Sunday, December 5, 2010

Converting a Platinum Preppy to an Eyedropper Pen



Link to YouTube to see how to convert your Preppy.

Platinum Preppy pens are pretty well known in the pen world as being one of the best values around, with a list price of only $4. It's sturdy, reliable, attractive, and works well. For the true ink addict, they are indispensable.

The bodies of these pens are perfectly suited for an eyedropper conversion, which means instead of getting a $7 Platinum converter to use your bottled ink, you can use an o-ring and a little silicone grease and you can fill the whole body of the pen with ink. Not only do you save cash, but you also increase your ink capacity by about a bajillion percent.

The conversion is simple, I would guess it'll take you about 20 seconds. The only thing I want to point out is that with any pen that has this large of an ink reservoir, you might want to keep it at least half-full at all times. You *may* experience some ink 'burping' (air bubbles coming out of the nib) if you get below half full. Why? This is up for debate, but I've heard the heat from your hand raises the temperature of the air inside the pen body, and the difference in pressure causes it to come out of the only place it can: the nib. Is that true? I'm not sure. Just use the pen as long as you want, and if you notice it burp and you see you're low on ink, fill it back up!

OMG WHERE CAN I GET THESE O-RINGS???


That's what you're thinking, I know. I had a ton of people ask me for them, and Nathan from Noodler's was kind enough to supply me with the exact same ones he uses in his unmarked Preppys he includes with a lot of his 4.5 ounce Noodler's ink bottles.  You can pretty much use any o-ring you can find that's about this size. Just look for a chemical-resistant o-ring with roughly a 7.5mm inside diameter and 9.2mm outside diameter. If you want these ones from GouletPens, here they are, 4 for $1.

And the silicone grease?


You can use any 100% clear silicone grease (NOT silicone caulk), often it can be found in the plumbing section at your local home center (this is what Nathan from Noodler's recommends). But if you just can't find it locally, don't worry. Lots of pen sellers have it online. We've ordered some really good food-grade grease to carry at GouletPens.com, but it's not in yet. We'll have it soon, I promise.

34 comments:

  1. Ha! When you started shaking the pen, the mom in me was going omg, he didn't cap that bottle, he's going to knock over that ink!

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  2. I like to live life on the edge!!! ;)

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  3. As a test I did one with just the o-ring and one with just the grease. Neither leaked and I've had both for months. But I still do both in my BSB pen. ;)

    I like to lend these out to folks who are curious about FPs 'cause I don't care to much if I lose them. But this has lead to a strange physiological phenomenon. Why is unscrewing the barrel of a pen the the first reflexive response to holding one you've never seen before? I mean what do you think the result will be?

    One guy tried to open my pen with HOD, I stopped him before anything happened. Another guy successfully liberated a fair amount of BSB on his hands. For the next few days was walking around looking like he strangled a Smurf.

    Someone please shed some light on this.

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  4. Half of the pens I use regularly are converted Preppys, I'm a big fan.

    Another way to get the ink to the nib if you don't want to shake it is to hold the nib to a paper towel or an "ink handkerchief" (It starts to look like abstract expressionist art after awhile). It seems to wick the ink down pretty fast.

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  5. What ink does this pen come with or do you buy it separately? Thanks.

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  6. Is the nib on the Preppy the same one that is on the Noodler's pen, or is it different?

    Robert

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  7. Thanks for the great tutorial!

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  8. A few questions answered:

    Q:Is the nib on the Preppy the same one that is on the Noodler's pen, or is it different?

    A: The nib, and whole pen for that matter is the same one that comes free with many of the 4.5oz Noodler's inks. The nib is *not* the same as the pens that Noodler's sells separately.

    Q: What ink does this pen come with or do you buy it separately? Thanks

    A: The pen comes with one proprietary cartridge. The purpose of the conversion is so you can also use your own ink that you bought separately.

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  9. Just a folow up from my above post. If you do want to buy the pan and ink together: look at the 4.5 oz noodler's inks. Many of them come with a free pre-converted preppy. A good deal for about $20. Brain has done a good job marking which inks come with free pens. Heart of Darkness and Baystate Blue are popular choices.

    With the fine nib of these pens 4.5 Oz of ink will last you a while. ;)

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  10. Great tutorial and I too noticed you didn't screw the top on the ink and worried you'd knock it over.

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  11. Thanks for the help n3rf.

    Wilson, I couldn't tell by your wording whether you were asking what type of ink was included in a cartridge when you purchase a Platinum Preppy, or which of the Noodler's 4.5 ounce ink bottles included a Preppy. We listed all of the bottles that come with pens here: http://www.gouletpens.com/Noodler_s_Ink_p/noodlersink45oz.htm Honestly, though, sometimes it changes! Nathan likes to keep everyone on their toes :P

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  12. Robert, n3rf is right, the Preppy is a completely different pen than the Noodler's pen.

    Christina, don't worry, the cap is back on now and everyone is safe! ;)

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  13. [smiling at Brian's comment]

    "No ink was harmed during the filming of this video"

    :)

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  14. Robert, n3rf is right, the Preppy is a completely different pen than the Noodler's pen.

    Christina, don't worry, the cap is back on now and everyone is safe! ;)

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  15. A few questions answered:

    Q:Is the nib on the Preppy the same one that is on the Noodler's pen, or is it different?

    A: The nib, and whole pen for that matter is the same one that comes free with many of the 4.5oz Noodler's inks. The nib is *not* the same as the pens that Noodler's sells separately.

    Q: What ink does this pen come with or do you buy it separately? Thanks

    A: The pen comes with one proprietary cartridge. The purpose of the conversion is so you can also use your own ink that you bought separately.

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  16. Ha! When you started shaking the pen, the mom in me was going omg, he didn't cap that bottle, he's going to knock over that ink!

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  17. Late catching up on this video - I try to avoid shaking pens (especially next to a large open bottle of ink ;-P ) I simply lay the pen down with the bottom of the barrel slightly higher than the cap - approximately 1-2 cm (I actually use my old and rather chunky ipod as the "step") and have a cup of tea. The nib will be ready to write by the time I'm done.

    Please remember not to store fountain pens nib down generally...

    I use an ice lolly stick to put the silicone on the threads - just a thin coat on the stick does the trick (I once dropped an ink filled barrel and I blame the fact I had silicone grease all over my fingers so couldn't grip - hence I try not to get my hands covered in the grease!)

    Thanks for another great video, Brian. It is great to see tips and tricks, old and new here on your blog.

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  18. These are all great suggestions, thank you! Yeah, the shaking thing was my own impatience. Everyone here has commented how dangerous it is to shake a pen near an open bottle of ink. I'm a 'professional', so only do it at your own risk ;)

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  19. Okay, quick question. I picked up a bottle of BSB and got the converted pen. I opted to save that one because I like how it looks without markings. Is there any way to remove the markings from a standard preppy? It just looks so cluttered and I want to see all the inky goodness.

    ~B

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  20. This is something I get asked a lot. I actually don't have a quick and easy method down yet. The ones that come with the ink never had markings to begin with, so when you're looking to take off the writing from an existing pen, it's no easy task. So far, sanding and polishing it seems to be the only thing I've found so far, and really that's kind of impractical. Whatever you do, DON'T use acetone on it, it'll destroy the pen!

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  21. Went digging at the hardware store with a preppy that Nathan converted......The O-rings can be found in the plumbing section of any hardware store, they are #7 O-rings that would be used in faucets and valves. $0.30 at my local hardware store.......If anyone is interested.

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  22. Thanks for the advice Chris. Yeah, the Preppy o-rings aren't magical, I just offer them for convenience since for many folks the gas to get to the hardware store costs more than the o-rings! :P But if you happen to be there, go for it.

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  23. TYPO....They are #5 o-rings. Sevens are too big. They will be a very tight fit, but they work great. I apologize because I don't know how to edit posts on here. I wanted a few of the 0.5mm nibs and converted them myself.

    I keep a preppy on me so that if someone asks to borrow a pen I can let them give it a try without risk of damage to one of my good pens.

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  24. It also works with the Rotring Surf fountain pens! :D Just converted mine.
    Thank you a lot, Brian and Rachel! :D

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  25. Very cool! The basic concept works for a lot of different fountain pens, really any of them that have a non-metal body with no holes it in. The finer the threads, the easier it is to convert, sometimes you don't even need an o-ring.

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  26. This is true. I tested before the Rotring Surf without the o-ring, but since it leaked a bit, decided to order the rings and grease for double safety and now I'm testing it again with success, using Lamy green ink. It seems perfect now. The original cartridge is too small, using the pen converted makes it hold almost 5ml of ink. Lots of writing for them now! :)
    Glad you guys have these to offer. Thanks a lot! :D  

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  27. I'm glad to hear such a success story :) 5ml is definitely a lot of ink!

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  28. I have a preppy that came with year of the golden pig.  I filled it (and admittedly highlight infrequently).  It wouldn't highlight today, and I noticed that there was yellow "sludge" on the side of the barrel (inside).  The water has evaporated out and left me a mess.  Has this happened to anyone else?  What do I do with the sludge? 

    Can I reconstitute this with water? 

    Just really want to know if I am the only one this has happened to........

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  29. Hmm...this is interesting. I would say this is an ink issue, not really anything to do with the Preppy. How old is your YOGP?

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  30. YOGP is probably a year old.  Have not used it in any other pen other than the preppy that came with it. 

    I will be cleaning out my preppy and filling it with noodler's electric blue.  I would love to hear suggestions, or if this has happened to anyone else.

    Thanks,

    Chris

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  31. Hmmm...I haven't heard of this happening to anyone else. I'll ask around and see if I can get an idea what's going on. Shoot me an email if you'd like to talk more about it.

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  32. I am in the process of having the same problem. Did you ever determine how to fix it? (My pen was lying on its side for I guess about a month or so and when I picked it up the ink didn't budge. After removing all of the sludge I tried soaking the porous bits in water for a while and now have the reassembled pen resting tip down to see whether that gets the flow going again.)

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  33. It's an ink issue. I don't know exactly why some of the highlighter inks do it (YOGP, and the Dragon Cat's specifically) but it seems that if there is too much air in the bottle/pen or the water evaporates out, the ink solidifies. You can reconstitute it putting water in and shaking it vigorously, but that's easier in a bottle than in a pen. It might be best to try cleaning it with a flush solution (water, dish soap, a bit of ammonia).

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  34. This is a great

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