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Thread: Platinum 3776 ink flow problem

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    Default Platinum 3776 ink flow problem

    I picked up a F nib Platinum 3776 from a seller on Ebay who didn't really know its history (estate sale).

    It hadn't been cleaned in ages and was clogged up with what appeared to be brown ink.

    I soaked the feed in soapy water for a while, cleaned the nib, put in a new converter and then it worked quite well. But it has a feed problem I cannot work out how to solve.

    It will write for a about a page (A4) and then start to fade and eventually run competely dry. If I then carefully screw the converter down to refill the feed it starts to write again. But after a page or so it goes dry which seems to indicate that the ink is only coming from the nib holder.

    I have taken the feed out and soaked in warm soapy water and it appears to be clean. I have even taken dental floss and run it along all the gaps between the fins on the feed. The first few times the floss came out brown indicating it was picking up the old ink but now it comes out blue (the colour of the ink I am using now).

    The section looks clear and the converter looks like it's feeding ink okay.

    Can't think what else I could look at. Any idea?

    Thanks

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    Default Re: Platinum 3776 ink flow problem

    If you have very thin shim stock, or a feeler gauge etc (.005" or thinner), you could carefully "floss" the fed slit(s), often in pens I get with dried ink in the feed this last step is the key, even after extended ultrasonic cleaning, especially the plastic feeds. You want to get them all clean, often there are two or three, with one on top, directly supplying the nib, one on the side or bottom of the feed and sometimes one in the middle of the collector.

    A cleanly cut slip of plastic from a "clamshell" or "blister" type retail package may be thin enough too, but often it's too thick to get in the channels... don't be tempted to use paper!
    Last edited by awa54; February 7th, 2020 at 10:00 PM.
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    Default Re: Platinum 3776 ink flow problem

    Before resorting to using brass shim stock in all of the channels I tend to first soak the feed in fountain pen flush, then use a toothbrush to clean it as well as possible.
    If it still misbehaves after that then I might carefully try using very thin brass shim stock. However, it can permanently mark some plastic feed channels if you're not careful or it's too thick.

    If using dental floss then I would recommend you only use the unwaxed version.
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    Default Re: Platinum 3776 ink flow problem

    An ultrasonic cleaner might help.

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    Default Platinum 3776 ink flow problem

    My 3776 had a similar problem that seems to have been caused by there being too much space between the nib and the feed. Correcting that solved the problem.

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    Default Re: Platinum 3776 ink flow problem

    Quote Originally Posted by Chrissy View Post
    Before resorting to using brass shim stock in all of the channels I tend to first soak the feed in fountain pen flush, then use a toothbrush to clean it as well as possible.
    If it still misbehaves after that then I might carefully try using very thin brass shim stock. However, it can permanently mark some plastic feed channels if you're not careful or it's too thick.

    If using dental floss then I would recommend you only use the unwaxed version.
    I am using the following dental floss

    https://www.amazon.com/Plackers-Micr.../dp/B00YWI60R8

    No mention of any wax on it. I tried to pass the floss into all the gaps but the fine ones are hard to see and so I might have missed one. But I wonder how does forcing more ink into the feed help unless that overcomes the blockage temporarily until all the ink in the feed is exhausted and then the nib dries>

    Also I tried replacing the converter but that didn't help What does help is turning the converter knob slightly while the pen is facing down and forcing ink into the feed. That lasts about a page before it dries again.

    I don't have an ultrasonic cleaner.

    Not sure what is meant by too much space between the nib and feed and therefore how to identify it and then correct it.

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    Default Re: Platinum 3776 ink flow problem

    If you can slide a sheet of paper between the nib and the feed, then they are too far apart.

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    Default Re: Platinum 3776 ink flow problem

    Quote Originally Posted by lchiu7 View Post
    ...Not sure what is meant by too much space between the nib and feed and therefore how to identify it and then correct it.
    This is crucial to the function of a fountain pen. For example, see the second Q&A on adjusting inkflow: Richard Binder's Pen Doctor.

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    Default Re: Platinum 3776 ink flow problem

    With the OP actually being able to write a whole page of A4 before suffering from the problem I would suggest it is not the tines (which would stop writing right away) or the feed (just a few lines, certainly not more than quarter a page). @Ichiu7 - do you have another platinum converter or a cartridge you could try ?

    Additionally, what ink are you using, if you look at the converter is there an air bubble preventing further flow ? - which can happen with thicker/stickier inks - from personal experience Robert Oster Fire and Ice certainly falls in to this category and stopped the flow in my Pilot Custom 823 when I had unscrewed the plunger - had to tap the barrel.
    Last edited by dapprman; February 9th, 2020 at 09:47 AM.

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    Default Re: Platinum 3776 ink flow problem

    Quote Originally Posted by dapprman View Post
    With the OP actually being able to write a whole page of A4 before suffering from the problem I would suggest it is not the tines (which would stop writing right away) or the feed (just a few lines, certainly not more than quarter a page). @Ichiu7 - do you have another platinum converter or a cartridge you could try ?

    Additionally, what ink are you using, if you look at the converter is there an air bubble preventing further flow ? - which can happen with thicker/stickier inks - from personal experience Robert Oster Fire and Ice certainly falls in to this category and stopped the flow in my Pilot Custom 823 when I had unscrewed the plunger - had to tap the barrel.

    I am using Pilot Iroshizuku Ink Bottle - Deep Cerulean Blue ink which seems like a good ink.

    I am beginning to think it could be something like this.

    I ink the pen and the feed is fully soaked. There is enough ink in the feed to support writing a full page and then it peters out. I then turn the knob on the converter and slowly force more ink into the feed that allows me another page and half of writing. So that means either (pure speculation)

    1. There is some blockage in top of the feed (the really thin ones) that prevents ink from flowing from the converter but when some pressure is applied, ink flows through it. But I have run dental floss through all those gaps
    2. There is an air bubble somewhere in the converter between the ink and long thin stem of the feed. I did try two converters (one brand new) and both had the problem so it's seems unlikely both would have this air bubble problem except with both I have this flow issue.

    Not sure where else to look now but I will go back and redo trying to clean up all the gaps (fins) in the feed.

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    Default Re: Platinum 3776 ink flow problem

    Eliminate the converter(s) as being the issue - try a cartridge.

    Eliminate the ink as being the issue (as it seems you've only tried one?) - try another ink. Many a fountain pen geek has their "go to" ink for this purpose, and like many, I keep Waterman Serenity Blue for just this task. If it doesn't work with Waterman Serenity Blue, it's definitely the pen that's the problem.

    If that doesn't work, then it's probably still dried ink in the feed. It's amazing how the stuff hangs around. As Sailor says, an ultrasonic cleaner would be the ideal. But I notice you say you've tried soapy water, but not a pen flush? I would definitely try that (either buy one, or make your own - Google will reveal all) and let it soak overnight.

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    Default Re: Platinum 3776 ink flow problem

    Quote Originally Posted by lchiu7 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by dapprman View Post
    With the OP actually being able to write a whole page of A4 before suffering from the problem I would suggest it is not the tines (which would stop writing right away) or the feed (just a few lines, certainly not more than quarter a page). @Ichiu7 - do you have another platinum converter or a cartridge you could try ?

    Additionally, what ink are you using, if you look at the converter is there an air bubble preventing further flow ? - which can happen with thicker/stickier inks - from personal experience Robert Oster Fire and Ice certainly falls in to this category and stopped the flow in my Pilot Custom 823 when I had unscrewed the plunger - had to tap the barrel.

    I am using Pilot Iroshizuku Ink Bottle - Deep Cerulean Blue ink which seems like a good ink.

    I am beginning to think it could be something like this.

    I ink the pen and the feed is fully soaked. There is enough ink in the feed to support writing a full page and then it peters out. I then turn the knob on the converter and slowly force more ink into the feed that allows me another page and half of writing. So that means either (pure speculation)

    1. There is some blockage in top of the feed (the really thin ones) that prevents ink from flowing from the converter but when some pressure is applied, ink flows through it. But I have run dental floss through all those gaps
    2. There is an air bubble somewhere in the converter between the ink and long thin stem of the feed. I did try two converters (one brand new) and both had the problem so it's seems unlikely both would have this air bubble problem except with both I have this flow issue.

    Not sure where else to look now but I will go back and redo trying to clean up all the gaps (fins) in the feed.

    The fins in the feed are less important than the thin slits that run lengthwise from the back to under the nib. The fins are there to hold and regulate ink, so that it doesn't overflow and is available to the nib as needed, the slit OTOH actually conducts the ink to the nib. If you used waxed dental floss, that might be creating a problem for ink flow, since wax is water proof and can easily block thin channels. A good scrub of the feed under hot tap water (if it's uncomfortable for your hand it's potentially getting to be unsafe for a plastic feed) with an old toothbrush and dish soap *might* get rid of wax... or it might take stronger measures. I'm still voting for a careful flossing of all the ink channels in the feed assembly, dried ink can be hard to get out of the bottom of those.

    Another method that requires patience but can work, is to ink the pen with a watery ink like Sheaffer's, Waterman or Parker and to just leave it capped for a few weeks, making sure that it doesn't dry out during that time by writing with it occasionally. This lets the "new" ink put the dried ink in the feed back into solution, if anyone knows of the best (available and modern) ink for the "write your pen clean" treatment, feel free to chime in!
    David-

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    Default Re: Platinum 3776 ink flow problem

    Ok I have some Quink ink I can try. Also I'm not near my pen at the moment but would a standard Parker refill work?

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    Default Re: Platinum 3776 ink flow problem

    Quote Originally Posted by lchiu7 View Post
    OAlso I'm not near my pen at the moment but would a standard Parker refill work?
    No a Parker cartridge won't fit into a Platinum 3776.

    awa54 gave a good explanation of why I suggested you shouldn't use waxed dental floss, but a toothbrush and some very warm water with a small amount of dishwashing detergent added should give the feed a really good clean. Once the feed and nib are warm, press them together and then insert them into the section. They should then be close enough for good ink flow.

    Try a wetter ink. Quink may not be that much wetter, but it's worth a try. You want an ink to immediately move up and down the cartridge or converter when you turn it in your hand. If the ink tends to stick at the top and needs shaking down, then that could cause the problem you're experiencing.
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    Default Re: Platinum 3776 ink flow problem

    Quote Originally Posted by Chrissy View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by lchiu7 View Post
    OAlso I'm not near my pen at the moment but would a standard Parker refill work?
    No a Parker cartridge won't fit into a Platinum 3776.

    awa54 gave a good explanation of why I suggested you shouldn't use waxed dental floss, but a toothbrush and some very warm water with a small amount of dishwashing detergent added should give the feed a really good clean. Once the feed and nib are warm, press them together and then insert them into the section. They should then be close enough for good ink flow.

    Try a wetter ink. Quink may not be that much wetter, but it's worth a try. You want an ink to immediately move up and down the cartridge or converter when you turn it in your hand. If the ink tends to stick at the top and needs shaking down, then that could cause the problem you're experiencing.
    OK I have tried the following.

    1. Run cotton thread (not waxed) between all the fins of the feed and also as much as I can the channels that run the length of the feed. I am sure the dental floss I was using wasn't waxed (well it didn't say on the packet)
    2. Gave the converter a very good wash in very hot soapy water
    3. Haven't got other inks but that seems like a last resort

    Also not tried yet I have no household ammonia is the flushing fluid trick. Must also try washing the feed with hot soapy water and a tooth brush

    All to no avail. The pens writes for about a page and a half and then goes dry. If I then carefully twist the converter and push ink into the feed, it writes again. I wonder if the feed is holding just enough ink to last a page and a half and then goes dry since no more ink is being fed into the feed from the converter.

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    Default Re: Platinum 3776 ink flow problem

    When the nib and feed are inside the section, and the converter is attached to the cartridge piercer, ink must be flowing to the nib tines or you wouldn't be able to write for one page and a half. If there is some initial ink flow then the problem is not with the nib and feed.

    Therefore, the problem must be the fact that ink isn't flowing down inside the converter properly due to some sort of air pressure inside the converter holding the ink column up. That's why some converters have little spring agitators inside them, and some cartridges have balls inside them, to ensure the ink is agitated enough so that a problem with airflow can't stop the ink from travelling down inside the converter.

    To rectify this you either need to try an ink cartridge or a different converter that fits a Platinum pen. Or if you don't have either of those at this moment, try a different brand of ink in the converter you have to see if that works.

    If a different ink doesn't work then you know it's not the nib or the feed. It's the converter or the ink.
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    Default Re: Platinum 3776 ink flow problem

    Quote Originally Posted by Chrissy View Post
    When the nib and feed are inside the section, and the converter is attached to the cartridge piercer, ink must be flowing to the nib tines or you wouldn't be able to write for one page and a half. If there is some initial ink flow then the problem is not with the nib and feed.

    Therefore, the problem must be the fact that ink isn't flowing down inside the converter properly due to some sort of air pressure inside the converter holding the ink column up. That's why some converters have little spring agitators inside them, and some cartridges have balls inside them, to ensure the ink is agitated enough so that a problem with airflow can't stop the ink from travelling down inside the converter.

    To rectify this you either need to try an ink cartridge or a different converter that fits a Platinum pen. Or if you don't have either of those at this moment, try a different brand of ink in the converter you have to see if that works.

    If a different ink doesn't work then you know it's not the nib or the feed. It's the converter or the ink.
    I've tried two converters but they are both Platinum converters. I don't have any Platinum cartridges but I do have some Sheaffer and Quink ink I can try. If it's the ink I would be disappointed since I like the pilot ink.

    Not sure how relevant this is but with both converters if I fill them with water and then pump the water out it doesn't come out as a stream but as droplets.

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    Default Re: Platinum 3776 ink flow problem

    Hi Ichiu,

    twisting a converter knob doesn't expel the ink/water fast enough to create a stream, a steady sequence of drops is normal.

    At this point, I'd still try a cartridge as Chrissy suggested, but I'm going with there being an issue in your feed, or the nib tines are somehow sprung upward, but not outward... #3776s are pretty solid performers and this symptom with several inks that are usually reliable isn't at all normal.

    Is there any way for you to get us a picture of your nib and feed? barring that, is it the early feed (round ebonite), middle (simple plastic), or late (plastic with crisp finer fins)? If it was an early production pen with the ebonite feed that had a later nib swapped on to it that could really mess things up?!?

    Or it might just be time to send it to Plat... they actually offer service on quite a few models, even going back 30+ years.
    David-

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    Default Re: Platinum 3776 ink flow problem

    Quote Originally Posted by awa54 View Post
    Hi Ichiu,

    twisting a converter knob doesn't expel the ink/water fast enough to create a stream, a steady sequence of drops is normal.

    At this point, I'd still try a cartridge as Chrissy suggested, but I'm going with there being an issue in your feed, or the nib tines are somehow sprung upward, but not outward... #3776s are pretty solid performers and this symptom with several inks that are usually reliable isn't at all normal.

    Is there any way for you to get us a picture of your nib and feed? barring that, is it the early feed (round ebonite), middle (simple plastic), or late (plastic with crisp finer fins)? If it was an early production pen with the ebonite feed that had a later nib swapped on to it that could really mess things up?!?

    Or it might just be time to send it to Plat... they actually offer service on quite a few models, even going back 30+ years.
    I've never had a Platinum pen so I don't know about them specifically, but some brands have a hole somewhere in the feed or in the collar to allow airflow up into the pen. This hole can occasionally get blocked up with ink and might be the cause of the OP's problem. However, if Platinum pens don't have this airflow hole then I can't think what else could cause a problem after the pen has been writing for a page and a half. It's exactly like when you dip a pen into ink and write with it until the ink runs out. It sounds like the ink is running out in this pen. OP definitely has a 'go then stop" ink effect.

    Actually I had an ink problem, albeit the opposite way around, in a Waterman pen. I started writing as normal then it would suddenly dump a great blob of ink on the page and from then on it would keep writing like a hosepipe. The bottom of the converter was split. New converter fixed it.
    Last edited by Chrissy; February 11th, 2020 at 01:48 AM.
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    Default Re: Platinum 3776 ink flow problem

    Quote Originally Posted by awa54 View Post
    Hi Ichiu,

    twisting a converter knob doesn't expel the ink/water fast enough to create a stream, a steady sequence of drops is normal.

    At this point, I'd still try a cartridge as Chrissy suggested, but I'm going with there being an issue in your feed, or the nib tines are somehow sprung upward, but not outward... #3776s are pretty solid performers and this symptom with several inks that are usually reliable isn't at all normal.

    Is there any way for you to get us a picture of your nib and feed? barring that, is it the early feed (round ebonite), middle (simple plastic), or late (plastic with crisp finer fins)? If it was an early production pen with the ebonite feed that had a later nib swapped on to it that could really mess things up?!?

    Or it might just be time to send it to Plat... they actually offer service on quite a few models, even going back 30+ years.
    Here are some pictures of the nib and feed if that helps.

    nib.jpg

    I cleaned the feed out, cleaned out the part that holds the feed and converter and then am trying some new ink (Sheaffer). Don't like the colour but will see how it works.
    Last edited by lchiu7; February 11th, 2020 at 02:52 AM.

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