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Saturday, March 26, 2011

Cleaning a New Lamy Pen




If you've taken the nib off a new Lamy pen, you may have noticed some blue ink on the feed and underside of the nib. What's up with that? Well...all of the Lamy nib sections are tested at the Lamy factory, so it's residual ink.

Lamy Al-Star Fountain Pen in Black
Lamy Al-Star Fountain Pen in Black
Lamy Safari Fountain Pen - Red or Blue
Lamy Safari Fountain Pen in Red or Blue

It's a good idea to give your new Lamy pen a quick flush if you're going to be using an ink other than what comes in the cartridge that accompanies the pen. If you don't, it probably won't hurt anything, it just might make your first inking look a little weird with some blue ink mixed in there! Cleaning it is real easy, and here in the video I show you how.

Write On, 
Brian Goulet

25 comments:

  1. It's strange you mention this issue. On my order this week I ordered a nib by itself and I noticed a little blue ink under it. I've never noticed it in the other two nibs I've ordered. Anyway, I remember chuckling and thinking to myself it couldn't hurt my Noodler's Antietam very long!

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  2. It's not strange at all I mention this...I noticed the same thing myself and thought 'that's weird'. So I asked Lamy and got word that they do indeed test every pen. So that's why some of the nibs and pens are inky. Some nibs have them, others don't. In any case, Lamy ink is pretty tame and easy to clean. A little ink on them won't hurt anything. And yeah, I'm willing to bet your Antietam won that battle!

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  3. how funny! ive noticed that and thought 'what the heck' myself.

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  4. Now you know, Manda! Spread the word ;)

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  5. I believe that testing pens before shipping is relatively common practice. I don't know what they're testing for, because I've gotten some terrible nibs that had obviously been tested. My Waterman Charleston comes to mind, as it had been tested but has an awful time starting due to a bad case of baby bottom.

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  6. I'm sure it's pretty common practice to test higher end pens, but I'm not sure most would assume that a $25 pen might be tested. I imagine they're testing more for 'does the pen flow at all', than 'does it write smoothly with a hint of feedback and a medium-wet flow'...I'm sure the degree of testing varies depending on the pen's price, too.

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  7. Good point. I've actually found that some higher-end pens were delivered in worse shape than less expensive ones, though. I had a Pelikan M800 that had very obvious nib/feed misalignment issues that caused it to barely work at all. However, my mid-range Pilot/Namiki pens have all performed flawlessly right out of the box.

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  8. Huh! Normally Pelikan is pretty reputable...but your mileage will vary from brand to brand, different company, different QC....

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  9. It's a big moan of mine - the last two weeks I have posted repeatedly on Twitter about this - if manufacturers test a pen then they should clean the ink out afterwards. Lamy is the only company I have come across who leave their nibs in an obviously inked state. I've had 3 brand new Studios (one a replacement because of the finish being damaged), dismantled, in an ultrasonic bath this week because the ink was so thoroughly dried on the nib and in the feed.

    Other manufacturers manage to clean their pens so why not Lamy? I'd love to know why. Another "negative" on the Lamy list. Still more "positives" but no-one wants negatives!

    As for Ryan and his Pelikan....I had a bad Pelikan too (and I don't like my "good" Pelikan either!) - I think every brand has it's odd escapee bad nib/feed/pen. Only pens I haven't had a bad experience with are Conway Stewart and Onoto.

    Obviously if you buy in a shop, you'd test your pen yourself prior to purchase and make sure it was in perfect condition. If you buy online, you can't do that. You have to take a punt!

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  10. Any chance you could do a video on how to make an Edison Nouveau Premiere into an eyedropper? (Well, assuming that's a good idea.)

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  11. Sure! But until I'm able to film it, I'll tell you how. Unscrew the pen body. Remove the converter. Put silicone grease on the threads. Fill body with ink. Screw back together. Violá!

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  12. Anon,I admit that it's an inconvenience that Lamy has ink in the pen from their testing, but I don't really view it as a negative, more just as an annoyance if anything. Just about any pen maker or user will recommend you clean out a brand new pen before inking it up for the first time anyway. I haven't found the ink in the Lamys to be hard to clean out, but you may have had a different experience. If anything, it just creates some confusion and perhaps doesn't leave the best first impression when you're using the pen for the first time. That said, I'll pass the word up and let Lamy know that there are loyal customers out there that are less than thrilled about the ink in the pens.

    And regarding buying a pen online, it's true that you can't test it first, but it's not necessarily taking a punt. Any reputable online pen seller should stand behind their products and be willing to take it back if the pen is not up to par.

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  13. This would have been useful 2 weeks ago. ;) Thankfully I inked up my new Safari with PR Midnight Blues and not BSB first. :D Jokes aside, great vid. Thanks!

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  14. Haha! Actually, I wanted to see what would happen doing that. I took an Ocean Blue Al-Star new out of the box and without cleaning it, inked it up with BSB. After 2 weeks of continuous use, I have an admittedly boring report of the ink working just fine ;) Nothing unusual! I suspect the amount of Lamy ink left in the pens is a very small amount. In any case, I'm glad you like the vid!

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  15. Great video! My question is this, would this method work on used Lamy pens whose nibs have become a little gummed up with ink over time? Or would that just make it worse?

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  16. If your nibs is gummed up, then you will certainly want to clean it! You may need to let it soak in water overnight or for a few days. But yes, not only could you clean your pen like this with a used pen, but it's very much recommended! You should be cleaning your pens like this every time you change colors, or every 4 or 5 fills (or once a month, whichever comes first) when using the same color continuously.

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  17. Wow! Didn't know that! o_O Thank you very much for this tip, Brian!!

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  18. You're welcome! Let me know if there are any other tips you need ;)

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  19. Thank you so much, Brian! :D Just received my new Lamy FP aqua! This time it arrived very fast! I'm so glad! This time I could see the tiny bit of blue ink that comes with it using this cleaning technique. Can't believe I didn't clean my new Lamys for all those years! What would be of me without the Ink Nouveau? Can't thank you enough for all the nice tips in here. Very useful. :D

    Hugs to you and Rachel and kids from your friend in Brazil. :)

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  20. I'm glad it arrived to you quickly this time, you never know what customs is going to do! I'm glad you like my tip, I try to post videos like this whenever I see simple things that can be done. I'll keep it up ;)

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  21. I think just from watching this video that a pen's life really depends on how the owner takes care of it...

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  22. Well that's a given. A pen (like anything else) will last as long as you take care of it.

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  23. Brian, to storage pens that you don't use often, you keep them clean or with some ink, like the Noodler's eel inks?

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  24. If you're going to keep them unused for more than a month, I recommend cleaning them and leaving them empty.

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  25. Lamy is the only company I have come across who leave their nibs in an
    obviously inked state. I've had 3 brand new Studios (one a replacement
    because of the finish being damaged), dismantled, in an ultrasonic bath
    this week because the ink was so thoroughly dried on the nib and in the
    feed.

    Remove background from your photos.

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