View Full Version : Pen won't work - Help!

06-27-2006, 02:45 PM
:wave: All,
I feel a bit embarrassed posting here when I haven't contributed to the forum, but I never will if I don't get my pen sorted out. I bought a Staedtler Mars matic 700 0.35 pen a couple of weeks ago. I have treated it with nothing but the greatest respect. Now it won't work! I wanted to use brown ink in it and couldn't find any Staedtler ink cartridges in Sepia so, on an art store owners recommendation, I tried a brown watercolour ink. At worked well. Then I didn't use the pen for a few days, and now it won't work. I've cleaned it as thoroughly as I know how, soaking, gently scrubbing, blowing, sucking. And I've discarded that ink! When I shake it I can get a trace of ink to the tip, but it doesn't flow.

Anyone else had this problem - I can't find anything on the internet.


06-27-2006, 03:35 PM
HI There!

I had that same problem with Koh-I-Nor Rapidograph pen I had years ago and used some Ink that had rather large pigment particles in it and worked fine for awhile and while the temperature was rather warm. After a few days on sitting withthe cap on and also with the temperature much lower (it was fall) It clogged. I let the tip soak for several days in a cleaner made for the pen and then took it to a friends that happened to be an architect , he had an ultrasonic cleaner (for his pens) and we disassembled the pen and put then into the cleaner and let it go for several hours. Eventually, it came out unclogged. I was told that after you use a technical pen , it is bet to dip the tip into the cleaner and let it stay on for a second or two then wipe it off with a cloth before capping it. This way the tip stays moist and will be ready for the next use.

Hope this helps, I know Dick Blick carries one of these Ultrasonic cleaners but I think almost any type of Ultrasonic (jewlery ) cleaner of that type would do, just be sure to use a cleaner (the liqued) designed for technical pens , I know some cleaners not desigend for them will pit the tip and ruin your pen.


06-27-2006, 08:14 PM
Hi Robyn,

So sorry to hear your woes. Yes, the ultrasonic jewelry cleaners you get at Walmart for $10 work great. But use the pen cleaner solution in it instead of the cleaner that comes with it.

And try not to use any watercolor kind of ink in it, I'm sure it had big enough particles in there to clog the pen. Too bad the salesperson didn't know that. If you try all the stuff mentioned in the following thread, and it still doesn't work, I would take it back to that store and tell them what happened. They *should* replace it for you.

Good luck.


06-28-2006, 03:46 AM
Stew - Many thanks, I will try to get some cleaner - the last time I looked at the cost of ultrasonic pen cleaners on-line they were well over $100, so I was hoping to avoid that expense as I currently only have the one pen. Maybe when the rest of my pens arrive with our household goods from Australia I'll have enough dirty pens to justify the expense.:lol: Most appreciate your assistance.

Monica - Many thanks to you also. If only we had a Walmark nearby!lol I was frustrated that Staedtler didn't supply any detailed instructions with the pen, it would have been useful. I don't even know if it is the same technology as the rapidograph pens - I remember I used to be able to see the tip of the wire at the point in the rapidograph I had before. This doesn't look as if it has a wire at all. I'll start by looking pen cleaning solution.


06-28-2006, 09:11 AM
Oops, yes, I guess I didn't look at your location. :p Even if you can find the solution and put it and the pen parts in a small jar, you can shake it gently to simulate the ultrasonic cleaner (primary word being gently, of course!). Good luck and let us know how it went.

06-28-2006, 01:12 PM
Monica - Still haven't tracked down any pen cleaner, but I'll be able to get it somewhere (she's says with confidence:lol:), however I did manage to take the whole pen apart and discovered that it does have the same design as a rapidograph with the tiny needle (no I didn't bend the needle:eek:). I washed out the barrel and could see a pinpoint of light through it but the ink still isn't flowing so there must be a bit of residual watercolour pigment stuck in there. There is obviously no margin for error in terms of ink. I live and learn. I did think of taking it to the local jeweller for ultrasonic cleaning - but i think with my language inadequacies it would end in tears. So when I get the cleaner I'll be using Monica's Jar Method. lol.

06-28-2006, 04:15 PM
Try this link for the pen cleaner ..
I would not dillute it but use it full strength.

Also for reference , here is a link to the Ultrasonic cleaners ava. at WalMart here in the US. I do not know what the shipping policy is to Italy but perhaps you could have a friend here in the US put together a "Care" package for you and buy it here and send it on to you.


Hope it works for you .

Be Well,

06-28-2006, 04:27 PM
Thanks Stew - this could be just the excuse I'm looking for to have a little 'shop' at Dick Blick:D - in order to justify them shipping to Italy. If they do ship to Italy. I'll check it out tomorrow. Many, many thanks.

06-28-2006, 10:22 PM
If you have a bulb that you use to clean out babies noses, hold it to the bottom of you pen and press to force the air through the pen nib. That works (sometimes). I hope Robyn can send you one from Dick Blick. By the way, they are a discontinued item because Rapidiograph no longer makes them. So If you can get one, go for it!

06-29-2006, 12:02 PM
Thanks everyone for your kind assistance. The pen now works!:clap: I found a bottle of Rotring pen cleaner in a little stationary shop here in our village. It was so old the owner gave it to me for nothing! I pulled the pen apart again, washed it and then soaked it in the cleaner for a couple of hours. Since I didn't have a cleaning machine I just blew the last of the solution out the end. Goodness knows what's in the cleaner, but I haven't started growing hair on the palms of my hands yet:eek: :lol:. Anyway put the pen back together and it worked. Also picked up two more different sized Rotring pens for less than I paid for one in Australia. So a great outcome. Thanks again.:thumbsup:

06-29-2006, 03:42 PM

Allen Carter
07-12-2006, 01:52 PM
Hello Robyn,

I thought I would give you my thoughts on professional pen cleaning. I have tried everything over many years. Only one method really works well. If your time is worth more than one dollar an hour, toss the old point (and ink) in the dustbin and put in a new one with new ink. It is cheap works like new and does not waist your time in agrevation. I recommend Rotring pens also. I always have extra points on hand.


07-12-2006, 02:20 PM
I use Rotring Rapidograph pens, ranging from 0.13 all the way up to 2mm. I keep a large supply. When it dies, I bin it and get a new nib!!

A good tip: Don't molly coddle it. Abuse and neglect it, just use it!! I've done that for years and it works for me. I used to clean them all the time, the smaller nibs I used to put a little water in the lid when I finished with the pen (the last did work a little). But the nibs used to die on me.

Another good tip: I buy most of my art gear from Ebay. Theres a very reliable seller from France I use allot. I think they mainly sell on Ebay.co.uk but they ship worldwide.

I know the idea of binning the nibs is a bit on the wasteful side, but you can get brand new gear on Ebay cheap. Its really not worth the trouble. I do have a pretty good selection of nibs. If anyone gets stuck, give me a shout. I may have what you need.

07-12-2006, 03:30 PM
Hi Alan and eef - thanks for your pragmatic advice. Were I still in Australia I would have gone out and bought the new nib. Living in a little Italian village it wasn't quite that easy. I could take the train to Florence - maybe if one is lucky enough to be able to get to Florence in an hour, one deserves to have pens clog up:lol: Anyway I wanted my only technical pen to work with brown ink. After the help I got here, it did! Meantime I got two more pens for a very good price and the rest of my art supplies will arrive with our furniture from Australia at the end of the month. Since I gave up my career my time is probably not worth $1 an hour, Alan - so it was worth the trouble LOL:lol:

Seriously, I am grateful for your kind advice.