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Attack Of The Nib Eater



tony1000

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by Tony Thomas

I was going through some of my infrequently used pens and found a Wality eyedropper with a Knox nib that I had filled with Rohrer and Kligner Scabiosa ink quite a while ago. Some of the ink had evaporated so I decided to clean out the pen. As it should be expected, it took a quite a bit of effort to clean out a pen containing iron gall ink.

When I attempted to remove the nib and feed from the section, I noticed that it was stuck. After applying a bit of elbow-grease, I was able to dislodge them. I was not surprised to see that the steel nib was pitted and corroded due to prolonged contact with the ink.

What did surprise me is that, upon closer examination with a loupe, the ink had actually eaten a hole in the nib!

As a result, I would advise everyone to use any iron gall ink with extreme caution in any pen with steel nib. In my case, I only use iron gall inks in inexpensive pens with easily replaceable nibs. In the future, I will not leave iron gall inks in any of my pens for more than a few days.

 

You have been warned!

 

Full article with pics:

 

http://thefrugalfountainpen.blogspot.com/2015/12/attack-of-nib-eater.html

Edited by tony1000

Tony Thomas

Author of "The Fountain Pen Book" on Amazon.com.

Editor of the Frugal Fountain Pen Blog:

http://thefrugalfountainpen.blogspot.com/

Twitter: @FrugalFP

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I've always avoided R&K inks because they're in the calligraphy section at the arts supplies store while the Herbin inks are in the inks section.

 

Is my paranoia warranted?

>8[ This is a grumpy. Get it? Grumpy smiley? Huehue >8[

 

I tend to ramble and write wallotexts. I do that.

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This thread reminds me of that time I left some dip nibs to soak (I know, I was young) and came back to find them dissolved in brown water. :blush:

>8[ This is a grumpy. Get it? Grumpy smiley? Huehue >8[

 

I tend to ramble and write wallotexts. I do that.

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How long was the ink in the pen? I have used Scabiosa consistently for months in a pen with a gold-plated steel nib. I have had no trouble flushing the ink out of the pen, and there has been no damage to the nib.

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Several months at least...I think it may have to do with the amount, type and quality of the plating. I doubt that Knox nibs are plated that heavily due to their low price.

Edited by tony1000

Tony Thomas

Author of "The Fountain Pen Book" on Amazon.com.

Editor of the Frugal Fountain Pen Blog:

http://thefrugalfountainpen.blogspot.com/

Twitter: @FrugalFP

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amberleadavis

Bummer. I'm sorry to hear this.

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



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Despite the fact that leaving iron-gall dry out in a pen for several months is a mistake, it really concerns me. I only use my I-G in Lamy pens because I can replace the nib easily. Maybe I'll use my gols nibbed one solely for them (and buy me a pair of R&K steel eaters!). Thanks for sharing.

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Love the flow and smoothness of both R & K Salix and Scabiosa. The inks write well and are a good addition to the ink box. An outstanding pair of inks that have good waterproof properties. And, yes, they are iron-gall, so definitely are somewhat corrosive.

 

Agree that they should be reserved for use in pens that are easily cleaned. Use mine in Nemosines and Ahabs and Konrads. All pens that take No. 6 nibs and are easily dismantled for cleaning. Find that Nemosine, Knox, and JoWo nibs work well. And I clean those pens often.

 

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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Despite the fact that leaving iron-gall dry out in a pen for several months is a mistake, it really concerns me. I only use my I-G in Lamy pens because I can replace the nib easily. Maybe I'll use my gols nibbed one solely for them (and buy me a pair of R&K steel eaters!). Thanks for sharing.

 

I think it is a really good idea to reserve an inexpensive pen for iron gall inks like I did. I buy #5 nibs for less than $10 and that is small price to pay if it gets ruined (like mine did).

Tony Thomas

Author of "The Fountain Pen Book" on Amazon.com.

Editor of the Frugal Fountain Pen Blog:

http://thefrugalfountainpen.blogspot.com/

Twitter: @FrugalFP

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i'm currently using Scabiosa in a Noodler's Konrad, and due to my slow writing habits, one fill can last me a month or more fairly easily. (i don't let it dry out, however. as my journalling pen, i do use it at least once a week or so, more often daily.) next time it runs empty, i'll pull the nib and feed and see what it looks like.

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I think it's because the metal used on the nib is "cheap" or at least not mean for Iron-gall because Iron-gall hates brass <_< >_> maybe the gold plate was used with brass but I can't say for sure change the nib into say something like from Bock or JoWo

or a pure non plated stainless one then check again if it doesnt happen then I have feeling it's because of the plating reacting with the ink which I find weird

Edited by Algester
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Keep in mind that all inks have the potential to be corrosive, eat away at plastics, clog or stain fountain pens. Iron galls work quicker in its destruction, but that can be easily avoided.

Fountain pen hygiene is important, but oft overlooked. Make sure to only use pens and inks that you know you'll actually use and flush out the pens you've not used for a few weeks. A clean pen is a happy pen and, by default, owners of such shall remain happy as well.

Thank you for posting this. There are still many fountain pen users that are unaware of what inks can do to a pen, so these regular warnings are useful to many.

Ink, a drug.

― Vladimir Nabokov, Bend Sinister

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Abner C. Kemp

I tend to put my IG inks in Lamy Safari/AlStar/Vista pens as I can purchase a replacement nib for ~$12. Eye dropper and a knox nib is also an excellent idea.

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Hey, Abner,

 

A few years back, Lamy feeds were softening, allegedly from the effects of Noodler inks. Since nibs on the Safari/AlStars have hard ridges that hold the nibs on, the softening resulted in damage to the pen and loss of the nib. Lamy changed the feed material and I have not heard any more about this problem.

 

So my question to you, do you see any softening of the feeds from exposure to iron-gall fountain pen inks? I don't use too many Lamy pens, so don't know how well they hold up these days.

 

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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amberleadavis

Hey, Abner,

 

A few years back, Lamy feeds were softening, allegedly from the effects of Noodler inks. Since nibs on the Safari/AlStars have hard ridges that hold the nibs on, the softening resulted in damage to the pen and loss of the nib. Lamy changed the feed material and I have not heard any more about this problem.

 

 

Enjoy,

 

 

I didn't know that they changed them. I lost several Lamys to the hard ridges breaking. Thank you for sharing.

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



Want to get a special letter / gift from me, then create a Ghostly Avatar



Ink comparisons: The Great PPS Comparison 366 Inks in 2016



Check out inks sorted by color: Blue Purple Brown Red Green Dark Green Orange Black Pinks Yellows Blue-Blacks Grey/Gray UVInks Turquoise/Teal MURKY

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I think it is a really good idea to reserve an inexpensive pen for iron gall inks like I did. I buy #5 nibs for less than $10 and that is small price to pay if it gets ruined (like mine did).

The other way to go with iron-gall inks is to use them exclusively in pens that are only made of resin & that have gold nibs. I have Franklin-Christoph model 03 that I reserve only for my iron gall inks, at the moment filled with R&K Scabiosa. This pen is entirely machined from acrylic resin & has a gold Jowo nib.

 

If pens filled with ferrogallic ink are not allowed to dry out & they are regularly flushed out, there is little to worry about. After using a stainless steel JoWo nib with iron-gall inks for a couple of years, there were no ill effects to either nib or pen.

 

I think it is false economy to just use an inexpensive FP for iron-gall inks. My F-C pen may be expensive to some folk, but even with its gold nib, this pen is far less expensive than many of the pens discussed on FPN.

Occasionally I'll use Iron gall ink in my lower priced Sailor 1911 Standards that have plated metal furniture & 14K nibs.

IG inks have not had any ill effects on these relatively inexpensive Japanese pens.

 

Write with the best fountain pens that you can afford & don't be afraid of using IG inks specially formulated for them. Following a regular pen hygiene should keep your pens safe & you happy.

Just my 0.02 CAD.

*Sailor 1911S, Black/gold, 14k. 0.8 mm. stub(JM) *1911S blue "Colours", 14k. H-B "M" BLS (PB)

*2 Sailor 1911S Burgundy/gold: 14k. 0.6 mm. "round-nosed" CI (MM) & 14k. 1.1 mm. CI (JM)

*Sailor Pro-Gear Slim Spec. Ed. "Fire",14k. (factory) "H-B"

*Kaweco SPECIAL FP: 14k. "B",-0.6 mm BLS & 14k."M" 0.4 mm. BLS (PB)

*Kaweco Stainless Steel Lilliput, 14k. "M" -0.7 mm.BLS, (PB)

 

 

 

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Is there a risk of using an IG ink in a vintage pen? For example, a lever filler with a rubber sac, 14K nib, celluloid or ebonite barrel and ebonite feed. Since IG inks were, I think, more common when vintage pens were made and in common use, wouldn't those be more likely to stand up to the IG?

To hold a pen is to be at war. - Voltaire
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Is there a risk of using an IG ink in a vintage pen? For example, a lever filler with a rubber sac, 14K nib, celluloid or ebonite barrel and ebonite feed. Since IG inks were, I think, more common when vintage pens were made and in common use, wouldn't those be more likely to stand up to the IG?

And since IG inks were even more corrosive back then, the good quality vintage pens that have survived to this day would hopefully be adapted to the conditions of their day. Hopefully, though I am no vintage expert by any means.

"We are one."

 

– G'Kar, The Declaration of Principles

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