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Hi all--

 

I'm new, so please forgive if this is the wrong place.

 

I'm an editor at a state agency. I can't choose the ink color or the type of paper-- it's green ink on copy paper (or terrible grey copy paper for drafts). I'm using Pelikan 4001 Dark Green, which is well-behaved on decent paper.

 

So far I've had good luck with Pilot Metropolitan fine-nib pens. I'm syringe-filling the CON-50, which is the best way I've found to fill to capacity. I'm carrying two Metros to work daily, and could carry three. In a slow week, the Metro is perfectly adequate. However, when things are busy I end up refilling both Metros every other night.

 

In a perfect world, the Metro would take a CON-70, but it doesn't...so I brought my fine-nib Custom Heritage 91 to work. For ink capacity, it's the best. The problem is that on terrible paper, the ink feathers. The line is also often too wide-- I'm editing on single spaced documents, so my writing absolutely has to be tiny. Also this is a professional office and feathering is distinctly unprofessional :mellow:

 

So I have questions. Should I :

 

1) try a different green ink? It would need to be a dry ink in the same color range. (The pens provided for our use are Pilot Razor Point in a green that matches the green in Pilot / Namiki cartridges; unfortunately the pens don't last and they don't write as fine as the Pilot Metro.)

 

2) send the CH91 fine to a nibmeister to be ground to an extra-fine? Problem is that this would cost nearly as much as just buying a CH91 in extra-fine.

 

3) get another CH91 in extra-fine? Given the paper I'm dealing with, I'm concerned that this won't solve my problem.

 

4) just carry three Metros and refill when necessary? or,

 

5) just give in and use the house pens when things get busy.

 

...I kind of hate the house pens. They require a very light touch and have a tiny sweet spot.

 

I've looked everywhere that I could think of-- fountain pen forum on reddit, all kinds of pen & ink threads on FPN-- and haven't found an answer to my situation yet. I'm hoping that more experienced FPN'ers will be able to provide advice.

 

Thanks much; I've been lurking for more than a year and really enjoyed FPN. I'm a lurker at heart so this gives you an idea of how dire this situation is.

 

...If Pilot would make the CH91 in purple extra-fine I would buy it in a heartbeat.

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Given that your writing has to be tiny anyway, I would look into a CH91 in EF. There are clearly times when you will find it quite useful for work, and it probably makes much more sense than carrying 3 Metros with the same ink therein (says the woman carrying five pens today, but all with different inks).

 

I have no opinion regarding the choice of ink itself. That particular green is not one that I use, and I am not sure what matches it. For a dark green, though, Private Reserve Ebony Green might be a possibility for you.

 

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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Iron gall inks are typically very feather-resistant. You might see if anything in the KWZ Ink line suits your needs, as they have a broader array of IG colors than anyone else I can think of at the moment. I believe vanness pens is an authorized US retailer. They have four different green IG inks in stock right now.

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I’ve been using Platinum Forest Black - their IG ink, which goes on green and darkens as it dries. I use it in my dip pens but it’s supposed to be safe for fountain pens.

It lays down a very sharp line, and if I had the nerve to put it in my vintage pens I would.

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Another possibility would be a Pilot Custom Heritage 912 with a PO nib (you can get the same nib on the 742 and 743, but they're both more expensive).

 

We've also go a couple Platinum PTL-5000 pens (about $48 and you get a nice 14k nib to boot) in F. There's also one with an EF nib, but that's a bit fin for my wife with her tiny (written) hand, although a little adjustment made the nib write wet enough to be interesting, and still a finer-than-Platinum-F line on even copy paper. Their converter is comparable to the CON-50.

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If you're working at a desk all day, i.e. not carrying them around and writing hither and yon, here's a radical idea. Why not try an Esterbrook Dip-less pen with a green iron gall ink? Say, one of the 444's? Last year I posted a thread where I gathered the info on restoring one of these. I've since restored several and they're quite easy, you just have to be careful with the rods as you clean them as they're easily lost.

 

They hold a ton of ink, and can be found fairly inexpensively if you watch eBay. Get a cheap 1550 or 1551 nib unit, which is nice and fine, and you should be set to fill out all kinds of paperwork. There's one out there right now "Buy it now" for $20 and that includes shipping. Add a $3 gasket from the hardware store, a little time at the sink, and you're set to go. There are even ones with a chain to ensure the pen doesn't walk away.

 

Just an off-the-wall idea. They seemed to work for an awful lot of people in the past.

 

Andrew

 

“When the historians of education do equal and exact justice to all who have contributed toward educational progress, they will devote several pages to those revolutionists who invented steel pens and blackboards.” V.T. Thayer, 1928

Check out my Steel Pen Blog

"No one is exempt from talking nonsense; the mistake is to do it solemnly."

-Montaigne

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@ AAAndrew-- a dip-less pen is an intriguing suggestion but I'm afraid it would all end in tears. I'm accident prone, and if I were lucky I'd spill ink on my clothes. If I were unlucky, I'd spill ink on state property : (

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@ SoulSamurai-- see above Re: accident prone. I did look into the eyedropper conversion, but I have concerns about leakage, etc. And that's assuming that I would be successful at making the conversion!

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Three metropolitans seems to be the solution of least hassle.

"The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt."

 

B. Russell

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@ SharonsPens--

I think I'm leaning towards the new pen option. Carrying a third Metro just doesn't add enough capacity.

 

I don't mind carrying so many pens with the same ink; most of the writing I do at work is editing, which has to be in green. I save the good ink for at home : ) The Pelikan Dark Green is a decent color; it's nothing to write home about but it's a good, clean color that is easily legible. It's a decent match for the Pilot green. The PR Ebony Green is a nice color but I'm afraid is too dark for my purposes. Just before my pens run out, they sometimes write darker (about the shade of PR Ebony Green, actually). I've had our word processors come to me to verify that my writing was actually my writing and not some interloper making unapproved edits, because they couldn't tell that the ink was green.

 

@ Water Ouzel--

I'd forgotten about the PO nib. That presents a wrinkle. I can easily justify the extra-fine, which is selling now on Amazon for about $80. The best price on Amazon for a posting nib is about twice that. At this point I haven't gotten any pens over $100, so this would be a bit of a jump. But the reviews that I've managed to find so far of the PO nib are universally glowing; and it was designed for a purpose almost identical to my needs...the last time I was so intrigued by a nib I ended up buying the soft-fine.

 

As far as Platinum goes, I've heard that they have great nibs. But they seem to have maximum capacity of the CON-50, which is inadequate for my needs at work. Someday I might get another pen for at home, but right now a working pen is my priority.

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@ sidthecat and Arkanabar--

It sounds like iron gall inks would require much more careful pen maintenance and cleaning. They are definitely interesting though; the IG Green #2 is a pretty shade.

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I second the suggestion of a KVZ iron gall green. Vanness Pens sells them in the US, not sure if anyone else does.

 

For a nib... I'd suggest pulling a nib off of a Pilot Penmanship and sticking it on either your Metro or your 92. You could also get a Kakuno with a EF nib and use a Con-70 or eyedropper it!

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Laconia, if your ink is feathering, the simplest solution is to add a little distilled water to the bottle of ink. This will cut the percentage of surfactant and decrease the flow rate. I would suggest 5 ml of distilled water to a full bottle of ink of about 50 ml. You can add more if necessary.

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I second the suggestion of a KVZ iron gall green. Vanness Pens sells them in the US, not sure if anyone else does.

 

For a nib... I'd suggest pulling a nib off of a Pilot Penmanship and sticking it on either your Metro or your 92. You could also get a Kakuno with a EF nib and use a Con-70 or eyedropper it!

 

I hear the Pilot Kakuno will take a CON-70.

 

Goulet confirms Pilot Kakuno will take the CON-70. Thank you for the suggestion-- it's a good idea.

 

Iron gall inks sound interesting and I might branch out eventually. Same for eyedropper pens. But both of these are fairly adventurous options -- from what I've read, iron gall inks require excellent pen hygiene, and eyedropper pens can be prone to leakage and burping. At this point, I'm looking for well-behaved pens that aren't high-maintenance. I really don't want any ink mishaps at work; on a draft a little ink spatter might not be so bad, but it would be really unprofessional on a final version.

 

I already had one pen incident. I have trick ankles and a standing desk, which isn't usually a problem. But one day in my second week on the job, I moved too quickly or something; my ankle turned, I nearly fell over, and I dropped my pen point-down on the desk. The spatter was epic. Most of it missed the document I was editing, and those Clorox wipes do a great job of cleaning up green ink. The pen still writes well, too. (I'm really glad there were no witnesses; it would have been mortifying for an epic pratfall to be people's first impression of me.)

 

That pen mishap was a freak accident, probably about as likely to happen again as getting attacked by a shark while swimming during a thunderstorm. But editors are meticulous by nature (and I mean meticulous in the original sense of fearful), so it's all too easy for me to imagine other worst-case scenarios. (Like the shark thing.)

 

I could probably make do by refilling empty Pilot cartridges -- they have slightly more capacity than the CON-70 -- instead of using the CON-50s in my Metros. I'm not sure about durability, etc. but it's an acceptable hack. I might try it at end-of-year, which I'm told can get pretty crazy around here.

 

Unfortunately for my budget, I fell hard for the CH912 with posting nib. I saw the reviews for the PO nib back when I was researching the CH91 soft-fine; stumbled on the same reviews again when I was deciding between a CH91 extra-fine and the fine in tsuki-yo color...and now I have an actual reason to indulge in my curiosity.

 

Thank you all for your suggestions; I'm sure that I'll eventually experiment with many of them.

 

Now I just have to figure out best place to order from...

Edited by laconia
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Laconia, if your ink is feathering, the simplest solution is to add a little distilled water to the bottle of ink. This will cut the percentage of surfactant and decrease the flow rate. I would suggest 5 ml of distilled water to a full bottle of ink of about 50 ml. You can add more if necessary.

 

I started with a 30 mL bottle -- I'm guessing I would have wanted to add 3 mL of distilled water -- but at this point, I have no idea what quantity is left. It's a pity that the bottles don't come with the mL's marked!

 

I'll wait until I have a new bottle to start with, and give this a try.

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Ah, I forgot to mention before: why don't you take a quick look at the Pelikan Level pens? They have a huge ink capacity, but because they split the reservoir into two sections they aren't supposed to suffer from the kind of problems that a normal high-capacity pen such as an eyedropper does (as I understand it the reason eyedroppers have issues is that you can get enough air in the section as you use up the ink that temperature and pressure changes affecting the volume of the air becomes a problem; with the Level's two-reservoir system that supposedly shouldn't happen).

 

Plus they have a special bottle that you refill them from, which I believe is supposed to be less messy than refilling standard inks as it has a special valve system that interfaces with the valve on the back of the pen. Unfortunately I hear they are difficult to clean out (though supposedly you can disassemble the pen to do it), but if a reliable pen with a high ink capacity is important to you then it's probably worth looking into them since that seems to have been the goal when they were designed. Check out this old thread for example: https://www.fountainpennetwork.com/forum/topic/5397-pelikan-level-65-pen-and-bottle/

 

Level-Mechanik-Vergleich_L65_L5.jpg_1837

 

 

 

To be clear I don't actually have one myself, but it's on my "to get someday" list.

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