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December 30, 2008

How to Install a LAMY Converter

The LAMY converter has been carefully designed to help it stay securely attached to your LAMY fountain pen. When used correctly, this can help prevent accidents from leaking ink.

LAMY converter - notice the 2 small plastic nubs in this picture - one pointing up and the other pointing down.

The converter can fit in the pen with the nubs facing this way, but this does not help to secure the converter.

The nubs are designed to fit into these slots on the main part of the pen. This helps to keep the converter securely in place.

LAMY pen with converter securely in place.

December 23, 2008

When Should You Refill Your Eyedropper Pen?

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Here's a handy tip from Noodler's Ink about when to refill your eyedropper pens:

Eyedropper pens "should be refilled when 2/3rds empty as more than 2/3 air in the chamber can cause expansion/excess flow from the heat of your hand."

We also found it helpful when refilling our eyedropper pens to leave the ink level in the barrel about 1/4" lower than where the end of the main part of the pen will be when it is screwed together. This will help you to avoid some of the mess when refilling.

December 16, 2008

Should You Use an O-Ring to Convert Your Fountain Pen to an Eyedropper?

There are many opinions as to whether or not you need to use an O-ring with your fountain pen to convert it to eyedropper fill, so we thought we would share our observations with you.

The main advantage of using an O-ring is that it helps to prevent cracking of the pen barrel. When silicone grease is applied to the threads of the pen barrel to prevent ink from leaking, it is easy to use too much force when screwing the pen back together and this can lead to cracks. The O-ring cushions the barrel, but please do not tighten the pen too much or the O-ring can bulge out!

The disadvantages of O-rings are that they usually are sold in packages containing hundreds of O-rings and it can be difficult to choose the right size of O-ring for each different size of pen. Also, an O-ring alone is not enough to safely convert a fountain pen into an eyedropper fill pen.

We have found that silicone grease is essential to convert your pen into an eyedropper pen, and it will work as a good seal even without an O-ring. For over one year now we have been using one eyedropper pen with silicone grease alone and no O-ring and it has worked just fine without leaking. 

The trick is that you need to refresh the silicone grease on your pen every time you refill it with ink. Be sure to coat both sets of threads (on the end of barrel and on the main section of the pen) with a generous amount of silicone grease. When tightening the barrel to the pen after you refill it with ink, avoid using too much force so that you will not break the pen. Wipe off any excess silicone grease. This is a simple, cheap method to convert a fountain pen into an eyedropper pen.

One of our favorite fountain pens that can be converted into an eyedropper fill pen is the Kaweco Sport. The threads of this pen are very close together and it has a generous smooth area below the threads to help give it a good seal when used with silicone grease. Additionally, this creates a large ink reservoir so you can write for a much longer period of time than when you use a standard universal fountain pen cartridge. Do you have any experiences with eyedropper fill pens? If so, we'd love to hear from you!

Without silicone grease, ink seeps past the threads and leaks out of the pen. -- Need O-ring?
Using a generous amount of silicone grease on the threads gives a good seal to your eyedropper pen.
Don't use too much force to put your pen back together and then wipe off excess silicone grease.
Ink does not seep past the threads or leak from the eyedropper pen sealed with silicone grease.

December 09, 2008

Gift Ideas for Artists

With its elegant glossy black color and long slender body, the LAMY Joy Fountain Pen is the perfect tool to inspire your favorite artist to create fabulous pieces of art. This pen was originally designed for calligraphy, but we have modified it by replacing the calligraphy nib with a regular LAMY fountain pen nib that is good for drawing. From our own experience, this fountain pen is also suitable for left-handed writers and artists.

LAMY Joy Fountain Pen

Noodler's Ink is available in several shades of brown for artists that like to draw detailed pictures in sepia tones. I've seen sketches done using Noodler's Walnut, and I think any of their brown inks would look great in drawings. J. Herbin and Pelikan also make fabulous brown fountain pen inks useful for sketching. If the artist you know uses wash or watercolors with their artwork, then a black fountain pen ink that is also waterproof would be a good gift. Noodler's Ink makes several "bulletproof" or waterproof black inks including Noodler's Black, Polar Black (which is freeze resistant even in very cold climates!) and The Heart of Darkness.

Noodlers Ink Browns

A Clairefontaine Drawing Pad has the perfect paper to complement a fountain pen and ink. The 120g acid-free paper in the notepad shown below is multi-purpose and can be used for pen, pencil, charcoal or pastel drawing. For the artist that uses mostly watercolors, then a Clairefontaine Watercolor Pad with 300g acid-free paper would be the way to go as it is designed for watercolor, gouache, or wash drawing. When your favorite artist receives these gifts perhaps they will even surprise you with a gift of art in return!

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December 02, 2008

How to Replace the Nib on a LAMY Fountain Pen

If your LAMY fountain pen nib gets damaged, or if you just want to use a different kind of nib for writing such as a fine nib instead of a medium nib, it is nice to know that LAMY fountain pen nibs are easily replaced.

First, wipe off any ink from your fountain pen nib.  Next, starting at the edge of the ink feed and working your way down to the end of the nib, firmly adhere a few inches of clear, plastic tape to the front of the nib. Be sure to make the piece of tape long enough so that you will be able to pull on the end of the tape. Do not use magic tape, as this will tear too easily. Transparent tape for general office use or packing tape should work. Then, pull the tape slightly down and away from the pen and the nib should slide off of your fountain pen.

To put on the new nib. just line it up with the ink feed and push it on firmly. This method is commonly used by LAMY fountain pen users and will not scratch or damage the nib. Easy!


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