Pen Cleaning Disaster! (Again...)

I'm taking a pause from normally semi-fun pen cleaning to report a sad tale.

The nib from my Platinum 3776 Century Sai went bye-bye down the bathroom sink. This is the second nib to leave me for the journey to Lake Ontario. Exactly 60 days I ago I had tweeted this sad message:

2016-07-01, 8:18 AM
Pen cleaning disasaster! ‪@1901FC‬ matsuyama needlepoint nib just went down the drain. 😭

The first time it happened I watched as the nib slipped into the drain hole. Then I made a feeble attempt to recover the nib. Feeble meaning:

  • I tried to remove the drain plug.
  • When unsuccessful, I tried to peer underneath the drain plug.
  • Rescue operation fail.

This time, I did not actually realize the beautiful medium 14K Platinum 3776 nib had made an escape. I was cleaning a bunch of parts separated into individual cups and putting the parts into a larger bowl. I dumped out the waste water from the little cups and when I looked in the bowl I had the distinct feeling that I could not locate the nib. After pushing around the contents of the bowl and muttering WTF I concluded the nib was gone. During this time, the water was still running.

After the initial shock, anger and dismay subsided, I decided to do a proper rescue operation. I'm a modern DIY kind of pen gal - who doesn't know anything about plumbing. I'm pretty handy, but I always drew the line when it came to plumbing and electricity. With a favoured gold nib on the line, I felt motivated to overcome my reservations on plumbing.

I googled and found some instructions on how to recover contents from a bathroom drain. They seemed pretty do-able for a plumbing newbie so I went ahead. Sadly, I couldn't make it past the second step which is: "Unscrew the slip nut at the J-Bend. Remember, lefty-loosey righty-tighty. No tools are required."

Yeah, except that the slip nut on my drain has putty on it. It's locked in really tight.

I looked for some tools to help unscrew that darn slip nut but came up short.

I skipped ahead to part 2 of the instructions which involves removing the pop-up drain pivot rod. This turned out to be easy to do but I couldn't locate the nib still.

I haven't given up hope yet. The water to the sink is still shut off. I'll get the right tools tomorrow to undo those slip nuts!!

I'll have to give some thought to preventing this from happening again. I was more cautious after the needlepoint was lost but old habits have a way of coming back...drain plug was open too wide, faucets running too fast.

If you encounter a disaster situation as I did, the plumbing needed to recover something from down a bathroom drain is pretty easy. So I definitely suggest trying a rescue operation.

I'll report back when I have an update (hopefully positive...)

The beloved nib that is no-more...for now... Pray to the pen gods for it's safe return.