Your handmade fountain pen will need some regular maintenance to keep in tip top shape. Since fountain pens use an ink that needs to flow from the ink reservoir to the nib, it needs to be clean to function properly. Whether the ink is in a cartridge or supplied via an ink converter, the pen needs to remain clean.
Most problems with fountain pens stem from dried ink that get in the path of the ink flow. This can occur in the nib, the convertor assembly, or barrel. The key to a well-performing fountain pen is to regularly clean these assemblies to keep them in good working order.
Use distilled water instead of tap water. Distilled water does not contain minerals and other ingredients that can build up and clog the pen over time. Hot water shouldn't be used as a general rule, as it could damage the plastics and other glues that are used to assemble the sections together.
Also, take care to keep water off of the pen's body. Pens are made from REAL wood, which can be damaged by water. The front part of the pen (barrel) will unscrew from the pen's body. That way it can be easily cleaned. Make sure it is dry before reassembly.
Cleaning the Nib
You can gently clean the pen's nib with distilled water and a q-tip or other soft cloth. Be careful not to damage the nib while cleaning it. Take your time, and you can soak the nib should it be required in distilled water. If there is a lot of dried ink, you can gently use an old toothbrush to gentle remove the dried ink.
Cleaning the Converter
The converter holds the ink. It should be cleaned separately and can be cleaned with water by flushing it out several times until the water runs clear and clean. This may take 10 cycles to clean.
Barrel / Nib Section
You can flush the nib section (once disconnected from the pen's body) with water and a small ear syringe. Remove the nib section, place the ear syringe (with water inside) over the nib cartridge receptacle and force the water through. This can be done several times. You can then wrap some paper towels around the nib and then flip your wrist down like you are shaking a thermometer. This will force the water out the nib assembly.
Let it dry overnight completely if you are going to store the pen. If you are going to use the pen again shortly, let it dry a few hours before refilling or the ink may not have the correct viscosity .