Maintain Your Flow

Maintain Your Flow
Jun 14

How to Refill a Fountain Pen

If you are among the thousands of writers, artists, and calligraphers who have learned to appreciate the precise, expressive freedom of a fountain pen, the next thing you must learn is how to properly refill its contents. Follow our step-by-step instructions to avoid a potential ink spill and maintain your flow.

 

Step 1: Understand the components of your pen.

J Herbin Fountain Pen

The typical fountain pen is comprised of four parts:

 

  • The cap - Fits over the nib of the pen to protect it from damage.
  • The nib - A thin, pointed piece of metal that draws the ink from inside the pen and channels it through a small slit onto the paper. The nib also includes a small hole called a “vent hole” that provides space for air to travel back into the pen to replace the used ink.
  • The barrel – Holds the ink reservoir.
  • The ink reservoir – Most modern fountain pens come with one of three types of ink reservoirs: a piston converter, an ink bladder, or a disposable cartridge. Cartridges are self-contained units that can be replaced as needed, however they are typically more costly than bottled ink, and you’ll likely be limited to only the options sold by your fountain pen’s manufacturer. Fountain pens with piston converters and ink bladders on the other hand offer the flexibility of choosing any available fountain pen ink brand or color.

 

Step 2: Remove the cap

 

Step 3: Remove the barrel

Remove the barrel by unscrewing it counterclockwise. If your fountain pen includes a grip, you may have to first separate the grip from the barrel, and then unscrew the barrel from the ink reservoir.

 

Step 4: Refill the ink bladder

 

If your pen uses a standard ink bladder:

  • Place the fountain pen, nib first, into the bottle of your chosen ink until the nib is entirely covered, including the vent hole. We recommend Herbin Fountain Pen Ink Fountain Pen Inkin 20 ml bottles
  • Press the metal bar to deflate the bladder.
  • Carefully release the metal bar to allow ink to be pulled up into the bladder, keeping the nib submerged the entire time.
  • Raise the barrel of the fountain pen so that the nib is hovering just above the ink.

 

If your pen uses a piston converter:

  • Depending on the pen, you will either need to twist the piston converter or push the piston in to force any air out of the mechanism.
  • Place the fountain pen, nib first, into the bottle of your chosen ink until the nib is entirely covered, including the vent hole. We recommend Herbin Fountain Pen Ink in 20 ml bottles.
  • Twist the top of the piston converter clockwise to draw the ink up into the converter, or pull the piston away from the nib, depending on your pen type. Keep the nib submerged the entire time.
  • Raise the barrel of the fountain pen so that the nib is hovering just above the ink.
  • Carefully twist the piston converter counterclockwise until a small drop of ink appears on the nib.

 

Step 5: Repeat as desired

Repeat step four to fill the pen to your desired level. Depending on how frequently you use your pen, you may not want to fill it too full so that the ink does not dry out before you use it all. Plus, depending on how frequently you enjoy changing colors, you may only want to partially fill the ink reservoir.

 

Step 6: Blot

Blot excess ink from the nib with blot paper.

Remember that fountain pens that use bottled ink will allow you maximum flexibility in choosing the ink colors and brands that you most prefer to accommodate your unique style, and expressive tone.

 

Writer, write on.

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