View Full Version : Vintage Pelikan question - how much ink in the feed?

November 18th, 2015, 07:58 PM
I have a 400NN and it seems like there is too much ink in the feed. I recently cleaned out the pen and changed inks (from F-C Brown to DA Whisky). When I went to write with the pen droplets of ink would randomly fall out of the feed and onto the page. I thought perhaps the ink was too thin and flowed too easily. I have since switched it over while evaluating mystery ink #12. It's not as bad as the Whisky, but I noticed what seems to be excessive ink hanging in the feed and on a couple occasions I had drips on the page. I don't remember the F-C ink having this behavior.

I've cleaned the pen multiple times, so I don't think there is any debris. I've soaked the nib unit to clear out any residual ink. There isn't any ink getting past the piston seal into the piston threads / mechanism, so I don't think it's letting air get through the other way. I've tried reinstalling the nib unit clean and dry. I've also tried it with a tiny touch of grease on the threads. Nothing seems to change the amount of ink hanging in the feed.

Is this normal for the older feeds and I've simply never paid attention to it? Did I somehow break something when I cleaned it out?

Laura N
November 18th, 2015, 10:05 PM
No, it's not normal. But I have one like that. I initially thought it could be a leak in the piston, but with mine it's a feed issue. I just got the pen back from repair, but haven't had time to even open the box, much less try the pen.

Hopefully wiser heads can suggest something.

November 19th, 2015, 05:17 PM
It is not normal during normal use. But, those old ebonite feeds are great for ink transfer, so every time I freshly ink one the feed becomes super-saturated with ink. If you don't wipe it off it will drip just like you described. After that I have no drips. If it keeps dropping ink at times other than when freshly filled, then you have an air leak somewhere that is allowing the air-ink transfer to occur at times and rates other than needed.

November 19th, 2015, 06:52 PM
When the piston seal starts to go it isn't unusual to get ink leaking out the front. I'd grease the piston straight off and see if that fixes the issue.

November 19th, 2015, 07:13 PM
Well, I cleaned it out again this morning and just put the F-C Brown 732 back into it. It is no longer dripping out of the feed (unless I give it a shake), but it is still holding ink in there. Not sure if the improvement is the ink viscosity or cleaning. We'll see if pictures add any help to the comments and suggestions...

Just after inking it up and using a paper towel to soak the excess ink out of the feed.

At this is after turning it nib down for a few seconds...gave it a little shake to show that it's holding enough ink to leave droplets. Not the clearest photo, but I added a second light source and you can see the reflection off the ink in the feed.

November 19th, 2015, 10:07 PM
It should not leak when shaking. I've had this issue with a piston seal. It might just need lubing. If so unscrew the nib unit and use pure silicone grease. (A tiny dab on a tooth pick run around the inside of the barrel will do it. That should fix it, if it doesn't the seal may need replacing. Also check that the nib unit is fitting well, often swapping in another nib will help test that, if the problem happens with only one nib then the nib unit may have a crack or be otherwise allowing air in. But on these pens it is usually the piston seal.

November 20th, 2015, 06:19 AM
Thanks. I'll try that.