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Restoring a Parker Duofold 'Lucky Curve'


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#1 Pensee

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Posted 04 April 2009 - 19:54

This topic also posted at repair q/a

Picked up a Duofold "lucky curve" today. Nice looking greenish marble, but estate seller's caveat: "Old pen's like these usually need servicing. It does not write. Price is for pen as is."

So figure sac will probably need replacing at bare minimum.

Question then: can nib section be removed w/o special tools? Comes apart like a Waterman 94? Threaded? Snapped in place?

Also, with Watermans I usually clean the channel & little fissures. Anything I need to know about feed & nib removal?

Sometimes picture worth 1000 words, so adding vendor photo edited in PS if that helps.

[attachment=48892:ProjectPen.JPG]

This is my first foray into mechanics of duofolds so any tips, suggestions most welcome.

thx

--Bruce

Edited by Pensee, 04 April 2009 - 21:45.


#2 penmanila

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Posted 04 April 2009 - 23:02

i've fixed up quite a few of these old duofolds, and no special tools are required, except perhaps for a pair of pliers (covered with some protective rubber at the working end, so you don't scar what it'll grip) to unscrew the section with (after softening that portion up with a soak--i use an ultrasonic cleaner, but some gentle heat might work as well; sometimes they just open up). and maybe some kind of pick to get out the old bits ands pieces of the bladder with. here's what a duofold will look like, taken apart (i've included the silicone sac i replaced the old one with--silicone will not discolor the barrel like the old rubber did):



when it's all been taken apart and the parts cleaned, put them back together by attaching the new sac to the nipple end of the section (i often put a bit of talcum powder on the sac, to make it easier for things to slide in and past it), screwing the section back into the barrel, working the pressure bar in from the other end (making sure it loops over the shoulder of the sac inside), nudging the button into place (don't worry--you can pull this out and pop it back in quite easily) over the exposed end of the pressure bar. replace the blind cap, and you're set to go.

anyone with more experience, kindly correct or amend the procedure as you may see fit, thanks!

Edited by penmanila, 04 April 2009 - 23:09.

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#3 Pensee

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Posted 05 April 2009 - 00:00

Thanks for reply : )

Also on e-bay was a Parker repair manual & two sample pages showed all sorts of bench equipment. Was thinking, oh dear what have I gotten myself into!

Your step by step post will be very helpful when pen arrives, so thanks again.

--Bruce

#4 Osmaroid

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Posted 05 April 2009 - 01:15

I opened this topic to search on removing the clip on a Lucky Curve, and saw on the answer to this post that Penmanila has done it - how do I go about that - just gently unscrew the flat top? Any help gratefully accepted.

#5 penmanila

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Posted 05 April 2009 - 03:34

yes, it should just unscrew, although it could be a little tight.
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#6 Barry Gabay

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Posted 05 April 2009 - 16:08

QUOTE (Pensee @ Apr 4 2009, 07:54 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
This topic also posted at repair q/a

Picked up a Duofold "lucky curve" today. Nice looking greenish marble, but estate seller's caveat: "Old pen's like these usually need servicing. It does not write. Price is for pen as is."


Congratulations on your recent Duofold find. You know, if your pen's green barrel is marked with one of the two "Lucky Curve" logos, it's rarer than the later "Duofold" model. The pens are identical except for the absence of "Duofold" on the very early green barrels. I agree with all of the previous repair advice. Just be patient and don't force anything. If after soaking the section doesn't unscrew easily, soak some more. The Duofold is, in my opinion, the easiest of the great pens to work on. Actually, it's the easiest of all the pens my limited mechanical ability allows me to attempt. Fully broken down, it has only 10 parts; bladder makes 11. Because the parts are so readily available, there's no need to repair anything; just replace them. The parts are cap tube, cap top, pocket clip, barrel, blind (or false) cap, brass button, pressure bar, section, feed, nib. Good luck and have fun!







So figure sac will probably need replacing at bare minimum.

Question then: can nib section be removed w/o special tools? Comes apart like a Waterman 94? Threaded? Snapped in place?

Also, with Watermans I usually clean the channel & little fissures. Anything I need to know about feed & nib removal?

Sometimes picture worth 1000 words, so adding vendor photo edited in PS if that helps.

[attachment=48892:ProjectPen.JPG]

This is my first foray into mechanics of duofolds so any tips, suggestions most welcome.

thx

--Bruce



#7 Osmaroid

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Posted 05 April 2009 - 16:14

QUOTE (penmanila @ Apr 4 2009, 11:34 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
yes, it should just unscrew, although it could be a little tight.



Thanks, I had not dared to try until I was told how. I used a pair of section pliers and it worked a charm.

#8 Hirsch

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Posted 06 April 2009 - 15:47

QUOTE (Pensee @ Apr 4 2009, 03:54 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Anything I need to know about feed & nib removal?


Once you remove the old sac, you can check to see if the "lucky curve" is still there. If it's already gone, ignore the rest of this.

If the "lucky curve" part of the feed is intact, you can't use a dowel/knockout block to push the feed out of the section. You'll see a lot of lucky curve feeds missing the lucky curve for this reason. Either a knockout block was tried, and the lucky curve broken, or the lucky curve was deliberately broken to make removing the feed easier. In any case, the feed will still work, but it's far better to preserve the lucky curve if you've got it. To preserve the lucky curve, you need to pull the nib and feed from the front end of the section, rather than push from the rear. Removing the nib is normally a relatively simple affair. Removing the feed is not so simple, as it can be broken if too much pressure is put on it. Use a piece of rubber to get a good grip. A bit of soaking, a bit of heat, and a lot of patience can get this done.

If the nib appears mounted correctly, and you've got a complete lucky curve feed, the safest approach might be leaving the nib and feed in place, and doing a thorough rinse or ultrasonic cleaning without disassembling the section/feed/nib unit.

#9 Pensee

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Posted 11 April 2009 - 22:39

QUOTE (Hirsch @ Apr 6 2009, 10:47 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE (Pensee @ Apr 4 2009, 03:54 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Anything I need to know about feed & nib removal?


Once you remove the old sac, you can check to see if the "lucky curve" is still there. If it's already gone, ignore the rest of this.

If the "lucky curve" part of the feed is intact, you can't use a dowel/knockout block to push the feed out of the section. You'll see a lot of lucky curve feeds missing the lucky curve for this reason. Either a knockout block was tried, and the lucky curve broken, or the lucky curve was deliberately broken to make removing the feed easier. In any case, the feed will still work, but it's far better to preserve the lucky curve if you've got it. To preserve the lucky curve, you need to pull the nib and feed from the front end of the section, rather than push from the rear. Removing the nib is normally a relatively simple affair. Removing the feed is not so simple, as it can be broken if too much pressure is put on it. Use a piece of rubber to get a good grip. A bit of soaking, a bit of heat, and a lot of patience can get this done.

If the nib appears mounted correctly, and you've got a complete lucky curve feed, the safest approach might be leaving the nib and feed in place, and doing a thorough rinse or ultrasonic cleaning without disassembling the section/feed/nib unit.


[attachment=49530:ProjectPen_Parts.JPG]

Infer I’m 'not so lucky' on this “Lucky Curve.”

While pen was just low cost ‘experiment’, wouldn’t be happy buyer for “Lucky Curve” only to find it’s been lopped off! : 0 !

So how common a practice was this? (Put another way, what are odds of actually getting intact feed?)

I'm thinking e-bay might not be best place to go speculating on 'bargain' duofolds if you can't see.

Ah well, can't win them all-- at least the nib seems to be in good shape. Worth pursuing (olive drab barrel too), or consign to parts?

thx

--Bruce

#10 Hirsch

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Posted 13 April 2009 - 15:25

QUOTE (Pensee @ Apr 11 2009, 06:39 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Infer I'm 'not so lucky' on this "Lucky Curve."

While pen was just low cost 'experiment', wouldn't be happy buyer for "Lucky Curve" only to find it's been lopped off! : 0 !

So how common a practice was this? (Put another way, what are odds of actually getting intact feed?)

I'm thinking e-bay might not be best place to go speculating on 'bargain' duofolds if you can't see.

Ah well, can't win them all-- at least the nib seems to be in good shape. Worth pursuing (olive drab barrel too), or consign to parts?

thx

--Bruce


Yep, there is no "Lucky Curve" on the end of the feed. I've gotten most of my Duofolds from dealers, and, of the few I've gotten from eBay, I can only remember one that had an intact Lucky Curve feed. Luckily, that pen was sold as unrestored, so a restorer who didn't know how to get the feed out hadn't had a chance to break it yet. (No guarantee though, as many "unrestored" pens on eBay actually mean "I tried to restore it and screwed up".) Even Duofolds from dealers can be missing the Lucky Curve, so you really need to buy from a reputable dealer and ask about the feed, if you want to insure that the Lucky Curve is present.

That said, there's no reason to consign the pen to parts (although a nicer barrel would be a plus. a clean jade Duofold is not an inexpensive pen unless you get very "lucky"). It should still be a fine writer. The effect of the Lucky Curve end of the feed on the pen's writing ability is minimal.

Edited by Hirsch, 13 April 2009 - 15:26.


#11 Pensee

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Posted 14 April 2009 - 17:43

QUOTE (Hirsch @ Apr 13 2009, 10:25 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Yep, there is no "Lucky Curve" on the end of the feed. I've gotten most of my Duofolds from dealers, and, of the few I've gotten from eBay, I can only remember one that had an intact Lucky Curve feed. Luckily, that pen was sold as unrestored, so a restorer who didn't know how to get the feed out hadn't had a chance to break it yet. (No guarantee though, as many "unrestored" pens on eBay actually mean "I tried to restore it and screwed up".) Even Duofolds from dealers can be missing the Lucky Curve, so you really need to buy from a reputable dealer and ask about the feed, if you want to insure that the Lucky Curve is present.

That said, there's no reason to consign the pen to parts (although a nicer barrel would be a plus. a clean jade Duofold is not an inexpensive pen unless you get very "lucky"). It should still be a fine writer. The effect of the Lucky Curve end of the feed on the pen's writing ability is minimal.


Thanks for reply. Chalk up missing part of feed to 'experience' I suppose.

Nib is smooth even if too stiff for trying to write 'flex'. 'Noodle' it is not.

One final question. Can anyone suggest tips/pointers to lighten discolored barrel? Are there any?

As per photo, barrel looks an appetizing shade of canned spinach; cap looks like it is from different pen. : 0 !

thx

--Bruce

#12 Rapscallion

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Posted 06 October 2012 - 01:18

i've fixed up quite a few of these old duofolds, and no special tools are required, except perhaps for a pair of pliers (covered with some protective rubber at the working end, so you don't scar what it'll grip) to unscrew the section with (after softening that portion up with a soak--i use an ultrasonic cleaner, but some gentle heat might work as well; sometimes they just open up). and maybe some kind of pick to get out the old bits ands pieces of the bladder with. here's what a duofold will look like, taken apart (i've included the silicone sac i replaced the old one with--silicone will not discolor the barrel like the old rubber did):

<img src="http://farm4.static....1483874c3c.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" />

when it's all been taken apart and the parts cleaned, put them back together by attaching the new sac to the nipple end of the section (i often put a bit of talcum powder on the sac, to make it easier for things to slide in and past it), screwing the section back into the barrel, working the pressure bar in from the other end (making sure it loops over the shoulder of the sac inside), nudging the button into place (don't worry--you can pull this out and pop it back in quite easily) over the exposed end of the pressure bar. replace the blind cap, and you're set to go.

anyone with more experience, kindly correct or amend the procedure as you may see fit, thanks!


Sorry for pulling this post out of the past but I recently came into possession of a pretty beaten up old Duofold Jr Lucky Curve. It's not in working order with a cracked nib and a ruined rubber ink reservoir. You mentioned above that you replaced the ink sac with a silicone version and I was wondering where you found it. I have been unable to locate a source for a replacement so far. I would like to restore my pen if I can manage it, seems like a fun project. Many thanks for your time.

#13 zepharia2

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Posted 06 October 2012 - 02:48

You can get the inc sac you need from woodbin. There are other places, this is just the one I have dealt with.

Good luck!

#14 Rapscallion

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Posted 06 October 2012 - 12:06

You can get the inc sac you need from woodbin. There are other places, this is just the one I have dealt with.

Good luck!


Thank you. That is a huge help.

#15 DrCodfish

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Posted 08 October 2012 - 04:24

I always wondered where the term Lucky Curve came from.

#16 Darcy1978

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Posted 16 August 2014 - 05:58

It may have been mentioned and I may have missed it - if so I apologise. But my question is: how does one best clean the blind cap of a Lucky Curve? Would you use a special cleaning agent and if so which one? And how do you polish the barrel?


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#17 penmanila

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Posted 16 August 2014 - 07:02

I just use jeweler's cloth or, if the blind cap has become rough and cloudy, maybe some Simichrome (polishing paste) for truly rough spots on the barrel. Don't use Simichrome on the precious imprint, or it will be buffed out. The blind cap is hard rubber so sometimes it will oxidize (kind of go brownish) and there's not a whole lot you can do about that. Replacement blind caps aren't too hard to find (try the Lotts at fivestarpens.com).
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#18 Darcy1978

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Posted 16 August 2014 - 08:37

Excellent, thanks!


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