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3 Questions About Platinum: Adapter, Iron Gall Ink, Refilling Cartridges

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Been using R&K Salix IG ink daily for almost a year now. I clean and flush the pens before each refill and have had zero problems.


Prefer piston fill pens as they hold more ink than cartridge or converters. Had a few converters fail on me, (ink leaking behind the seal and getting in the barrel). Also have had flow problems with cartridge and converters. Never had any problems with a piston fill's ink flow or leaking.


Filling from by dipping the pen in a bottle of ink is no big deal. Just be a bit careful and wipe the pen clean. Sometimes I do get ink on my fingers and then I just wash my hands. No problem.


If you're worried about getting inky fingers, wear disposable gloves. You can get a 100 pair for a few dollars at your local hardware store or online.


ETA: In my experience when using adapters of any kind you're creating an extra contact point of potential failure. I don't even like using electrical or plumbing adapters for this reason.

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So, question #1: is this just a necessary evil with the adapter, or should I be able to get the same reliability as with Platinum cartridges if I find the right ink and/or replace the adapter with another?


The adapter will always make the whole pen less reliable, I think. Because it doesn't seal perfectly.


So, question #2: can Platinum's blue-black ink damage a 14K gold nib, or is there no risk of damage in this case?


No, gold is not damaged by iron gall. Historically, that is why they started using gold in the first place.


So, question #3: can I refill a cartridge which originally held iron gall ink with a different ink? What precautions do I need to take to do so?


You can, but I wouldn't.

First, ALWAYS clean it when you change ink type, regardless of whether or not it is iron gall. But when using iron gall, I would suggest to clean it more often, even if you use the same kind of ink as before.


PS: I know there is also the possibility of using a converter, but this is not something I like in my case, as my pen travels a lot between home, work, and various places and it would be a bit too messy for that kind of use.


Actually, I think refilling a converter is WAY less fussy than refilling a cartridge. And a converter can hold more ink than a cartridge. In fact, you don't even have to disassemble the pen when filling the converter, so not sure why you are reluctant to use a converter.

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Mine indeed fits quite loose. Not so loose that it will fall if the pen is held upside down, but loose enough so that a rather light pull is enough to remove it, very little force needed. And if I pull the cartridge, it comes out with the adapter, i.e., the attachment between adapter and cartridge is stronger (much stronger, I'd say) than between pen and adapter.


Should the fit be much tighter?

I wouldn't think so. When you remove the cart, you want the adapter to stick to that, rather than the cartridge nipple deep in the section.

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I agree. In most cases I've seen, refilling a cartridge with a syringe gives a much higher capacity than the converter. The Shaffer cartridge also gives about half the capacity as the cart, My international converters are the same size as the cartridges and there's been a couple pens that the converter doesn't seem to want to fill through right. Still, I like to buy a wad of cartridges and then fill them with a syringe. My only gripe is that I haven't found a good way to seal the cartridges for later, so it's best to wash it out as soon as you can and then fill it when you need it.


As far as for cleaning, I am prone to carry my pens into the shower, especially Platinum cartridge based pens since that steel ball they use to seal the cartridge tends to trap some ink on the back end. The stream from the shower head can easily force water into the cartridge, and then slinging the pen like an old school thermometer forces this water through the feed. Unless you're using something hyper staining like Noodler's Baystate Blue or similar, any ink stains then just wash away. You don't actually need a syringe in here, but you still have to clean the syringe after you ink the cartridge up.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Both of my 3776s see a lot of action and are among my all-time favorite pens for daily use.


I always refill an old cartridge rather than using the converter for 3 reasons: the cartridge holds more ink than the converter, I don't like dipping the nib or converter into the bottle to fill, the Chartres Bleu and Bourgogne pens look nicer when held up to the light if a cartridge is in there as opposed to the converter.


These pens get a healthy diet of Platinum Blue-Black because it's one of the best inks out there. Have no fears about corrosion issues. The IG doesn't even leave behind any sediment the way some other IG inks can.


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