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Pens Not Working After A Break


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Long time no see FPN,


I've been very ill in the past few months and was in the hospital until yesterday. As I get back to FPN after a long break (whoa! I can actually write again!), I have a quick question.


Since I was not able to write for a long time, my unused pens (Parker Sonnet and Montblanc LeGrand) are not writing well. Actually, it just doesn't function at all! What happened? How do I fix my pens?


Thank you.


William S. Park

“My two fingers on a typewriter have never connected with my brain. My hand on a pen does. A fountain pen, of course. Ball-point pens are only good for filling out forms on a plane. - Graham Greene

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If they've been left for too long, fountain pens can dry out. How long that can take depends on the pen. My metro can last a week or two before it dries out, while others can last for months. I think that a solid cleaning will fix them.

Good to see you well, and happy penning!

Edited by benbot517

"Oh deer."

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You could try dipping the nibs in water just to see if that will get them flowing at all. Then, yes, a good cleaning.

"You can't wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club."

- Jack London


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Fill with water, and soak filled with the nib in a glass of water overnight. Give it a flush in the morning, then fill with your favourite ink and enjoy.


Edit to add: Glad to see you back and healthy!

Edited by PabloAU
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I often have 17 pens filled and they will dry out. If you can find an old sponge postal stamp licker on US Ebay.....living in Germany were we still have lick them stamps, I have a new postal sponge licker in a plastic cup.

Wet the sponge twice a week, if the pen is dry, just dip it in and write.

A shot glass with water works too. dip and go.

German vintage '50-70 semi-flex stubs and those in oblique give the real thing in On Demand line variation. Modern Oblique is a waste of money for a shadow of line variation. Being too lazy to Hunt for affordable vintage oblique pens, lets you 'hunt' for line variation instead of having it.

RIP...200's once great nib, now a double ball.:crybaby::wallbash:


The cheapest lessons are from those who learned expensive lessons. Ignorance is best for learning expensive lessons.




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Fill with water, and soak filled with the nib in a glass of water overnight. Give it a flush in the morning, then fill with your favourite ink and enjoy.


Edit to add: Glad to see you back and healthy!


The ink path is very fine and very intricate. Dried ink is likely the culprit. Good ink flow depends on a very clear path. I agree with this solution, with one modification. Repeat the soak/flush cycle five or six times, and dry, before re-inking.


Glad you are feeling better.


Write with joy.

Edited by Sasha Royale

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

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Ah, you have now received the best advice on getting your pens going again (I can attest to FPs drying out - one of mine also did so, and when I finally pulled it into rotation it was dripping ink like crazy. A couple of sessions of soaking did the trick).


I really just wanted to say, welcome back to FPN; I hope your health is much improved.


Sharon in Indiana

"There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self." Earnest Hemingway

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Welcome back. Treat your pens as of you got a nice vintage pen that needs to care. Keep flushing with water until you get some flow. For some stubborn ink, you may need to use a technical cleaner like a pen flush. With patience, they will be running again in no time.



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Yes, leave it in plain water, maybe for longer than overnight. And then see how it goes. If it's still not working then soak some more, and then put some dish detergent in the water. The detergent will make the water "wetter" and it should get to places that plain tap water can't. The capillary action is enhanced by the detergent.


And I'm glad to hear that you are out of the hospital :thumbup: .

On a sacred quest for the perfect blue ink mixture!

ink stained wretch filling inkwell

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