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Getting A Glass Dip Pen To Write- Help!


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I recently bought a Rohrer & Klingner glass dip pen to use for testing inks. While the swirls around the nib will hold ink, I cannot get them to deliver any to the writing point. I've run it on various smoothing grit pads, which may only have made it worse. But it simply will not write. I've read other complaints like this on retailers websites, but no ideas on how to correct it.

I am looking for suggestions to get this guy to write- Thanks!

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Have you thoroughly degreased the nib? (ammonia and/or alcohol; don't touch the glass when drying)


Smoothing could make it worse if you removed the "swirls" from the side of the very tip -- you need something to carry the ink to the contact point of the paper, without having so much ink that it is dripping off the nib.


{Says the neophyte who has about 6 generic glass pens from various cheap pen&ink sets, but hasn't used one in decades}

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You have to hold the pen at a steep enough angle for one of the ink channels to touch the paper.


If you can't get it to work, get a cheap chinese one. I like my chinese one a lot, it's very consistent and even flowing.

Selling a boatload of restored, fairly rare, vintage Japanese gold nib pens, click here to see (more added as I finish restoring them)

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Besides what has been said, when the grooves that are in contact with the paper run dry of ink, you have to rotate the pen to bring the other grooves into contact with the paper.

Until you ink a pen, it is merely a pretty stick. --UK Mike


My arsenal, in order of acquisition: Sailor 21 Pocket Pen M, Cross Solo M, Online Calligraphy, Monteverde Invincia F, Hero 359 M, Jinhao X450 M, Levenger True Writer M, Jinhao 159 M, Platinum Balance F, TWSBI Classic 1.1 stub, Platinum Preppy 0.3 F, 7 Pilot Varsity M disposables refillables, Speedball penholder, TWSBI 580 USA EF, Pilot MR, Noodler's Ahab 1.1 stub, another Preppy 0.3, Preppy EF 0.2, ASA Sniper F, Click Majestic F, Kaweco Sport M, Pilot Prera F, Baoer 79 M (fake Starwalker), Hero 616 M (fake Parker), Jinhao X750 Shimmering Sands M . . .

31 and counting :D



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Many thanks for the suggestions. I figured the channels weren't contacting the paper and that is probably my fault for smoothing the nib since it was quite scratchy when I first tried it.

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I don't think you likely hurt it. Maybe post a pic of the tip with your phone set to zoom?


Does it write if you really angle the pen down?


Here's a picture of mine (a good writing example) under a digital microscope, you can see it's rounded and the flutes don't go all the way to the tip, so it's ground in a conical, rounded shape.



Edited by Honeybadgers

Selling a boatload of restored, fairly rare, vintage Japanese gold nib pens, click here to see (more added as I finish restoring them)

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