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Ahab Headaches, Or Why Won't My Ahab Screw Together



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Hi Everyone, Purple Inky Fingers here.

 

My new Noodler's Ahab in -- what else? -- King Philip Purple worked for the first few months (it has taken me months to get up the wherewithal to ink it**) and then it just stopped working. Because I was using -- what else? -- Noodler's Grape, I assumed that the ink had run out. I opened the pen and discovered that there was plenty of ink (now on my hands) and the feeding tube was wandering around. With great effort I have tried to reset the feeding tube and screw the pen together. And it won't work. I can set the tube, but cannot screw the body together. It's as if it's stripped.

 

I'm now soaking everything -- and I'm sorry I can't post video, but there's no one to hold the camera!

 

Can anyone offer advice?

 

**Note that I have a bad temper with these pens. I was a real newbie when I bought a lot of them in 2011-12 and never was able to make them work consistently. (I had two new pens in which the nibs jammed in the caps.) I even wrote to Nathan about it, but never received a reply. :(

 

Thanks all!

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And one more question, since I now have purple ink all over my hands, keyboard, etc. When people recommend ammonium for cleaning, what specifically are they talking about? Ammonium in Windex? In toilet bowl cleaner.

 

Thanks all!

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Windex or household ammonia, the stuff you might find in a retail store is about the right concentration -- around 9-10% by weight.

 

The breather tube is not necessary and for many people interferes with flow.

 

If you've stripped out the threads on the inside of the barrel, you're pretty much without options.

 

What happened to the syringe filler that used to be screwed onto the back of the grip section of your Ahab?

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Be gentle with me, I'm trying to understand...

I hate the breather tube. Really, I can just chuck it?

 

Your last statement is not clear: the syringe filler is there, I believe. Below I have labeled the parts.

 

Could you let me know if you are referring to C, D, E. None of the above?

 

Thank you!

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Aha! Ok, I've soaked and put things back together without feeding tube and discovered that the front will not screw to the back.

Or in my mathematical terms, B will not screw into A. (See below.) It goes around and around.

 

And how in hell did THAT happen? I had the pen since July and only filled it once: with Baystate Grape. Thoughts?

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Thank you for the cleaning suggestion, too!

Windex or household ammonia, the stuff you might find in a retail store is about the right concentration -- around 9-10% by weight.

 

The breather tube is not necessary and for many people interferes with flow.

 

If you've stripped out the threads on the inside of the barrel, you're pretty much without options.

 

What happened to the syringe filler that used to be screwed onto the back of the grip section of your Ahab?

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Hi, ssata, Welcome to FPN!

 

That sounds as if you have stripped the threads on the unit that screws to the back of your Ahab. That is the syringe-filler that Arkanabar is talking about. More as in, "What is wrong with it?" than "Where is it?" So, being a soft plastic, and hard to come by, guess that is gone. So that's the bad news.

 

The good news is that a lot of our members have had success making Ahabs into eyedropper filled pens. The big purple barrel can be screwed onto the nib assembly, no need for a syringe filler or breather tube. You will have to watch out for leaks from two areas. First, the threads on the big purple barrel may leak. To offset this, use pure silicon grease (Goulet Pens is a good supply house for this) to lube the threads before assembly. Also, hardware stores have O-ring washers that can be placed on the nib assembly, up at the top of the threaded section, to help waterproof the barrel.

 

Second leak area is the nib and feed, eyedroppers do have a tendency to burp ink out. Keep your pen angle low and keep the pen filled. Might want to do a search here on eyedropper problems.

 

Yes, Ahabs are very finicky pens. But are capable of excellent performance when set up right. Although that can be frustrating for all concerned.

 

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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Oh, yeah, ssata,

 

Last time I needed a part for an Ahab, I called Goulet Pens and explained my problem. They found an extra breather tube laying around and sent it to me. Maybe they have an extra syringe filler on hand and can ship it to you? Might be worth a call.

 

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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Hello ssata,

I like my Ahab but I have to say as a starter pen it would not be one I would recommend, they are fully dismantlable but can be a bit of a fiddle. If you can source another filler for it as Randal suggests then well and good but if you have to get a new pen then there are plenty of other pens out there around the same price point that are less of a fiddle.

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Randal, thank you very much. I have two other Ahabs and want to know: what did I do to cause this? Did I fail to grease after flushing the new pen? Is it a manufacturing defect? Is it a comment on my writing? Are my stars not aligned?

Thoughts?

 

Stanley, you made me chuckle. "A bit of a fiddle." Here in NYC we'd say something a lot less generous and musical!!

I'm currently fiddling with a couple of Nemosines (work great as long as you dip and don't deal with the feeds) and an array of Jinhao 159s and 450. I use the latter when taking notes in my Modern Chinese History class. Really adds to the flavor!

Then there's always the Kaweco student. Dependable. Not nuts about the steel grip.

 

I am a master of cheap!

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Randal's suggestion, that you simply use the pen as an eyedropper, means that least you'll have a usable (completely usable) pen.

 

Another idea, though irreversible if done, would be to try glueing the filling mechanism to the section. It might ruin the pen, but may be worth considering.

Edited by lurcho
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Baystate inks, eesh. My understanding is that Baystate Blue is a notorious staining ink, and it can usually be removed with 70% isopropyl rubbing alcohol, but you absolutely don't want to soak pen bits in that. Rinse with alcohol, brush with cotton swab, rinse thoroughly with water, ideally in under ten minutes. Furthermore, when any of Noodler's Baystate inks are mixed with ANY ink that is NOT a Noodler's Baystate ink, nasty, pen-killing precipitates may form.

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It sounds like you have a good range of...less expensive pens. I have a bunch of Jinhao X450s & 750s & it is hard to fault them. They dismantle the same as an Ahab, they take a no.6 nib same as an Ahab but they are built of metal rather than soft plastic and cost a fraction of the price.

 

'Fiddle' is the word I have to use here rather than less polite verbs from my native North Kent Anglo Saxon dialect that would get me banned from FPN. ;)

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If you can't use Baystate ink in a Noodler's Pen, you might as well pitch the damn bottle!

Of course you can use it! What you are likely to have problems with is switching from Baystate to non-Baystate, or getting stains out. If you are willing to go Baystate forever (which a lot of folks around here do), or do the work required to remove it before switching inks, and don't care about the stains, or the fading, then by all means use whatever Baystate ink you like, in whatever pens you like.

 

But don't use isopropyl alcohol to soak pen parts. I had a pen crumble on me when I did that.

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  • 3 weeks later...

An update on the ol' Ahab issue: I inserted another plunger converter from another Ahab, filled with Baystate grape, and...same thing happened. Three weeks later and the plunger no longer screws into the pen's front section. (I had to remove it from the pen's back end using tweezers.) Are the properties in Baystate ruining the section threads? What ARE the properties in Baystate? Is one ingredient glue? (It's the stickiest ink I've ever used.)

 

Anyway, I'm getting tired of the Ahab issues and will likely use their nibs in something really cheap, like Jinhaos. If anyone else has recommendations/thoughts, I'd be interested to hear.

 

SS

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Well, I love my Ahabs, have not had the problems you are having. Then again, I tried Baystate Blue and decided I didn't like the line of inks. Stopped using it. Maybe you should reserve it for a pen that hasn't shown any tendency to have problems? Or stop using it altogether, go to an ink that doesn't cause you to speak like a sailor?

 

Sounds as if you really like the Noodler nibs. Yep, they should do well in Jinhao X750's or X450's. Some of the newer Jinhao brands use smaller nibs, check before assuming ...

 

Other pens that don't cost a lot and do fairly well are Nemosines and Fountain Pen Revolution. Heros as well. Only problem I have had with any of them is that I have large, strong hands and a tendency to tighten so that it stays tight. Fragile plastic threads need convincing, not coercion.

 

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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Wrap the thread with one layer, of plumbers tape. Then try screwing the filler back onto the section.

if that is not enough grip try a second layer.

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/38/Teflon_tape_used_for_sealing_plumbing_connections.jpg

 

It should only be 1-2 dollars at a hardware store.

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Thanks for replying, Randal and Arthur's mom. I'm thinking about using the Noodler's nibs in my Jinhao 159s, which are extremely dry writers. I think this would be a worthwhile project!

And Randal, I do have Nemosines. Find them a little dry when using them with the converter, but love them as a dip and write pen because of that italic nib!

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