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Troubleshooting Your Fountain Pen

If your fountain pen breaks or stops writing smoothly, don’t despair! All problems can be fixed, so there is no need to rush out and buy a new pen or run to the fountain pen hospital. Here are a few tips for troubleshooting the most common issues that arise with fountain pens.

Cleaning: A fountain pen that is not used for a few weeks or months will become clogged with ink. You will need to remove the nib and rinse or soak it in water with a little washing-up liquid. You can do the same with other parts of the pen as needed.

Poor ink flow: If the ink is still not flowing properly, you can very carefully insert a razor blade into the pierce hole in the nib, then pull it towards the tip with equal care. A very small adjustment is normally sufficient. Be extra gentle if the nib is old.

Wet writing: If too much ink is flowing to the nib, you can tighten the gap between the tines by carefully bending one over the other in turn. Make sure they are even.

Scratchy writing: Check the tip with a magnifying glass for any dirt or grit stuck there, and make sure the tines are even. You can also try writing a few words on very fine (1500-grit) sandpaper while holding the pen at various angles.

Replace the ink sac: Open up your fountain pen. If you can remove the rubber ink sac, you can also replace it easily. You can buy ink sacs and other spare parts online or from a pen shop. Seal the sac to the feed with a little clear nail polish or rubber cement.

If you run into a more complex problem with your fountain pen, a repair specialist will be able to help you.

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