Blow-Fillers are Back

By Teri Morris • How To, What's New • 2 Mar 2013

Well, at least here at Peyton Street Pens they are!

Reviving the venerable blow filling system

We’re finding the Ranga indian ebonite pens to be a welcoming playground for experimentation. First we tried them out with exotic hyper-flexy dip pen nibs and we can’t keep them in stock, they are so popular. Next up is reviving the blow-filling system made popular in the early part of the 20th century by clever companies such as Mooney’s.

In case you aren’t familiar with blow-filler pen, it’s a fairly simple concept that relies on a tight barrel seal, and that is something that Ranga excels at since the pens were originally designed as eyedroppers.  The filling process is as follows:

  1. Put the nib in ink, and blow in the hole in the end of the barrel. (Surprsing little pressure is actually required.)
  2. Leave the nib in the ink for a few seconds, pull it out and wipe off any excess ink on the section.

The pen is ready to write. You don’t need to unscrew the barrel, but if you did you’d see a simple rubber sac which will be easy to maintain and replace if it ever wears out.

Blow-filler phobic?

Afraid of getting your face that close to the ink-pot? Luckily the Ranga pens are long and on the large side, allowing a comfortable distance between your nose and the Noodlers.

Here’s How We Did the Conversion

We started by enlarging the hole in the section to allow better air-ink exchange. We’ve found the little hole as drilled by the Ranga folks to be a little stingey in that respect.

Enlarge the hole in the section

Then we appropriated about half of the section threads, sanding them off with a Dremel. We need this area for the rubber sac.

Next we attached the rubber sac with shellac and let it dry.

Don’t forget to drill a hole in the end of the barrel!

And then ….. put your lips together a blow!

3 Responses

  1. John Kite

    So, what we’re looking at here, in this technique, is the original inspiration for Sheaffer’s Touchdown filling system?

    • I have a feeling that Sheaffer was more likely copying a vacuum system like Chilton’s, where a knob operated a shaft which created vacuum in the barrel that compressed a sac.

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