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Optima ink starvation on one pen


chromantic
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I've recently acquired four Optimas. They're beautiful pens and all write very nicely but I'm having a slight problem with one and was wondering if anyone else has experienced this.

 

While all have F nibs, it seems, like Pelikans, the size varies a bit, from almost EF on one, to F on two, to almost M on the 4th. The EF one has a problem with ink starvation - after writing a couple lines, the ink starts to fade and I have to unscrew to piston knob very slightly (barely loosening it) and screw it back, then it's fine until the next go 'round. None of the others exhibits this.

 

I have this one inked with Yama-guri but I'm using Take-sumi in another so I don't think its's an ink issue. For now, I'll try leaving it screwed down not so tightly to see if that helps

It's hard work to tell which is Old Harry when everybody's got boots on.

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I've had six 88/Optima and they've always been consistent to their nib grades and well tuned so it's interesting to hear about your experience.  Are these new or used?

 

In any case, you should use the usual strategies to investigate the source, e.g., tight tines, manufacturing oils (unlikely imo), etc.

 

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Thanks for the replies. These are all new pens. I did draw some water through before inking them the first time. The line variation isn't enormous and is less noticeable on FP-friendly paper than on copy and may partly be ink-dependent, as well. The Gialla's line is the finest and I did considered that might be due to slightly pinched tines but that didn't strike me as an possible explanation for the ink petering out.

 

If it continues, I'll toss the nib assembly in the ultrasonic. I'd be reluctant to pull the nib and feed out of the housing, though. 😧

It's hard work to tell which is Old Harry when everybody's got boots on.

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2 minutes ago, chromantic said:

I'll toss the nib assembly in the ultrasonic.

 

That'll do it.  Don't have one of those newfangled gizmos as yet.

"Simplicate and add Lightness."

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  • 4 weeks later...

I'm pleased to report that, having left the pen just sit for 3 weeks, I flushed it last night and reinked it with MV Olivine and it worked fine all night at work, no hard starts or skipping. (I did use some actual pen flush (Herbin) during the process but no ultrasonic bath.) That's the good news. The bad is that, while the Olivine is quite a nice color, it didn't really grab me.

 

The other bad news is that the (most) beautiful 1992 Green/blue that recently arrived has the same problem. :(

It's hard work to tell which is Old Harry when everybody's got boots on.

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