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#1 kathleen

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Posted 20 December 2010 - 21:38

I thought it might be fun to have a thread in which to report on our patients.
Today Kathleen's Estie Clinic is discharging two patients.
The Blue Transitional underwent a sac ectomy and sac replacement plus an upgrade to 9550 nib.
The Green J is recovered with a J bar replacement and also underwent a sacectomy and sac replacement.

Both pens are delighted to be released from the clinic, just in time for Christmas! Before being discharged the Green J was requesting Diamine Sherwood Green ink.

Sadly some other patients remain in the clinic languishing in the pre-op tray, several are in pieces having already undergone exploratory examinations). With Christmas so close, no more surgeries will be scheduled until after the first of the year.

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Edited by kathleen, 20 December 2010 - 21:49.

"Be glad of life because it gives you the chance to love and to work and to play and to look up at the stars" ~Henry Van Dyke

Trying to rescue and restore all the beautiful Esties to their purpose.

#2 pen2paper

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Posted 20 December 2010 - 21:42

too bad I live so far away..
would seek position of surgical assistant..
would be a blast! : )

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#3 watchin

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Posted 21 December 2010 - 01:11

On the replacement of the J bar were you able to find a good used one or did you go with a brand new one? If you used a new one, did it need to be modified or did you use it as it was? The recommended modification (removing the side ridges with a dremel) seem like a pain to me. I have successfully used them as they come but prefer original equipment if possible. I like the 90 degree stop 'bump'.
-William-

#4 kathleen

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Posted 21 December 2010 - 02:29

William, I used a new j bar. I have to file away flanges on either side to make it a proper fit. It does not have the detent (bump) to stop lever rotation beyond 90 degrees. Bruce and some others mentioned a possible way of creating a detent, I believe it involved a hammer and nail, I've never tried it. I am somewhat afraid I would totally bend, ruin the j bar and while I have ordered sacs 20 at a time, I have only ordered six j bars, and always hope my patient will not need a new one.


My next patient is a red SJ. I have the original J bar removed and cleaned. I've had it in and out of the pen twice and can not get it to sit up in the barrel as it should, I haven't figured out the correction yet, I think I need to re-shape the crook at the end of the bar.
The little red SJ underwent sacectomy and resac, its section with sac looks great. I am hoping to use the original J bar but something about it is not right.

Pen2paper, I would welcome you as an assistant anytime. How are you with power tools? I do not like re-shaping j bars and using the Dremel. I would love someone to take over that procedure. I would happily share with you the inking and test writing that precedes any pen leaving the clinic; that's the fun part!

Edited by kathleen, 21 December 2010 - 02:44.

"Be glad of life because it gives you the chance to love and to work and to play and to look up at the stars" ~Henry Van Dyke

Trying to rescue and restore all the beautiful Esties to their purpose.

#5 Autopoint

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Posted 21 December 2010 - 11:00

...I've never tried it. I am somewhat afraid I would totally bend, ruin..


Pen repair is sort of like water skiing. You're not sure what it's about or the mechanics involved until you try it. But of course, the primary standard of care is "no harm" to the patient being attended.

I'd encourage you to simply expand your surgical efforts gradually. For example, find a black J or SJ or LJ barrel (since they're the most common) which already has some kind of severe defect (like deep pliers marks or an area swollen by heat, etc.), and use/reuse it as a "practice dummy" (in my area medics use a rubber "Rescusi Annie").

If you're not positive about the precise mechanics of a J-bar, try making one out of a child's hair barrette from the local dollar store (an old time ex-cop Estie fancier taught me this; I get 4 for a dollar). The "hook" of the J provides spring tension to hold the J bar up inside the barrel, as well as to hold the large side of the bar against the inside of the barrel, away from the sac. Try installing and removing the barrette/J bar until you get the necessary angle of the bend in the "hook" end of the J bar/barrette exactly right. Then try making a detent/bump/stop in the long side of the barrette so it holds the fill lever at the preferred 90 degree angle. Obviously there's no problem discarding failed experiments when new patients are 4 for a dollar! Once you get competent with the barrette and the dummy Estie, you may well decide your surgical skills have improved sufficiently to attempt the same procedure with a real J-bar.

Of course...for Esties you intend to keep...you may cross over to the far side and decide that barrettes work just fine at 10% of the cost of real J bars...

- - - Hope over the holidays some of your "fixins" are edible, Jim
Collector of Autopoint + Realite + Realpoint, and Esterbrook accumulator

#6 pen2paper

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Posted 21 December 2010 - 12:11

hmm :hmm1: I have a set of directional tinsnips.

and was one adept at ceiling tile commercial cuts..

these days, can't guarantee hand-eye coordination.. the red spilt might not be ink..



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#7 corniche

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Posted 21 December 2010 - 14:08

Hello Kathleen,

I've toyed with the idea of restoring a couple of my own, just for the satisfaction of it, if nothing else; however, I'm just curious because I read here where people have to "Dremel" or file the J-Bars to make them fit properly and in my physical condition, (I'm basically bed-ridden), I'm not sure if I'm up to that kind of work anymore. I figure I can clean a given pen in my ultrasonic, replace a nib, (hopefully a sac), tighten a loose section and give it a good polish with Carnauba wax- but I'm afraid that is the total extent of my ability right now. Typically, how often do J-Bars have to be completely replaced- is this the case once in a while, part of the time or most of the time?

All the best,

Sean :)
aka The Cowardly Lion of Estie-land. ;)

Edited by S. P. Colfer, 21 December 2010 - 14:19.

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#8 kathleen

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Posted 21 December 2010 - 16:49

Sean,
I have encountered about 4 Esties in need of new J bars. Each was a pen purchased on ebay and with each the seller claimed no knowledge of fountain pens, mentioned lever fill system with lever that does not lift, always an indication of hard, brittle sac inside. As I have opened pens to remove an old sac, I have twice had a rusted, broken j bar fall out of the barrel. Another time or two I just looked into the barrel with a very bright light and spied a rusty j bar I thought should be examined further. Twice I have made the decision to give the pen a new one rather than clean up a very rusty j bar.
The procedure to file away the flanges on an after market j bar are not difficult. I did one by hand with a small file my husband had and it was tedious work seeming to take forever. I have since bought the Dremel tool. It does the job quite quickly. I don't know which brands of pens use the j bars as sold from the pen supply sites. I do wish some were sold Estie ready, but at least there is a replacement part that can be purchased and modified. Sean, if you will be brave and take-on restoring a few "poor old Esties", should you come upon the need for a j bar, let me know and I could send you one having the modification accomplished.
In the many pens I have now worked on, probably close to thirty, most have needed only a re-sac, cleaning and polish. I have worked on double jewel and Transitionals only. One out of 7.5 needing a new j bar is pretty good odds that you won't need j bar replacement.
Come on Sean aka. Cowardly LIon, buy one of the unrestored Esties, I know you can do this!
Fond Regards,
Kathleen aka Dorothy
"Be glad of life because it gives you the chance to love and to work and to play and to look up at the stars" ~Henry Van Dyke

Trying to rescue and restore all the beautiful Esties to their purpose.

#9 kathleen

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Posted 21 December 2010 - 17:04

a J-bar, try making one out of a child's hair barrette from the local dollar store (an old time ex-cop Estie fancier taught me this; I get 4 for a dollar).
- - - Hope over the holidays some of your "fixins" are edible, Jim


Jim,
What a great idea! I can easily see where the spring steel of a barrette and a j bar are extremely similar. I will be picking up a package of barrettes and doing just as you suggest. I do enjoy advancing my restoring skills. The beautiful old pens of Esterbrook are so worth the effort it takes to bring them back to their purpose. Pen restoration has quickly become a very satisfying hobby. I do believe this hobby is saving my waistline from all the yummy edibles I could be creating. At our holiday gatherings my mother and sister can supply the treats, they both love baking and candy making. My husband is diabetic and I try to spare him the temptation of sweets.



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Trying to rescue and restore all the beautiful Esties to their purpose.

#10 corniche

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Posted 22 December 2010 - 05:41

"...Sean, if you will be brave and take-on restoring a few "poor old Esties", should you come upon the need for a j bar, let me know and I could send you one having the modification accomplished..."


Hello Kathleen, (Dorothy),

With an offer such as this, how can I say no?

Thank you much!

Sean :)
aka The Cowardly Lion

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#11 mic

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Posted 22 December 2010 - 23:30

I lost a red one today. I am not ready for the details all I can say is I heard the dreaded "SNAP". I am going to go eat some comfort food.

matt
"I'm to drunk to taste this chicken." -Colonel Sanders

#12 watchin

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Posted 23 December 2010 - 01:58

I lost a red one today. I am not ready for the details all I can say is I heard the dreaded "SNAP". I am going to go eat some comfort food.

matt



Some have lived a long and purposeful life already and that is often the sound they make when they are ready to bid farewell to this harsh environment. Often we are able to bring some of these back by keeping them close by and not intending to pass them on to others. I have some cosmetically handicapped Esties that are great writers and their lever fill systems work great. I can't think of anything that would disqualify any one of them from being repaired to some degree. The worse snap I can imagine is the section breaking. I have had that misfortune and to me the section is truly the heart of the pen. Nibs can get damaged and easily replaced, jewels can get lost and new ones replaced. I guess if a barrel or cap cracks then you have an excellent candidate for a parts pen (but most of my parts pens are 'in-house' writers). Let us know what you end up doing with 'Red'.
-William-

#13 kathleen

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Posted 23 December 2010 - 02:54

Matt,
You have my sincerest sympathy. I am sure you are troubling yourself, could you have done something differently? I have heard the warnings myself about very brittle pens. Perhaps this pen spent too much time in a tropical climate, or two much time in the cold...it may have had hidden congenital defects. Do not be hard on yourself, it already had difficulties or it would not have been in your clinic.
Perhaps as a parts donor this Estie may enable another Estie to be whole and restored and thus, at least in part, live to write another day.

And now let us bow our heads for a moment of silence...
"Be glad of life because it gives you the chance to love and to work and to play and to look up at the stars" ~Henry Van Dyke

Trying to rescue and restore all the beautiful Esties to their purpose.

#14 Gobblecup

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Posted 23 December 2010 - 06:42

Matt... terrible thing that happened to your poor Estie... all of us here feel your pain, yes I am talking about empathy. I remember the heartbreak when my first Transitional's section crumbled! :gaah:

Edited by Gobblecup, 23 December 2010 - 06:42.

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#15 fwyun

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Posted 23 December 2010 - 06:45

I thought it might be fun to have a thread in which to report on our patients.


What pen do you use to write down the patient's vitals on a clipboard?

:)

#16 kathleen

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Posted 24 December 2010 - 01:53

fwyun asks, "What pen do you use to write down the patient's vitals on a clipboard?

I should, of course, answer a Dr.'s white Estie, but I have only a nurse's a pen with black jewels and I do not have it inked. In everyday use is my black LJ, usually filled with Van Gogh Starry Night.

I am very, busy preparing for Christmas celebrations with family. These poor Esties await attention in the clinic along with one more green SJ, not pictured. Some patients need sac and J bar, some just need sac. Some will be receive NOS 9xxxx nibs before they are released to write again. I have put off examining the dove gray pastel, having heard the pastels can be brittle. I know it needs a new sac, fill lever does not lift. One blue J and black J are awaiting J bars, their sections have received new sacs already.

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Edited by kathleen, 24 December 2010 - 02:09.

"Be glad of life because it gives you the chance to love and to work and to play and to look up at the stars" ~Henry Van Dyke

Trying to rescue and restore all the beautiful Esties to their purpose.

#17 kathleen

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Posted 26 December 2010 - 17:28

On the Operating table today. Green SJ.
Exploratory surgery revealed petrified, brittle sac and broken J bar.
Sacectomy successful new sac joined to nib.
Very exciting new procedure, replacement J bar made adapting barrette as suggested by Autopoint, Jim (remnants of the barrette, shiny metal pieces unused are visible on the table). This newly made J bar is installed and demonstrates plenty of spring with an excellent fit against pen barrel and lever.
After this pen undergoes closure it will enjoy a very clean nib, having experienced a cleaning treatment in my brand new ultrasonic clearer, a Christmas gift from my thoughtful husband, who suspects, but really hasn't a clue to just how many pens I now possess.
As I believe is always the case, the most difficult part of this restoration has been the patience required to separate the section and barrel. This pen was set aside twice with thoughts of "I'll try again another day" when pen and section were not parting. Caution: Always have Patience with the patient. Remember how old they are, be strong but always gentle.
Each time I attempted separation I used a hair dryer to repeatedly warm the pen, the nib remained in place and the section was wrapped with a rubber band to help me achieve a sure grip.

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Edited by kathleen, 26 December 2010 - 17:41.

"Be glad of life because it gives you the chance to love and to work and to play and to look up at the stars" ~Henry Van Dyke

Trying to rescue and restore all the beautiful Esties to their purpose.

#18 pen2paper

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Posted 26 December 2010 - 17:34

:eureka: Kathleen.. how about a step by step Estie surgery, with Barrette replacement, on you tube? !!! :eureka:

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#19 kathleen

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Posted 26 December 2010 - 17:50

I am anxious to perform this procedure again. This time I began by robbing my daughter of a barrette. It was a narrow one with blue plastic covering the top side. I knew I had to remove this plastic. While whittling away at it with a small knife, I poked myself in the finger, just a small "ouch" and a little blood, more a (bleep) than a stab. Next time I try this I will get a package of plain metal barrettes. It was really easy. I just judged the length needed and snapped off the extra with a back-and-and forth bending. When I perfect this procedure I will gladly video-tape and share, I hesitate to show you all too soon, how are you with the sight of blood?

Edited by kathleen, 26 December 2010 - 18:01.

"Be glad of life because it gives you the chance to love and to work and to play and to look up at the stars" ~Henry Van Dyke

Trying to rescue and restore all the beautiful Esties to their purpose.

#20 pen2paper

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Posted 26 December 2010 - 18:11

just liberally spread some Diamine Oxblood about.. noone will notice : )

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#21 watchin

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Posted 26 December 2010 - 23:13

I also am anxious to see the 'barrette' pressure bar before it goes into the pen. I think that there are some 'plain jane' barettes that have no frills and might have a good plating that would ward off any rust. Many old anonymous pens I have repaired originally used just a single piece of brass plated steel bent into a J shape. Some have a raised ridge to make better contact with the lever but some are smooth.
I would like to know the history of the replacement two piece J bar and the difference in cost to make it with crimped ridges vs. the simple 'puncture/press' method of the older Esterbrook J bars. I am glad we have replacement sacs and J bars available but maybe a better J bar would be nice. Modifying cheap barrettes might just put some replacement parts dealers out of business but if a better J bar (without having to be modified) was available I would still purchase it.
-William-

#22 adyf

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Posted 27 December 2010 - 08:57

I'm new to esties, I have 2 J's in the post on their way to me now. They have been restored so I won't need to perform surgery just yet. For future reference does anyone sell J bars that don't require modification in some way? I beleive the ones that Woodbin (Martin) sells require filing. Secondly what tools are required for J bar replacement, are alligator forceps suffice and perhaps a dremel for the J bar? I've recently started restoring my own Sheaffer PFM's and Parker 51 Vacs so I can't wait to take an estie apart!

#23 kathleen

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Posted 27 December 2010 - 16:33

I'm new to esties, I have 2 J's in the post on their way to me now. They have been restored so I won't need to perform surgery just yet. For future reference does anyone sell J bars that don't require modification in some way? I beleive the ones that Woodbin (Martin) sells require filing. Secondly what tools are required for J bar replacement, are alligator forceps suffice and perhaps a dremel for the J bar? I've recently started restoring my own Sheaffer PFM's and Parker 51 Vacs so I can't wait to take an estie apart!


My forceps are the indispensable tool for pulling J bars out, when placing J bars in the barrel it helps to have a wooden stick to push them in, I use a skewer that you would stack meat and veggies on for the barbeque, I think Steven suggests a chopstick and Bruce uses a coffee stirrer. There's not much to it. For me filing away the flanges on a replacement j bar is the most time consuming part of the operation.



"Be glad of life because it gives you the chance to love and to work and to play and to look up at the stars" ~Henry Van Dyke

Trying to rescue and restore all the beautiful Esties to their purpose.

#24 Gobblecup

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Posted 27 December 2010 - 21:30

Kathleen,

We are all waiting with excitement to see the results of this last patient's recent surgery, what colour do you plan on inking this little guy with?

I would love to see more of these patients and their recovery process as well! :thumbup::clap1:

Jeffery,

AKA Nikko the less than evil flying money!
Gobblecup ~


#25 kathleen

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Posted 28 December 2010 - 00:30

Kathleen,

We are all waiting with excitement to see the results of this last patient's recent surgery, what colour do you plan on inking this little guy with?

I would love to see more of these patients and their recovery process as well! :thumbup::clap1:

Jeffery,

AKA Nikko the less than evil flying money!

That's the little green SJ put back together with a j bar made from my daughter's hair barrette. She is inked with Diamine Sherwood Green.
I also gave some TLC to a Sheaffer Fineline that was keeping company with an Estie in an ebay auction, same listing, an odd assortment of lever fill pens. I figured its insides would not be too different and I was correct. It also required a #16 sac. Visiting the Sheaffer forum, very reluctantly leaving Estieland briefly, I found out this Shaeffer Fineline was manufacturered 1947-53. I think the Esties are so much prettier than many of their contemporaries. I feel a little sorry for this Sheaffer. It does have an interchangeable nib. I think it looks like a big blue torpedo or a pen Papa Smurf would use. I plan on giving it to my son to use. It seemed to accomodate a longer sac, (I usually have to cut sacs by 1" or so for Esties. I figure longer sac, bigger ink supply, that could be important to a student.Two days = two pens restored. I love this hobby!

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Edited by kathleen, 28 December 2010 - 01:30.

"Be glad of life because it gives you the chance to love and to work and to play and to look up at the stars" ~Henry Van Dyke

Trying to rescue and restore all the beautiful Esties to their purpose.

#26 kathleen

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Posted 28 December 2010 - 01:28

Trying to correct double post. Just meant to edit.

Edited by kathleen, 28 December 2010 - 01:32.

"Be glad of life because it gives you the chance to love and to work and to play and to look up at the stars" ~Henry Van Dyke

Trying to rescue and restore all the beautiful Esties to their purpose.

#27 Gobblecup

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Posted 28 December 2010 - 01:35

They look great, now I feel obligated for some pictures of my repairs... :mellow:...:lol:

I did have a good day of repairs myself! I have had a naughty little Green Transitional (3rd variation) that had been my first challenge in Estie patient. I think you may remember my broken section, my first and hopefully last. Well long story short I tried to mend it together but I came a part and leaked ink, so I knew I just needed a new section. And one finally came through in a donor, who I have not written off, but have backlogged for parts.

The end result? A fully working Green Transitional J with a NOS 9668, inked and writing now!

Procedure log:

- Section Cleaning and sanding
- Ink Sac Shellac attachment
- Talc Dusting and quality control check
- Reassembly and first inking

It was fun and a big relief to get this long staying patient out of my clinic and into my pen hotel! :cloud9:
Gobblecup ~


#28 kathleen

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Posted 28 December 2010 - 02:10

Jeffery, I would love to see a picture of your Green Transitional writing with that favorite nib of mine #9668, now that's a pen meant to please! I am so glad a donor section became available. You are right to be ecstatic over the release from your clinic!
It is so satisfying to return a beautiful Esterbrook pen to its purpose. Now what will your next patient be?
I have a black J, two blue J's, a dove gray pastel, a red SJ and a green J still ailing and awaiting care. Next to receive my attention may be one of the blue Js needing a new J bar. I have some on hand that need modified, I'll be getting out the Dremel!

Edited by kathleen, 28 December 2010 - 02:21.

"Be glad of life because it gives you the chance to love and to work and to play and to look up at the stars" ~Henry Van Dyke

Trying to rescue and restore all the beautiful Esties to their purpose.

#29 pengoddess

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Posted 28 December 2010 - 02:52

Here's the info Andy posted back in 2000 about making J Bars from barrettes ...... Sam

Make your own "J" bars
10/18/2000: Andrew J. Gnoza, III
Take a J- bar with you and go to a beauty supply store and look at the ladies hair barrettes. The metal back clips can be removed and cut and made into 2 pressure bars! They even have a groove in them for the lever to ride in ! I get 8 bars from a 4 pack for a $1.59. GOODY Barrettes made by Goody Products, Kearny NJ 07032..Product # 6665 with a UPC #41457-10651
Pendemonium
email: sam@pendemonium.com
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#30 Gobblecup

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Posted 28 December 2010 - 03:39

Here are pictures of my Green Transitional after full recovery and a writing sample! :thumbup:

WP_000021.jpg
WP_000023.jpg

And a link to my next patient, currently flying in from Tennessee: http://cgi.ebay.com/...e=STRK:MEWNX:IT
Gobblecup ~