Feb 21, 20194279 views

Looking at a better way of filling a fountain pen.

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So I’m new to the hobby. Had a cartridge fountain pen way back in middle school that made a mess all the time. I have two actual decent pens now Right Choice Painting Company with bock Nibs Fine & Extra Fine. When it came to filling I did the dip the whole nib into the ink and use the plunger to draw ink up into the pen. This make a mess at least to me even though I kept the ink off me and everything else I didn’t want it on.  My question is, I’m thinking of getting a hypodermic needle with a blunt tip draw the ink from the well with that then inject it into the converter tipped up finally popping the nib onto the end. Obviously this would mean I would initially have to wait for the ink to be drawn into the nib at first use but good things come to those who wait.  Thoughts on this?
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BH48, Duncan, and 1 other
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Ink used to contain additives that helped clean the feed each time you filled the pen through the nib. This is no longer the case, because the additive was considered hazardous. So regardless of how you fill it, you should take the pen apart and flush the nib/feed periodically. Either soaking, or using an ear bulb, or both. Frequency will depend on how much you use the pen. So you'll still have to deal with some mess and maintenance regardless of how you fill it ;-) But it will work better.
agree with others- got a syringe from vet and doctor and pharmacist
Buy the syringes on Amazon. Much cheaper
Use the syringe and fill cartridges or a converter and done. Nothing wrong with that I keep a few clean cartridges handy for testing colors
That’s how I do it for my converter fill pens. You can always push the converter piston down a small amount (quarter to half turn) to “prime” the feed and nib.
Just to add to the many many comments, Goulet Pens sells a pen maintenance kit which includes syringes and blunt drawing up needles, pen cleaner fluid, bulb, magnifying glass, silicone grease and many other useful things for maintenance. Well worth the $. Personally I sometimes use syringe and needle and find it great. These days I use a TWSBI piston filler because I need the extra capacity. Nothing to be ashamed of with getting ink on your hands, it's just messy but I suggest having some tissues or blotter or cloth handy during a refill so you can wipe your hands and the pen. Hope that helps!
It takes more time to clean the syringe than to wipe the nib and section after doing a standard fill, so I don't use that method. But, I will resort to it when ink gets very low in the bottle.
I use the syringe method. I first fill the converter, run some ink through the nib to fill the feed, then re-fill the converter. This method gets almost as much ink in the pen as dipping the nib unit and pulling the ink up into the converter, but it is less messy.
A couple of people have offered good advice. Keep in mind one main point, filling a pen through the nib is critical to maintaining proper ink flow through the tiny channel(s) of the feed. Those channels can become clogged over time with certain inks, especially if ink is not forced through them periodically. The alternative is to remove the nib assembly and force water or ammonia through the nib assembly/feed with a bulb syringe. There are syringe filled pens. They hold a lot of ink and require a different protocol for making sure the feed is maintained. One aspect to filling a fountain pen is the "ritual." It forces you to slow down, appreciate the mechanism you're holding and wear those ink stains on your fingers like a badge of honor. You could use latex gloves if stained fingers are not an option. Someone mentioned getting a piston filler pen. That is my preference, but the advantage of a converter is that it's much less expensive to replace a converter that fails than to fix a piston. That being said, it usually takes a long time for a piston to fail, if ever. A little bit of dielectric silicone compound, judiciously applied every other year or so can go a long way in maintaining proper function of a piston. It's also good for helping threaded joints maintain a strong seal. I prefer a piston over a converter in part due to capacity. You'll find you have to refill less frequently using a piston filler pen. I own both and generally prefer the piston pens, although some of my converter filler pens are quite compelling. So, if you bypass filling through the nib, you'll need to find another way of maintaining your feed to prevent a clog from developing. The most important thing if for you to develop a system and find what works for you. Enjoy this wonderful adventure!
i, too, have used the s yringe method for years. IV Catheters are perfect for filling and for removing the last bit of water from converters and eyedroppers.
I have used the syringe method for years and recommend it.
BH48
So do I. No problems
I usually use a syringe.
There are several ways to fill your FP specially converter types like the one on the picture. If you don't know what a converter is its that syringe looking thing in the middle. That takes place of the cartridge. Method 1). insert the converter and insert the nib in the ink bottle and using the converter twist to fill the converter with ink. Ink will flow from the nib (submerged) into the converter/reservoir. You still need to clean the nib and potentially the section (the part that holds the nib) which can get messy. Method 2). Remove the converter from the section and using a syringe filler (sold on eBay or reputable FP stores, you can fill the converter. Put it back on the section and twist it slightly to feed the section and the nib. This is slightly less messy than method 1 but you also have to clean the syringe to avoid ink contamination. Method 3). Pineider Pen Filler is a portable inkwell that is also very good for filling FP. However it works best with the wider pen types with the thinner ones, not so much. It is still an immersion type fill but less messy than dipping the whole section in the inkwell. You will develop your own method as you use your pens more and more. Bottom line is enjoy your pen and yes you will get messy once in a while. I know others will offer more advice and different methods.
I’m a 40 year FP collector and user. The reason FP have been filled through the nib, is it’s good for the pen. Ink flowing in both directions completely wets the entire nib and feed. It’s not just so ink flows. It lubricates the feed. It keeps your expensive pens in good working condition. It also writes immediately. No skipping, blobbing, etc. take it up a step and use some Noodler’s Eel ink in your pens every so often. A special lubrication is included right in the ink and your pens will love you for it! Oh, and to a true FP lover, ink on the hands is a mark of pride! ❤️
Stop using a cartridge pen, and get yourself either a real piston filler (cf Pelikan, TWSBI) or an eyedropper fill pen. Cartridges are not meant to be reused, and converters are merely a poor substitute for a proper piston. If you are getting ink all over your hands trying to fill a fountain pen, you must have very poor technique. I can't even remember the last time I got ink on my hands while filling a pen. With a piston filler, you need a single tissue to clean the nib and section; with an eyedropper, often not even that.
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For a piston pen, pineider filler works great. For a cartridge, the syringe is quite neat. My question is, how many times can you remove and attach a cartridge before the tolerance of the seal breaks down?
BaAx
That's a good question, I'm not far enough into this hobby to even come close to understanding this being a problem.
That's what I do most of the time...
April 4, 2019, 1013 AM PST 1) I fill the cartridge with the syringe 2) place the cartridge on the pen 3) twist the cartridge nob until you can see ink coming out of the pen section onto the feed 4) back it off just a bit, i.e., suck the ink back in just a little bit 5) remove the cartridge and refill it with the syringe 6) replace the cartridge onto the pen 7) replace the pen barrel You know have a fully loaded pen - ink from stem-to-stern without the mess
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You mean converter. Cartridges don’t have knobs, they are replaceable, single use containers.
Teajaymac
This is the method I use and it works very well. For clean-up, I flush the syringe with water (remove the needle first to speed up the flow) and dry with a q-tip or paper towel.
I keep a couple syringes in my desk drawer for exactly this purpose. It's a good, clean way of filling all but piston pens.
So, get an eyedropper filler!
This works just fine, other people will talk about the snorkel but I don't see it better then a long blunt tip needle syringe. The snorkel has no means of cleaning itself like a syringe. The "pen filler" from pineider is a nice luxury however.
PaulX
Of course the Snorkel has a cleaning method..by ejecting all the ink, then ingesting lots of water..a couple of times..then eject water and refill with ink.
tedken
Sure, I wasn't specific enough my apologies. I'm trying to point out that a long blunt tip needle syringe will have more cleaning water capacity built in for a tenth of the price and will work on all converters. While the snorkel will require a separate reservoir for pushing the cleaning water through (I don't own one so I'm thinking just under running water won't push the water out and I could be wrong but I know the force wouldn't be nearly as high). The snorkel will cost considerably more and be less versatile (not as good at cleaning out an empty converter like the pain in the butt pilot con 70 if you don't have a syringe) and will not work for every single converter out there while the syringe method will. Not saying that you would be wrong to buy the Pineider snorkel by any means but I belive the question was what was the best method to clean or fill pens (the response email doesn't show the original question) and for me in my life the syringe is king but that may be different for others. The one pro I see is you don't have to worry about over filling your converter like you can with a syringe. Hope this made sense kinda rushed through it and hope it helps people make a good decision.
Pineider makes a snorkel that attaches to the front of the converter. It makes it much easier to fill the converter directly without making a mess.
I went to my vet and got a needle and use it to refill. Works great. Good luck
I got a blunt tip small easy glide syringe from Jetpens.com for cheap along with all the other stuff I order from them. And I LOVE using it to refill converters and cartridges! The syringe is super easy to rinse out and let dry. I use it to flush out cartridges too! No mess no fuss! I like that if I only draw up the ink I need there is no risk of ink bottle contamination. If you are concerned about volume, insert the converter, twist until a drop comes out, reverse it a turn, pull it out and refill! If you want more advice and to learn from lots of other users come over to the Facebook groups: Fountain Pen Network and Goulet Nation. We talk everything fountain pens, they are great reads.
Take a look at the Pineider travel inkwell. It is around $25, but works well to keep at work or when going to college. Just have a couple of tissues on hand to wipe the nib and section off should a small dribble be present. It holds ten ml, the equivalent of about fifteen short cartridges. It's a money saver over time if using a converter. While you can refill a cartridge, you can't refill one and carry it as a spare. When the seal is initially broken, it's going to leak after that. Some try using hot glue to seal it, but that is way more fiddly than using a converter.
I have used a syringe to fill pens this way when I had a sample vial of ink and didn't have enough of the ink left to permit me to put the nib in and draw it up that way. However, I normally just fill right from the bottle and then wipe the nib off afterwards. It's faster and less fiddly, plus I don't then have a syringe to clean out. I also tend to use pens that store more ink than a converter does, so I don't need to refill them as often. I have several piston-filler pens that I use and I also have a Gate City New Postal and a Belmont - both of which hold a lot of ink. Unfortunately, I don't think any of the Gate City models are currently available, but Brian Gray's Edison Pen Co. offers several different filler systems that allow for a lot of ink to be stored. For instance, they can do a bulb-filler, and that's what my New Postal uses too. If you want to try something that holds a bit more ink than a cartridge-converter pen, you might try a TWSBI ECO. They're a pretty decent inexpensive piston-filler pen. I've seen some problems with the long-term durability of some of the TWSBI models, but the ECO is a good, inexpensive piston-filler. Just don't expect to be able to hand it down to your descendants. :-) The Noodler's Konrad is also an option for an inexpensive piston-filler. I think it's more repairable and can potentially last a lot longer than a TWSBI too. However, Noodler's pens sometimes require a bit of adjustment to get them working really well, and you're kind of expected to be willing to experiment with them. To be honest though, I feel that all pens require some tweaking before they work well. It's the rare pen that comes well-adjusted and working perfectly out of the box. (Unless you buy it from a dealer that checks each pen and makes sure it writes well before selling it.)
I have two Sheaffer PFM pens, that have used for nearly fifty years! I wrote three books in longhand with these pens. I recently had them both totally refurbished by an expert for $50 each, and they work perfectly like they did in the early 60s. The “snorkel” system that Sheaffer developed in those days is perfect for refilling, even at the bottom of the bottle. I also have a set of three Platinum 3776 pens in different colors for the corresponding ink colors used with cartridges, and they always assure me of an instant start with their special sealing feature. My writing life is good!
I picked up two TiLiner pens as well. I love the all copper. I have two methods for filling converters as well as cleaned out cartridges. The blunt needle that you can pick up on Amazon or through GPC (Goulet) is good. They're also great for cleaning out converters, cartridges and piston fillers. I also use mini pipettes (from Amazon - 0.2 ml capacity) which are just a bit wider than the syringe needle but work well for converters. Easy to clean or throw away after they're stained. Once the converter or cartridge is filled, reassemble then simply dip the tip (to the top of the feed) into the ink so it starts wicking; wipe after you get a good flow.
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That type of injector is available (I got a bunch of 'em on Amazon for less than $10). Best part is you can clean and reuse them.