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Stress Test

Posted by Dirck on 12 September, 2011

I don’t generally believe in the notion of testing to destruction where lives are not at stake.  This is especially true when it’s me doing the testing (too much work) and my stuff that gets tested (MY STUFF!).  It was with a certain amount of fascinated horror, as when watching a traffic accident unfold, that I read of another pen-fancier’s examination of just how much abuse a Lamy 2000 can resist.  Yesterday, however, I was in a funny mood and willing to play foolish games involving physics and my personal possessions; are we all not, occasionally, the little kid with aspirations to Dr. Frankenstein’s insights into the nature of creation?

It promised to be the last really warm day for the immediately foreseeable future, and there was going to be about a two hour patch when I had to be out and about, leaving my car parked out in the sun while I went about my important recreations.  You know what pens like about as well as family pets?  Now, I’m not ever going to leave a family pet in a closed car on a hot day, because I know exactly what will happen to them, as well as what will happen to my conscience and the potential legal ramifications.  A pen, however, as a thing rather than a being, would only slightly agitate my conscience and draw no legal injunctions in event of its utter destruction, and in the case of the pen in mind utter destruction was unlikely.

How, I wondered, would the TWSBI Diamond, the new darling of the pen world, take a long sit in a hot car?  It has an uncommon number of seals in the cap to prevent leaking in an aircraft, which is just a result of differential pressures.  Heating of the ink chamber (still four-fifths full of ink in the new 540 I used for the test) should produce a similar effect.  I left the pen out of direct sunlight as a sop to my conscience; polycarbonate does not enjoy prolonged UV exposure.

One hundred minutes in a closed car later, I retrieved the pen from its resting place, and applied a critical eye to it.

Nothing. Unless one considers a little bit of water, evaporated from the ink and condenscensed on the walls of the inner cap, there was absolutely no evidence that the pen had been left in a place one should not leave a pen.  The ink stayed in the reservoir, forebearing to surge out and take revenge.  I might as well have let the pen at home.

Now that you know, there’s an item of foolishness you need not try for yourself.  Thus do I convince myself my childish behaviour is a public service.

Today’s pen, more deferentially treated: Parker 65
Today’s ink, unboiled: Herbin’s Bleu Myosotis

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