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Cleaning Your Kohinoor Rapidograph Pens the Dangerous Way.

Assembling a cleaned Rapid-o-Graph pen

Assembling a cleaned Rapid-o-Graph pen.
Click for larger.

Disclaimer: You are responsible for what advice you choose to follow and the results. Common sense and Great Care are your friends. Proceed at your own risk.

Dangerous?
Yeah, Kohinoor is pretty adamant about never taking apart your Rapidograph pen! But I’ve been cleaning my same Kohinoor pens for over 40 years. You just have to be very careful, especially on pen-sizes smaller than #1.

Canister Style Kohinoor pen case.

Canister-style Kohinoor pen case.

Here’s how
After the parts of the pen and pen nib (tip) have been throughly cleaned (there is no substitute for Kohinoor’s own brand of ink solvent: Rapidoease, in a 4oz jar or 8oz bottle, which, unlike other cleaners, will not eat into plastic or metal), you’ll want to reassemble the pen in the following order, with these well-tested steps.

  1. Hold the empty nib (2) in your non-dominate hand, with the metal tip pointing downward. Pick up the cleaning-needle and weight assembly (1) in your dominate hand, needle downward, and gently lower into the nip. DO NOT push it in! Let its own weight be all the pressure needed. If the weighted needle (1) does not drop all the way in, lift it out slightly and drop it straight down (needle downward) trying to visualize the tiny, centered tube you must drop the needle into. Again, DO NOT press it down, as this will likely ruin the needle, rendering the pen unusable. Lift and drop over and over until it finally drops in properly.
  2. Once (1) drops into (2) successfully, the back cap (3) will fit over the metal end of the weight (1) and press into the nib (2). It makes a tight seal by fitting into the inside back-end of the nib.
  3. Thread the assembled nib into the grip (4)
  4. Fill the reservoir (5) with KohiNoor black ink for technical pens, or a good quality water-based ink for easier cleaning. Fill no less than 75% capacity.
  5. Holding the reservoir with the opening upward, press the back end of the body into the opening until there is a snug fit.
  6. Finally, place the ring (6) over the reservoir (5) and thread it onto the body (4), and if you have an extension handle (not shown) thread it onto the ring, making a full-sized pen.
  7. Cap it and store it, tip upward.
If you have one of those canister style pen kits, you can hold it to your drawing table by slipping the shorter part of the metal “L” into the slot at the base, then loosening the wing-nut to open the gripper to just wider than the table thickness, then tightening the wing-nut until you have a snug grip.

Now, get to drawing!

Using the supplied table clamp.

Using the supplied table clamp.

1 Comment

  1. I haven’t used my technical pen in years, but I used to draw a lot with my 000 Mars pen (less expensive than the Rapiographs). The 0000 made lovely delicate lines but even more difficult to clean than the 000, so I abandoned that one.

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