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A strange experience with Parker 45s and Parker Quink ‘Black’


Mercian
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Last month I bought a Parker 75 with a 14k gold ‘M’ nib. The pen has the date code ‘IE’, so is from either 1984 Q1 or 1988 Q3.

One of the first inks that I put through it was Parker Quink ‘Black’, from a cartridge that I bought back in the mid-2000s.

It worked delightfully in my 75, being far more ‘black’ than I remember it as being.

 

Today I decided to put a cartridge from the same box in to my early-1970s Parker 45, which has a 14k gold ‘M’ nib.

In that pen it barely wrote at all.

I assumed that there was something wrong with the pen, and switched the cartridge in to my late-1970s Parker 45, which has a steel ‘M’ nib.

The ink barely worked in that pen either.

 

I then spent Some Time switching the nibs, feed-‘spikes’, and grip-sections between my two 45s, in a quest to cobble-together a 45 in which my cartridge of Parker Quink ‘Black’ would produce a pleasant writing experience.

Whilst I have now managed to create a 45 in which the flow of Quink is improved slightly, the pen is still laying down a very fine line that looks ‘washed-out’ and grey.

 

Does anybody understand why this might be occurring?

Do I perhaps own the two driest-writing 45s in Christendom? I don’t think it’s this, because I haven’t had problems with any other inks in them.

Or do I have the wettest-writing 75 on the planet?


Is 2000s-era Quink ‘Black’ merely incompatible with 1970s Parker pens?

 

Or has my house become host to either a Dybbuk, or perhaps a convocation of the Unseelie Court?

(If I had to lay money on any of these possible explanations, it would undoubtedly be the latter one.)

 

My thanks to you in advance for any explanations that you can offer.

Slàinte,

M.

Foul in clear conditions, but handsome in the fog.

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Sorry, no clue.  My first Parker 45 (a GT Deluxe with a 14K medium nib) ADORED modern Quink Black.  It was like dancing on ice across the page.  Super smooth.  Just a joy to write with.

All I can maybe suggest is that you disassemble the nib unit entirely, for really thorough soaking and cleaning and maybe also look and see if the tines are correctly aligned on the nib (or if the tines need to be opened up a little bit, or there's an issue with the tipping).

OTOH, the dark blue 45 Arrow with the OF nib someone gave me in a PiF a few years ago does write a bit on the dry side.

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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Richard Binder and I have found that black Parker Quink often has flow problems, even in a properly adjusted Parker pen. If a client writes and says that they're having flow problems with their pen I often ask what ink they're using.  When they say "black Quink" I tell them to flush the pen and try a different ink.  That usually clears up the problem.  Blue, and blue black Quink often work fine, but if you're using black and have flow issues, change your ink.

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It may be that some of the water content of your box of cartridges has been lost by diffusion through the plastic walls of the cartridges. (They are pushing 20 years old.)

I have some 30 year old cartridges that seem to be about 2/3 ink and 1/3 air now. But others of similar age that still look nicely filled.

 

If some water content has been lost that would make the ink blacker, as you observed, in a pen that can handle the altered ink, but other pens may not be able to handle the "thicker" ink at all.

This idea fits with the observation by Ron Z that even fresh Quink Black is marginal in some Parker pens.

 

You could try injecting a little plain water into the open end of the cartridge that you have been experimenting with. Give it a good shake, and try again in any of the problem pens.

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Interesting comment from Ron.

 

I have used Parker Quink black (bottle and cartridge) exclusively for over 50 years in all my pens (Parker 45, 51, 75, Sonnet, Duoflold, Premier as well as other brands). Both vintage and new.

 

Never had a problem. Never had to adjust. Must be lucky.

 

Would changing inks be a cause?

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Thanks for the answers!

:thumbup:

 

I reckon I’ll just have to keep Quink ‘Black’ out of my 45s in future.
Restrict my 45s to other inks. At least I know that I can use Quink ‘Black’ happily in my 75.

Foul in clear conditions, but handsome in the fog.

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10 hours ago, vicpen123 said:

Would changing inks be a cause?


I don’t know. It may be.

 

I am very thorough about cleaning out my pens if I am going to either change inks or not use the pen for a while.

 

I suppose it’s possible that Quink ‘Black may be an ink that only works well if it has soaked in to the feed thoroughly; that it might need to have built-up a coating all over the feed before it works well. But I haven’t noticed any improvement in its flow overnight.


Only - in my 45 that is now in ‘clean-up’ - the usual ability of the 45’s feed to contain a seemingly non-finite residue of whatever ink it last held.

I have flushed the pen thoroughly, dismantled it and cleaned each component by hand, soaked the grip-section, and have wicked two fills of water/dish-soap through its nib. It is now wicking its third fill of Ammonia solution through the nib, on to a piece of kitchen roll. And there is still some Quink ‘Black’ coming out 🤪

Foul in clear conditions, but handsome in the fog.

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12 hours ago, vicpen123 said:

Interesting comment from Ron.

 

I have used Parker Quink black (bottle and cartridge) exclusively for over 50 years in all my pens (Parker 45, 51, 75, Sonnet, Duoflold, Premier as well as other brands). Both vintage and new.

 

Never had a problem. Never had to adjust. Must be lucky.

 

Would changing inks be a cause?

 

I have no idea what the cause is.  It doesn't always happen, but it happens and has happened often enough over the years that we suggest trying a different ink.  That isn't to say its a bad ink, but if you are using the ink and a pen is balky, it may be worth trying something different.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Last week I received a few Parker vintage pens. I thought Parker Quink Black was the safest choice ...

Below is a Parker Lucky Curve ringtop, F nib, on bothTomoe River and Fabriano.

Same with a Lady Duofold, stub.  Paper and nib/feed are not the culprit, I am afraid ...

 

oaos.jpeg

 isz4.jpeg

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I may have experienced a similar phenomenon with the Parker 180 fountain pen.

 I wondered if the cleaning at the time of purchase was inadequate, but the symptoms worsened in a short amount of time. Now, I'm thoroughly re-cleaning. It is suspected that the acid ink remaining inside the pen is mixed with the weakly alkaline Quink Black to cause precipitation.

 The hint is

 1. @vicpen123 has consistently used Quink Black with good results.

 2. We have a situation of ink switching, especially after purchase, it is highly likely that we have ink flakes inside the pen.

 That is.

 

 Quink Black should be one of the safest inks with a near neutral pH.

 

 Related thread.

https://www.fountainpennetwork.com/forum/topic/100674-mixing-inks/

 

 

https://www.fountainpennetwork.com/forum/topic/339505-some-ink-ph-levels-available-in-japan-but-only-a-selected-222-few/

 

correction;

I misread blue black and black.

 Please read it as a mixture of inks with different pH.

 It also corrects "Quink Black is a safe ink near neutral pH".

 

 

 

Edited by Number99
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22 hours ago, Number99 said:

It is suspected that the acid ink remaining inside the pen is mixed with the weakly alkaline Quink Black to cause precipitation.

 

 

Thanks for the suggestion and for the information. 

 

I thought my new pens had been cleaned, since a new sac had been installed, but apparently I was wrong.

I managed to take out  nib and feed and to clean them thoroughly on the Parker Lady Duofold and now it works perfectly with Quink Black ! 

 

I can't get nib/feed out on the the other pen (it still retains the lucky curve) but now I know what the cause could be. 

Thanks !

 

(sorry for the bad picture ...)

http://mz4l.jpeg

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On 4/5/2022 at 3:46 AM, ThePenHolder said:

 

Thanks for the suggestion and for the information. 

 

I thought my new pens had been cleaned, since a new sac had been installed, but apparently I was wrong.

I managed to take out  nib and feed and to clean them thoroughly on the Parker Lady Duofold and now it works perfectly with Quink Black ! 

 

I can't get nib/feed out on the the other pen (it still retains the lucky curve) but now I know what the cause could be. 

Thanks !

 

(sorry for the bad picture ...)

http://mz4l.jpeg

After thoroughly cleaning with sodium bicarbonate cleaning solution, I also carried out thorough cleaning with ascorbic acid cleaning solution just in case.

 Even with the ascorbic acid solution, a small amount of "blue ink" (green) was found to elute, so I think my pen arrived in a fairly dirty state.

 

 Now my pen is working fine too.

 

 With the news of success from you, we were able to proceed in a good atmosphere.

 Thank you.

 

 

 

 

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On 3/24/2022 at 9:14 AM, Mercian said:

 

Or has my house become host to either a Dybbuk, or perhaps a convocation of the Unseelie Court?

(If I had to lay money on any of these possible explanations, it would undoubtedly be the latter one.)

 

 

 

The answer of course is 42, and the explanation is that the mice are experimenting on you!

 

I have a bottle of vintage Sheaffer ink on my desk for use in problem pens.  It has never failed me.

Fountain pens are my preferred COLOR DELIVERY SYSTEM (in part because crayons melt in Las Vegas).

Create a Ghostly Avatar and I'll send you a letter. Check out some Ink comparisons: The Great PPS Comparison 

Don't know where to start?  Look at the Inky Topics O'day.  Then, see inks sorted by color: Blue Purple Brown Red Green Dark Green Orange Black Pinks Yellows Blue-Blacks Grey/Gray UVInks Turquoise/Teal MURKY

 

 

 

 

 

 

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