Aaaarrrrgh – The writing thing isn’t working!!!

We’ve all been there or we will be there. Things are going along and then one day it happens. You write and the ink ins’t going on the writing surface the way it is supposed to. And you get so frustrated that smashing things does not seem unreasonable.

I will direct your attention to my blog post “THE ONE THAT DIDN’T GET AWAY

I’ve come up with a process for myself to get through it. May it be useful to you as well. Modify it as you see fit and do what works for you.

1 – re-clean the nib.
2 – Carefully inspected the nib for anything that might be impeding flow. Tines crossing, a burr in the capilary. Anything in the capilary. Tines uneven. Inspect it while in the pen holder and out of it. See if there is a difference. This sometimes happens.
3 – Switch nibs, cut a new quill pen.
4 – Sharpen or resharpen my nib. This has worked several times. I often don’t know what it overcame but if it works it works. Yes, even on metal nibs. I persoanlly prefer to use crocus cloth for metal nibs but sandpaper 400 grit or higher works too.
5 – Check for curling at the tip of the nib. Curling is what happens to metal on the edge. The metal kind of sloughs off and creates a “hang” at the edge and that can also impede writing. It can create all sorts of writing problems it doesn’t show up only one way.
6 – Switch nibs.
1) Rebrush the surface to clean off any potential issues.
2) Check for oils/fats liquids, shiny stuff that shouldn’t be on the writing surface.
3) As appropriate re-pounce the writing surface.
4) Test on a separate writing surface.
1) Check the thickness/thinness of the ink. This is not the same as viscosity. Is it lumpy? Lumpy can be an issue especailly for metal inks. It means a lot of things are going on in the ink and none of them are beneficial to writing. If it is “thick” see why. Is it foamy? Does it have “too much” of something in it? Being thick can cause the pen to clog up if it has too much stuff in it. If it is thin, does it have enough of everything in it? If it is too thin it can dry quickly on the pen and thus clog it up.
If the ink has become “stringy” (rare) toss the ink.
2) Check the viscosity. Viscosity if flow. Is it flowing appropriately? And you are ther determiner of appropriately. Sometime fast is appropriate, sometimes slow it. Sometimes medium is good. Is it a smooth flow or does it have “waves” in it? If it has waves in it you usually have too much of a solid in the ink for the liquid it is in. Though sometimes it can be too much surface tension.
If it is too quick, adding some gum arabic may be the solution.
3) Surface tension. Is the ink beading up? Check the paper for oi/grease. If there isn’t any for some reason the surface tension of your ink is too high. Vinegar and ox gall are solutions for that.
LAST) Throw out the ink and start over. I have had to do this and yes, it sucks.


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