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My Quest which ended in a DIY Lamy Safari Repair


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#1 PENtup

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Posted 16 May 2009 - 20:25

The Problem:
My Safari, my everyday workhorse, had a broken clip. It seemed to have "sprung" and did not fit parallel to the body anymore. This was a problem for me because with the clip not working properly, the pen had a tendency to fall out of its cap when in my pocket or shirt. I almost ruined a good pair of pants this way. You can see the picture below of what the cap looked like:

So, what I did next was call the LAMY support # listed on their website. It turned out to be filofax who Lamy contracted their American RMA out to. I got a pretty rude customer service agent who was not at all knowledgeable about Lamy products when I called. I was hesitant to send my pen into Lamy so I decided to look into repairing my pen myself. The first thing that I discovered is that the old Lamy safari's (pre 1995) had user serviceable caps that could be taken apart but that the ones in recent years do not. I looked at the build of my Lamy (2007-2008 model), and it seemed like the cap COULD be taken apart, which I found out to be true. I was able to repair my clip problem, and I will detail how with photo's in the post below. DISCLAIMER: according to the Lamy site doing this yourself breaks you warrant. I am in no means responsible for any injury or damage that occurs. Proceed at you own risk.

THE FIX:
First I had to find out how to disassemble the cap. I found that if you insert a metal cylinder into the cap and push down on a flat surface like a table the plastic end piece of the cap will pop off, revealing the inner workings. The picture of this is just demonstration of how one might do this as I took it after I had already disassembled the cap:

This next image is what the cap looks like after you pop the end piece:

Now we can remove the rubber piece which holds the nib in the cap, the O ring that seals the top of this piece from air, and the metal clip:



Here is a picture of the end-piece which we removed earlier:

This is what the Safari should now look like disassembled:

Now, the complicated [not really] part. I looked over the parts and realized that my problem came from a clip that was not manufactured correctly but had not caused a problem until a bend at the tip of the clip that should not have been there had "slipped" against the O-ring. I got some pliers and bent it in to what appeared should be the correct shape. I then assembled the parts of the cap without the actual shell of the cap to make sure they fit together right:

At this points I also modified the cap a little so that I would be able to cap it a little tighter by arranging the interior parts so that the cap moves about 1mm further down the body of the pen when it is fully assembled. This was mainly for my piece of mind, as my safari had always had a tendency to uncap in my pocket. Be very careful doing this modification because if you do it wrong your nib will crunch against the top of your cap when you cap your pen. I still had about 2mm of clearance and was satisfied that this would not cause me any trouble.
Next, we re-assemble the pen. We start off by putting the body of the pen with the nib covering placed on the nib into the shell of the cap:

Then we re-assemble the whole cap except for the end piece, which takes some pressure to put on. I had to apply quite a bit of pressure on it with my thumb to get it to fit, but eventually it fit smoothly:

Next, put on the body of the pen and admire your repair work:

I inked up my safari and it everything worked perfectly, just the same as before (sometimes I can't believe that it is a steel nib, it is that good). I carried it around in my pocket and noticed that I had to have the end-piece cap put on perfectly do to my modification or it would protrude about 1/4 mm from the top of the pen. Once I took this into account and very carefully aligned the end-piece it was no longer an issue for me. My repair fixed everything that I needed fixed.

Thanks for reading,
PENtup

#2 zorroflores

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Posted 16 May 2009 - 21:20

Great!, I was just looking this information to make tighter the clip of the cap of my Safari, you did make a very clear DIY, thanks!,

#3 PENtup

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Posted 16 May 2009 - 22:45

Has anyone else had success repairing their own Lamy?

#4 Souldrifter

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Posted 17 May 2009 - 01:13

Thanks for this info and the photos. I've got way too many Lamy's and know I'm going to have to do this someday. smile.gif

Just as an aside, I have detested my dealing with Filofax. In a word, they stink. They take forever to send anything, have no idea what in the world they're selling, and they send me the wrong stuff when I order. Never again.

#5 zorroflores

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Posted 17 May 2009 - 04:09

Improving the click of the Cap in a Lamy Safari, for those members who like to tinker with their pens

Adding to PENtup's DIY, I share an additional trick to improve the click of the cap to the section:

The black rubber piece inside the cap that receives the section (see picture 9 in PENtup's DIY above which shows the piece with the clip), has a built-in lip inside, close to its edge, this lip makes the click action against the edge of the section when the pen is closed.

The lip is rather shallow and I found that slightly reducing the inside diameter improves noticeably the securing of the section, and hence the capping of the pen.

I did the reduction in diameter by tying a thin copper wire around the black piece where the lip is located inside; I twisted the ends of the tying up to the point that I got a satisfactory click, then I cut the remaining of the wire leaving just a couple of the twists. This of course is done while you have the cap disassembled as suggested by PENtup (thanks again!).

It sounds complicate but once you see the piece is very easy and straightforward, the clicking is much resounding and the cap stays firmly in place.

(I'm thinking that one can pull a similar thin wire out of one of this wire ties that are used to close bread bags and similar).

Hope all this is useful and not to obscure smile.gif

Carlos Flores

#6 runnjump

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Posted 17 May 2009 - 21:50

I would caution only that tightening the cap in this way may increase the pressure or force beyond what the parts are "rated" for.
I am not an expert in materials science. Perhaps someone could comment on whether the ABS plastic or the rubbery material of the inner cap would experience excess fatigue or wear.

QUOTE (zorroflores @ May 17 2009, 12:09 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Improving the click of the Cap in a Lamy Safari, for those members who like to tinker with their pens

Adding to PENtup's DIY, I share an additional trick to improve the click of the cap to the section:

The black rubber piece inside the cap that receives the section (see picture 9 in PENtup's DIY above which shows the piece with the clip), has a built-in lip inside, close to its edge, this lip makes the click action against the edge of the section when the pen is closed.

The lip is rather shallow and I found that slightly reducing the inside diameter improves noticeably the securing of the section, and hence the capping of the pen.

I did the reduction in diameter by tying a thin copper wire around the black piece where the lip is located inside; I twisted the ends of the tying up to the point that I got a satisfactory click, then I cut the remaining of the wire leaving just a couple of the twists. This of course is done while you have the cap disassembled as suggested by PENtup (thanks again!).

It sounds complicate but once you see the piece is very easy and straightforward, the clicking is much resounding and the cap stays firmly in place.

(I'm thinking that one can pull a similar thin wire out of one of this wire ties that are used to close bread bags and similar).

Hope all this is useful and not to obscure smile.gif

Carlos Flores


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#7 yossiantokolitz

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Posted 20 May 2009 - 11:32

Thanks a lot. Much needed information I couldn't find.

#8 MJSchuelke

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Posted 12 June 2009 - 08:39

Do Al-Star caps work the same way? I've been trying to get the end piece out of a light blue Al-Star cap with a lose clip, but I can't seem to push it out as described...

#9 hilasmos

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Posted 13 June 2009 - 17:38

Thanks for the instructions. My pen was in the pocket of my shorts last night, and the spring got caught on something as I walked. The only thing I did differently is pry off the cap at the end with the tip of a pocket knife, because I could never get it to pop off by pushing from the inside.
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#10 AutomagV

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Posted 14 June 2009 - 14:42

Brilliant! Thank you so much. I was just about to hit "order" on a replacement cap for my Vista when I did a quick search and found this post. A friend of mind bent the clip on my cap while "testing it's build quality" with his fat freaking thumb. It was loose to say the least. Thanks to this thread I successfully popped the top, and bent the clip back into place and reassembled. It's like a new pen! Thanks again!

#11 jakespeed

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Posted 14 June 2009 - 15:37

QUOTE (AutomagV @ Jun 14 2009, 08:42 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Brilliant! Thank you so much. I was just about to hit "order" on a replacement cap for my Vista when I did a quick search and found this post. A friend of mind bent the clip on my cap while "testing it's build quality" with his fat freaking thumb. It was loose to say the least. Thanks to this thread I successfully popped the top, and bent the clip back into place and reassembled. It's like a new pen! Thanks again!


All you need now is a mod to turn the clip into some kind of mousetrap, so the next time your fat-thumbed friend goes at your pen he gets a surprise.
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#12 AutomagV

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Posted 14 June 2009 - 18:50

QUOTE (jakespeed @ Jun 14 2009, 11:37 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE (AutomagV @ Jun 14 2009, 08:42 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Brilliant! Thank you so much. I was just about to hit "order" on a replacement cap for my Vista when I did a quick search and found this post. A friend of mind bent the clip on my cap while "testing it's build quality" with his fat freaking thumb. It was loose to say the least. Thanks to this thread I successfully popped the top, and bent the clip back into place and reassembled. It's like a new pen! Thanks again!


All you need now is a mod to turn the clip into some kind of mousetrap, so the next time your fat-thumbed friend goes at your pen he gets a surprise.


Not a bad idea! Though, I think I've learned my lesson about letting the uninitiated use my favorite things. From now on I will luxuriate alone in the joy of putting pen to paper with my Vista while others will have to make due with the cheapo ball points that always seem to sneak into my collection. Take that chubby thumbs!

#13 aquatroll

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Posted 16 July 2009 - 07:56

Sorry for hopping up this thread but i've got the same problem with an Al-Star and this DIY does not work for me. I would appreciate a lot if some one can tell me if I', doing something wrong or if I have to try other methods on this fountain pen.

#14 LDB415

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Posted 16 July 2009 - 18:29

Was this pen carried in a pants pocket? I'd suspect it was and the clip was "sprung" due to flexing it wasn't meant to have. Pants pockets are not and never were meant for carrying pens (and I have the Kevlar/Nomex shorts to ward off the flames and arrows). Pens should be carried in the pocket of a decent looking shirt. Anyway, just curious if the clip "injury" was due to pants pocket carry.
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#15 aquatroll

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Posted 16 July 2009 - 19:55

My problem was because I past to close to my cars door and the clip hooked to the door while the pen was still in my pocket. As I walked away, the clip was streched untill the whole pen (happy for me it kept the cap on) flew 2-3 meters away.

#16 ZeissIkon

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Posted 17 July 2009 - 00:25

QUOTE (aquatroll @ Jul 16 2009, 03:55 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
My problem was because I past to close to my cars door and the clip hooked to the door while the pen was still in my pocket. As I walked away, the clip was streched untill the whole pen (happy for me it kept the cap on) flew 2-3 meters away.


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#17 Augustine

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Posted 17 July 2009 - 14:18

I have a Vista that I sprung the clip on. This thread was exactly what I needed; it's good as new now!

#18 Pfhorrest

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Posted 18 July 2009 - 18:24

Can you reassemble the pen without the clip? I would like a Safari without a clip.
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#19 nuntym

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Posted 22 April 2010 - 05:13

Sorry for resurrecting an old thread, but I found out that the best way to remove the plastic end-piece was by using a blunt-ended Philips screwdriver: I only used quite a small force when I tried this.

I just thought it might help someone.

Kudos to Mint for a brilliant and useful post ^___^

#20 Rev. Nathan

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Posted 23 April 2010 - 09:07

I JUST posted a thread about this about 4 days ago. Thank you! Will do this later today. Begs the question: How common is this problem? Is this the Safari's biggest fault?

EDIT: My pen, embarrassingly, clipped to a metal sign while in my pocket. I guess the pressure was enough to send my clip flying, ruining the pressure of my clip. I guess no fault to Lamy specifically, but I would think the clip would be more durable than that, being so thick and all.

Edited by Rev. Nathan, 23 April 2010 - 09:09.

|| Lamy Safari (F) || Parker 51 (M) || J. Herbin Violette Pensee || Rhodia No. 12 ||


#21 Bo Bo Olson

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Posted 23 April 2010 - 09:24

I favor shirts with pockets my self. One could of course get a shirt pocket sewed into pen holders.

I think that puts less stress on a pen than sticking it in a pants pocket.

I am of course old fashioned, powdered wig, buckle shoes and sword cane.
I also have a cigar case for three cigars as a pen carrier.

Great work though.

Due to Mauricio's improved definition of Super-flex, I no longer use the term Easy Full Flex.

 

Semi-flex is an “almost” flex; not a ‘flex’ nib. It is great for regular writing with a touch of flair. It can give you some fancy; but it is not made for real fancy writing. For bit more of that get a 'flexi'/maxi-semi-flex. Both spread tines 3X.  Those are not "Flex" nibs. 

 

Odd, how many who should know better, compares Japanese F (which equals EF), with Western F, with out a second thought, but do not compare Japanese B with Western B.

 

Wider than Normal does not exist. Wider than Japanese does. Every company has it's very own standard + slop/tolerance. Developed from the users of it's pens only; not the users of other companies pens. The size you grind a nib to, is your standard only. Paper and ink matter to nib width. Thank god for 1/2 sizes or it would be boring.


#22 Ernst Bitterman

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Posted 23 April 2010 - 17:38

A gentlemen never carries a pen lower than his vest pockets.

Of course, a Safari looks damn silly in a waitcoat. :wacko:
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#23 Rev. Nathan

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Posted 23 April 2010 - 19:12

I favor shirts with pockets my self. One could of course get a shirt pocket sewed into pen holders.

I think that puts less stress on a pen than sticking it in a pants pocket.

I am of course old fashioned, powdered wig, buckle shoes and sword cane.
I also have a cigar case for three cigars as a pen carrier.

Great work though.

I agreee. The dress shirt I was wearing that day did not have a shirt pocket. Sometimes I clip it to my button openings, but it looks a little silly. Hence, why it was in my pants. Also, if I'm weating blue jeans and a t-shirt I put it that "third" pocket-within-a-pocket in my pants.

|| Lamy Safari (F) || Parker 51 (M) || J. Herbin Violette Pensee || Rhodia No. 12 ||


#24 wheezur

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Posted 24 April 2010 - 03:01

As there have been a number of posts where people mention carrying their pen in their pants pockets, I have a fashion/etiquette question: does one use, or not use, a pocket protector when carrying a pen in your pants pocket?

#25 Bo Bo Olson

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Posted 25 April 2010 - 06:05

Kaweco, the German Pen; has always been made a pen to carry in the pants pocket. Kaweco sport, since 1930. "ugly" short, solid, robust; made for pants pocket carry.

The only shirts I have with out a pocket is stuff my wife use to buy...because she thought I didn't have enough...which I did; or she wanted me to get rid of my Vintage Shirts, that are only 15-20 years old, and slowly showing age. You know good made shirts by Land's End or LL Bean,
Well Wives are as trainable as husbands.

Due to Mauricio's improved definition of Super-flex, I no longer use the term Easy Full Flex.

 

Semi-flex is an “almost” flex; not a ‘flex’ nib. It is great for regular writing with a touch of flair. It can give you some fancy; but it is not made for real fancy writing. For bit more of that get a 'flexi'/maxi-semi-flex. Both spread tines 3X.  Those are not "Flex" nibs. 

 

Odd, how many who should know better, compares Japanese F (which equals EF), with Western F, with out a second thought, but do not compare Japanese B with Western B.

 

Wider than Normal does not exist. Wider than Japanese does. Every company has it's very own standard + slop/tolerance. Developed from the users of it's pens only; not the users of other companies pens. The size you grind a nib to, is your standard only. Paper and ink matter to nib width. Thank god for 1/2 sizes or it would be boring.


#26 TMLee

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Posted 21 June 2011 - 15:28

Thanks to your post ,
my attempt at swapping clips (4th generation Safaris) described here ....

http://www.fountainp...ost__p__2016980

Thanks a bundle ... :thumbup:

#27 neselena

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Posted 19 September 2011 - 00:57

Thank you!!
This is exactly what I needed!

#28 kinson

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Posted 12 December 2011 - 05:56

Thanks a million for the guide! I left the pen in my pocket and had the clip bent. My colleague googled this page and solved it for me! Great job!

#29 jptech

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Posted 05 April 2013 - 13:56

Thanks for the pictures.

#30 meram

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Posted 16 April 2013 - 06:35

I've just done this to my Lamy Vista but now when I put the cap back on, it still clicks closed and seems like it won't pop off, but it's definitely a looser fit. Does anyone know how to adjust the fit?