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How to Troubleshoot Fountain Pens

Updated on March 8, 2018

Hey, it’s JT from The Writing Fountain. Here are some tips and tricks to help you overcome common issues with fountain pens.

Tough Starting Pens

We all have a pen that never wants to start writing when you want it to. The first step to fix this is to check your ink level and refill if necessary.

If ink level isn’t the issue, try these tips and tricks to get the pen writing right when you need it. First, with the cap off the pen, give the pen a couple firm shakes (nib facing down) as if you are trying to throw ink from the pen directly to the paper.

Another trick is to tap the nib on a scrap piece of paper. Eventually, a dot will start to appear where the nib was touching. If this method doesn't work, try drawing a straight line down in a similar manner.

If these methods do not work, try expelling a drop or two of ink from the reservoir. These tricks will get your pen writing in no time.

Fixing a Clogged Channel in a Nib:

Sometimes it will be necessary to remove blockage from the ink channel in the nib. You will need brass sheets, paper towels, and water to effectively clear the blockage.

First, remove the nib unit from the rest of the pen. Carefully remove the nib from the nib unit if possible. Next, take a brass sheet and carefully floss between the tines of the nib. This will remove the particulate from the ink channel. Rinse the nib in water after this process. Carefully dry the nib and place it back in the nib unit. Re-assemble the pen.

Re-lubricate the Piston:

Sometimes a piston in a barrel will stick in the barrel when you operate the piston. To fix a stuck piston you will need clear silicon grease (found online), cotton swabs, and paper towels.

First, empty the pen of any fluids. If it is possible, remove the piston from the pen. Use a cotton swab to apply lubricant to the sides of the piston that contact the barrel. Put the piston back in the barrel and move the piston up and down until it is smooth. Dry off excess silicon grease from the pen with a paper towel.

If the piston cannot be removed, bring the piston to the back of the pen. Remove the nib unit on the pen to allow access to the barrel. Use cotton swabs to apply silicon grease to the inside of the barrel of the pen. Move the piston throughout the barrel until the piston is smooth. Re-assemble the pen and dry off excess silicon grease.

Hopefully these hints, tips, and tricks can help you resolve any fountain pen issues you may run into. If you have any more tips for the community or suggestions comment below.


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    • Deborah Minter profile image

      Deborah Minter 

      21 months ago from U.S, California

      Great tips! We all have to remember to use our pen....


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