What's up at Ravens March.

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Regarding Fuel Economy

Posted by Dirck on 7 April, 2021

When I took up the pen for today, I had to think hard about when it entered rotation.

…and I couldn’t remember without looking. The answer is the second week of January. This is a ridiculous length of time for a pen to be in the flight-line. Even more ridiculous is this:

It’s not half-full– the angle of the photo somewhat exaggerates the amount of ink left. It’s roughly one-third full, after three months of use. The Pelikan M600 that joined the in-use bunch in March only just made it through last night’s journal entry.

Why the difference? Well, the most obvious one is that the Pelikan carries just over half as much ink as the 487. The less obvious, looking at the pictures, is that the 487 has a fine point which is only just wet enough for enjoyable use while the M600 has a big fat wet point which claims to be medium but refuses to step onto a scale.

Basically, I’m comparing a Mercedes 600SEL to a Prius with drop-tanks. Of course it’s taking longer to empty.

The “this thing is still in use” sensation started a couple of weeks ago, to be honest, and I’ve been suppressing it by looking at the vast amount of ink still in place. Today, though, I started thinking about pen hygiene. Sure, it’s possible to use a pen for years without changing to another (part of the glory of fountain pens, that) but you should give them a cleaning every third or fourth fill– which is to say, roughly every month or so.

So far, this is only a theoretical issue. There’s no beard of fungus clinging to the feed. The ink remains a liquid rather than a gel that never quite dries (this is a big hint, by the way; if you’re smearing the page an hour after writing, clean that pen!). However, I think I’ll probably send the pen to the showers this weekend, before the theoretical turns vexingly practical.

I may also tip the ink out of that Moonman sooner rather than later. It’s an equally parsimonious point and a bigger reservoir.

Today’s extreme-endurance pen: PenBBS 487
Today’s huge column of ink: Herbin Lie de Thé

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