Jump to content

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






Photo

You've Got Your First Found In The Wild Parker 51 In Your Hand, Now What?


  • Please log in to reply
196 replies to this topic

#1 OcalaFlGuy

OcalaFlGuy

    Ancient Artifact

  • Member - Gold

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

Posted 20 June 2012 - 00:29

[I thought it'd be helpful to have a pinned topic like this and suggested it to our Moderator who agreed. Thanks to Ryan for helping with the final edit too.]


So you've gotten yourself (perhaps) your first found in the wild Parker 51 and you are so anxious to fill and test out your new pen friend.

Not so quickly there now, you know they say patience is a virtue.

First a comment for those who have chosen a Vacumatic filler model as their first 51. The Vac filler uses a natural rubber diaphragm which, like the latex sac in lever and button fillers, will wear out and require servicing over time. Even if your "new" Vac 51 will fill when you receive it, unless you are assured by your seller (that you know and trust) that it has had it's diaphragm replaced, it is more prudent to NOT put the pen into continued service until it has been replaced. IF the diaphragm fails with the pen full of ink, you'll not only have a mess in (and on) your hands but the person you send the pen to for servicing has additional clean up work to perform within the bowels of the pen as well. AFTER you get your new Vac 51 cleaned out, you can still enjoy that first fill and use that time to critique the pen and nib so you will be able to notify your service person of any changes to ink flow or nib smoothness that you may desire them to do at the same time as the diaphragm servicing.

The "sac" used in the Aero filler is made from a form of PVC that Parker called Pli-glass that is extremely durable, much more so than the diaphragm in a Vac filler. Unless punctured or torn, so far, the Pli-glass has shown an indeterminate lifespan. (In the event a replacement Aero sac IS ever needed, David Nishimura of vintagepens.com has recently begun to produce and sell exact replicas of the original Pli-glass sacs.)

There are some design features in 51's that are dramatically different from other pens and make the usual quickie one or two filler cycle flushes that may work with other pens insufficient to clean out a P-51. Perhaps the most prominent is the collector inside the hood. Think of it as kind of a car radiator, but for ink. It is much larger with more channels than are in most all other pens. It has numerous fins that help regulate ink flow but that also can become clogged if ink is allowed to dry up inside the pen. This clogginess will manifest itself in a myriad of writing anomalies such as hard starting, skipping, or reduced or dying ink flow during use. It is my opinion that many fountain penners who've not enjoyed their 51's were writing with cloggy pens. They' ve done a quickie (insufficient) cleaning on them and they then just assume that all 51's write like that. Trust me. They don't.

It is preferred, if you are willing to take just a little time to learn how and what to do, that the hood come off either model, and at least the front end of the pen be disassembled, the parts thoroughly cleaned then reassembled. It really isn't difficult to do. We will assume for this thread that you'd like to get the pen up and writing, as clean as you can get it, for at least that first fill before sending it in for service, (Vac) *Without taking the pen apart*. We will also assume that you do not have an ultrasonic cleaner. The use of an ultrasonic cleaner can reduce the soak/flush time to a fraction of what is necessary without one.

(Re; Ultrasonic cleaners. Below is the model I have and have used for about 3 years now. (Image from Amazon) It works perfect for pens. It was formally branded as a Haer brand model and it's new model number is Trent CD-7810. As of 6/2012 they are available on Amazon for around $30 and for that price is a real bargain. You may see a larger model available but be sure the on/off controls Are Not located in the units lid but under it. The units with the controls in the lid will fail due to an eventually broken electrical connection between the lid and the unit itself.)
Posted Image

There is a breather tube inside that can become clogged and in the Aero maybe corroded from the use of Parker's Superchrome ink. While you may be able to clear a light clog in the breather tube by soaking and flushing, a really clogged or corroded one will mean the pen has to come apart for the tube to be accessed and serviced. Luckily, the main aspect of the breather tube relates to filling and while you may not get a full fill with a clogged or compromised tube, the writing of the pen shouldn't be noticeably affected. If you have an Aero pen, give it a light shake and listen closely, you Do Not Want to hear anything "tinkling" around inside. If you do, that is likely a broken corroded breather tube that should be replaced for the pen to fully fill. Continued use of an Aero with a broken tube risks the tube puncturing the Pli-glass sac. That would not be a good thing. Even with a broken breather tube you can still do this clean up and at least your first test write ink fill. (The Vac filler's breather tube is plastic and not subject to the corrosion a Sterling Silver Aero tube is.)

Find a see though cup, glass or other container, the narrower the better, to soak your 51 in. You are going to soak the pen, nib down with the pen standing as vertically as possible. Here is the antique shot glass I use to soak my 51's. Off the top of my head, an empty and washed out Olive jar might make another great soak jar.

Posted Image

In another container mix a solution of 10% household Plain, non-sudsy, non-"flavored" Ammonia to 90% tap water. JB's pen flush, Rapido-Eze technical pen cleaner, R & K pen cleaner or the J Herbin pen cleaner are the only other preferred soak solutions. Put the uncapped pen nib down in your soak container and fill it with the solution to just forward/below of the clutch ring. It is not advisable to drench the part of the either style filler past or aft of the clutch ring, this is why you are soaking vertically, nib down instead of the whole pen being submerged horizontally.

If your pen is a Vac, remove the blind cap and with the pen in the solution, push the plunger down, release it, wait 2-3 seconds for the pen to take up some soak solution and push again. Repeat until no more bubbles come out. If you only see bubbles rise for the first or second plunger push, your rubber diaphragm isn't working correctly and needs replacing. While you can still soak and Maybe flush the pen clean(er) it isn't likely to fill with ink. What you want to see from a good Vac diaphragm is *some* bubbles for at least 6-8 plunger pushes.

With an Aero 51 pen in the solution, cycle the filler 4-6 times with a couple seconds between each squeeze. Then lift the pen out of the solution and move it nib up, nib down a couple times to slosh some of the soaking solution around inside all of the Pli-glass filler sac, then back into the soak container nib down.

You are going to let your pen soak for at least 24 hours, preferably 36. The complexity of the passages within the collector are the main reason for this extended soak time. The idea is to get all parts of the filler forward of the clutch ring as clean as possible which, if there are then writing problems, tends to negate a cloggy pen as the reason. Every couple hours you are awake come by and cycle the filler a few times with the pen in the solution to flush the cleaner through the pen. Remember to nib up/nib down now and then to slosh the solution around inside the Aero's sac. It's a good idea to replace the solution a few times with clean solution so you can monitor how much ink is still coming out or not. It is very common for you to have several hours where there appears to be no more ink coming out then POOF! out will come a big formally persistent clog poof of ink. After 24 hours, replace the solution with clear water, cycle the filler a few times to fill the pen with that, then cycle the filler a few more times every couple waking hours for the last 12 hours as a final rinse/soak. You may desire to do one final "soak" change of fresh water towards the end to be sure All traces of the Ammonia are removed from the pen.

At the end of the 36 hours, remove the pen from the water, cycle the filler a few times to exhaust the remaining water inside the pen and carefully put the pen nib down in a cup/glass with a wadded up piece of good quality paper towel in the bottom of the cup/glass. In 2-4 hrs, the paper towel will remove most if not all of any remaining water though capillary action and your pen will be as ready as possible for it's first test write ink fill.

This extended soak/flush procedure will get the pen as clean as possible short of taking it apart and cleaning each component. If there are writing problems with the pen on your first fill, or when you send the Vac in for it's new diaphragm, mention to the repair person that you've done this extended soak and flush.

Lastly, when you do your first test write fill, remember on the last plunger push or Aero squeeze to NOT release the plunger or filler bar until you've lifted the pen out of the ink. This draws the excess ink up off the collector and makes it less likely the pen will glop on you.

There you have it, good luck with your "new" P-51 and welcome to "The 51 Club".

Bruce in Ocala, FL

Edited by OcalaFlGuy, 20 June 2012 - 02:19.


Sponsored Content

#2 WayTooManyHobbies

WayTooManyHobbies

    Vintage

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 723 posts
  • Location:Rochester Hills, MI
  • Flag:

Posted 20 June 2012 - 00:38

Bruce,

Wow - that is awesome. Fantastic job! I have a few 51s, and thought I was familiar with them, but you have just taught me WAY more.

Please, Moderators, pin this. Everyone who goes hunting the 51 will benefit!

Chuck

#3 Gojira

Gojira

    Vintage

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 629 posts
  • Location:Australia
  • Flag:

Posted 20 June 2012 - 00:51

Thanks very much, Bruce. All I can say is...Posted Image

#4 Korybas

Korybas

    The pen is the tongue of the mind

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 496 posts
  • Location:Athens, GREECE.
  • Flag:

Posted 20 June 2012 - 07:18

I want to add my voice to those of the other members who already replied and say a big "thank you" for your very informative post! :thumbup:
Bruce, very well done ! At last, all the info one needs (and more) in one post...
Sometime in the not too distant future, I plan to get my own Vac 51 and I learned many new things about them from your post. :thumbup:

Edited by Korybas, 20 June 2012 - 07:18.

Posted Image

#5 Glenn-SC

Glenn-SC

    Donor Pen

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 4,636 posts

Posted 20 June 2012 - 07:34

First a comment for those who have chosen a Vacumatic filler model as their first 51. The Vac filler uses a natural rubber diaphragm which, like the latex sac in lever and button fillers, will wear out and require servicing over time. Even if your "new" Vac 51 will fill when you receive it, unless you are assured by your seller (that you know and trust) that it has had it's diaphragm replaced, it is more prudent to NOT put the pen into continued service until it has been replaced. IF the diaphragm fails with the pen full of ink, you'll not only have a mess in (and on) your hands but the person you send the pen to for servicing has additional clean up work to perform within the bowels of the pen as well. AFTER you get your new Vac 51 cleaned out, you can still enjoy that first fill and use that time to critique the pen and nib so you will be able to notify your service person of any changes to ink flow or nib smoothness that you may desire them to do at the same time as the diaphragm servicing.


I realize that this text is getting "PINNED" and that this is a "Corporate Policy" statement, but I disagree with this section.
1) I have never had a diaphragm or sack on any vintage FP catastrophically fair on me and leak ink creating a mess. This includes the 25 odd :51" Vacs I own. They either work or they don't and need to be replaced.
3) The dire warning "the person you send the pen to for servicing has additional clean up work to perform within the bowels of the pen as well." is disingenuous, as the pen's "bowels" are already filled with ink. Perhaps the scare you were intending to raise was "the person you send the pen to for servicing has additional clean up work to perform within the diaphragm/filling system of the pen as well."

PS: There is a thread here now about a Areo sack that has gone bad and how to replace it, I believe the statement "Unless punctured or torn, so far, the Pli-glass has shown an indeterminate lifespan." is misleading at best.

PPS: The sub-title say "No dis-assemble required" and then your make a case for and state "It is preferred (snip) that the hood come off either model, and at least the front end of the pen be disassembled, ..."

Edited by Glenn-SC, 20 June 2012 - 07:38.


#6 Sasha Royale

Sasha Royale

    Ancient Artifact

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 14,131 posts
  • Flag:

Posted 20 June 2012 - 12:39

I have several Parker 51 pens, including my Dad's heirloom Parker.
This has been most educational. The information will also be useful
for the Vacumatics in my collection.

Many thanks.

Auf freiem Grund mit freiem Volke stehn. 
Zum Augenblicke dürft ich sagen: 
Verweile doch, du bist so schön ! 


#7 OcalaFlGuy

OcalaFlGuy

    Ancient Artifact

  • Member - Gold

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

Posted 20 June 2012 - 12:40

You are entitled to your opinions and I disagree with your assessments.

I have what I feel is sufficient information to back up what I said.

There is nothing that you've mentioned that I've said that in any way points someone in a undesirable direction to go.

Re; the leaking situation. A failed diaphragm can cause ink to leak outside the pen. If you REALLY want to nit pick what the "bowels" of the pen are and think that is REALLY something critical in wording, again, that is your opinion.

I have never heard of a Pli-glass sac "wearing out". All sac replacements I've heard of relate to the sac being damaged. That has nothing to do with the natural lifespan of the sac material.

I made every attempt to cover all bases. Yes, we all know that it is preferable to fully take down a 51 to be sure all is right. But that is just not going to happen to the majority of found in the wild by new 51 user pens. They have their "new" pen and they want to try it out ASAP. My statement clearly states that the PREFERRED method is to disassemble the pen, however it takes the realistic approach of giving a new user a viable option Beside becoming the pen repairperson the likely Aren't Interested (at that time) in becoming.

Lastly, thank you for again proving the oft used adage of, you can make all of the people happy some of the time and some of the people happy all of the time but you can never make all of the people happy all of the time.

Bruce in Ocala, FL

Edited by OcalaFlGuy, 20 June 2012 - 13:04.


#8 myn

myn

    Antique

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,625 posts
  • Flag:

Posted 20 June 2012 - 12:51

Thanks for the posting of this and glad it will be pinned. I really appreciated also the information
on ultrasonic cleaners and what to look for with them.
"Minds are like parachutes. They only function when open." James Dewar
Posted Image

#9 Glenn-SC

Glenn-SC

    Donor Pen

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 4,636 posts

Posted 20 June 2012 - 15:35

And if a statement is to be pinned then it should be as accurate as possible.

Opinions are great, but should be noted as such.

Accuracy and consistency should be the goal.

#10 OcalaFlGuy

OcalaFlGuy

    Ancient Artifact

  • Member - Gold

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

Posted 20 June 2012 - 16:00

Accuracy and consistency were not only a goal with the thread they were an achieved
goal.

Regardless of your Opinion to the contrary.

Bruce in Ocala, FL

#11 pajaro

pajaro

    Amblin along like I had good sense.

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 10,654 posts
  • Flag:

Posted 20 June 2012 - 20:16

[I thought it'd be helpful to have a pinned topic like this and suggested it to our Moderator who agreed. Thanks to Ryan for helping with the final edit too.]


It is preferred, if you are willing to take just a little time to learn how and what to do, that the hood come off either model, and at least the front end of the pen be disassembled, the parts thoroughly cleaned then reassembled. It really isn't difficult to do. We will assume for this thread that you'd like to get the pen up and writing, as clean as you can get it, for at least that first fill before sending it in for service, (Vac) *Without taking the pen apart*. We will also assume that you do not have an ultrasonic cleaner. The use of an ultrasonic cleaner can reduce the soak/flush time to a fraction of what is necessary without one.


While the above is a superb educational experience to show the owner how the pen works, and while I know that you believe in thorough cleaning of the ink system, there might arise some issues with this for owners not knowledgeable in working on Parker 51s. I have had some 51s that I have never been able to get the hood off of, no matter how many times I have used the hair dryer or heat gun on them, and have nearly melted some shells, and have even heated the filler enough that the filler sheath came off and had to be re-shellacked on. I have also, on successful shell removals, dropped the clutch ring down the drain. I think some cautions are appropriate, and my real point here is that the faint of heart might be better off sending the pen to one of our experts, like Old Griz, Farmersmums, Penfisher, et al. Another idea might be for the inexperienced to acquire a junk 51 and practice on it, although I have never found a junk 51, they are all good.
I am offering this in the hope that it will seem constructive, and in no way am I disparaging what is an excellent article.

"Don't hurry, don't worry. It's better to be late at the Golden Gate than to arrive in Hell on time."
--Sign in a bar and grill, Ormond Beach, Florida, 1960.

 

They took the blue from the skies and the pretty girls' eyes and a touch of Old Glory too . . .


#12 Flounder

Flounder

    Forum Moderate

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,884 posts
  • Location:Scotland

Posted 20 June 2012 - 21:42

... It's a Parker 51 thread, so here I am with the usual "if you are going to take apart your first aeromatic 51, consider a practise run on a 616 jumbo" line.

Latest pen related post @ flounders-mindthots.blogspot.com : vintage Pilot Elite Pocket Pen review


#13 OcalaFlGuy

OcalaFlGuy

    Ancient Artifact

  • Member - Gold

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

Posted 20 June 2012 - 22:22

While the above is a superb educational experience to show the owner how the pen works, and while I know that you believe in thorough cleaning of the ink system, there might arise some issues with this for owners not knowledgeable in working on Parker 51s. I have had some 51s that I have never been able to get the hood off of, no matter how many times I have used the hair dryer or heat gun on them, and have nearly melted some shells, and have even heated the filler enough that the filler sheath came off and had to be re-shellacked on. I have also, on successful shell removals, dropped the clutch ring down the drain. I think some cautions are appropriate, and my real point here is that the faint of heart might be better off sending the pen to one of our experts, like Old Griz, Farmersmums, Penfisher, et al. Another idea might be for the inexperienced to acquire a junk 51 and practice on it, although I have never found a junk 51, they are all good.
I am offering this in the hope that it will seem constructive, and in no way am I disparaging what is an excellent article.


I do not disagree with anything you've said.

Hopefully this is if nothing else becoming a good illustration of the difficulty involved in doing up a good, purposeful pinned thread that so many people in different forums want to see done for so many different subjects.

You need to cover all the bases but still be somewhat succinct or it turns into an encyclopedia.

As noted earlier, you also need to be as factual as possible.

The main target here was the (my guess) probably 80-90% of the First Time, found in the wild 51 owners who's first thought is to ink that new puppy up and see what all this 51 furor is all about. I do not believe the vast majority of the new 51 owners who would go thru this procedure would then decide to take the pen apart and continue. But that doesn't mean I still don't have to be factual and tell them that really is the best way. The whole idea is for a procedure that would help
the Most in cleaning the pen Without Taking It Apart and also that they cause no further damage with the cleaning.

Yes, After they try this, there needs to be some soul searching as to whether they undertake a dis-assembly. I purposely chose NOT to go further into that area here. My hope and thoughts were that would be the time the new owner comes to the Parker or Repair forum, and says,"Ok, I've done this flush out procedure and it's still flowing weakly, Now What?" THEN would really be the time to see what pen repair they've done so far and maybe with some of our help determine whether they are suited for further adventure or they should send the pen into someone.

So, yes, I agree with you. The purpose here wasn't to make pen repairpersons out of all new 51 owners, in fact, quite the opposite, more than anything it was meant to be useful to those who have no intentions on breaking down their 51.

Bruce in Ocala, FL

#14 Mags

Mags

    Life is more vibrant with a fountain pen and a bold wet ink line

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,170 posts
  • Location:Saskatoon/Regina, Canada
  • Flag:

Posted 07 July 2012 - 08:25

I don't own a 51, but perhaps one day. Thanks for this post and advice, facts and opinions.
Bob Maguire (Plse call me "M or Mags" like my friends do...)
I use a RIM PlayBook and a fountain pen.

#15 GClef

GClef

    The Manny™

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,831 posts
  • Location:40.545633, 74.514126
  • Flag:

Posted 09 July 2012 - 13:02

Posted Image

Posted Image

Posted Image

>>> Ennyn Durin <<<


#16 Mags

Mags

    Life is more vibrant with a fountain pen and a bold wet ink line

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,170 posts
  • Location:Saskatoon/Regina, Canada
  • Flag:

Posted 13 July 2012 - 11:31

Here will be my Parker 51....I will need help when it arrives.

http://www.ebay.com/...c#ht_500wt_1156
Bob Maguire (Plse call me "M or Mags" like my friends do...)
I use a RIM PlayBook and a fountain pen.

#17 wastelanded

wastelanded

    No affiliation.

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,069 posts
  • Flag:

Posted 15 July 2012 - 01:35

Here will be my Parker 51....I will need help when it arrives.

http://www.ebay.com/...c#ht_500wt_1156


Congrats!
"I was cut off from the world. There was no one to confuse or torment me, and I was forced to become original." - Franz Joseph Haydn 1732 - 1809

#18 lovemy51

lovemy51

    legal? of course... and with all my papers. FP-friendly, mostly

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 4,610 posts
  • Location:near my pens and inks

Posted 15 July 2012 - 06:18

thx all for the great info.

hi, GClef. it looks like a black jewel on the cap, so it could be a Special -tho' i don't read it on the sac guard and from the pic i can't tell if it's a hoop filler. or is it just a "51" with a Special cap swap? Franken? :hmm1:

hello, maguirer. congrats on your lot winning! yours it's def a 51 special.
Lovemy51 Posted Image




pleese, forgeeve my bad espelling!! Posted Image

#19 Mags

Mags

    Life is more vibrant with a fountain pen and a bold wet ink line

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,170 posts
  • Location:Saskatoon/Regina, Canada
  • Flag:

Posted 15 July 2012 - 11:58

Thanks Wastelanded and lovemy51
Bob Maguire (Plse call me "M or Mags" like my friends do...)
I use a RIM PlayBook and a fountain pen.

#20 GClef

GClef

    The Manny™

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,831 posts
  • Location:40.545633, 74.514126
  • Flag:

Posted 15 July 2012 - 12:57

hi, GClef. it looks like a black jewel on the cap, so it could be a Special -tho' i don't read it on the sac guard and from the pic i can't tell if it's a hoop filler. or is it just a "51" with a Special cap swap? Franken?


Posted Image

>>> Ennyn Durin <<<







Sponsored Content




|