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Ray-Vigo's Content

There have been 58 items by Ray-Vigo (Search limited from 07-August 2019)



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#4338082 Canadian Parker "d.q." Duofold Quality

Posted by Ray-Vigo on 04 July 2020 - 03:45 in Parker

Anyone have any history on the Canadian-made Duofold Quality pens? I am repairing a black hard rubber D.Q. pen with length-wise lines on the barrel and cap. The imprint is weak but under light I was able to decipher that the pen was made in Toronto, Canada, which was a surprise to me. Are the Canadian D.Q. pens from the same period as the American ones? I figured this pen to be made about 1924-25 or so, but that was when I assumed I had a U.S. made pen.



#4333395 Experiments To 're-Blacken' Hard Rubber

Posted by Ray-Vigo on 18 June 2020 - 19:05 in Repair Q&A

I saw the bleach part of it but then he said something about other mix-ins - mineral oil, emulsifier, and some other stuff. I'm curious about this mix and whether it prevent the "pebbling" that you get with a bleach restoration. My experience has been you get these low spots in the pen with an amber-ish color and the texture comes out a little rough. I wonder if the mix-ins somehow prevent that.

 

I'd probably be inclined to mask or remove the metal if it's sitting in bleach. I'd be concerned about rust on steel parts and corrosion on copper or brass ones.




#4333335 Experiments To 're-Blacken' Hard Rubber

Posted by Ray-Vigo on 18 June 2020 - 14:43 in Repair Q&A

 

Hello,
My last tests of my mixture after several weeks of storage without special precautions.
 
It is always active and the result is done without damaging the drawings or inscriptions ...
 
Its here:

 

 

C'est un bon résultat.

 

Est-ce que on doit retirer le levier pour utiliser ce bain (corrosion, rouille, etc.?)?




#4327724 What's The "parker 45" Or "51" Of Vintage Sheaffer?

Posted by Ray-Vigo on 29 May 2020 - 17:39 in Sheaffer

 

I am trying hard to want to want a Sheaffer. For the most part, the shape is unattractive. Perhaps cutting my FP teeth on Esterbrooks gave me a tendency to like jewels. The snorkel was a gimmick or a solution looking for a need. That's probably unfair, but it's how I think. 

I prefer traditional, open nibs and lever fillers. The pre-war Sheaffer Balances and Flat Tops are my favorites. Part of it is the traditional look, and part is ergonomic in that the open nib pens tend to have a bell or ridge at the section end, which gives your fingers a place to naturally sit when writing. I do have an Esterbrook J set in blue with a 9XXX series firm nib. That's also a good, attractive pen. One thing that has changed over the years is that I've grown fond of the Vacfill open nib Balances from the 1930s as well. I learned to restore them myself last year and they can be really nice, interesting pens.




#4327696 What's The "parker 45" Or "51" Of Vintage Sheaffer?

Posted by Ray-Vigo on 29 May 2020 - 16:04 in Sheaffer

For the '51: the Triumph nib pens of the 1940s-50s. Both move away from a traditional, open nib to a "streamlined" nib - the Parker with the hooded concept and the Sheaffer with the conical Triumph. The fillers change over time - vacumatic to aerometric on one side, versus vac/lever to Touchdown to Snorkel on the other. The later inlaid nibs and dolphin nibs of Sheaffer also have some similarities to the '51, but they're a little later development in terms of time period.

 

The Parker aerometric is a fairly simple, excellent filling system. Sheaffer initially headed in the right direction in moving to the Touchdown system from the Vac (though a properly restored Vacfill can be a great pen). Then Sheaffer became gimmicky with its filling system in that the Snorkel was a downgrade from the Touchdown in terms of being overly complex for what was gained.

 

But if you're a hardcore '51 person, I'm not sure you're going to find a direct equivalent that matches. The hooded nib and aerometric filling system just really appeal to some people.  For example, my wife loves the hooded nib with aerometric filler, but doesn't care for my Sheaffer pens, whether Triumph nib or not. And to be fair, I'd never give up one of my Sheaffer pens pens for a '51.




#4327344 Parker Jack Knife - Source For Pressure Bars/buttons?

Posted by Ray-Vigo on 28 May 2020 - 13:28 in Parker

The conversion worked. I needed one of the long, straight-type pressure bars and a replacement button. Pressure bar needed to be trimmed a little to get a good fit.




#4325693 Parker Jack Knife - Source For Pressure Bars/buttons?

Posted by Ray-Vigo on 22 May 2020 - 15:04 in Parker

I got some help from Dale at Pentooling. He provided me some very good information - some of the early button fillers like this one have a compound bar-spring-button that is all one part. The pressure bar and spring assembly is soldered to the nickel-plated button. His thought was to convert to a more conventional system where you have a straight pressure bar that rides inside a slotted button like you'd see on a Duofold. I really appreciate his thoughts because it confirmed a suspicion I had, that I would need to convert to a more conventional filling set up. The parts are on the way and I'll report back what I find.




#4324947 Most And Least Safe Inks For Latex Sacs

Posted by Ray-Vigo on 20 May 2020 - 03:06 in Repair Q&A

I've been using vintage pens long enough that I'm on my second and sometimes third sets of sacs in pens. I haven't found a link in my own use between acidic pH and sac failure. What seems to have led to more sac failure is highly-saturated ink.

 

Go-to inks that have been good for me are Waterman Blue-Black; Waterman Florida Blue; Waterman Green; Pelikan Blue-Black; and Pelikan Royal Blue.

 

I found Aurora Black left dark red stains on nibs and sections that had to be polished out and could not be removed by water or cleaning solution. The pens with Aurora black also had their sacs fail a couple of years earlier than the ones that used Waterman or Pelikan ink. I found Levenger Cobalt Blue tended to clog the one pen I used it in briefly (not long enough to cause failure).

 

The one or two pens where I used Private Reserve DC Supershow Blue had sacs fail a couple years earlier than pens that used only Waterman and Pelikan inks.

 

Prior to that, I used Sheaffer black and Sheaffer blue (back when they were made in the USA). No problems with either of those inks, that I can remember (we're going back a long time here).

 

Keep in mind these are not scientific experiments, just my experience going back a little under 25 years with fountain pens.




#4324708 Ebay - Waterman Purchase Advice

Posted by Ray-Vigo on 19 May 2020 - 15:04 in Waterman

I don't see the broken clip mentioned - looks like the rivets blew and the clip was lost. The moss color is desirable and it can be hard to find one without cracks in the cap lip or barrel threads. The 1930s-40s Watermans I've used were all modestly flexible, except for the manifold and account nibs. But by the 1930s, it's kind of a mixed bag in terms of finding a flex nib. If I were looking for a truly flexible nib, I'd go back a little farther to a 1910s-20s era pen. Waterman, Mabie Todd, Conklin, Aikin Lambert, Eclipse, and some of the lesser-known makers are worth mentioning for flex nibs. Sometimes you see pens with "Warranted 14k" labeled nibs that are really, really flexible. They're great for writing letters or whenever you can sit down and devote a little time to writing. Rigid nibs make better note-takers and jotters when speed is important, or when you're trying to write on pad on your lap, or things of that sort.




#4324706 Parker Jack Knife - Source For Pressure Bars/buttons?

Posted by Ray-Vigo on 19 May 2020 - 14:53 in Parker

Cross-posting this Parker-specific repair question for an early pen.

 

I'm repairing a Parker Jack Knife Safety. This Jack Knife differs from the Duofolds I've fixed in the past in that it has (or had) a single-piece button plus pressure bar. The spring part of the bar rotted completely.

 

What is the suggested method to repair? I've replaced pressure bars on Duofolds before, but those were a separate bar that rode in between fingers on the (separate) button. This pen has a plain button that was integral with the pressure bar/spring. Is there a replacement part available today? Or do I try to rig something together using a different pressure bar, etc.?




#4324549 Parker Jack Knife Safety 20 1/2

Posted by Ray-Vigo on 19 May 2020 - 00:51 in Repair Q&A

I'm repairing a Parker Jack Knife Safety. This Jack Knife differs from the Duofolds I've fixed in the past in that it has (or had) a single-piece button plus pressure bar. The spring part of the bar rotted completely.

 

What is the suggested method to repair? I've replaced pressure bars on Duofolds before, but those were a separate bar that rode in between fingers on the (separate) button. This pen has a plain button that was integral with the pressure bar/spring. Is there a replacement part available today? Or do I try to rig something together using a different pressure bar, etc.?




#4298457 Sheaffer Pens And What To Look For?

Posted by Ray-Vigo on 02 March 2020 - 19:42 in Sheaffer

Yeah - when they're properly restored, the vac fills are also very good, especially if you need extra ink capacity. The bigger vac fill pens hold a lot of ink.




#4298150 Merz & Krell Pelikan 120 Seal

Posted by Ray-Vigo on 02 March 2020 - 00:00 in Pelikan

Does anyone know where I can get a Merzz and krell Pelican 120 head gasket? I unthreaded The Filling unit from my 120 and the unit came out with no head gasket. The gasket appears to be stuck inside of the barrel. I think I'm going to have to replace the head gasket.



#4298148 Merz & Krell Pelikan 120 Seal

Posted by Ray-Vigo on 01 March 2020 - 23:58 in Repair Q&A

Does anyone know where I can get a Merzz and krell Pelican 120 head gasket? I unthreaded The Filling unit from my 120 and the unit came out with no head gasket. The gasket appears to be stuck inside of the barrel. I think I'm going to have to replace the head gasket.



#4296555 Sheaffer Pens And What To Look For?

Posted by Ray-Vigo on 26 February 2020 - 16:05 in Sheaffer

My recommendation is a lever fill Balance, Touchdown, or TM Touchdown. To get started. If you want to go more modern, one of the inlaid nib Imperial pens (Touchdown or cartridge - your preference).




#4292995 Ink Crud On Feed Of 400Nn

Posted by Ray-Vigo on 16 February 2020 - 04:30 in Pelikan

I like staying as vintage as I can, but I will say I remove and replace those clear plastic collars with the new-production black ones. That being said, I've never actually found a pen with a clear plastic collar totally intact. They're always at least cracked, if not just plain broken. Maybe that's just bad luck on my part, but at this point, I assume that it's a part I need to replace when I buy Pelikans of a certain vintage "in the wild".



#4291852 Ink Crud On Feed Of 400Nn

Posted by Ray-Vigo on 12 February 2020 - 14:17 in Pelikan

Try washing it away to start. The longitudinal fins on these old Pelikan feeds can be very fragile and replacements can be expensive. Avoid scrubbing the feed if at all possible - if a rinse will solve it, that's the best way.

 

Has this ink done this before for you? Frankly, I would be concerned about the level of solids being left behind by this ink. Certainly inks leave a residue when they dry, but this rises to the level of a build-up.




#4289556 Which Would You Get? Used M120 Green Black Or Restored 140

Posted by Ray-Vigo on 06 February 2020 - 15:19 in Pelikan

Of those two, the 140 is the better option.

 

That quoted price for a 120 is high. Also bear in mind that you have the original 120 (Pelikan) the second series 120 (Merz & Krell) and then there's the modern reproduction 120 (new Pelikan). The price quoted is high even for an original Pelikan 120, way high for Merz & Krell, and still a bit high for a used reproduction.

 

The 120 as a student level (albeit a very good student level) pen still turns up sometimes at antique shops and similar for much less than that. I got one from an antique shop recently that came with its box and instructions for well under $100 within the past month. So those are still out there.




#4288331 #46 Special - Orange Fiberloid Mark

Posted by Ray-Vigo on 02 February 2020 - 20:57 in Sheaffer

Nothing as rare as that - this is the orange celluloid material. It is a stamdard sized rather than a slim pen. Doing a re-sac and wanted to know whether silicone is necessary or whether the orange is ok with rubber.



#4287716 #46 Special - Orange Fiberloid Mark

Posted by Ray-Vigo on 01 February 2020 - 01:57 in Sheaffer

Picked up an old flat top #46 Special with an "F" on the barrel end. I don't see that the celluloid is discolored really - just some shrinking around the ends. Silicon sac or regular sac with the orange celluloid?



#4286247 Found - Pelikan 120 With Box And Instructions

Posted by Ray-Vigo on 28 January 2020 - 04:29 in Pelikan

I bought this old model Gunther Wagner Pelikan 120 awhile back. It came with box and instructions. It appears to have been used very little. I did find the remains of a very stubborn ink in the feed. The window is pretty clean.

 

Unfortunately this pen had one of those clear plastic collars on the nib/feed unit and it was visibly deteriorated inside the pen. Even with heat and soaking, the collar would not move. The nib and feed came right out of the collar, but the cracked collar remained glued into the pen with that very stubborn ink. I ultimately used soaking, heat, and a dental pick to latch onto the collar and spin it out of the pen. The collar came out in about 3 pieces. One of the pictures below shows the broken remains of the old collar.

 

I checked the piston seal and barrel for more of this nasty ink, but it does not appear to have been actually filled with the ink. The seal turned out to be perfectly good still and a little silicon grease smoothed that piston movement.

 

I went online and a pen supply shop in Britain is selling replacement collars made of a modern, black plastic. I ordered a couple to see how it would turn out. The collars arrived today and were a tight, but perfectly reasonable fit on the nib and feed unit. Installation was not difficult.

 

The feed required extended soaking and guitar string to clean. The crud came out looking like dried paint. And indeed it may have been a paint of some sort - the nib would not clean up with water. I used acetone on the nib, and the "ink" behaved like paint being stripped off. So perhaps someone dipped a barely-used Pelikan 120 in artist's ink or a paint of some sort and that clogged it up, so back into the box the pen went.

 

So this pen is back on track with a new collar and having been cleaned. I'm thankful the "ink"/paint did not end up in the barrel, and it was enough of a chore to clean the feed and nib.

 

But you can't argue with the final product. It's a really clean pen with its box and instructions still. The instructions discuss use of the pen in an airplane and "mountaineering" at low pressures. I doubt this old 120 will see many mountains these days though - but perhaps plenty of time at my office.

 

20200127_204113.jpg

 

20200127_204109.jpg




#4281858 "baby's Bottom" Explanation, Please...

Posted by Ray-Vigo on 16 January 2020 - 21:22 in Of Nibs & Tines

Ron has a good description of the "baby's bottom" problem. The only thing I will add is that, in my experience, it tends to happen more on modern pens than on vintage ones, and even "premium" nibs (e.g., higher-end gold nibs) can have the issue as they come from the factory. My guess is the manufacturers are going too far toward making a ball-ended nib feel ultra-smooth. I'm sure there are vintage pens out there with the issue, but all of the baby's bottom nibs I've had were modern, rigid nibs with ball tips that had been over-worked at the bottom of the ball where the tip meets the paper.




#4270344 Frustration At Current Pelikan Nibs

Posted by Ray-Vigo on 09 December 2019 - 17:06 in Pelikan

I agree and I think as you use a fountain pen more and more, you appreciate a little bit of feedback in the nib more. But you've also got this fairly large segment who use the fountain pen only occasionally, use it more or less like a ballpoint or rollerball, and expect it to basically feel like an ultra-smooth rollerball. They complain or return the nib when it has any kind of feedback because it feels abnormal to them. The pen manufacturers probably deal with more of them than the hardcore people who expect a little give or a little feedback in the nib because they write with fountain pens all the time. The overpolishing issue a product of our times, I think. The vintage Pelikan nibs I've used never had overpolishing as an issue.

 

I also agree the modern Pelikan nibs run broad, especially the gold ones. The steel ones are a little closer to a standard, western nib. But the M400/4xx nibs I have are fines and I would characterize them as a "medium" in other brands. My wife has yet to try a Pelikan fine enough for her. She sticks to Pilot EF nibs.




#4270333 Frustration At Current Pelikan Nibs

Posted by Ray-Vigo on 09 December 2019 - 16:27 in Pelikan

Right, for anything in the realm of normal writing position, for what you're paying for a new Pelikan, it should work from the box.

 

I suppose there are some ways of holding a pen and writing that are so odd that you'd need a custom nib straight off. I've seen a few people hold pens on very sharp, oblique angles based on how they learned to write or because of injury. You might need a custom nib for those cases. But normal writing, should work from the box.

 

Enough people today expect the pens to write as smoothly as a rollerball - that you have the liquid ink and the fountain pen tip, but almost no friction "feel". So the manufacturers over-polish and you get the hard-starting issue. I have a modern Conklin Glider that was especially bad in that regard. Tweaking the flow and paper can help fix a minor case of over-polish, but if the problem is bad enough, you have to re-work the nib to the point that you have contact between the ink and the paper much more closely. It's actually a pain to fix if it's bad enough.




#4269824 1910S Sheaffer - Nib Repair Or Replace?

Posted by Ray-Vigo on 07 December 2019 - 19:05 in Sheaffer

Attached a picture.

Attached Images

  • 20191207_100438.jpg



#4266076 1910S Sheaffer - Nib Repair Or Replace?

Posted by Ray-Vigo on 21 November 2019 - 20:57 in Sheaffer

So this sounds pretty expensive then. I guess you could call it a broken tine. It broke off right below where the tipping began from the look of it. The other tine is intact. There's a tiny crack at the breather hole as well. I'm leaning toward locating a decent substitute #2 Sheaffer from roughly the same era, re-saccing, and then calling it 'good'. This project got sidelined when I located a rather nice #34 smooth black hard rubber Sheaffer. The 34 was a larger pen with a nicer nib and that took up my time restoring.




#4265988 Early Plastics - 1940S - Early 50S Question

Posted by Ray-Vigo on 21 November 2019 - 13:49 in Sheaffer

I have experimented on a couple of old barrels doing that kind of thing - trying to soften the plastic around the o-ring a bit. Now these were some of the worst barrels I had, so it might not be a fair sample, but I had no luck trying to improve the plastic shape around the o-ring. The shrinking seems to be widespread and in the worst cases, the plastic also crazes and goes brittle in the area. Maybe a better condition barrel would be a better candidate, but the junker barrels I had did not want to become truly "workable" around the ring. I have a few pens that are like yours with the ridge at the o-ring, and I ended up just leaving them - still was better than the results of my experiments with the junker parts.




#4265987 1910S Sheaffer - Nib Repair Or Replace?

Posted by Ray-Vigo on 21 November 2019 - 13:44 in Sheaffer

1915 would be one of the oldest pens I have. Most of the stuff I have is after WWI. I repaired the pressure bar, disassembled and cleaned the pen about 3 months ago. But I hit a stopping point with the nib issue and put it aside in a box. At this point, it's the only pen I have in the box that I have not gotten to repair fully, so I thought it time to re-visit.

 

I appreciate the information. I had guessed a nib repair might run $50 originally. Do you think it would be even more than that? I wish I had a spare early #2 self-filling nib in my parts box, but I don't have anything that old.




#4265713 1910S Sheaffer - Nib Repair Or Replace?

Posted by Ray-Vigo on 20 November 2019 - 14:20 in Sheaffer

I bought a pen recently that I think is a fairly early Sheaffer - it's a slender pen with an imprint that has an "S" with a picture of pen going through the S. It has threads on the barrel, but the threads are of a wider diameter and stick out. It seems like a 1910s era pen. Color is OK, nothing great. I had to replace the rotted spring bar.

The nib has one tine that broke off right below the tipping and a small breather hold crack. It's a #2 self-filling nib.

Is this the sort of pen where it would actually be worth having the nib repaired? It came out of a second hand junk sale for like $30. Or is it more effective to look for another #2 nib for the pen?




#4265219 Latex Sacs - Longevity

Posted by Ray-Vigo on 18 November 2019 - 14:35 in Repair Q&A

I would love to see some kind of study as to whether Peter's assertion is true. I heard the late Bert Heiserman (a great guy, miss him and his shop) say the same thing some years ago - that the modern version of the latex sac should not discolor the celluloids that tend to discolor when the sac goes bad. I use the new formulation silicon (non-PVC) sacs in some of my pens. But from a functional standpoint, the latex is a much better sac. The only issue is the concern about discoloration. But if the new latex sacs are color-safe, then they are the way to go. I just haven't seen solid proof in either direction - just what the suppliers and veteran repairmen tell me.







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