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Fp Starting Difficulties After Storing Nib Up



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capillaryAction

Pardon me if this is a newb question.

 

With a number of FPs i own i find the following starting issue: After a long time of the pen stored nib UP (whether in a shirt pocket or pen mug), the pen would not start when I first put nib to paper. It would take a while for the ink to work its way to the tip. I find this can happen to both wetter and drier pens.

 

My guess as to what is happening is that after significant time nib up, all the ink has left the feed, so that when I first start to use, the ink takes a while to work its way through feed, nib onto paper. (If that's the case, is it simply a question of some feeds being "wetter" than others?)

 

To deal with this, there are a few things I've tried, each has its own problems:

  1. Holding the uncapped pen, in writing position, flick the wrist so that pen jerks downwards, in direction of nib. Repeat this several times until the ink is "shaken" towards the nib. [PROBLEM: Do this too much and drops of ink fall out of feed, onto paper, hands, clothes etc]
  2. Twist cartridge/piston knob slightly, to pressure the ink down. [PROBLEM: Too much and I end up with ink droplets oozing out of nib. If I hold pen over my writing it makes a mess.]
  3. Keep scratching away on scrap paper until it writes. [PROBLEM: TIme consuming. Also, any long-term nib damage from doing this?]

Experienced FP users, how have you dealt with this problem? How do you diagnose? Should I do someting to the feed? To the nib? Or is there an effective "trick" to getting ink out that I need to discover?

 

thanks

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To get some more detail, has this gotten worse over time? Have you tried a thorough cleaning, like soaking the nib overnight to get and dried bits out? Or using an ultrasonic cleaner just in case?

 

I generally have the same issues when stored nib up for a long period and I'll flip it over for a few minutes before writing again to let ink fill the gills and reach the nib, which is basic physics. You can force it through (like you said, squeeze the cartridge, turn the piston a little, shake the pen, etc...), but like you said, there are risks. Maybe when you know you're going to write, flip it before hand and give it a few minutes for ink to get flowing again. Hopefully someone else has a better answer!

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capillaryAction

To get some more detail, has this gotten worse over time? Have you tried a thorough cleaning, like soaking the nib overnight to get and dried bits out? Or using an ultrasonic cleaner just in case?

 

I generally have the same issues when stored nib up for a long period and I'll flip it over for a few minutes before writing again to let ink fill the gills and reach the nib, which is basic physics. You can force it through (like you said, squeeze the cartridge, turn the piston a little, shake the pen, etc...), but like you said, there are risks. Maybe when you know you're going to write, flip it before hand and give it a few minutes for ink to get flowing again. Hopefully someone else has a better answer!

 

To narrow the scope of my problem a bit: I'm talking short-term storage nib up. A couple of days, or even under 24 hours. I clean my pens fairly regularly. And I also want to be clear: once the pen starts to write, it writes fine (wet if it's wet, drier if it's dry).

 

Curiious to see if this is something that FP people just live with, or if there are fixes.

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Aah, I see what you're saying. For me, I find this to be fairly common, although it depends from pen to pen. I've got about 50-plus pens at this point, and some start up immediately, while others take minutes to get going and may even have some hard starts for a while until the flow really gets moving.

 

I've just accepted this as normal, although I'd be happy to hear some other folks who've had a differing opinion.

 

Out of curiosity, are there any models of pens in particular that you've had this issue with worse than others?

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I have a few pens like that.

I store them nib down, or flat...problem solved.

Edited by ac12

San Francisco Pen Show - August 28-30, 2020 - Redwood City, California

www.SFPenShow.com

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I have a few pens like that.

I store them nib down, or flat...problem solved.

 

My TWSBI (and perhaps others, but the TWSBI's the only one with a clear cap that shows me what's going on) leaks tiny droplets into the cap if I store it flat for longer than a few days. Usually not a problem, but it does lead to inky fingers.

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Momentarily dipping the pen in water will usually jump start a pen. You don't need to soak it - as that will dilute the ink in the feed too much.

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My TWSBI (and perhaps others, but the TWSBI's the only one with a clear cap that shows me what's going on) leaks tiny droplets into the cap if I store it flat for longer than a few days. Usually not a problem, but it does lead to inky fingers.

If that happens then you really do have a problem. There are several possibilities but the most common is an air leak. You did not by any chance ever take the nib out?

 

My Website

 

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capillaryAction

I have a few pens like that.

I store them nib down, or flat...problem solved.

 

Nib down storage, could that lead to ink leaking into the cap? And then if you post the cap...

 

 

 

Sandy's solution is interesting, and I'd have to try that someday. But of all the solutions that I and others have put forward, I'd like to propose a test. Call it the "board meeting test". Say you're a C-level employee at a multi-national corp. and you're at a board meeting. Or in negotiations with an important business partner. You take your pen from inside your suit jacket and begin taking notes, but nothing comes out.

 

In this kind of a limited, and formal, setting which of the listed solutions are available? Is there some "trick" to getting the pen started that doesn't require much besides the hands, and doesn't draw unwanted attention? Or are we left with using only the pens we've determined not to have this problem for our EDC?

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capillaryAction

Aah, I see what you're saying. For me, I find this to be fairly common, although it depends from pen to pen. I've got about 50-plus pens at this point, and some start up immediately, while others take minutes to get going and may even have some hard starts for a while until the flow really gets moving.

 

I've just accepted this as normal, although I'd be happy to hear some other folks who've had a differing opinion.

 

Out of curiosity, are there any models of pens in particular that you've had this issue with worse than others?

 

Compared to the folks at FPN, i'm still early on my pen collection journal. I'd say 10+ pens, mostly introductory level, from Europe and Asia. Some steel nibs, some gold. I haven't paid close attention as to which specific model, but in my experience it's fairly random and not affected by things like price. Case in point: a Jinhao x750 rarely has this problem.

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Nib down storage, could that lead to ink leaking into the cap? And then if you post the cap...

 

 

 

Sandy's solution is interesting, and I'd have to try that someday. But of all the solutions that I and others have put forward, I'd like to propose a test. Call it the "board meeting test". Say you're a C-level employee at a multi-national corp. and you're at a board meeting. Or in negotiations with an important business partner. You take your pen from inside your suit jacket and begin taking notes, but nothing comes out.

 

In this kind of a limited, and formal, setting which of the listed solutions are available? Is there some "trick" to getting the pen started that doesn't require much besides the hands, and doesn't draw unwanted attention? Or are we left with using only the pens we've determined not to have this problem for our EDC?

 

Take out the pen as people are sitting down, chatting, introducing themselves, and fussing with their coffee. Hold it nib down during the early moments of the meeting, and then it's good to go when you actually need it to take notes.

 

 

If that happens then you really do have a problem. There are several possibilities but the most common is an air leak. You did not by any chance ever take the nib out?

 

That's a problem? As long as I use the pen every few days then there's no droplet on the cap. It's only when it's been lying in my desk for weeks that this begins to happen, and even then it still writes immediately. I'd rather have a little ink droplet on the cap inside after weeks of non use than non-starting or drying up.

 

To answer your question, I've never disassembled the nib, as far as I can recall, but I have taken the section out to clean it between inks.

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The only pens that give me starting issues after being nib up are my Pilot Metros.

 

All other pens haven't exhibited starting issues after being stored nib up for an extended period of time.

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That's a problem? As long as I use the pen every few days then there's no droplet on the cap. It's only when it's been lying in my desk for weeks that this begins to happen, and even then it still writes immediately. I'd rather have a little ink droplet on the cap inside after weeks of non use than non-starting or drying up.

 

To answer your question, I've never disassembled the nib, as far as I can recall, but I have taken the section out to clean it between inks.

There is an air leak coming from somewhere. The most common source of such leaks is disassembling a pen and yes, often to "clean" it. My pens all sit flat when not in use, usually 2 out of every three days and none leak into the cap.

 

But there are a few other things I might be doing differently.

 

I don't take pens apart unless there is no other option.

 

I don't leave a pen filled and unused for more than a couple days unless it is a specific test for that particular pen (left a Platinum #3776 Century Chartres filled and lying on it's side capped for a month just to test the cap seal).

 

If I decide to change inks in a pen I empty the pen, throwing away unused ink, and flush it before refilling with whatever is the desired ink color.

 

I don't worry about the color not being pure and gradually changing from old color to new.

 

I wipe pens down sometimes if they get really dirty and on my Sterling silver pens use a jewelers silver cloth when needed.

 

I carry pens in my shirt pocket only. I don't buy shirts that do not have a shirt pocket.

 

These steps have all worked well for me since Ike took office.

 

My Website

 

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The solution is a decent back-up ball pen, or rollerball.I have a two pen pen wallet - one slot is for the FP de jour and the other for the biro - usually an 849 or a parker jotter.

 

A nice looking pen is a nice looking pen no matter what the type.

 

Lots of folk coo over my Caran D'ache 849 ball pens - and the black fine tip (rather than the medium) is nice to use. No-one so far has said, "shame it's not an FP".

 

Pens are tools. Sometimes you need a hammer, sometimes you need a screwdriver. There's no use complaining that a screw is not a nail.

 

I say this because I've had a similar problem in that the ink dries in the feed preventing the pen from writing, and if it can't write I can't leave class to clean it, and carrying a cup of water around college is not much of a solution at all.

 

So a good back up ball point or roller ball is a perfect solution. Matching sets (Parker, Cross, Shaeffer and Italix have them) can be ideal and look very professional.

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Nib down storage, could that lead to ink leaking into the cap? And then if you post the cap...

 

 

 

Sandy's solution is interesting, and I'd have to try that someday. But of all the solutions that I and others have put forward, I'd like to propose a test. Call it the "board meeting test". Say you're a C-level employee at a multi-national corp. and you're at a board meeting. Or in negotiations with an important business partner. You take your pen from inside your suit jacket and begin taking notes, but nothing comes out.

 

In this kind of a limited, and formal, setting which of the listed solutions are available? Is there some "trick" to getting the pen started that doesn't require much besides the hands, and doesn't draw unwanted attention? Or are we left with using only the pens we've determined not to have this problem for our EDC?

 

 

Simple. You get a pen that works after being clipped into the pocket.

At that level, no fussing around with the pen. If it does not work reliably, get it fixed or replace it.

San Francisco Pen Show - August 28-30, 2020 - Redwood City, California

www.SFPenShow.com

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Bo Bo Olson

In there are times when I have 17 pens inked, and store most of them nib up, some lay around waiting a long time and are 'dried' out.

 

I have a postal sponge in a rubber cup....that is wet...just dip it in and I'm good to go.

If not, a shot glass with some water will do the same trick.

 

If you have been using the pen, it will not 'dry' out clipped to a shirt pocket.

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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Momentarily dipping the pen in water will usually jump start a pen. You don't need to soak it - as that will dilute the ink in the feed too much.

 

 

This is tricky. As you said, too much water when dipped will dilute the ink, and you get light ink, until the diluted ink is used up.

I will either dip the tip of the nib (not reaching the feed, and quickly) or using a 1cc syringe, put about 0.1cc of water directly onto the fins of the feed. The syringe is my first choice, as there is much less dilution of the ink. While I have the syringe of water in the bathroom, it is a bother to go to the bathroom to wet the feed, so I usually dip into an inkwell filled with water.

San Francisco Pen Show - August 28-30, 2020 - Redwood City, California

www.SFPenShow.com

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I have this issue with most of the modern C/C (cartridge/converter) pens I have. Filling the pen at the start of the day is one solution. Wetting the pen on your tongue is another. Dipping briefly in water is another. Using a Parker 51, a Parker Vacumatic, a Pelikan piston filler or a Montblanc is another. These are the pens I don't have to diddle with to get them to write.

"Don't hurry, don't worry. It's better to be late at the Golden Gate than to arrive in Hell on time."
--Sign in a bar and grill, Ormond Beach, Florida, 1960.

 

 

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years ago I frequently had to deal with this problem. The moment I started intensively cleaning a pen when taken out of rotation, the problem was solved.

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