different black in the pen, one made by a pen manufacturer, after you have cleaned the pen. My experience over 20 years or so with these pens is that they are more sensitive to the ink you use than some others.

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I switched over to a VP because I didn't want to use cartridges, I was experiencing the same problems you are (clogging, gushing, etc). Personally I would go back to the piston. If you are worried about running out of ink on the go, bring a small sample bottle with a good seal full of ink and a microfiber cloth with you so if you run out you can fill up. I try to refill every couple of days whether my pen needs it or not just to be on the safe side.

The pen is mightier than the sword. The tip of a pen can start or end wars, move resources, and change the lives of billions. Swords blush at the pen's death count.

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For Noodlers black, yes. For ink in general, no. I have seen Noodlers black separate in the bottle.

 

 

 

 

I think it's quite possible, likely even. Try a different black in the pen, one made by a pen manufacturer, after you have cleaned the pen. My experience over 20 years or so with these pens is that they are more sensitive to the ink you use than some others.

 

Thanks! I used MB Mystere Noir (is that the name?), but I found the black had too much of a light purple tinge. Any recommended inks? :)

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+1 on Aurora Black. But you still have to clean out the pen first. Rapido-Eze has worked well for me in general, but it doesn't always solve flow problems. You may have to disassemble the nib and feed to get out the particulate ink residue. I've done that with other pens, but not with the VP, as you have to have a special tool. There's another thread on FPN about that, somewhere.

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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Herbin Perle Noir has behaved admirably on my VP. It's a lovely jet black and cleans easily.

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Thanks! I used MB Mystere Noir (is that the name?), but I found the black had too much of a light purple tinge. Any recommended inks? :)

Pilot black is actually a very respectable black and flows well. If you're having trouble with the pen, I suggest a good cleaning (put the converter on and suck and expel water through the nib until the expelled water is clear) and then try a Pilot black cartridge. Simplify the situation until you've got the pen working well ... then move on to other inks if you like.

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I second Perle Noir but don't get the 30mL bottle try and get the 100mL one cause the breather hole is kinda far up on the VP nib and the J. Herbin 30mL bottle is really tiny and is hard to draw up once the ink level gets low.

 

Also If you like cartridges you could just buy a converter and use it for cleaning but personally I'll always go with a converter over a cartridge also I've heard people say the Con-20 holds a little more ink than the Con-50 but I can't confirm this cause I only have Con-50's which I like cause you can tell how much ink you have left but you really can't with the VP since the nib housing blocks 95% of the converter so you might be better off with the Con-20.

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