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Looking for source of empty "Long" international cartridges


jonathan7007
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Although I found and bought a couple of Pelikan's five-packs of a long international royal blue to empty myself, I'd like to fill the other colors into cleaner empty "carts".

I've searched threads here, eBay, and Amazon. (The search algorithms misunderstand the goal but wading through a bunch of results I see that this may never be possible...)

 

I like my own bottled-ink choices. Just hope to use them with fewer refill breaks.

Thanks, in advance...

 

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I recommend contacting the purchasing department of an ink manufacturer who sells long cartridges and asking for contact info for their source.  Pelikan, Jacques Herbin, and Waterman appear to use them.  Here's the cheapest Amazon listing for long cartridges (with ink, that you'd have to empty): https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07PG959HP and here's a link to an even cheaper double-ended AliExpress cartridge that might work.

 

I can't say I've ever seen either size for sale empty, and the long cartridges are pretty rare.

 

Are converters really so awful? :)

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Liz, thanks so much for your reply.

I already bought two little boxes with 5 (each) Pelikan 4001 Black "Giant Ink Cartridges" (cute). 10 empties ready for ink in a dedicated color range is probably enough for me. Since these Pelikan units remain untouched months later filled with the original black it hasn't been an emergency. As I said I'd already searched eBay and Amazon.

 

Re: refilling converters. I do this all the time with syringes. I find that there is not very much ink in there! I like really wet pens. The advantage of the converter is the *relative* ease with which we can charge the feed with the helical plunger.  A soft cartridge can be massaged but it's a lot less direct or controllable.

 

A side note: I recently set out to repurpose a long international in a "parts" drawer. Injecting Diamine Ancient Copper I discovered immediately that black-ink-residue visibly coating the inside of the empty cartridge shell had really knocked down that very vibrant Diamine color. I had taken steps to clean that inside surface as best I could already! That is what prompted the search (again) for empties that never carried any ink. And it's why I will separate any I use into narrow-as-possible color ranges.

 

Again, thank you for helping out.

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5 minutes ago, jonathan7007 said:

A side note: I recently set out to repurpose a long international in a "parts" drawer. Injecting Diamine Ancient Copper I discovered immediately that black-ink-residue visibly coating the inside of the empty cartridge shell had really knocked down that very vibrant Diamine color. I had taken steps to clean that inside surface as best I could already! That is what prompted the search (again) for empties that never carried any ink. And it's why I will separate any I use into narrow-as-possible color ranges.

I just use a syringe (full force) to clean out ink cartridges.  If the ink won't come out with plain water, a pen flush (home made or otherwise) ought to do it, perhaps with soaking for permanent inks, but I've never even needed pen flush, just the syringe...  (Hold things with the cartridge opening down and in the sink, as the full force of the syringe will spray water out the opening - make sure the syringe doesn't cover the entire opening.)

 

Sorry I can't help further with already-empty cartridges - never seen them for sale anywhere.  But I'm certain the ink makers know where to get them, and I imagine it's from some Chinese manufacturer, you just have to find out who... :)

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15 minutes ago, jonathan7007 said:

Re: refilling converters. I do this all the time with syringes. I find that there is not very much ink in there! I like really wet pens. The advantage of the converter is the *relative* ease with which we can charge the feed with the helical plunger.  A soft cartridge can be massaged but it's a lot less direct or controllable.

 

I am assuming that you don't prime the feed after you initially refill the convert. If that is the case, then what's wrong with using the converters as they were designed and dipping the nib in the ink? In that case, no priming is necessary and the feed will contain an additional load of ink. You'll still have quite a bit less ink than you would with a full sized cartridge, but you should have significantly more nonetheless. 

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52 minutes ago, jonathan7007 said:

… I like really wet pens.

3 hours ago, jonathan7007 said:

I like my own bottled-ink choices. Just hope to use them with fewer refill breaks.

 

In all honesty, I think the straightforward and relatively less frustrating (due futility of the search) or painful solution is to use “really wet” pens that are eyedropper- or piston-filled and using the whole cross-sectional interior of their barrels as ink reservoirs. (That means fountain pens that use a distinct, embedded piston-filler core unit such as the Schmidt KFH450 don't count.) Such pens are more readily available on the retail market than empty cartridges stock sold as industry supplies.

 

Just to be clear, I take it your primary concerns — and sources of any frustration — are with functional and operational performance; so cost is of lower priority and where you would be more prepared to compromise in a solution, never mind the difference in unit costs (with piston-filled pens ranging from $2 to upwards of $500 each, as opposed to sub-$1 for each empty cartridge).

 

2 hours ago, LizEF said:

I can't say I've ever seen either size for sale empty, and the long cartridges are pretty rare.

 

59 minutes ago, LizEF said:

But I'm certain the ink makers know where to get them, and I imagine it's from some Chinese manufacturer, you just have to find out who... :)

 

There are ink cartridge filling machinery that are being sold on AliBaba (not AliExpress), so I imagine there are also Chinese sellers that sell empty cartridges wholesale for use with those machines, but their target market would be industrial production facilities that service ink manufacturers.

 

Back when I was exploring how best to give ink samples away, I already tried (very hard!) looking for empty ‘international standard’ cartridges, never mind ‘short’ or ‘long’, to absolutely no avail. Furthermore, the two quasi-standards for ink cartridge bore used by most Chinese fountain pens are 2.6mm and 3.4mm; so ‘international standard’ 2.4mm-bore stock would be even harder to find in marketplaces such as AliExpress.

 

The only retail product of (especially robust) empty ink cartridges designed for self-service refilling is from Sailor, which of course are of the brand's proprietary format.

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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I'm using long cartridges with my Kaweco Perkeos because they hold so much ink. (About 1.5ml.) The downside is they hold a lot of ink so it takes a lot if writing to 'earn' the empties.

 

The process could be speeded up by syringing the ink out and storing it in a vial or ink bottle.

 

The cleaning I do exactly as LizEF describes: blunt needle syringe and water.

It's all about the greys...

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29 minutes ago, A Smug Dill said:

Back when I was exploring how best to give ink samples away, I already tried (very hard!) looking for empty ‘international standard’ cartridges, never mind ‘short’ or ‘long’, to absolutely no avail.

Who would figure buying empty ink cartridges would be so difficult! :) Maybe there's some special ritual required before one is considered worthy of putting ink in cartridges...

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Just now, AmandaW said:

The process could be speeded up by syringing the ink out and storing it in a vial or ink bottle.

 

Pretty much what I did when I needed a cheap way to fill my squad of Platinum Preppy pens (which use a proprietary cartridge format) that are dedicated to pigment inks, and Daiso Air-Seal pens (which use 2.6mm-bore cartridges, if I recall correctly) dedicated to iron-gall inks.

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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When Nemosine closed up shop, they were selling bags of long cartridges. You might contact Birmingham Pens (one of the owners was the owner of Nemosine) and ask if they have any ideas.

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19 minutes ago, LizEF said:

Who would figure buying empty ink cartridges would be so difficult! :) Maybe there's some special ritual required before one is considered worthy of putting ink in cartridges...

I think it's more that cartridges are designed to be tossed in the trash when empty.

Ruth Morrisson aka inkstainedruth

"It's very nice, but frankly, when I signed that list for a P-51, what I had in mind was a fountain pen."

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Everyone, thanks so much for your replies. There's so much expertise and experience offered on FPN.

 

I *do* use syringes to flush cartridges and converters. The power of the flow often speeds cleaning and pulls out whatever lurks at the bottom... In the example cited that black residue only came off the inside of the used cartridge with the physical scraping of the blunt syringe tip, so I in that one case I stopped working on the cleaning project. Thought I'd not see contamination and I was wrong. Result noted! Hence the search.

 

These small pen companies are helpful on the main but at their margins I feel I should only interrupt their day with important questions about their products. Suppliers' info is usually changeable and a little "personal". My take - feels a bit nosy. Just me.

 

Smug Dill, thanks for those suggestions -I do have pens that are eyedroppered. I've been backing off that solution lately because keeping the chamber topped up enough to avoid burps (too much air, I think) makes for a lower reward for the enlarged capacity. I also found that eyedroppered pens weren't always wetter at the nib for the change.

 

Thank you especially for that specific sizing comparison of cartridge connectors.

 

I start all pen decisions (buying, etc.) and hacking with the nib and handwriting experience I want. There's a loosely-felt budget: it's satisfying achieving goals with less expensive pens, so I do a lot of component swapping among Ahabs, FPR bodies, (way less so now)Jinhao, other gear. I cut fins and gouge feed channels; low-end nibs get "dremelled" to learn the touch and try the result. Newly stubbier, left- and right-footed Prefountes and other experiments. There's a time budget, too.

 

My 30's Waterman Ink-Vue is a wonderful somewhat-flexy writer. I'll branch out further into vintage pens when we can all get out more broadly and I can place myself at a pen show (not my city, sadly.)

 

My first fountain pens in the early sixties were Osmiroid italics with various nib configurations. School Sheaffers, too, of course.

 

All this in service to note-taking and mailed correspondence. Handwriting is soothing, too. Ink on paper is a rewarding art.

 

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19 hours ago, A Smug Dill said:

 

The only retail product of (especially robust) empty ink cartridges designed for self-service refilling is from Sailor

They have a kit of sorts, I believe? (Ok, they have a pack of empty cartridges for sale, and they supply a syringe with their pen maintenance kit)

I find Sailor cartridges to not be very good for refilling, ink gets into nooks at the very bottom of the cartridge and takes a while to get out(without an ultrasonic cleaner, and a syringe hasn't managed to flush the ink out) (But then again this might not bother most people). I find Pilot cartridges to be very good for reuse, sturdy, and easy to clean.

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5 hours ago, jonathan7007 said:

In the example cited that black residue only came off the inside of the used cartridge with the physical scraping of the blunt syringe tip

That would drive me nuts! I'm not having any difficulty cleaning mine but if I were I'd be getting  some that had an easy clean ink in them eg Waterman's blue.

 

It's all about the greys...

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On 11/4/2021 at 8:38 AM, jonathan7007 said:

I like really wet pens.

6 hours ago, jonathan7007 said:

I do have pens that are eyedroppered. I've been backing off that solution lately because keeping the chamber topped up enough to avoid burps (too much air, I think) makes for a lower reward for the enlarged capacity.

 

Burping = (burst of) ink gushing through the feed more quickly than you can spread it in a controlled and desired manner; in other words, one flavour of being “really wet”  ;)

 

I can't explain why, but I don't get any burping from piston-filled pens that use the cavity of their barrels as ink reservoirs, even when the ink level is low; in theory the gas in the ‘empty’ space inside the reservoirs would be as apt to be warmed up and expand when the pen is in the user's hand for a non-trivial length of time. Still, I think you should try piston-fillers.

 

6 hours ago, jonathan7007 said:

The power of the flow often speeds cleaning and pulls out whatever lurks at the bottom... In the example cited that black residue only came off the inside of the used cartridge with the physical scraping of the blunt syringe tip,

 

Some factory-filled ink cartridges use a ball to seal the mouth prior to (first) use, and that ball ends up inside the tube once a cartridge has been “popped”, in which case it sorta doubles as an agitator. The presence of such would interfere with the force of the jet of liquid being directed out the tip of a (blunt) needle attachment on a syringe, etc. against the nook at the end of the cartridge.

 

In any case, I would suggest using a cotton tip to “scrub” the walls of a converter or cartridge where necessary, instead of scraping against it with metal and damaging the evenness of the interior wall surface, which makes is more likely to trap colourants in the future. Of course, that's easier to do with a Pilot, Sailor, or some other relatively large-bore cartridge.

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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  • 1 month later...

Private Reserve has long carts you can fill yourself - I just saw them at Drumgoole's site, but I am sure other online stores also carry them - I don't know which ones.

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Goulet also carries the Private Reserve packs of long international empty cartridges. I think it comes with a syringe. 

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2 hours ago, mouse2cat said:

Hey all I found em

 

Yes, but at that price they cost roughly half as much as full cartridges of the same type.  I can't call that value for money.

 

I also prefer writing with cartridge filler pens and bottled ink and I refill my cartridges with a syringe (not being a fan of converters, given their limited capacity and the messy nature of the refilling process).  I've found that cartridges can be re-filled in this way an almost infinite number of times.  I bought one pack of international long cartridges more than 10 years ago and I still use these today.  

 

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3 hours ago, mouse2cat said:

 

Bravo! Thank you so much for sharing. 🙏

 

On 11/4/2021 at 6:19 AM, jonathan7007 said:

I like my own bottled-ink choices. Just hope to use them with fewer refill breaks.

 

40 minutes ago, austollie said:

Yes, but at that price they cost roughly half as much as full cartridges of the same type.  I can't call that value for money.

 

Nevertheless, the user would gain in time-efficiency not having to clean the factory-filled cartridges, with or without finding some use (or just keeping aside) the ink with which filled cartridges come supplied. Even if there is a reduction in value-for-money, that may still be a worthwhile trade-off for some. I don't see it as inherently a quest for an alternative solution that is better hands-down (or at least equal) in every metric and every way than the one's already known, as opposed to simply exploring different compromises each having its advantages as well as disadvantages, from which someone can (reluctantly? grudgingly?) choose to suit his/her priorities.

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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