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Thread: How to restore ink-conductivity to a nib?

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    Default SOLVED: How to restore ink-conductivity to a nib?

    Brief explanation (without whining): FPR Ultraflex nib, functioning perfectly prior to Pelikan ink usage. After introduction of Pelikan ink, nib no longer "Conducts Ink" except for Diamine - Aurora Borealis.
    Would like to restore it's "Ink Conductivity" with other inks for variety and usage sake.
    Nib currently placed into storage until solution found.

    Will post extended explanation if needed...

    TIA
    Last edited by Detman101; September 6th, 2020 at 12:26 PM. Reason: WOOHOO FIXED IT!!! THANKS EVERYONE!!! <3

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    Senior Member picautomaton's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to restore ink-conductivity to a nib?

    I’m curious.
    Please advise the trouble shooting steps you have taken and led you to conclude the problem as being ‘conductivity‘.

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    Default Re: How to restore ink-conductivity to a nib?

    Quote Originally Posted by picautomaton View Post
    I’m curious.
    Please advise the trouble shooting steps you have taken and led you to conclude the problem as being ‘conductivity‘.
    You might need to read this thread for the information you require.
    Regards, Chrissy | My Blog: inkyfountainpens

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    Default Re: How to restore ink-conductivity to a nib?

    No science to support my comments, but I started out with Pelikan ink then went to Waterman which resolved any problem with a lack of ink flow. Waterman is considered wet by many commentators.

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    Senior Member Detman101's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to restore ink-conductivity to a nib?

    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck Naill View Post
    No science to support my comments, but I started out with Pelikan ink then went to Waterman which resolved any problem with a lack of ink flow. Waterman is considered wet by many commentators.
    Interesting...thank you for that information.
    I will purchase a bottle of Waterman ink via amazon later today. Which particular "Waterman" ink did you use to remedy your ink flow issues?
    I am wondering if that exact ink will change the properties of the cursed nib back to working correctly...

    I have been wondering if there exists a way to come back from the changes that the "Dry ink" caused in the nib.
    In the other thread I suspected it affected the nib and the feed, however, it turns out that it only changed the nib...the feed is fine and functioning perfectly in the "Penbbs-456" with another nib.

    I will have to conduct more experimentation when more information becomes available.
    So far, an acetone bath...fire...ammonia...bleach...soapy water...
    None of these have restored functionality.

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    Default Re: How to restore ink-conductivity to a nib?

    Quote Originally Posted by Detman101 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck Naill View Post
    No science to support my comments, but I started out with Pelikan ink then went to Waterman which resolved any problem with a lack of ink flow. Waterman is considered wet by many commentators.
    Interesting...thank you for that information.
    I will purchase a bottle of Waterman ink via amazon later today. Which particular "Waterman" ink did you use to remedy your ink flow issues?
    I am wondering if that exact ink will change the properties of the cursed nib back to working correctly...

    I have been wondering if there exists a way to come back from the changes that the "Dry ink" caused in the nib.
    In the other thread I suspected it affected the nib and the feed, however, it turns out that it only changed the nib...the feed is fine and functioning perfectly in the "Penbbs-456" with another nib.

    I will have to conduct more experimentation when more information becomes available.
    So far, an acetone bath...fire...ammonia...bleach...soapy water...
    None of these have restored functionality.
    I've had black, purple, and now blue. I prefer blue. It was recommended to use in vintage pens by a long forgotten source. It is my only ink now (I realize I am an outlier///LOL!!).
    https://www.amazon.com/Waterman-Bott...63189452&psc=1

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    Default Re: How to restore ink-conductivity to a nib?

    Quote Originally Posted by Detman101 View Post
    ...Would like to restore it's "Ink Conductivity" with other inks for variety and usage sake....
    I've not used "conductivity" in relation to nib and ink, but if you mean the aspect of ink being drawn along the underside of the nib to its tip, this is not just a nib issue, but rather the nib and the feed. It is important that the two are in direct full contact along the underside of the nib to promote capillary action, assuming feed's ink channels are clear. (This is not the issue keeping the underside of a dip pen's nib (originally called the "pen") unpolished to better enable ink adherence.)
    Sometimes the problem baffles me despite my efforts, and I've had to turn to a pro figure it out. One notorious Parker 51 stub made its way through four respected penmeisters before the last made the nib and feed work.
    Last edited by FredRydr; September 6th, 2020 at 08:39 AM.

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    Default Re: How to restore ink-conductivity to a nib?

    I'm not sure if this is quite relevant to the present problem but I have found, in restoring old pens, that if the coating of ink on the underside of the nib is cleaned off, there will be ink flow issues until it builds up again. I always leave it alone now.

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    Default Re: How to restore ink-conductivity to a nib?

    I did clean out an ink clogged Esterbrook feed once using an E mandolin string.

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    Default Re: How to restore ink-conductivity to a nib?

    I DID IT!!! I GOT IT WORKING AGAIN!!!!
    OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG IT WORKED!!!

    Okay...heres how I did it.

    1. Scrubbed underside and top of faulty nib with 10% ammonia mixture and toothbrush
    2. Set nib in Acetone bath overnight
    3. Scrubbed nib with soapy distilled water (with gloves)
    4. Cleaned ebonite feed with soapy distilled water (with gloves)
    5. Reinstalled Faulty Nib to ebonite feed and allowed pen to gravity feed
    6. Flow of ink through nib reinstated!!!
    7. Flow of ink through nib higher than before...
    8. Flow of ink through nib too high...begin research on ink flow reduction methodology
    8b. Revert to stock Noodlers Ahab nib until ink flow reduction research completed.

    And thats where I'm at.
    The ammonia scrub and acetone bath worked TOO GOOD and now the flow of ink is higher than needed.
    Moving the feed further in and out did not affect the flow of ink at all. I think I'll replace this ebonite feed with a fresh one from Ebay and see how it does...

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    Default Re: How to restore ink-conductivity to a nib?

    Maybe experiment with different inks? I know that finding the Goldilocks ink (not too wet, not too dry) for a particular pen was the difference between reliable function and either constant hard starts with drier inks or constant blobbing with wetter inks. No other variable changed. For now, they are going to be an inseparable pen/ink combination.

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    Default Re: How to restore ink-conductivity to a nib?

    Quote Originally Posted by catbert View Post
    Maybe experiment with different inks? I know that finding the Goldilocks ink (not too wet, not too dry) for a particular pen was the difference between reliable function and either constant hard starts with drier inks or constant blobbing with wetter inks. No other variable changed. For now, they are going to be an inseparable pen/ink combination.
    See, THIS is the real reason I think people have 10-20 pens!!!
    If certain pens only work with certain inks...you have to buy a new pen to try a different color ink!

    When I first got into this I thought that one pen could use all inks...boy was I wrong. Now that I'm this far in with three pens, I'm stopping at Iroshizuku and Diamine inks.
    All of my 3 pens work with those inks and I'm not buying ANYTHING else!!
    I'm also not buying any more of these wacky pens. They're beautiful, they have potential, but they are too bloody temperamental for any sense of reliability or sustainability along with variety.
    It's like collecting cars that only run on a particular type of fuel. Not universal AT ALL...lol

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    Default Re: How to restore ink-conductivity to a nib?

    One modern pen can potentially use all ink brands. It might just write better with one ink than with another. Iroshizuku is an expensive ink brand. I suggest you try some different ink samples first and see what combination you happen to prefer in your pen. It's cheaper than buying bottles.

    Sometimes people might tend to not use some ink brands (possibly Noodler's or Iroshizuku) in vintage pens with rubber sacs.
    Regards, Chrissy | My Blog: inkyfountainpens

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    Default Re: How to restore ink-conductivity to a nib?

    Quote Originally Posted by Detman101 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by catbert View Post
    Maybe experiment with different inks? I know that finding the Goldilocks ink (not too wet, not too dry) for a particular pen was the difference between reliable function and either constant hard starts with drier inks or constant blobbing with wetter inks. No other variable changed. For now, they are going to be an inseparable pen/ink combination.
    See, THIS is the real reason I think people have 10-20 pens!!!
    If certain pens only work with certain inks...you have to buy a new pen to try a different color ink!

    When I first got into this I thought that one pen could use all inks...boy was I wrong. Now that I'm this far in with three pens, I'm stopping at Iroshizuku and Diamine inks.
    All of my 3 pens work with those inks and I'm not buying ANYTHING else!!
    I'm also not buying any more of these wacky pens. They're beautiful, they have potential, but they are too bloody temperamental for any sense of reliability or sustainability along with variety.
    It's like collecting cars that only run on a particular type of fuel. Not universal AT ALL...lol
    Don't get me wrong, I mostly use the same few inks without any problems in all my pens. I'm not into trying lots of different inks.
    The fussy pen cited above is definitely an outlier in my accumulation. All I'm saying is: if working on the feed and the nib don't help (and it seems like you've really been working on them), consider the ink.

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    Default Re: How to restore ink-conductivity to a nib?

    Quote Originally Posted by catbert View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Detman101 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by catbert View Post
    Maybe experiment with different inks? I know that finding the Goldilocks ink (not too wet, not too dry) for a particular pen was the difference between reliable function and either constant hard starts with drier inks or constant blobbing with wetter inks. No other variable changed. For now, they are going to be an inseparable pen/ink combination.
    See, THIS is the real reason I think people have 10-20 pens!!!
    If certain pens only work with certain inks...you have to buy a new pen to try a different color ink!

    When I first got into this I thought that one pen could use all inks...boy was I wrong. Now that I'm this far in with three pens, I'm stopping at Iroshizuku and Diamine inks.
    All of my 3 pens work with those inks and I'm not buying ANYTHING else!!
    I'm also not buying any more of these wacky pens. They're beautiful, they have potential, but they are too bloody temperamental for any sense of reliability or sustainability along with variety.
    It's like collecting cars that only run on a particular type of fuel. Not universal AT ALL...lol
    Don't get me wrong, I mostly use the same few inks without any problems in all my pens. I'm not into trying lots of different inks.
    The fussy pen cited above is definitely an outlier in my accumulation. All I'm saying is: if working on the feed and the nib don't help (and it seems like you've really been working on them), consider the ink.
    That's solid advice, thank you.
    Now that I've resolved to only use the two working types of ink that I trust in my pens...I can take that variable out of any equations.
    I am currently replacing the feed on my Noodlers Ahab to get back to an unmodified state. Now that I have the nib working again, thats one less thing to worry about.
    Hmmm...now I'll have an extra FPR ultra-flex nib hanging around.
    I guess I'll upgrade a nice Jinhao-x750 next month...lol.

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    Default Re: How to restore ink-conductivity to a nib?

    Quote Originally Posted by Chrissy View Post
    One modern pen can potentially use all ink brands. It might just write better with one ink than with another. Iroshizuku is an expensive ink brand. I suggest you try some different ink samples first and see what combination you happen to prefer in your pen. It's cheaper than buying bottles.

    Sometimes people might tend to not use some ink brands (possibly Noodler's or Iroshizuku) in vintage pens with rubber sacs.
    Thats how I got in this mess in the first place lol.
    There aren't many Iroshizuku inks that I like, only 3 really. ( Tsukushi, Kon-Peki and Shin-Ryoku )
    Diamine has a world of inks that I LOVE and they're reasonably priced too!
    If my connection in Hong Kong ever gets their export lockdown lifted I'll have two bottles of "Lion Rock" in my happy little hands!
    =]

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    Default Re: How to restore ink-conductivity to a nib?

    Good if you found a way to feel good again, faith moves mountains.
    And if your ritual helped, fine.

    Cheap Chinese or Indian (including Noodlers (also Indian pens)) pens are often finicky, unreliable tinker pens, especially with a „flex“ nib.
    You can get a good one or a bad one, what you can’t expect is quality control and reliability.

    It is like Chrissy said, a pen might harmonize with a specific ink a bit better or a bit worse but in general every pen will at least write with every modern ink (not talking about flex writing attempts).

    It is absolutely impossible that after you flushed and cleaned out a used FP ink (with water thoroughly) that it will affect the performance of your pen (assuming that you did not let pigmented or waterproof ink dried out in your pen several time so that the remainings cloaked the feed).

    Pelikan inks are top notch inks and a par excellence example of a save to use ink in all pens since many decades, (4001 inks beside Waterman) standard inks if you like.

    If your pen has a problem then it is a pen problem and not at all related to the ink you used before.

    You mentioned your pen uses a FPR flex nib, what is sold as flex pens these days are all tinker pens (at least with FPR and Noodlers flex nibs).
    I would never recommend such a pen to a beginner.
    They deliver most of the time not a reliable flex performance, often a lot of tinkering is needed to make them write well.
    And even if you put a lot of effort into it (and you know what you are doing) the result might still not be very good or even acceptable.

    A good flex pen need more than a EMF modified Indian flex nib with a ebonite feed (FPR took over my „Ease My Flex“ mod and sell it under the name Ultra Flex).
    A fine balance between nib, feed and ink is needed to let it perform well.

    And yes such a pen will not perform with each ink equally good, but after the ink is flushed out all bets are off and it will not affect your pen anymore.
    Last edited by Pterodactylus; September 6th, 2020 at 03:44 PM.

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    Default Re: How to restore ink-conductivity to a nib?

    @pterodactylus
    Last week, I commissioned the build of a quality handmade flex nib and ebonite feed from a reputable nibmeister on the West Coast.
    I'll have the Penbbs-456 back in a month or so with a handmade flex-nib that should theoretically be much better quality than the FPR Ultra-flex nibs I've been using.
    The pen is being tailored to the flex nib and handcrafted Ebonite feed so that all function without issue together regardless of the situation, ink or changes in environment.
    I think this is going to be what I have been looking for all this time...but not wanting to commit to
    It has cost a lot more...but it will be better than anything I've experienced previously.
    Once it is here...it will be my mainstay...no tinkering necessary...its been a great learning experience, but I'm getting tired of it. I just want to write/draw without issues...lol.
    Finally...

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    Default Re: How to restore ink-conductivity to a nib?

    Quote Originally Posted by Detman101 View Post
    @pterodactylus
    Last week, I commissioned the build of a quality handmade flex nib and ebonite feed from a reputable nibmeister on the West Coast.
    I'll have the Penbbs-456 back in a month or so with a handmade flex-nib that should theoretically be much better quality than the FPR Ultra-flex nibs I've been using.
    The pen is being tailored to the flex nib and handcrafted Ebonite feed so that all function without issue together regardless of the situation, ink or changes in environment.
    I think this is going to be what I have been looking for all this time...but not wanting to commit to
    It has cost a lot more...but it will be better than anything I've experienced previously.
    Once it is here...it will be my mainstay...no tinkering necessary...its been a great learning experience, but I'm getting tired of it. I just want to write/draw without issues...lol.
    Finally...
    Thanks Detman for your response.

    I can totally understand this.
    Good luck with the upgraded pen.

    As you seem interested in flex pens (I’m also a flex addict)
    Did you already considered a vintage flex pen in addition?

    I read you also draw, I would like to invite you to post your artworks in the art and calligraphy section of the board.
    Every new poster is also highly welcome there.
    Last edited by Pterodactylus; September 7th, 2020 at 03:37 AM.

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    Senior Member Detman101's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to restore ink-conductivity to a nib?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pterodactylus View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Detman101 View Post
    @pterodactylus
    Last week, I commissioned the build of a quality handmade flex nib and ebonite feed from a reputable nibmeister on the West Coast.
    I'll have the Penbbs-456 back in a month or so with a handmade flex-nib that should theoretically be much better quality than the FPR Ultra-flex nibs I've been using.
    The pen is being tailored to the flex nib and handcrafted Ebonite feed so that all function without issue together regardless of the situation, ink or changes in environment.
    I think this is going to be what I have been looking for all this time...but not wanting to commit to
    It has cost a lot more...but it will be better than anything I've experienced previously.
    Once it is here...it will be my mainstay...no tinkering necessary...its been a great learning experience, but I'm getting tired of it. I just want to write/draw without issues...lol.
    Finally...
    Thanks Detman for your response.

    I can totally understand this.
    Good luck with the upgraded pen.

    As you seem interested in flex pens (I’m also a flex addict)
    Did you already considered a vintage flex pen in addition?

    I read you also draw, I would like to invite you to post your artworks in the art and calligraphy section of the board.
    Every new poster is also highly welcome there.
    Pterodactylus,

    While you are here in this thread, let me take a moment to express my heartfelt thanks for your discovery of the "Ease my flex" mod that has made all of us "FLEX" lovers enjoy our pens so much.
    You have completely changed the game! And I grieve for the way the industry has abused your engineering of the nib and taken it for their own. FPR had a stellar place in my opinion until I discovered this fact, and from a company that is led by a supposed "Christian". Shameful to say the least...but, it's a careful balance between making a good change available to the pen community and taking all the credit for oneself.

    I have considered a vintage flex pen, and I could have bought one with all the money I've spent on the Penbbs-456 and it's upgrades, flex nibs from fpr, The $5 noodlers Ahab and it's replacement ebonite feeds and flex nibs for it....yeesh. It would have been easier to give someone $200-$400 and let them find and buy a good vintage flex pen for me and keep the extra as commission pay...lol
    I may still wind up doing that next year if things don't improve by the end of this year...

    Thank you, I will be sure to submit my drawings here in the art and calligraphy section of the board. Moreso the art section...until I get the "456" back and have a reliably functioning flex pen for my calligraphy...hehe.

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