Friday, 2 October 2009

(1) Flushing all the old ink out of the nib

Just before the summer resits, I bought a Sheaffer Targa from eBay, for my 'all-fountain pen' exams, which I posted about over the last fortnight or so. Unfortunately, during these the Targa proceded to leak ink all over my writing hand, courtesy of a majorly leaking inlaid nib. When I say majorly leaking - I could create a perfect diamond pattern on my pinkie by pressing it against the inlay.

The following photos represent my first real attempt at fountain pen 'repair' (I put repair in quote marks, because the pen wrote fine with no skipping or anything). Info on this problem is a little thin on the ground, I followed the advice given in this Pentrace article to use Captain Tolley's crack cure and work from the inside on the nib section. This one is pretty good too! Thanks Pendoctor.

So we begin 3 days ago!

Stage 1: Flushing all the ink out of the nib
 First I soaked the nib unit in warm water for a few hours to start off getting rid of the ink still in it. So far, so good! On to the next pic!

This Targa came with a squeeze converter. This is supposed to be a bonus for flushing, and later on seperating the nib unit.
Frankly I don't have much patience when it comes to flushing, so I got a big syringe from an inkjet printer refill kit, put it where the converter usually goes - a suprisingly perfect fit - and wrapped a lot of plumber's seal tape around the join. Now we can flush like crazy beasts!


How's this for ink capacity? I was almost tempted to make this a permanent arrangement. Flushing had to be thorough, I didn't want any ink left to interfere with the sealant later on.

This is a photo taken after the flushing and drying process. Notice that despite my efforts, there was still a little ink coming from the inlay onto my pinky. Just my luck; I kept going till there was nothing showing.

Revision - While it's important to get as much ink out as possible before applying the sealant later on, there's an effort saving alternative method that's far more thorough. At this early stage, just flush the pen with water till it runs through clear, so that the feed is clean enough to prevent dried ink from making disassembly difficult.

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