One More Use For a Nib Holder

This will be a quick post for today. Last week, I read about using a JoWo nib in my nib holder. I did not think too much about it until this morning.

I was in the midst of decluttering my studio and came across a tiny zip locked bag with two JoWo nib units. I remembered they had cracked housings. I pulled out the generic nib unit from my bag and removed the JoWo nib which was so easy to do as the housing was no longer doing its job.

I gently installed the JoWo nib into the nib holder. I was pleasantly surprised how well it fit.

Now, the true test was to see how well this nib wrote and also how much ink would this nib hold without the feed.

I’m liking this combination a lot. My writing feels similar to writing with a fountain pen. The nib holds a lot of ink as you can see from my writing sample. I made sure the ink covered the breather hole which turns out to be a decent amount of ink. Also, the nib is so easy to clean. I just dip the nib into some water and wipe with a towel.

I can definitely see using this for creating sketches and I can quickly change ink colors without too much fuss. I can also do the same for writing and journaling and using several different colors.

Nib Holder: River City Pen Company nib holder in Pink, Green, & White DiamondCast

Nib: JoWo #6 Fine nib

Ink: Jacques Herbin Vert Atlantide

Paper: Rhodia

Gadget: My MMD (Mouse Maintenance Day)

I have a Logitech rollerball mouse that I use with my older Mac. I went with this wireless mouse a little over two years ago. Before that I had a wired rollerball that I used for several years. I had to switch from using a regular mouse to a rollerball mouse for repetitive motion reasons. Rolling a ball around is less stressful on my joints and muscles in my hand.

For the past week or so, I started to notice some tracking issues with my mouse. Then I had an issue with the rollerball not rolling smoothly. Every now and then the ball would feel like it would hit a piece of debris and then it would continue to roll like normal. The last few days I started to hear a slight grinding sound right before I felt the ball hesitate.

My two year old M570 rollerball mouse

I did some research and found a way to remove the rollerball from my mouse.

Here’s a view underneath the mouse

On the underside of my mouse is a hole where I can see my blue rollerball. I was able to use my pinky and push the ball out. Cool, huh? I made sure I had a hand towel under the mouse when I pushed the ball out. Round objects like to roll around and I did not want this ball to roll off my desk and drop on my toes.

Apparently, this is two years of dirt, lint and debris.

You can see all the lint that collected around the “contact areas” where the ball sits and rolls around.

The three “contact areas” with debris. There’s a sensor to the right of the bottom hole.

I used a Q-tip to clean out the three “contact areas” and then used a soft brush to gently remove any hard to remove lint.

My mouse look so much better!

Once I placed the roller ball back into my mouse, it was tracking and moving around like a brand new mouse. Looks like I will need to add this MMD to my monthly things to do list.

Tips:

My Logitech M570 is a wireless tracking mouse that uses a USB unifying receiver that plugs into my computer. Works great with a PC or Mac that has a USB connector built in.

For the newer and latest Mac laptops that do not have USB connectors, there is a Logitech M575 model that has both the USB unifying receiver and bluetooth capability. I recommend spending a bit more for this mouse as it has two ways to connect. This model feels as though it has better tracking system than the M570 model. It feels smoother.

I use the bluetooth technology between my M575 rollerball mouse and my Mac.

A New Rose Gold Ink & Shimmering Ink Experiences

Lately, I’ve been in the mood to draw and sketch with shimmering inks. I love sweeping my water brush over the sparkling colors and seeing the ink move around. Right now, half of my pens are filled with shimmering particles of various colors. I saw a new sparkling ink popped on my radar a few weeks ago and there was a lot of chatter about a rose gold shimmer. I saw a picture of the ink swatch, but it was hard to tell if this ink was going to wow me.

I was able to get my hands on a new bottle of ink for 2021 called Rose Gold Antiqua by Robert Oster. It’s a beautiful pinky ink and to me it’s a tiny bit on the dry side. Not wet and not too dry. Somewhere in between.

Here’s my Platinum Procyon Luster in Rose Gold and filled with this new ink

The actual base ink color is more of a dusky pink. I was able to validate the shimmer color by looking at the bottom of my bottle and saw a ton of rose gold shimmers staring back at me.

Close up of my swatch card and all that rose gold shimmery particles!

I knew ahead of time I would be keeping this ink color in rotation and I selected my Platinum Procyon Luster in Rose Gold pen. Most Platinum pens have the “slip ‘n seal” caps which keeps the nib/feed nice and wet. I’m pretty sure I will keeping this ink in this pen for at least two or more weeks.

I was able to write my pen & ink entry into my ink journal and do a quick sketch on my Rhodia paper along with a writing sample. Oh my! A ton of rose gold shimmers can be seen all over my paper.

Of course I have to share my writing sample and sketch

I left my pen on my desk overnight and came back to write some notes. I noticed my handwriting was getting lighter and lighter in color and finally no ink flowed out of the nib. Yes! We have a clog! Day #2! Hahaha!

I primed the nib with a damp paper towel. Removing any excess ink blob under the tip of the nib and at the top edge of the feed where it meets the nib. I also wiped the top of the nib and breather hole to make sure ink was still flowing. It was! Good sign!

I did my typical squiggles and lines across my paper to get the ink flowing into the nib. Still nothing. I primed my nib again and then decided to dip the nib and feed into some water. Again I wiped any signs of an ink blob under the tip of the nib. A few squiggles and my beautiful dusty rose ink was flowing again! Except, the rose gold shimmers were no where to be found. Where did they go?

I went ahead and stored my Procyon pen in a pen cup with its nib up. I wanted to wait and see how the pen and ink would perform a few hours later and the next day (Day #3).

Day #3 arrived and I found my Procyon writing brilliantly. Slowly, the rose gold shimmers started to appear again and I was writing a few paragraphs in my journal.

Day #4. I was able to write a sentence and then the ink slowly faded across my paper. Another clog! Primed. Squiggles. Dipped in water. Squiggles. Primed. Squiggles. It’s writing again.

This Rose Gold Antiqua reminds me of RO’s Australis Rose ink color without the shimmers of course. It definitely has more pink than his other shimmering Rose Gilt Tynte ink. Rose Gold Antiqua is lighter and not as “rosy” as his Blood Rose shimmering ink.

My favorite shimmering pink ink is still Robert Oster Blood Rose. It’s a true medium pink color that’s easy on the eyes and readable on paper.

Tip:

For the last two weeks, I’ve been experiencing some clogging issues with my pens and shimmering inks. Some are not playing well together. I’m thinking it has to do with the timing in which I fill the converters. Yes, I give the bottles a decent shake and make sure the shimmers are mixed with the ink. I do immediately fill my pens. Maybe I should have waited 45-60 seconds before dipping my pen into the bottle. Do I want to fill my pen right away and maximize the ink’s characteristics? Or do I wait a bit to avoid having my pen clog? Priorities! Hahaha!

With the Robert Oster inks, I have had a few issues with the Schwarz Rose (TWSBI Diamond 580ALR-medium), Heart of Gold (TWSBI GO-stub1.1), and now Rose Gold Antiqua (Platinum Procyon-medium). I have been storing the pens nib up overnight to avoid further clogs. Over the next few days, it will interesting to see how these three pens perform as I will be carrying them in pen cases and not nib up all the time.

The other ink I had clogging issues with is Diamine Enchanted Ocean in my TWSBI GO with a stub 1.1 nib. Rarely, do I have an issue with Diamine shimmers. This will also be in my pen case for the next few days. We’ll see how it does as well.

My other current shimmering ink Jacques Herbin Vert Atlantide is in my Conklin Endura Abalone (JoWo Omniflex nib) and performing brilliantly. No issues at all. I have not had any reason to store this pen nib up. It’s been writing flawlessly. As soon as the nib hits the paper, the ink is flowing nicely.

I’m sharing a bit of experience here. No need to be afraid to use shimmering inks. It’s just a matter of knowing how to remove the visible clogs, getting the ink to flow, and mostly enjoying the beautiful sparkling ink colors.

Another PCD! My Platinum Loyalty

I quickly gave some of my pens a quick bath down at my kitchen sink. I’m back in my studio tending to my pens for the rest of my Pen Cleaning Day process.

I scanned my PCD bin and saw that they were mostly my lovely Platinum pens. I Love My Platinum Fountain Pens! There I said it. I just promoted my devotion to this brand. Platinum has now become number one in book. It’s unseated my previous number one…Pilot. Now. I’m talking about Japanese pen brands.

So how does a brand rank for me? We all know that nib swapping is important to me. I have to omit this pen function for Japanese brands. So, we all know that Japanese nibs can not be swapped around. Many of the brands have warnings. Voided warranties. Break the pen while trying to pull out nibs, twisting out nib units, or break the feed…not covered under their warranties.

The other pen function that is important to me is cleaning and maintenance. If I can’t take apart my pen, how easy is it? To clean. Not just regular ink, how about shimmers?

Today, I found this out with my Platinum pens. Specifically my Platinum Prefountes. I had my Jacques Herbin Cornaline de Egypte ink in my Prefounte from the beginning of August of this year. That’s four months that this shimmering ink has been sitting in my Prefounte pen. I had also converted this pen to an eyedropper pen. I used it every now and then. Maybe every two weeks. When I would need to use an orange shimmering ink for writing or sketching. The Prefounte wrote brilliantly when I put the nib to paper. No hard starts or drying out. That’s because of the Platinum “slip ‘n seal” caps.

I should add that I kept my Prefountes lying around on my desk. Horizontal. No storing nibs up in this case.

You can see all the orange shimmers in the section. My thoughts were this will take some time to get all this out.

Four months of shimmering ink in this pen. No problem.

After the bath, I placed the section nib down into a jar filled with paper towels. I used my pipette to drop water into the section and let the water do its thing. Thirty minutes later and to my amazement, the section is clear of most shimmers or ink residuals. It bled out into my paper towel.

Look at all the ink that flowed out from the section!

Now, I have two additional Prefountes that had been filled with normal ink (from the end of September) and you can see the sections are filled with ink.

Here the blue inks made their way throughout the whole section of my pen. Don’t forget to clean the rubber rings.
You can actually see the ink being pulled from the nib onto the paper towel. I drop water into the top of the sections and let the water flow out through the nib.

Now your mileage may vary on how easy it is to clean fountain pens. Like the Jacques Herbin shimmering inks are light with their shimmering particles. I do have additional Prefountes filled with Diamine shimmering inks. Filled around the same time I used my Cornaline de Egypte ink. I will report back how well the Diamine shimmers clean out of those pens. My goal for the end of this year is to give my remaining inked pens a good bath.

My current pens that ended up getting their spa treatments: Platinum 3776 Century Chartres Blue, Platinum Procyon Luster Rose Gold, Platinum Prefounte, Montegrappa Elmo Blue Cross Gentian, and TWSBI Vac Mini.

My PCD bin. I use this bin to hold pens that need to be cleaned. When the bin is filled with more than five pens, it’s time for a bath.
After rinsing ink out of the converters, I will let them sit for a few hours with water. Eventually, I will dump out the water and let the converters dry on my desk.

Now to go and take apart my TWSBI Vac Mini and give that a good scrubbing….

PCD!

Did I get your attention? Good! I was going through my photos and trying to organize my files and develop a naming convention. I came up with PCD for a category. Pen Cleaning Day! In my case it should have been plural like PCDs as I was grabbing a few pens when I had a block of time to clean them over the last two days.

I don’t normally do a mad rush to get my pens cleaned unless I forget an upcoming adventure. Especially when this involves cleaning my EDCs and art pens. Something came in the mail earlier this week. That I forgot. My last package of inks for the year arrived. In my package were bottles of KWZ, Ink Institute, and a new to me Color Travelers ink.

So, I had to dump some inks out of my pens. Yikes! No worries. That’s why I don’t fill the converters or piston filler pens full of ink. Lessons learned from my own experience. Yeah, I used to cringe when I had to dump a converter full of ink because pen and ink color combination never became one with each other.

Today. I wanted to do a post about what my pen cleaning day or PCD looks like.

I can quickly clean and flush about 8 pens in 30 minutes. That’s 30 minutes at my kitchen sink with water everywhere. Hahaha! Okay, I meant at my kitchen sink where I can give my nibs/feeds/converters a good bath.

I mentioned in my previous posts about using Oui yogurt glass jars and larger preserves/jam jars. Basically, I have two Oui jars filled with cold water sitting in my sink. Also, in the same sink I have a strainer that sits in the sink’s hole. Yes, I almost dropped one of my TWSBI GOs while I was pumping water in and out of that pen to clean it.

One Oui jar is used to soak my sections that contain the nib/feed. The other jar of water is used to clean out the converters, etc. On my counter I lay out paper towels. I also have a small plastic bin container to hold the pieces of my pens (caps and bodies) and to prevent them from rolling off the counter.

I will take each pen and remove the cap and body. I will also remove the converter and place that on the paper towel. With a narrow stream of water running, I take my section and let the water run over the feed. Once the dark ink becomes lighter, I then let a narrow stream of water run through the top of the section. To keep from splashing colored water all over the place I put my finger over part of the top section to let the water drizzle down for a few seconds. I will then switch back to letting the water run over the feed for a few seconds and then back to drizzling water into the top section. I then place it into one of my Oui jars filled with water to soak.

Remember the large jam jar? I place layers of crumpled paper towels into the jar. After a few minutes of soaking in water, I place my pen’s section into the large jam jar nib facing down into the paper towel. At this point there’s still a large amount of ink still working its way down the feed. The paper towels will absorb most of the ink.

What about the converters? I haven’t forgotten them. While my sections are soaking in water, I can then work on the converters. Basically, I dump the ink out and then I fill the converter with water. Dump the water out. Fill with clean water. Dump. Fill. Dump. Fill. Then I leave the converter filled with water to kind of soak for a bit.

At some point, I have a jam jar filled with sections or TWSBI GOs. I have a plastic container filled with pen caps and bodies. A Oui jar filled with water logged converters. They follow me into my studio where I can keep a watchful eye on their progress and continue pampering them. Plus I’m stealth about this as I don’t leave any evidence of ink stains or colorful paper towels sitting around the kitchen.

Back in my studio, here’s what my desk looks like:

Crazy looking desk, right? The three jars of water (background) are permanent fixtures on my desk. The “W” jar contains clean water at all times. The “C” jar contains water that has been contaminated or colored (e.g. dipped a converter to fill it with water). The large jam jar is water that gets dumped from a converter or I dipped a dirty glass dip pen to clean it. I used my Cricut to create the vinyl letters “W” and “C” for my jars. Oh yeah…the Cricut is another hobby.

In the above picture you can see my two jars stuffed with paper towels that just left my kitchen and arrived at my desk.

I use a plastic pipette to drop clean water into the top of the sections. The water and residual ink flows out of the nib/feed into the paper towel. I’m sitting here at my desk right now and when I take a quick break from typing this post, I will drop some water into the sections.

In the larger jar you can see my TWSBI GOs also nib down in the paper towels. Eventually the water will drain out of my GOs. I can take my GO and put it into jar “C” and fill the pen with water and stick it back into the large jar. I can actually see bubbles form as the water is draining from the GO.

At this point I should talk about how to deal with nibs/feeds that had shimmering inks. In the picture below, I’m cleaning shimmer residuals out the exposed feed of my Opus 88 pen. You can see the nib/feed is still in its section. Eventually, I will unscrew the nib unit from the section to clean out the section. (Note: In some pen brands like Pilot, you will not be able to unscrew the nib unit from their section. If you try to, you will damage the pen and void the warranty. You should do some research about your pen brand and model, if you are unsure).

I use a very soft baby tooth brush to gently clean the plastic feed. Here’s my cleaning cycle: Dip the nib/feed into water. Dip the brush into water. No scrubbing, just gently move the bristles over the cutouts in the feed. I will also run the bristles along the edge where the feed meets the nib, include the tip area. Repeat the process of dipping into water and then brushing over a towel a few times. Be gentle. You can see in this picture what happens to the leftover shimmers that sat in the feed. In the picture I have just finished 3 cleaning cycles. See the three different streaks of shimmer? The shimmers on the shop towel should get lighter as I go through my cleaning cycles. I love using the blue shop towels for this…so I can see the shimmers. Plus the towels are durable. Once the towels dry out, I can still reuse them.

In this next picture, I’m cleaning out a nib unit that had a lot of shimmers in it.

Check out my colorful blue shop towel. Here you can see I’m tackling a shimmering ink that had a lot of shimmers or particles still in the feed. So this one required several cleaning cycles. I even removed the nib unit from it’s section. You can also see I have my loupe out to examine the feed and see where I missed gently brushing the areas.

Sometimes my nib units require some extra spa time and may include a special wrap:

A spa wrap for my nib units! Hahaha! I use my pipette to drop a small amount of water on top the the nib units.
You can see remnants from a drop of water I put on top of of the nib units.

Doing all this pampering at my desk may seem like a lot of work. Not really. The cleaning cycles, yes. But I make sure I collect my pens that had shimmering inks and clean them together. So I might spend a few minutes at my desk for those pens. The remaining pens just sit in the jars until I no longer see any ink residuals.

The next morning I will remove the pens and/or nib units from the jars and put them in to a plastic bin to dry during the day.

I was thinking that I should have used PSD instead of PCD. PSD for Pen Spa Day!

Tips:

Soft baby tooth brush: I found an extra soft Oral B Disney brush on sale at my local grocery store. Use this brush to gently remove the shimmering particles from the feed and nib.

I really like using the blue shop towels. No lint. Durable. Reusable for my needs. I use it for just about every art and water related hobby. Okay. I have a story I want to share about how I stumbled upon these towels. I was at my local Costco when this pandemic started. Looking for paper towels and to no avail. I saw the shop towels. Calling my name. Several rolls. Packaged in a large bundle. Came home with me.

Oui glass jars and jam jars. If you don’t recycle them, can reuse for cleaning out your fountain pens.

If you are not sure about an ink color, no need to fill the converter full of ink. Half or quarter fill your converter. Just a thought.

Q-tips: I dip into a tiny amount of water and use it to clean the insides of my pen caps. There is always some bit of ink that gets into the caps.