fountain pens

Eye Dropper Challenge 3/5 Lamy Vista


Challenge number three is the one I was dreading the most…not because I don’t like the pen. Quite contrary. I love Lamys and I simply didn’t want to destroy a perfectly good pen. Bureau sells Vista Rollerball barrel replacements on daily basis (hint, hint)…Jo got me and Faisal one each, so we could do this. Thanks Jo! 🙂

Lamy Vista isn’t the easiest pen to convert, but it is possible. Vista fountain pens have two ink windows (ink would leak out). Vista roller-ball pen looks similar. It doesn’t have an ink window, but it does have breather holes at the top. Here is where Epoxy comes in. I have used 2-part clear epoxy resin glue. There are many threads on FPN and YouTube videos. People have used all sorts of super glues, plastic glues, but I wanted something clear and ‘invisible’. Long story short: I have swapped the barrels and sealed the holes. Now let’s have a look how I’ve done it.

Materials needed:

Lamy Vista rollerball barrell (available here)
Silicon Grease (clear 100% that you can find in hardware stores)
O-ring (7mm in, 9mm out, 1mm thick)
Epoxy Resin Glue (Devcon 5-minute Epoxy)
Square tea mug and scotch tape
Food zip-lock bag (just in case)

Instructions – just a friendly warning, this will take a day or two 😉

  • prepare Epoxy. Squeeze some epoxy in the mixing bowl (you will need a pea size drop) and quickly stir with the stick into small puddle (both included in the package I bought)
  • grab Vista Rollerball barrel and dunk it in the epoxy. Just the end bit of course 😉 I think that this is the most important step of them all. Using a Q-tip or brush would not give same result!
  • turn the barrel upside down and slowly rotate in hand (this will help the glue to get everywhere)
  • inspect the end bit to make sure that it is completely covered with epoxy (you will notice that the glue will start to set very quickly. Don’t panic, this is a good thing!)
  • let it set for good 5 minutes and inspect again. Mine was set by now and I was very happy with the way it turned out. Glue was almost invisible and it was nice and round. No sharp corners, no residue. Epoxy went inside the holes and not on the outside. Yeey!epoxy on Vista
  • leave the barrel for 24-hours to make sure epoxy has dried completely
  • use the syringe and plain water to test if the end of the barrel is completely sealed
  • if it is, the you can get rid of the water and let the barrel dry
  • once dried, secure the barrel to something so it will stay up ( I have used square tea mug and some scotch tape)
  • fill syringe with ink, for testing purposes I have only used 3ml of ink (2x more than Lamy cartridge capacity)
  • empty the ink into barrell
  • get Vista section and push O ring to the end of threads
  • apply silicone grease to the section threads using Q-tip
  • screw section onto barrel which has been filled with ink. Wipe excess silicone (if any)
  • you are good to go!!!!
  • pen will prime itself and should write almost immediately
  • last step – even tho I had no leaks I put the pen into a zip-lock bag when I wasn’t using it

And here is what my eye-dropper Vista looks like:

vista_MG_9733 vista_MG_9741 vista_MG_9732

Gorgeous!!!!! I have inked my pen with Private Reserve Blue Suede (teal inks are super cool).

Faisal has pointed out, that Neonlime ink would look great inside, so I am on a hunt to get a bottle 😉 Fluorescent highlighter ink looks great under UV light. So it happens, we have UV torch in the office 😉

Mishka (^_~)
Lamy Vista converted into an Eye Dropper

fountain pens

Eye – Dropper challenge 2/5 Platinum Preppy Highlighter

Second pen in the series is notoriously well known eye-dropper: Platinum Preppy.

It’s cheap, easy to do and it works. J Herbin Diabolo Menthe InkPreppys come as fountain pens or highlighters. I had some spare ink cartridges at home, so I have decided to turn the highlighter. There are couple of good highlighting inks out there: Lamy Neonlime (T52 bottles only available in US), Pelikan Duo, Noodler’s, Private Reserve….but I have opted out for one ink that I had no use for.J Herbin Diabolo Menthe. Light minty colour is not legible for writing, but works quite nicely for this purpose. If you would like a sample of this ink, just let me know 😉 Ink is made for sharing, and there is no way I will finish this bottle in 2 lifetimes.

Material needed: syringe, silicon grease, rubber O ring (7.5mm inside diameter and 9.2mm outside diameter).

Instructions – again, very easy to do:

  • unscrew the barrel
  • remove the cartridge (if present)
  • secure the barrel in upright position
  • fill the barrel with ink using syringe
  • apply silicon grease on section threads
  • place the O ring on the section where threads end
  • screw the section onto the barrel
  • done!

Preppy sealed with silicone grease and O-ring

Here is what Platinum Preppy Highlighter looks like 🙂 Nice and clean conversion, plenty of ink capacity…

Preppy on J Herbin bottle

Mishka  (^_~)

fountain pens

Eye – Dropper challenge 1/5 Kaweco Classic

diagonalHi folks,

Bank holiday is here & we finally get some time off. If you have read about my Stationery show endeavours, then you know, that I have been challenged by Manuscript people to turn their pen into an eye dropper.

Eye-dropper project is something that every fountain pen enthusiast will do at least once in their life. It’s one of those bucket list essential tasks 🙂 For normal people this means filling the entire body of the pen with ink. The usual go for pens will have a plastic body and are transparent. Benefits are: huge ink capacity and zen like effect of ink sloshing around. To put this in numbers ink capacity can increase up to 9 times!!! 9 cartridges vs one filling. Now you now why I have to do it…

First one is Kaweco Classic Sport. It requires the least effort. All you need is silicon grease and syringe. My pen was already a demonstrator (see through), so it’s a perfect contender. It will get inked with sparkly J Herbin ink for obvious aesthetic reasons 🙂

Instructions are very easy:

  • unscrew the barrel
  • remove the cartridge (if present)
  • secure the barrel in upright position
  • fill the barrel with ink using syringe
  • apply silicon grease on section threads
  • screw the section onto the barrel
  • done!

Here is what the finished product looks like 🙂

Beautiful Kaweco Sport Classic converted into an eye-dropper and inked with J Herbin Rouge Hematite

Beautiful Kaweco Sport Classic converted into an eye-dropper and inked with J Herbin Rouge Hematite

I have been travelling with this converted pen in zip-lock bag for good two weeks. It hasn’t leaked once… People put silicon grease on nib unit threads too, but I don’t find that necessary. I have to say I am rather pleased with the way this looks 😉

ziplockkaweco on lid

What do you think?

Mishka  (^_~)