First fountain pen, Lamy Safari Broad, railroading

Discussion in 'The Nib' started by SAFETYpin, Jun 11, 2012.

  1. I picked up a Lamy Safari from Amazon and unfortunately the thing is running dry like crazy. It will start off ok, but by the end of a sentence it commonly will miss the beginning of letters or possibly words, so far I am very dissapointed.... I am currently using the ink cartridge that was supplied with the pen, but I did purchase some Noodlers Ell blue and a converter. The ink showed up, but I am still waiting on the converter. I assume this is just some sort of adjustment/learning process.

    So far I've tried to change position of the nib in relation to the feed... but it doesn't seem to help out much.

    I've removed the nib using this process

    With the nib removed I wiped the feed with a paper napkin and roughly inspected it. I don't really know what I was looking for but I didn't see anything obvious.

    I held the nib up to some light and noticed I could partially see between the tines. I assumed that there was some sort of debris in between the tines where I couldn't see light. I slid a single piece of aluminum foil between the tines a couple of times to try to remove obstruction, but it didn't really change where I could or couldn't see between the tines.

    I purchased a Pilot Varsity to have something to compare, the Varsity will very rarely exhibit similar but more minor symptoms.

    Got any suggestions or good links to help me figure out what I need to do?

    Beyond the performance issues I really like the way the pin looks and feels...and am excited to get it working properly.
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2012
  2. Doc4

    Doc4 Moderator Emeritus Contributor

    Try washing out the nib/feed. Use the converter you have to pull & push cold water back and forth through the pen. See if that helps. (It may or may not help, but it's a pretty easy 'fix' attempt & something you should do anyhow ... so give it a try.)
  3. Will try, when I receive the converter...

    Upon further reading it sounds like railroading isn't the right description, possibly temporary running dry is a better description.
  4. Dave258

    Dave258 Moderator Emeritus

    Like Doc said, Lamy test writes their pens, and they don't clean them after. A good cleaning is necessary!

    Also, you can try putting the cartridge on, maybe give it a little bit of a squeeze. You may not have saturated the feed enough, so when you are trying to write an entire sentence, you may be "starving" the feed of ink, and it cannot keep up with you.
    When you fill the pen with a converter, you suck ink up through the nib and the feed, so right out of the bottle your feed is saturated.
  5. I have an Al-Star purchased recently, medium nib, basically the same thing as a Safari except it has a metal body.

    Anyway, I can confirm that Lamy leaves ink in the pen after testing it, so flushing your new pen is probably a good idea. My 2000 came the same way and also needed to be flushed.

    Another thing, I never used the cartridge with my pen and went straight to bottled Lamy Blue ink using the converter. When I first inked up the pen, it took a couple of days before the pen wrote nice and smooth, which I assume is due to the feed not being fully saturated (I store my pens nib up btw). The feed/ink collector assembly holds A LOT of ink. Even when the converter is run completely dry, you'll be able to write for a bit.

    Basically what I am say is that you need to give the pen a couple of days once inked up before you pass full judgement on it.
  6. Well that's great to hear...

    My converter was waiting for me when I got home. I went ahead and removed the cartridge and flushed the pen multiple times in cold water. I shook the pen dry and placed it nib down on some paper towel to dry. I re-installed the cartridge, and although it seems to be better its not great... Hopefully its just the feed isn't saturated yet. I am going to go ahead and flush it again and this time load up the Noodlers Eel blue.

    Also the nib feels scratchy while writing from right to left but not left to right... From what I've read that's signs of misaligned tines. Anyway to be sure? Or should I mess with it as little as possible?
  7. Do you have a good magnifying glass? If so, you would see pretty easily if the tines are misaligned. When the pen got to you, was the cap on? Is this a new or used pen? I don't see Lamy sending out a pen with bent tines, but anything is possible.
  8. I went ahead and loaded the Noodlers Eel blue in the converter, I didn't get much of a chance to use it last night. Hopefully it'll perform a bit better today.

    It was supposed to be new, the cap was on and I purchased it from There might be a magnifying glass at work, hopefully I can check it out today.
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2012
  9. Dave258

    Dave258 Moderator Emeritus

    Didn't you say you took the nib off to try and adjust it with the feed. Maybe when you did you bent a tine. Shouldnt be hard to bend it back just be carrfull.
    For a scratchy Lamy nib just do some circles or figure 8's on a brown paper bag.
    Enjoy your new pen!

    Edit: auto correct thought tine was time or fine!!
  10. gks


    One thing I've noticed about my Studio is that with the Medium nib it writes wet. I assume the broad nib is even more so. Inks can be problematic sometimes, though one would expect that Lamy's own inks would work fine here. Some pens just don't work well with some inks.

    Try it with the Noodler's and see what happens. It may work better simply due to the ink.
  11. Its working pretty good today, only missing a fraction of a letter every 6-8 lines, which could easily be attributed to user error. I think the real issues was making sure the feed was clean and saturated.

    Flushing with cold water and filling the converter with the nib submerged seems to have fixed it.
    Thanks for all the help.

    Truthfully I didn't really like the Lamy blue ink in the cartridge it looked a touch purple to me. The Noodlers appears a touch green/teal, although I do have a bit of a color deficiency.
  12. Dave258

    Dave258 Moderator Emeritus

    Glad you got it working! Enjoy!
  13. next time you may want to consider getting this product for when you get another Lamy or such pen that needs cleaning out;

    It will save you BIG headaches with all the rinsing you went thru. I keep the BIGGER bottle on hand in my house. Ohhh, by the way, I am not affiliated with Goulet just a satisatified repeat customer.
  14. I am surprised that the pen doesn't work better out of the box, but its working great now....

    That pen flush looks interesting....

    I am trying to resist ordering a LE green safari with the 1.1 itilac nib... bah.... silly new hobbies, making products I want to purchase.... for shame.
  15. Glad you got it working. You should post some pics of your writing with the broad nib. I just ordered a 1.5 Italic nib to try in my Al-Star that came with a medium nib.

    Re: ink color, I really like the Lamy Blue but there are so many shades of blue you could easily build an entire ink collection just off that. Right now I'm using a pen with Lamy Blue/Black...on paper, it has a really nice midnight blue/grayish blue color...different than pics I've seen of other blue/blacks that pretty much look black on paper.

  16. Most fountain pens do better with a quick cleaning before being inked, since manufacturing oils/residues/etc can still be present.
    It's not a flaw of any particular pen, it's just something you need to do with them all.
  17. Shame you had that much trouble with it. My Safari has behaved itself the whole time I've had it (a few months now).
  18. I think you will like the 1.5. I have a medium and ordered a 1.1, and I think I would have like just a little more line variation that the 1.5 could provide.

  19. Well I didn't learn my lesson the first time and purchased another Lamy Safari, this time I bought the LE green with a I1.5. Although I like the green color I felt self-conscious about it so to try out the nib I quickly switched it over to the charcoal Safari. The new nib is pretty scratchy feeling compared to my broad nib. I still think I have feed issues on the charcoal safari, Its like I can get a few good lines out of it and than it starts to skip and dry up.

    The green Safari is proving how crappy my charcoal one is, although I don't have the same ink in both pens. Currently Noodlers Ell blue in the charcoal pen and Private Reserve gray flannel in the Green pen. I am also using a Black n' Red spiral bond notebook which feels great and has like 0 feathering or bleed through.

    Is it common to have feed issues after using about half the ink in the converter?

    I've been burping any air that accumulates in the converter, it seems to help although It might just be temporarily saturating the nib.

    I've also tried to gently brush the nib with an old Ultra sonic toothbrush under cool water... Just looking for some more suggestion before I send this thing back to Lamy? Would soaking it help?
  20. Italic nibs are harder to write with an can catch on paper. You'll also have to slow down your writing with the burns through ink a lot faster than a "normal" sized nib and if you write too fast the feed can't keep up. Note that that nib is really designed for doing calligraphy and such where writing speed isn't a concern.

    Did you try a generic/normal ink in your charcoal Safari? Maybe Noodler's just doesn't work well with that pen. Something simple and foolproof like Lamy Blue would let you know if something with the pen is off. Also note that Lamy pens are test inked at the factory...if there was any ink residue left in there before you put the Noodler's in...bad things can happen because many inks don't mix well together. Mixing incompatible inks can cause sludge to build up inside your pen which would lead to issues similar to what you describe.

    The feed/ink collector assembly in these types of Lamys holds a lot of ink and should write fine even when the converter is very low on ink. At least mine does.

    The Black 'n Red notebooks are great. I use one right now at work. The paper is nearly as good as Rhodia/Clairefontaine and is very FP friendly.

    I don't know about soaking...if you want to flush the pen out to get rid of the Noodler's ink. I would flush the pen several times with a dilute mixture of dish soap, cold water, and ammonia.

    Last edited: Jun 28, 2012

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