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Determining Ink Level In Lamy 2000 When Holding Pen Vertically.


Fozziebear
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Hi all,

 

I recently got a Lamy 2000 with EF nib. Although not love at first write, it's growing on me quite nicely and I think it'll be a keeper.

 

One of the trade-offs to the gorgeous design (for those who like this particular style) is a rather opaque and narrow ink window. It's possible to determine the ink level if you hold the pen horizontally, wait a few moments for the ink to settle, hold it up to a bright light and squint sideways. But if all of these things don't (or can't) happen it's a bit hit or miss. I have a slight tremor making it difficult to hold the pen steady enough when in the horizontal position for this method to work for me. So I wanted to try a different way to approach to check the ink level.

 

A few folks have discussed that you can use the ink window as a simple "yes/no" way to determine whether it's time to refill. I wanted a way to find a way to get a better idea of determining the actual quantity of remaining ink but still check the ink window while holding the pen vertically. Here's what I've found out. There's some math, here, but it should make sense:

 

 

Materials:

Lamy 2000 with EF nib.

Iroshizuku Take-sumi

2 ink vials

bright-ish indoor light.

 

Methods:

  • Emptied the pen of remaining ink (not sure how much was there).
  • Filled pen full with ink, cleaned outside of pen.
  • Turned pen nib down and started to expel ink into empty vial, counting the drops as I did.
  • Mind has a capacity of about 1.4 - 1.5 ml which comes to about 35 drops. 35/1.5 = 23 drops/ml. Size of drops may vary depending on nib size.
  • In 5 drop intervals, I stopped and then sucked in air while screwing the blind cap flush to the pen.
  • Initially turned the pen nib up (then down) and waited about a minute. The ink I used slides off the slides of the barrel relatively cleanly.
  • Held the pen up to the light and squinted.
  • Ran experiment twice to confirm results.

 

Results:

  • @ 5 drops expelled & nib up = no light through middle of ink-window.
  • @ 10 drops & nib up = a sliver of light through ink-window at the top edge of the window.
  • @ 15 drops & nib up = entire window clear/positive for light transmission
  • @ 15 drops & nib down = no light through ink-window
  • @ 20 drops & nib down = no light through ink-window
  • @ 25 drops & nib down = ink window clear/positive for light transmission
  • @ 35 drops - pen empty except what's remaining in nib and feed.

 

Conclusions:

  • nib up and no light transmission, at least (approx.) 0.8 ml remaining.
  • nib up and full light transmission, but nib down and no light transmission = (approx.) 0.4-0.8 ml remaining.
  • nib down and full light transmission = less than (approx.) 0.4 ml remaining.

Final thoughts:

 

  • I didn't show all of my math, but the "ml. remaining" measurements should work regardless of nib size/drop size.
  • While not a "perfect" way to determine how much ink is left, it should work for most people in most situations and give a fairly accurate measure of how much ink is remaining.
  • You still need to wait a minute for the ink to settle, but not having the steadiest hand shouldn't make a significant difference.
    • This method might or might not work for inks that "stick" to the walls of ink vials, etc. for a while. You will probably have to give more time for the ink to "settle".
  • It's pretty darn obvious if light is coming through the middle of the ink window, so there's much less guess work (and squinting) necessary.
  • 0.8 + 0.4 doesn't add up to 1.4 or 1.5 because I only checked at 5 drop intervals. I'm sure someone could figure it out with a bit more accuracy, but I think it's "close enough"
  • If I have the time and proper equipment, I will try to add photos or illustrations.

I hope others find this helpful. I would like to hear other people's thoughts and insights. I was unable to find this information elsewhere. If this is addressed in another thread, I'd love to know about that, too. Thanks much.

 

Cheers.

Edited by Fozziebear

My ink-swap post(s) become out of date eventually. My signature is always current. If you want to swap some ink, here's what I have: Diamine: Ancient Copper, Oxblood, Poppy Red, Red Dragon, Sherwood Green; Iroshizuku: Kon-peki, Ku-jaku, Take-sumi; Noodlers: 54th Mass, BSB, Purple Martin, X-Feather, Widow Maker; Private Reserve: Blue Suede. I'm partial to highly saturated inks, but am open to suggestions. PM if interested.

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Very useful. Thank you for sharing after taking the trouble to work it out so clearly. I also like that you showed your thinking behind it. Let's hear it for the pen nerds!

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Awe, shucks. A pen nerd? I'm beaming with pride. :blush:

@Gary, I think the conversion is 1 metric drop = 0.6359826… English drops. However, if you're going to do the conversion accurately, you also have to figure in the 1.32 correction factor. :lol:

Edited by Fozziebear

My ink-swap post(s) become out of date eventually. My signature is always current. If you want to swap some ink, here's what I have: Diamine: Ancient Copper, Oxblood, Poppy Red, Red Dragon, Sherwood Green; Iroshizuku: Kon-peki, Ku-jaku, Take-sumi; Noodlers: 54th Mass, BSB, Purple Martin, X-Feather, Widow Maker; Private Reserve: Blue Suede. I'm partial to highly saturated inks, but am open to suggestions. PM if interested.

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Well, I've always used a similar if slightly less scientific method: (1) hold pen nib up, see if it is full; (2) hold pen nib down, see if it is empty; (3) don't bother trying to hold it exactly level, peaople are already looking at me funny ;)

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  • 7 months later...

Ever pleasing read something like this...what a forum....

Don't worry about the slight "off" you mentioned, the feed in an 2000 holds quite

a bit of ink, and you can not emty it out with an piston stroke alone

Edited by scratchofapen
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Old post but what a great tip, thank you. Lamy 2000s are generally wonderful pens, however determining ink left from that tiny slit is a hard exercise.

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Very interesting! I missed this post the first time around, glad someone bumped it up. :)

 

I'm on my phone right now. Does anyone have a trick for saving this thread so I can find it when I return to my computer?

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

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Very interesting! I missed this post the first time around, glad someone bumped it up. :)

 

I'm on my phone right now. Does anyone have a trick for saving this thread so I can find it when I return to my computer?

 

Get Your Lamy 2000.....check the ink level....... get some paper, write the info for the post down....put pen away and paper in your pocket...... empty pockets before you do your laundry :lol:

http://img356.imageshack.us/img356/8703/letterminizk9.png http://img356.imageshack.us/img356/7260/postminipo0.png

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What I tend to do with mine is... if it doesn't write anymore it needs ink, and if I know I will be away from my ink for a little while I fill it before I go. :)

Nature is the one song of praise that never stops singing. - Richard Rohr

Poets don't draw. They unravel their handwriting and then tie it up again, but differently. - Jean Cocteau

Ο Θεός μ 'αγαπάς

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Awe, shucks. A pen nerd? I'm beaming with pride. :blush:

 

@Gary, I think the conversion is 1 metric drop = 0.6359826… English drops. However, if you're going to do the conversion accurately, you also have to figure in the 1.32 correction factor. :lol:

Please specify altitude and pressure for this nerd. Drops are larger at higher elevations.

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

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Get Your Lamy 2000.....check the ink level....... get some paper, write the info for the post down....put pen away and paper in your pocket...... empty pockets before you do your laundry :lol:

 

LOL :lol: Now that I'm at my computer, I've saved the info in Evernote so I can refer to it when I'm out and about. It's been forever since I last refilled my Lamy 2000, I think it has a bottomless piston.

 

No worries about leaving pens in my pocket. They live in pen sleeves, rolls, or pencil cases. My Lamy 2000 is an EDC which lives in a 2-pen sleeve in my purse.

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

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  • 2 weeks later...

Please specify altitude and pressure for this nerd. Drops are larger at higher elevations.

Indeed.

 

All kidding aside, I think you're actually correct. At very high elevations (30,000 feet and above), would a drop of water appear larger than the same drop of water at sea level, assuming equivalent mass? Also, presumably it's colder at the higher elevations, increasing the possibility of freezing which would increase the size (and phase) of the drop.

 

Ha! You didn't expect a real response, did you?

 

Of course, this only what I'm recalling from basic physics. It sort of makes sense but I could be completely and utterly wrong (and by wrong, I mean incorrect about this point ... I'm wrong about all sorts of other things but that's a whole other post).

 

Cheers!

Edited by Fozziebear

My ink-swap post(s) become out of date eventually. My signature is always current. If you want to swap some ink, here's what I have: Diamine: Ancient Copper, Oxblood, Poppy Red, Red Dragon, Sherwood Green; Iroshizuku: Kon-peki, Ku-jaku, Take-sumi; Noodlers: 54th Mass, BSB, Purple Martin, X-Feather, Widow Maker; Private Reserve: Blue Suede. I'm partial to highly saturated inks, but am open to suggestions. PM if interested.

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LOL :lol: Now that I'm at my computer, I've saved the info in Evernote so I can refer to it when I'm out and about. It's been forever since I last refilled my Lamy 2000, I think it has a bottomless piston.

 

No worries about leaving pens in my pocket. They live in pen sleeves, rolls, or pencil cases. My Lamy 2000 is an EDC which lives in a 2-pen sleeve in my purse.

 

One of the reasons I'm fond of my L2K as an EDC is that when it gets scuffed up, how can you tell? Or is it a reverse effect and suddenly the pen is smooth and shiny?

 

Although perhaps I could get a decent carrying case for my pen. That way I could wear it next to my heart.

 

On my sleeve.

 

Sorry, I couldn't resist. Well, I could but what would be the fun in that? :lticaptd:

 

On a separate note, I'm heartened by the resurrection of this thread. :D

My ink-swap post(s) become out of date eventually. My signature is always current. If you want to swap some ink, here's what I have: Diamine: Ancient Copper, Oxblood, Poppy Red, Red Dragon, Sherwood Green; Iroshizuku: Kon-peki, Ku-jaku, Take-sumi; Noodlers: 54th Mass, BSB, Purple Martin, X-Feather, Widow Maker; Private Reserve: Blue Suede. I'm partial to highly saturated inks, but am open to suggestions. PM if interested.

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  • 1 month later...

Thanks for this great info Fozziebear.

 

I'm using this method now to determine how much ink I have left on my L2K. :)

 

Cheers

Edited by bemed
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