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Esterbrook Cartridge Converter


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12 replies to this topic

#1 Dino Silone

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Posted 15 May 2012 - 15:13

I just picked up an Esterbrook cartridge pen at a flea market. It came with an empty cartridge that was about the size and shape of a Sheaffer cartridge, and on cursory inspection, seemed to be interchangeable with Sheaffer cartridges. When I took the cartridge out to replace it with a Sheaffer cartridge converter, I found that the hole on the Esterbrook needs to be much larger than on the Sheaffer.

For now, filling the cartridge with a syringe is working, and it's not leaking. But I'd really like to get a converter to work so that I don't have to bother with the syringe.

Before I start doing surgery on the Sheaffer converter to enlarge the hole, I wanted to ask if others have been successful with this approach. Is the hole size the only issue, or is it likely that I could get the converter to fit on the tube only to find that the cartridge needs to be different in some other way?

Thanks in advance for any replies :)

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#2 jrweaver

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Posted 15 May 2012 - 15:24

I've been wondering about this myself. I have a CX-100 that I'd like to "create" a converter for. I was inspecting a cross converter and it looked as though if I cut the end off, there would be a big enough hole to fit on the Estie. Curios to see what everyone else thinks.
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#3 adyonka

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Posted 15 May 2012 - 17:02

Not quite the same thing, but a step in that direction.... I recently used an empty Sheaffer cartridge and put it on an Estie CX-100 using the Estie to open up the hole in the plastic just a bit more than it had been opened from the Sheaffer.

It worked, but I am a bit concerned about whether or not the seal between the cartridge and the pen will hold long term.

It also looks rather unholy having a Skrip cartridge attached to a Esterbrook nib, but that's another story completely.

Edited by adyonka, 15 May 2012 - 17:36.


#4 Dino Silone

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Posted 15 May 2012 - 18:22

I probably should have tried this before posting, but I just tried inserting the Sheaffer converter into the pen, and it just doesn't fit into the barrel - diameter is too large. OK - well, I guess I'm lucky to have an empty cartridge that I can refill with a syringe. :)

I'm sure it's been asked a million times, but can you still get Estie cartridges? Or a converter?

#5 adyonka

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Posted 15 May 2012 - 18:29

Cartridges turn up from time to time in pens and on eBay. I've always managed to acquire dry cartridges in pens, although I probably wouldn't trust the old ink anyway -- too likely to have developed sediment and it isn't worth the time to try to strain that small amount of ink.

I haven't come across any converters, and as I recall (I've been wrong before), Esterbrook didn't make converters. You either bought the version for bottle ink or you bought a pen that used cartridges.

#6 Eduardo

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Posted 17 May 2012 - 09:38

Sheaffer converter, has the thinnest channel hole. Enlarge it, may last a thin wall... I don't know exactly the diameter of the Esterbrook inner feeder, but the two largest channel converters are Platinum and Pilot. If you want to adapt, I suggest that you start with one of these...
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#7 Autopoint

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Posted 17 May 2012 - 10:44

Esterbrook did make removable aerometric converters. They came in the Phaeton 300 models. I have several, but have never tried to mount them on the typical Esterbrook cartridge filler pens (Phaeton 300 pens are pretty scarce, so that'd be a pretty expensive solution for a pretty inexpensive Esterbrook pen, even if it fit).

A much simpler solution is to use the ubiquitous Sheaffer cartridges, which are readily available and cheap, and work well so long as they fit down the barrel of the Esterbrook pen. For example, I use a Sheaffer ink cartridge in my Esterbrook Model CA fountain pens. I have many Sheaffer cartridges, and do this all the time. The trick is to puncture the end of the Sheaffer ink cartridge with an awl, prior to filling it and mounting it on the Esterbrook cartridge nipple. Take a rough measurement of the diameter of the Esterbrook cartridge nipple, then "prepuncture" the end of the Sheaffer cartridge to a diameter just less than the outside diameter of the Esterbrook cartridge nipple. That way there'll be plenty of tension left in the end of the Sheaffer cartridge to firmly grip the Esterbrook cartridge nipple, when you push it into place after filling it with ink. Refill and reuse the Sheaffer cartridge until it starts to leak ink around the nipple, then just "prepuncture" another Sheaffer cartridge, refill it with ink, and start the process all over again.

Another trick is to use a section of mechanical pencil eraser to properly "space" the Sheaffer cartridge, up inside the end of the barrel of the Esterbrook pen. If there's space between the end of the Sheaffer ink cartridge and the inside of the Esterbrook pen barrel that screws into place over top of the ink cartridge, it's possible that the ink cartridge could slip out of position and leak. So I just cut a piece of "rubber" mechanical pencil eraser to fit that gap, and put it up into the end of the pen barrel (adhesive optional and not really rquired), before I screw the pen barrel into place. This virtually guarantees that the ink cartridge won't back out of position, and is far cheaper than finding/buying the actual "spacers" that Esterbrook furnished with its original ink cartridges for these pens.

Finally, some Esterbrook cartridge pen models will accept the short "international length" ink cartridges. In fact, certain Esterbrook models will accept the "international" ink cartridges without the need to "prepuncture" the end of the ink cartridge. I've found the benefit to the shorter "international" cartridges is that I can insert two of them into the barrel of an Esterbrook CA fountain pen, back to back. One in position to feed ink to the nib, and the other to act as a spare to be used when the original cartridge is empty. When the first cartridge is empty, I just reverse the positions of the two "international" cartridges and keep writing. That way I almost never run out of ink while I'm on the road. Since the overall length of the two "international" cartridges isn't quite long enough to fill the Esterbrook CA pen barrel, I just make up a piece of "rubber" mechanical pencil eraser long enough to fit that gap.
- - - Good luck, and happy fixin', Jim

Collector of Autopoint + Realite + Realpoint, and Esterbrook accumulator

#8 SharCM

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Posted 27 July 2012 - 14:51

Esterbrook did make removable aerometric converters. They came in the Phaeton 300 models. I have several, but have never tried to mount them on the typical Esterbrook cartridge filler pens (Phaeton 300 pens are pretty scarce, so that'd be a pretty expensive solution for a pretty inexpensive Esterbrook pen, even if it fit).

A much simpler solution is to use the ubiquitous Sheaffer cartridges, which are readily available and cheap, and work well so long as they fit down the barrel of the Esterbrook pen. For example, I use a Sheaffer ink cartridge in my Esterbrook Model CA fountain pens. I have many Sheaffer cartridges, and do this all the time. The trick is to puncture the end of the Sheaffer ink cartridge with an awl, prior to filling it and mounting it on the Esterbrook cartridge nipple. Take a rough measurement of the diameter of the Esterbrook cartridge nipple, then "prepuncture" the end of the Sheaffer cartridge to a diameter just less than the outside diameter of the Esterbrook cartridge nipple. That way there'll be plenty of tension left in the end of the Sheaffer cartridge to firmly grip the Esterbrook cartridge nipple, when you push it into place after filling it with ink. Refill and reuse the Sheaffer cartridge until it starts to leak ink around the nipple, then just "prepuncture" another Sheaffer cartridge, refill it with ink, and start the process all over again.

Another trick is to use a section of mechanical pencil eraser to properly "space" the Sheaffer cartridge, up inside the end of the barrel of the Esterbrook pen. If there's space between the end of the Sheaffer ink cartridge and the inside of the Esterbrook pen barrel that screws into place over top of the ink cartridge, it's possible that the ink cartridge could slip out of position and leak. So I just cut a piece of "rubber" mechanical pencil eraser to fit that gap, and put it up into the end of the pen barrel (adhesive optional and not really rquired), before I screw the pen barrel into place. This virtually guarantees that the ink cartridge won't back out of position, and is far cheaper than finding/buying the actual "spacers" that Esterbrook furnished with its original ink cartridges for these pens.

Finally, some Esterbrook cartridge pen models will accept the short "international length" ink cartridges. In fact, certain Esterbrook models will accept the "international" ink cartridges without the need to "prepuncture" the end of the ink cartridge. I've found the benefit to the shorter "international" cartridges is that I can insert two of them into the barrel of an Esterbrook CA fountain pen, back to back. One in position to feed ink to the nib, and the other to act as a spare to be used when the original cartridge is empty. When the first cartridge is empty, I just reverse the positions of the two "international" cartridges and keep writing. That way I almost never run out of ink while I'm on the road. Since the overall length of the two "international" cartridges isn't quite long enough to fill the Esterbrook CA pen barrel, I just make up a piece of "rubber" mechanical pencil eraser long enough to fit that gap.
- - - Good luck, and happy fixin', Jim

I am new to fountain pens and the Fountain Pen Network - thanks to "inheriting" some old pens. I have an old Esterbrook Phaeton with a cracked ink cartridge (it's a sanford) and I would like to get this pen up and running. Are you able (or willing) to spare a cartridge or converter? Or do you have any recommendations for me? I think my nib has an issue too, but I got ink to flow in a test and it is ok. Thanks for any help.

#9 Autopoint

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Posted 28 July 2012 - 09:15

Are you able (or willing) to spare a cartridge or converter?


Sorry. I only have 2 Esterbrook converters, and each of those is part of a Phaeton 300 pen and pencil set - new in the box. I'm unwilling to break up either of those very hard to find complete sets. However, all is not lost. You're soliciting help in the right place. Someone else may well have an odd converter. In the alternative,
HERE is the link to a method of "constructing" a make-shift converter from various parts. You'll find many other similar examples of how to do this if you Google it. If you really want a workable converter, it's not hard to make one that's field-expedient.
- - - Happy fixin', Jim

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#10 jasonditz

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Posted 28 July 2012 - 18:31

While it's nowhere near as cool as making your own converter when I hear "bigger hole" my mind immediately goes to "Lamy cartridge." They seem to be the biggest (readily) on the market today and hold up to some abuse of using them in somewhat different sized systems.

#11 pajaro

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Posted 28 July 2012 - 18:54

I have an Esterbrook Safari cartridge pen that uses a Lamy cartridge. This pen came to me recently in a lot of ebay Esties and other pens, and I just haven't gotten around to trying various converters yet. The gray Safari looked too nice to put it on the melt pile.

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#12 SharCM

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Posted 03 August 2012 - 16:14

Thanks for the info and the link. On to my new career with fountain pens.

Sorry. I only have 2 Esterbrook converters, and each of those is part of a Phaeton 300 pen and pencil set - new in the box. I'm unwilling to break up either of those very hard to find complete sets. However, all is not lost. You're soliciting help in the right place. Someone else may well have an odd converter. In the alternative, [/size]HERE is the link to a method of "constructing" a make-shift converter from various parts. You'll find many other similar examples of how to do this if you Google it. If you really want a workable converter, it's not hard to make one that's field-expedient.
- - - Happy fixin', Jim

[/quote]

#13 Autopoint

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Posted 04 August 2012 - 08:59

BTW, the two Phaeton 300 pen and pencil sets, almost new and both in plastic boxes, including converters, will be on sale at the DC Pen Show first thing on Thursday morning. Look for the rabid enthusiast wearing a blue "Autopoint - The Better Pen" tee shirt.
- - - Happy hunting, Jim
Collector of Autopoint + Realite + Realpoint, and Esterbrook accumulator






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