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Strangest Thing You've Found When Opening A Pen ...?


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24 replies to this topic

#1 PDW

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Posted 21 May 2012 - 16:25

Not sure this is the right forum, but since this is where people who take pens apart congregate, here goes.

What is the strangest thing you’ve found when opening up a pen? This thread came to mind when I opened a Parker 45 and found, jammed into the section, a Sheaffer cartridge. Took a lot of pulling to get it out as well.

I think, though. that my best 'find' was a button filler which I opened up to find a reasonable sac, but instead of a pressure bar several wads of cotton wool between the button and the sac. Funnily enough, this 'pressure device' wasn’t working.

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#2 jd50ae

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Posted 21 May 2012 - 22:53

Insperation.

#3 subbes

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Posted 22 May 2012 - 14:06

The most irritating thing was receiving a Waterman's 52 labelled as "mint condition" only to find some blighter had opened it up and nicked the pressure bar. Especially since I discovered this long after the money-back/dispute window had closed.


Of course, that's not so much a thing I found, as a thing I didn't.

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#4 Chrissy

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Posted 22 May 2012 - 14:24

It may not count as opening up in your sense, but I recently unscrewed the cap off my Mb silver Solitaire to find the flange of the feeder sleeve case had broken off and fallen around the nib like a polo mint.

It is now back home again after having been repaired.

#5 PDW

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Posted 22 May 2012 - 14:26

The most irritating thing was receiving a Waterman's 52 labelled as "mint condition" only to find some blighter had opened it up and nicked the pressure bar. Especially since I discovered this long after the money-back/dispute window had closed.


Of course, that's not so much a thing I found, as a thing I didn't.


I wonder if Douglas Adams got it almost right - that there’s a planet somewhere inhabited by pressure bars, J bars and sacs mysteriously transported from pens that the sellers swear have never been opened ...

#6 Vintagepens

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Posted 22 May 2012 - 14:29

How about lead shot stuffed into the ends of both cap and barrel of a 14K gold Swan lever-filler?

Some idiot had hoped to cash in when selling the pen for gold value. Since at the time gold was worth around $400 per ounce, the value of the pen as a pen was far above its gold value, added weight or not, so all that the would-be scammer accomplished was to bend the nib and to give me a lot of work extracting the pellets.

Rather like unloading a muzzleloader, but in miniature.

PS Yes, it did make me think of Mark Twain's frog.

#7 red52ripple

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Posted 22 May 2012 - 14:48

I opened a non-functioning Conway Stewart to find that someone had attempted to attach a Parker Aerometric sac with a strip of adhesive dressing. This, as you might guess, had not worked well, with the result that everything was coated with a good quantity of long-dried ink.

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#8 Vintagepens

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Posted 22 May 2012 - 18:52

The most irritating thing was receiving a Waterman's 52 labelled as "mint condition" only to find some blighter had opened it up and nicked the pressure bar. Especially since I discovered this long after the money-back/dispute window had closed.


Of course, that's not so much a thing I found, as a thing I didn't.


I wonder if Douglas Adams got it almost right - that there’s a planet somewhere inhabited by pressure bars, J bars and sacs mysteriously transported from pens that the sellers swear have never been opened ...


That's a funny thought.
And though I do have a very large stock of spare Waterman pressure bars, they piled up over the years in a more prosaic way -- as leftovers from parts barrels stripped for their lever boxes and nib-section assemblies.

Which leads to another anecdote.
Back in the early days of eBay, I would often receive purchases on behalf of an English friend and colleague. One day I received a black hard rubber Patrician for him, and dutifully reported that it had a major crack and was generally in pretty poor condition. He contacted the seller and asked me to ship the pen back for him, which I did. Case closed -- or so I thought.
A few years later, I won a Mandarin Senior on eBay. It had some problems, but was a good project at a fair price. Yet to my surprise, the seller refused to send it to me. It turned out that he had also been the seller of the hard rubber Patrician, and was convinced that when I had inspected that pen, I had stolen its pressure bar! I had not even opened the Patrician, and the notion that I would take a pressure bar -- the one part in any Waterman that NEVER breaks, and of which I had absolutely no need -- was beyond absurd. I even offered to send him a handful of pressure bars, since he seemed to need them so badly, but he would not be mollified.
Funny that he could be so convinced that he had inspected the Patrician closely enough before sending it out to be absolutely certain that it had its pressure bar, yet apparently not closely enough to have missed a gaping crack in the cap lip.

#9 Flounder

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Posted 22 May 2012 - 19:37

Nothing too alarming for me. I had an eBay Snorkel arrive that looked quite rough, and didn't fill, but had a very smooth action to the mechanism. The barrel had been packed with grease and topped off with some sort of black oil.

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#10 ticoun

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Posted 22 May 2012 - 21:05

A 1920's Eclipse from an antique store that had its sac already scraped off the barrel and nipple, and had instead of a Warranted #8 nib a tiny Waterman's #2!

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#11 BrianMcQueen

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Posted 23 May 2012 - 02:34

I opened up a repeating Esterbrook pencil and found straight pins where the lead should be.

#12 Scrawler

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Posted 23 May 2012 - 03:48

A couple months ago I bought a Swan pen on ebay. It had a very stiff lever and did not take on much ink, so I opened it with the intention of resaccing it. When I pulled out the section there was a tiny sac that did not reach the lever. A few bits of black stuff fell out, so I got my dental pick out and extracted an almost complete full sized fossilized sac. Some one knew enough to put a sac in, but not enough to estimate the likely size and investigate why a full sized sac would not fit. They then proceeded to refit the section with all the old garbage inside.

#13 kestrel

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Posted 23 May 2012 - 20:21

I purchased a very nice H. M. Smith dropper filler that made a rattling sound when handled. I opened it up and discovered an old, petrified sac in the barrel with pieces of sac still adhering to the butt end of the section. There was just enough room to glue a sac to it. All I could figure was someone put the sac in and filled the pen by unscrewing the section and squeezing the sac manually.

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#14 alexander_k

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Posted 23 May 2012 - 20:27

A lock of blond hair in the barrel.

#15 PDW

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Posted 23 May 2012 - 21:46

A lock of blond hair in the barrel.


How romantic - wonder if there's a story behind that (other than a long-haired, careless pen repairer) ...

#16 paolino_paperino

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Posted 24 May 2012 - 03:40

Yesterday I took apart a Duofold I purchased a few months ago, in order to change the sac, only to find the usual petrified sac but no pressure bar.

My strangest find, though, has to be the Redipoint all metal lever filler that had no sac and a button filler pressure bar instead of a j bar.

#17 ethernautrix

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Posted 24 May 2012 - 04:21

I opened up a repeating Esterbrook pencil and found straight pins where the lead should be.


The topic is very interesting, but this discovery caught my attention, not sure why. How curious. This one and the one with the lock of blonde hair.

Makes me want to put something in my pens' barrels, maybe tiny jewels...?

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#18 ethernautrix

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Posted 24 May 2012 - 04:21

Or a wisdom tooth, if I could make it fit.

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#19 alexander_k

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Posted 24 May 2012 - 05:13

A lock of blond hair in the barrel.


How romantic - wonder if there's a story behind that (other than a long-haired, careless pen repairer) ...


I think we can discount the possibility of an accident, unless of course there are long-haired, careless pen repairers with tiny ribbons in their hair.

#20 subbes

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Posted 24 May 2012 - 14:46

(TOSSES TAWNY LOCKS.)


(ACCIDENTALLY DIPS HAIR IN SHELLAC.)


Well, dang.

"Perdita thought, to take an example at random, that things like table manners were a stupid and repressive idea. Agnes, on the other hand, was against being hit by flying bits of other people's cabbage." (Pratchett, T. Carpe Jugulum.)

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