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Thread: Query: ink-channel restoration...

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    Default Query: ink-channel restoration...

    (I plan to begin experiments tonight on old FPR ebonite feeds to get more information.)
    However, I would like opinions on the topic of ink-channel restoration.

    Question: What potential materials can be used to reduce the depth of an ink channel in an ebonite feed?

    I am thinking that contact cement (rubber) layered in thin applications along the base of the feed channel would restore it's depth from deep to shallower.
    Another candidate, Acrylic Resin. (The same that some pens are made from)
    I have a good feeling that this material will conduct ink properly if laid into the ink channel and then the ink channel re-cut to the proper depth/width using my Jewelers saw.
    I believe this will work because plastic feeds are made from similar material and conduct ink well enough.

    Opinions?

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    Default Re: Query: ink-channel restoration...

    Don't mean to pick on you, but this whole trend of tweeking nibs, and modifying feeds often ends with the question "so how do I un-modify this?" Well, there is a really difficult to find RESET button that is hard to press, as you have already pressed the big GAME OVER button. All kidding aside, what is there to be learned by figuring out how to undeepen a feed channel? A lot of trial and error, with no ability to forcast how long-lived you repair would be in an inky environment. Once attained, what would you do with this skill? I assume that the better skill is how to avoid the excessed modification. Use your "deep feed" experience as a valuable lesson in how deep is too deep, and move on. Hard rubber has a nasty quality of being difficult to bond to, and most ink has some sort of solvent or surfactant that may adversley affect bond and stability of filled material over time.

    I suppose, that if I had an old feed that I wanted to do this to (assuming I could not source a replacement), I might try something like a JB weld, which is a composite of epoxy and a hard particle filler. if you cut a bit of a key, you should be able to keep it from falling out, or curling. Don't know about its chemical resistance to what may be in ink, and I don't know if its different properties may actually shrink the patch or split the feed if you put any heat on it (remember that one of the qualities of ebonite feeds is that they can be heat set to the nib). I know that some folks have had some success by packing a small void with some sort of powdered fill, then wicking super in, to form a composite patch and nominal cost. There is a fairly viscous formulation of Locktite that kind of sticks to ebonite, but is like 30 bucks with a pretty short shelf life once opened. Hey, what does an FPR feed cost, anyway? If it is the value of the journey, more than the cost of the feed, I do get it.

    Good luck, Bob

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    Default Re: Query: ink-channel restoration...

    Quote Originally Posted by Seattleite View Post
    Don't mean to pick on you, but this whole trend of tweeking nibs, and modifying feeds often ends with the question "so how do I un-modify this?" Well, there is a really difficult to find RESET button that is hard to press, as you have already pressed the big GAME OVER button. All kidding aside, what is there to be learned by figuring out how to undeepen a feed channel? A lot of trial and error, with no ability to forcast how long-lived you repair would be in an inky environment. Once attained, what would you do with this skill? I assume that the better skill is how to avoid the excessed modification. Use your "deep feed" experience as a valuable lesson in how deep is too deep, and move on. Hard rubber has a nasty quality of being difficult to bond to, and most ink has some sort of solvent or surfactant that may adversley affect bond and stability of filled material over time.

    I suppose, that if I had an old feed that I wanted to do this to (assuming I could not source a replacement), I might try something like a JB weld, which is a composite of epoxy and a hard particle filler. if you cut a bit of a key, you should be able to keep it from falling out, or curling. Don't know about its chemical resistance to what may be in ink, and I don't know if its different properties may actually shrink the patch or split the feed if you put any heat on it (remember that one of the qualities of ebonite feeds is that they can be heat set to the nib). I know that some folks have had some success by packing a small void with some sort of powdered fill, then wicking super in, to form a composite patch and nominal cost. There is a fairly viscous formulation of Locktite that kind of sticks to ebonite, but is like 30 bucks with a pretty short shelf life once opened. Hey, what does an FPR feed cost, anyway? If it is the value of the journey, more than the cost of the feed, I do get it.

    Good luck, Bob

    @seattleite

    Thank you sir, that was just the kind of information that I desired to receive. I had not considered those other materials and I had no knowledge of others work with this method of repair.
    I completely agree with you...I've recommended that the feed simply be replaced in instances such as this. However, a new friend of mine asked me if there is anything that can be done for his feed, so I thought I'd sacrifice one of my old FPR feeds that I'll never use in any of my pens in order to experiment.

    I know how stressful my lines of questioning and experimentation can be, and have been, to the population on this forum, but I am far from a "Status Quo" person.
    If an alternate method can be found, I seek to find it...until I have to give in to proven methods.

    As always, any and all information/data are greatly appreciated.

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    Default Re: Query: ink-channel restoration...

    "If you've got the money, honey, (we've) got the time"...LOL!!

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    Default Re: Query: ink-channel restoration...

    You might try wax - paraffin or bees.
    In the words of Paul Simon, you can call me Al.

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    Default Re: Query: ink-channel restoration...

    Detman,

    I meant to say "by packing a small void with some sort of powdered fill, then wicking super glue in, to form a composite patch at nominal cost."

    I applaud your journey. Sometimes it leads to the solution you seek... sometimes not. in both cases it can be a way to learn.

    Bob

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    Default Re: Query: ink-channel restoration...

    Quote Originally Posted by grainweevil View Post
    You might try wax - paraffin or bees.
    Thank you very much, I will add those to the list!!

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    Default Re: Query: ink-channel restoration...

    Quote Originally Posted by Seattleite View Post
    Detman,

    I meant to say "by packing a small void with some sort of powdered fill, then wicking super glue in, to form a composite patch at nominal cost."

    I applaud your journey. Sometimes it leads to the solution you seek... sometimes not. in both cases it can be a way to learn.

    Bob

    Thank you sir, I surmised that is what you intended to type. I'm happy to see it confirmed though!
    I've used that particular technique with restoring some of my grandfathers model airplane bodies damaged in crashes (rest his soul) before.

    So far, the listing is as follows:

    Feed #1: Parrafin Wax technique
    Feed #2: Baking Powder and Super Glue
    Feed #3: Acrylic Resin/JB-Weld technique (whichever I can purchase first)

    Thank you all for the ideas and suggestions, I appreciate your support and I hope to find a viable solution that will help my new friend and others.

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    Default Re: Query: ink-channel restoration...

    I've used candle wax.
    Filled the channel(s) up with melted wax, then carved out the size channel I wanted to test. Most of the time, I'd remove 90%+ of the wax.
    The best flow control (reduction) I achieved was from small traces of wax, like planned blockages, rather than resized channels.

    This was some years ago and it was more 'playing around' than serious science.
    It seemed quite an effective material for the purpose, but I have no idea how permanent, or otherwise it is?

    Good luck.

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    Default Re: Query: ink-channel restoration...

    Well...it has been an enlightening journey.

    Feed #1: Parrafin Wax technique
    -RESULTS: Moderate success in small amounts on one ebonite feed. I made the mistake of putting too much on another feed and spent the good part of an evening picking wax out from in-between the fins of the feed...no fun.
    Even though I was able to reduce the "Flow" of the ink I was not able to keep the "Breathing" of the feed. The ink-flow reduced and did not dump onto the page...but when the feed emptied out from me flex-writing...it would not refill in a reasonable amount of time. I would write a sentence...it would go out...then take 4 minutes to be able to write again. I do not know how to fix this.

    Feed #2: Baking Powder and Super Glue
    -RESULTS: Complete failure. Even after layering a small amount of baking soda in the bottom of the ink channel, the glue stuck to the sides of the ink-channel walls instead of going directly down to the baking soda to solidify it.
    I need a way to apply the cyanoacrylate in a more controlled and fine method. Something like a hypodermic needle that won't get clogged...


    Feed #3: Acrylic Resin/JB-Weld technique (whichever I can purchase first)
    -RESULTS: Untested...need a break from this demoralizing task. Will reconvene next week.


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    Default Re: Query: ink-channel restoration...

    Why do you need to reduce the depth of the ink channel, and what are you trying to accomplish?

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    Default Re: Query: ink-channel restoration...

    Someone I met on youtube through the comments area mentioned that he cleaved his ink channel too deep and his pen was then too wet.
    I suggested maybe somehow reducing the depth of the ink channel. We both had no idea how to do so...thus, this experiment thread was created to gather ideas and log the results of my side of the experimentation.

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    Default Re: Query: ink-channel restoration...

    If you have more than one ink channel, as in some feeds, you can insert a pencil lead of the appropriate size in it.

    Easy to place, easy to remove.

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    Default Re: Query: ink-channel restoration...

    Quote Originally Posted by Detman101 View Post
    Someone I met on youtube through the comments area mentioned that he cleaved his ink channel too deep and his pen was then too wet.
    I suggested maybe somehow reducing the depth of the ink channel. We both had no idea how to do so...thus, this experiment thread was created to gather ideas and log the results of my side of the experimentation.
    I'm not sure why he is correlating the depth of the ink channel and the wetness of the pen.

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    Default Re: Query: ink-channel restoration...

    Quote Originally Posted by dneal View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Detman101 View Post
    Someone I met on youtube through the comments area mentioned that he cleaved his ink channel too deep and his pen was then too wet.
    I suggested maybe somehow reducing the depth of the ink channel. We both had no idea how to do so...thus, this experiment thread was created to gather ideas and log the results of my side of the experimentation.
    I'm not sure why he is correlating the depth of the ink channel and the wetness of the pen.
    He is as curious as I am, but without the same means of experimentation. I wish he lived closer, I would love to get together with someone that curious and excited.
    I learned about ink flow and wetness myself a few months back.
    I had two FPR nibs, one heat treated and the other stock.
    The heat treated one flowed ink like a hose.
    The stock one flowed ink normally.
    Both had stock unmodified FNF Ebonite feeds.
    Swapped the nibs across pens...the heavy ink flow followed the heat-treated nib.

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    Default Re: Query: ink-channel restoration...

    Quote Originally Posted by Detman101 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by dneal View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Detman101 View Post
    Someone I met on youtube through the comments area mentioned that he cleaved his ink channel too deep and his pen was then too wet.
    I suggested maybe somehow reducing the depth of the ink channel. We both had no idea how to do so...thus, this experiment thread was created to gather ideas and log the results of my side of the experimentation.
    I'm not sure why he is correlating the depth of the ink channel and the wetness of the pen.
    He is as curious as I am, but without the same means of experimentation. I wish he lived closer, I would love to get together with someone that curious and excited.
    I learned about ink flow and wetness myself a few months back.
    I had two FPR nibs, one heat treated and the other stock.
    The heat treated one flowed ink like a hose.
    The stock one flowed ink normally.
    Both had stock unmodified FNF Ebonite feeds.
    Swapped the nibs across pens...the heavy ink flow followed the heat-treated nib.
    Sorry if I'm relaying something you already know, but I'll run through the basics.

    The feed supplies the nib with ink. There are many designs, but the main principles are:

    A channel (or more than one) that via capillary action draws the ink from the reservoir to the nib. The bottom of the channel(s) is usually narrower than the top. The (nib) end of the channel is ramped up toward the nib, conducting the ink to the nib. As the ink is drawn from the reservoir, it creates a vacuum and air is drawn in.

    Here is an Omas feed, and the design has been used for many decades:

    OmasFeed003_zpsdd5efb25.jpg

    It's about as simple as it gets. In the next photo, you can see the top view, and how the channel "ramps" up towards where the nib would be.


    OmasFeed002_zps1e2e9777.jpg


    I don't see that the depth of the feed would have any bearing on anything other than being capable of delivering more ink. That's why pens with flex nibs often have multiple channels, like this war-time Kaweco feed:

    712004_zps30e361b6.jpg



    The nib should be well "set". That is: there is little to no gap between the bottom of the nib and the feed, and this is most important at the end of the feed (and also where there is often a gap). Ebonite feeds may be heated so they can be "bent" upwards at the ramp/nib end, ensuring the pressure is adequate enough to close any gap - but they're not "heat treated". Barring barometric problems, this should prevent excess accumulation of ink under the nib - and that's incidentally what the "fins" are for. They create more surface area to collect any errant ink. If there is a relatively significant amount of ink accumulated, and you flex a nib; you'll get a very wet line.

    The spacing of the tines is primarily what determines how "wet" a pen is. They are analogous to a nozzle at the end of a garden hose. You can adjust the gap wider or narrower (i.e.: open or close the nozzle) and each correlates with the "wetness" of the line. In a flex nib, you are manipulating this on purpose with writing pressure.

    The feed allows enough volume of ink to keep up, or it doesn't. I suppose it could deliver too much, but look at that Kaweco feed again (focusing on the design rather than the condition of that particular feed). Those two channels, and potential volume of the cut area in general, aren't enough for ink to gush out even when the nib is flexed dramatically. Here's a writing sample of an identical feed (in better condition):

    50sSport006_zps535c133c.jpg

    50sSport008_zps9bf8f91b.jpg


    The last thing is of course the characteristics of the ink and paper. An ink with less surface tension will flow more freely (which is why we get inks labeled as "wet" and "dry"). That can be taken into account with nib adjustment (or matching differently adjust nibs in different pens). An absorbent paper will draw ink from the nib or pen, and there's not really anything you can do about that.

    So if I had a pen that I had been cutting into the channel, and it was too "wet"; I would look at the set and adjustment of the nib first. Then I would try different inks. Putting beeswax or superglue in the channel is something I don't see working.

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    Default Re: Query: ink-channel restoration...

    For a whole lot more on feed design, check out https://fountainpendesign.wordpress.com/the-feed/. There are several pages and it's probably more in-depth than most want to know, but there is a lot of valuable knowledge there and may be useful background to somebody modifying their feed. The link I shared was to his content about feeds, but of course he has many more pages on nibs, inks, even caps,... Enjoy

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    Default Re: Query: ink-channel restoration...

    Quote Originally Posted by dneal View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Detman101 View Post
    Someone I met on youtube through the comments area mentioned that he cleaved his ink channel too deep and his pen was then too wet.
    I suggested maybe somehow reducing the depth of the ink channel. We both had no idea how to do so...thus, this experiment thread was created to gather ideas and log the results of my side of the experimentation.
    I'm not sure why he is correlating the depth of the ink channel and the wetness of the pen.
    The ink flow correlates directly with the cross area of the ink channel
    Amadeus W.
    Ingeneer

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    Default Re: Query: ink-channel restoration...

    Quote Originally Posted by Wahl View Post
    If you have more than one ink channel, as in some feeds, you can insert a pencil lead of the appropriate size in it.

    Easy to place, easy to remove.
    Great idea
    Amadeus W.
    Ingeneer

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    Default Re: Query: ink-channel restoration...

    Quote Originally Posted by Detman101 View Post
    Well...it has been an enlightening journey.

    Feed #1: Parrafin Wax technique
    -RESULTS: Moderate success in small amounts on one ebonite feed. I made the mistake of putting too much on another feed and spent the good part of an evening picking wax out from in-between the fins of the feed...no fun.
    Even though I was able to reduce the "Flow" of the ink I was not able to keep the "Breathing" of the feed. The ink-flow reduced and did not dump onto the page...but when the feed emptied out from me flex-writing...it would not refill in a reasonable amount of time. I would write a sentence...it would go out...then take 4 minutes to be able to write again. I do not know how to fix this.

    Feed #2: Baking Powder and Super Glue
    -RESULTS: Complete failure. Even after layering a small amount of baking soda in the bottom of the ink channel, the glue stuck to the sides of the ink-channel walls instead of going directly down to the baking soda to solidify it.
    I need a way to apply the cyanoacrylate in a more controlled and fine method. Something like a hypodermic needle that won't get clogged...


    Feed #3: Acrylic Resin/JB-Weld technique (whichever I can purchase first)
    -RESULTS: Untested...need a break from this demoralizing task. Will reconvene next week.

    try tiny glass beads
    Amadeus W.
    Ingeneer

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