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Vintage lever filler randomly blobbing ink


Paul-in-SF

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Wahl-Eversharp Deco Band, F nib, Flexible but I am not flexing it. The blobbing never happens right when I start, but after a few sentences a huge blob of ink comes out without any warning -- writing along, Fine size text line and then BLOB. Blot up the blob, blot the excess off the nib and feed, carry on writing for a few sentences, then another huge blob. 

 

This is a lovely pen, but this makes it pretty much unusable. I've had it for a while but I don't use it often, and I can't remember if I had this sort of problem the last time I used it. 

 

Is it the heat from my hand? I had never heard of this happening with sacced pens. Is it because the feed is set for a Flexible nib and the ink wants to come out faster than I can write with it? Any suggestions or solutions?

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Prime suspects in this case: a pinhole in the sac, or the sac  incorrectly shellacked onto the nipple.

 

Someone more experienced will weigh in soon.

My latest ebook.   And not just for Halloween!
 

My other pen is a Montblanc.

 

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39 minutes ago, Sailor Kenshin said:

Prime suspects in this case: a pinhole in the sac, or the sac  incorrectly shellacked onto the nipple.

This is where you always start. It doesn't take much of a hole to upset the balance and allow extra air into the sac - and drip. Even if the sac looks good, I replace the sac.  Make sure it's the right size and length, and that the sac is tight on the nipple.  While you're at it, make sure that the sac nipple doesn't have any cracks.

 

Next place to look is the feed.   Make sure that the nib and feed are snug in the section.   And make sure that the feed is firmly set against the nib at the tip, and flat.   Sometimes I start with the feed out of the pen, heat the feed to where it is soft, and then press it firmly against a hard flat surface so that I know that it is flat from end to end.  Reassemble, and check to see if you can slide a piece of paper between the nib and tip of the feed.  If you can, set the tip against the feed again until you can't.

 

Sometimes the air channel is cut too deep.  I've encountered this most often in Parker Vacs, but it's possible in other feeds.  If the air channel is too deep, too much air gets back into the pen and it can ooze, and even drip. 

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Thank you, Ron and Sailor. These items will be my project for this evening, and I will report back my success, I hope. 

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Progress report: I finally got the section out without incident. It took a while.

 

Once the section was out, I tried to fill the sac with water by squeezing it with my fingers, and it did not refill more than about one-third. So clearly there was something wrong with the sac, and I removed it. Once removed, I used a pipette to fill it with water, and holding the top closed with my fingers, I was not able to detect any leakage of water when squeezing it. When I got out a replacement sac, size 22, I noticed that the old sac felt more flimsy than the new one. 

 

I found no crack or other damage to the nipple. The only shellac residue on the nipple was actually in a very narrow band above where the sac had been, not actually where the sac neck had been. The sac came off in one piece, I used my fingernail to pry it off and thought I was tearing it, but I wasn't. The sac seems still quite resilient, if a little flimsy. 

 

So, barring advice otherwise, I will be replacing the sac, and tomorrow trying it out first with water and then with ink. 

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Final update: it was clearly the sac that was the issue, and since I could not find any flaw in the sac itself, or the nipple, I am concluding that insufficient or deteriorated shellac holding the sac on the nipple was letting air in. I did make the new sac about 3/8" longer than the old one, with no observable ill effect. I wrote an A4 page with it, without any variation in nib wetness. Thanks again to the two responders for their invaluable help in rescuing this old treasure. 

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6 minutes ago, Paul-in-SF said:

Final update: it was clearly the sac that was the issue, and since I could not find any flaw in the sac itself, or the nipple, I am concluding that insufficient or deteriorated shellac holding the sac on the nipple was letting air in. I did make the new sac about 3/8" longer than the old one, with no observable ill effect. I wrote an A4 page with it, without any variation in nib wetness. Thanks again to the two responders for their invaluable help in rescuing this old treasure. 

 

Hooray!  Glad you got it working again.  👍🏻

My latest ebook.   And not just for Halloween!
 

My other pen is a Montblanc.

 

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  • 1 month later...

Reviving this thread, because once again, the pen is randomly gushing ink. I had written another page twice with it, since that first test page, and both times it was fine. Now it is once again doing what it was doing before I re-sacced it in May. So I have to empty it out, clean it out, and see if I can find what is the problem, taking a closer look this time at the feed, which I didn't do anything to the last time. Well, another challenge to face, let's get to it. 

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Just an off chance thought, could the sac be too big for the barrel, is it touching the barrel wall, if yes try the next size down.

 

If yes it could be the heat from your hand transferring to the sac which then tries to expand and pushes some ink out.

 

Like I said just an off chance thought but worth checking if all else fails.

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What ink are you using?

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32 minutes ago, Ron Z said:

What ink are you using?

I have been using Lamy Crystal Peridot, which worked fine for a while after I changed the sac. 

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4 hours ago, Paul80 said:

it could be the heat from your hand transferring to the sac which then tries to expand and pushes some ink out.

 

In which case try the eyedropper trick of warming the barrel prior to writing by holding the pen, nib up, in your closed hand for a few minutes.  Then have a scibble.  Might work.

Add lightness and simplicate.

 

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I have already cleaned out the pen, so my first planned step is to remove the nib and feed (probably will have to be knocked out, which means removing the sac as well) and carefully inspect everything in and around the section, and check the feed especially for flaws and/or lack of straightness (as discussed by Ron above). If I don't find anything, I will put it all back together and try a different ink. 

 

Regarding the heat of my hand expanding the ink: I have never heard of this happening in a lever filler/sacced pen. If someone has experienced such a thing, I hope they will share what facts they have learned about it. I could try a smaller sac, but I have always been told to use the largest size that will fit, without forcing or twisting, inside the barrel. Has this been bad advice all along?

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Update: I have taken off the sac that I installed in May, and tapped out the nib and feed. They came out rather easily, just three or four gentle taps. 

 

The feed seems pristine. The channel down the top is divided into 3 mini-channels, and everything is quite crisp and new-looking. I laid that side of the feed against a machined aluminum surface, and it seems perfectly flat. There is nothing unusual about the nib, and it seems to fit perfectly against the feed. The feed is 44.50 mm long. 

 

I still see no crack or other flaw in the section. The only odd thing I do see is a whitish, flaky substance on the very bottom surface of the sac nipple (the part that is inside the sac). I scraped at it with a small sharp blade and some of it does flake off without much effort. I will scrape the rest of it off and wash the section. I can see how flakes of that might clog the feed, but not how they would cause it to blob ink. 

 

Inside the section, looking from the front, I can see the path that the tail of the nib fits into when inserting the nib and feed into the section. I guess that's pretty normal. 

 

That's all I have been able to observe so far. 

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The flakes could indicate that the shellac did not set properly on that section of the nipple or if it was there all along it could have prevented the shellac from creating a good seal thus allowing some air leakage.

PAKMAN

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This is the other end of the nipple, the bottom that sits inside the sac, not the top where the sac is attached. It was only on the narrow flat edge along the bottom. I'm pretty sure it didn't affect the adherence of the sac when I repaired it in May. 

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