Fountain pen users will know how their pen of choice can provide a wonderful experience. A tradition that has been eclipsed by the digital age, writing by hand brings thoughtfulness and creativity back into how we communicate with each other and express ourselves. Whether that’s through handwritten letters, cards, and journal entries, using your fountain pen to write something can feel extra special.
Given that fountain pens have come a long way and are now made using advanced and robust materials, it can be quite frustrating when they start to have problems. One of the most common issues that writers will experience is skipping.
If you’re struggling with a skipping fountain pen, then worry not. This guide will go through the details of skipping and how you can fix this problem.
What is fountain pen skipping?
Fountain pens that skip are those that sporadically stop and start again as you write. The result is an unformed piece of writing that looks messy and sometimes illegible.
This issue can be quite annoying and may lead many fountain pen users to believe that their beloved writing instrument is done for. Fortunately, there are several ways to remedy this situation.
Why is my fountain pen skipping?
Understanding why your fountain pen is skipping is important so you can determine how to address the issue.
To discover the root cause, pay attention to how often the pen is skipping. If skipping occurs once the pen hits the paper and continues to write this way, then the issue is most likely the nib. Take a closer look at your pen to see if the nib has lifted away from the feed. If there is a gap, then that is likely the culprit. The nib should be sitting snugly just above the feed. When the positioning is off, the nib won’t perform as designed, leading to choppy writing.
Skipping may also happen when the tines of your fountain pen don’t line up. Using a magnifying glass, take a look and see if one tine is higher than the other. It’s possible to push them back into place, but it may be better to leave this type of repair to a nibmeister.
Baby’s bottom may also be responsible for a skipping fountain pen. This issue happens when the inside edges of the tines are rounded instead of flat. The part of the nib that is supposed to deliver the ink doesn’t quite touch the paper, resulting in bad starts and inconsistent ink flow.
Sometimes skipping may be due to something as simple as a clog in your pen. Try the different tips below to fix this issue.
How to fix a skipping fountain pen
Clean out your pen
Soaking and flushing your fountain pen is often a quick and effective remedy to get rid of the skipping. It works by clearing the nib and feed of blockages caused by ink or other debris.
You can also make a pen flush solution to target more stubborn bits of ink and residue in your fountain pen. Combine one part ammonia, 10 parts water, and a few drops of detergent and use this to flush out your pen. You may even add this to your ink cartridge to create a thinner consistency and encourage more continuous flowing.
Use a thinner ink
Using a thinner or wetter ink can improve the way ink flows in your pen. A great option you can try is any ink from the Pilot Irozhizuku line, which has been lauded in the fountain pen community for its wet flow. It also helps to remember to always cap fountain pens after use to minimize the risk of clogging and skipping.
Fix the nib alignment
Skipping may be due to the tines being too close together. Using a sheet of paper on a hard surface, apply a slight pressure to your nib to spread the tines slightly. Take care not to use too much force as this can damage your nib. If you are not experienced or comfortable in altering nibs, then it is best to leave this step to a qualified nibmeister.
Sand down your nib
If your nib has baby’s bottom, then try sanding it. Using the finest side of a nail buffing block, place a drop of water on the pad’s surface and draw a few figure eights with your fountain pen. Try writing with it to see if the problem has been resolved. If not, repeat the process until your pen writes smoothly again. You can also do this with 2000 grit sandpaper to shape, followed by the buffer part of a nail file to smoothen out the nib. Do not go overboard as sanding the nib down too much can cause other issues that are more difficult to fix. Before proceeding with this step, it is best to watch video tutorials or consult with a pen friend who has done it before. However, if you feel a bit hesistant to make these changes yourself, it is always better to take your pen to a nibmeister.
The Bottom Line
Skipping can be an annoying problem that may make you want to throw your pen aside. However, it helps to know that this is a fairly common issue. Whether you are using Pilot or Faber-Castell, every pen has its quirks and issues. It just takes some patience and a few tips here and there to solve them.
Written by EndlessPens Blogger Ramona Kabigting