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My Father's Mont Blanc

mont blanc

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11 replies to this topic

#1 Jonny_J

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Posted 09 March 2014 - 19:49

My father recently gave me his Mont Blanc, which is on the order of 20 years old. The band says "Meisterstuck" but it's not the fat one that opens with a wrench; it's the skinny one where everything appears to be friction-fit. It comes with a threaded piston converter that screws in place.

 

He left it sitting, filled, for around 5 years before he gave it to me. I soaked the section/nib for days, periodically flushing with a syringe jabbed into the back of an empty cartridge, and also using the converter to suck water through it the other way. A lot of solid black chunks came out, but I can't get it completely clean. It writes, but it's not breathing correctly; the flow stops after a few minutes.

 

The question is, should I take it to the repair place in Boston and let the pros have a go? With cheaper pens, I don't hesitate to tear into them and even modify them. After all, I used to build motorcycles, how complicated can a fountain pen possibly be? But with a pen this expensive, I hesitate.

 

Is there any weirdness I should know about the way these are put together? I know from my girlfriend's BMW that Germans like to do things their own way, which is often different from everybody else's way. For instance, is the feed glued in or something? And if I *DO* let the pros handle it, since I can't take it apart myself, does that mean I need an ultrasonic cleaner like the kind they sell for Rapidograph pens? (As an ex motorcycle guy, I'm naturally leery of any mechanical device I can't take apart)

 

TIA for advice,

-Jonny



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#2 jar

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Posted 09 March 2014 - 20:30

Don't take it apart.

 

But add patience.  There is ink in there that dried for many years, it will take time to dissolve. Pictures would help and there are about a dozen or so Montblanc pens that would fit your description.


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#3 mhosea

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Posted 09 March 2014 - 21:57

The question is, should I take it to the repair place in Boston and let the pros have a go? With cheaper pens, I don't hesitate to tear into them and even modify them. After all, I used to build motorcycles, how complicated can a fountain pen possibly be? But with a pen this expensive, I hesitate.

 

 

Most fountain pens are not complicated, but the word "subtle" comes to mind.  First of all, I agree with Jar on the need for more cleaning, since you say you can't get it "completely clean".  I use an inexpensive ultrasonic cleaner (with a plastic insert) a lot, and even that requires some iterations.

 

An alternative to what I can only guess is the Bromfield Pen Shop would be to contact Jim Baer,

 

http://www.fountainp...1287-framebaer/

 

I think he is a regular at the Boston Pen People meetings

 

http://www.bostonpen...eople/Home.html

 

(next meeting in two weeks), so you could probably hand it to him in person.  He'll also tune the nib for you, which might or might not be needed.


Edited by mhosea, 09 March 2014 - 21:58.

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#4 Jonny_J

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Posted 10 March 2014 - 00:18

Yes, I was thinking of Bromfield. Here are some photos. There's a number on the gold band at the top of the pocket clip, but it looks like a serial number, not a model number. The nib bears the number 4810. Does that mean anything?

 

gedc0735.jpggedc0736.jpg


Edited by Jonny_J, 10 March 2014 - 00:21.


#5 jar

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Posted 10 March 2014 - 01:37

4810 is the height in meters of Mont Blanc.

 

The model is a 144.

 

Having a serial number puts it as post 1992 or so.

 

I'd avoid using an ultrasonic cleaner with that pen as there are lots of reports of the gold plated band at the end of the section coming off.


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#6 orfew

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Posted 10 March 2014 - 02:19

The 144 is a very nice pen and well worth the patience and attention to get it back to working condition.


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#7 mhosea

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Posted 10 March 2014 - 03:16

 

I'd avoid using an ultrasonic cleaner with that pen as there are lots of reports of the gold plated band at the end of the section coming off.

 

Good to know.  Perhaps the usual diluted ammonia + drop of dish soap would be more successful than water.


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#8 Hooker56

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Posted 10 March 2014 - 04:15

Hello again, Jonny-J-

 

I acquired a 144 not long ago. +1 on everything Jar and Mike said. It took several days on and off soaking nib down in ammonia-water to get the feed clean. I didn't use USC because of warnings on previous posts. Eventually it came clean. After going through several converters to deal with a leak issue it is an awesome writer. I like the way it writes better than my MB 149. Only drawback for me is the barrel width. a little too petite for my big hands.

 

Good Luck-

 

Clayton

 

P.S.- like many other 144's I've read about, the gold plated section ring on mine has chipped plating. I believe this to be because it functions as a clutch ring and the pressure/clicking from the cap eventually weakens the plating. Be aware and go easy when capping to preserve this weak point. ;)


Edited by Hooker56, 10 March 2014 - 04:20.

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#9 Christopher Godfrey

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Posted 10 March 2014 - 18:52

Jonny, ditch the cartridge and simply allow the entire nib/feed section to soak in luke-warm and slightly soapy water.  Try alternating with dilute ammonia (in water).  When you then stir it around in the basin or sink, between soakings, you will doubtless see clods of dried ink come loose...

 

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#10 Jonny_J

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Posted 10 March 2014 - 21:28

I soaked it in plain water for days to no avail. I'll try ammonia solution & see what happens. Thanks, guys.



#11 ac12

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Posted 10 March 2014 - 22:32

Get a bulb syringe from your local drug store (I got mine from Target, infant dept)

http://www.gouletpen...bulbsyringe.htm

Then use it to force water thru the section/feed.

You can push a lot of water thru the system that will clean out the insides more than just soaking.

 

1 part ammonia to 10 parts water

Then rinse well, to wash out the ammonia.


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#12 pajaro

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Posted 11 March 2014 - 08:55

The nib and feed are friction fit into the section.  In the event that they should come out, there is a half-circle protrusion on the back of the feed that has to fit into a half circle depresion in the section.  That's just info in case the nib and feed should come out, there's only one proper way to fit them back together.

 

This pen is so simple that there's probably no good reason to pull the nib and feed.  You might unscrew the converter to soak the section.  These converters last about ten years for me, and then they seem to wear and won't pull in ink.  The screw-in converter used in this pen seems to be getting pricier now, sometimes running about $20.  You might unscrew the converter and test it in water to see if it pulls in water and expels it.  Take the pen to a meeting or a repair person for help.  You could send it to Montblanc in Texas.  They will probably charge about $70 to replace any part except the nib that needs replacement, plus $10 for shipping plus state tax.  That's probably overkill in this case.  Get local help.


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