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Moore Safety Cork seal replacement


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20 replies to this topic

#1 corienb

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Posted 28 August 2005 - 13:03

I dismantled my Moore Safety ( it was leaking from the back ) and as expected the seal was a goner ( crumbling and "gaps" around the rod).

I've been thinking of a good replacement seal that is functional AND easy to get/make.

I don't see myself shaping a cork seal, so I was thinking I needed something waterresistant that tightly "hugs" the safetyrod and doesnt let any ink go through.

Siliconegel came to mind, but couldn't find how that was made, then came across mouldable rubber..
I know NOTHING of materials and plastics, but would this work ;) ?

Pour the rubber into a cilinder with a rod in the middle that has the same diameter as the safetyrod, when the rubber has cooled down remove cilinder and rod and insert moulded rubber seal into pen :) ???
( or is it way way more difficult to do this than I think it is .. wouldn't be the first time).

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#2 wimg

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Posted 28 August 2005 - 13:10

Hi Corien,

Essentially, you want to replace the cork seal, and you want to do that with a more resistant material than cork is.

And from your description, I think you want to use a very simple and elegant method, so probably woth a try.

BTW, cork can be shaped with files, knives, and sandpaper, to create a shape similar to the previous seal, and you can reuse a wine cork for that, if you like. So it is probably worth a try anyway. However, there was something about making it seal more permanently, some wax or so you have to soak it in, which I can't remember right now, maybe someone else can chip in here.

If you do use rubber, make sure you apply a little silicone grease (kranenvet).

HTH, warm regards, Wim

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#3 RussA

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Posted 28 August 2005 - 16:46

Corien,

The original configuration was a rubber washer (seal) to seal the ink in the barrel followed by a cork insert. I use a hole punch to punch cork and rubber to fashion replacements. The cork serves as more than a seal, as it also seves as a guide to hold the rod straight and lets it slide smoothly. Thin rubber and cork of various thickness can be found at most hobby shops. I hope this helps.

#4 Mike

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Posted 28 August 2005 - 19:09

Depending on the size of the pen, you may find that the rubber tip to the plunger of a 3cc insulin syringe makes an excellent starting point...

#5 einv

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Posted 30 August 2005 - 16:41

in the past, i have made seals from gasket making silicone, with limited success. better results from rubber tubing for gas and other applications, these can be sanded down using emery and results are great. the trick is to find something that offers some degree of resistance or pressure to the inner rod, and not simply touch it.

#6 corienb

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Posted 30 August 2005 - 17:00

Gasket making silicone hardens, right ? ( at least the Snorkel gaskets are far from flexible..)
I also have moldable resin but don't wnat to use that since that does harden en probably won't function at all..

I think what I'm looking for is something that is stays quite flexible when cured, but will bounce back to it's original form when you "let go". Gel-rubber like stuff - if I can make the hole for the rod just a tad on the small side it should fit very snugly and prevent all leaking. Unlike the cork it won't absorb any ink and will last longer.

I'll try to make a cork one first since my parents drink wine/port ;) hope leather hole punches work on cork ( likely ) and I have micromesh.

Will report back, might take a while.
( ik was nooit zo goed in handenarbeid...the ideas are there, my execution sucks ;) )

#7 RussA

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Posted 30 August 2005 - 18:52

Corien, I use cork drink coaster from Hobby Lobby. The are flat and can be bought in various thickness. I have found that most wine corks have air pockets and crumble easily. For a hole punch I have a set of gasket hole punches I bought at an auto parts store, but I have used tubing and just sharpened the edge. The center hole in the rubber seal is easily done with a leather punch set at the smallest hole setting. The cork can be drilled by hand with a drill bit. You will be much more satisfied with the cork and rubber seal. Remember, the end plug serves two purposes, the thin rubber washer seals the ink, but you need the cork to form a solid support for the rod to prevent lateral movement. An all rubber plug will not give lateral support for the rod, and unless you push/pull it straight, any sideways movement will allow ink to seep between the rubber and the rod (IMHO). Please report back when finished. Thanks.

#8 Dennis B

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Posted 05 October 2005 - 20:35

"I dismantled my Moore Safety ( it was leaking from the back ) and as expected the seal was a goner ( crumbling and "gaps" around the rod)."

I'm coming late to this thread, but would like to ask how you got the threaded washed out of the barrel end after you had removed the end cap, slide, rod/nib/feed?

Were you successful in making a new cork seal? How thick is the cork? I have a Moore's Non-Leakable apart (except for the threaded washer) and would liek to repair it.

TIA,

Dennis B

#9 Gerry

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Posted 05 October 2005 - 20:53

Corien, could you please describe the cork seal dimensions? There are a number of interesting possibilities, but it would help to know the dia of the barrel, rod, and thickness of the seal.

Gerry

#10 RussA

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Posted 06 October 2005 - 01:06

Dennis,

I do not have a safety apart to measure, but I do know that I use a 5/16" hole punch for the cork. As for thickness, I cut the cork from flat a piece and then trim the length to fit so that the retaining washer can go flush and still compress the cork slightly. The threaded retaining washer unscrews easily. Insert something in the rod hole that can grip and turn CCW being careful to not mar the inside of the washer... usually not glued in or diffucult to remove. Don't forget the rubber seal/washer that goes in before the new cork. A new one can be punched from rubber with the same hole punch. See my post above. I hope this helps. BTW, don't forget to lube the shaft on reassembly.

#11 Dennis B

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Posted 06 October 2005 - 03:10

Russ,

Thanks for your reply. I used a wood pencil (I knew they were good for something) to unscrew the washer. How thick is the cork you punch the new seal from? Also, two different sources say there is probably no need to replace the washer below the cork. Do you think that is true? If it should be replaced, what do you cut the washer from? Do you treat the cork with anything? I've seen a recommendation for cork grease from a musical instrument store.

Guess I just need to make a trip to Hobby Lobby for some drink coasters and a piece of tubing to use as a punch.

Thanks again and I'll report back on how it all comes out. Heres a pic of the pen in question.

Dennis B

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#12 RussA

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Posted 06 October 2005 - 04:15

Hey Dennis,

Glad you got the washer out... good thinking on the eraser trick.

The following link http://www.vintagepe..._safeties.shtml explains that the seal consists of two parts, a hard rubber washer closest to the ink chamber and a cork insert. My theory on the cork is this: a) the cork is not spongy enough to make a good seal, it serves more as a support guide and provides a smooth non-binding surface for the rod to travel on; B) the rubber seal is non-binding as it is thin, but it can wipe any ink from the traveling rod; and c) I like to repair as close to original as possible...that is just me.

For the ink seal (rubber washer), I just punch from thin rubber washers I obtain from automotive supplies (one is plenty) and hole punch the center with a leather punch. This same rubber can serve as seals for many other pens as well. It is then pushed in place before the cork. Cork plug length? I never measured... just drop in and trim if needed but leave enough barrel threads showing to screw back in the retainer to flush.

I use Silicon grease to lube everything... the washer, cork, and rod.

That is a very nice Moore Safety. I hope you get it going soon, and you will really enjoy it as most have a very flexible nib. They do tend to glob ink real heavy when getting low on ink, but so do others. Richardspens.com has a nice example of the same pen unchased, and he gave me some advise on mine (I reblack em too).

Do report back when done.

#13 corienb

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Posted 06 October 2005 - 06:58

Oops, just read this - will reply after breakfast :)!( will edit this )

#14 Dennis B

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Posted 07 October 2005 - 00:08

Below is a photo of the Moore's Non-Leakable disassembled. Photo is on a sheet of cork from Hobby Lobby with a piece of brass tubing used to punch out the cork. I'll admit my first couple of attempts at sizing the cork and putting a hole through the center ended in the cork breaking up on me. It may be too early to claim success, but what I finally did was:
1) punch out the piece of cork
2) make a small pilot hole in the center
3) chuck the cork onto my dremel-type tool and sand to size
4) cover cork liberally with pure silicone greae
5) insert cork into barrel
6) replace threaded retainer
7) enlarge hole in cork with small drill bit (by hand)
8) put nib/feed/shaft through the cork and screw it into the end cap
9) put slide over barrel and secure to end cap
10) retract nib and fill with Waterman Florida Blue (and pray)

So far, no leaks, but I'm not counting things done until at least 24 hours leak free.

It's really hard to work with a piece of cork this small when one is not at all mechanically inclined. Time will tell.

Thanks for the assist,

Dennis B

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#15 RussA

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Posted 07 October 2005 - 00:27

Hey Dennis,

That pen really cleaned up nice. Is that an American nib? Everything looks in great shape on that pen. You are correct in that the center hole of the cork is easily drilled by twisting a drill bit between you fingers. You can get center by inserting the cork and retainer and use the retainer/rod hole as a guide... just don't drill any plastic from the retainer. Cork with small, densly packed particles do not crumble as bad, but all cork can be rather fragile. Eventually a good tight and piece emerges. For good measure, I put some Silicone on the nib sleeve. It makes me feel better about a seal between it and the barrel/section.

Keep up the good work.

#16 Dennis B

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Posted 07 October 2005 - 01:19

Thanks, Russ. That is an American nib and the pen is pretty clean. I did not disassemble the nib from the rod as David Nishimura cautioned to be extra careful about doing that and getting it correctly oriented when replacing it.

I'll post back in a couple of days on whether or not my seal is successful. If not, well, it's easy to take apart once it's been apart, so I can always do it over. Next may be a Moore's Midget but it is a bit different and the end cap looks like it has a hole in it (in the center). I'm not sure if that is supposed to be there ot not.

Then there's a Waterman Safety in the wings. I have the spiral out, but still attached to the end piece. Knocking it out worries me just a bit. Any tips on that pen?

Thanks again,

Dennis B

#17 RussA

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Posted 07 October 2005 - 01:31

Correct on the nib Dennis... I don't think you could ever get it clamped back in place, and if so not sure what the mechanism or method would be to do it. I have thought of heat-shrink tubing as is used for auto wiring if the need ever came to be, but that would just be an experiment on my part... I guess you can see I live out of the auto parts stores :D

As for the Waterman, I do not have any experience with their safeties, but if you will give a blow-by-blow with pictures when you tackle it, I would appreciated it.

Thanks.

#18 Maja

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Posted 07 October 2005 - 05:33

Welcome to FPN, Dennis! :D

Nice to see you here.
I can't really add much to this discussion but I did try to repair an old piston-filler myself using cork (from a wine bottle) and had a heck of a time doing it because the cork kept disintegrating! Eventually, I just wound up using a rubber washer which I cut by hand (no punch), smoothed until it fit the barrel sides perfectly & greased with silicone grease. It works fine, but next time I will use the method you used and RussA's suggestions.
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#19 Johnny Appleseed

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Posted 07 October 2005 - 17:14

Putting silicone grease on the cork is probably a good idea to protect the cork too. I don't have any experience with these pens, but I have several small bottles with cork stoppers that I used to use for ink mixes. I found that cork+certain inks = mold (even when the ink itself doesn't mold).

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#20 epv

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Posted 05 December 2009 - 08:26

This is an old thread, but I just wanted to say that I replaced the cork seal in a Moore's safety pen tonight with apparent success. It was all pretty straightforward and I hadn't realized until now how easy it is to work cork using sandpaper. I made the cork packing unit out of a small bottle cork by threading it onto a dremel spindle intended for felt polishing wheels and cutting it down against some sandpaper until it was the correct diameter. Then I trimmed it to correct length and shaped it a bit to fit the inner washer inside the pen, which I didn't even attempt to remove, if it even is removable. The outer washer turned out to be threaded, and I'm glad I discovered that before trying to knock it out. (Frank Dubiel's book just says they're fitted into grooves in the barrel; mine definitely aren't, and in fact the back end of the barrel is threaded quite some distance in)
The cork was slathered with silicone grease which I tried to work into its surface a bit as well, and pushed into place, and the rear washer threaded back on. Then I carefully tried to bore the hole through it using the retaining washer as a guide, using a slightly undersize drill bit held in my hand. This worked okay but I feel like it might have led to crumbling cork if the cork had been of a slightly different consistency. Once the hole was all the way through I worked a bunch of silicone grease into the inside of the hole as well and tested the rod for fit, adjusting a couple of times by trying to expand the hole a bit with a steel probe. Once the fit was comfortable I cleaned out the inside of the barrel with swabs and twisted paper and pushed the rod, feed, etc.. back into place through the hole. I've operated it a bunch of times since then and there isn't even a trace of ink on the rod when it comes out, so that's encouraging. I feel like I probably made the fit a bit too tight, but it works ok and doesn't feel like anything's in danger, and I suppose it's better for it to be too tight than too loose. Anyway, we'll see if it continues to not leak.

One possible problem is that after writing five or six lines it begins to get dry, which seems to me to be because it's drawing a vacuum in the barrel. If I retract the nib just the tiniest bit, enough to break the vacuum, it starts flowing well again for another six lines. I'm assuming this is because the grooves in the feed need to be cleaned out, but it's not beyond the realm of possibility that I clumsily got some silicone grease where it didn't belong. I suppose I should have checked and cleaned more carefully before assembling it, but fortunately it's extremely simple to take apart.

Anyway, that's my report. Thanks very much to everyone who shared ideas and techniques here!






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