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Inky T O D - Are Iron Gall Inks Really That Special? How Much Tlc Do They Need?



amberleadavis

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amberleadavis

Okay, I admit, I love ink.

Well, that wasn't much of a revelation.

 

I have tried a few IG inks.

 

Watching ink dry should not be cool, but with IG inks it is really nifty.

 

BUT

 

We all hear about how much more work they are --- as in more Tedious on the Tedium Tolerance Test.

 

So, those of you who use IG inks -- tell us, what do you love about them? Why are they so cool? Do they really need that much TLC?

 

Amber

 

PS - I know when I finish reading all the cool posts, I'll be adding IG inks to my regular line up. :)

Fountain pens are my preferred COLOR DELIVERY SYSTEM (in part because crayons melt in Las Vegas).



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Randal6393

Love the variability of IG inks, the sharp hairlines and the graduation of colors in the final product. Great for work that needs an "older-than-dirt" look about it. In the proper pen, IG inks write reasonably well, without a great lot of drag. Although an IG ink may never have the smooth, lubricated feel of a pen with something like Noodler's Black in it. But, then, Noodler's Black will never have the look of the centuries about it that IG inks do.

 

One of my favorite pieces is in the Billy Graham library in Charlotte. It is Ruth Graham's personal copy of her wedding invitation. Written in an iron gall ink, by fountain pen, the invitation stands for many generations of writers. Very classic, very cool because of that.

 

My favorite fountain-pen IG is Chesterfield Archival Vault, a repackaged Diamine's Registrar Ink. Favorite dip-pen IG is Old World Iron Gall Ink. Both are very smooth inks, with excellent character.

 

As far as being difficult inks, well, I don't really find them so. But, iron gall is a bit harder to write with than other inks and might require flushing a bit more frequently. But when I only flush a pen once a year or so, well, guess nine months isn't bad.

 

Enjoy,

Yours,
Randal

From a person's actions, we may infer attitudes, beliefs, --- and values. We do not know these characteristics outright. The human dichotomies of trust and distrust, honor and duplicity, love and hate --- all depend on internal states we cannot directly experience. Isn't this what adds zest to our life?

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inkstainedruth

My experience with the traditional blue-black Iron galls have been somewhat hit or miss. Most of the ones I've tried oxidized to more of a washy blue-grey. OTOH, I've really rather liked the "fancy color" IG inks that were made by FPN member Pharmacist, especially Turkish Night, which goes from cyan to dark green in less than a minute.

I put them in some of my wetter writing Parker Vectors -- which as c/c pens, are easier to flush out. But other than remembering to do a vinegar solution and extra distilled water rinse before doing an ammonia solution flush, there's not that much more work than flushing a regular ink.

Ruth Morrisson aka inkstainedruth

"It's very nice, but frankly, when I signed that list for a P-51, what I had in mind was a fountain pen."

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Runnin_Ute

Seriously considering trying a couple IG's - Scabiosa, Salix, and Diamine Registrars

Brad

"Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind" - Rudyard Kipling
"None of us can have as many virtues as the fountain-pen, or half its cussedness; but we can try." - Mark Twain

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They are a lot of fun, but so are other inks, and they do solidify in your feed even with regular use (I have a clear Wearever pen and could see the buildup, no amount of flushing has made a difference but the pen still works so that's OK), I think they're great but should definitely be used in a pen that can be disassembled and the feed physically scrubbed instead of having to rely on water pressure.

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I am at the forefront of efforts to dispel false and misleading information about this wonderful ink. Like a Ford pickup or a AK 47, this ink just works. It boast no fancy additives, garish over saturated colors or perceived assumptions of longevity. It's been in use for centuries. Verses and images produced with iron gall ink have outlasted nations and its citizens. It's waterproof nature has been a desirable quality since humans began to write. And IG ink works on any paper with very minimal or no feathering. This ink says to me "don't worry, I can do it".

 

As far as being tedious to use and maintain, If you can't stop to flush your pen at least once every 3 months, then the problem may not be the ink. And they flush clean quickly. I often wonder about those people who bemoan flushing iron gall ink and then don't say anything about what a pain in the 4$$ it is to clear a pen of say Diamines Red Dragon (a ink I dearly love) or Saragossa Sea.

 

My experience with Iron Gall inks have been uneventful and many of my best pens have slurped slugs 'o Iron gall without incident. As with any ink, use with caution when it becomes quite old. In other words, don't suck no sludge, iron or pigment.

 

Iron gall ink is akin to the favored old war horses; the P 51 Parker and Mustang (but to me even more akin to the Curtis P 40 Warhawk). It is Imminently useful, reliability, and is chemically simple; then coupled with its position in history ennobles this ink to a real and subjective standard very few inks can ever approach.

Edited by RudyR

What Would The Flying Spaghetti Monster Do?

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Waski_the_Squirrel

The only ones I've tried came in a Goulet Pens' Ink Drop. They weren't particularly special to me. Maybe it was the specific ones?

Proud resident of the least visited state in the nation!

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I have several IG's. I've not had a significant problem with them but I also am a little choosey about which pen I use. None of my snorkels or PFM's get IG. But most of my cartidge converters are fair game. Current favorite combo is a Sailor 1911 with ESSRI.

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I use IG in the three pens I have: Vista, Ahab, Konrad. No special care. I don't even write that much. I flush only when the color gets noticeably darker. Leave it sitting around, and you'll notice that the color darkens over time. A light color when freshly filled, dark when near empty. But if it's still dark from a fresh fill, that's when I flush (once I use up the ink, of course).

 

My favorite is the now discontinued Montblanc Midnight Blue. Smooth, dark. Still have a mostly full bottle.

 

Lamy Blue-Black (old IG formula) - too washed out. didn't like it.

 

Mainstay is Chesterfield Archival Vault (aka Diamine registrar) - This had the most striking color change from a light blue to a dark grey. I bought 3 bottles on sale. Transfer the ink into a glass bottle!!! I left my CAV in the nalgenes and they oxidized on all the plastic surfaces. Very noticeable sludge, and iron powder when I transferred it out.

 

The IG inks don't work as well in my Lamy. It's a dry writer. Not enough saturation for me. I prefer my Ahab and Konrad. They lay a nice wet line that dries to a dark black with shading.

Eventually I'll have to get some ESSRI. Not sure I'm interested in the K&R.

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I'm surprised that nobody has mentioned using IG inks in a Parker 45. Might the ability to disassemble the pen and strip the nib down easily help if there's a risk of clogging?

 

Any experience, especially with R+K IG inks?

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The Good Captain

I love Salix and have it in an Onoto all the time; flushing out about every three fills. ESSRI is in a CS Montague and that gets a flush every couple of fills and I gave it a vinegar rinse today as well. The CS nibs are easy to 'take apart' for a good wipe, without any problems too. As I don't plan to use anything else in that pen, I don't see any forthcoming issues.

I've the old M Midnight Blue in a Pelikan M400 and Lamy B-B in an M600 and there aren't any problems. Just a good flush every few fills.

I do like the colour changes, with ESSRI being the most striking especially on coated papers. Also toying with idea of cutting the Salix with the R&K Konigsblau or the Scabiosa with their Permanent Blue. R&K say there aren't any problems with this. We'll see.

Edited by The Good Captain

The Good Captain

"Meddler's 'Salamander' - almost as good as the real thing!"

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ethernautrix

I haven't read the replies, but this makes me want to video-record writing with KWZ iron-gall turquoise. It starts as a light, pretty color and quickly becomes a dark, lovely color. I have a bunch of other things I have to do, but I'll add this to the list.

_________________

etherX in To Miasto

Fleekair <--French accent.

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I haven't read the replies, but this makes me want to video-record writing with KWZ iron-gall turquoise. It starts as a light, pretty color and quickly becomes a dark, lovely color. I have a bunch of other things I have to do, but I'll add this to the list.

 

Would love to see this, as that ink in particular has my interest. :puddle:

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I think modern IG inks should be fairly well be balanced in terms of cleanibility and TLC but again it doesnt hurt to actually have a healthy practice of flushing the pens every now and then but of course not often should you flush your pen but eh... I'm not sure about vintage IG inks though... do people still use 100 year old IG inks on their modern day FPs? I do know that MB and Lamy has already removed the IG quality in their Blue Blacks

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i am not sure if my 1990 montblanc mystery black is a IG?

 

when did they stop putting IG in mystery blacks?

'The Yo-Yo maneuver is very difficult to explain. It was first perfected by the well-known Chinese fighter pilot Yo-Yo Noritake. He also found it difficult to explain, being quite devoid of English.

So we left it at that. He showed us the maneuver after a sort. B*****d stole my kill.'

-Squadron Leader K. G. Holland, RAF. WWII China.

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If I recall correctly there was a thread a while back, a year or two maybe a bit more, that set out to document the effects of IG in a pen that was purposely not cared for. I don't recall how or if it came out but I suspect the experiment simply fizzled out and was inconclusive. Today's IG inks are pretty benign compared to those of yesteryear so I can imagine it would take a pretty long time for it to do a noticeable job on a nib/feed/pen.

"What? What's that? WHAT?!!! SPEAK UP, I CAN'T HEAR YOU!!" - Ludwig van Beethoven.

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Seriously considering trying a couple IG's - Scabiosa, Salix, and Diamine Registrars

 

I just ordered a bottle of Scabiosa last week. It should arrive on Monday. Looking forward to trying it out as this will be my very first IG ink.

 

The IG inks don't work as well in my Lamy. It's a dry writer. Not enough saturation for me. I prefer my Ahab and Konrad. They lay a nice wet line that dries to a dark black with shading.

 

 

Oh. I was planning to try out the Scabiosa in a "disposable" Lamy Safari since I get the impression (from reading old forum posts) that IG inks are high maintenance. Maybe I'll wait until I use up the ink in my "wetter" Safari to see if that helps. I don't know if it is the ink in that particular pen, but one of my Safaris (F) with Liberty's Elysium writes A LOT wetter than my other Safari (F) with Akkerman Simplistes Violet.

Everyone should be respected as an individual, but no one idolized. -- Albert Einstein

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Really special: certainly.

 

Each iron gall ink I have tried has real 'character'. Principally this consists of quite dramatic shading. Salix requires a really wet nib to perform at its best. Scabiosa has enormous personality but like most soups is better the next day. ESSR is simply superb, dark, dramatic in its shading and very distinct in appearance.

 

The cleaning regime is essential and while one might neglect this with ordinary ink, one cannot and must not with iron gall inks. I don't mind it at all since it ensures that the pen is cleaned properly.

Edited by setriode
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  • 10 months later...

Considering the emergence of KWZI inks and the 5x+ increase in IG ink selection, think it's time to bring this thread back. How has everyone been using and enjoying the KWZI and other IG inks over the past year? I've treated mine the same as every other ink, flushing it out after use and that's it. Ink will be in one of my pens an average of a month or two and I haven't had any problems so far.

http://i1016.photobucket.com/albums/af283/Runnin_Ute/fpn_1424623518__super_pinks-bottle%20resized_zps9ihtoixe.png

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