Update time. I received the pen back today. (Actually it sat in my office mail box all weekend, but it had an early resin, press-fit piston filler to keep it company in the box.) The pen is unboxed and looks great. There are no unboxing pictures, but if you want to live the experience yourself: take a pen, wrap it in a paper towel, roll it in bubble wrap, and then tape it with clear tape. Viola!
When I spoke with Brad, i was clear I was not looking for a perfectly new pen. As a result, you will see there are still some marks in the pictures that he COULD HAVE taken care of, but I was looking for a solid user, not a museum piece. To me these "imperfections" are part of the character of my pen and are like scars that show a life lived outside the box. (Ha, sounds like a motivational speaker is writing this post.)
Without further delay...
Now, you may recall the most dismaying thing for me was the fact the cap was gray and the body was black. Well, that problem was solved and now they are the same color!
In addition to this cosmetic improvement, Brad was able to heat the cap in order to expand the lip and allow the cap to be posted. It now also easily clears all the threads on the body and can be tightened and removed easily. He also cleaned out some of the corroded reinforcement ring inside the cap and tightened all the bands so they no longer move at all.
There was also a dent in the cap that made it look a little wavy. This has now been reduced to a small ding.
The remaining ding now lives under the clip I transferred over from another early 1960s 149. It is still not quite right for the celluloid 149 (as it does not have the XX mark on the underside), but it looks a lot better than the old worn out clip I had before.
The next big functional issue was the missing nib tip. It was broken off, not just worn down. (Like the front teeth of an old Canadian hockey player from the 1950s.) Brad was able to re-tip and broaden the nib to a B/BB for me and re-plated the rhodium portion as there was yellow gold showing through previously. Here are some close ups.
The piston turned out to be in decent shape so Brad cleaned and refreshed it for many years of reliable service in the future. No pictures of this, but you have probably all seen the lovely 2-stage piston. If not, Google it as it is quite a looker for an internal part.
Heading back to the cosmetic issues, Brad was able to remove almost all of the gouges in the pen. He was able to completely smooth the section and repainted it with nitrocellulose lacquer.
There were also some gouges on the barrel. I did not want him to completely remove these for fear of taking part of the barrel down to the transparent celluloid. As a result, there is still a faint gouge on the body, but it is hard to capture in a photo. It is the kind of gouge that I would probably get after a little drop during usage or pens coming into contact with other items in my bag.
Brad buffed out the ink window. The worn lines are now just a memory. I traded the faded lines for clarity, which when I think of it, is the point of an ink window. At some point in the not too distant future, the pen will head back to Brad where he will reapply lines to the ink window. For now, this is not a big deal for me.
To round out the cosmetic improvements, Brad not only applied a little gold to make them easy to read, but he changed the F mark into a B to represent what is currently on the pen.
All that is left to do for now it to ink it up and try to think of something profound to write... or a grocery list.