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Esterbrook - Looking For A Modern Converter That Fits

esterbrook estie converter fit

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30 replies to this topic

#1 spaceink

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Posted 11 November 2014 - 03:18

Hello, I've heard rumblings here and there that some modern and more available converters may fit old Esterbrook cartridge pens, for which cartridges are no longer available and aeromatic fillers are hard to find. So I'm curious to see if any of it is true. If you have any of the following converters and an old Estie cartridge pen, can you check to see if they might fit?

 

Converters to test for fit:

-Lamy

-Platinum

-Pilot

-Sheaffer

 

Any others?. Other brands are worth a try if you have them. Supposedly large-mouthed ones may offer some hope for those of us wanting to see if there's a better way than refilling also hard to find Esterbrook cartridges or adjusting Sheaffer ones.


Edited by spaceink, 11 November 2014 - 03:19.


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#2 estie1948

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Posted 11 November 2014 - 08:11

I wish you good luck, but I am afraid you are looking for something that does not exist. I do not own any Esterbrook cartridge pens. I have seen a few and even seen a few old cartridges years ago. I have not seen anything in recent years that would fit. I wish I had better news for you and hopefully someone will come along and give you the good news you seek.

 

-David.


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#3 Autopoint

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Posted 11 November 2014 - 12:50

+1 on wishing you luck.  I'd offer a slightly different option.  Several years back there were a number of people experimenting with adding an ink sac, permanently mounted, to the back of a cartridge, so you could "pump" the ink in and out using the ink sac and your fingers.  Sort of like a Parker aerometric filler or the aerometric filler in the fairly late model Esterbrook M2, but home made with, say an empty Esterbrook cartridge.  To visualize, imagine just gluing an ink sac on to the back of an Esterbrook cartridge that has a hole in both ends.  The devil was in the details, of course, and the tough part was getting the ink sac to stay mounted on the back of the cartridge without falling off while pumping the ink sac with one's fingers.  Obviously the proper solution couldn't involve making the diameter of the cartridge any larger, at the point the ink sac was mounted.  But IIRC there were a number of reasonable solutions.  If I remember correctly, one pen person even went so far as to mount a cartridge nipple on the back end of the empty cartridge with some (super?) glue, and then affixed the ink sac to the section nipple with sac cement.  YMMV, but it's at least a way to get where you need to go.  FWIW, I use and reuse the ubiquitous Sheaffer cartridges - you just need to "prepunch" the hole in the end for the cartridge nipple (since Esterbrook's nipple is a lot bigger in diameter than Sheaffer's), and you need to use some kind of spacer behind the cartridge since the Sheaffer cartridges are shorter than Esterbrook's (I use a length of rubber eraser, fitted via trial and error, and permanently kept with that pen since the rubber spacer has to keep the cartrdge in good contact around the nipple or it'll leak).

- - - Jim


Edited by Autopoint, 11 November 2014 - 12:51.

Collector of Autopoint + Realite + Realpoint, and Esterbrook accumulator

#4 spaceink

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Posted 11 November 2014 - 13:56

I will definitely try that cartridge mod, but probably as a removable "aerometric" converter rig, versus actually cementing it to the section. Actually reminds me of how I often fill my Hero 616, squeezing on the plastic sac with fingers.

 

One thing that is still unclear to me: would regular Sheaffer Skrip cartridges work or would I need to hunt for an old Slim Skrips one?

 

In the meantime, if anyone has tried other converters on an Estie cartridge, let us know. I will try myself, as well, and report back with any findings.


Edited by spaceink, 11 November 2014 - 13:57.


#5 pajaro

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Posted 12 November 2014 - 05:03

There's a Waterman cartridge pen that has no modern converter or cartridge, just glass cartridges that sell for $26 each plus about $9 postage.  The pen cost $19.  I cut a #16 sac down to the right length and shellacked it to the inner rim where the cartridge would insert into the section.  This worked.  I would do this to my Estie cartridge pen, but the section is cracked. 


Edited by pajaro, 12 November 2014 - 05:04.

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#6 Autopoint

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Posted 12 November 2014 - 10:31

I will definitely try that cartridge mod, but probably as a removable "aerometric" converter rig, versus actually cementing it to the section. Actually reminds me of how I often fill my Hero 616, squeezing on the plastic sac with fingers.

 

One thing that is still unclear to me: would regular Sheaffer Skrip cartridges work or would I need to hunt for an old Slim Skrips one?

 

In the meantime, if anyone has tried other converters on an Estie cartridge, let us know. I will try myself, as well, and report back with any findings.

 

No.  No.  No.  Don't cement the cartridge to the section - the rig should always remain removable.  Cement the rear end of the cartridge to a sac nipple and a sac.  Best to google to find some mods like this, then attempt to replicate the one that seems the most likely to succeed.  I just use the regular Skrip cartridges, and the rubber spacer is the key.  I also refill those cartridges with a long-curved-tipped plastic syringe which I believe was used to treat animals.

- - - Good luck, Jim


Collector of Autopoint + Realite + Realpoint, and Esterbrook accumulator

#7 spaceink

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Posted 16 November 2014 - 00:11

Yep, not intending to cement the sac to the section, don't you worry. Wish I had more Esterbrook cartridges to mod than my one, though, in case a mistake happens.



#8 Autopoint

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Posted 16 November 2014 - 15:00

Yep, not intending to cement the sac to the section, don't you worry. Wish I had more Esterbrook cartridges to mod than my one, though, in case a mistake happens.

 

Do the mod to a Sheaffer cartridge instead.  They work just fine, and they're everywhere for cheap.

- - - Jim


Collector of Autopoint + Realite + Realpoint, and Esterbrook accumulator

#9 spaceink

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Posted 16 November 2014 - 19:20

Do normal Sheaffer cartridges from any stationery store work or would I need to hunt for an older slim one? Thanks.

 

Hope to document the process when I do it, so others will be able to see how this works.


Edited by spaceink, 16 November 2014 - 19:22.


#10 failedgrace

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Posted 19 November 2014 - 19:48

I just picked up an Esterbrook C101 cartridge and it had a platinum converter in it. It fit snug and worked really well. I'm currently giving a platinum cartridge a try, holds more ink than the converter. So far i t fits snug as well. These are without any modification done to the cartridge but prepunched by a platinum pen.

#11 Ron Z

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Posted 19 November 2014 - 20:33

You could also get someone to turn a rubber piece that fits on the piercing tube, and attach a sac, turning the pen into a squeeze filler.  Not elegant, but it works. 

 

Or you could convert something like an insulin syringe to be a converter.  The piercing tube on an Esterbrook C/C section measures about 0.148".  But you need a tight fit, so start with something like a #29 drill which is about 0.136"  to open up the end of the syringe, and let the piercing tube stretch it a bit.  A #28 is about 0.144, so a little too close for a tight fit.


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#12 pajaro

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Posted 19 November 2014 - 21:51

By the time you have spent a lot of time on this, and you have found something workable like the Platinum cartridge or converter, you might have spent enough money and enough time that you could have enshrined the Estie C/C pen and bought something that works.  Of course there's the challenge of . . . it was there.  Some people on the Waterman forum got worked up when I got rid of the C/C pen with the ridiculous cartridges, so I will just write that I have enshrined my Estie C/C pens.  Nice collectibles, but I am no longer going to torture myself trying to make them work. 

 

If the smarty-pants bufoons who design pens would take a page from computer design and use an industry standard interface, this kind of thing would stop.  Of course they think that proprietary interfaces insure a revenue stream for replacement cartridges and converters.  If they could design proprietary water to mix the ink they would do it.  Look at the prices of this stuff.  Apparently they aren't selling enough fountain pens any more to make production scale savings.  There are so many vintage pens out there anyway that there is little point in buying new.  Look at all the attractive Esterbrooks available.


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#13 Sasha Royale

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Posted 20 November 2014 - 01:47

I wish I knew more about the dimensions.  Will an international standard cartridge (short) physically fit in the barrel ?  

My Sheaffer No Nonsense has a stout, beveled feed tube that can puncture a cartridge.  I took a short international

standard cartridge and made a "starter hole" in the flat end, using a sharp nail.  Then, I pushed the Sheaffer tube 

home.  Works fine.  I even refilled it, using a syringe, and replaced it in the pen.  

 

I hope it gives you ideas.  Do share any solutions you find, please. 


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#14 Lou Erickson

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Posted 20 November 2014 - 20:04

If the smarty-pants bufoons who design pens would take a page from computer design and use an industry standard interface, this kind of thing would stop.  Of course they think that proprietary interfaces insure a revenue stream for replacement cartridges and converters.  If they could design proprietary water to mix the ink they would do it.  Look at the prices of this stuff.  Apparently they aren't selling enough fountain pens any more to make production scale savings.  There are so many vintage pens out there anyway that there is little point in buying new.  Look at all the attractive Esterbrooks available.

 

It takes a major effort to get the computer world to pick an interface; the market loves them, but companies hate them because they can't profit off of them.  The interfaces you see on computers today are the evolution of market pressures, and have all had a dozen variants, some compatible, some not.

 

I am entirely unsurprised to see the same thing happen in other markets.  I'd be surprised if it didn't happen.


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#15 spaceink

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Posted 24 November 2014 - 01:15

So today I finally had a chance to grab a pack of Sheaffer cartridges at the stationery store. They each measure at 52.1 mm (2.04 inches), have no tapering, and are flat at both ends.

 

Here are the results of the fitting:

 

[attachment=287003:EstieCartridgeFit.jpg]

 

The cartridges worked fine on the blue Esterbrook CA101 pen I had. The barrel wide is enough to accommodate the slightly bulkier Sheaffer cartridge and the length works fine. 

 

To pierce the cartridge (at the end with the circular "target" area), I used a thumb tack, followed by a 7/64 and a 1/8 drill bit, successively, to widen the hole at just the right fit so that the cartridge still has a grip on the nipple. Will carry it around to see if anything comes loose, but am excited that I can finally use this pen and fill the cartridge with whatever ink I'd like.

 

Things didn't work as well for the red CX-100, as the barrel is just a bit too narrow, and the Sheaffer cartridge gets stuck right at the very end. I believe this is the type of pen, for which a different "slim" Sheaffer cartridge type is needed, as discussed in other threads.

 

At some point, when I'm less busy, I will create a makeshift converter for the CX-100, using a sac and a cut-off Sheaffer cartridge "head," as advised above.

 

Results will be posted.


Edited by spaceink, 24 November 2014 - 06:28.


#16 Readymade

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Posted 07 December 2014 - 13:54

Tried a Platinum converter and a cart. The opening is a little bigger than the piercing tube. Not a snug fit. 


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#17 spaceink

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Posted 17 December 2014 - 14:53

Thanks for trying the Platinum. I was definitely curious about its fit.

For now, these are functioning with syringe fills. I will prob modify a newer Sheaffer cartridge for the CX-100 before I use it further, so as to not wear down the actual vintage Esterbrook one. Will post results if successful.

#18 spaceink

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Posted 11 February 2015 - 04:04

So I was able to play around a little bit to fit something to my CX-100.

 

I recently ordered a 45.3 mm/1.785 inch squeeze aeromatic-type converter that is about the size of a short international cartridge, small enough to fit where the Sheaffer cartridge couldn't, with this model. 

 

[attachment=299471:16495717651_0dd504c738_z.jpg]

 

 
Then I carefully cut off the plastic tip, so that the end is flat. 
 

[attachment=299472:16311181879_0f725d38ca_z.jpg]

 

Using drill bits, I enlarged the opening and was able to fit the converter on the pen's nipple..

 

[attachment=299473:16497456065_4206c8b456_z.jpg]

 

[attachment=299475:16498032265_13bf02221c_z.jpg]

 

[attachment=299474:16311528377_ebe5c4a9b8_z.jpg]

 

 

The ink capacity is woeful. I barely see anything sucked into the sac (the same problem that I've experienced with this type of mechanism in a Hero 616), but because the converter is removable, I can syringe fill, so am not worried. (I also tend to carry around vials of ink on me.)  I'm just glad to be able to have a CX-100 that I can use and refill for a little more use, if needs be.

 

The pen writes very nicely with an unnumbered Fine nib.

 

I still plan to make a converter out of a cartridge for the CA-101 and Safari but that will have to be another night.


Edited by spaceink, 11 February 2015 - 04:36.


#19 sigma

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Posted 11 February 2015 - 05:02

nowadays with 3d printing, couldn't something like this be made?



#20 spaceink

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Posted 11 February 2015 - 13:55

Yes, 3-D printing makes it possible, but someone still needs to create exact CAD models for each component. Much easier to improvise other rigs.







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