New Baystate Blue advisory by Richard Binder

Discussion in 'The Nib' started by Jimmy James, Apr 21, 2012.

  1. I am still very much feeling out the experience level in this subforum. You guys are not at at forum like FPN -- this is a hobby that appeals to some extent to some subset of the shaving community. Forgive me if I explain too much here that is obvious to you:

    Richard Binder is one of the most respected members of the fountain pen community. He runs Richard's Pens, a respected retailer of pens. Until recently, he accepted work for both vintage pen repair and nib grinding. He is responsible for a lot of good things that have happened in fountain pens. He is also believed to actually sell Noodler's Ink relabeled as Gate City Pen Company Everflo Ink, though that is not 100% known.

    Noodler's Ink is a business run by Nathan Tardif. He is also at least in my book one of the most respected members of the fountain pen community. He is responsible for Noodler's Ink and all of the Noodler's pens that have hit the market in the past few years. He was also a respected nibmeister and pen repairer before he started his ink business. He has introduced three inks that compose the Baystate line of Noodler's Inks: Blue, Cape Cod Cranberry, and Concord Grape (which is just a mix of the first two).

    Soon after Baystate was released, issues came up with staining pens like a yellow Lamy Safari. Later, some feed issues came up with other Lamy Safari models, though those feed issues also came up with pens that had never been used with Baystate inks. I personally had Baystate Blue ruin the inner cap of a Hero 616 when it got into the cap. I mention all of this because Richard Binder claims to have now seen evidence that Baystate Blue (and ergo very possibly any of the Baystate inks) will ruin the translucent feeds on Pilot and Namiki pens.

    I want to take a firm and clear stance here: I do not regard either the ink or the pen to be at fault for this issue. It is simply the nature of things. Ink is a chemical. It can react with certain other chemicals like plastics in undesirable ways. Nobody could expect any company big or small to test their products on every single one of the products it might come into contact with. Please to not make this out as any attempt to vilify Richard Binder, Nathan Tardif, their companies, or the fine people at Pilot/Namiki. This is simply an advisory that I take seriously due to Mr. Binder's reputation and feel needs to be known. I'd be sad if I didn't know about something that might ruin a favorite pen. Now you know and can act however you feel comfortable.

    ETA: I love Baystate Blue. It is the most vibrant blue ink by a good margin. My sincere advice to all of you who are interested in it would be to do what several of us on FPN have long suggested: buy an inexpensive but decent quality pen to commit for use with this ink. My pen is a Levenger TrueWriter I got from Levenger Outlet on eBay for something like $15. This is in part due to the concerns seen here and in part because Nathan Tardif himself has warned to never mix any other ink with the Baystate inks. That doesn't mean flush until clear. It means flush until there is no trace of the other ink left. That's very difficult to do compared to just getting a pen for the inks.
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2012
  2. brianw

    brianw Moderator Emeritus

    Thanks for bringing this to the membership. Nothing new to me Jimmy. I had BSB eatup a Parker 45. I to liked BSB and use it only with dip pen.

    Welcome to B&B and hope to see alot more of you !!!
  3. nemo

    nemo Moderator Emeritus

    I'm not entirely sure what you are trying to say here but I can assure you there are many very experienced members here who have years of knowledge collecting, trading, repairing, and just plain using fountain pens, new and old. Also, members here do actively frequent and contribute over at Fountain Pen Network (like myself, over six years) but we are not really trying to duplicate their content here in the Nib.

    That said, thanks for the update. I know about this full well, I have seen first-hand the damage done by this Bay State ink in some nice Pelikans and other quality pens although when I tried to warn folks (maybe 2007-8) I was beaten down by savage cult-like fanboys and was pretty much called names (alarmist was probably the tamest). Don't get me wrong, Noodler's is good, BSB is something else. There is a reason some pen repair folks and pen manufacturers warn against it and using it may even void their warranty.

    Welcome to the Nib, JJ!
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2012
  4. Oh, certainly I mean no offense. I just mean I'm trying to figure out how much exposition that would be superfluous at FPN is actually warranted here. I am aware many of my fellow FPNers and people with just as much expertise are here. I am just not sure how many hard core pen folks are in here compared to casual users who might appreciate some background.
  5. nemo

    nemo Moderator Emeritus

    No offense taken. Some of us may possibly be fountain pen fanatics with a bit of a shaving hobby or vice versa. :whistling:
  6. brianw

    brianw Moderator Emeritus

    and some of us are shaving, fountain pens,scotch,watches, etc addicts.... the list goes on !!
  7. beginish

    beginish Moderator

    I have a Preppy and dedicated converter just for BSB. It is hands down my favorite Blue ink.
  8. Thanks for the heads up. Bay State Blue is one of the inks I have been considering, and if I do get some I will devote a pen to it. It is a beautiful ink.
  9. I think Jimmy's just trying to be helpful and we do appreciate you posting here. This is old news to many but new news to many more. Thanks!

    Baystate Blue, as much as I love it, it relegated to one of my Preppies only. I've been using it in that pen alone for many months and can't see any sign that it's damaging it in any way. In fact, the ink itself seems very well behaved in that particular pen. Nonetheless, I still wouldn't chance putting it in anything much more expensive. I know Nathan works hard, but it'd be awesome if he could somehow isolate the variable in BSB that causes the problem and somehow eliminate it while still providing that brilliant, pop-off-the-paper blue that we all love. Oh well!
  10. Well, it is old news except in that we have new (and I mean brand spanking new) accounts of specific damage to specific pens from a highly respected authority. I mostly just want to do all I can to not see somebody's Custom 74 or some other expensive pen get ruined because of inaction.
  11. I have my pilot decimo dedicated to baystate blue, and while I am a novice at all of this I have had no issues for the year plus I've had it filled with it.
  12. I am no expert on the chemistry of ink, and I'm certainly not as smart about this as Richard Binder or Nathan Tardif. With that said, I would hypothesize that the circumstance that might make this type of problem manifest could be one where some remnants of a non-Baystate ink have been inadvertently left in a pen that then gets filled with Baystate. The ink components react with one another and release heat (an exothermic reaction). The heat damages the plastic. I say this because I remember the inner cap of my 616 being very hot when it fell out of the pen. I can't swear whether or not I dedicated the pen to Baystate -- it was a $2 pen so I may have taken the risk. It was also several years ago now.

    I believe Pilot is one of those companies that may actually ink up a nib to test it before shipping it. If that is indeed the case, that would make my hypothesis seem stronger.
  13. rickcharles606

    rickcharles606 Contributor

    Interesting that this is being talked about here now. Very recently, my Waterman Charleston began leaking BSB profusely from the converter and has actually stained the barrell and inside of the cap. I've used this ink exclusively for months and months now with no issues until about 2 weeks ago. Sadly I've had to shelf this ink for this reason, and have ordered another converter for my Waterman just to be safe. It's a shame too...I really love this color
  14. I know Noodlers is popular in pen circles (and around here) but it has to be the most finicky ink around for me. Colors are wonderful, variety is jaw-dropping, but it either gunks in my pens or takes forever to dry on "good" paper (a quality I loathe in inks). It's a shame, because Noodlers Navy is my favorite blue and I REALLY like the look of Ottoman Rose. But after Borealis Black, Navy, and some Swisher Pens-branded Noodlers Purple all had performance issues, I'm done with the brand. My father has had success mixing the colors with Diamine, though.

    And forgot to add that the Ahab is a good pen that I like using, just not with its namesake-branded inks.
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2012
  15. A 10% dilute bleach solution will often make Baystate Blue stains vanish on contact. I hope this is helpful to you or someone else. :)
  16. There are plenty of well behaved Noodler's inks. To cite just one example of many, Noodler's Dark Matter is the best not pitch black black I own, even including the standard bearer for many, Waterman Black. You are certainly welcome to write off an ink brand -- there are so many these days you might not notice too much loss. You should, however, know you will be missing out on a lot of good ink because each ink has its own properties. I actually prefer Diamine inks to Noodler's (they have KILLER blues), but there are Diamine inks that will also give you troubles. Kelly Green and Pumpkin are notorious for crusting up on the nib if left for even a short time period. There are others that do it as well, but I don't know their names right off. Even if you go with the oldest name in inks, J. Herbin, you'll find that their Rouge Hematite ink does the same thing Diamine Kelly Green and Pumpkin do. It's a gorgeous ink, though.
  17. Any tips for cleaning Baystate Blue out of a pen to make it safe to use with another ink? I had read somewhere that rubbing alcohol worked well for getting stains out of a sink and gave that a try last night on the sink, which took a long time, but ultimately worked well. I'm hesitant, though, to run rubbing alcohol through a pen to try cleaning it, but maybe that wouldn't be an issue. If it matters, the pen is a Pilot Prera. Any tips?
  18. maxman

    maxman Moderator Emeritus

    Thanks for the info. I have a few noodles samples, but I'm more of a Waterman and Aurora ink fan.
    of course the B&B Noodlers inks are fantastic. They can't be ignored.
  19. Well, I have BSB sitting in a plaisir, which has enough plastic in it that I will have to keep a watch out. On the other hand, if the Plaisir goes all pear shaped, then I am not out a great deal of cash. Thanks for the reminder!
  20. James, I too was a frequent lurker and member of FPN. I like being over here, because I think that the overall tone is much more laid back. Enjoy the nib, and thanks for the information.


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