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Thread: Penbbs-456 Shut-Off Valve: How to properly use one for dummies (like me...lol)

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    Default Penbbs-456 Shut-Off Valve: How to properly use one for dummies (like me...lol)

    Greetings,

    I just upgraded my PENBBS-456 to a proper Ebonite Feed and I'm noticing that when I open the shut off valve to get ready to use it in writing, the feed drips a drop of ink and then the pen is ready to be used. I wasn't informed this was how Ebonite Feeds worked...though I've heard mention of people having this issue. I never looked into the solution at the time as I used a cartridge-converter fountain pen.

    I know it's the heat from the pen being in my pocket causing the air to expand in the closed off chamber rushing out when I open up the shut-off valve...which then forces the ink already in the feed/nib out and all over the place.

    I know everything has one thing that isn't right (no pen is 100% perfect right?) but I'd like to resolve this "initial-drip" issue if at all possible. If not I will have to carry around a napkin to wipe the drool off the pen when I take it out of my pocket to use it...lol.

    I don't mind inky fingers at all, I just don't want it ruining my documents or clothes....that's all.
    Other than that...I LOVE THIS PEN!!! :smile:

    Thanks everyone!!

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    Senior Member Detman101's Avatar
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    Default Re: Penbbs-456 Shut-Off Valve: How to properly use one for dummies (like me...lol)

    OH!!

    Please give me your recommendations for REALLY DRY inks!!
    I want to try a really dry ink in this pen and see how it performs.

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    Senior Member Jon Szanto's Avatar
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    Default Re: Penbbs-456 Shut-Off Valve: How to properly use one for dummies (like me...lol)

    I have a couple of the 456 pens and have never had this issue. I have also never pen an ebonite feed in them, though I have other similar pens (piston fillers) that have ebonite feeds that don't seem to be a problem. And I have eyedropper pens, vintage, that have ebonite feeds and I don't have problems with this.

    IOW, I don't usually get ink dropping out of a pen, it's quite rare.

    So there is always the possibility that the feed you installed is not really a great fit and has a bit of air leakage or something. However, my solution would be a lot simpler: leave the shut-off closed until you need ink. I'm kinda weird but I don't like sitting around with a blind cap partially unscrewed, certainly when I'm not using the pen. I keep the cap screwed down, which closes the shut off. Naturally, there is still ink in the feed, in the collector area inside the section, etc. Plenty for most of my nibs to keep writing and if it starts to seem like it is running out in a long session I just open up the valve and when I'm done I close it again.

    If you do this, you'll not have excess ink in the feed and if you open up it shouldn't push anything out. If even doing that cause an issue with dripping, I'm back to thinking that it is something to do with the modifications you have made to the pen itself in some way. I'm hopeful, though, that writing down the ink first before opening up will be an easy fix for the splotches.
    "When Men differ in Opinion, both Sides ought equally to have the Advantage of being heard by the Publick;
    and that when Truth and Error have fair Play, the former is always an overmatch for the latter."

    ~ Benjamin Franklin

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    Default Re: Penbbs-456 Shut-Off Valve: How to properly use one for dummies (like me...lol)

    Iron gall inks such as ESSRI and Rohrer & Klingner salix are pretty dry.

    I have experienced ink blobbing with one very wet ink in pens with feeds that don't have enough fins to buffer the flow.

    With my (nib-swapped but original feed) 456 I don't open the shutoff valve unless the flow is running dry. As Jon said, the blobbing could be because the replacement ebonite feed isn't sitting quite right.

    In the meantime, at the end of a writing session with the 456 you could try opening the shutoff valve and tipping the pen so that ink flows back into the barrel. Then close the shutoff valve to seal the ink supply away from the nib and feed. This may help to minimize the effect of heat expansion, if that's contributing to the startup drip.

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    Default Re: Penbbs-456 Shut-Off Valve: How to properly use one for dummies (like me...lol)

    Quote Originally Posted by Jon Szanto View Post
    I have a couple of the 456 pens and have never had this issue. I have also never pen an ebonite feed in them, though I have other similar pens (piston fillers) that have ebonite feeds that don't seem to be a problem. And I have eyedropper pens, vintage, that have ebonite feeds and I don't have problems with this.

    IOW, I don't usually get ink dropping out of a pen, it's quite rare.

    So there is always the possibility that the feed you installed is not really a great fit and has a bit of air leakage or something. However, my solution would be a lot simpler: leave the shut-off closed until you need ink. I'm kinda weird but I don't like sitting around with a blind cap partially unscrewed, certainly when I'm not using the pen. I keep the cap screwed down, which closes the shut off. Naturally, there is still ink in the feed, in the collector area inside the section, etc. Plenty for most of my nibs to keep writing and if it starts to seem like it is running out in a long session I just open up the valve and when I'm done I close it again.

    If you do this, you'll not have excess ink in the feed and if you open up it shouldn't push anything out. If even doing that cause an issue with dripping, I'm back to thinking that it is something to do with the modifications you have made to the pen itself in some way. I'm hopeful, though, that writing down the ink first before opening up will be an easy fix for the splotches.
    Thank you. The stories of your experience are just what I am seeking. It means a lot to me because I don't have any real-life cases to reference.

    I do not get anything more than a drop of ink coming out if I open the shut-off valve with the nib facing down after I take the pen out of my pocket.

    If I open the valve with the nib facing up, no ink drops at all. I will recheck that everything is seated properly and I picked up some silicone grease today.
    I remembered that I didn't put any on the threads of the pen prior to use.
    (DOH! )



    Sent from my LG-M210 using Tapatalk

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    Default Re: Penbbs-456 Shut-Off Valve: How to properly use one for dummies (like me...lol)

    Quote Originally Posted by catbert View Post
    Iron gall inks such as ESSRI and Rohrer & Klingner salix are pretty dry.

    I have experienced ink blobbing with one very wet ink in pens with feeds that don't have enough fins to buffer the flow.

    With my (nib-swapped but original feed) 456 I don't open the shutoff valve unless the flow is running dry. As Jon said, the blobbing could be because the replacement ebonite feed isn't sitting quite right.

    In the meantime, at the end of a writing session with the 456 you could try opening the shutoff valve and tipping the pen so that ink flows back into the barrel. Then close the shutoff valve to seal the ink supply away from the nib and feed. This may help to minimize the effect of heat expansion, if that's contributing to the startup drip.
    Thank you! Along with not using the pen the right way...I discovered that the ink I am using in the pen is known for being very wet. (Sample of Monteverde California teal)
    I also did not silicone grease the fittings/threads of the pen yesterday.
    Will do those tonight and report back.

    Ooooh...more dry inks, yesssss!
    Thank you!

    Sent from my LG-M210 using Tapatalk

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    Default Re: Penbbs-456 Shut-Off Valve: How to properly use one for dummies (like me...lol)

    UPDATE:

    Okay, I proceeded to take the pen apart and while doing so...I noticed a HUGE gap between the feed and nib. So I figured I'd measure it.
    At the tip of the feed, I could slide two sheets of paper in between the feed and nib!
    So...added "re-heat set the feed" to the list of items to complete.

    Cleaned and silicone-greased the threads and o-rings on the pen good, greased the threads and o-ring on the housing as well.
    Then heat-set the feed again, this time pushing it up slightly to make it contact the nib fully along it's length.
    Put the pen back together...
    Ink flow is a LOT less gushy, getting better shading in my ink, also switched to "Diamine - Aurora Borealis" (less wet than monteverde california teal) until my "Pelikan 4001 - Dark Green" ink arrives in 2 days.

    I've told myself the proper method to use the valve as outlined in this thread by Jon Szanto and Catbert (Thanks guys! ) and I have faith that the last drop of ink spilled in error spilled today!

    :smile:

    I'll find out tomorrow if it passes the "Hot Pocket" test lol...

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    Default Re: Penbbs-456 Shut-Off Valve: How to properly use one for dummies (like me...lol)

    Quote Originally Posted by Detman101 View Post
    I'll find out tomorrow if it passes the "Hot Pocket" test lol...
    I'm very happy that you are making progress and appear to be less angst-ridden over all of this. Most pen problems can be sorted out. May I just say one last thing?

    I look at your last statement and worry a bit - not every pen is a perfect prospect for 'body carry'. You have have a big desire to have the only pen you carry on your person the kind of pen you are working with at the moment, but bear in mind that it is possible to put so many stresses of condition on an object (like a pen) that a very particular design (in this case: a pen with a large ink supply and a very free-flowing delivery system) is simply not the optimal choice for sitting in a pocket next to a hot human body.

    Just give it some thought. There are many ways around it, from some form of case to carry in, to using that pen in a more controlled environment and finding another kind of pen that you enjoy writing with but is more conducive to humanoid heat.
    "When Men differ in Opinion, both Sides ought equally to have the Advantage of being heard by the Publick;
    and that when Truth and Error have fair Play, the former is always an overmatch for the latter."

    ~ Benjamin Franklin

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    Default Re: Penbbs-456 Shut-Off Valve: How to properly use one for dummies (like me...lol)

    Quote Originally Posted by Jon Szanto View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Detman101 View Post
    I'll find out tomorrow if it passes the "Hot Pocket" test lol...
    I'm very happy that you are making progress and appear to be less angst-ridden over all of this. Most pen problems can be sorted out. May I just say one last thing?

    I look at your last statement and worry a bit - not every pen is a perfect prospect for 'body carry'. You have have a big desire to have the only pen you carry on your person the kind of pen you are working with at the moment, but bear in mind that it is possible to put so many stresses of condition on an object (like a pen) that a very particular design (in this case: a pen with a large ink supply and a very free-flowing delivery system) is simply not the optimal choice for sitting in a pocket next to a hot human body.

    Just give it some thought. There are many ways around it, from some form of case to carry in, to using that pen in a more controlled environment and finding another kind of pen that you enjoy writing with but is more conducive to humanoid heat.
    Thank you so much! I feel happy to be over the hump of development and building and FINALLY enjoying the fruits of my labor.
    It was looking pretty bleak there for a while...but everyone here kept me encouraged and moving forward.
    I'm thankful for everyone here.

    I have given that consideration thought as well in the days of last week.
    I'm the type of guy that usually carries one item with him for a particular resource.
    I considered carrying multiple pens but that doesn't sit well with me and is only added weight in my backpack.
    If I am hiking or outdoors (as I usually am) I guess I am going to carry a ballpoint...They're more reliable. (Space Pen or my Sterling Silver pen...if I can find it)
    Then when I'm in the lab I can use the brass pen for regular writing and minimal flex.
    And then if I'm at home in a stable environment or traveling..I can use the PENBBS-456.
    Not how I envisioned this journey...lol.

    Fountain Pens are awesome...but they seem far too delicate and sensitive to believe they've lasted this long through history.

    Originally, I ordered the PENBBS-456 for a travel pen to take with me when I have to deploy. The ink shutoff valve seemed like a perfect solution to air pressure changes in planes.
    After using the Brass Pen I spent so much time and money building and realizing it may not be the best option for Calligraphy, I decided to convert the PENBBS-456 into a flex pen as well for the added ink capacity and ability to travel.

    Carrying 2 or more pens, someone is bound to ask me to borrow one...then Ive got to hurt someones feelings...lol..
    Last edited by Detman101; August 25th, 2020 at 07:03 PM.

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    Default Re: Penbbs-456 Shut-Off Valve: How to properly use one for dummies (like me...lol)

    You have extremely specific needs for that travel pen; put the nib/feed back into the normal realm and it would be a slam-dunk. However, I am willing to bet that, incrementally, you can dial this in until a combination of 'getting the design right' and 'I just need to remember to do this' will come very close to the ideal situation. Both you and the pen will have to compromise a bit, I think.

    I routinely write with pens that are 100 years old, some of my very favorites. The haven't lasted that long because of monumentally failed designs, but that we understand how they work best and follow that lead.
    "When Men differ in Opinion, both Sides ought equally to have the Advantage of being heard by the Publick;
    and that when Truth and Error have fair Play, the former is always an overmatch for the latter."

    ~ Benjamin Franklin

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    Default Re: Penbbs-456 Shut-Off Valve: How to properly use one for dummies (like me...lol)

    Quote Originally Posted by Jon Szanto View Post
    You have extremely specific needs for that travel pen; put the nib/feed back into the normal realm and it would be a slam-dunk. However, I am willing to bet that, incrementally, you can dial this in until a combination of 'getting the design right' and 'I just need to remember to do this' will come very close to the ideal situation. Both you and the pen will have to compromise a bit, I think.

    I routinely write with pens that are 100 years old, some of my very favorites. The haven't lasted that long because of monumentally failed designs, but that we understand how they work best and follow that lead.
    You know what...that's a very valid and powerful point!
    Those pens have lived longer than we have and they're still kicking butt.
    I will continue to refine this pens upgraded parts and see what can be done to alleviate any potential issues. Strangely enough I'm excited to see what it does tomorrow after I get into the lab after travelling from home.
    That first opening of the shutoff valve...
    I can't wait!!

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    Default Re: Penbbs-456 Shut-Off Valve: How to properly use one for dummies (like me...lol)

    UPDATE: WOOHOO!!!

    NO BURPING!!!

    I followed the instructions from yesterday and had no issues with excess ink dripping from the pen AT ALL!!
    I think this pen will be just fine for pocket carry.
    Okay, so my plans for this pen are to send it off to a nib grinder to have this FPR-UltraFlex nib ground down to and actual "EF" so that I can write properly with it.
    Currently, those nibs are billed as "F" but are more like a wet "M"...thats not gonna work for me.
    While looking through the FPR site to find out what size their Ultra-flex nibs truly are...I found some nice data on remediating leaks!
    I'd like to include the wax portion in my "Flow Moderation" tests...

    https://fprevolutionusa.com/pages/ho...eyedropper-pen

    While this Penbbs-456 is being grinded/modded (which will take months probably nowadays), I will work on acquiring a #5 Ebonite Feed from Ebay (Noodlers Creaper #5 Feed) for "Elegy" my Brass pen while researching how to reduce/moderate ink flow when using Ebonite Feeds.
    I believe this, when applied to "Elegy", will make her complete. She will have a fine nib that produces a small thin line, but still be able to produce flex-width lines when needed. I can withstand having to refill the converter now that I have sample-vials from "Goulet Pens" with her ink that I can carry in my ruck. (Carrying a full bottle of Diamine-Chocolate brown was NOT working)

    So...I've got my battle strategy...now to march forward and execute!
    Last edited by Detman101; August 26th, 2020 at 12:30 PM.

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    Default Re: Penbbs-456 Shut-Off Valve: How to properly use one for dummies (like me...lol)

    Quote Originally Posted by Detman101 View Post
    I can withstand having to refill the converter now that I have sample-vials from "Goulet Pens" with her ink that I can carry in my ruck. (Carrying a full bottle of Diamine-Chocolate brown was NOT working)
    I'm happy about the progress on the main pen. As to nib grinding, you might consider Gena Salorino of Custom Nib Studio. She does very nice work and has pretty good turn-around times. You'll need to explain your request carefully as it is a bit specific.

    As to the quoted part above, sample vials are handy but hardly robust. I would suggest cobbling together something like what I've used for a long time: a DIY ink travel kit. Made from a mint tin, it carries 2 vials and a syringe, absorbent material lining in case of leak. Has worked well for about 8 years.


    "When Men differ in Opinion, both Sides ought equally to have the Advantage of being heard by the Publick;
    and that when Truth and Error have fair Play, the former is always an overmatch for the latter."

    ~ Benjamin Franklin

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    Default Re: Penbbs-456 Shut-Off Valve: How to properly use one for dummies (like me...lol)

    Quote Originally Posted by Jon Szanto View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Detman101 View Post
    I can withstand having to refill the converter now that I have sample-vials from "Goulet Pens" with her ink that I can carry in my ruck. (Carrying a full bottle of Diamine-Chocolate brown was NOT working)
    I'm happy about the progress on the main pen. As to nib grinding, you might consider Gena Salorino of Custom Nib Studio. She does very nice work and has pretty good turn-around times. You'll need to explain your request carefully as it is a bit specific.

    As to the quoted part above, sample vials are handy but hardly robust. I would suggest cobbling together something like what I've used for a long time: a DIY ink travel kit. Made from a mint tin, it carries 2 vials and a syringe, absorbent material lining in case of leak. Has worked well for about 8 years.


    That is very VERY nice!!
    I will definitely put together something similar for her!
    Thank you!

    I found a semi-local shop in Rockville, Md that's not too far away...gathering more info before I decide on them.
    I called them up and the owner would like me to come in so he can have a look at the nib and determine better what needs to be done.
    Bert of "Bertrams Inkwell" (https://www.bertramsinkwell.com)
    I think he mentioned sending it off to someone so he may not be the actual workman for the grinding.
    If that's the case i'll just cut out the middleman and save time on waiting/processing and the middleman-cost and send it directly to a nibsmith.

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    Default Re: Penbbs-456 Shut-Off Valve: How to properly use one for dummies (like me...lol)

    Bert's a good guy, well-known in the pen world. I've made a couple of purchases from him from afar, and he presents at least one pen show a year. However, I'm fairly certain he would, as you say, send the pen out for the modification. Since you are on the East coast, you might also check into Mark Bacas (I think he goes by "the NibGrinder", you'll need to google). He does very nice work, especially on very fine points. Worth checking into, though putting a pen in the mail to anywhere is anyone's guess these days!
    "When Men differ in Opinion, both Sides ought equally to have the Advantage of being heard by the Publick;
    and that when Truth and Error have fair Play, the former is always an overmatch for the latter."

    ~ Benjamin Franklin

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