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Apparently, cleaning a new pen actually works

After doing some research here and on the web, I decided to try . . . cleaning my pen!

Background - after reading random posts here about how fountain pens are fun/work well/vaguely like wetshaving with vintage razors, I bought an Ohto F-Spirit with high hopes. Unfortunately, I found the pen to be scratchy, not write as well as my Tul rollerball, and skip in terms of ink flow. I chalked it up to the pen, or how I was using it. Fast forward several months . . .

It's now Christmastime and my razor acquisition disorder is settling down. Therefore, I need a new addiction to feed. Yes, I know, I have a problem. Since I am led to believe that most of you do as well, I'm in good company. :001_tongu After some research and a thread or twenty, I ended up ordering some new stuff from Goulet Pens and a pair of pens off of eBay. $10-20 pens, so nothing expensive, but a decent way to start (I think).

Anyway . . .

Many vendors and threads talk about manufacturing oil being left on new pens and that rinsing a new fountain pen in water or a bowl of water with a few drops of dish soap can make a pen write better. So, I am sitting down after a few minutes at the kitchen sink having rinsed the nib/feed/whatever the heck is between the cartridge on my F-Spirit and the paper. Very slightly soapy water (a drop in a small bowl of water), then rinsing copiously with tap water.

I then sat down to write with it after a few runs across a paper towel to get most of the water out and the ink flowing again.

To my happy surprise, the pen . . . writes better. Yeehaa! The ink doesn't smear like my usual rollerball (for the record, I am extremely picky about rollerball pens and think most rollerballs or gel pens aren't very good), it has a very light touch, the ink doesn't skip, and it feels quite smooth. The only downsides are that the line is a little thick, it doesn't start to write immediately, and that the ink spreads out a bit so I have to write larger. For my first fountain pen in decades, not bad at all.

I'm now starting to wonder about different ink colors and fancy pens (an Edison in purple acrylic sounds good right about now), although I'm hoping that a few good quality "beginner" pens will be sufficient, along with a few inks.

Famous last words.

Anyway, I'm off. And I have a fountain pen in my pocket. I may not be able to write in elegant script (I write in tiny, cramped letters that even I can't read half of the time), but maybe even that will change.
The ink spreading out is what we call feathering... it has more to do with paper then your pen, the ink itself can be a factor as well, some inks are better then others at fighting that, it why we have what we call fountain friendly paper

And the ink not starting immediately can be that the feed itself hasn't fully saturated since the flush, it may stop itself after a day when the ink has had a chance to fully saturate the feed, again some inks are better then others hear as well
I agree with James. Try some Rhodia paper or even the paper that's in the M by Staples Arc notebook/planner. Paper makes a big difference.

I'm probably going to order a Clairefontaine wirebound large notebook from Goulet the next time I order something. Given how cool many of the ink samples look, that may even be before my pens arrive.
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