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Any advice for a newbie: best technique for wiping away ink from nib and section after filling


Skydiver

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Does anybody have any advice for a newbie like me on the best way to wipe away the ink from the nib and section of a fountain pen after filling from an ink bottle? Some videos would be appreciated if you have any.

 

What napkin or cloth do you use?

 

Do you clean the section first, or the nib first? Wet or dry?

 

For the section, do you wipe in strokes from the barrel towards the tip, or do you just wrap napkin or cloth around the section and twist around? While twisting, do you work towards the nib or towards the barrel? If your section has ridges like the TWSBI 580ALR, how do you get the ink out of the ridges? How do you deal with the flat circular area of the section that surrounds the nib and feed?

 

For the nib and and feed, do you just wipe the top of the nib, or do you try to get any excess ink in the lower part of the feed?

 

Should I just accept that there is a good probability of getting ink on my fingers during the inking process?

 

As a related question, do you cap the bottle first before doing any of the above cleaning? If you had cats, pets, or young children would you cap the bottle first, or simply lock everyone out of the room? While capping the bottle, where do you put down your pen, or do you just try to juggle the pen, cap, and bottle?

 

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Circular motion, just the section, tissue or paper towel.  All I'm after is not to get ink on my fingers.

 

Sometimes I cap the ink before I wipe down the section, sometimes not.

My latest ebook.   And not just for Halloween!
 

My other pen is a Montblanc.

 

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I purchased a used Pelikan special edition 120 whose nib’s gold plating was completely gone. (the seller disclosed this) I suspect he/she was heavy handed with a kitchen (paper) towel. This prompted me to start using a soft cloth like an old and well washed t-shirt.

...............      .................    

This post made with recycled electrons.

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Nib Chamois!

 

image.jpeg.c86d5e8380c435d885fe9549bb59a750.jpeg

 

I first clean the section using this 4" x 6" Sheepskin Lens Cleaner Chamois before wiping the nib clean anywhere I would be annoyed by leaving ink.

 

I prefer this to paper products because of how soft it is; I don't worry about any possible scratching, but primarily because of how absorbent it is and how fast the ink dries on it rather than on my hands and fingers. YMMV

 

 

 

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Tissue from a nearly empty toilet roll works for my pens. The direction matters less than the desire to keep fingers clean.

 

Although I try to insert only the nib into the ink to make cleaning easier.

 

I always place an old hand towel under the bottle in case of spills and cap the ink bottle before cleaning.

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Whatever as long as it is soft and absorbent, and used also softly to avoid eroding nib or section or unwillingly rotating the nib/feeder.

 

I always have Cleenex at hand, or a discarded cloth rag, or a microfiber spectacles-cleaning napkin. And one can always use a piece of toilet or kitchen paper or a paper napkin from a restaurant/cafeteria/bar.

 

Sometimes I just do a quick dip in water and then dry the section/nib/feed with absorbent cloth/paper. And, rarely, even plain normal paper if I have nothing else at hand.

 

The only thing is trying to be nice instead of ham-fisted. No need for any pressure or force if you use soft, absorbent materials.

If you are to be ephemeral, leave a good scent.

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I usually use a white 100% cotton cloth, mostly because I want to use a reusable cloth and I happen to have a bunch of white cotton ones. I try to only put the nib up to the base of the section in the ink, so I mostly just dab the few remaining ink spots off the pen. But if there’s more, I wrap the cloth around the pen and press lightly — I guess it’s like twisting, but I feel the word twisting implies more force. I do the same (dab any ink spots) with the nib. If there is ink really stuck in the threads, most of the time I just ignore it but occasionally when I’m writing with the pen I’ll use my fingernail through a cloth or tissue to run through the threads. Honestly, I don’t really notice ink in the threads or grooves of most pens, but my Pelikan threads always look grimy.

 

I genuinely can’t remember the last time I got ink on my hands while filling a pen. I usually get covered in ink while flushing pens instead.

 

I usually cap the bottle straight away if any of my (three) cats is looking to help, in which case I just rest the pen on the cleaning cloth while I cap the ink and then proceed with dabbing off any ink I can see on the pen.

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9 hours ago, vicpen123 said:

I always place an old hand towel under the bottle in case of spills and cap the ink bottle before cleaning.

Great advice. I assume that a less fluffy hand towel would be used if it's a brand new Noodlers bottle to ensure that the bottle is level when opened for the first time.

 

I'm currently using some PVC pipe size adapters/flanges to hold my ink bottles to prevent accidentally nocking over the bottle or sample vial. I'll edit this post from my phone to try to add a picture.

 

20230908_090527.thumb.jpg.c59b6c259060422a26e5980db5fdbac2.jpg

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From my most humble, subjective and personal point of view, yes, it would be overkill. But if you like it, why not?

If you are to be ephemeral, leave a good scent.

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A Kleenex will do just fine. I have a Kleenex box on my desk.

Cuts from an old flannel or as someone mentioned cotton shirt, also, but you have to go hunting  for that.

 

I bought a dirty Pelikan 150 and told the guy at the junk/antique store not to clean the nib and he used a paper towel and wiped off all the gold plating.  The pen still writes great.

 

I was given an antique Pelikan 120 in near mint, some 15 years ago, and babied it, but after 60-70 years the gold plating started vanishing, even with out use. Quite a shock, considering how little I used it.

The 120's nib is the equivalent of the 200's in flex rate.

I have other gold plated nibs that are just fine....but sooner or later , in it is a plated nib, the gold will take a hike...dab, don't rub.

 

Most of the time I don't have to clean the nib, just the section.

 

 

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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On 9/8/2023 at 8:18 AM, Skydiver said:

 

Wow! Not at all overkill, in my opinion.

 

And I now know what I'll be getting as a gift for my pen-loving friends. 🙂

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I usually use a Bounty paper towel. A few times, I’ve held the pen under a small stream of water, then dried it with a paper towel. 

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On 9/8/2023 at 10:48 PM, Skydiver said:


i feel like this is just another thing to try and balance while you’re already juggling pen pieces and ink — adding a stud closure to open and a wallet to keep flat and leather to try not to get ink on sounds more annoying than anything, in my opinion.

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I filled my first non-cartridge pen this weekend with Waterman Serenity Blue and I didn’t end up looking like a Smurf.  Hooray!

 

As a newbie myself, I opted to wear a pair of nitrile exam gloves just incase I really messed up filling or cleaning the nib afterward.

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Way back in the when of B&W TV only (before Walt Disney's Color) , in 4th grade when we graduated from pencils, lever filling was all we had....(Expensive then and still) Cartridges drifted down to the bottom feeders a couple years later.

 

I can't complain too, too, much about over expensive cartridges, in they kept the pen companies alive.

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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