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Ok, So My "new" P-51 Is Really Clean, But It Still Writes Thin, What Now?

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35 replies to this topic

#31 Vintagepens


    David Nishimura

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Posted 11 June 2014 - 03:45

I'm afraid there's an awful lot that I disagree with in this thread.


Although I do not slavishly follow original repair manuals, in this instance Parker's original procedures regarding fitting the shell to the nib using heat are still the standard, and much preferable to removal of material from inside the shell. This fitting can involve either tightening the fit between the shell and the nib, or adding additional clearance so that the shell does not pinch the nib's slit closed. This is as much a part of setting up a Parker 51 as is heat-setting a hard rubber feed on a conventional pen.


When one comes across a 51 with a feed that stands proud from the nib, it is not because of the effects of gravity over a period of decades (which is nonsensical to begin with, given that pens are rotated every which way, not consistently stored horizontally and feed-down), but more probably because the feed ended up heated to the point of softness when the shell was being fitted to the nib, and when pressure was applied from above to the shell and nib, the nib temporarily deflected downwards, carrying the feed with it. Once the pressure was released, the nib then sprang back, but if the feed had cooled by then, it would have taken a set.

#32 pajaro


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Posted 11 June 2014 - 04:22

And of course, this Would be needed by a perfectly fine Looking 51 Aero that *I* pointed someone to. Ack.


I usually take my Aeros apart and sonicate everything but the filler and cap, hit the collector and feed with a toothbrush and Roto-root out the breather tube including the side vent. I'll usually just floss the tines, I don't recall opening one up yet. Still, I've had to send a couple to Ernesto after that when they still weren't writing correctly.


Would those of you who have fixed this before a few times try and add some needed 411 here Please?


What would you say are the mostly like flow issues with an Aero 51 In Order of eaches likelihood of being the Main problem?


Beside each one, would you please place it's approximate % of being the main problem itself?


Of course, a nice long written out for us Procedure would be Greatly Appreciated. ;)


Failing that, can we at least have the prioritized list of what to check so we can search out the info ourselves?


Much thanks in advance.


Bruce in Ocala, Fl-see we all Really Are ignorant.  Just in different subjects.  


If someone new to the 51 has this issue, IMHO it's unrealistic to expect the average new user to do much to the 51.  Better that he should send the pen to someone for tuning, on the first one.  You don't want to mess up your first 51.  We don't want them to mess up their first 51 either.  Some people are end users.  Some people are more adventurous and some are experienced enough to take a pen apart.  Of course, if we need parts pens, by all means work them up to take the pens apart.

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#33 Mike 59

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Posted 11 June 2014 - 10:18

I know I have bought a few pens where the previous owner had 'had a go' at improving them, but my 'best buys' were where the pen had been abandoned because of what was really a simple fault.

 Repairing and tuning the '51' is probably more complicated than most, and always interesting to read what others know, and have done. 

#34 Ron Z

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Posted 11 June 2014 - 10:44

I haven't had a chance to follow this thread the last couple of days. I rather agree with David.

When faced with flow issues, you have to take the pen apart. I have a mental check list that I go through with every 51 that I service.
Start by making sure that everything is clean, and that there is no mineral residue or other white stuff on the nib or feed. A brass wire wheel at low speed, or a scratch pad, can be used to clean off hardened crud if cleaning in a surfactant doesn't get it off.  Koh-I-Noor is unlikely to do the job.

Follow by setting the feed.  Rather than causing dry flow, I've found that a feed that's a bit loose can cause other problems - as in ink in the cap for no apparent reason.  Setting the feed snug against the nib usually cures that.   I heat them out of the pen and adjust for a slight upturn in the last 3/8" or so. If it's too tight you can warm it over your heat gun so that it follows the contour of the nib. A 51 feed, especially one that's thin at the end, has enough flex that this is not usually an issue. Note that you have to have the feed hot enough that it turns soft enough to do this. Don't force it. When warm enough it will be quite flexible. Then set the tine spacing using shim stock as a feeler gauge. A 0.001" piece should be a free fit, 0.002" a slightly tighter fit. Then assemble the pen. 


I also agree with David that heating the end of the shell is the accepted method of adjusting the hood.  This is something that I would rather show someone how to do rather than try to explain it as it's easy go get wrong.

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#35 adyf


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Posted 11 June 2014 - 12:50

I also agree with David that heating the end of the shell is the accepted method of adjusting the hood.  This is something that I would rather show someone how to do rather than try to explain it as it's easy go get wrong.

Yes, I have taken the end of a hood or two by not getting the hood warm and pliable enough.

Edited by adyf, 11 June 2014 - 12:51.

#36 Vintagepens


    David Nishimura

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Posted 11 June 2014 - 14:37

I should also address the mistaken notion of "feed sag" here.


Hard rubber, unless heated to softness, is a material of extraordinary dimensional stability.

Think about it: if hard rubber feeds really did sag over time, so would every other hard rubber pen part.

Caps and barrels would flatten, press-fit sections would fall out, imprints and chasing would disappear.

Hard rubber feeds do not sag.