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India Ink In A Fountain Pen


BevanNZL
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Hi Everyone,

 

I recently purchased some black india ink for dip nibs. I love it, but the dip nibs not so much.

 

Since I really like how it looks I was wondering if I could put it into a fountain pen. I know if I left it there it would likely cause problems, but I was wondering if anyone else has done this and gotten away with it?

 

If so, any tricks anyone can share? such as how to clean it out of the pen? would it dissolve in alcohol ect?

 

If not does anyone know a safe black ink that has that nice shine?

 

Also, I have a pen I would be willing to sacrifice to experimentation.

 

Cheers,

Bevan

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NO!"!!!!

 

At least if you value your pens at all.

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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Well, it is totally up to you if you want to experiment, but make sure that you use a pen that you don't mind throwing away as you probably won't be using it for long and won't be able to clean it. India ink contains carbon particles, which is bad enough and will quickly clog up the fins on a fountain pen feed, but also contains some sort of binder - possibly shellac - which obviously will cause even more damage to the entire fill system.

 

There are many black inks to choose from that are made specifically for fountain pens; I would recommend that you check out reviews here and elsewhere. I don't use black inks - not too fond of black pens, either - but many people swear by Aurora Black. You can also compare swab samples of black inks on Goulet Pens: http://www.gouletpens.com/Swab_Shop_Black_s/815.htm

 

Holly

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Use your India inks with your dip pens. Use only fountain pen inks with fountain pen ink. There are no means to get away with using India inks in your fountain pens. There are no tricks. Dont be stupid and mix your fountain pens and India ink.

Edited by Wolverine1
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As far as I can remember, that's the one thing that every pen person has always very strongly advised against.

 

I personally like to try various things, especially on cheap pens, nib tuning, grinding tweaking, dis-assembling.

 

But I've been too chicken to try india ink in any of my pens.

 

India Ink contains carbon particles and Shellac and I would be very very reluctant to put my pens anywhere near that ink.

 

I would recommend finding a fountain pen ink in the vast universe of ink-o-sphere that closely resembles the effect you're looking for.

 

If you like really black blacks you might want to get a sampling of Noodler's Black or Noodler's X-Feather (a popular ink for calligraphers).

 

There's a pigmented ink with nano particles from Sailor called Sailor Kiwa-Guro. It has a soft matte finish but it has a bit of a shine.

 

If you like inks with special effects, you might want to sample J. Herbin 1670 Stormy Grey. It's a grey ink with gold particles in it.

 

Both Stormy Grey and Kiwa-Guro come with a surgeon-general warning label on the box that says something like "thou shalt not leave this ink in your pen for long durations, lest your pen becomes hopefully clogged".

 

I've yet to find a straight black ink with a reddish sheen. I experience it slightly off-and-on with my Aurora Black but it's so illusive. Only do I see it in my pen after some period of hibernation.

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Fountain pen ink ONLY in fountain pens.

 

India ink is beautiful stuff. I like the rich texture and the sheen. That's lacquer. It will clog.

 

Have some fun on Ebay. I just won two Jinhao 599 pens for $1.50 and $1.52, free shipping.

Try to pick up one of those. Label it accordingly, and ruin it with India ink. Use what you

use for cleaning dip pen nibs. It is likely harsh, and will ruin the pen, as well. Enjoy.

Auf freiem Grund mit freiem Volke stehn.
Zum Augenblicke dürft ich sagen:
Verweile doch, du bist so schön !

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I recently spent a week cleaning India Ink out of a Montblanc 146. Lots of soaking in koh-i-nor rapidoeze, rinsing, cleaning then more soaking with the entire pen disassembled.

 

The feed was the trickiest as it required flossing of each fin of the feed. Why anyone would do that to a pen, I have no idea.

TWSBI 530/540/580/Mini, Montblanc 146, Pelikan M800, Tomoe River paper, Noodlers inks ... "these are a few of my favorite things"

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It isn't a good idea. India ink will clog your pen and can really reek havoc by clogging up the feed of your pen. That said there are plenty of very cheap fountain pens that you could clog up and not fret too much. The Hero 616 might be an interesting option since it has a hooded nib which might help from a clogging standpoint. Jinhao also makes some very cheap pens.

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You might consider Pelikan Fount India as a fountain pen ink formulated to behave similarly to Indian ink, or Sailor Kiwa Guro / Platinum Carbon Black for carbon based fountain pen inks.

For small creatures such as we the vastness is bearable only through love. -Carl Sagan

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A few weeks ago, I bought a pen off ebay. Beauty! Except it was completely clogged when i got it. I'm up to 3 weeks of soaking in amnonia & water/ultrasound/Koh-i-noor cleaner/ guitar wire. I finally got some flow through the feed, and now I'm scribbling with 50%Dawn dishwashing liquid & 50% Skrip black in hoping of clearing some of the fins (seems to be working)--this pen is not an easy one to take apart.

 

India ink is a bad, bad thing.

Much Love--Virginia

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Hi everyone, the consensus seems to be that this experiment has been tried and failed already. thanks for your input.

 

Just to be clear, I was never going to put it into a pen I really like, I was only going to use a super cheap disposable pen. not one that I wanted to keep using, or one that I would ever sell on to others!

 

I just wanted to find a way to use india ink, without dip nibs, which I didn't like the feel of.

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Hi everyone, the consensus seems to be that this experiment has been tried and failed already. thanks for your input.

 

Just to be clear, I was never going to put it into a pen I really like, I was only going to use a super cheap disposable pen. not one that I wanted to keep using, or one that I would ever sell on to others!

 

I just wanted to find a way to use india ink, without dip nibs, which I didn't like the feel of.

 

There are a lot of different dip pen nibs available, Bevan; perhaps you should experiment a bit with trying different nibs to see if you can find the type that feels right to you - some of them are very sharp and tend to catch on the paper, but there are types called ball, or bulb, or spoon that make for smoother writing. You may already have tried different nibs and still don't like them, but, just in case, here is a Basic Guide to Using Dip Pens, which has lots of info about the various types of nibs available, and a thread I started back in 2012 when I was curious about dip pens, Best Vintage Dip Pen Nibs, which you may find helpful.

 

If you find the type of dip pen nib that you like to write with, you can then continue to use the India ink that you like, and still have your fountain pens for use with the myriads of fountain pen ink choices that we have. Best of both worlds!

 

Holly

Edited by OakIris
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Thanks Holly!

 

I didn't know you can get dip nibs with the rounded tipping material such as most fountain pen nibs have, they were all too sharp that I have tried, and causd catching, I think this may solve most of what I did not like about dip pens. also, they sometimes pinched up tiny threads from the paper, and then made a huge mess, throwing blobs of ink out all at once. do you know how to avoid this?

 

I will test some other dip nibs, and see how that goes.

 

Thanks for the links, that is very helpful!.

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I don't believe that any dip pen nibs have tipping material; they are just shaped differently to give a more rounded/smooth tip to the nib.

 

I have a lot to learn about using dip pens so I am not anywhere close to being an expert or even good at it, but I should think that the nib catching on the paper and splattering ink all over is because you are using a nib that is too fine and sharp for your current skill level, at least so I would think. There are experts that can use these nibs easily and without these problems; I, however, need "beginner" nibs for everyday writing, such as the ball/spoon/bulb nibs. A friend sent me a couple of nibs to try (which I haven't done as yet :blush: ) that he said would be great for beginners - an Eagle Pencil Co. Bulb Point and a Spencerian Subway Stub. I need to get my butt in gear and write him a letter with these nibs - the result probably won't look pretty but I am looking forward to giving them a try, and I do owe him a letter or two!

 

Good luck with finding the nib/nibs that suit you best. At least the research will be fun!

 

(I see you live in Colorado Springs. Did you make it to the first ever Colorado Pen Show which was held here in Denver in mid-October? We also have a thriving Colorado Pen Posse; perhaps you can make it to one of our meetings. :) )

 

Holly

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