Hold More Ink in Your Cartridge Fountain Pen





Introduction: Hold More Ink in Your Cartridge Fountain Pen

About: I miss the days when magazines like Popular Mechanics had all sorts of DIY projects for making and repairing just about everything. I am enjoying posting things I have learned and done since I got my first ...

This pen uses the shorter Universal or Mont Blanc cartridge shown on the right. It would be very handy if I could travel with a bigger cartridge in the pen that would hold more ink.

Step 1: Help Is on the Way

The cartridges on the right are the Mont Blanc style cartridge used by many fountain pens. The cartridge on the left is a Waterman cartridge. The fitting where the cartridge attaches to the pen's nib section is identical on both the Mont Blanc and the Waterman cartridges.

Step 2: But, There Is a Problem

Waterman cartridges are usually too long to fit into a pen designed for Mont Blanc cartridges, even if the barrel of the pen is made to accept an extra Mont Blanc cartridge inverted for storage. This pen came with an extra Mont Blanc cartridge stored inverted behind the working cartridge, but I cannot get a new Mont Blanc cartridge to go far enough into the barrel for the nib section to screw into the pen. Even if it did fit, I would like to avoid changing cartridges, especially while I am at a meeting out of town.

Step 3: Cut a Waterman Down in Size

Cut about 3/8 inch (10 mm) from the back end of a Waterman cartridge. Before cutting I used an eyedropper with a piece of hobby tubing glued into its end to remove the ink in the cartridge. See my earlier Instructable: https://www.instructables.com/id/Refill_Your_Fountain_Pen_Cartridges_and_Save/

Step 4: Prepare the End of the Cut Cartridge

A plug made from hot glue will seal the end of the cartridge. To be certain the plug will not come out of the end of the cartridge, I drilled a hole through the sides of the cartridge as shown. Trim any shards of plastic to make nice clean holes. Clean away any ink from the inside of the cartridge end with the twisted corner of a facial tissue.

Step 5: Hot Glue

Put just a very little hot glue into the end of the cartridge. Dap a little into each of the holes in the side of the cartridge. This will make wings that lock the plug into the cartridge when the glue has cooled. Notice the lump of hot glue that extends from the plug through the hole on the side of the cartridge. When the glue has hardened, trim the lumps of glue away so the outside of the cartridge is smooth. Use a little sandpaper, too.

You now have a much larger cartridge to hold much more ink. Check to be certain the cartridge does not stick inside the pen's barrel when you unscrew the nib section. If it does, you may need to shorten your new longer cartridge just a little.

If you notice any signs of leakage around the hot glue plug, remove the ink from the cartridge. Push some shreds of paraffin into the cartridge, and play on the cartridge with a hair dryer to melt the paraffin while holding the plugged end of the cartridge down.

Sometimes the ink goes to the end of the cartridge and stays there by a capillary action. Something to break the surface tension is needed to get the ink to flow down to the nib end of the cartridge when you begin to write. I cut a piece of #12 gauge copper wire about 3/16 of an inch long and inserted it into the cartridge. It generally does the trick very nicely. Steel might rust, but stainless steel would be good.



    • Casting Contest

      Casting Contest
    • Make it Move Contest

      Make it Move Contest
    • Woodworking Contest

      Woodworking Contest

    We have a be nice policy.
    Please be positive and constructive.




    I recently purchased a brand new out of the box limited edition Montegrappa Luxor Blue Nile fountain pen. The second time it was filled the ink started leaking from the forward connection of the body of the pen and the front section that holds the nib. At this juncture, there is a silver band which gives the impression that this is a removable front section. Not sure if it is screwed in and may thus require silicone. As you know this is a piston filling mechanism. Any input would be greatly appreciated as this is a splendid highly coveted and rather expensive pen.

    4 replies

    Is it still under warranty? Will the company repair it? Anything an owner does to it will void the warranty. I would investigate sending it to the maker.

    Unfortunately it is not under warranty. It was released back in 2009.

    I looked for your pen on-line. It is an expensive pen. Is there any way you can know where the leak originates? Can you tell if the leak is in the front section (nib and feed) or in the piston and reservoir? I would think the parts of the pen are threaded together. It might be worthwhile to send it to someone who repairs pens. I have an original Parker Duofold I sent to The Southern Scribe. He has instructions on how he wants you to send it, it was a few months before he was able to get to my pen. He did a good job and the price was reasonable. I wish I knew something that would allow you to fix it easily at home. There may be something. I just do not know.

    Thank you for your advice on Southern Scribe. To answer your question though, if you look at the picture or You Tube video please notice that towards the front of the pen, an inch above the nib section there is a thin silver band with the word Montegrappa etched into it. It lays exactly under the writer's finger as he holds the pen while writing. This is exactly where the ink leaks from. As I try to fill the pen or discharge ink, ink leaks freely around this juncture. As you pointed out it must be a threaded connection. I have not attempted to unscrew it. Was wondering if immersing it in hot water for a few minutes may help?

    Jinhao ink cartridges might be another solution. They're cheap and 56mm long instead of 38mm for an international short or 73 for a waterman long.

    1 reply

    Thank you. I did. It know those we available.

    About 10 years ago I gave my son a fountain pen as a gift. It has never been used. Now he is interested in using it but we cannot get it to write. The pen is a "Fat Tortoise" fountain pen by Bombay (the store), they no longer make fountain pens, and takes Mont Blanc ink cartridges. I installed a new cartridge but the pen will not write no matter what I do. It's been about 3 days since I put in the cartridge. I pulled out the ink cartridge and confirmed that the ink is fine by tapping it on a piece of paper. It looks like some ink has flowed to the nib but nothing....all I get is scratched up paper. Is this normal for a never used fountain pen and what can I do to get it to work?

    1 reply

    It may have been loaded with ink at some point shortly after it was made, but never cleaned. Have you tried soaking the nib section in cool water for a few days? If you notice some ink discoloration in the water, change the water. After a couple of days try blowing from the cartridge end with your mouth. If it is loaded up with dried ink, soak in changes of water until no traces of ink come out. Draw as much water as you can out with a tissue. Put in a good cartridge and write until all remaining water is gone and ink flows through the pen as it should. If this does not work, contact me again and we will see what else we can do.

    When I did my previous Instructable referenced in step 3, I got several comments similar to yours. My experience with converters has not been as satisfactory as filling cartridges with an eyedropper, and I have found converters carry less, not more ink. Remember that the object for me in this Instructable was to carry more ink with me in my pen.

    That seems like allot of work just to hold a little more ink, especially when you can just get a converter.