My last puzzle didn’t trouble anyone very much, though no-one guessed what I actually use it for, as opposed to what it was intended for. I might now and again blow the odd stray speck off the lens of my camera with it, but the real bane of my life is lint on dark pens and the little bellows makes a fine job of blowing that away.
It somewhat resembles this thing, which is a very useful and time-saving tool. I don’t believe in knocking out nibs and feeds unless there’s a very good reason to do so. It’s never easy to re-seat a nib precisely as it should be, and some nibs – Parker Duofolds for instance, and some all-metals Wahls – can make your life quite a trial when you come to refit them. Best to leave them where they are except in cases of absolute necessity. After all, they were probably factory-fitted and those guys had the tools and the experience to do it right.
The cases of absolute necessity for me were where nib repair necessitates removal, where the nib and/or feed have become seriously displaced, or where old dried ink has totally clogged the feed. This little nib and feed flushing bulb removes the latter necessity in almost every case. A little gentle pumping gets the water moving through the feed and soon the assembly is as clean as a new pin.
Once you’ve done it a few times, knocking out a nib is an easy procedure, but as with any procedure with old pens, there’s a risk of damage, however small. Anything that minimises that risk is a bonus and it saves the time that would be spent resetting the nib too. It’s all good!