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Thread: Herbin v. Waterman & Pelikan bottles

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    Default Herbin v. Waterman & Pelikan bottles

    I returned to my ink box to refill my Parker 51 vac with more Perle Noir, but discovered I would have to hold the 30ml Herbin bottle with a bottom corner down against the surface of my desk to effectively draw ink. I supported the bottle like that to fill the 51, and there is still some ink remaining. I'll decant that into 6mm vials and toss the bottle.

    I still like the ubiquitous Waterman 50ml and Pelikan 62.5 bottles for drawing the last ink. The sides are designed to tip the bottle, and the wide mouth allows the pen to immerse at a steep angle. (I used to like the 50ml Montblanc bottles until it dawned on me that they're not great for tipping, either.)

    So, that's my Herbin comment for today.

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    Default Re: Herbin v. Waterman v. Pelikan bottles

    The Herbin D bottles suck.


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    Senior Member FredRydr's Avatar
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    Default Re: Herbin v. Waterman & Pelikan bottles

    I recovered the 30ml Herbin bottle bottle from the bin and added tinted water, and inserted my Optima. The barrel is hard against the neck and the tip of the nib is against the glass on the bottom of the bottle.

    IMG_2110.jpg

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    Default Re: Herbin v. Waterman & Pelikan bottles

    Quote Originally Posted by FredRydr View Post
    I recovered the 30ml Herbin bottle bottle from the bin and added tinted water, and inserted my Optima. The barrel is hard against the neck and the tip of the nib is against the glass on the bottom of the bottle.

    IMG_2110.jpg
    Yeah large pens like the Aurora 88, Optima, Montblanc 149 etc are a PIA to fill from Herbin D bottles. When the ink is that low in the bottle you just get a lot of air and no ink. For the Herbin inks in D bottles I like, I buy two and decant in a empty Waterman bottle or similar.


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    Default Re: Herbin v. Waterman & Pelikan bottles

    How bad is it to pour the remains of an old ink bottle into a new one? I have done it with my black and blue Parker and Pelikan inks. They never get too old, but the lid have been open a few times.

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    Default Re: Herbin v. Waterman & Pelikan bottles

    Quote Originally Posted by FredRydr View Post
    I returned to my ink box to refill my Parker 51 vac with more Perle Noir, but discovered I would have to hold the 30ml Herbin bottle with a bottom corner down against the surface of my desk to effectively draw ink. I supported the bottle like that to fill the 51, and there is still some ink remaining. I'll decant that into 6mm vials and toss the bottle.

    I still like the ubiquitous Waterman 50ml and Pelikan 62.5 bottles for drawing the last ink. The sides are designed to tip the bottle, and the wide mouth allows the pen to immerse at a steep angle. (I used to like the 50ml Montblanc bottles until it dawned on me that they're not great for tipping, either.)

    So, that's my Herbin comment for today.
    Those Herbin bottles are certainly unsuitable for many pens when the ink level gets low in the bottle. It's a shame to have to tip the remains into vials, but at least you can use the ink that way.
    Omas bottles are also good for tipping when they are almost empty and at least the shoe shaped Montblanc bottles have their little built in inkwell specially made for the job.
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    Default Re: Herbin v. Waterman & Pelikan bottles

    Quote Originally Posted by arrow View Post
    How bad is it to pour the remains of an old ink bottle into a new one? I have done it with my black and blue Parker and Pelikan inks. They never get too old, but the lid have been open a few times.
    It can be quite bad. If there is any contamination in the old ink, you would be contaminating your new ink bottle. Some years ago some Herbin inks used to occasionally have a problem with SITB (something in the bottle) and you wouldn't want to pour any remains of old ink into new ink bottles.

    If you always use the same ink and you don't always clean out your pen before refilling it, then you can imagine all of the bits of paper, dust and spores from the air that settle into the bottom of the ink. I personally wouldn't want to be pouring that into a new bottle.

    On the other hand it can also depend on how hygienic your pen cleaning methods are. If your nibs and feeds are always scrupulously clean when you fill your pen with ink then the risk of transferring any contaminant to your ink is much lower. I still wouldn't consider transferring old ink into new bottles though.
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    Default Re: Herbin v. Waterman & Pelikan bottles

    Just dipping a pen into a new bottle of ink will contaminate it. They may even contaminate each other! Anything that is not red hot has bacteria and mold spores on it. Proper ink should contain biocide.

    I have an old ink bottle made by Sanford from back in the days before ink bottles had screw tops. This bottle has a pontle in the center and a depression molded into each corner that collects the last of the ink. Your pen could suck up almost all of it.
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    Default Re: Herbin v. Waterman & Pelikan bottles

    I think the Herbin bottles were originally made for dip pens - and they are really a delight to use this way - but technology moved on and the bottles didn't.

    The Waterman bottle is a classic. It tips nicely on its secondary flat sides when the ink is running low, and it's also reminiscent of the Waterman 'hexagon' design and thus of the 'hexagone' of metropolitan France (look in the Atlas; it's geographically quite accurate), though I believe the bottle predates that particular redesign of the logo. When I started buying Waterman ink the choice I had in store was between the clunky roundish Quink bottles and the beautiful Waterman design - I instantly knew which side I was on!

    I also loved the old Sheaffer Skrip bottles with the internal "lip" on one side. If you inverted the bottle (with the lid very securely screwed on, obviously, don't ask me how I know that) the ink would fall into that little reservoir and you could fill from there rather than from the bottom of the bottle. Fingers got much less inky this way (unless you didn't screw the lid on tightly, as previously mentioned).

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    Default Re: Herbin v. Waterman & Pelikan bottles

    Another reason to embrace eyedropper fillers.

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    Default Re: Herbin v. Waterman & Pelikan bottles

    I once had an ancient Pelikan ink bottle nearly identical to the Herbin type, I swear it was Pelikan! It was already empty when I got it. I also had an ink bottle the type Mont Blank has these days, hand me down item with ink. I think it was Pelikan too. I had a set of Pelikan drawing inks, lots of tiny bottles and a lots of fun. I don't think they exist anymore. I think Dimaine has sort of taken over in the drawing ink department. I guess the stores in my town carried mostly Pelikan and Parker inks for years and years, it's no longer the situation. Now it's Parker and Lamy, the hobby stores have a few different brands.

    I received a trial size "green moss" ink with a pen I bought last autumn. I have kept the tiny bottle for the last drop of inks, if I can manage to pour it over it will work with my slender pens at least.

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    Default Re: Herbin v. Waterman & Pelikan bottles

    Proof the Pelikan bottle existed. I can't remeber if it was exatly the same, but at least very close.

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    Default Re: Herbin v. Waterman & Pelikan bottles

    My royal blue is in one of those Pelikan bottles. It hasn't got anywhere near empty enough for the shape to be an issue yet! (It came alongside a second hand M400, I think).

    ETA: it is a bigger bottle with more space for angles than the J. Herbin, though.

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    Default Re: Herbin v. Waterman & Pelikan bottles

    Quote Originally Posted by amk View Post
    I think the Herbin bottles were originally made for dip pens - and they are really a delight to use this way - but technology moved on and the bottles didn't.

    The Waterman bottle is a classic. It tips nicely on its secondary flat sides when the ink is running low, and it's also reminiscent of the Waterman 'hexagon' design and thus of the 'hexagone' of metropolitan France (look in the Atlas; it's geographically quite accurate), though I believe the bottle predates that particular redesign of the logo. When I started buying Waterman ink the choice I had in store was between the clunky roundish Quink bottles and the beautiful Waterman design - I instantly knew which side I was on!

    I also loved the old Sheaffer Skrip bottles with the internal "lip" on one side. If you inverted the bottle (with the lid very securely screwed on, obviously, don't ask me how I know that) the ink would fall into that little reservoir and you could fill from there rather than from the bottom of the bottle. Fingers got much less inky this way (unless you didn't screw the lid on tightly, as previously mentioned).
    That's interesting about Herbin bottles - it never occurred to me that they might have been designed for dip pens.

    Sheaffer bottles are fine but the metal cap threads can be a PITA and aren't the easiest to keep clean, and rust free, and screw on firmly enough that you can get them off again fairly easily. The bottles are great. It's just the caps that I don't like.
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    Default Re: Herbin v. Waterman & Pelikan bottles

    Quote Originally Posted by arrow View Post
    Proof the Pelikan bottle existed. I can't remeber if it was exatly the same, but at least very close.
    Aaak! Please, Pelikan, don't revert to that Pelikan bottle. Pelikan's 4001 ink comes in a 62.5ml bottle that tips onto its side like the Waterman 50ml bottle, and it has a wide mouth for a good angle for the pen.
    Last edited by FredRydr; May 31st, 2019 at 03:09 PM.

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    Default Re: Herbin v. Waterman & Pelikan bottles

    Quote Originally Posted by FredRydr View Post
    Aaak! Please, Pelikan, don't revert to that Pelikan bottle. Pelikan's 4001 ink comes in a 62.5ml bottle that tips onto its side like the Waterman 50ml bottle, and it has a wide mouth for a good angle for the pen.
    Chances are slim, I don't know when the current Pelikan bottle was introduced, but it was way before my time. I think they now and then make a few alternative shape bottles. I have the basic Pelikan bottle 62.5 ml (why not 60?), and a smaller one 30 ml, the shape is identical. The Edelstein bottles at least look very nice, my Onyx is yet to be opened.
    Last edited by arrow; May 31st, 2019 at 03:32 PM.

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    Default Re: Herbin v. Waterman & Pelikan bottles

    62.5 ml is exactly 1/16 of a liter, maybe that's why?

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    Default Re: Herbin v. Waterman & Pelikan bottles

    Quote Originally Posted by Ahriman4891 View Post
    62.5 ml is exactly 1/16 of a liter, maybe that's why?
    Fractions make sense, I knew there had to be some rational explanation.

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    Default Re: Herbin v. Waterman & Pelikan bottles

    Quote Originally Posted by Chrissy View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by amk View Post
    I think the Herbin bottles were originally made for dip pens - and they are really a delight to use this way - but technology moved on and the bottles didn't.

    The Waterman bottle is a classic. It tips nicely on its secondary flat sides when the ink is running low, and it's also reminiscent of the Waterman 'hexagon' design and thus of the 'hexagone' of metropolitan France (look in the Atlas; it's geographically quite accurate), though I believe the bottle predates that particular redesign of the logo. When I started buying Waterman ink the choice I had in store was between the clunky roundish Quink bottles and the beautiful Waterman design - I instantly knew which side I was on!

    I also loved the old Sheaffer Skrip bottles with the internal "lip" on one side. If you inverted the bottle (with the lid very securely screwed on, obviously, don't ask me how I know that) the ink would fall into that little reservoir and you could fill from there rather than from the bottom of the bottle. Fingers got much less inky this way (unless you didn't screw the lid on tightly, as previously mentioned).
    That's interesting about Herbin bottles - it never occurred to me that they might have been designed for dip pens.

    Sheaffer bottles are fine but the metal cap threads can be a PITA and aren't the easiest to keep clean, and rust free, and screw on firmly enough that you can get them off again fairly easily. The bottles are great. It's just the caps that I don't like.
    Clean the threads inside the cap. Remove any loose rust. You don't have to make the steel shiny. Rub the threads with a bit of paraffin wax or the end of a candle. Just coat the threads; don't build up the wax so it flakes off into the ink in the bottle.

    A slightly better procedure is to dissolve paraffin in a clean ink bottle with some naphtha or lighter fluid. Apply the mixture with a small watercolor brush. Let the naphtha dry. You get a thin, even coat of paraffin that way.

    (BTW, you can lubricate a bike chain with the paraffin mixture. The wax won't attract grit and wear out the chain the way oil will.)
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    Default Re: Herbin v. Waterman & Pelikan bottles

    Quote Originally Posted by Paddler View Post

    Clean the threads inside the cap. Remove any loose rust. You don't have to make the steel shiny. Rub the threads with a bit of paraffin wax or the end of a candle. Just coat the threads; don't build up the wax so it flakes off into the ink in the bottle.

    A slightly better procedure is to dissolve paraffin in a clean ink bottle with some naphtha or lighter fluid. Apply the mixture with a small watercolor brush. Let the naphtha dry. You get a thin, even coat of paraffin that way.

    (BTW, you can lubricate a bike chain with the paraffin mixture. The wax won't attract grit and wear out the chain the way oil will.)
    Thanks Paddler. It sounds like it's worth a try. I like to keep threads clean on all of my caps/bottles, but Sheaffer caps are not the easiest.
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