Thursday, December 4, 2014

One Price of Addiction - an Update

"Have you been reading your Facebook lately?"

"What does it say?"

"We won."

We won an eye-dropper filled fountain pen; in my prior post, from which the quote is taken, I wrote about entering the contest, winning an AirMail eye-dropper filled fountain pen, my excitement, my initial screw-up filling the pen, subsequently filling the pen correctly and how wonderfully the pen writes.

I have since retired that pen from use, at least for the winter months.

the retirement
The day after I posted that glowing report, I wrote this in my journal, "My prize-won-in-a-drawing AirMail pen leaked into the cap and spit all over this morning, first thing. ICK! Very unhappy. I predicted this, but not this soon. And not this bad, I don't think."

Full Disclosure: I had had another pen which spit up in use. Customer service told me that the problem was the temperature at night got too cool and my warm hands, warming the unit's ink, increased the pressure in the barrel so that the pen had virtually no choice but to spit. That pen was a piston filled pen, so the ink was in the barrel, only the barrel's thickness away from my warm hands. An eye-dropper filled pen also puts the ink right in the barrel, right next to my warm hands. "Piston fillers and eye-dropper fillers are not for you," he had said. He replaced the pen with another, filled differently and with a different ink-feed design, with which I am quite happy.

I based my prediction of this experience on those words from customer service. The pen had leaked, the pen case in which I had stored it overnight was wet with ink ( this was a hand-made item, made of  plastic canvas and yarn, and I was able to get most of the ink out with a good washing of it ), and I had had it with that pen. "The pen writes so nicely, though … ," kept going through my mind.

Having some experience with replacing the nibs in my Chinese pens and noticing that the nib in this pen seemed about the same size, I considered putting the nib from this pen in one of my Chinese pens. I removed the nib from the AirMail easily enough; I tried putting the nib and the Chinese pen's feed into one of my Chinese pens; that went smoothly enough, as well. Feeling a bit smug, I thought I'd make some lemonade.

After some appropriate diddling ( determining that two particular bottles of ink that I own just don't work with my Chinese pens, removing and reinserting the nib/feed several times, adjusting the relative positioning of the nib and feed ) I now have another attractive Chinese fountain pen that writes at least as good as it looks. 

I joined it with the other two pens with the number 6 nibs I received for my birthday, and I have a trio of fine looking and writing pens.

My three Chinese pens in front of a writing sample from each.

I just finished writing the Christmas cards my wife and I send ( yes, my job ) and I used all three of them without hesitation. 

for the winter months
This spitting phenomenon occurs when the pen gets cold overnight and is then subjected to my warm hands. The "cold overnight" occurs only in the winter.

I doubt that I'll return its nib to this pen and try it again in the spring. I may try it with the Chinese pen's nib, but that nib doesn't work well in the Chinese pens, I don't know why I'd think it would work in the AirMail pen. We'll see. If you want to know, please ask.
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