What's up at Ravens March.

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Return of Nemesis

Posted by Dirck on 25 March, 2013

Well, what an odd weekend.  I’m not quite sure how to react to it, frankly, because it’s left such an unfamiliar sensation.

I got stuff accomplished!

Hard to believe, isn’t it?  Despite yet more snow (although not a lot), and a son who bounded out of bed hours before his usual time on Sunday (leading to enjoyable but not super-productive Lego construction), I got very nearly though all the client pens I have in hand.  The two that remain are nearly done, but each presented a confounding point that I couldn’t overcome in the time available.

The interesting one, which has nothing to do with the title, came to me with a point deformity of an unusual sort.  Unlike the problems at either end of this image from my site…

…the slit was rounded; if held sideways, it resembled a sleepy eye.  To address the problem, I had to burnish the point in the specialized anvil for the task, and that took a full tear-down to accomplish.  I was somewhat at a loss to figure out the mechanism of the deformation, but laid it into the portmanteau of Mysteries Lost in Ages Past.  Problem fixed, point and feed re-mated in section, sac reapplied, and (eventually, once the shellac set) tested.  A surprisingly smooth and flexible pen it is!  Sweet!

Cue the problem.  The cap felt funny going back on, and for the first time I had a good look up inside it.  Ah… that’s how the point got deformed!  It’s not that there’s something hiding inside the cap, either.  It’s that there’s nothing hiding up inside the cap.  I’ve previously examined the role of the inner cap, but mainly with an eye to how it seals pens.  There is another role it fills– it is a brake on the cap, keeping it from crushing the point.  Happily, I noticed the problem before undoing my previous labour.  Unfortunately, I have to now fabricate a new one, without the back-pressure it provides, the cap won’t really stay on at a depth that’s safe for the point.

The other pen I was having trouble with was instantly recognizable in its problem.  The point was skewed several degrees to one side, but is was also rather filthy with…  India Ink! Let me reprint something I typed some time ago, and which still reflect my opinion quite clearly:

I should like to press for an international convention in labelling requiring India ink to carry NOT FOR FOUNTAIN PENS warnings in several languages, and arrange to have it come into effect in 1932.  It would have saved a lot of tears over the decades.

This ink had been put in a long time ago, it had been used a lot, and there was a vast concretion of it around the point and feed.  Fortunately, the section in question was one I could with clear conscience put into an ultrasonic cleaner for several cycles.  Unfortunately, this only released the point; the feed remains inseparable.

A few more rounds of the ultrasonic cleaner, and that feed’s channels are clear enough to, I think, return to proper function, but I’d be a lot happier if I could actually scrape the smaller passages out.  Curse you, misused India ink!  Curse your dark heart!

Today’s pen (not clogged): Sheaffer Statesman Snorkel
Today’s ink (non-clogging): Skrip Turquoise

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One Response to “Return of Nemesis”

  1. […] it is, has lifted some of the darkness,  and a successful resolution to cap problem I mentioned a week ago Monday has gotten me back into the right way of thinking.  Pens can be fixed, and I’m capable of […]

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