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Old 10-13-2003, 09:55 PM
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Inkdauber Inkdauber is offline
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Question Ackerman pump pen problems

Does anyone on this forum use Ackerman pump pens?

I got three pens from Charles Ackerman a couple of months ago, and each of the three had some sort of problem.

I returned one for replacement. Another leaked ink around the part where the pen head inserts into the body, and vaseline didn't help to seal it any. But I think I've fixed that problem by winding the insertable portion of the pen head with a bit of plumber's teflon tape.

The third Ackerman pump pen is still giving me some problems, and I'm wondering if anyone else has had these problems and how you might have remedied them.


Problem 1: Ink leaks out around the opening in the body where my finger pumps the ink sac, and I get ink on my finger.

Problem 2: As I'm drawing a line sometimes, an occasional blob of ink will randomly flow off the nib and create a blob on the paper. I don't have this problem with dip pens.

Have any of you Ackerman pen users had these problems? What have you done about them?
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Old 10-13-2003, 11:17 PM
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Alan Cross Alan Cross is offline
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I have not used them but after hearing about yours I dont think I would try them and If i was you I would be looking for a different brand unless you really like these you didn't say.
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Old 10-14-2003, 04:46 AM
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sassybird sassybird is offline
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How frustrating I would suggest that you switch pens also. But, I would also return all three, stating the problems you have had, and ask for a refund. I prefer dip or Faber Castille pens myself.
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Old 10-14-2003, 06:02 AM
Huygens Huygens is offline
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I was really startled to see some photos of the Ackerman. It takes me back to the days when I was dealing in antique fountain pens along with contemporary fountain pens and Rapidographs.

It looks like Ackerman has reinvented the wheel. His pen is a fountain pen without the lever where you finger pushes the bag. His use of four different points is a bit puzzling unless you are expected to put different types of ink into each pen.

Let me give you thhe reasons why I see the problems you are having.

Problem 1--Ink leaks around the ink sac. This is pretty simple. The ink sac is a rubber bag that is stretched over the head of the pen, which holds the feed. The reason for a lever is to control how much the bag gets squeezed. If you push it with your finer, you are probably squeezing it too much, and stretching the head of the rubber bag so that it allows ink to spurt out of the space between the head and the bag. This sounds to me--not having seen the pen--like a fundamental design fault.

Problem 2--Random ink bobs. This happens when feeds are poorly constructed or when you are using a type of ink that isn't corrrect for the pen.

Problem 3--although there isn't a problem three on your list, you mention leakage between the head and the body. This is caused by poor workmanship.

Ackerman is ignoring the 150 years of development of the fountain pen in which people have figured out how to make a pen work. His workmanship also seems wanting.Like everyone else who has commented, I would look for another pen.
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Old 10-14-2003, 10:56 AM
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Inkdauber Inkdauber is offline
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On the other hand . . .

Well, I don't want to come down too harshly on Mr. Ackerman. I will have to say that he exhibits conscientiousness and a genuine desire to do right by his customers.

I've been on the phone with him a few times to discuss the problems, and he has been appreciative of detailed descriptions of those problems. He even gave me the free third pen for my inconvenience.

I spoke with him on the phone just an hour or so earlier about the problems I had last night, and he advised that he had put some additional components in the mail (free of charge) for me to try out and mix and match until I came up with a workable system that I was happy with, and then just return anything I didn't want.

Okay, in my day job, I'm a quality engineer with my company. Granted, replacing and mixing and matching isn't indicative of the most desirable quality in a product. But I'm happy to work with him as long as he is trying to improve what he has.
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Old 10-14-2003, 11:08 PM
Huygens Huygens is offline
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I'm curious. Are you using India ink in the Ackeman pens? Has Mr. Ackerman made any comments about this?

Huygens
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Old 10-15-2003, 07:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Huygens
I'm curious. Are you using India ink in the Ackeman pens? Has Mr. Ackerman made any comments about this?

Huygens

Yes, I'm using India ink some. I've also experimented with some different fountain pen inks. I've had the problem of ink seeping around the sac (even when I press gently to pump) with both kinds of ink. I've had more of the problem of the random ink blobs with the fountain pen inks -- perhaps understandable, since I believe the Pelikan India ink is of thicker consistency.

But one of the advertising points of the pens was that they could use anything that flowed . That would even include acrylics or whatever.

I'm not wanting to imply so strongly that I'm dissatisfied with the pens, just a little disappointed with the minor problems that each of the three had. But as I said, I've been very impressed with Mr. Ackerman's desire to do whatever it takes to make me happy. I hope he gets these little minor issues worked out over time.
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Old 05-31-2014, 01:52 AM
ackpens ackpens is offline
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Re: Ackerman pump pen problems

I just ran across this message thread. All good comments.

We have improved the production and quality control of our pens over the years, as well as our customer service. Our pens will always be a work in progress since there is no perfect pen. We do claim that you can use India ink and acrylic paint in our pens and not wreck the pen. Sometimes it takes a bit of cleaning and scraping, but you won't lose the use of our pens.

We have many repeat customers, also occassional customers with problems that we work to fix.

Thank you for your interest in our pens. Please keep the comments coming. You can even post them on our own blog.

Charles Ackerman
Ackerman Pens
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Old 06-02-2014, 04:42 AM
pedlars pen pedlars pen is offline
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Re: Ackerman pump pen problems

For many years I have read of the various problems of Ackerman pens ,I've helped rebuild & modify a few Ackerman pens of fellow artists, they are decidedly not a trouble free option, but are the ONLY option if you want to put India ink or acrylic ink through a fountain pen & use a flexible dip pen nib. I suggest you look at fountain pen network for the various fixes people have come up with.
I do wonder whether the concept of a India ink fountain is a impossible pipe dream given the inherent problems.
The main un-overcomable problem must surely be the fact that every fountain pen is designed to work with a narrowly defined ink viscosity - otherwise the feed rate will be erratic. The parameters of this variable are very closely defined & an ink with only a slightly different surface tension will either gush & blot or refuse to flow at all, using a pump to pressurise the ink is too inexact & is bound to lead to blots & unpredictable behaviour. Perhaps he might consider supplying a few different feeds with his pens with various flow rates- that would do away with the need to pressurise the system & eliminate the pens inherent instability ?
It is however only fair to say that there are those who swear by them after they have messed around with them awhile & are prepared to do regular maintinence. If Mr Ackerman could perfect his design & then build & sell it in a proffessional way comparable to the large manufacturers he would make a million because there sure is a very big call for such a product from artists ,I'm certain of that.

Last edited by pedlars pen : 06-02-2014 at 05:07 AM.
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