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Flow Issues: Skipping


rfenter

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I have two or three pens that skip severely, including a Pelikan M400. How do I address this issue? Thanks in advance.

Randy

www.hpf.org

 

 

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This is very hard to diagnose without a clearer description of how and when the pen skips. The first thing that I would try is to give the pen a good clean, just in case the skipping is caused by a lack of ink flow. If that doesn't do the trick, I'd take a closer look at the tines. Are they properly aligned? If they are, I'd try gently flossing the tines.

 

While I'm happy to experiment with cheaper pens (e.g. re-aligning the tines myself, writing figure eights on rough paper to address dead spots), if cleaning and flossing don't work and if it were my pen, given that an M400 isn't cheap, I'd take it to a reputable pen shop.

 

Good luck with your pen.

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I’m so far from a knowledgeable expert but I recently had a new pen that just wasn’t working like I thought it should. It’s a Montegrappa with an internal/invisible converter filler. After trying a couple of inks it was suggested that when I cleaned out the pen I use a drop of dish soap and not use tons of water to later rinse it out. This has drastically improved the ink flow.

 

I have no Pelikan pens so can’t speak to disassembling. Many of my cheaper pens I have disassembled the nib section, soaked and thoroughly cleaned them to the point of using a soft brush on the feed. That helped a bunch along with finding the ink that worked.

 

Do they skip with any ink? Are they easily to soak the nib section in pen flush?

 

Here in Oregon there are no pen stores to take my pens in for repair so I sent a number of them to Gena at Custom Nib Studio and now they all work perfectly.

 

I hope yours is an easy solution.

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I have a used ST Dupont Olympio that skipped severely when I received it. Ultimately I ended up giving it an ultrasonic cleaning about 10 times and now the flow is beautiful and juicy with no skipping issues. The other cause, particularly with new nibs, would be baby’s bottom... which, for me, skipping tends to occur always with the same stroke with a particular letter.

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A modern post '97 400 are known for baby bottom in being polished too much (fat and blobby double ball instead of the pre 98 tear drop tipping like on the 200)....baby bottom....trouble starting a word....after started the word is ok....if written fast enough could be the second word also is then ok.

 

What paper are you using?.........some slicker papers show baby bottom up more than a 50-100% cotton paper.

 

If it's a post '97 400 it is a semi-nail nib.....and would make a nice stub or CI.

(I am very biased......don't like modern Pelikan nibs outside the still classic 200 nice springy regular flex steel nib. I do like the semi&maxi-semi-flex vintage '50-70 era pens.....29 semi-flex &16 maxi-semi-flex. Do like the '82-97 springy regular flex nibs (gold or steel) also....10-12 of them. Don't care for nails, or semi-nails.

 

 

Go to Richard Binder's site.....and spend three days having fun. Has a section that talks of nibs, stubs, CI and Italic nib shapes.

In reference to P. T. Barnum; to advise for free is foolish, ........busybodies are ill liked by both factions.

 

 

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

 

 

 

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I'm not an expert but with my 35+ pens 99% of problems have been solved with thorough cleaning; a bulb syringe makes this quicker. Pelikans just require a little more patience, soak the nib and feed unit, I managed to resuscitate one that had not been used in 15 years, with ink in it. I would suggest refraining from messing with nibs until you do this, I knackered quite a few until I learned the lesson.

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

 

B. Russell

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How do I address this issue?

 

How much work are you prepared to put in yourself, before you either give up on that pen altogether, or delegate (most likely at some personal expense on your part) the problem to someone else to resolve?

 

My personal approach would be, in escalation steps:

  • clean the nib and feed
    • flushing using pressurised jet of cleaning solution — whether that's my homemade dilute solution of dishwashing detergent and household ammonia, or a commercially available fountain pen flush — and then filtered/demineralised/distilled water, and drying thoroughly afterwards as much as is practicable
    • running the nib unit or entire gripping section through a cleaning cycle or three in my ultrasonic cleaning tank
  • flossing between the tines with a piece of film or a brass shim
  • change inks
  • inspecting the tines and tipping under a loupe to check for defects and irregularities, and
    • make a warranty claim if that is appropriate; or
    • attempt to fix the issue by realigning the tines and/or reshaping the tipping with emery boards and micro-mesh myself, if I cannot validly make a warranty claim, in spite of defects or irregularities being evident
  • check whether it's my handwriting technique that is problematic, if the issue is happening with a number of different pens with similar nibs (e.g. they all have Stub nibs)

I endeavour to be frank and truthful in what I write, show or otherwise present, when I relate my first-hand experiences that are not independently verifiable; and link to third-party content where I can, when I make a claim or refute a statement of fact in a thread. If there is something you can verify for yourself, I entreat you to do so, and judge for yourself what is right, correct, and valid. I may be wrong, and my position or say-so is no more authoritative and carries no more weight than anyone else's here.

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