Fountain Pen ink cartridges -

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nobdyspecial

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Feb 10, 2019
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Edmonton
My best customer loves the Dragon fountain pen I made for her, done in a black Juma blank.

She has just run out of ink in the cartridge I provided with the pen, and tried buying a Parker and Schaeffer brand refills. She says neither fit.
I have some generic cartridges that I just purchased from William Woodwright that fit, so I'll give her some of those.

But the question remains, what brand of cartridge can I recommend to my customers that will fit this pen?

Advice is appreciated.

Jonathan
 
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duncsuss

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Jun 29, 2012
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Wilmington, MA
Not so much the brand of cartridge, but the designation "International Standard". (I wasn't sure about Parker, but I do know Sheaffer are a proprietary shape and size.) They come as "Long" and "Short" varieties - safest is to go with short, but the chances are very high that a long one will fit as they are no larger than a normal cartridge converter.

Options to buy cartridges that will fit include Exotic Blanks and Goulet Pens. (My current favourite inks are Diamine, which I bought at Goulet.)

If she has a cartridge converter, she can buy bottled ink ... I love bottled inks ...
 

Fred Bruche

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Feb 11, 2018
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Philadelphia 19146
Almost gone now but still a few available, the long body cartridges will fit her needs (and the cheapest I've seen around)
 

Lucky2

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New Brunswick/ Canada
Could you not direct her to buy them from WWW, if that's where you bought the one that fits? If she can't get them there, maybe you could steel her pen. If you did that, there would be no ink refill issue, plus, she could then hire you to make her a new pen. But if you were to make her another one, be sure that it takes off the shelf refills. 😇
Len
 

nobdyspecial

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Feb 10, 2019
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Edmonton
Could you not direct her to buy them from WWW, if that's where you bought the one that fits? If she can't get them there, maybe you could steel her pen. If you did that, there would be no ink refill issue, plus, she could then hire you to make her a new pen. But if you were to make her another one, be sure that it takes off the shelf refills. 😇
Len
It's a thought 🤔.....but besides the 3 pens her and her husband have bought from me so far, she's also contracted me to make 15 pens for the local music organization she runs. Best to keep a good customer happy. (she's also a friend).

As for her getting them direct from WWW, the shipping charges for a couple cartridges make that unrealistic. Best if I just keep a stock and supply her directly. But as I sell more fountain pens, I need to have a ready answer for my customers.
 

monophoto

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Mar 13, 2010
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Saratoga Springs, NY
As for her getting them direct from WWW, the shipping charges for a couple cartridges make that unrealistic. Best if I just keep a stock and supply her directly. But as I sell more fountain pens, I need to have a ready answer for my customers.
Jonathon -

A quick web search identified Stylus Pens ( 10538 102 Avenue) as a specialty brick-and-mortar pen store in downtown Edmonton. They appear to offer inks in standard international cartridges from a number of the major manufacturers - Diamine, Kaweco, and Pelikan - and in a broad selection of colors. They also have an extensive line of bottled inks that can be used with standard international converters (pumps). And they appear to stock proprietary cartridges for brands like Lamy, Waterman, Pilot, Platinum, etc

There are also a few other shops that offer fountain pens and inks in addition to a broad selection of other stationery or art products, but their selection of brands appears limited.

Having a small stock of blue or black cartridges available to help your regular customers is a great idea, and stocking a few converters as an up-sell option make also make sense. But it would seem to me that unless you want to be burdened with a lot of slow-moving stock, attempting to be a full-line commercial supplier of ink cartridges would not make a lot of sense to me.
 

darrin1200

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Lyn, Ontario, Canada
@nobdyspecial
Good morning Jonathon.

I would agree with Louie about trying to stock ink for customers.I bought a bunch of J.Herbin cartridges and bottles (5 different colours), figuring they would sell well alongside my pens. Unfortunately, most fountain pen users already have a stock of ink, or are particular about their choices. Some even collect inks. I have had my stock for quite some time and I will always keep some on hand to offer a customer as an add on, but I won’t stock enough to sell anymore. For you, if you want, pick a brand and hold 5 packages each of Black and Blue. I don’t recommend stocking the ones from William Woodwrite. I am a big supporter of Bill, he got me started in this, but the ink is a relatively poor quality and consistancy. This is something that can make your pen write well or poorly. Which can reflect on you. I don’t make kits anymore, but when I did, I always replaced the ones in the kits with a good J. Herbin cartridge.

As for your current question, any Standard International Cartridge will fit, as well as a Schmidt K1 or K2 converter. Most kits include a K1 converter. If your client is in Edmonton, I would highly recommend that they drop by Stylus Fine Pens mentioned above. There are quite a few Canadian resellers that ship (Charals in Vancouver) (Stylo in Montreal ). One of my favourites, is Wonder Pens in Toronto. Given the current Social Distancing climate, visiting may not be the best choice. However, my experience, is that most of these shops are very personable and helpful. Give them a call and they can help with questions, as well as in picking the best ink for you.

You may also want to check out the Edmonton Fountain Pen Club. Fountain pens, can be their own rabbit hole within the pen making rabbit hole.

If you have any questions, shout me a message.
 

Hodsdonr

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Aug 21, 2019
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Richards Bay
Get your client to keep the cartridges and refill them. They refill easily with a hypodermic needle and syringe. Main thing is to ensure there is no air in the cartridge after filling. My daughter is a Dr and says that most doctors use fountain pens because ball points run out too fast. And they all refill their cartridges.
 

monophoto

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Saratoga Springs, NY
Get your client to keep the cartridges and refill them. They refill easily with a hypodermic needle and syringe. Main thing is to ensure there is no air in the cartridge after filling. My daughter is a Dr and says that most doctors use fountain pens because ball points run out too fast. And they all refill their cartridges.
Fountain pen cartridges, especially generic 'international standard short cartridges,' don't hold a lot of ink - typically, only about 0.75ml. What that means is that they deplete fairly quickly. However, replacing (or refilling) a fountain pen cartridge is certainly less expensive than replacing a ball-point pen refill.

But Richard is correct that it is very easy to refill an empty cartridge using a syringe, and many fountain pen suppliers sell blunt-needle syringes specifically for this purpose. It can be messy and can cause ink-stained hands (DAMHIKT); using rubber gloves is advisable! The issue is that because the volume of ink is so small, its necessary to be very gentle when pressing the syringe plunger - if you get carried away, you will overfill the cartridge and spill ink.

Another problem with refilling cartridges is that when they come from the factory, they are sealed and won't leak, but if you refill them, it's tricky to prevent them from leaking until they are installed in a pen. So storing and transporting a quantity of refilled cartridges can be a challenge. Some people use a short length of tape over the end of the cartridge. I suspect a bit of 'blue-tak' putty might work, or possibly a drop of hot-melt glue. Alternatively, you might be able to fabricate some kind of plug to seal the opening in the cartridge. The objective is to seal the opening without actually getting anything into the cartridge that might remain and interfere with ink flow.

Finallly, cartridges attach to their host pen via a friction fit - a nipple in the pen fits into an opening in the end of the cartridge. Cartridges are made from a polyethelene material that is elastic enough to cause it to be a snug fit on that nipple. However, it is theoretically possible for that opening to eventually lose some of its stretchyiness and become loose. So I suspect that there is a limit on the number of times an individual cartridge can be refilled and reused. That said, I've been refilling a cartridge for use with a J. Herbin Roller Ball pen for several years, and it's still going strong.

So while I don't argue against the general idea of refilling cartridges, it seems to me that it's probably a little more fiddly than what an average person who is not a pen fanatic might want to deal with.
 
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