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Noodler's Charlie Pen Issue



aholle

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Hi, all!

 

I recently got a Charlie Pen from Noodler's when I bought a bottle of ink, and for a while, it wrote fine, but after a couple days, it began dripping ink as I wrote. I took the pen apart, cleaned it, filled it, and tried again but I can't get it to stop. I gave it a closer look and I could see ink pool up between the feed and the nib slowly, until a small droplet fell.

 

Any advice? Could my nib and feed not be close enough to each other? I made sure to really jam them in there tightly.

 

I really enjoy the pen and I'd love to keep using it, but it is just a hassle having to constantly worry.

Pilot Metropolitan (M)

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Have you tried cleaning the pen and heat-setting it? Shouldn't have to jam feed and nib in to make any Noodler's pen work. Check out the videos on YouTube and Goulet Pens about maintaining Noodler's pens. Creaper, Ahab, Konrad, Charlie ... all are much the same. Remember, Nathan makes pens that are definitely meant to be tinkered with.

 

Best of luck,

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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Have you tried cleaning the pen and heat-setting it? Shouldn't have to jam feed and nib in to make any Noodler's pen work. Check out the videos on YouTube and Goulet Pens about maintaining Noodler's pens. Creaper, Ahab, Konrad, Charlie ... all are much the same. Remember, Nathan makes pens that are definitely meant to be tinkered with.

 

Best of luck,

Hey Randal, how do you heat set a nib? I don't have his issue, but I do have a few inexpensive pens that the nib slides in and out too easily. Would this heat setting procedure work for my nibs ? Thanx
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Heat setting can only be done with ebonite feeds. Most modern pens have a plastic feed which will be ruined if you try to heat set it.

 

Heat setting can be done by doing the following.

Remove the nib and feed from the section.

Heat up the feed until it softens but be careful not to burn it.

Reinsert the nib and feed.

Note to self: don't try to fix anything without the heat gun handy!

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Hey Randal, how do you heat set a nib? I don't have his issue, but I do have a few inexpensive pens that the nib slides in and out too easily. Would this heat setting procedure work for my nibs ? Thanx

Got the right idea. Again, works best with ebonite feeds. I don't use a flame to heat the pen, use hot water instead. There is a great video on Goulet Pens on heat-setting nibs and feeds for Noodler pens. Highly recommend viewing it before doing something that may be damaging.

 

As for whether the process will tighten any particular nib and feed, well, it may or may not. You pay your money and takes your chances.

 

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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Any advice? Could my nib and feed not be close enough to each other? I made sure to really jam them in there tightly.

 

I really enjoy the pen and I'd love to keep using it, but it is just a hassle having to constantly worry.

 

You can judge whether the feed is too far from the nib by trying to insert a normal piece of paper between the nib and feed. If it is hard to get it in, or if it grabs the paper immediately, this isn't the problem. If there's plenty of room to slide the paper between the two, then you need to heat set the nib.

 

You may benefit from some silicone grease around the barrel threads. I assume petroleum jelly on the threads will also work, if you don't have silicone grease handy.

 

Make sure the grip section isn't cracked.

 

Finally, it is an eyedropper-filled pen, after all, and one with only a thin barrel. It's going to suffer from the usual maladies of ED pens. One strategy is to keep the pen nearly full, as if it is going to flood it's probably going to do it when more than half empty.

I know my id is "mhosea", but you can call me Mike. It's an old Unix thing.

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I found mine dripped initially but deduced this was due to the air inside being squeezed after I pushed the nib & feed into the pen.

 

I solved this by unscrewing the section releasing the pressure and then screwing it back up again.

(oh and as others have said keeping a minimal amount of air in the barrel will help too)

 

 

I've had mine a week and can't praise it highly enough. Love it.

 

Best of luck :)

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I think both of these suggestions will solve my problems too! I like the pen but the dripping and filling up the cap was driving me nuts. I've seen the Goulet vid on this, so I'll watch it again and try it. I think the other part is the pen being half empty both times is the real culprit too.

So space and time are linked together. As we are looking across space, we are looking back in time. The further and further away those stars are the further back in time you are looking. Now you are seeing a star that is say six thousand years ago. Imagine somebody at that star looking at us They would be seeing us as we were six thousand years ago. Which of those two is now? - Alan Parsons Project The Time Machine - Temporalia (Paraphrased)

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Here are links to some YouTube videos that discuss heat setting Ebonite feeds. I used open flame as that's what I'm familiar with. I'm a bit worried about immersing an Ebonite pen section in hot water along with the feed unless the section is warped so badly heating the feed alone isn't enough.

Links checked: 29 Sep. 2015

1. Nathan Tardiff's Ebonite Feed Adjustment Video (Open Flame, starts at ~16:30)



2. FPR's (Kevin) Ebonite Heat Setting Video (Hot Water)



3. Brian Goulet's Heat Setting Video (Hot Water)

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Hey, Drone,

 

That's great! Glad you put the links in to the videos. And this gives newbies a chance to listen to different ways to accomplish the same end. In a later video, Nathan talks about both methods and decides that the hot water method is preferable to the open flame method. But both are good. The open flame method, IMHO, is harder on the nib section and nib and feed than the hot water method. More chance of something going wrong. Nathan also says that, at the time of the first video, he was not aware of the hot water method.

 

Best of luck,

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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  • 1 year later...
NicolausPiscator

Thank you for these helpful answers! I had the same problem and some problems more with my Noodler's pens. They are now fixed and do their writing and drawing job very well.

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  • 4 weeks later...
Honeybadgers

Noodlers pens tend to all exhibit the same sort of issues that are all fixed in the same sort of ways. The Charlie is a fabulous little pen (I have two and they're some of my favorite pens in their bizzarely beautiful, honest simplicity) but once it's below 1/3 full it's going to start burping regularly. that means keeping her topped off.

 

Also heat setting is a great idea, and setting it with the feed 4 fins showing (5 gaps showing) is the sweet spot I've found. I use my charlie every day and it never burps until it gets low on ink. Heat setting the feed can be done an infinite number of times and is definitely suggested with ANY new nib (since it's been set to the old nib)

Edited by Honeybadgers

Selling a boatload of restored, fairly rare, vintage Japanese gold nib pens, click here to see (more added as I finish restoring them)

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  • 2 years later...

Is there any way of decreasing the flow of the Charlie pen? I have MASSIVE feathering issues with both of mine (Baystate Blue) and lots of show-through with Rhodia 80gsm paper, yet my wife's Pilot Explorer (with the same Baystate Blue) behaves infinitely better. I feel as if my Charlie pens are too wet by comparison. I've tried heat-setting them, as well as the 4-fins/5-gaps setup. Have I just not heat-set it properly?

 

Thanks.

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Flow tuning is more complicated than just heating the feed and conforming it to the nib (ebonite feeds only!), though in an otherwise well set up pen this is often all that's needed to get median performance... In my experience quite a few Noodler's inks have feathering or bleed issues, though I've never used the Bay State blue, so can't comment on that one, but I'd try some different inks before deciding the pen needs extensive tuning.

 

Part of the beauty of ebonite feeds is that you can control the effective width of the feed channel by altering the shape of the feed while it's hot and pliable, you'll also want to look at the gap between the tipping of the nib, more gap creates more flow up to a point and tighter gapping will often reduce flow.

 

If you poke around the web I'm sure you can find an in-depth overview of the different techniques for flow manipulation.

 

And don't forget that with ED pens the heat of your hand can and often does cause excessive flow or blotting for a time after you start writing, with this effect being worse the colder the pen is compared to your hand... a poor seal at the section to barrel joint will also cause feed issues, so make certain that the pen is screwed together firmly and use a touch of grease to enhance the seal.

 

ED pens are fun, but have definite issues that make them higher maintenance than their simplicity might suggest. Living in a temperate cimate, I hardly ever use any of my ED pens during the colder months because of the potential blotting problems, an ED Inkograph (a stylo with no real feed regulation just a breather tube to prevent vacuum lock) can puke .25cc of ink in one go on a cold day D:

David-

 

So many restoration projects...

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inkstainedruth

Is there any way of decreasing the flow of the Charlie pen? I have MASSIVE feathering issues with both of mine (Baystate Blue) and lots of show-through with Rhodia 80gsm paper, yet my wife's Pilot Explorer (with the same Baystate Blue) behaves infinitely better. I feel as if my Charlie pens are too wet by comparison. I've tried heat-setting them, as well as the 4-fins/5-gaps setup. Have I just not heat-set it properly?

 

Thanks.

I use a Charlie for Bay State Blue. I don't fill the pen up completely with ink, but dilute it slightly with distilled water (about 20% water to 80% BSB solves the feathering issue without diluting the color and vibrancy too much). Because it DOES feather like crazy. :angry: The advantages of using a Charlie are that (1) I've got a dedicated pen, so I don't have to worry about bad interactions with other inks (I'm pretty OCD about cleaning, but I don't think even I'm OCD *enough* -- and BSB does NOT play well with any inks except the other Bay State Series inks); and (2) the clear barrel (okay, the *mostly* clear barrel, since BSB *also* stains like the dickens) makes it easy to approximate the ratio.

I think at this point I have about 5 Charlie pens, and I like them for the, um, more problematic inks (BSB, Kung Te Cheng) as well as for exotic inks like Blue Ghost.

Ruth Morrisson aka inkstainedruth

 

ETA: The other reason to dilute the ink slightly with distilled water is to make it a little drier (which I know sounds counterintuitive, but it works).

Edited by 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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Thanks for the replies. I get what you're saying, and I'm prepared to accept the limitations of eye-dropper pens, but I'd like to tinker with it as much as I can to see what can be achieved. The thing is, I'm using Baystate Blue from the exact same bottle in my wife's Pilot Explorer (F nib)--with absolutely no issues whatsoever. I don't have to dilute the Pilot Explorer, and there is no feathering. If I make a very fast line down the page with the Charlie pen, there is no feathering either on that line. However, if I write with it--which is at a slower speed than a quick line down the page--then I get feathering. When I look at the back of the paper, I see massive amounts of ghosting/show-through, which I also don't get with the Pilot Explorer. So, my initial thinking is to try to somehow reduce the ink flow of the Charlie pen. Not sure how do do that, though. Has anyone tried it?

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SlowRain, I can't find the source, but I recall somone suggesting that you can narrow the feed groove at the back end by heating it and pinching the top sides together, this will reduce ink flow by limiting the ability of the feed to exchange air back in to the barrel, varying degrees of adjustment should yield different ink flow levels... others have suggested using some sort of wax to accomplish the same thing, I'm not sure what type would work, but maybe jewelers' mold carving wax?

David-

 

So many restoration projects...

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Is there any way of decreasing the flow of the Charlie pen? I have MASSIVE feathering issues with both of mine (Baystate Blue) and lots of show-through with Rhodia 80gsm paper, yet my wife's Pilot Explorer (with the same Baystate Blue) behaves infinitely better. I feel as if my Charlie pens are too wet by comparison. I've tried heat-setting them, as well as the 4-fins/5-gaps setup. Have I just not heat-set it properly?

 

Thanks.

 

One way is to press the feed further in while keeping the nib further out. Less contact between the feed and the slit will result in a drier flow.

 

But there are limits. the charlie's feed is inherently WAY wetter.

Selling a boatload of restored, fairly rare, vintage Japanese gold nib pens, click here to see (more added as I finish restoring them)

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I tried Honeybadger's method of moving the feed further in relative to the nib, but that didn't slow it down enough. I'm considering awa54's suggestion of heating the feed and pinching the sides together. Is that something that can be done with hot water, or do I have to use a flame? If hot water works, how long do I need to soak it for? Do I just use my fingers to squeeze it, or should I be using needle-nose pliers?

 

Thanks.

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In addition, not only does my wife's Pilot Explorer (F) behave well with undiluted Baystate Blue on Rhodia paper, the Charlie pen behaves well for the first few words if I leave it for an hour or so. I'm guessing the feed and nib are drier, so the first sentence is perfect. If I could get it to always write like that, I'd be tickled (Baystate) pink. :D

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