In my review of Noodler's North African Violet ink, I promised I would tell you the story of how I managed to destroy my Noodler's piston filler fountain pen.
It is a sad story but life is sometimes like that and we can only learn from such tragedies.
The saga started when I used North African Violet in my Noodler's demonstrator. I did notice that the ink was staining the interior of the pen but I thought nothing of it.
I believe I had a hand in destroying this pen because I left the ink in it to dry. Unfortunately, I've come to realize that Noodler's fountain pens aren't very well designed. Ink either leaks if you store the pen with the nib pointing down, or it dries up if you store it in any other way.
Truth is, I just had a few drops left in it, that's why it probably dried like that. In about 2 weeks the ink was gone.
I tried cleaning the pen in the usual way, by removing the nib and feed and flushing the inside with water. That didn't work. It was clear that North African Violet likes to stain.
The next step was to disassemble the piston and dunk the piston assembly and the barrel in an ammonia solution overnight. That didn't help either. I barely managed to get a tiny bit of purple stain off.
Next, I used a q-tip with rubbing alcohol on the inside of the barrel. This helped a little but the plastic was still stained almost as bad as before.
Finally, I decided to soak the barrel and piston assembly in a more concentrated ammonia solution and I left it there for a couple of days. When I took the barrel out, not only was it still stained but it was ruined.
I immediately noticed that the plastic material of the barrel had developed some tiny bubbles and a very thin layer of plastic seemed to be peeling off. I guess the ammonia had dissolved the resin from which the pen is made. Worse, when I tried to re-assemble the piston, I couldn't. It wouldn't fit through the barrel anymore.
It looked like the barrel had shrunk. Moreover, it was bent out of shape. I had placed the barrel in a small bowl filled with the ammonia solution and I suspect that it sagged in the middle while supported at each end by the sides of the bowl. I didn't know that ammonia could be so nasty.
So now I'm left with a useless fountain pen and I don't think there's anything left to do that can save it. You can tell from photo how badly the barrel is affected.
After all this, I'm still not sure what single factor contributed to the destruction of my Noodler's fountain pen. I admit that I'm largely to blame for letting the ink dry and then soaking it for too long in the concentrated ammonia solution but at least I will know better next time and I hope others will see this as a cautionary tale and avoid the same mistakes I made.