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Substitute For Early P-51 Aero Collector Plug/rod/spacer


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#1 OcalaFlGuy

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Posted 25 February 2012 - 18:42

So either my Teal/GF '49 didn't have one when I got it or I lost it. Regardless, it's gone. :(

(Yes, I mean the little black rod in the non nib end of the collector to keep the collector opened.)

I have two suggestions so far, pencil lead from El Zorno and a very ingenious one from PenFisher of the retail price tag nylon strings shaped like this I----------------I. (The dotted line is a solid nylon string in real life.)
This is ingenious as if you grab one of the T ends and yank it, you'll stretch out and reduce the diameter of the string such that you just snip down it til you find a section the correct diameter for the micro channel. (I've got a clear one, but picky butt me will likely have to find a "correct" black price tag "string" if someone doesn't have a better idea.)

What do you use?

Bruce in Ocala, FL

Edited by OcalaFlGuy, 25 February 2012 - 18:44.


#2 OcalaFlGuy

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Posted 25 February 2012 - 21:48

Shirley I can't be the only one who's needed to replace this. :unsure:

I've searched me fingers bleedin' raw and I can't find JACK about this. My Googler was smokin' I was runnin' it so hard. ;)

Bruce in Ocala, FL

#3 Flounder

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Posted 25 February 2012 - 22:26

I'm certainn I saw a post about this a long time ago. I could have sworn it was one of yours!! There were photographs, and it was advised that a piece of photographic negative would be an okay substitute.

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#4 OcalaFlGuy

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Posted 25 February 2012 - 23:53

I saw that too but it was the only specific suggestion I could find. My thought was even if you trimmed it just so, it wouldn't be a nice circular fit like the original.

There was a post by Peter Fred where he said any inert material would work.

Good memory though, but it wasn't my post.

I think the post you may be thinking of was the "Is my collector supposed to look like this" post. It wasn't about the rod spacer but did have really good and clear collector pics.

Bruce in Ocala, FL

#5 OcalaFlGuy

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Posted 26 February 2012 - 00:05

Dup sorry... :embarrassed_smile:

Edited by OcalaFlGuy, 26 February 2012 - 00:10.


#6 Flounder

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Posted 26 February 2012 - 09:50

How strange. If this is the post you're talking about, I'm pretty sure it's not the one I was thinking of. I hope this isn't all a figment of my imagination, but the post I was thinking had photos of an older style of collector with a seperate, removable shim. I will start searching myself before it drives me nuts.

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#7 Flounder

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Posted 26 February 2012 - 10:19

Ok I found the post I was thinking of. It has photos of the spacer shim, but no mention of a substitute, I must have read that elsewhere. I must have made the association with you because of your reply towards the end of the thread.

Latest pen related post @ flounders-mindthots.blogspot.com : Retro 51 Tornado Bocote Hardwood Rollerball, a Review


#8 FarmBoy

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Posted 26 February 2012 - 15:33

Use a short length of high-test nylon fishing line. I don't remember the exact size.

#9 OcalaFlGuy

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Posted 26 February 2012 - 17:21

Maybe I'll go to Gander Mountain and snag a couple inches of some really freaky looking mono the right size and 25 years from now someone will see it and post pics of the mystery Parker experimental collector rod material.

:roflmho:

Bruce in Ocala, FL-sometimes I just crack myself up

#10 BillyL

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Posted 27 February 2012 - 17:34

OcalaFlGuy, how timely to read your post. I disassembled my 1948 Parker 51 Aerometric and saw that black rod and couldn't figure out what it was. Once disassembled, I dropped the collector into my K&E ultrasonic cleaner. A few minutes later, the rod disappeared. I looked all around, thinking that I had dropped the black rod on the floor or table. After I couldn't find the rod, I concluded that it had dissolved apart. After spending some time on the internet, I learned what that black rod was. I eventually took out my xacto knife and carved a substitute rod from a plastic screw anchor I had. My replacement part's not very pretty, but it worked well enough to keep the collar from compressing and the channel clear.

#11 pajaro

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Posted 27 February 2012 - 20:52

I imagine you could use anything if the purpose is to hold the slit open. Use something from an appropriate sized paper clip. One of the colored ones. In purple. Then, in 25 years when some collector opens your pen . . .

Some of the "51"s I have taken apart do not have that little rod. I suppose I should rectify that situation.

Edited by pajaro, 27 February 2012 - 20:52.

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#12 Richard

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 15:00

Rut replacing your nylon spacer, which isn't strong enough to stand up against being squeezed, with a hard rubber spacer from another collector might improve the fit. You can break a hard rubber spacer in half, especially if it's longer than usual, and use the halves in two collectors.
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#13 Richard

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 15:01

I imagine you could use anything if the purpose is to hold the slit open. Use something from an appropriate sized paper clip. One of the colored ones. In purple. Then, in 25 years when some collector opens your pen . . .

…they will find the bloody insides all rusted up from the mild steel that paper clips are made of.
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#14 rhr2010

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 15:20

I recently installed a Parker factory broad nib in my DJ P51. I widened a bit the feed channel to support increased flow. Then I looked at collector plug and I couldn't really make sense of it. I thought to take it out and mount the collector without the plug, thinking that there would be more air circulation in the collector :eureka: . Heresy! Please, do not burn me for my sacrilege. The pen has been working just fine for a couple of months.

What is the intended purpose of the plug? Should I expect my P51 biting back at some point?
" I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious." -- Albert Einstein

#15 viclip

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 15:38

How about stainless steel wire? It should resist the ink for quite some time, considering that the plunger rods in Vac-Fils seem to survive well.

If those tiny sewing needles are made from SS, that might be a handy source for a P51 collector spacer rod.

#16 BillyL

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 15:56

What is the intended purpose of the plug?


Based on my research and personal observations - The collector has a narrow slit, which runs lengthwise to the rear of the collector. When you insert the collector into the barrel of the pen, the wedge fit will cause the rear of the collector to compress and close the slit. The plug is made of hard rubber, which prevents the slit to be compressed closed and permit the flow of ink.

#17 OcalaFlGuy

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 16:02

I am not seeing how a piece of stiff nylon that fits snugly into the channel will compress any more than a piece of hard rubber will but I also trust Richard's experience more than my guessing...

I would have hoped there was some readily available substitute other than the not widely available original piece.

Thank you Richard as always for the 411.

(I'm thinking Richard doesn't want to see any 51's pop up with some never seen before mystery Parker prototype purple and orange swirl nylon spacer rod material. :roflmho: )


Bruce in Ocala, FL

Edited by OcalaFlGuy, 28 February 2012 - 16:07.


#18 rhr2010

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 16:06


What is the intended purpose of the plug?


Based on my research and personal observations - The collector has a narrow slit, which runs lengthwise to the rear of the collector. When you insert the collector into the barrel of the pen, the wedge fit will cause the rear of the collector to compress and close the slit. The plug is made of hard rubber, which prevents the slit to be compressed closed and permit the flow of ink.



Thank you Billy. I thought the same, but I didn't notice any compression after inserting the collector in the barrel and the pen is functioning properly. However, it could be related to the fact that I increased the capacity of the feed channel and the two effect compensate. I was actually expecting that the lack of plug would allow more air into the barrel, increasing the flow of ink to the collector.
" I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious." -- Albert Einstein

#19 OcalaFlGuy

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 16:20

To me, the best question is why is it there is the first dang place?!

They later melted part of that channel to not require Any insert. Why not just make the connector part of the collect the right size to begin with and be done with it?

You aren't *forcing* that channel open with the piece of hard rubber (which might change the diameter of the connector part of the collector if you were). That channel isn't any ink or air passage that I know of.

I am not understanding At All what the real reason for it even being that is.

Bruce in Ocala, FL-I believe the experts who say it is, I just don't understand. I prefer to understand. :(

#20 rhr2010

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 16:32

Bruce, experiment is the best way to convince yourself if something works or does not.

I mounted my collector without the plug, and my P51 has been working fine for a couple of months. Of course, it could still fail long term. But I also do not understand why it is needed. However, the engineer that designed it must have been pretty smart and therefore there must be a good reason why it should be there.
" I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious." -- Albert Einstein

#21 FarmBoy

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 21:03

The engineer was smart. The plug (or heat weld) is there to ensure that the channel stays open after compression into the barrel (filler) assembly.

While Parker maintained very strict tolerances on the manufacturing process for all parts in the 51, there are variations in sizes as tools wear. The slit and plug allowed for some variation in the barrel ID and the collector OD while allowing a press fit. The spacer ensures the slit stays open.

Parker obviously found a better way to do this with the heat weld and then again with the injection molded parts that have neither. This would have obviously been done to reduce the cost of manufacture.

It is my experience that the 51 is far more forgiving in a mechanical sense that Parker anticipated it would be. I suspect you will get by without the spacer there in many cases, it is the one case you don't get by that Parker was engineering around.

I'm intrigued as to why the collector is so loose in the barrel connector. I've not seen this or more correctly I have not noticed this problem. I do recall having collectors so tight I knocked them out from the back end. To point, are we sure the problem is with the collector and not the connector? Just a thought.

In the absence of 20 years of parts accumulation I would just assemble the pen with what you have and see how it works. It can always be taken apart again and redone. I'm also not convinced that putting the rubber rod in place will actually make the collector so much tighter that it doesn't slip out. Let me know how this experiment goes. While nylon line may flow, I don't think there is so much stress on the pen that it would not work as a field repair.

As for where to get small OD rubber rod, I would look to someone like Small Parts Inc. I doubt you find rubber in that size but you may find PEEK tubing that is close. I would avoid all types of metal.

T

#22 kirchh

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 21:42

Styrene rod is available in 0.025" OD, which (from memory) is about what that rod measures; another option is carbon fiber rod, which I've not seen in that OD, but I suspect the common 0.030" rod would work, it will not compress, and it has the right color. I can't attest to the durability of either of those materials, but perhaps others can comment.

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#23 Richard

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 22:09

A viable substitute is stainless steel music wire, obtainable in the correct 0.025" diameter at hobby shops that cater to model railroaders and builders of flying model aircraft.
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#24 OcalaFlGuy

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 23:25

I'm intrigued as to why the collector is so loose in the barrel connector. I've not seen this or more correctly I have not noticed this problem. I do recall having collectors so tight I knocked them out from the back end. To point, are we sure the problem is with the collector and not the connector? Just a thought.


I looked pretty closely at the connector and didn't see any damage.

Though it's a '49 filler, I don't think the pen saw much use. It needed the very lightest of polish jobs and the Pliglass sac once soaked in Ammonia water is virgin white. The filler plating is flawless and the Sterling breather tube shiny.

Bruce in Ocala, FL

#25 rhr2010

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Posted 29 February 2012 - 16:52

The engineer was smart. The plug (or heat weld) is there to ensure that the channel stays open after compression into the barrel (filler) assembly.

While Parker maintained very strict tolerances on the manufacturing process for all parts in the 51, there are variations in sizes as tools wear. The slit and plug allowed for some variation in the barrel ID and the collector OD while allowing a press fit. The spacer ensures the slit stays open.

Parker obviously found a better way to do this with the heat weld and then again with the injection molded parts that have neither. This would have obviously been done to reduce the cost of manufacture.

It is my experience that the 51 is far more forgiving in a mechanical sense that Parker anticipated it would be. I suspect you will get by without the spacer there in many cases, it is the one case you don't get by that Parker was engineering around.


Thank you for the explanation. It makes sense. I think that in the specific case that I dealt with the tolerances were such that I could really see no difference in having or not having the plug.

Now, the hole into which the plug goes conects the inside of the barrel to the area of the fins of the collector, doesn't it? Or does it get closed in the back from some part of the barrel? If it stays open, in abscence of plug, wouldn't allow more air to get into the barrel, improving flow (or possibly making a gusher)?
" I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious." -- Albert Einstein