NOTE: Filling a converter pump can be
a messy endeavor. So if you've not done it before, or don't want the ink to stain your fingers, be sure to wear latex gloves, and do the filling over
something you don’t mind throwing away afterwards. Also make sure to have a few
tissues or paper towels on hand to help with the clean up.
Step 4. CHARGE THE NIB. Before reassembling the pen, you need to "charge" the nib. Basically what you are doing here is making sure the ink is starting to flow down the feed and to the nib. If you're using a disposable cartridge, just squeeze the cartridge to push some ink into the feed to get the ink flow started. If using a converter pump, twist the top knob counter clockwise slightly to push ink down into the feed.
CAUTION: Sometimes it takes a while for the ink to flow, so don't hurry the process by trying to squeeze too much ink into the feed. Once you've started it (by squeezing the cartridge or twisting the converter knob) set the pen aside (uncapped) for a few minutes. Then come back later and try writing with the pen. If it still doesn't want to come out, see the "Additional Steps" below.
Step 5. After charging the nib and the ink is flowing, reattach the section (with the cartridge or converter pump installed) back into
the main body or barrel of the pen.
Additional steps... If the ink doesn't seem to want to flow, then try these additional steps:
1. Sometimes I find you can help the process along by softly wiping or dabbing the top of the nib with a tissue or paper towel to check if it's getting any ink at all. If it has a little ink on it, the ink is starting to flow, so just give it a little more time. If not, then go to the next step.
2. Dip the pen nib point into some room temperature water to help prime
the feed mechanism. You will know the feeder mechanism is primed
when colored ink appears in the water.
3. If you installed a disposable cartridge, you will need to make sure when you pressed it onto the tenon, the tenon penetrated the plastic and the ink will flow. After you go through steps 5 & 6, if the pen doesn't write, you may need to remove the cartridge to check that the seal in the tenon broke through.
4. You may need to check the alignment of the nib to the feed. This requires a very good eye, or better yet (especially for us old guys) a magnifying glass or "lope". The goal here is to look into the tiny circle at the bottom of the slit on the nib to see if the feed groove is lined up vertically with the slit in the nib. If you don't see a line through the hole, then the feed is not lined up. Twist the nib slightly to one side or the other (you can look at it from the underside (feed side) to help tell which way you need to twist it). Once they are lined up, the ink should start to flow again.
Filling or Refilling a pen with a built-in filling system (bulb, button, piston, lever)...
Fountain pens with internal filling systems (bulb, lever, or piston), take a little different approach, but is somewhat the same as filling a converter. But here instead of taking the pen apart, you're dipping the nib and part of the section into the ink (bottle).
How deep... I often get inquires from people that say they have trouble filling their pens. Usually it's because they aren't dipping their pens deep enough into the ink. You MUST dip the lower end of the SECTION into the ink in order for it to create suction. If you don't the feed will continue to suck air, instead of ink. There's no way around it.
How long... Once you start filling the pen, continue pumping (bulb), pushing (button) or turning (piston), or flipping (lever) as long as you're seeing air bubbles coming up in the ink. Once the bubbles stop, the internal reservoir is full.
Clean up... Once filled, you want to wipe the section and nib to remove any excess ink.