Feb 9, 2021

Three tricks I use when I work with Ackerman Pen (tuning and minimizing ink spills)

I love flex nib pens and having a portable option was always an interesting idea for me. I got my first Ackerman pen in 2008 and had a long and complicated yet wonderful relationship with it that ended abruptly when I tried to get fix it with plyers. 

I got another pen in 2016 and enjoyed it quite a bit until I got too tired of having inky fingers.

Naturally, I kept the pen in rotation (I have a whole system of doing it) but somehow this particular pen was  being overlooked (it was easy because I keep it in a separate ziplock bag with a paper towel inside - because it... well it used to leak) and with time the nib got glued to the body of the pen and to the overfeed by the dry ink. Pretty soon I saw that I would need a proper cleaning/rescue operation to make it work again and I never could find time for that. Both the quarantine and enthusiasm of friends who were playing with their pens helped me to find my way back to this wonderful (and somewhat temperamental) instrument. 

I would like to document what I learned both for my future self and to see if this might help someone to  make it work better.

My pen is Manga G Pump Pen with an overfeed. 

1. When my pen was stuck and gunk glued the nib and to the body of the pen nothing seemed to work - no soaking, waiting - nothing. That is when the $2 solution from Goulet pens - a simple rubber grip - saved the day. Here is a picture and a short video of how I use it:

2. When my pen was leaking a lot I experimented with how far the nib and overfeed are extending from the body of the pen - it is a friction fit and the rubber grip helped me aligning the parts with greater precision. As a result, I know pretty well where my nib and overfeed should sit - notice on the photo below how the hole in the overfeed is aligned, and how much of the nib is covered by the overfeed. This helped with extra spillage of the ink a lot. And it is something I adjust almost daily because it slips and some inks are more slippery than others.

3. The third trick is about taking the cap off the pen. I knew about it before but forgot. There is a tiny hole in the cap which is covered by the metal clip. You need to have it open when you put the cap on and when you put the cap off. But keep it covered while you are not using the pen. If you forget to move the clip aside and this tiny hole is covered it would create enough suction to get half of the ink from a fully inked pen out. And that is a mess that makes me keep this pen in a ziplock bag with a paper towel inside. Because of course I regularly forget to turn the clip. 


Shari Blaukopf said...

Such useful info Nina.
I will adopt all of your great techniques.
Great to see you last night.

Kate (Cathy Johnson) said...

I may just have to try this again, Nina!

Nina Khashchina aka Apple-Pine said...

Thanks, Shari and Kate!