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How to clean a lever filler


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#1 froro

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Posted 27 June 2009 - 23:22

I just got my first Estie from eBay and was wondering how to clean it, as it's my first lever filler.

#2 ZeissIkon

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Posted 28 June 2009 - 00:00

QUOTE (froro @ Jun 27 2009, 07:22 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I just got my first Estie from eBay and was wondering how to clean it, as it's my first lever filler.


Assuming the lever moves easily, basic cleaning is just a matter of filling and emptying, repeatedly, with plain water around room temperature. DO NOT force the lever; if it requires more force than flipping a light switch, something is wrong internally (most likely a hardened sac) and the pen requires repair. The lever compresses a spring-loaded bar inside the barrel, so there'll be some resistance (and if the bar is the original, the lever will actually stay in the fully extended position, about right angles to the barrel), but not much.

Now, with Esterbrooks, there's a secondary cleaning option: because the nib unit unscrews from the section, you can take the nib unit out and do a much more thorough job of cleaning the sac by operating the lever with the nibless section in water -- this will draw more water, more rapidly, and will clear the sac more completely as a result -- but you still need to clean by the normal filling operation, because this forces water both directions through the nib and feed to clean them.
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#3 RayMan

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Posted 28 June 2009 - 02:01

QUOTE (ZeissIkon @ Jun 27 2009, 08:00 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Now, with Esterbrooks, there's a secondary cleaning option: because the nib unit unscrews from the section, you can take the nib unit out and do a much more thorough job of cleaning the sac by operating the lever with the nibless section in water -- this will draw more water, more rapidly, and will clear the sac more completely as a result. . . .


Yep. That's pretty much how I clean an Estie sac, though I don't work the lever as much as I do when cleaning other brands of lever pen.

Regards,

Ray

#4 OcalaFlGuy

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Posted 28 June 2009 - 02:10

Once you've flushed the nib out, you can always remove it and use a syringe to flush out the sac thru the
section. That does a thorough job pretty quickly too.

Bruce in Ocala, FL

#5 Rob G

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Posted 28 June 2009 - 03:28

I use a syringe or a pipette with lots of pressure to get the old ink out of the sac, or, if the section will come out of the barrel, pump it with my fingers with the section immersed. (When the ink pumps out, it looks like smoke rings.) Then a dental swab (not a Q-Tip) gently drawn in and out to totally wipe it clean.

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#6 holgalee

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Posted 30 June 2009 - 13:59

Got my Estie yesterday, from Tom Heath. thumbup.gif I cleaned it well but now there's some water trapped 'behind' the lever. What should I do? Is that why some vintage pens ahve rusted levers?

#7 Beechwood

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Posted 30 June 2009 - 14:07

dont forget that the Estie nib should unscrew to allow a thorough clean

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#8 OcalaFlGuy

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Posted 30 June 2009 - 15:11

QUOTE (holgalee @ Jun 30 2009, 09:59 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Got my Estie yesterday, from Tom Heath. thumbup.gif I cleaned it well but now there's some water trapped 'behind' the lever. What should I do? Is that why some vintage pens ahve rusted levers?


You have water sloshing around inside the pen with the nib section in place?

That's not good.

If you are flushing the pen with the section in place, all you are doing is either flushing the nib or the sac from the open
section end, you shouldn't get any amount of water near the lever area or it will get inside the pen thru there. The j-bar inside is just spring steel (not stainless) and will rust.

If I am understanding you correctly, now you HAVE to pull the section and get it all dried out. You could probably get most
of the moisture out with a hairdryer after pulling the section but I'd probably pull the j-bar too and BE SURE it is nice and
dry. There are places inside the bar where moisture could collect and you'd have to be very dilligent with the hair dryer to dry it. Plus, I don't think throwing alot of real hot air up inside the barrel is that good of an idea, it could warp it or barrel bulge it. Much better to just dry it out with a paper towel spear and air dry (with the j-bar out).

The aftermarket j-bars aren't as good (IMO) as the stock ones and otherwise, you'll need to get replacement j-bars from
parts pens. They aren't readily available otheriwse. You should take measures to take care of the stock one in the pen
if it's in decent shape or get it that way if possible by sanding/steel wooling the rust off of it.

Bruce in Ocala, FL


#9 holgalee

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Posted 01 July 2009 - 00:30

Hi Bruce, thanks for the information! I don't think there's enought water to slosh around, but some water did creep out from the lever. How do I pull out the section? I've only been able to unscrew the nib. I've been positioning the pen with the lever resting on tissue, and also worked a corner of paper into the area behind the lever to soak up the water. Do you think that's sufficient?

#10 OcalaFlGuy

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Posted 01 July 2009 - 01:34

QUOTE (holgalee @ Jun 30 2009, 08:30 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Hi Bruce, thanks for the information! I don't think there's enought water to slosh around, but some water did creep out from the lever. How do I pull out the section? I've only been able to unscrew the nib. I've been positioning the pen with the lever resting on tissue, and also worked a corner of paper into the area behind the lever to soak up the water. Do you think that's sufficient?


Honestly, no. If there's even a few drops of water in there, it's probably on the j-bar and you need to get it out of there.

Not being a jerk here but you can read alot faster than I can type. Do a search (tab upper right) in this forum for "section", "pull section", or "restore" and you have a ton of posts that will have all that info. Richard Binder
also has a section on "resaccing a lever fill pen" on his page that briefly covers pulling a section.

If that doesn't get you what you need, holler back.

(PS screw the nib back in before you get ready to pull the section.)

Bruce in Ocala, FL

#11 holgalee

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Posted 02 July 2009 - 12:45

Thanks, Bruce! I'll search the Internet.