Filling and cleaning go hand-in-hand. Goulet offers the pen cleaning package!
Goulet has amazing videos and I highly recommend Fountain Pens 101.
I was crazy not to take the time to watch the whole series *what, an hour? saved me ten* but then I never read instructions for ANYTHING growing up!
This is my easy desk set-up (you can see where it sits on my short shelf).
I tend to think in an organized way, so perhaps this will help others.
You’ll notice a large brown bottle of water with an eyedropper?
I use it to jump start a sluggish pen with a drop of water.
I strongly recommend you wear old clothes on when you first start filling;
I have spluttered it everywhere until I got the hang of it!
Converters must be proper for pen. On Goulet they will list the appropriate converters for your pen or you can call them (as will other retail pen outlets).
To fill a pen efficiently I recommend a needle syringe. You can do it by using the converter’s instructions, through suction or plunging, but I find that they waste ink and/or make things messier and/or don’t allow the pen to fill completely. If you don’t have enough ink and run out prematurely, you are more prone to a dry pen which leads to a clogged pen. I fill my pens to the hilt!
Make sure you know how to place the converter properly onto the pen
before you fill it with ink the first time. Look at it — I have found that some even have guide lines! Literally practice it a few times.
Otherwise, you may end up with ink everywhere!
I wanted a way to easily fill my pens at my desk, have clean water to
flush the pen in a secure, stable container when necessary, and a place where
I could clean the needle syringe of ink as I flushed it in something
that I would eventually throw away rather than clean.
I fill the pen by dipping the CLEAN needle into the ink bottle, filling the syringe,
then placing the needle carefully into the converter and gently filling.
I lay the needle down, place converter on the pen,
then immediately tend to the needle syringe after:
Evacuate any extra ink into the bottle.
Dip needle in the open bottle of clean water (right, above) and
pull clean water into the dirty syringe.
Evacuate into the flushing trough (above left) next to it.
Repeat until your syringe is clean (it never will be perfectly clean but do the best you can.)
*Be gentle with me… still getting used to the new camera!
If pens need flushing with water before I refill with ink (sluggish feed —
you’ll know it when you’ve got one) I use the bulb syringe, right, and the desk setup above to grab clean water and flush into the trough to clean it on the spot.
(Here is a Pen Maintenance video from Goulet shows simple cleaning techniques.)
If I am cleaning many pens I take them into the bathroom into a CLEAN sink. Periodically flush your pens and you are less likely to end up with clogged pens. If I use a pen all the time (I have three I use daily) then I only flush them every couple months.
Yes I finally bought the Goulet cleaner and man that stuff works!
It is great for a dry clogged pen….
I repurpose all kinds of things. The green tray is older, and I usually use them for pens (on the desk below, right), but everything fits in it so that was lucky. I bought it at Storables. It happens to hold a plastic food container that held rice crackers in their package. The plastic bottle can be found at Michael’s, I am sure, or a grocery store, but a glass jam jar would work too. The shot glass with a wadded paper towel is to hold the needle or bulb syringe after I finish with it so it drains. Finally, I find a piece of yoga mat helpful in many situations so keep a couple on my desk.
Next week, I will write about white ink….
and a early tip, do NOT put De Atramentis in any fountain pen….
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