I'm curious for all you 'Jacks (and Jills) of all trades'... when you started repairing pens, did you stick with one brand (or possibly one model of one brand) or were you learning on a 'case by case' basis?
I ask because when I apprenticed to learn goldsmithy, I pretty much learnt in modules. Polishing finished work, then resizing rings, 6 months setting tiny melee diamonds/stones into semi-mounts until I could (almost literally) do it in my sleep... then moving on to different chain forging, then fabrication etc... so learning that way sort of makes sense to me.
That being said, I've got a huge PILE of 'problem children' I've picked up in lots from ebay and really want to move on from resaccing Esterbrooks to doing something more 'meaty'. A fair number of these various orphans really ARE parts, even I can see that... but some of them are in pretty great shape apart from being frankenpens or having a bent (or missing) lever...
I guess I'm looking for encouragement, because when I was learning to be a bench jeweler, I had a master jeweler leaning over me a fair bit of the time guiding me (and keeping me from doing fearlessly stupid things).
My strategem at the moment is to go slow and not attack anything that's very valuable. I guess I'm just afraid that I haven't yet developed the ability to figure out what I can handle, does that make sense?
I've also resigned myself to breaking some pens. I haven't chatted with anyone who has spent time repairing old pens and never broken anything, so I'm trying to give myself a pass when it eventually happens. It can't be as sickening as the corner shearing off a 6 carat emerald I was resetting (I hate beryls..so beautiful, but so psychotic to work)... so I guess I should be ok
PS Edited to add. Because I don't want to start 500 different threads in the various fora... is it impolite of me to ask if I can see your workbenches? I'm still trying to figure out how to store pieces/extra bits/parts (what I affectionately call piecesparts).. since I can't eyeball a clip and tell what model it is (or often, if not marked, even what company it was)... so I need some sort of organisational help.
Right at the moment, I've got a sort of L shaped setup, with heat gun at my right hand (I'm sort of ambi-clumsy, but tend to use my right hand for a lot of things), main work space in front of me with tools in a long tool holder (drilled out wood block) in front of me and US cleaner to my left. Buffing equipment is across the garage (though I haven't found much use for it yet). I haven't moved my flex shaft over (yet), not sure where to put it.
Thanks for any and all help =)
Edited by AnnieB123, 30 November 2013 - 13:43.