Fountain Pen Care For Beginners

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160
Location
York
Hi All. Whilst tidying up some old offices I have come to realise I have more fountain pens than I remembered.

Can anyone recommend a good beginners book on how to maintain and care for them. I’m sure many of mine have not seen the light of day for quite a while and will be dried out etc.

Many Thanks!


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Messages
1,732
Location
Silly Suffolk
Hi All. Whilst tidying up some old offices I have come to realise I have more fountain pens than I remembered.

Can anyone recommend a good beginners book on how to maintain and care for them. I’m sure many of mine have not seen the light of day for quite a while and will be dried out etc.

Many Thanks!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
I'm not sure about what books there are nowadays, but you could start by having a look at these websites:-
Vintage Pens
Richard's Pens

A lot depends on the age of your collection, how they work, and what exactly is wrong with them. The most basic attention is careful cleaning with water, and perhaps a solution of water with a minute amount of household ammonia. Recipes for the latter are easily-found on the web, along with the caveats on the use of it, and you can also buy it ready-made.

If your pens have ink sacs, then these often are perished and have to be replaced, which is quite a job. More modern pens with ink converter or cartridge filling are easier to clean, and I use a ear syringe (see photo) to force water and debris out through the nib. Modern piston-fillers are tricky, but usually come right after a lot of filling and flushing with water or solution.

If the pens are just "crusty", then cleaning them well should do the trick. If they then work properly with ink, then fine. If not, it gets a bit more complicated, but I'd resist any temptation to dismantle anything until you feel sure that you have read-up adequately on how to do so for your particular pen makes and models.
 

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Messages
160
Location
York
@Ferrum. Thanks for the great advice. Mixture of pens mostly modern, Lamy,Pilot, Montblanc, Visconti so sounds like a general careful clean will hopefully suffice.


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Messages
1,732
Location
Silly Suffolk
@Ferrum. Thanks for the great advice. Mixture of pens mostly modern, Lamy,Pilot, Montblanc, Visconti so sounds like a general careful clean will hopefully suffice.


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You're very welcome. I have various models of all those makes except Visconti, and a bit (or sometimes a lot) of careful flushing with cold water will usually do the trick.

I'd persevere with plain water, as the ammonia-based solution is really a last resort. Among other things, it can damage some metalwork such as bands.

I hope for a progress and, all being well, mission-accomplished report.

PS It often works well to leave the pen to soak awhile in cold water, both without and within, before more flushing through.
 
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