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Thread: What is an eyedropper pen? How to use it?

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    Default What is an eyedropper pen? How to use it?

    Introduction

    I have been listing quite a few Indian pens on various fountain pen sites and have been asked questions ranging from "What is an Eyedropper pen? How to fill it?" The write-up below is a beginner's guide to eyedropper pens and hopefully one of the many.

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    Many of the fountain pen enthusiasts have long been enamored by the beauty and simplicity of Indian fountain pens, especially the eyedroppers. Traditionally, most Indians are trained to write with a fountain pen during their schooling. In many schools, usage of fountain pens is mandatory as the teachers believe that a fountain pen gives more control over one's writing than ballpoint pens. This rule applied to many with jobs involving extensive writing, like teachers and clerks too. This small flashback is to give an idea of why the Indian manufactured pens are predominantly eyedroppers.

    That brings us to the next question.

    What is an eyedropper pen?
    An eyedropper pen consists of 3 main parts: section, barrel and a cap. The ink is filled directly into the barrel, preferably with an eyedropper (hence the name) for ease of filling. This results in great ink capacities.

    Eyedropper pens have simple design with no moving parts except the ink, hence easy to use, maintain and fix. The pens have large ink capacity, most times upwards of 2ml which is roughly 3 times the ink capacity of an international converter. These two qualities make them perfectly suited for the majority of the fountain pen users in India, like students and clerks, who have a lot of writing to do everyday.

    How to clean a pen with eyedropper filling system?

    Always clean a new pen before use. This prevents any residue in the pen from clogging the feeds. Cold water with a few drops of dish washing liquid is my preferred way of cleaning my pens. Soak for a few minutes and rinse with cold water. Dry the pen.

    Apply some silicon grease over the section threads. This will prevent ink from leaking through the threads.

    How to ink up the pen?
    1. Hold the pen nib side up.
    2. Unscrew the section from the barrel. Fill the eyedropper with your choice of ink and use it to transfer ink into the barrel. Screw the section back onto the barrel.
    3. Wait for a few minutes for the ink to flow through the feed and reach the nib.
    4. Test on a scrap of paper with a few twirls. If your pen is writing, you are good to go. Else, wait for a couple of minutes more.

    Points to note:
    1. The level of ink filled in the barrel should always be below the inner threads of the barrel
    2. Eyedropper pens are best stored horizontally or nib side up
    3. Silicon grease need not be applied every time you refill your pen. Once after every wash is sufficient.
    4. When the quantity of ink becomes too low in the barrel, the eyedropper pens tend to gush a small amount of ink onto the paper when you start writing. This is an indication that the pen requires a refill. The gushing will happen only for the first few seconds and will stop. So don't worry when you see this. Just refill your pen and you are good to go.

    Hope this write-up is helpful. If you require any information about the pens, please send me a note and i will be happy to help.

    Thanks for reading
    Last edited by Mesu; December 22nd, 2013 at 02:01 AM.

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    cwent2 (December 21st, 2013), lisantica (December 22nd, 2013), Senecabud (December 22nd, 2013), subramaniyam (December 22nd, 2013), Woodnut (December 23rd, 2013)

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    Senior Member Tracy Lee's Avatar
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    Default Re: What is an eyedropper pen? How to use it?

    Eyedroppers are the greatest type of filling system, I convert every pen that can be converted. Nice instructions!

    Sent from my Xoom using Tapatalk 4

  4. The Following User Says Thank You to Tracy Lee For This Useful Post:

    Mesu (December 22nd, 2013)

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    Default Re: What is an eyedropper pen? How to use it?

    Thank you Tracy.

    In India, people look for affordable and long lasting products. Ebonite eyedropper pens fulfill the requirement to the T. With little care, they last for a few generations.

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    Senior Member Tony Rex's Avatar
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    Default Re: What is an eyedropper pen? How to use it?

    Nice writeup mate. Thank you. I've been watching closely on Indian ED for sometime, but I just prefer something with a safety shutoff valve. The inherent problem with this 'simple' design was that it tends to blob or burp. And in some climates, like ours, condensation could be really bad causing nib creeps etc. So, a safety valve would be a minimum prerequisite for me, I wouldn't put anything without it in my shirt pocket.

    Tony

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    Default Re: What is an eyedropper pen? How to use it?

    Thank you Tony.

    The burping problem is mostly seen in the eyedroppers with huge barrels. Haven't seen it happen when the pen is stored nib side up. I am currently working on another write up about ED burping.

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    Senior Member Tracy Lee's Avatar
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    Default Re: What is an eyedropper pen? How to use it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mesu View Post
    Thank you Tony.

    The burping problem is mostly seen in the eyedroppers with huge barrels. Haven't seen it happen when the pen is stored nib side up. I am currently working on another write up about ED burping.
    I use my Delta Dolce Vita Oversized and it holds tons of inkand has a gold nib. It hasn't ever burped on me so far, just runs out of ink quietly. My Delta Fusion 82 has had burping issues regardless of how full or how empty it is, and that is a steel nib with the gold overlay. Sometimes, I think it depends on the specific quirks of a pen. My Edison Mina has also never burped, and is a size somewhere between the Dolce Vita and the Fusion. It has a gold nib. So I would always advise when using a pen this way you use it the first time very often and in a controlled environment to see how it will behave. Then you will know whether it is appropriate to carry and use like every other pen. I carry all of mine all the time.

    Sent from my Xoom using Tapatalk 4

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    Senior Member mhguda's Avatar
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    Default Re: What is an eyedropper pen? How to use it?

    Hi Mesu, nice write-up, however, some things bear explicitly stating. For example, when you say clean the pen, do you mean only clean the inside of the barrel? Your instructions do suggest that. But the feed and nib themselves may also profit from a flush before filling for the first time. To that end, I tend to either hold the pen upside down with the cleaning fluid (water with a little dish detergent, as you say) inside, and help it flow by resting the nib on a paper towel or something similar, or force the fluid through the nib using a syringe. The eyedropper itself can also be used.
    Also, to prime the feed, you want the pen nib down over the ink bottle. I find it helps if the barrel still has some turns to go over the threads when tightening. This will spill some drops of ink, so you have to do it over the bottle to prevent a mess. Then tighten further, wipe off, and the pen is good to go.
    Other than those, excellent write-up, very concise. Eyedropper pens are no mystery, and they fit in with the great design philosophy of Indian fountain pens: easily user-serviceable and adjustable. No complicated parts to fail or replace. Every pen can be exactly what you want.
    De pen is machtiger dan het zwaard - de pen wordt nog gebruikt, het zwaard hangt aan de muur...

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