Sunday: Tips and Tricks

There are many pens out there known as ‘cartridge/converter’ pens. They are generally less expensive than pens with other filling mechanisms, so many fountain pen users start out with this type of pen. They are called ‘C/C’ pens for short, and they are extremely popular because they accept both pre-filled cartridges and piston converters for bottle filling.

Though there are many types of piston converters since many brands of C/C pens have proprietary designs, the one thing they all share in common is that they are removable/replaceable from the pen.

One question I get asked from time to time is what do you do if/when ink gets behind the piston seal of the converter, like this?

This is one thing that’s had me stumped for a long time. The converters aren’t made to be disassembled, and trying to clean behind the seal by forcing water behind it would only cause more damage. A converter like this will run you about $5 to replace, so my best recommendation when you run into this scenario is to either replace it with a new one, or stick to using a color similar to one that is behind the piston seal (in this case, it’s blue).

I would love to be able to come up with some magical solution to fixing this ink issue in the converter, but unfortunately, replacing it is the only solution I have, and the only one I’ve been able to find by scouring the writing forums and blogs. This is not an incredibly rare issue, it’s something that’s bound to happen to every converter sooner or later. Do you know of a solution for this problem?

***The people spoke, and as a response to everyone’s great feedback, I was able to figure out a way to salvage your old piston converters. Check out the new video here I posted about how to disassemble and clean them.