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May 2021 Musings

Repair Bench Notes

Aspiring Nib Tech or Restorer?

Each month we will share some of the nib and restoration issues that we frequently see.

Linda's Bench:

We get emails all the time asking about different inks and if they are safe to use. India ink is frequently asked about because it is readily available at craft stores such as Michaels. A recent Montblanc 149 held a surprise of dried India ink that was probably decades old. In fact it came out in dried chunks. India ink is for dip pens and should never be used in a fountain pen.


But if you do end up with this ink in a pen, all hope is not lost. To demonstrate how difficult India ink is to clean, we took three chunks of the dried ink and soaked each in water, Indy's IDEAL Pen Flush, and Rapido-Eze. Watch our short video and see what the results are after 17 hours of soaking.
 

Mike's Bench:

Many times you will find some great pens that look like a lost cause. We see them in flea markets, antique shops, and garage sales. A few years back these pens would have been purchased solely for salvaging good parts and nibs. Case in point is heavily oxidized hard rubber pens, usually cause by exposure to ultraviolet light or being submerged in water. These once jet black gems show up from time to time looking like they are made of milk chocolate. Over the past several years we have been working on our approach to saving these once majestic pens. We don't use dyes or stains to cover over the damage and we don't buff and polish it away either. Our process actually lifts and removes decades of dirt and grime, bringing back the old luster. This is a long and dirty process, but as you can see below, well worth the effort.

Pro Tip:

Snorkel tubes are the means in which ink enters and exits a Snorkel filling pen. It is quite common for these to become clogged preventing ink from flowing in or out. Our Snorkel Snake is designed to penetrate even the toughest clogs while keeping the delicate hard rubber feed safe from damage.

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