Jump to content

Safe And Reversible Way To Make (Some) Pens Dryer



Recommended Posts

TheDutchGuy

Perhaps this is of some use to some of you.

 

Making a pen wetter is relatively easy. Usually, changing to a wet ink does the trick. Conversely, making a pen dryer can be done by changing to a dry ink and this should always be the first step, at least in my opinion. I've had really good results with changing to Pelikan 4001; this is a great ink for taming a pen that's a bit too wet for me.

 

But if the pen is a real firehose and using dry inks doesn't do the trick, then it becomes more difficult. Many experienced fountain pen folks push the tines over each other sideways to bring both halves of the tip closer together. Personally I would never do that to a pen that's valuable, either financially or emotionally. This method often leads to misaligned tines, which then has to be corrected. Twice I've had a nibmeister do this to a pen, and twice I was disappointed with the results. The feel of the pen changed and I spent many, many hours of very gentle, patient and persistent tinkering to get them back to their former self (only drier).

 

Over the last month or so, my circa 2005 MB146 with a much older EF nib somehow decided to become wetter. I don't know why. I use Montblanc ink in it (lavender purple). It got to the point where the ink became extremely saturated and it sheened. The huge flow also lubricated the nib (which is very very smooth to begin with) to such an extent that writing became like hot butter on glass. Exercising control over my writing became very difficult. Changing to a dry ink didn't work well with this particular pen. Now, I'm not about to meddle with this pen. I don't have the required tool to dismantle it and I don't want to take any risk with this wonderful nib.

 

The solution was this:

 

post-141326-0-38546100-1528480845_thumb.jpeg

 

^---This is the stuff they use to heat-seal your chicken filet into its little plastic basket. I guess it's cellophane. It's rigid enough to stay horizontal if you hold it at one end. It's thin enough to slide between the nib and the feed, using tweezers.

 

post-141326-0-58718300-1528480860_thumb.jpeg

 

^---Put the cellophane on a glass plate (or a stainless steel plate or something similar) and use a very very sharp knife (a Stanley knife or a scalpel, etc) to cut a small strip out of it. It should be long enough to pass underneath the breathing hole and wide enough to cover 2/3rd of the width of the nib. If it's too short, it won't work because ink will flow around it and the pen will stay wet. If it's too long, there might be no ink flow left at all. Experiment. I got it right in three attempts. I took this photo before cutting off the excess plastic.

 

post-141326-0-33689700-1528480875_thumb.jpeg

 

post-141326-0-06584900-1528480889_thumb.jpeg

 

^---These photos are only indicative. They don't fully capture the original wetness of the pen. But you can see the difference.

 

This method seems to me to be both safe and reversible, yet there are three minor pitfalls that I can think of:

 

>>Pitfall: the effect is *not* immediately noticeable! It took appr. 7 minutes of writing before the wetness started to decrease and after appr. 15 minutes the pen reached its new equilibrium. So cut the cellophane, insert, write for a while and do not jump to conclusions too fast. It will take longer for pens where the feed has a large buffer capacity. Be patient, write, take your time.

 

>>Pitfall: be very careful to make sure that some of the cellophane remains visible underneath the nib. Since the nib is wider than the feed, the cellophane needs to be wider than the feed yet smaller than the nib. That way, using a pin, a needle or the point of a pocket knife, you can remove it again. If it completely disappears between the nib and the feed, then removing it means dismantling the pen.

 

>>Pitfall: it might not work with every pen. It works great on my MB, but if you somehow cannot make the cellophane pass the breather hole or if you don't get the cellophane cut to the right size, then it might not work.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 15
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

  • TheDutchGuy

    6

  • senzen

    3

  • Fountainer

    1

  • Stompie

    1

Top Posters In This Topic

Posted Images

Fountainer

I have a pen that skips a lot because the nib lifts apart from the feed under pressure. I have some options in mind already, but your method gave me an idea to try to fill the gap with something. So i reach for quite opposite goal: gaining ink flow, and should maybe have some slit cut in the material i'm inserting, or have it somehow porous to let the ink flow through. May be worth trying, because this is easy and the most non-permanent thing to do before big mistakes. I do prefer my pens dry, but i feel comfortable adjusting the nibs to meet the need.

There are other ways than the easiest one too.

Link to post
Share on other sites
TheDutchGuy

I have a pen that skips a lot because the nib lifts apart from the feed under pressure. I have some options in mind already, but your method gave me an idea to try to fill the gap with something. So i reach for quite opposite goal: gaining ink flow

^---Interesting. To be honest I've got my doubts if your approach will work, but if it does, then please post about it here on FPN. If it doesn't work, then you might consider adding a touch of pure glycerine to your ink. It's a trick I learned here on FPN and I've achieved great results with it. Search the forum and you'll find good info.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Interesting, thank you!

 

I have a Parsons Italix that has suddenly started to write very wet but it might be the ink I just filled it with.

I will bear your advice in mind if, after changing ink, I continue to experience an issue.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Bo Bo Olson

Could be your plastic gasket on the piston has developed a small hole, letting too much air in from the back of the pen.

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.

www.nibs.com/blog/nibster-writes/nibs-germany & https://www.peter-bo...cts/nib-systems,

 

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

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

First thought: Chicken filet! :sick:

 

Second thought: this is insane.

 

Third thought: the difference in how the ink looks is amazing! And exactly what I need for Souten and Kon Peki...

 

I gave it a go with a Muji... At least at first It seems to work, flow is not affected, and ink does come out lighter. I just wonder how much it will last, if it won't come out when uncapping... Will do more tests, but thanks for this!

 

fpn_1528573629__muji_hacked.jpg

 

I found it easier to wedge the plastic sheet between the feed and the nib and then trim, I realize it's longer than in your example.

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

 

B. Russell

Link to post
Share on other sites
Karmachanic

But if the pen is a real firehose and using dry inks doesn't do the trick, then it becomes more difficult. Many experienced fountain pen folks push the tines over each other sideways to bring both halves of the tip closer together. Personally I would never do that to a pen that's valuable, either financially or emotionally. This method often leads to misaligned tines, which then has to be corrected. Twice I've had a nibmeister do this to a pen, and twice I was disappointed with the results. The feel of the pen changed and I spent many, many hours of very gentle, patient and persistent tinkering to get them back to their former self (only drier).

 

 

I would neither do, nor recommend that either.

 

My understanding is that one removes the nib and pushes the shoulders together, and then checks the tine spread with a loupe. Then adjust tines as/if required. In the same way if the pen is too dry one can spread the shoulders using the edge of ones thumb nails, starting whilst the nib is mounted and removing the nib if necessary. Both techniques to be applied incrimentally, and slowly and gently. Works for me.

Edited by Karmachanic

"Simplicate and add Lightness."

Link to post
Share on other sites

Tried with a Platinum Cool, didn't make much of a difference; tried with another Muji and Kon Peki, helps a little: looks a tad lighter.

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

 

B. Russell

Link to post
Share on other sites

It seems to me that if a piece of cellophane can be inserted between the feed and the nib, perhaps the feed and nib are not properly aligned. I think that I would prefer to adjust the gap between feed and nib and then the tines, if necessary. If it works for you, that is great.

A consumer and purveyor of words.

 

Co-editor and writer for Faith On Every Corner Magazine

Magazine - http://www.faithoneverycorner.com/magazine.html

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

I am unsure there ought to be a gap between the nib and the feed that you can slip a piece of this material into. If there is, I would be led to suspect that the inserted material would, over time, cause that gap to enlarge. I have been under the impression that the feed and the nib should be in contact.

"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.

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
TheDutchGuy

Valid input by all of you, thank you for that.

 

Regarding should there be space between nib and feed? I guess there shouldn't be. However all of my pens, old, new, cheap, expensive, allow this very thin material to be slipped between nib and feed. It really is very thin stuff. And it is not nearly strong enough to push the nib and feed further apart.

 

Regarding which method is best: I use this on a particular pen that I don't want anybody meddling with. If it had been a friction-fit pen like a TWSBI then I would have found another way to squeeze nib and feed more closely together (the tighter they are, the dryer the pen). This old MB requires a tool to disassemble it, which I don't have. And the nib is very old, writes in a very special way and I don't want to take any chances with that. At some point I might send the pen to MB HQ for proper servicing, but in the mean time this quick fix works very well.

 

Regarding how strong the effect is: this depends closely on the exact length and width of the strip you insert. A millimetre more or less can make a huge difference. It took me three efforts to get it right. It also depends on how easily the cellophane slips in; if there's too much room, then it won't work because the ink will find a way around it. It works if the cellophane just fits in, and is of exactly the right dimensions.

Edited by TheDutchGuy
Link to post
Share on other sites

I use my substitute for a brass shim. You know those little strips they put on things in stores to prevent theft? The ones I’m thinking of are white plastic, a bit over an inch by a bit over a quarter. Carefully cut that open and you get two strips of very thin metal/plastic stuff. Same kind of feel as what we use disassembling a lock.

Physician- signing your scripts with Skrips!


I'm so tough I vacation in Detroit.

Link to post
Share on other sites
TheDutchGuy

I use my substitute for a brass shim. You know those little strips they put on things in stores to prevent theft? The ones I’m thinking of are white plastic, a bit over an inch by a bit over a quarter. Carefully cut that open and you get two strips of very thin metal/plastic stuff. Same kind of feel as what we use disassembling a lock.

^---That's a very good suggestion, thanks!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Just wanted to say thanks for this, it made a big difference for Sailor Souten in its Aluminium Muji, it finally looks like a medium blue and not super dark; I was about to give up on this ink, I rotated it on several pens to no avail.

 

fpn_1528669396__souten_muji_hack.jpg

 

It's very easy to do this with Muji pens, as well as Faber Castell Ambitions, the cellophane slides right in. It was much harder with a Lamy Vista because of the shape of the nib and feed, but I'm now trying with Ina Ho. Thinking about which other ink and pen combinations would benefit from this treatment.

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

 

B. Russell

Link to post
Share on other sites
TheDutchGuy

Just wanted to say thanks for this, it made a big difference for Sailor Souten in its Aluminium Muji, it finally looks like a medium blue and not super dark; I was about to give up on this ink, I rotated it on several pens to no avail.

Glad to be of some help. I use Souten as well and I prefer it darker than you do, but that's a matter of taste. I regard this method as a quick fix for pens that you can't or won't have anyone meddle with.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 1 year later...

It has been quite a while since I have had to resort to this trick, but after putting Visconti Green in my old, green-striped M800 the pen became twice as wet (I had Herbin Bleu Nuit in it before).

 

fpn_1567850331__71729acb-de8a-47b6-a62f-

 

I used a smaller piece of cellophane this time because I just wanted to reduce the saturation somewhat, without making the pen dry. As usual, the cellophane slipped easily between nib and feed because it really is extremely thin. And if I decide to go back to a drier ink, I simply pull it out. Personally I am very glad to discover this trick because there is no need to mess with the tines. Especially on a pen like an M800 or a 146, thats a comfort.

 

For what it is worth, I have removed the cellophane from my 146 some time ago when I changed from MB Lavender Purple to Waterman Mysterious Blue. No harm was done to the pen at all. The cellophane did not degrade in any way due to contact with the ink. It slipped out exactly the way it was when I slipped it in.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now







×
×
  • Create New...