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Thread: Cleaning / Flushing a vintage Esterbrook LJ

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    Default Cleaning / Flushing a vintage Esterbrook LJ

    This is a restored pen, and a lovely writer.

    How do I clean the sack? I've been simply sucking up and ejecting warm water, as if I were filling it with ink.

    Is this the best way to flush the ink?

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    Senior Member Jon Szanto's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cleaning / Flushing a vintage Esterbrook LJ

    It isn't the only way, but is certainly the most common one. Of course, any pen with a lever/button fill sac system is a bit laborious, especially if the ink was quite saturated, or if ink dried out inside the sac.

    The one thing you *can* do with a vintage Estie, if you like, is to remove the nib and power-flush (with care). The nib unit unscrews, and you can either soak that or run it in an ultrasonic cleaner. Then you have the option of a more active flushing of the sac. I have used a blunt needle syringe for years for both filling pens with ink, and then flushing cartridges and converters with water. by filling a syringe, inserting it and then applying a good deal of pressure (squeezing quickly), you can get the ink flushed out quickly.

    I finally realized this year that, hey, they probably make these in a higher capaticy - I've always had a 6 ml syringe. So I hopped on eBay and for a couple of bucks ordered three 20 ml syringes. They make larger ones but I thought they might be too big for one-handed use. It works really well, one big flush and they are clean. It would do a great job with the Estis, as would the smaller ones. Just be careful with even a blunt needle, and maybe not has much pressure with the latex sac.

    Hope that helps.
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    Default Re: Cleaning / Flushing a vintage Esterbrook LJ

    That helps a lot. Thanks so much.

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    Default Re: Cleaning / Flushing a vintage Esterbrook LJ

    How clean does it need to be?

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    Default Re: Cleaning / Flushing a vintage Esterbrook LJ

    Quote Originally Posted by Farmboy View Post
    How clean does it need to be?
    Giving a serious answer as to my personal use: the water coming out of a pen has to be clear enough that it won't tint the next ink if a different color. I can deel with less-flushed out if re-inking after many uses or using a similar ink (i.e. just making sure to dilute and flush any old ink build-up). I don't use overly-saturated inks, pigment inks, or inks with any particulates (glitter/shimmer) in a sac-filling pen. I don't feel a pen has to be clean enough to administer IV fluids or serve Sunday tea on.
    "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: Cleaning / Flushing a vintage Esterbrook LJ

    Quote Originally Posted by Jon Szanto View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Farmboy View Post
    How clean does it need to be?
    Giving a serious answer as to my personal use: the water coming out of a pen has to be clear enough that it won't tint the next ink if a different color. I can deel with less-flushed out if re-inking after many uses or using a similar ink (i.e. just making sure to dilute and flush any old ink build-up). I don't use overly-saturated inks, pigment inks, or inks with any particulates (glitter/shimmer) in a sac-filling pen. I don't feel a pen has to be clean enough to administer IV fluids or serve Sunday tea on.
    I do like to sometimes use a different ink, but I think it's good to rinse the pen even if I'm using the same ink.
    Last edited by Medievalist; May 11th, 2022 at 03:49 PM.

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    Senior Member pajaro's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cleaning / Flushing a vintage Esterbrook LJ

    If you fill the pen and then flush it a few times the flushed water should come fairly clear. Some inks might put you to more trouble. I usually don't want to fill and flush in very many cycles, so as not to wear the sac out. Each pen user will have a personal level of fastidiousness. I have gone through different levels myself, and now I rarely use any of these pens. I just like to look at the things now.

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    Default Re: Cleaning / Flushing a vintage Esterbrook LJ

    Agree with the same ink in the same pen thingÖÖ
    And Iím one of those loonies that only puts blue ink in a blue pen , red in a red pen etc.
    being in OZ , in summer my pens do dry out when they donít get used for a few days 🤣 so I flush a bit before refilling , otherwise it ink gets more and more concentrated .

    Iíve always wondered if the proprietary 'pen flush' people sell is better that water ?!

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    Default Re: Cleaning / Flushing a vintage Esterbrook LJ

    Quote Originally Posted by Robalone View Post
    Agree with the same ink in the same pen thingÖÖ
    And Iím one of those loonies that only puts blue ink in a blue pen , red in a red pen etc.
    being in OZ , in summer my pens do dry out when they donít get used for a few days 🤣 so I flush a bit before refilling , otherwise it ink gets more and more concentrated .

    Iíve always wondered if the proprietary 'pen flush' people sell is better that water ?!
    Well, "pen flush" is usually 10% ammonia, so it cleans a little more than plain water. (I usually make my own, since ammonia is cheap and water is free)

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    Default Re: Cleaning / Flushing a vintage Esterbrook LJ

    Water and a bulb syringe. Unscrew nib, flush run nib under water, screw it back in.

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    Brad "Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind" - Rudyard Kipling

    "None of us can have as many virtues as the fountain-pen, or half its cussedness; but we can try." - Mark Twain

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