Lets start at the beginning. Approximately four years ago my then fiancé now wife bought me a Cross fountain pen for Christmas. During this time, I have loved using this pen but there has always been a slight issue with it - the quality of the ink that is used for the cross branded cartridges. I find the ink quality to be inconsistant and it seems to cause blank spots in my writing.
I thought that I would just have to put up with this without any solution or work around, until a few months ago. I was listening The Pen Addict podcast and their resident expert (Mr Brad Dowdy) was talking about a recent purchase of his (A pilot Vanishing Point). He had discussed that there were people who had been using used cartridges that they refilled with bottle ink using a syringe.
This got me thinking, could I do the same with my Cross branded cartridges? Well I thought I should at least try! A visit to my favourite site (www.cultpens.com) presented me with a wealth of brands and colours of bottled ink. After getting a second opinion from my wife, I settled and ordered the following two bottles of ink - Diamine Raw Sienna and Sapphire Blue 80ml bottles. I knew I would use the Sapphire Blue for this test. Now that they had been ordered it was time to clean the Cross fountain pen and two used cartridges I had saved.
To clean the cartridges I used luke-warm water and a 2ml syringe but as I got started I noticed that both cartridges had what I can only describe as "Ink Grit" in them. This could explain why the fountain pen seemed to randomly stop writing. While cleaning and flushing the ink out, I also notice more of this "Ink Grit" coming out of the fountain pen. It took roughly 20-30 minutes to clean the pen and cartridges and allowed to dry naturally in the airing cupboard. Now the stage was set for the arrival of the new bottled ink.
This concludes part one of this two part series. The next update will explain how I faired with transferring the ink from the bottle to the empty cartridge. Wish me luck!