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Thread: Any harm in removing the nib of a Pelikan 800 for cleaning?

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    Default Any harm in removing the nib of a Pelikan 800 for cleaning?

    I've had this pen for 10 - 20 years and it's my favorite. I've been very careful with it, although the barrel has had to be replaced twice. The Fountain Pen Hospital has given me advice on caring for the pen -- use only Pelikan ink, store it wet with the nib facing up, clean it with water and not a commercial flush. I'm wary about unscrewing the nib. I've never even tried -- I'd hate to damage this pen.

    Now I read that when cleaning this pen, it's a good idea to remove the nib and soak it. https://fountainpenlove.com/how-to/h...-fountain-pen/
    Is there any harm in doing that?

    Dan

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    Senior Member FredRydr's Avatar
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    Default Re: Any harm in removing the nib of a Pelikan 800 for cleaning?

    No harm. It's not necessary if you give your pen a thorough flush, but I always unscrew the nib units of my modern Pelikan fountain pens for flushing before putting away empty or changing inks.

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    Default Re: Any harm in removing the nib of a Pelikan 800 for cleaning?

    Pelikan nibs are made to be unscrewed, so no harm.

    No need to store the pen wet either. The modern Pelikans have plastic seals, so nothing to dry out. Not sure where FPH came up with that. Not using a pen flush has some merit because they contain ammonia and Dawn dish detergent, which can wash away some of the silicone grease that lubricates the piston seal. That can be lubricated, but most people use WAY too much silicone grease when they do it.

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    Default Re: Any harm in removing the nib of a Pelikan 800 for cleaning?

    For the experts, would it help the OP to soak the nib before trying to unscrew? If this is an experienced pen I could see old ink keeping the nib from moving.
    And for the OP, SBRE Brown has a short video on disassembling an M800. It’s not tricky but you want to make sure to hold the nib a certain way to avoid misaligning the nib and feed.

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    Senior Member guyy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Any harm in removing the nib of a Pelikan 800 for cleaning?

    Yes, it can help to soak before unscrewing. It may be necessary if the pen has been sitting for a while.

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    Default Re: Any harm in removing the nib of a Pelikan 800 for cleaning?

    No harm should be caused by soaking the nib/feed end of the section in slightly warm water so that if you're going to unscrew it at least it's not going to be stuck in with hard, dried ink.

    However, it's not essential to remove the nib and feed for cleaning out ink. I wouldn't be considering dismantling the pen either.
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    Default Re: Any harm in removing the nib of a Pelikan 800 for cleaning?

    While it should be a harmless thing to do, assuming you're not a ham-fisted gorilla*, I'd be inclined to adopt an "if it ain't broke don't fix it" approach. Why risk misaligning the nib of this cherished companion of many years if you don't have to? Flushing it, nib in situ, will continue to be fine, especially as you're sticking with all Pelikan inks. (Which one's your favourite?)

    Fascinating that FPH recommends storing it wet. When did Pelikan last use cork seals? Pre-war?

    *Likely not, but you get more FP-interested gorillas than you might expect.
    In the words of Paul Simon, you can call me Al.

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    Senior Member guyy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Any harm in removing the nib of a Pelikan 800 for cleaning?

    There’s some logic to the FPH advice even with synthetic seals. If you fill the pen with water before putting it away, you are guaranteeing a flush, and the piston is less likely to get stuck.

    Of course, it’s less of an issue with Pelikans where you can easily remove the nib unit, and there’s the risk of mold.

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    Default Re: Any harm in removing the nib of a Pelikan 800 for cleaning?

    Here is a clarification of some points that I made in the initial post of this thread.

    First of all, the pen is a Souverän M805, not an 800. I don’t remember when I bought it or from whom I bought it but I think I got it from Joon, sometime between 2000 and 2012. I remember that I previously had a Montblanc 147 which was stolen in 1999 after I put it down in a classroom at Bound Brook High School.

    Second is some of the advice FPH gave me about caring for the pen. Grainweevil, Ron Z and guyy commented, almost generating a sub thread. It is especially important to clarify this because it reflects on FPH.

    The barrel had to be replaced in 2017 and January, 2020. Abigail Weeks of Chartpack and Adrienne of FPH were involved with both repairs. I paid for the 2017 replacement, a little more than the cost of a new 200. Chartpack covered the 2020 replacement as a warranty.

    Naturally, it was very important to explore why this pen needed the replacement in 2020. Adrienne told me, with some amusement, what Abi had conveyed to her. She laid down the law on how I must care for the pen.
    Use only Pelikan ink and clean it with water and don’t use a commercial flush. I said I used Waterman and Montblanc ink also, but she said they are off limits. Montblanc ink is especially dangerous because it includes a lubricant. Noodler’s and Parker Quink is also not allowed. She said to store the pen with the nib facing up. Since I almost always have ink in the pen, I took her to mean store the ink wet with the nib facing up. I didn’t ask her about storing the pen dry. I violated all of Adrienne’s rules, but have learned my lesson.
    Note: “You can store pens horizontally or vertically. If you store them vertically, which is the recommended attitude, I recommend placing them nib upward.” Care and Feeding: How to Pamper Your Pens (This page revised December 2, 2018) http://www.richardspens.com/ref/care/care.htm

    mulrich, Do you have a link for “SBRE Brown has a short video on disassembling an M800”? I couldn’t find it. I did find a Gold Spot video on removing the nib of a 205. Is the following correct? Removing and Installing Screw-Interchangeable Nibs (This page revised August 2, 2018) http://www.richardspens.com/info/nibswap.htm

    Grainweevil, you ask for my favorite Pelikan ink. Following are the ones I use: Pelikan 4001 Brilliant Schwarz (Brilliant Black) and Königsblau (Royal Blue), Edelstein Sapphire and Onyx. I rotate my inks. When I moved in 2013, I got rid of about half my inks.

    Attached are pictures of the pen needing barrel replacement, pictures taken February, 2015.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Dan Kalish
    Fountain Pens: Pelikan Souveran M805, Waterman Expert II, Waterman Phileas, Stipula Splash, and Sheaffer Sagaris

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    Default Re: Any harm in removing the nib of a Pelikan 800 for cleaning?

    Success! The nib came off easily.

    Correction: my Montblanc was a 146. I remember I found the 149 too big so I got the next biggest.
    Dan Kalish
    Fountain Pens: Pelikan Souveran M805, Waterman Expert II, Waterman Phileas, Stipula Splash, and Sheaffer Sagaris

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    Default Re: Any harm in removing the nib of a Pelikan 800 for cleaning?

    I'm glad that you got the pen apart. It usually isn't too hard if it hasn't been torqued when it was installed.

    Correction on the pen is understood, but the 805 really is a Pelikan 800 with white trim instead of gold. Same pen, same hardware except for the trim. I do a lot of 800 repairs, many folks sent to me by Abi...

    The grip knob coming off of the thread bushing is usually caused by the seal sticking, which keeps it from moving forward. Then the knob jumps the threads of the bushing and comes off. On the lower end pens, the whole snap fit mechanism jacks out of the barrel. Sometimes the knob can be reinstalled, sometimes it has to be replaced. In either case the mechanism has to be unscrewed from the barrel - left hand thread, and I recommend using the tool. This can be avoided by a little light lubrication of the piston seal as noted above. However I'm not sure why the binde has pulled back. I see this from time to time, as well as the binde shrinking and cracking. I don't know what causes that, though since the ink never reaches the binde (unless the cap gets filled with ink), I can't see that being the problem. I suspect that there is some other environmental problem coming into play.

    There is an exploded view of the 800 series pens pinned at the top of the repair forum on "the other board" if you are interested in seeing how the pen is put together. I put it there so that it can be easily found instead of having to search a through a thread.
    Last edited by Ron Z; June 23rd, 2020 at 07:37 PM.

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    Default Re: Any harm in removing the nib of a Pelikan 800 for cleaning?

    Ron, where do get spare parts for those Pelikan piston repairs?

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    Default Re: Any harm in removing the nib of a Pelikan 800 for cleaning?

    Quote Originally Posted by guyy View Post
    There’s some logic to the FPH advice even with synthetic seals. If you fill the pen with water before putting it away, you are guaranteeing a flush, and the piston is less likely to get stuck.
    A fair point, and one I had not considered.

    Dan, clarification understood regarding FPH's advice. There appears to be quite an ink ring round that barrel in your pictures there, which suggests a capful of ink, in light of which I could certainly understand why special point might be made about keeping it "nib up"! The list of off-limits inks is interesting, tho'; I wonder how many people would agree. You are evidently a black 'n' blue man, but should you wish to get a bit flightier at any stage, I heartily recommend 4001 Turquoise. A most excellent ink, and definitely one of my favourites.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ron Z View Post
    I suspect that there is some other environmental problem coming into play.
    I was thinking about this thread overnight, and started wondering if tap water could potentially be a problem?
    In the words of Paul Simon, you can call me Al.

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    Default Re: Any harm in removing the nib of a Pelikan 800 for cleaning?

    Quote Originally Posted by grainweevil View Post

    There appears to be quite an ink ring round that barrel in your pictures there, which suggests a capful of ink, in light of which I could certainly understand why special point might be made about keeping it "nib up"!
    Are you referring to that area to the left of the threads?

    Anyway, Richards gives the same advice about storing the pen with the nib up.

    Quote Originally Posted by grainweevil View Post
    The list of off-limits inks is interesting, tho'; I wonder how many people would agree. You are evidently a black 'n' blue man, but should you wish to get a bit flightier at any stage, I heartily recommend 4001 Turquoise. A most excellent ink, and definitely one of my favourites.
    In instructional videos, all sorts of non-Pelikan inks are used in M800s and M805s.

    I could almost see Adrienne rolling her eyes as she described how Abi was insistant about using only Pelikan ink. Regardless, why not follow her suggestion?

    Yes, I use only blue and black inks. This may go back to 1982 when I was a personal assistant to a judge. I was using a Sheaffer Scripto fountain pen and writing drafts of court opinions and charges to the jury using brown ink. At one point, the judge got mad at me and demanded that I use only blue or black ink!

    I don't remember which inks I threw out when I moved in 2013. I'll keep Pelikan 4001 Turquoise in mind when I next replenish my ink supplies.

    Quote Originally Posted by grainweevil View Post
    I was thinking about this thread overnight, and started wondering if tap water could potentially be a problem?
    It's often recommended that distilled water be used to clean and flush fountain pens.
    Dan Kalish
    Fountain Pens: Pelikan Souveran M805, Waterman Expert II, Waterman Phileas, Stipula Splash, and Sheaffer Sagaris

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    Default Re: Any harm in removing the nib of a Pelikan 800 for cleaning?

    Pelikan Edelstein inks contain a similar lubricant to one that may or may not be found in Montblanc inks. Pelikan also very likely makes the ink for at least one other well known ink brand that I know of, so there may be other brands that could be considered as "safe" inks.
    In fact I use several "other" ink brands without problems in my Pelikan M400N pens with similar binds. Sailor, Montblanc, Kaweco, Diamine, Sheaffer & Waterman spring immediately to mind. I also always flush with tap water.
    Regards, Chrissy | My Blog: inkyfountainpens

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    Default Re: Any harm in removing the nib of a Pelikan 800 for cleaning?

    Here is a nice video about safely removing Pelikan nibs:

    https://youtu.be/jMs4PZFLRaI

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    Default Re: Any harm in removing the nib of a Pelikan 800 for cleaning?

    I'm not big on point-by-point quote and dissect forum discussion, so I'll just go with, yep, everyone says go with nib up - it's why the clip is where it is. The ink recommendation thing is spherical objects, but I was being polite. And not all tap water is the same.
    In the words of Paul Simon, you can call me Al.

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    Default Re: Any harm in removing the nib of a Pelikan 800 for cleaning?

    Interesting concept. Storing pens wet in shirtpockets, hung up, for months!

    My transaction with FPH was, essentially: we'll give you a break on this $208 part if you promise to treat the pen according to these rules. I wanted to stay on their good side.

    The original post asked if it was safe to take off the nib on this pen. The Board answered, in general, yes.
    Dan Kalish
    Fountain Pens: Pelikan Souveran M805, Waterman Expert II, Waterman Phileas, Stipula Splash, and Sheaffer Sagaris

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