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Pen Care - Fountain Pens
We offer our finely hand crafted, one of a kind writing instruments created from select woods, acrylics, acetates, celluloids, gemstones, antler, horn, denim, snakeskin, bowling ball, corncob and more...
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Your Fountain Pens

I love fountain pens and that they are great to collect and to use!
The beauty and elegance of a fountain pen is truly classic!

Although, beautiful, classic and fun to write with...

Allot of folks don't realize that there is a certain amount of specific care required for fountain pens to perform properly and continue to remain the smooth gliding and problem free fine writing instruments that they have been designed and carefully created to be.

If you have a fountain pen... CONGRATS and have a blast using it!

If you don't have one yet... get one... you'll be (as they say) GLAD you did!

Basics First

Almost all fountain pens are made up of the same basic components...

- regulated the flow of ink from the reservoir.
- usually made of hardened rubber.
- usually has several grooves to maximize the surface area.

Reservoir: The area within the pen which holds the ink.
Built-in piston: Installed devise to draw the ink into the reservoir.
Converter: Removable piston attached to the feed.
Cartridges: Disposable, pre-filled ink containers which attach to the feed.

Steps to take...
to be able to enjoy your pens for years to come:

Do NOT...
leave your pen in the hot car or exposed to excessive heat, cold or moisture.

Do NOT drop your pen…
hard impact can cause the materials and/or metal parts to chip, shatter or break.
It is a fine precision instrument.

Do NOT...
Press hard or excessively when writing. This could damage the nib.
A good fountain pen should glide across your paper...

Do NOT...
leave a fountain pen filled and unused for more than a couple of days.
Remove the ink and clean your pen with cool water (flush) as noted below if you will not be using it for a week or so...

Do NOT...
store or carry the fountain pen NIB DOWN
(do not store or carry rollerball, ink or gel ink pens in a point up position...
ONLY the fountain pen.)

Use your fountain pen... a pen loves to be used!
The ink in a fountain pen will flow most smoothly when the pen is
being used on a regular basis...

Always use first quality fountain pen ink!
(NEVER India Ink... this type of ink contains a lacquer product that can seize up the mechanism in the fountain pen resulting in permanent irreversible damage.)

Be sure to use good quality papers when you are writing with your fountain pen(s).
A smooth finished paper much like the kind your bank checks are printed on is best. Paper that is too glossy or coated will not absorb ink well and cause smearing or potential clogging. Paper that is too soft or absorbent will cause bleeding of your ink or a fuzzy look to you writing. And paper that is too fibrous may actually clog your pen from the accumulation of tiny fibers collected on the nib.

Cleaning Care:

Cleaning is always a good idea...
and there are some proven techniques…

Follow a  monthly cleaning schedule
Clean your fountain pen(s) after every second filling of either ink from a bottle or a cartridge... which means... if you use the pen and you replace the cartridge, insert another and then run out... clean the fountain pen before you insert the third cartridge or fill from an ink bottle.

Cleaning your pen is simple...
It is recommended that you "flush" your fountain pen with COOL clear water.

The easiest way to flush a pen that has a converter, piston  or built-in filling mechanism is to draw clear water in as you would do ink, then expel the water and repeat this process until the expelled water runs clear.
This empties the ink and "flushes" your fine writing instrument.
This is a repetitive process that may require a bit of time, but it is important and necessary to maintain the writing quality of your fountain pen.
Wipe excess water from the nib using a soft cloth to dry it.
(facial tissue should not be used as fibers may cause pen ink to skip)

On a fountain pen that uses a cartridge for your ink supply...
you will want to "flush" the nib section/assembly with cool clear water until it runs clear. You could use the faucet's water flow power or you could maybe use an ear syringe or something similar to force the cool water thru the nib assembly which is an effective way to clean the old ink.
Shake out the excess water from the nib section and let dry over night or completely before adding another cartridge.

Use COOL water only!
Seriously... NEVER use HOT WATER. Hot water can easily damage the feed.
Fountain pens should only be cleaned with clean, cool water.
NOTE: You would also want to flush a pen when you change ink colors or brands.
Remember to air dry or blow dry (on cool air) the nib section
and converter completely before refilling.

Any pen left unused a week or more with ink still in it is highly likely to become clogged, to one extent or another.
A partial blockage can be indicated by gaps in the ink flow on the paper
as you write.
A clogged or partially blocked pen may occur when the fountain pen is NOT stored with the nib UP or with the cap NOT tightly closed or the pen has not been "flushed" recently or a poor quality ink or paper has been used...

Possible Solutions:
leave it soaking over night. Then try the flush again, it should work.
(Do NOT soak "any" other part of your pen other than the NIB ASSEMBLY)
do NOT be tempted to press down hard on the nib!
take a teaspoon of ammonia (or window cleaner like Windex(tm) with ammonia added) to a cup of clear cool water and
again soak the nib assembly ONLY over night...
make sure the nib section ONLY is completely submerged in a nib down position. Fountain pen ink is ammonia soluble so this solution should solve your dried ink dilemma.
SPECIAL NOTE: Celluloid is ALSO ammonia soluble...
DO NOT use an ammonia solution on a pen made of Celluloid.
If you are not sure if it is celluloid... please, only use the water.

Filling Your Fountain Pen:

Cartridge Style Pens:
Cartridges for your fountain pen come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Some are full-sized which are cartridges that fill the entire barrel area... others pens use mini-cartridges.
Some fountain pens allow you
to use a cartridge -or- a converter (discussed below.)
If you are using a full size fountain pen that requires a mini-cartridge place one mini-cartridge (narrow side down) into the barrel and plug the other cartridge into the nib performing a dual purpose... you will have a spare and you'll have a snug fit for the min-cartridge you are currently using.
If you are using a full size fountain pen that requires a full size cartridge... simply plug (or pierce) the cartridge into the nib.

Converter or Piston Style Pens:
Fountain pens that you fill from a bottle...
Do not let this intimidate you... It's not as hard as you might think.
It just requires a bit more care and can be a bit messy.
You might want to use a pair of rubber gloves.
Place the ink well on some paper towels to absorb any spills...
Take the fountain pen with the ink converter in the nib block..
Put the nib into the ink well... immersing the entire nib, making sure the "feed" area behind the nib is also fully submerged in the ink, as well.
Most converters use a piston system and requires either a twisting or pushing a plunger "counter-clockwise" to expel all the air out of the converter first... Then begin to draw the ink into the reservoir by twisting or pushing the plunger "clockwise."
Congratulations... your pen should now be filled with ink.
Once the converter or reservoir is filled... carefully lift the nib out of the ink well or bottle... and wipe off the nib with a clean cloth or paper towel.
Put the fountain pen nib/converter back into the body of your fountain pen.
Now you can really enjoy the pleasure of writing
with your wonderful fine writing instrument!

Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.

We will do all we can to make your fine writing instrument owning experience
the absolute best possible.

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Pen History

The first known fountain pen was made in 953AD. The Caliph of Egypt, HaAd al-Muizz, ordered a pen which would not stain his hands or clothes be created. He was presented with a pen which held the ink in a reservoir and delivered it to the nib via gravity and capillary action. However, this was for a "caliph" and not everyone could afford or even wanted one of these new fangled devises. Plus, many at the time did not even write... In any event, it did not take off.

There is also some evidence that the "Reed" pen with nibs made with a split, tines and a breathing hole, but no reservoir,  existed in ancient Egypt with similar type pens existing in the far east. Reed pens were very skillfully crafted by cutting the shape of the nib point out of the end of a piece of a reed or bamboo which was then cut to a suitable length and held and used very much like a modern pen.
As you can imagine the reed pens would very quickly wear down.

The Feather Quill eventually replaced the Reed Pen and was very common during medieval times. The Quill Pen would be crafted by cutting or carving a nib into the end of a suitable feather collected from a relatively large bird like a Crow, peacock or more often a Goose.
A Quill was allot more durable and flexible than a Reed Pen, Plus, the Quill Pen could retain ink in the hollow shaft of the calamus allowing more time to write before needing to dip the pen in the ink well for more ink.
The quill was used for writing until the advent of the metal nib in the 19th century.

The metal nib is believed to have its' origin as far back as ancient Egypt being created from metals like copper and bronze. However, the writing quality was far inferior to the writing quality achieved at the
time of the
reed pens.

In 1822 John Mitchell set up a factory in Birmingham, U.K. and began making steel nibs which soon became very popular. Even though the best steel nibs were not as good as the Quill Pen as far as writing quality, they did not wear out as quickly, maintained a sharp edge longer, could be made to be broad edged, pointed, stiff or flexible and they were removable from a holder meaning many different types of nibs could be alternated on the same pen base
or barrel.

It is said that the more modern day fountain pen (with an internal ink reservoir) was invented by Waterman in 1884 who was inspired by the old tradition of the Feather Quill Pen. Waterman designed a way to use the concept without having to always remain seated near your ink well to keep the pen inked.

The more modern nib was believed to have been introduced by the German inventor, Friedrich Soennecken.

The fountain Pen quickly became a staple in society, that is... until the ballpoint pen became popular in 1947, invented by Mr. John L. Load, a citizen of the USA, residing in Weymouth, Massachusetts. His ballpoint pen patented on
October 30th, 1888 US patent #392,046 amazingly took about 59 years to gain public popularity
in 1947.
Fountain Pen sales in the USA dropped but not so much in Europe.

The fountain pen has in recent years made a come back in popularity, I am grateful to say, primarily due to technological advances.

Lots of folks now long for the nostalgia of the hand written note. With the advent of the computer age where email is the norm for lots of people... nothing makes you feel better than to receive the personal touch that a personally hand written note that someone actually sat down and took the time to write
just for you,
can give!

People seek out and enjoy the grace and quality of writing that a fountain pen can help you create. You can enjoy effortless writing, comfort,expressive penmanship, calligraphy,longevity professional art/design, collecting, personalization,
and the
timeless elegance that can be achieved with a quality Fountain Pen...
Travel Tip

Traveling with your favorite fountain pen on airplanes...
Even though some may say they are "leak" proof, it is always better to be safe than sorry.
It is recommended to evacuate your pen completely before you get on
any plane.
Then re-ink once you arrive at your destination.

Of course, cartridge fountain pens are great for travel since it is easy to pop out a cartridge and once you arrive just pop another cartridge in and away you go.

Air pressure in a plane can increase and decrease off and on throughout the entire flight which can cause any pen to "drip" into the cap... It's really not leaking... but can create a BIG mess! So why take the risk?

Some folks say that when traveling by plane with a fountain pen you can just be sure that the reservoir is "completely" filled (making SURE no air is trapped) and make sure that you cap it securely and store it nib UP as you travel and you should be OK...

it's your choice... and maybe I'm a big chicken but I'll go the safer route.
I sure do hate cleaning out ink spills and stains!
Other Tips

Pen Storage:
>Never store your filled fountain pen lying down.
Ink will settle and dry in the nib assembly making it difficult to write properly.
>Keep your pen capped and the nib always pointed up in a pocket shirt, pencil cup or other type of holder.
> Pen cases where the pen lies flat are great for storing and UNFILLED pen.
> Filled fountain pens should never be stored for an extended amount of time. It can cause the ink to dry and create ink flow problems, plus possible piston damage which may require professional repair.

Nib Info:
>Basically nib design has evolved so that now you have several choices available to you depending on what type of writing you might prefer.
>Generally you have the broad nib which is the oldest type of nib and is rigid with a flat edge... the thick and thins of a stroke is created by varying the angle when writing.
>Next is the pointed nib which originated in the 17th century and naturally has a sharp point instead of a broad edge... and usually come in "fine" or "medium".
>These were first hand crafted from Quills... but during the Industrial Revolution in the early 19th century the steel nib took over. Thin and thick strokes are created by varying the pressure applied to the nib when pushing against the paper. Thick lines are made on the down stroke by using harder pressure while thin or hairline strokes are created on the upstroke and sideways strokes using lighter pressure.
>These flexible Feather Quills and then later steel nibs were what led to some beautiful, graceful and unmistakable penmanship.
>A pen nib should be flexible as well as durable.
>Nibs can be different and do write differently just like ballpoint pens can be virtually the same and yet each write in a different way. Even nibs of the same make and composition can still write in distinctly
different ways.
>Does the nib fit your particular
writing style?
>The type nib that is the most accommodating to several different writing styles
are those that
have a rounded
or smooth tip.
The "stub" or "oblique" nibs are NOT rounded.
>The way and speed at which you write can be a factor in your choice of fountain pen nib.
>If you write at a slow and steady pace or you write allot of numbers, then a "fine" nib might be the best choice for you.
>If you like to write at a quicker pace then maybe you would like a medium to wide nib so that more ink will flow onto your paper faster.
>A wide nib will really make your penmanship stand out on a page as it applies much more ink to the paper.
>Those folks that are left-handed who "push" the pen when they write might like to try the regular oblique nib.
>Left handed folks that "pull" as they write might want to try the reverse oblique nib.
>Even right-handed folks that write at a pretty sharp angle
could give the
oblique nib a try.
>Remember, that Gold nibs look great but are much softer, therefore more fragile. However, it is still believed to be the premier metal due to its' flexibility and resistance to corrosion often caused by
the ink itself.
>Iridium nibs (from the platinum family)
are more durable because they are a harder metal, therefore they are less flexible.
>Gold nibs are usually tipped in a harder metal for longer wear, typically from the platinum family, often iridium.
>The nib and nib tip will adjust itself to the style of the user as it wears down.
> Often today nibs are made from stainless steal and may or may not be tipped with another harder alloy for longer endurance.

Try different nibs to see which fits your writing style the best...

You might even use different types of nibs in different fountain pens for a variety of looks!
I was once told that you should not loan your fountain pen to others.
Although, highly debated...
Your nib breaks into your personal and specific writing style and that loaning it to someone else, especially if they are opposite-handed will cause (it is believed by some) the nib to be tweaked in a somewhat different way. Therefore, causing your fountain pen not to perform properly for you.
I'm not for sure either way...
But just in case...
There are tons of ink choices out there with many beautiful ink colors now available to truly show your creative writing skills!