Science Experiment

To make rock candy:

  1. Find a glass jar with a capacity of about 1 quart (about 1 L). Tie one end of a piece of rough string (wool, cotton, or sisal) to a pencil that is long enough to bridge the opening of the jar. Adjust the length of the string so that the loose end does not quite touch the bottom of the jar inside. Tie the loose end to a small metal ob­ject, and check to make sure that the weight does not touch the bottom of the jar.

  2. In a large saucepan, bring 1 U.S. pint (473 ml) of water to a boil. Add 1 U.S. quart (946 ml) of ordinary sugar. Stir until completely dissolved. Now begin adding sugar a tablespoon at a time, stirring to dissolve the sugar. When you have added enough sugar, the next spoonful you add will not dissolve. Stop adding sugar; you have created a saturated solution.

  3. Pour the sugar syrup into the jar, but do not allow any un­dis­solved sugar to get into the jar. Suspend the string in the syrup. Lay the pencil across the top of the jar, cover the open­ing with a few sheets of newspaper, and go away. As the syrup cools, the sugar begins to come out of solution and stick to the string, even­tu­ally growing into very large crystals.

  4. After a few days, you can pour out the remain­ing water. Hang the sugar crystals up to dry for a day or so, then break them apart by hitting then with a meat tenderizer.

Now imagine that the string is your pen‘s feed and the sugar is the dye in your ink. There is always some evaporation of the water in the ink, and this is why feeds become clogged if not kept clean.