Jump to content

The Fountain Pen Network uses (functional) cookies. Read the FPN Privacy Policy for more info.  To remove this message, please click here to accept the use of cookies






Photo

Woonhoo! A *major* Eureka Repair Moment For Me! (diy Inner Cap Puller)


  • Please log in to reply
19 replies to this topic

#1 OcalaFlGuy

OcalaFlGuy

    Ancient Artifact

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 13,113 posts
  • Location:North Central Florida USA
  • Flag:

Posted 25 September 2010 - 19:35

Now this isn't the first time this has been mentioned but you have to do a pretty thorough forum search to find out much about it.

And, it may not be much of a step forward to some who can justify a $125+ professional correct puller (and I can't) and/or those who's mechanical aptitude is ABOVE the level of a Turnip's. (Which mine isn't... :wacko: )

I am happily thrilled to report that indeed a tap can be threaded into an inner cap then a set of (in my case mini-) visegrips clamped on the tap and the inner cap pulled thusly. Now I did let the test/practice cap and the one I really needed the inner cap out on soak for a few days to get all the ink out between the inner and outer caps. But not only did the inner cap pull out Easypeasy Lemonsqueezy, but with no apparent damage to either inner or outer cap.

YaHoo!! :bunny01: :clap1:

FYI at least for these full sized Transitionals, the tap size was a 5/16 18 NC (I have also heard that a 3/8 16 NC may be needed for some caps.)

Now, I still don't have the required punches to be able to do the intricate brain surgery on loose clips/riveted jewel retainers, but at least I should be able to fix this Trans I'm working on (with the spinning screw in jewel retainer) and swap out messed up jewels.

So there you (us) wannabe pen repairmen go! At least for Esties, it actually WORKS!

(A HUGE public Thank You! to Farmboy and Gerry for giving me the tap sizes and some ground school on this, Thanks Guys! :thumbup:)

Bruce in Ocala, FL

Edited by OcalaFlGuy, 25 September 2010 - 19:38.


Sponsored Content

#2 bigstick

bigstick

    Vintage

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 758 posts
  • Location:Winnipeg
  • Flag:

Posted 25 September 2010 - 19:57

Mazel tov!
Pelikan 120 : Lamy 2000 : Sheaffer PFM III : Parker DuoFold Jr : Hero 239 : Pilot Vanishing Point : Danitrio Cum Laude : Esterbrook LJ : Waterman's 12 and an unknown lever-filler : Lambert Drop-fill : Conway Stewart 388

MB Racing Green : Diamine Sapphire Blue , Registrar's : J. Herbin violet pensée , café des îles : Noodler's Baystate Blue : Waterman Purple, Florida Blue

#3 Rabbit

Rabbit

    Esterbrook Fan

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,174 posts
  • Location:Kentucky
  • Flag:

Posted 25 September 2010 - 20:00

Great job, Bruce! Can you post a picture of this rig with the results? I've been wanting to mess around with this too.

--Stephen

#4 The Grim Sheaffer

The Grim Sheaffer

    The sound of one tine writing

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 400 posts

Posted 25 September 2010 - 20:03

Thanks for that.

#5 kathleen

kathleen

    Simple Things Matter Most

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,434 posts
  • Location:Kentucky USA

Posted 25 September 2010 - 22:58

I'm studying here. I asked my husband to show me what a tap is. What he had was not the size I would need to extract a cap liner, but I know better now what you are describing. If I keep messing with these old pens I will need to do this at some point; moving from simple sac replacement and J bars, to more complicated surgeries.

Waiting in my pen clinic, I have a beautiful blue J streaker with a diminished jewel and its clip cut from the ring around the jewel. I also have a green J with a missing cap jewel. These may become donor pens or may be restored if I learn to replace clips, and jewels.
One day I will know how to get jewels and how to restore these pens completely.

It is very impressive, to me, when a Transition is restored, a bit more impressed than when restoring a J series pen. Trans are just that much older and it is really great that something so vintage can be given a new life of beauty and functionality. Bruce you will soon have that pen looking like it did on the day it left the factory.

Dr. Bruce, thanks for the tutorial.
"Be glad of life because it gives you the chance to love and to work and to play and to look up at the stars" ~Henry Van Dyke

Trying to rescue and restore all the beautiful Esties to their purpose.

#6 OcalaFlGuy

OcalaFlGuy

    Ancient Artifact

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 13,113 posts
  • Location:North Central Florida USA
  • Flag:

Posted 26 September 2010 - 00:49

Great job, Bruce! Can you post a picture of this rig with the results? I've been wanting to mess around with this too.

--Stephen


Ok, let's see if this works, if you REALLY need to see exactly what I ended up with, let me know and I'll shoot it tomorrow.

Here, courtesy of Snap On, is what a tap looks like. (Not so coincidentally, the same size I used today. ;) ) Posted Image

I got my set from Harbor Frieght for $8.99 for about a 21 piece tap and die set. These aren't real high quality tools but will suffice for what is essentially cutting threads into plastic, not even metal.

They are used to cut female threads. The 3/8 is the diameter of the thread being cut, the 16 is 16 threads per inch and the NC is National Course, the Type of thread being cut. The squared off end usually goes into a T handle that comes in the tap and die set. (Taps cut female threads, dies cut male threads.) I guess you could use the T handle that comes in the set for the pen use too, visegrips were just recommended to me. (I got the about 6" long mini-visegrips for another non-pen reason. In a pinch, they can be used as a motorcycle gear shift lever if the stock one breaks or falls off and I'd misplaced the small set that was once in my bike toolroll so this pair is going there when not being used for pens.)

First, I soaked the 2 caps I was working on, the real one and a practice one in ammonia water for a few days to get all the ink out from between the inner and outer cap. (You have no idea how much can get up in there) I didn't want anything to impede the inner cap sliding out and sometimes I hear they can be really stubborn. The easier they come out the less likely you are to damage the inner or outer cap or rip through the threads you cut in the inner cap. I left the inner cap wet from water to use the water as a ultra-light lubricant. When you are cutting threads in metal, you usually use a light oil to keep the tap or die saturated in while you are doing the cutting.

I clamped the squared off end of the tap into the locked down jaws of the mini-visegrips.

Whether or not this is the proper usage or not, here's how *I* did it, I was kind of flying blind with no real instructions to go by.

I inserted the tap into the cap and down into the inner cap. The inner cap is about 2" long and necks down a bit towards the end closest to the cap jewel. You can feel the tap getting tight against this narrower than the rest of the inner cap area. Being right handed, I used my right hand to slowly turn the cap around in circles on the tap which would be cutting small grooves into the inside of the inner cap that would provide a grip to pull against to remove the inner cap. You can feel as it tightens up that you are tapping into the inner cap. Once it felt nice a secure and tight, I held the cap in a rubber gripper and gave the visegrips a pretty good yank outwards. The tap came out with the inner cap screwed onto it and could be seperated easily by hand. You really can't see the threads down in the inner cap unless you have a really bright light and no one looks down in there usually and the grooves aren't thru the inner cap or anything that drastic.

I reinserted one of the practice inner caps and it held fine. If necessary you could run a couple stripes of section sealent down the sides of the inner cap before reinserting.

According to Herr Estie Doktor Farmnboy, a real inner cap puller can deform both or one of the inner cap and outer cap and he feels the tap method can actually be safer to the pen's materials.

So far as the Trans jewel retainer goes, it looks like a thick plastic washer with a threaded whole in the middle. The threaded hole is where the jewel screws into. According to Farmboy (and it sure looks like this to me) this "washer" retainer slides in between the top of the inner cap and the inside ridge of the outer cap. It is just pressed into the necked down area of the outer cap until it is snug. Unfortunately, in my case, it's not snug, it's zeefloppin so I had to get the inner cap out to press the retainer washer back into the end of the outer cap.

Zis better? :thumbup:

Bruce in Ocala, FL

#7 bigstick

bigstick

    Vintage

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 758 posts
  • Location:Winnipeg
  • Flag:

Posted 26 September 2010 - 01:22

Sure, it's clarity itself, so it is :notworthy1:
Pelikan 120 : Lamy 2000 : Sheaffer PFM III : Parker DuoFold Jr : Hero 239 : Pilot Vanishing Point : Danitrio Cum Laude : Esterbrook LJ : Waterman's 12 and an unknown lever-filler : Lambert Drop-fill : Conway Stewart 388

MB Racing Green : Diamine Sapphire Blue , Registrar's : J. Herbin violet pensée , café des îles : Noodler's Baystate Blue : Waterman Purple, Florida Blue

#8 FarmBoy

FarmBoy

    Brain freeze, mmm... got pens?

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 9,382 posts
  • Location:SFO USA

Posted 26 September 2010 - 01:39

If the jewel is broken drill it out, don't try to remove the inner cap. There is no reason to stress the cap if you don't need to.

Always remove the jewel from the back by removing the inner cap.

T
San Francisco International Pen Show - They have dates! August 25-26-27, 2017 AND August 24-25-26, 2018 Book your travel and tables now! My PM box is usually full. Just email me: my last name at the google mail address.

#9 Rabbit

Rabbit

    Esterbrook Fan

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,174 posts
  • Location:Kentucky
  • Flag:

Posted 26 September 2010 - 02:21

Zis better? :thumbup:

Bruce in Ocala, FL

Thank you, Bruce! That's perfect. I'm starting to like Harbor Freight. I recently got an ultrasonic cleaner there that was on sale and they still let me use a 20% off coupon.

If the jewel is broken drill it out, don't try to remove the inner cap. There is no reason to stress the cap if you don't need to.

I just did that on one I have, and I noticed there's a little thin metal ring that seems loose. Will that tighten up when a new jewel is in place or does that mean something is wrong with it?

(Todd, have you made any progress in the jewel project?)

--Stephen

#10 FarmBoy

FarmBoy

    Brain freeze, mmm... got pens?

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 9,382 posts
  • Location:SFO USA

Posted 26 September 2010 - 05:28

Zis better? :thumbup:

Bruce in Ocala, FL

Thank you, Bruce! That's perfect. I'm starting to like Harbor Freight. I recently got an ultrasonic cleaner there that was on sale and they still let me use a 20% off coupon.

If the jewel is broken drill it out, don't try to remove the inner cap. There is no reason to stress the cap if you don't need to.

I just did that on one I have, and I noticed there's a little thin metal ring that seems loose. Will that tighten up when a new jewel is in place or does that mean something is wrong with it?

(Todd, have you made any progress in the jewel project?)

--Stephen

The ring must be part of the rivet holding the clip on. I usually find a way to reset them so they are tight.

Todd

(Yes on the project. I'm redesigning the mold. Seems my way wasn't the most efficient use of real estate.)
San Francisco International Pen Show - They have dates! August 25-26-27, 2017 AND August 24-25-26, 2018 Book your travel and tables now! My PM box is usually full. Just email me: my last name at the google mail address.

#11 OcalaFlGuy

OcalaFlGuy

    Ancient Artifact

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 13,113 posts
  • Location:North Central Florida USA
  • Flag:

Posted 26 September 2010 - 19:38

A postscript on this.

I'm putting a couple three exclamation points after the "soak the caps for a couple days before attempting to pull the inner cap" part of the process with the tap method.

I pulled two caps on the initial test that had soaked for about 5 days and they pulled out pretty easy. It stressed the tap in so little that you could barely see a couple light lines inside the inner cap.

Today just for grinsNgiggles I tried one cold (now also on a SJ/LJ inner cap) with no soaking or even wetting the cap/inner cap down.

It was near the same joyful experience.

The inner cap didn't come out near as easy and when after a couple tries I did get it out, it was
pretty buggered up inside from the tap. :sick: Now, no one usually goes gawking down inside their inner caps and this one could probably be used again, but it would have needed some cleaning/sanding/prettying up before it went back in.

Patience is always a good thing when working on your pens but if you Really Didn't have time for a soak (and no ultrasonic cleaner) I'd probably slowly dribble some lighter fluid down in between the inner and outer cap. The naphtha won't hurt the Estie plastic and acts as kind of a light oil lubricant.

Bruce in Ocala, FL

#12 kathleen

kathleen

    Simple Things Matter Most

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,434 posts
  • Location:Kentucky USA

Posted 27 September 2010 - 04:43

Bruce, could you post a picture of an inner cap. I can see it inside the barrel with my bright, bright Fenix but I am curious what the whole thing looks like outside the pen. What exactly is the inner cap made of, what kind of material?
"Be glad of life because it gives you the chance to love and to work and to play and to look up at the stars" ~Henry Van Dyke

Trying to rescue and restore all the beautiful Esties to their purpose.

#13 FarmBoy

FarmBoy

    Brain freeze, mmm... got pens?

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 9,382 posts
  • Location:SFO USA

Posted 27 September 2010 - 05:30

Bruce, could you post a picture of an inner cap. I can see it inside the barrel with my bright, bright Fenix but I am curious what the whole thing looks like outside the pen. What exactly is the inner cap made of, what kind of material?

They early inner caps were made from a brittle material and are most often black, I'm guessing something like styrene. The later inner caps were made from a much softer material and are most likely polyethylene or polypropylene. The are friction fit into the cap and look essentially like a tapered tube that is closed at the small end.

The early inner caps are pretty easy to shatter. Fortunately inner caps are easy to find but I seem to find uses for them, they make nice donors for other pens.
San Francisco International Pen Show - They have dates! August 25-26-27, 2017 AND August 24-25-26, 2018 Book your travel and tables now! My PM box is usually full. Just email me: my last name at the google mail address.

#14 Autopoint

Autopoint

    Rare

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 164 posts

Posted 30 September 2010 - 17:02

I am happily thrilled to report that indeed a tap can be threaded into an inner cap..... and the inner cap pulled thusly.
Bruce in Ocala, FL


Thanks for pointing this out, Bruce. I've cleaned up and resacced, etc. many Esties, but had never removed the inner cap before. Your post got me moving. I also successfully used a 5/16" tap to extract the inner cap from a size J Esterbrook pen, and would offer two observations:
1. Soaking needn't take "forever". In fact, I used some cool running water and a bottle brush, for perhaps a minute or two. The most important area to clean, in my mind, is the "joint" where the big end of the inner cap meets the outer cap (where the end of the section of the pen rests, when the pen is capped), since that's the most troublesome area of ink buildup. All that need be done is remove the "ring" of old, hardened ink that literally stops the inner cap from readily sliding out. Of course, getting some water up along the side of the inner cap helps overcome friction, but that doesn't take long either.
2. Similarly, a little heat moves mountains. After cleaning out the ring of hardened ink with a brush, and inserting the tap, I heated up the outside of the cap with my wife's hair dryer. This expanded the cap enough to make the (cool) inner cap separate itself from the warmed outer cap, and thus gave the inner cap more clearance/room to be pulled out.

By using some gentle heat, and cleaning the precise spot inside the cap where it did the most good, I was able to wiggle out the tap with just my fingers rather than needing a pliers. Now that's easy!

So much fun, in fact, that I then proceeded to drive out the remnants of the cap jewel with a thin punch, using my nib knockout block. Now I'm working on a method to replace the pocket clip, which is affixed to the top of the cap with a brass "eyelet" and a brass "finishing washer". (The open end of the brass eyelet is simply "peened" over top of the clip.) I've already accomplished this, experimentally, with an aluminum eyelet (like young ladies would use to decorate their blue jeans), but I wasn't satisfied with the resulting strength of the "peened" aluminum eyelet. So I've ordered some brass eyelets which are constructed with thicker metal, and I'll post in this forum with some explanatory pictures soon as I get the brass eyelets and have a chance to redo my experiment.
- - - Jim
Collector of Autopoint + Realite + Realpoint, and Esterbrook accumulator

#15 Rabbit

Rabbit

    Esterbrook Fan

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,174 posts
  • Location:Kentucky
  • Flag:

Posted 30 September 2010 - 17:44

Thanks for the additional information, Jim. If the new brass part works, I'm definitely looking forward to photos and info about where to get that part.

--Stephen

#16 Ron Z

Ron Z

    Museum Piece

  • FPN Super Moderators

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 8,643 posts

Posted 30 September 2010 - 20:22

According to Herr Estie Doktor Farmnboy, a real inner cap puller can deform both or one of the inner cap and outer cap and he feels the tap method can actually be safer to the pen's materials.

The early inner caps are pretty easy to shatter.


I agree. The tap method, while it leaves marks inside the inner cap, is the safer way to go with the Esterbrook inner caps, especially since you can't be sure whether you'll have the brittle or soft ones.

Fortunately inner caps are easy to find but I seem to find uses for them, they make nice donors for other pens.


I hate to waste any part, 'cause you the one you broke is the one that you'll need. :angry:

banner200.jpg
Visit Main Street Pens
A full service pen shop providing professional, thoughtful vintage pen repair...

Please use email, not a PM for repair and pen purchase inquiries.


#17 tmenyc

tmenyc

    Tim

  • FPN Supporter - Rhodium

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,165 posts
  • Location:Manhattan

Posted 01 January 2012 - 17:04

You can always tell a really good post when it comes back a year later. This is a post that I had saved in my bookmark software, patiently waiting its turn.

I have this lovely red J, and through bright light could see all that nasty dried ink in cap and inner cap. So I soaked and soaked, and finally pulled out my trusty Harbor Freight taps and holders (used many times but not yet for their strictly intended purposes...). Followed Bruce's lead, and Ron's encouragement from the immediately previous response, and out it came. It did mark up the inner cap a little, I'll admit. But the dremel sanded off most of that before I got it back in.
Thanks, folks, for the help!

best for the New Year,

Tim

Edited by tmenyc, 01 January 2012 - 17:05.

Current Rotation:
home: MontBlanc 149/Waterman Blue/Black; Omas Extra/Diamine Twilight; Esterbrook SJ/Akkerman Konigsblauw
case: Sheaffer Statesman/Diamine Royal; Parker Vac/Pel 4001 Black
office: Delta Fusion 82/(vint) Sheaffer blue/black
carry:  Opus88 Koloro/Iroshizuku YamaBudo

see my Pens for Sale and my collection at timsvintagepens.com  


#18 Autonoz

Autonoz

    Dipped Only

  • Member - Silver

  • Pip
  • 7 posts
  • Flag:

Posted 13 January 2012 - 18:32

I was looking for an alternative to using an actual inner cap puller and came across this post. I have a Conklin that the cap and barrel threads would not hold tight any more. After reading in the Pen Repair Second edition that you could cut the inner cap down to allow the barrel to go in deeper and catch new threads, I thought I would give it a try. A good cleaning, a little heat, and BAM the inner cap came out using a tap. Did some measuring to make sure I got the inner cap sized properly and put back in properly, and I now have a pen with a like new cap fit. Thanks to the OP for this post.

#19 Marlow

Marlow

    Happily ink-stained

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 497 posts
  • Location:UK
  • Flag:

Posted 21 August 2013 - 17:26

And here's yet another bump for this incredibly useful thread! I came upon it after much searching online whilst looking for a solution to a thread slipping problem on a Conway Stewart 84. This first led me to try the cap and barrel without the section - sticky and a bit slippy but a lot better than with the section in place. I then took a 36tpi thread gauge (that has quite sharp edges when 'leant over' at 45 degrees) and used it carefully, pulling towards me, to clear the barrel threads of detritis and even refresh them very slightly. Cap & barrel then fit together perfectly so I knew it must be the inner cap that needed shortening! I measured the inner cap depth and found there to be about 3mm more than the length of the fitted nib required! Next came the tap solution!! Wow! 5/16ths tap did the job after a couple of hours soaking the cap in ammonia water: I heated up the tap to touch-hot temperature with the hair dryer immediately before starting to cut into the inner cap with it (I had already determined that the inner cap was made of the softer material) then application of more moderate heat to the outside of the cap and a couple of minutes of very gingerly counter twisting the tap and the cap....and out it came! Now to shorten the inner and I'll have a stunning green marbled, gold veined CS84 instead of a lemon!

 

Many thanks to OP and other contributors to this thread!  :D


So much time, too few fountain pens! Oh...wait.... :facepalm:

"Could a greater miracle take place than for us to look through each other's eyes for an instant?" - (Henry David Thoreau)

Posted Image

#20 alanlight

alanlight

    Rare

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 110 posts
  • Location:NYC, USA
  • Flag:

Posted 06 August 2018 - 21:11

On similar (and cheaper) note, I've had a lot of success using a 3/8" hanger bolt as an inner cap puller. This only cost about a buck or so at the hardware store.








Sponsored Content




|