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Favorite Inks For Vintage/expensive Pens?


Gatorboy
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If you have any inks that you would recommend for an expensive or a vintage fountain pen, what would it be? If you have a list of them, I would love to see that. Feel free to also say what inks you would specifically stay away from when using expensive pens.

 

Currently I only have 2 inks, one is a black Parker Quink which I like a little bit. Not a huge fan, but if I need a black, it gets the job done. The other one is Noodler's Liberty's Elysium, which I love so very much. It's the nicest blue I have ever seen by far.

 

However, I did notice that it stained the feed of my Metropolitan blue as well. So I decided that I would never let that happen if I were to get a more expensive or a vintage pen. More so a vintage pen because I respect vintage items and would rather not do something that will make it changed forever (I have 2 vintage saxophones that I use, I freak out even if I barely tap them against a music stand, chair, or another person's instrument). Does anyone else have this problem with Liberty's Elysium? For some reason I thought only Baystate colors had that problem.

 

If you need to know what colors I'm particularly interested in, well, personally I prefer either a gold-brown, green, regular brown, blue-green, grey, and blue. However, I already have a blue and would like to get either a green, blue-green, brown/gold-brown, or grey.

 

I am well aware that there is such thing as grey-greens and gold-greens as well as other combination colors, those apply to the things I wouldn't mind trying out.

 

 

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I once had someone write out a list for me at a pen show of ink brands that were safe for vintage pens. I can't find it just now, but I remember it had Aurora, Parker, Waterman, Sheaffer, Pilot, Platinum, Sailor, and Diamine on the list. I abide by that for my vintage pens. I think the higher saturation in inks from Noodler's and Private Reserve makes them less suitable, but that's fine—I have modern pens too and just use those inks with those pens instead. :)

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I once had someone write out a list for me at a pen show of ink brands that were safe for vintage pens. I can't find it just now, but I remember it had Aurora, Parker, Waterman, Sheaffer, Pilot, Platinum, Sailor, and Diamine on the list. I abide by that for my vintage pens. I think the higher saturation in inks from Noodler's and Private Reserve makes them less suitable, but that's fine—I have modern pens too and just use those inks with those pens instead. :)

 

That's reasonable enough. I would love to get Sheaffer Skrip green, but the samples I've seen look so....blue. It's weird. Do you happen to know if it looks green in person? I've heard sometimes cameras capture ink colors incorrectly. An example being Polar Green by Noodler's. The pictures always show it being a faded pale green, yet people say it is actually an emerald-like color.

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That's a great question. Waterman is the gold standard for inks. Go to a pen show and watch what the nibmeisters and repairers are using. I'll bet you'll see all Waterman. Pelikan also has a great reputation. I also trust Mont Blanc and Sheaffer in my pens. Diamine has a great reputation, but with almost 200 colors, you might want to do some research on which ones may stain.

 

Watch out for the nano pigment inks (Sailor and Platinum make very common ones), iron gall inks, shimmer inks, and high dye load inks until you get a feel for the cleaning and usage habits that go with these inks. I use those inks in pens I can completely take apart and clean or repair (Parker 45, Esterbook J).

 

Head over to Richard Binder's web page and read his reference articles on care and feeding of your pens.

 

Buzz

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That's a great question. Waterman is the gold standard for inks. Go to a pen show and watch what the nibmeisters and repairers are using. I'll bet you'll see all Waterman. Pelikan also has a great reputation. I also trust Mont Blanc and Sheaffer in my pens. Diamine has a great reputation, but with almost 200 colors, you might want to do some research on which ones may stain.

 

Watch out for the nano pigment inks (Sailor and Platinum make very common ones), iron gall inks, shimmer inks, and high dye load inks until you get a feel for the cleaning and usage habits that go with these inks. I use those inks in pens I can completely take apart and clean or repair (Parker 45, Esterbook J).

 

Head over to Richard Binder's web page and read his reference articles on care and feeding of your pens.

 

Buzz

 

Thanks Buzz! One of the issues I have with Montblanc ink is the bottle shape. It's so awkward looking.

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Some ink reviews also mention staining. Amberlea Davis destained one demonstrator with a load of Noodler's Rattler Red Eel.

 

Yeah, I have heard that a lot of Noodler's inks stain. Which is a shame, I love their ink. They have so many unique colors with unique properties. But you know, nothing can be super awesome without a catch. There is a wrong to every right.

 

Oh and has anyone tried any Lamy inks? I heard they come with an integrated blotting paper roll dispenser for cleaning the nib off. I usually use a tissue, but usually that ends up with a fiber getting caught in the nib, forcing me to get all inky trying to pull it out.

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Yeah, I have heard that a lot of Noodler's inks stain. Which is a shame, I love their ink. They have so many unique colors with unique properties. But you know, nothing can be super awesome without a catch. There is a wrong to every right.

 

Oh and has anyone tried any Lamy inks? I heard they come with an integrated blotting paper roll dispenser for cleaning the nib off. I usually use a tissue, but usually that ends up with a fiber getting caught in the nib, forcing me to get all inky trying to pull it out.

 

Lamy Blue is my personal go to royal blue (RB) if I had to pick a RB. Usually, RBs are boring so I would never pick it. Lamy Blue's different in the sense that it goes down bright, and fades a little when dry. I can accept that, and so I return to it in the event I need a RB.

 

The only vintage pen I now have is a Sheaffer Touchdown, and it's being inked up with Edelstein Tanzanite. Nice blue black that's actually blue black (I'm looking at you, Pilot Blue Black!) and doesn't fade into grey, unlike the 4001 version.

 

 

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My Parker 51 Special currently has Diamine Blue Black. But because the pen isn't the easiest to clean out to begin with, I usually only use this or Waterman Serenity Blue. It is more that these inks are easier to clean out than others. It is one of the few pens that rarely gets a color change.

 

Another is my True Writer Silver Anniversary, but it has nothing to do with cleaning. I like how it goes with Diamine Sherwood Green. Although I will run something else through it on occasion "just because". But in the almost three years I have had the pen it is had Sherwood Green in it over 80% of the time.

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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Lamy Blue is my personal go to royal blue (RB) if I had to pick a RB. Usually, RBs are boring so I would never pick it. Lamy Blue's different in the sense that it goes down bright, and fades a little when dry. I can accept that, and so I return to it in the event I need a RB.

 

The only vintage pen I now have is a Sheaffer Touchdown, and it's being inked up with Edelstein Tanzanite. Nice blue black that's actually blue black (I'm looking at you, Pilot Blue Black!) and doesn't fade into grey, unlike the 4001 version.

 

 

~Epic

 

I'm not a huge fan of blue-blacks, they seem a bit boring to me. And as for royal blues, Lamy blue looks a bit boring. If I were to buy a blue that wasn't Noodler's or Private Reserve, I would probably go for Iroshizuku Asa-Gao, Edelstein Topaz, or Diamine Royal Blue. I'm just basing that purely on pictures of each I pulled up.

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While Sailor is often on the recommended list I have had Sailor Sky High stain the brand new replacement Pli-Glass sac in one of my 51s.

Depending on the pen, I have used Quink Black and Waterman Mysterious Blue, and also vintage Quink and Skrip inks. I've used a variety inks of my Plum 51, including ones by Noodler's and Private Reserve, and Herbin and De Atramentis inks in my 61s.

I've also had good luck using some De Atramentis inks in some of my Vacumatics, because they tend, in my experience to have good flow (although I would avoid using the Document line). And at the moment I have Iroshihzuku Tsuki-yo in a Parker 45 (the pen previously sported Noodler's Blue Upon the Plains of Abraham, but that wasn't the best matchup -- the ink was a bit cloggy, and the pen seems to be a dry writer, even with the Iroshihzuku 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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Parker, waterman, pelikan and sheaffer have over 40 years of presence e in the market and use, and a long story of no damages for pens.

Maybe colors are not so fancy, ut they are for sure safe.

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Quink (Washable Blue and Black), Waterman Serenity Blue. Diamine Majestic Blue is not bad, too - it develops a crazy reddish sheen, very suitable for vintage pen, and is rather easy to clean.

Practice, patience, perseverance

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Safe Ink for Vintage Pens has been hotly debated here, and opinions may vary depending on whether you're talking about safe in general (doesn't clog or stain) or safe for sacs. Here is the list I've collected from some of the more knowledgeable repair people. (Swanjun's list above appears to match Susan Wirth's.)


Richard Binder - Waterman, Sheaffer, Diamine

Ron Zorn - Pelikan, Sheaffer, Aurora (but red of any brand is a sac killer)

Susan Wirth - Parker, Waterman, Sheaffer, Pilot, Sailor, Diamine, Platinum, Aurora. No to Noodler's, Private Reserve and Organics Studios


There's a long thread here where R. Zorn talks about problems with red ink in sacced pens, and I can say that 2 of the 3 vintage lever fillers that I used with red ink suffered catastrophic sac failure in short order. This is of course not scientific proof, merely anecdotal confirmation of Mr. Zorn's warnings.


I'm partial to Waterman, Sheaffer and a few Diamine colors that clean out easily for my vintage pens with sacs. I get a little more adventurous with cartridge/converter or piston fillers.


(I wish my experience with Diamine Majestic Blue matched Eliweisz's. I love the color and the gorgeous sheen,but it has been cloggy and hard starting in every pen I've tried it with.)
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While Sailor is often on the recommended list I have had Sailor Sky High stain the brand new replacement Pli-Glass sac in one of my 51s.

 

I must admit I am having a dickens of a time getting all vestiges of Sky High out of a Sheaffer Snorkel!

 

 

Safe Ink for Vintage Pens has been hotly debated here, and opinions may vary depending on whether you're talking about safe in general (doesn't clog or stain) or safe for sacs. Here is the list I've collected from some of the more knowledgeable repair people. (Swanjun's list above appears to match Susan Wirth's.)
Richard Binder - Waterman, Sheaffer, Diamine
Ron Zorn - Pelikan, Sheaffer, Aurora (but red of any brand is a sac killer)
Susan Wirth - Parker, Waterman, Sheaffer, Pilot, Sailor, Diamine, Platinum, Aurora. No to Noodler's, Private Reserve and Organics Studios

 

Indeed, Susan was the one who wrote out that list. :) I remember she wasn't too keen on Pelikan or Montblanc, either.

 

I, too, avoid red inks in sac pens, and pinks and purples as well. Not necessarily for their sac-killing propensity but also 'cos they're hard to clean out.

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I must admit I am having a dickens of a time getting all vestiges of Sky High out of a Sheaffer Snorkel!

 

 

Indeed, Susan was the one who wrote out that list. :) I remember she wasn't too keen on Pelikan or Montblanc, either.

I think the list I got from her when I had a leaking pen repaired said to only use Montblanc ink in German pens.... Mind you I only have MB Lavender Purple, and a couple of Pelikan inks, so I haven't really used them much *except* in my Pelikan pens....

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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For my vintage fountain pens, I prefer "vintage-name" inks - - - - Parker, Sheaffer, Pelikan. They work in old pens. I think modern inks are likely safe, too. As much as I like the rich, saturated colors, I confined their use to modern pens. Partly, for reasons of nostalgia, but also because I am paranoid about the effects on the old mechanisms that were not intended for modern inks.

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For my vintage fountain pens, I prefer "vintage-name" inks - - - - Parker, Sheaffer, Pelikan. They work in old pens. I think modern inks are likely safe, too. As much as I like the rich, saturated colors, I confined their use to modern pens. Partly, for reasons of nostalgia, but also because I am paranoid about the effects on the old mechanisms that were not intended for modern inks.

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Thanks so much for all of the suggestions and tips guys!

 

Oh and how about Akkerman inks?

 

I can't remember whether it's fact or supposition, but supposedly Akkerman inks are made by Diamine, which would mean they'd be fine. :)

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