How to Do an Eye Dropper Pen Conversion

How to Do an Eye Dropper Pen Conversion

June 28, 2009 - Posted by Elizabeth to Pen Modifications

Converting a standard fountain pen into an eye dropper pen is a favorite project among fountain pen aficionados. It involves filling the fountain pen body with ink (rather than a cartridge) and closing it with a tight seal. The Platinum Preppy available at JetPens is a great fountain pen to convert into an eyedropper fountain pen.

The following easy steps teach you the basics on how to make your very own eye dropper pen using the Platinum Preppy Fountain Pen as an example.

What you need: a Platinum Preppy Fountain Pen available at JetPens (you can choose any color), an O-ring gasket, silicon grease (optional), an eyedropper, and a bottle of ink.

Here we used a black Platinum Preppy Fountain Pen with a Noodler's Kung Te-Cheng Emperor's Purple since it already includes an eyedropper (now discontinued). The O-ring can be purchased at any hardware store. They should have a 1/16" thickness, with an outside diameter of 3/8" and inside diameter of 1/4 inch, and are sometimes referred to as #5 O-rings.


1. Disassemble the pen. If the cartridge has already been used, you can reference our past post, "Removing and Storing Ink Cartridges" for how to remove it and store it for future use.

2. Stretch the O-ring over the threads of the nib section. One way to do this is to anchor it with one hand while stretching it with the other. Once it is on, roll it down until it reaches the bottom of the threads.

3. To ensure that the O-ring is flush against the end, just screw on the barrel pointing downwards to position the O-ring. Only very light force is required. Optional: You can lubricate the threads with silicon grease as an extra measure of security.

4. Unscrew the barrel. You're now ready to fill it up with ink! Keep the barrel close to your ink bottle to reduce spills. Noodler's suggests filling up the barrel with ink until at least past the 1/3 marked to ensure proper air pressure.

5. Screw your fountain pen back together with the nib facing up. The O-ring should be compressed approximately 20-25%. Use firm but not excessive force, tightening the fountain pen too much can result in a crack. Important: Make sure the O-ring is firmly situated and properly sealing the pen or else your eye dropper pen will leak.

6. To get the ink flow going, GENTLY shake the pen up and down, periodically testing until the ink starts to flow. How quickly this occurs is an interesting characteristic of the ink; some inks require no shaking and some a minute or two. Keep the nib facing down to get a good flow.

Congratulations! You have made your very own eyedropper fountain pen. Now you are ready to write! Your Preppy should go quite a while before needing to be refilled.

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