Writing Until Dry

Kaweco AL Sport Raw Aluminim nibI hadn’t realized how long it’s been since I used a fountain pen until it went dry. Typically after month or so I flush out a pen and with so many pens inked I rarely wrote one dry. In fact, I can’t remember when that was. That’s been changing recently and for some unknown reason it feels good to empty a pen of ink. In fact, four went empty this past week.

My new policy is that I don’t flush a pen just because a month is up. If it’s not a special ink (like iron gall or highly saturated) I won’t flush it unless the pen is hard to start or has other problems. The ink stays as long as it keeps flowing to my satisfaction. I do use all inked pens at least once a week, if only for a sentence or two.

I always carry my Kaweco AL-Sport although the fact that the cartridge lasted over 3 months means I don’t use it all that often. Seems like I do, but that thin nib conserves ink. I like carrying the pen, so it got a quick cleaning then immediately loaded with a Visconti Brown cartridge.

While the Kaweco stayed inked I have lowered my inked pen count. Of the pens inked last week, shown below, three went dry while I used them and a fourth needed to be flushed as it didn’t seem to like the ink.

Pens inked for the week (and more) aheadThe Sheaffer Balance II Aspen, first on the left, was the first to go. I only filled the converter about half way and once I started writing it was hard to stop.

The second Sheaffer Balance, this one the vintage one in Carmine Red (4th from right), went dry later the same day and know of my pens had Montblanc Bordeaux. I resisted the urge to ink one up.

The Pilot Vanishing Point Maplewood (3rd from right) went dry Saturday, four days short of three months. No problems at all in those three months. The medium nib wrote perfectly every time.

The TWSBI Micarta was the only pen I had to flush vast quantities of ink. The Cult Pens Deep Dark Green didn’t get along with the ultra fine nib. After sitting overnight the pen needed a great deal of coaxing to write. The dried ink was visible at the tip of the nib but it needed more than a little dab of water to get going. I’ll use Waterman next to see if it’s the pen or the ink. If Waterman has the issue then it’s the pen.

The Platinum 3776 Ribbed will probably be next to go, although that ultra fine nib may make what little ink remains last a long time.

Do you usually write your pens dry or do you flush them out after awhile even if they still have ink?

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7 thoughts on “Writing Until Dry

    • Hi empyrealelegance,
      I have to agree, there are certain inks I feel guilty about when I flush them and waste the ink. In my case I tend to use those first and my other pens suffer and get flushed. I have to be more like you and stop flushing ink.

      Thanks for stopping by,
      Ray

  1. I like to change inks frequently, so I typically flush out a pen simply when I am ready to change inks. Interestingly, my TWSBI Micarta had the same response to Diamine Evergreen. It was a hard starter after sitting overnight, and it just wouldn’t write. I finally flushed the pen out of necessity. The Micarta is almost always in rotation, and I’ve used many inks of various brands with no problems, so I was surprised that it didn’t get along with Diamine. But, to answer your question regarding writing a pen dry: there are two pens that once I start writing I just can’t stop, and I will typically write them dry: my Sheaffer Imperial IV with touchdown filler, and my Esterbrook Transitional with 2556 nib. I’m not sure why, but I guess I just really like the nibs.

    • Hi kp,
      Interesting, the Cult Pens ink is actually made by Diamine and those inks have always been good to me, maybe it’s something with the Diamine greens. I haven’t tried another ink yet but good to know it will probably be OK.

      Thanks for reading,
      Ray

      • Hi Ray, I knew that Diamine makes the Cult Pens Deep Dark Green. Being a sort of collector of green inks I bought some. =) I really like it, and haven’t tried it in the Micarta. In fact, I don’t think I have tried any Diamine inks in the Micarta since the Evergreen incident. This post is sparking my curiosity though, so I will try a couple of Diamines in it next just to see what happens. I really like Diamine too, so I want to follow this through a bit.

  2. I usually write my dry because I found myself obsessing about emptying ink back in the bottle or waste it down the sink. My daily carry arsenal is not as vast as yours, I’m a 5 penner so each get used at least a little bit every day. If I find I’m not reaching to use one for a couple of days I realized my interest in that pen has waned for some reason and I flush it and rotate it out.

    • Hi Bob M,
      I like your approach to ink and trying to do mostly the same. In my case, if a pen has a hard start two times, or once where it takes major effort to get it going, then I flush it. I should probably be more like you and flush a pen if if goes unused for a couple days.

      Thanks,
      Ray

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