Thursday, July 14, 2016

Recharging Your Dried Out Fountain Pen

by Tony Thomas

It is hot outside and you know what that means: Your fountain pens will be more prone to drying out.

What do you do with bone dry pens? Conventional wisdom says that you clean them out and refill them with fresh ink. But I have another, more frugal, solution.

When two of my less expensive pens dried out suddenly, I just reached for a syringe and a bottle of distilled water and filled the cartridge or converter up with water. I then dipped the tip of the pens into some water and they wrote perfectly again.

What you have to realize is that ink is nothing more than dye suspended in a water solution. When the water evaporates, the dye is still there in much more concentrated form. When you add water, it dilutes the dye and the pen will write again. Depending upon how much water you add and how much dye is left, it may be more or less saturated than the original color of the ink. But it will write and you will save a bit of money on ink.

And, for me, that is a good thing!

Monday, July 4, 2016

Peyton Street Pens Ranga 3 Duofold Flat Top

by Tony Thomas

I just bought a Ranga 3 Duofold flat top from Peyton Street Pens.

Although I own Ranga 3 eyedropper pen, I always wanted to get one with a Jowo nib and feed so that I could use it with a converter. 

 As you may or may or not know, Ranga is a pen manufacturer in India that makes unique handmade pens in ebonite and acrylic. Peyton Street Pens has a distribution agreement with Ranga and also offers several models that they designed. They offer reasonable prices and fast service.  I received my pen from PSP in a few days.  If you order direct from Ranga, you typically have to wait at least 3 weeks to receive your pen.

And even though the pen is described as being orange and blue ebonite, I found that it is more of a medium brown with blue-black stripes. It is a great contrast and the color is growing on me. The fit and finish of the pen are top notch and I noticed that the breather hole that Ranga typically drilled in the cap their eyedropper pens is missing. That means that this pen should not dry out as easily.

I ordered mine with a silver clip and the nib is a fine Jowo dual-tone. It needed no adjustment out of the box and is a great writer. The only issue that I have with the the Jowo nib unit is that mine will not unscrew. It is firmly attached to the section. This isn’t a huge problem for since it is easy enough to pull the nib and feed for cleaning or if I would like to change nibs.   (Per Teri at Peyton Street Pens, the nib unit should screw in and out and silicone grease is applied to the threads before assembly.)

It is a big pen--about 6” long capped and 5.5” uncapped. It is comfortable to hold and has a nice section. As I have large hands, this pen is a great fit for me and will certainly be a daily writer. 

The PSP Ranga 3 and writing sample

Peyton Street Pens Gift Box
Dual-tone Jowo Fine Nib