Cleaning Ink Behind the Converter Piston Seal

Sunday: Tips and Tricks

I posted a blog earlier today about how I was stumped at how to clean ink behind the piston seal of a cartridge converter:

Thanks to some great suggestions from the Ink Nouveau readers, I was given the advice that you can actually unscrew the back metal section of the converter, which then allows you to completely disassemble and clean the inside of the converter. I had tried this but apparently didn’t twist the back off hard enough! 😛

I thought it garnered a video, so here it is explaining how to do it.

Link to YouTube for more viewing options.

I’m humbled that I hadn’t figured this out on my own, and I thank everyone for letting me know about this. I’ve been asked about this lately, so I’m thrilled to now have a video to show people how to do it themselves. As always, if you have any tips or ideas you’d like to share with the writing community, shoot me an email.

2017-10-11T03:02:11+00:00 November 28th, 2010|Tips & Tricks|17 Comments
  • Nice video. Does anybody make a Lamy compatible converter which you can take apart?

  • The piston's seal on my Sailor converters would leak after several disassemblies. I can't remember how many, and Sailor converters are poor quality, so I'd be curious to know if anyone has experienced something similar.

    You can also submerge the converter and twist the plunger down to draw a small amount of water into the screw space. Flick the cartridge to expel the water.

  • Thanks for sharing. Don't be embarrassed. I've been making pens for 12+ years, and just learned this! Good information!

  • Wilson, I'm told that the Lamy converters actually are able to be disassembled. 😛 Go figure! It might take a pair of pliers though to pull of the metal retaining ring (friction fit), so I didn't want to dive into it on this video. Maybe it'll require another?

  • Awesome! I never knew this. Very helpful video, my favorite kind!

  • I thought about doing just that (pliers). I might have to give it a go today. After all, I am stuck in this house with my "ditch leg" from a dirt bike accident on Thanksgiving Day. Maybe my idleness can turn into experimentation lol As far as the video, you've done your duty, no question; but if you want to be even that much more of a help to the converter community I can't see anything but good coming from it.
    Out of curiosity, do you have a video on cleaning out the Noodler's Piston pens?

  • Wilson, I've been told the pliers work, the only 'danger' I see in promoting that as a method of repair is that I can see a bunch of folks marring the crap out of their Lamy converters trying to get that retaining ring off with pliers. I guess since the only folks trying it would be on bum Lamy converters anyway there's not much harm. Maybe I'll have to give a video tutorial on that a shot.

    About the Noodler's cleaning, Nathan did a video on how to disassemble the pens, just check out his YouTube channel on InkNeedLastForever. I plan to do my own video that specifically covers this, but bear with me! I have a sick wife and son right now (a sick TEETHING son), so it'll take me a little while to produce it.

  • Rhea

    Very helpful videos, as are all the ones I've seen so far. For neophytes like me they're terrific! Thanks! And get well wishes to the family…

  • Brian,
    I just spent a few minutes getting mine apart. Both of mine have some issue, one more than the other, so I decided to give it a shot on both.

    The first one came apart like a butter knife in hot butter. Not even a scratch showing the effort on the chrome band.

    The second one was another story. I probably should have recognized the level of difficulty early on and wrapped the chrome band with a paper towel; I struggled for 10 minutes on this one, and I scratched that band real bad.

    On the brighter side, I didn't break anything, I have two clean converters and nobody is going to see those scratches, since they will be on the inside of the pen 🙂

    The only reason I hadn't tried this earlier is because I didn't know if it screwed on, had some sort of glue under it (which it doesn't) or what ever, and only have two of these things I didn't want to break anything. My next order I'll pick up four of them just in case.

    I do recommend a nice, stable, and toothy pair of pliers. Nothing loose and junky. I pulled mine apart with a set of Snap On pliers. In the middle of the work I realized the advantage.

    Thanks

  • Awesome tip – I did not know this either – nice to have a clean converter in my Stipula Vedo

  • Brian,
    I just spent a few minutes getting mine apart. Both of mine have some issue, one more than the other, so I decided to give it a shot on both.

    The first one came apart like a butter knife in hot butter. Not even a scratch showing the effort on the chrome band.

    The second one was another story. I probably should have recognized the level of difficulty early on and wrapped the chrome band with a paper towel; I struggled for 10 minutes on this one, and I scratched that band real bad.

    On the brighter side, I didn't break anything, I have two clean converters and nobody is going to see those scratches, since they will be on the inside of the pen 🙂

    The only reason I hadn't tried this earlier is because I didn't know if it screwed on, had some sort of glue under it (which it doesn't) or what ever, and only have two of these things I didn't want to break anything. My next order I'll pick up four of them just in case.

    I do recommend a nice, stable, and toothy pair of pliers. Nothing loose and junky. I pulled mine apart with a set of Snap On pliers. In the middle of the work I realized the advantage.

    Thanks

  • Noah

    I've tried this with a Waterman converter and wasn't able to get it apart. I even used pliers. Am I being too gentle or are the Watermans made differently?

  • Noah, I'm not sure, I've never used a Waterman converter. I know they are different than these ones. Perhaps someone else can shed some light on this?

  • heynewgirl

    "You're going to get inky". Love that line

  • I'm glad you like it 🙂 

  • Kate B

    Thanks SO much for sharing this again on a recent Q&A. I tried it on the converter for my Platinum Plaisir, which had gotten very hard to turn. Worked perfectly and it's all smooth and easy to turn again!

  • You're so welcome! This is an awesome trick, really glad I discovered it.