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Ultrasonic question

  1. WhatYourWatchSay

    WhatYourWatchSay Dec 1, 2019 8:00am

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    Normally I ask fountain pen related questions in fountain pen forums, but I think this is more a US machine question and I'm hoping to get some advice and opinions here.

    I picked up an old Parker, nice pen, but at some point someone used India ink and left the pen to sit for decades.

    I've manged to remove the nib and feed from the section but my usual cleaning methods are not working.

    So I wanted to know if I set the items inside a metal container with ammonia and then put the container directly on the bottom of the machine will the agitation actually work, or does there need to be water surrounding the container to work correctly?
     
  2. Canuck

    Canuck Dec 1, 2019 8:56am

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    Most US machines come with a stainless steel mesh basket that means anything put into the tank will be suspended above the bottom of the tank. I guess the next question might be what the best solution might be to dissolve India ink. A solution that won’t harm the pen components.
     
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  3. WhatYourWatchSay

    WhatYourWatchSay Dec 1, 2019 9:22am

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    Thanks for your reply Canuck. My machine is one of those $30 cheapo models with the plastic basket that sits inside the tank. I'm thinking I'll try putting the metal container on the plastic basket without water and see what happens.

    Usually it's a solution of 1:9 ammonia to water. But since the feed and nib are essentially glued together I'm going with a 1:1 ratio.
     
  4. Willbur

    Willbur Dec 1, 2019 9:50am

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    Additional container have to be in the water otherwise it will damage your US machine. No need to submerge.
    Ammonia is also recommended for pen or you just want to try the same as for watches ?

    Last point to have an efficient cleaning, you have to use hot liquid (around 60°C)
    If there is no heater on your machine, just put some hot water in the machine and after your container.
     
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  5. Canuck

    Canuck Dec 1, 2019 10:12am

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    Without liquid? You want to burn out your US machine? Heat is a major factor in burning out these machines. The pen must be in fluid!
     
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  6. mjb

    mjb Dec 1, 2019 10:42am

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    Right. You may not need water or special cleaning fluid, but there's got to be something! Aside from the heat, I think the liquid is really doing the work transmitting the ultrasonic waves.

    I'd suggest some mild soap to clean then pen. Let it soak for a day first.
     
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  7. WhatYourWatchSay

    WhatYourWatchSay Dec 1, 2019 10:45am

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    Thanks Wilbur, mjb and Canuck.

    Ammonia is the usual cleaning agent for fountain pens. The India ink has stuck the nib to the feed and my usual cleaning/soaking method is not doing the job.

    I haven't come across a situation like this since about 2005. Oddly enough it was also a Parker Duofold Junior, as is this pen.
     
  8. kip595

    kip595 Dec 1, 2019 11:51am

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    From a few old Mont Blanc pens, I would suggest a diluted ammonia solution in warm or tepid water first. It’s produced pretty good results for me .
     
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  9. WhatYourWatchSay

    WhatYourWatchSay Dec 1, 2019 2:46pm

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    That usually does work kip595 but after giving that a go it was clear it wasn't going to be strong enough. On a few occasions I've had to use undiluted ammonia, hopefully it won't come to that with this pen.
     
  10. X350 XJR

    X350 XJR Vintage Omega Aficionado Dec 1, 2019 4:00pm

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    I've gotten some pretty nasty gunky things unstuck with Ultra Dawn dish-washing liquid and hot water in my US.
     
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  11. WhatYourWatchSay

    WhatYourWatchSay Dec 2, 2019 12:04pm

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    I finally had some time this morning to work on this. I dropped the nib/feed into a metal container with a 1:1 mixture of ammonia to water and placed that in my US machine also with some hot water.

    It took seven 3 minute cycles but the nib finally separated from the feed.

    Honesty, this is going to make cleaning items in the future much easier. I don't like putting anything other than warm water into the machine so knowing that I can put in a separate container with cleaning liquids will make cleaning tough items much easier.

    Thanks to everyone for your replies here, very much appreciate your help :thumbsup: