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Thread: Vintage ink for vintage pens?

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    Member eicart0523's Avatar
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    Default Vintage ink for vintage pens?

    I was watching a YouTube video last night. The maker implied that only vintage inks should be used in vintage pens and no modern inks.
    I have my concerns about using vintage ink. I fear it could have mold or have broken down and may have " expired". I enjoy modern inks because of the endless array of colors.
    I'm aware of the supposed Noodler's controversy with it being destructive to sacs.

    Are vintage inks even safe to use?

    Sent from my SM-N981U using Tapatalk

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    Senior Member FredRydr's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vintage ink for vintage pens?

    Quote Originally Posted by eicart0523 View Post
    I was watching a YouTube video last night. The maker implied that only vintage inks should be used in vintage pens and no modern inks....
    That's absurd. Like modern inks, the state or condition of a vintage ink determines whether it should or should not be used in a fountain pen.

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    Default Re: Vintage ink for vintage pens?

    Quote Originally Posted by eicart0523 View Post
    I was watching a YouTube video last night. The maker implied that only vintage inks should be used in vintage pens and no modern inks.
    I have my concerns about using vintage ink. I fear it could have mold or have broken down and may have " expired". I enjoy modern inks because of the endless array of colors.
    I'm aware of the supposed Noodler's controversy with it being destructive to sacs.

    Are vintage inks even safe to use?

    Sent from my SM-N981U using Tapatalk
    I sometimes resent that Youtube seems to give legitimacy where none can be found.

    A lot of pen-related Youtubers are pen people who happens to have the know how, and/or willing to go through the effort of making videos. That does not equate to experience with fountain pens that is necessary for some of the "advice" or "suggestions" that viewers could mistakenly took for a gospel.

    I am a vintage pen restorer and I never use vintage inks on my pens.
    While some may be are okay, but why risk it, when hundreds of perfectly usable and fresh inks are available to use?

    Now, a perfect usage for a cool-looking vintage ink *bottle* (after you clean it up), is to be filled with modern inks.

    EDIT: Added a thought.
    Last edited by penwash; December 21st, 2021 at 08:23 AM.
    - Will
    Unique and restored vintage pens: Redeem Pens

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    Default Re: Vintage ink for vintage pens?

    I have about a dozen bottles of old ink, varying from the 1970s to the 1920s. All are perfectly useable though there have been one or two others I've had to reject. I use lots of modern inks in my vintage sac-filler pens without, to date, any problems.

    YouTube pen videos are a mixed bunch and it's a good idea to come here for advice.

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    Senior Member FredRydr's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vintage ink for vintage pens?

    Quote Originally Posted by penwash View Post
    ...Now, a perfect usage for a cool-looking vintage ink *bottle* (after you clean it up), is to be filled with modern inks....
    And even that depends on the condition of the gasket in the vintage cap. That was the only link in tracing how SITB migrated from one of my inks to another.
    Last edited by FredRydr; December 21st, 2021 at 09:02 AM.

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    Default Re: Vintage ink for vintage pens?

    Quote Originally Posted by eicart0523 View Post
    I was watching a YouTube video last night. The maker implied that only vintage inks should be used in vintage pens and no modern inks.
    I have my concerns about using vintage ink. I fear it could have mold or have broken down and may have " expired". I enjoy modern inks because of the endless array of colors.
    I'm aware of the supposed Noodler's controversy with it being destructive to sacs.

    Are vintage inks even safe to use?

    Sent from my SM-N981U using Tapatalk
    Ignore the absurdity of the YouTube video and stick to your own wise concerns. Some inks are safe to use in fountain pens but whether they are vintage or not makes little difference. They all need to be in a good condition for use.
    Regards, Chrissy | My Blog: inkyfountainpens

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    Default Re: Vintage ink for vintage pens?

    I would use the bottle of Waterman Serenity blue I bought a couple of days ago(to replace the one on my desk Iím about to empty) with any pen I currently own or will ever own. There is a #42 safety in my pocket filled with it and I I feel the same about every other pen I own. I also trust basically any standard Waterman, Pelikan, Montblanc, Parker, and non-fancy Diamine in any pen I own.

    Other brands I evaluate on their own merits. I feel safe with pretty much anything in a safety of any age, and most stuff short of shimmer inks in my Montblanc and Pelikan pistons of any age. Alkaline inks, which means a lot if Japanese inks, need some caution in pens that have latex in contact with the ink. This means not just lever/button fillers but also pens like Parker Vacumatics. Thereís some mixed evidence about modern high saturation inks with Latex, so I play it safe and donít do it.

    I have bunches of vintage Sheaffer, Parker, and a few other brands. Some is fine, but always check for mold and other sludge/precipitate in the bottle. I love the old Art Deco Quink bottles, but Iíve had mixed luck with them.

    I also donít care that your 51 Aeromatic says ďUse only Parker Superchrome InkĒ on the sac guard. If you have any Superchrome, keep it on a shelf and far away from your pens. Iíve used my Superchrome on a glass dip pen and also sacrificed a Chinese 51 clone to it. The colors are bright, but thatís about the only good thing to say about it.

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    Default Re: Vintage ink for vintage pens?

    Quote Originally Posted by bunnspecial View Post
    ...most stuff short of shimmer inks in my Montblanc and Pelikan pistons of any age....
    I'm of the opposite mind. I use my two shimmer inks only in my Pelikan piston-fillers because they are so easy to clean by spinning out the nib/feed units, and flushing those nib/feed units with a bulb syringe is a breeze.

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    Default Re: Vintage ink for vintage pens?

    Quote Originally Posted by FredRydr View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by bunnspecial View Post
    ...most stuff short of shimmer inks in my Montblanc and Pelikan pistons of any age....
    I'm of the opposite mind. I use my two shimmer inks only in my Pelikan piston-fillers because they are so easy to clean by spinning out the nib/feed units, and flushing those nib/feed units with a bulb syringe is a breeze.
    Fair enough. I only have a couple of Herbin shimmers, and I like them in Parker 45s and 75s because they are so easy to break down.

    The only modern Pelikan pistons I have are a 205 and a 101N. I donít get too enthusiastic about removing the nib with its delicate looking ribbed feed from my 100.

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    Default Re: Vintage ink for vintage pens?

    Quote Originally Posted by bunnspecial View Post
    ...

    I also donít care that your 51 Aeromatic says ďUse only Parker Superchrome InkĒ on the sac guard. If you have any Superchrome, keep it on a shelf and far away from your pens. Iíve used my Superchrome on a glass dip pen and also sacrificed a Chinese 51 clone to it. The colors are bright, but thatís about the only good thing to say about it.
    I find the Superchrome bottle and packaging quite cool. I was close to bid on one of those on ebay.

    As for the ink inside, I'll just take it to my municipal hazardous chemical disposal facility, just like my photography chemicals I used to dump there.

    (kidding... -half)
    - Will
    Unique and restored vintage pens: Redeem Pens

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    Default Re: Vintage ink for vintage pens?

    I tend to use only 'penmaker' inks of certain colors (no reds or browns) in my vintage pens. Vintage inks? Yes, if I bought the bottle new.
    My other pen is a Montblanc.

    And my other blog is a tumblr!

    My eBooks. Because why not.

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    Default Re: Vintage ink for vintage pens?

    Most "modern" inks are like the "vintage" inks I used in the early 1960s, and not just Parker and Waterman. Most Diamine inks are fine for "vintage" pens. Avoid the wacky "special" inks, of course, like the inks "specially formulated" to write in cold weather (as if people living in Maine or New Brunswick or Norway wrote only with pencils). I've used old Parker and Sheaffer, and a couple of Carter's bottles. Incidentally, Carter's is nothing special. With all of the "vintage" inks, just look for lumps and don't be surprised if some of the dye has faded a little toward gray.

    Otherwise, the "vintage ink for vintage pens" is a silly recommendation. Just as Penwash says.

    (I've used Superchrome in a Wing Sung P-51 clone. Writes well: dries instantly and cannot be washed out. The Blue-Black is not flashy, but it's not supposed to be. Found a bottle of Tunis Blue, but it was gunky. I was curious, but nothing about Superchrome makes me want to try it in other pens)

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    Default Re: Vintage ink for vintage pens?

    Quote Originally Posted by bunnspecial View Post
    I would use the bottle of Waterman Serenity blue I bought a couple of days ago(to replace the one on my desk Iím about to empty) with any pen I currently own or will ever own. There is a #42 safety in my pocket filled with it and I I feel the same about every other pen I own. I also trust basically any standard Waterman, Pelikan, Montblanc, Parker, and non-fancy Diamine in any pen I own.

    Other brands I evaluate on their own merits. I feel safe with pretty much anything in a safety of any age, and most stuff short of shimmer inks in my Montblanc and Pelikan pistons of any age. Alkaline inks, which means a lot if Japanese inks, need some caution in pens that have latex in contact with the ink. This means not just lever/button fillers but also pens like Parker Vacumatics. Thereís some mixed evidence about modern high saturation inks with Latex, so I play it safe and donít do it.

    I have bunches of vintage Sheaffer, Parker, and a few other brands. Some is fine, but always check for mold and other sludge/precipitate in the bottle. I love the old Art Deco Quink bottles, but Iíve had mixed luck with them.

    I also donít care that your 51 Aeromatic says ďUse only Parker Superchrome InkĒ on the sac guard. If you have any Superchrome, keep it on a shelf and far away from your pens. Iíve used my Superchrome on a glass dip pen and also sacrificed a Chinese 51 clone to it. The colors are bright, but thatís about the only good thing to say about it.
    Yep yep yep. Also many vintage (and some modern) iron gall inks do not play well with some steel nibs, especially vintage steel. Richard Binder's website has some gory photographs of nib corpses done in by IG inks.

    For the super-paranoid, Waterman inks are considered super safe. Buy them new.
    Quid rides? Mutato nomine de te fabula narratur. ó Horace
    (What are you laughing at? Just change the name and the jokeís on you.)

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    Default Re: Vintage ink for vintage pens?

    It is thought by some more renown repair men, that super saturated inks, like Noodlers, Private Reserve etc, eat rubber sacs, that some times have a life span of weeks, instead of years.
    For rubber sac pens, I use only 'vintage' inks like Pelikan or MB........I would use Parker or Sheaffer inks had I any.

    Living in Germany I only have two supersaturated Noodler inks, Apache Sunset and golden Brown. They end up in my CC pens.
    I'm sure regular piston pens could handle them but the Apache Sunset....like any red or purple I worry about staining the ink window.

    I have a saturated DA Royal Blue, I use in my piston pens with any problems. I'd not thought to use it in my five sac pens...........not that I think, I won't. I've many two toned shading inks that are not supersaturated.

    So instead of vintage inks, I'd use the term non-supersaturated inks.

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    Default Re: Vintage ink for vintage pens?

    Or as I understood the OPís use of the term ďvintage ink,Ē an alternative might be ďold bottles of ink.Ē

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    Default Re: Vintage ink for vintage pens?

    Quote Originally Posted by FredRydr View Post
    Or as I understood the OPís use of the term ďvintage ink,Ē an alternative might be ďold bottles of ink.Ē
    That's how I understood it too.

    These two inks below more or less carry the same name, with the caveat that the(very difficult to find in the US now) permanent Blue is now often just called "Quink Blue". The right is probably from the 50s at the newest and the one on the left I'd guess is a year or two old-I bought it earlier this year but I'm giving that age as a guess of how long it sat in inventory. They are not the same ink, though. The color when dry is similar and most likely they contain the same dyes, but the fungicides/preservatives in the right bottle are certainly quite different(and one sniff will tell you that).

    IMG_1208.jpg

    The pens in front of them are a silver pearl oversize Vacumatic and a burgundy Standard. Of the common Vacumatics(excluding rare marking variants, etc) they're not in the range of say Burgundy Oversize value, but also a decent step up in value from a black 2nd generation Junior or Maxima. I'd fill either pen from either of these bottles without a second thought, but then I've also tested and know the bottle on the right is free of sediment/sludge/etc. It's more of a muted blue/gray, though, and not a rich true blue like the new bottle.

    And yes if I understand the OP correctly, the bottle on the right is in fact what I should be using in my pens...

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    Default Re: Vintage ink for vintage pens?

    Totally possible, I've used it without any problems. You can use Diamine inks, they are safe for most fountain pens.

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