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A note from the repair bench....


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#1 Ron Z

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Posted 09 January 2009 - 19:18

A Sheaffer vacuum filler recently came in for repair. It had been restored in the past by another repair person (I don't know who, though it is not relevant), but the repair had failed. The rubber plug in the barrel method had been used, and failed.

But that's not what this is about.

I had to take the section out to repair the pen. A section that had been sealed using shellac. The pen now has a new section because the original sheared off when the section would not release, even with heat.

For the record. When sealing the section threads on Sheaffer vacuum fillers, Parker Vacumatics, and Wahl vacuum fillers, or any pen that holds the ink directly in the barrel, with the section threaded into the barrel with the exception of Parker 51s, I strongly recommend the use of a section/thread sealant rather than shellac. I don't care whether you use Giovanni's section sealant, which I used for quite a while, or my Sheaffer formula thread sealant. Just use a thread sealant that releases with gentle heat, not shellac. Both fit the description.

The reason is that the celluloid of the typical vacuum filler or vacumatic can't handle the amount of heat that is needed to safely release the seal when shellac is used. Sheaffer plastics especially, may shear before releasing. Less so with a Vacumatic (the barrel walls are thicker) but you still need to be careful. The reason that a 51 is the exception is that the lucite will take much more heat without melting or distorting than will celluloid.


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#2 kirchh

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Posted 09 January 2009 - 19:56

QUOTE (Ron Z @ Jan 9 2009, 02:18 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
A Sheaffer vacuum filler recently came in for repair. It had been restored in the past by another repair person (I don't know who, though it is not relevant), but the repair had failed. The rubber plug in the barrel method had been used, and failed.

But that's not what this is about.

I had to take the section out to repair the pen. A section that had been sealed using shellac. The pen now has a new section because the original sheared off when the section would not release, even with heat.

For the record. When sealing the section threads on Sheaffer vacuum fillers, Parker Vacumatics, and Wahl vacuum fillers, or any pen that holds the ink directly in the barrel, with the section threaded into the barrel with the exception of Parker 51s, I strongly recommend the use of a section/thread sealant rather than shellac. I don't care whether you use Giovanni's section sealant, which I used for quite a while, or my Sheaffer formula thread sealant. Just use a thread sealant that releases with gentle heat, not shellac. Both fit the description.

The reason is that the celluloid of the typical vacuum filler or vacumatic can't handle the amount of heat that is needed to safely release the seal when shellac is used. Sheaffer plastics especially, may shear before releasing. Less so with a Vacumatic (the barrel walls are thicker) but you still need to be careful. The reason that a 51 is the exception is that the lucite will take much more heat without melting or distorting than will celluloid.

Can you clarify -- was it the section that sheared, or the barrel?

--Daniel
"The greatest mental derangement is to believe things because we want them to be true, not because we observe that they are in effect." --Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet

Daniel Kirchheimer
Specialty Pen Restoration
Authorized Sheaffer/Parker/Waterman Vintage Repair Center
Purveyor of the iCroScope digital loupe

#3 Ron Z

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Posted 09 January 2009 - 22:12

QUOTE
Can you clarify -- was it the section that sheared, or the barrel?


I do think that it's worded pretty clearly - it was the section that broke and was replaced. The break came where the section is thinnest and weakest - right where the threads stop and are slightly undercut. Even bored down to a rather thin wall, the remains of the section threads did not want to come out of the barrel easily.

But I have had barrels shear off over the last 20 years or so of repairing pens. The striped plastic shears more easily than most others.



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A full service pen shop providing professional, thoughtful vintage pen repair...
The Blue Fingers Blog is live! Ramblings and musings (and occasional repair tips) from the bench.


#4 kirchh

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Posted 09 January 2009 - 22:14

QUOTE (Ron Z @ Jan 9 2009, 05:12 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE
Can you clarify -- was it the section that sheared, or the barrel?


I do think that it's worded pretty clearly - it was the section that broke and was replaced. The break came where the section is thinnest and weakest - right where the threads stop and are slightly undercut. Even bored down to a rather thin wall, the remains of the section threads did not want to come out of the barrel easily.

But I have had barrels shear off over the last 20 years or so of repairing pens. The striped plastic shears more easily than most others.

You did explicitly state that the section sheared, but you also said the risk of damage was "less so with a Vacumatic (the barrel walls are thicker)," so that put the question into my mind.

--Daniel
"The greatest mental derangement is to believe things because we want them to be true, not because we observe that they are in effect." --Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet

Daniel Kirchheimer
Specialty Pen Restoration
Authorized Sheaffer/Parker/Waterman Vintage Repair Center
Purveyor of the iCroScope digital loupe

#5 gregkoos

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Posted 09 January 2009 - 22:46

Thank you for the observation. I've read that silcone grease can be used - but it strikes me that it is best reserved for testing pens. It clearly does not grip and a user could easliy open it up and end up with a mess.
Greg Koos
Bloomington Illinois
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