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Thread: Coil Spring Inside Converter?

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    Junior Member SManZ's Avatar
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    Default Coil Spring Inside Converter?

    Hello! I ordered a Montegrappa Ducale Murano Mare and received it today! It looks great and I'm looking forward to inking it!

    I noticed that the converter has a small coil spring inside. It is not attached to anything and just floats around inside the reservoir area, between the plunger and the opening. The coils on the spring are touching each other such that it would have no compressive springiness to it.

    What does this do? Does it complicate anything when cleaning?

    Thank you!

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    Senior Member silverlifter's Avatar
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    Default Re: Coil Spring Inside Converter?

    It's an agitator to ensure the ink flows freely. Other brands use a small ball bearing.

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    SManZ (October 16th, 2020)

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    Default Re: Coil Spring Inside Converter?

    Quote Originally Posted by silverlifter View Post
    It's an agitator to ensure the ink flows freely. Other brands use a small ball bearing.
    That makes sense! Thank you!

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    Default Re: Coil Spring Inside Converter?

    Pilot converters do something similar using a small metal ball. It helps push the ink through the feed.

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    Senior Member jar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Coil Spring Inside Converter?

    A small gold spring like those used on older keyboards is a great solution for converters that suffer from surface tension. Their biggest advantage is that they can be threaded into any converter and fill not impede filling or ink flow.
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    Default Re: Coil Spring Inside Converter?

    Oops. Didn't see silverlifter's post before adding my two cents worth.

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    Default Re: Coil Spring Inside Converter?

    Quote Originally Posted by jar View Post
    A small gold spring like those used on older keyboards is a great solution for converters that suffer from surface tension.
    Haha, I'm in your camp, being the owner of a number of IBM model M keyboards and others of that period. As for people, you have to go back several generations to find someone who has seen a spring in a keyboard.

    Good suggestion though.

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    Senior Member jar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Coil Spring Inside Converter?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ole Juul View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by jar View Post
    A small gold spring like those used on older keyboards is a great solution for converters that suffer from surface tension.
    Haha, I'm in your camp, being the owner of a number of IBM model M keyboards and others of that period. As for people, you have to go back several generations to find someone who has seen a spring in a keyboard.

    Good suggestion though.
    Probably don't even know to keep the 9 side down.
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    SlowMovingTarget (October 16th, 2020)

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    Default Re: Coil Spring Inside Converter?

    Quote Originally Posted by Blue Note View Post
    Pilot converters do something similar using a small metal ball. It helps push the ink through the feed.
    No - it does not help 'push the ink through the feed'.

    Ink is a liquid, and all liquids have a characteristic called surface tension. Surface tension is a force that causes liquids to form beads rather than simply flow out over a surface. One of the inevitable problems in a cartridge or converter is that as the ink level falls, the weight of the remaining ink isn't sufficient to overcome surface tension; as a result, remaining ink tends to form a bead that is trapped at the 'wrong' end of the cartridge/converter when the pen is in the nib-down writing position. One of the functions of the spring/ball is to provide additional weight to overcome surface tension and break through the walls of that bead so that the ink can flow down to the feed.

    Another purpose of the ball/spring is to be an agitator. Inks are mixtures of a number of components, and some ink formulas result in mixtures that don't stay homogeneously mixed if the pen is allowed to remain stationary. As the position of the pen change from nib-up (storage) to nib-down (writing), the weight moves inside the cartridge/converter to help keep the components of the ink mixed.

    There are several versions of this weight - springs, steel balls, glass balls, and plastic balls are relatively common. I've seen suggestions that cartridges/converters that don't come from the factory with weights can be retrofitted by inserting a short length of wire through the nipple but I've never actually done that.

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    jar (October 17th, 2020)

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    Default Re: Coil Spring Inside Converter?

    Quote Originally Posted by monophoto View Post
    I've seen suggestions that cartridges/converters that don't come from the factory with weights can be retrofitted by inserting a short length of wire through the nipple but I've never actually done that.
    The springs are what I suggest for that since they can be threaded into any converter with the smaller nipples. But you need non-corrosive springs.
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    Default Re: Coil Spring Inside Converter?

    I'm relatively new compared to you guys, but I've found that when the ink doesn't come down in the converter, all it takes is a sharp flick with the back of a finger to make it hop to.

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    Default Re: Coil Spring Inside Converter?

    Where the pen and converter comes from can make a difference also. Some of the less expensive pens from China have contained converters that will have a useless plastic ball that sticks with the ink or glues itself to the piston. Others will have a spring that is not stainless which will have the predictable results and some have a ball bearing that is not stainless. These can be ink magnets and cause a ton of trouble. I've taken several converters apart to remove these. Then there is the size because adding a spring to some converters can really cut down on the converters capacity. So I have had many that are just fine and do what they are supposed to do and others that were just plain miserable. Your mileage may vary.

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    Senior Member jar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Coil Spring Inside Converter?

    Quote Originally Posted by bugsydog55 View Post
    Where the pen and converter comes from can make a difference also. Some of the less expensive pens from China have contained converters that will have a useless plastic ball that sticks with the ink or glues itself to the piston. Others will have a spring that is not stainless which will have the predictable results and some have a ball bearing that is not stainless. These can be ink magnets and cause a ton of trouble. I've taken several converters apart to remove these. Then there is the size because adding a spring to some converters can really cut down on the converters capacity. So I have had many that are just fine and do what they are supposed to do and others that were just plain miserable. Your mileage may vary.
    Use the right kind of springs; compression springs only, never expansion springs. They simply do not take up any significant space.
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    Default Re: Coil Spring Inside Converter?

    Quote Originally Posted by jar View Post
    Use the right kind of springs; compression springs only, never expansion springs....
    Progressive or linear rate?

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    Senior Member jar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Coil Spring Inside Converter?

    Quote Originally Posted by FredRydr View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by jar View Post
    Use the right kind of springs; compression springs only, never expansion springs....
    Progressive or linear rate?
    LOL. Tapered so they collapse into a flat band with a center open.
    Last edited by jar; October 17th, 2020 at 01:24 PM.
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