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Vintage pen sucks and squirts water

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7 replies to this topic

#1 pvdiamon



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Posted 30 August 2005 - 01:18

If a seller describes a fountain with piston filling as filling and squirting water, would you assume that means the pen is in good writing conditon to use, or does that not tell you very much? I'm trying to figure out how to determine if a vintage pen is any good, sight unseen (perhaps one shouldn't buy these online?). thanks.
John in NC

The passion not to be fooled and not to fool anybody else..two searching questions of positivism: what do you mean? How do you know? (Bertrand Russell, Dominant Passion of The True Scientist)

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#2 aunt rebecca

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Posted 30 August 2005 - 02:13

i only buy from e bay sellers i know personally. I've been burned too many times--even from sellers with 100% feedback rating. several pentracers fpn members sell on e bay. They are the ones who should get your business. :bunny1: :bunny1: :bunny1: :bonk: :bonk: :bunny1: :bunny1:

Do not wait to strike till the iron is hot; but make it hot by striking- william butler yeats
Unless you are educated in metaphor, you are not safe to be let loose in the world. robert frost


#3 JeffTL



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Posted 30 August 2005 - 03:06

Let's assume for a second that it does in fact fill and drain as advertized.

Though a bad filler turns a fountain pen into something like a Dip-Less (pending restoration to its original FP condition, of course), a good filler is not the only indicator of an operable pen. If the merchant has only tested it with water, not ink, he/she will not be aware as to whether it actually writes or if there are other issues that impede writing but not the loading and flushing of the piston.

#4 Mike


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Posted 30 August 2005 - 04:37

I have no qualms about buying online... but only for inexpensive, lower-end stuff. You pay your money and take your chances. I've gotten wonderful, near-mint from sellers with clueless descriptions and poor pictures, and the single worst fountain-pen experience I've had was buying from Dennis Lively, who is supposedly quite competent and reliable, but whom I will never, ever deal with again.

In the case of a piston-filler, I guess it depends on what type of pen it is, and how much it sucks (and squirts!). Sheaffer vac-fillers are apparently nigh-impossible to restore correctly; supposedly Nathan Tardiff used to do it, but I don't believe he still does pen repairs at all. Most others I believe are significantly easier to restore, if necessary. As for volume, I've seen a Sheaffer Touchdown draw and squirt, oh, a thirf of a CC of water, with a shot sac. It wouldn't actually hold the water for any length of time... but you could suck it up and squirt it out again. :/

#5 aunt rebecca

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Posted 30 August 2005 - 15:49

Actually sherril tyree in St. louis missouri does vac repairs and does them quite well and at a resonable price. i hope i spelled her name correctly. someone must have her e mail add? hopefully!!! :bunny1: :bunny1: :bunny1:

Do not wait to strike till the iron is hot; but make it hot by striking- william butler yeats
Unless you are educated in metaphor, you are not safe to be let loose in the world. robert frost


#6 Johnny Appleseed

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Posted 30 August 2005 - 15:50

Sheaffer Vacuum-fill fountain pens are difficult to repair, though not impossible. I have done one myself and there are some instructions here in the archives of the Repair Q&A board. However, especially if it has a triumph nib, it is not a good place to start for pen repair and you are best sending to an expert.

I believe Nathan is still doing pen repair, though he may have scaled back significantly due to his ink business. However, there are many other people who do vac-filler repair. Richard Binder does not do them himself, but has someone other than Nathan Tardiff he farms them out to. Sherryl Tyree of Inkpen.com does them. Micheal McNiel of Northwest Penworks will do non-triumph nibs. I am sure Victor Chen of Penopoly will do them. I have seen others who list them in their price list.

Check out the repair section of the Penhero Bookmarks


J Appleseed
So if you have a lot of ink,
You should get a Yink, I think.

- Dr Suess

Always looking for pens by Baird-North, Charles Ingersoll, and nibs marked "CHI"

#7 KCat


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Posted 30 August 2005 - 16:27

it would be helpful to know what kind of pen it is. If it's a lever filler for under $20, even if it doesn't fill you could be getting a nice little pen. As was pointed out, there's more to functionality than the filler. But if you can see the nib and it looks not to be mangled, you might be able to clean it up and even if needs a new sac, most such pens are very easy to repair. Snork and Touchdowns are not difficult either. I know nothing about Parker pens that use the aerometric or vacuumatic style of filler, those I'd be more leery of buying from an uknown.


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#8 einv



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Posted 30 August 2005 - 16:37

one of the things i am careful never to ask a seller from ebay (or other random source) is "does the pen fill properly". more lever fillers and piston fillers are destroyed by impatient attempts by sellers, who are often not knowledgable about pen matters, eager to please the inquiring customer.

if however the seller volunteers such information especially regarding a piston filler, then it is practically certain that the seal of the piston pen is in good condition. it is very rarely that a piston filler uptakes water but will leak with ink. if the piston filler that uptakes water retains that water without dripping any of it out, then the seal is very good.

things are less clear if the pen is a touchdown or snorkel, as even with shot sacs these pens will uptake some water. vac-fils at times uptake water but leak from the seal behind. vacumatics that take water up until the end of the aero tube are again in decent condition, except there is no telling when the old diaphragm will give way.

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