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My Celluloid 149 Journey

silver rings celluloid 149 refurbish

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80 replies to this topic

#61 specialk0449

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Posted 10 March 2015 - 20:46

Thanks  for sharing the entire process. The most enjoyable posts to read are the restoration ones in my opinion. Brad did a fantastic job restoring your 149. Congratulations and I hope you are able to use the pen for many years to come. 



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#62 zaddick

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Posted 12 April 2016 - 20:03

It has been a while since I updated this thread, but the time has come…

 

Sometimes life provides a little adversity. You can either rail against the changes (fair or not) or you can try to rise above and look for the opportunity. There is an old expression… when life give you lemons, make lemonade. Of course, who doesn’t like a sugary, refreshing beverage!

 

In my case, I will turn the phrase to meet my current need. When life gives you lemons, make a demonstrator. Let me explain.

 

If you have followed this thread, you know the rough life my celluloid 149 lead before making its way to me. If you have not read the thread, go ahead and do so now. I guess we can all wait for you…..ok, done? Back to the story.

 

When Brad Torelli resurrected the pen and send it back to me, he indicated the willingness to reline the ink window. The line were a victim of clouding and extensive wear over the years. I ended up with a bright yellow ink window, but not the lovely stripes that are a signature of the MB 149 (and other vintage celluloid MB pens). I used the pen for a while as I amassed a series of pens that needed some repairs/servicing. Once I had a handful, I contacted Brad and sent the pens off in a bundle.

 

Brad has developed a technique to essentially etch ink lines into the celluloid so that they will look like the original, but will also last for many years of heavy use. I am not going to share all the details, but essentially, the tip is like a sharpie and he uses tools (I think a lathe) to make sure the lines have a precision matching the original. He has perfected this technique over the last year or two and the results are quite good, restoring an original look to a cleaned out (and now usable) ink window.

 

Here is a before and after picture of a celluloid MB 138 where he used the relining technique.

 

fpn_1460491162__20160311_141020_resized_

fpn_1460491549__20160411_150120_resized.

 

When Brad started to work on restriping the ink window of the 149, unfortunately life was ready with a basket of lemons. The solution used to etch and ink the line  had a poor reaction with the celluloid of my particular 149. Apparently over the years it has lost a lot of its camphor to retirement in Florida, so when Brad started to etch the lines, the celluloid started to develop fractures. Below is a shot of the ink window after it fractured and was removed from the rest of the barrel.

 

fpn_1460491252__20160412_123124_resized.

 

There were no warning signs before this happened. This is, unfortunately, the risk you take when working on a vintage pen. Luckily for me, Brad is not helpless like me in such a situation. He was able to secure a vintage piece of celluloid with much greater strength and impact resistance than my old barrel. He polished the inside and outside of the barrel to give it great transparency. Now I was faced with a decision.

 

Brad was willing and able to essentially recreate an exact replacement of the factory barrel with a striped ink window and even the same black liquid celluloid outer coating. Actually it would probably have been little better since it would be a single production piece and not just one barrel in a large production run. I could even choose how long to make the ink window. But a sharp reader will note my earlier comment and the phasing used in this paragraph. I decided to just have Brad polish up the barrel and leave it as a demonstrator.

 

fpn_1460491297__20160411_145305_resized.

fpn_1460491336__20160411_145405_resized.

fpn_1460491379__20160411_145329_resized.

 

Since I could never sell this pen as an original, and I do like demonstrators, this felt like the best option for me. There have been a rash of celluloid “demonstrator” 149s on places like eBay, but we know that someone just polished the liquid celluloid off the barrel in an attempt to make a damaged pen seem rare. In this case there is no desire for deception, just a chance to appreciate the lovely 2-stage piston filler with the added bonus of not having to deal with having to look at ink that leaked into a clear section or cap!

 

The journey for this pen is not over, but this should be its state of being for a good while. I never started out with this intention, but life will take you to unexpected adventures. I again want to thank Brad Torelli for all his work on this pen, and despite the unexpected issue, I can fully recommended him for restoring a vintage pen. It is nice to know someone with his capabilities is available on this side of the pond. (No slight to other expert repair folks, but vintage MB pens seem to usually end up going to Europe for repair.)

 

Thanks for taking the journey with me.


Edited by zaddick, 12 April 2016 - 20:06.

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#63 luckduck369

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Posted 12 April 2016 - 20:57

Nice! How about a picture with the piston extended? :)



#64 slippery when wet

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Posted 12 April 2016 - 22:02

Hi Zaddick, oddly enough I prefer the demonstrator look, unique one of a kind. From where the pen started of in this story I think this is a good outcome.Love it like you would a child (unconditionally)

As for demonstrators, it would appear they do exist (136)

http://www.ebay.com....=STRK:MEBIDX:IT



#65 FredRydr

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Posted 13 April 2016 - 02:32

When you wrote above that you could not sell the pen as original, it is true it is not in "original condition," but certainly it would have been correct.  I would have called it a correctly restored pen if Brad had completed the original-style finish.

 

He does amazing work, eh?

 

Fred



#66 zaddick

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Posted 13 April 2016 - 03:18

Hi Zaddick, oddly enough I prefer the demonstrator look, unique one of a kind. From where the pen started of in this story I think this is a good outcome.Love it like you would a child (unconditionally)

As for demonstrators, it would appear they do exist (136)

http://www.ebay.com....=STRK:MEBIDX:IT

 

Thanks for the kind words. I also dig the demo look and had been toying with the idea of buying a celluloid 149 that was in poor shape and have a barrel made or polish hte surface black coating off. This way I get a clearer, more robust barrel that is still made of celluloid.

 

Thanks for sharing the link to the 136 demo. It is interesting. I know there were some demos that made it out unofficially or were made a long time ago at least. This is the first I have seen of a labeled demo pen that is engraved in the 13X series.


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#67 zaddick

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Posted 13 April 2016 - 03:32

When you wrote above that you could not sell the pen as original, it is true it is not in "original condition," but certainly it would have been correct.  I would have called it a correctly restored pen if Brad had completed the original-style finish.

 

He does amazing work, eh?

 

Fred

 

Fair enough. The pen would have been done the right way and more robust than most vintage 149s out there. But I plan to keep the pen since it is now quite robust and should be good for many years to come.

 

I do like his work and, almost as important to me, the ability to speak with him to understand what he is doing and agree on a plan. Sending a pen to Europe adds another layer of complexity and communications are just not the same in an email vs. speakng in real time.

 

I have a little more repair work for Brad in the pipeline, but the next major project is a custom pen. I am leaning towards the 139 shape using a vintage nib and telescoping piston I had saved. I saw a 139 style pen of his that is made from vintage platinum celluloid. What a fantastic pen. I wish I could find some vintage material like that.


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#68 slippery when wet

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Posted 13 April 2016 - 03:38

 

Thanks for the kind words. I also dig the demo look and had been toying with the idea of buying a celluloid 149 that was in poor shape and have a barrel made or polish hte surface black coating off. This way I get a clearer, more robust barrel that is still made of celluloid.

 

Thanks for sharing the link to the 136 demo. It is interesting. I know there were some demos that made it out unofficially or were made a long time ago at least. This is the first I have seen of a labeled demo pen that is engraved in the 13X series.

 

 

I saw a celluloid 149 barrel for sale only this morning but I can't seem to locate it. (the hunt begins)



#69 Nathanb

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Posted 13 April 2016 - 04:13

Wow what a terrific read :)

 

I'm a fan of V2!



#70 FredRydr

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Posted 13 April 2016 - 05:35

I saw a 139 style pen of his...

 

 

2016_04_12_08_48_29.jpg

 

This amazing celluloid is flecked and semi-opaque when held to the light.  It was made by the company that we hoped would supply the green striated celluloid for the 60th Anniversary 146 project.  The clip and bands are white gold, more appropriate for the color of the celluloid.  The filler is the best filler I've ever had on a pen.  It fills with a thunk! when the plunger is driven home.

 

Fred



#71 Soot

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Posted 13 April 2016 - 23:52

I have only discovered and read the post just now --

 

I am enjoying the transformation and the journey it has taken than the pen itself! Excellent story!


"Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one." -- A. Einstein

#72 zaddick

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Posted 14 April 2016 - 16:38



Nice! How about a picture with the piston extended? :)

 

As requested. You can really see the two stage nature of the piston when extended.

 

fpn_1460651858__20160414_093449_resized.

 

Sorry for the dust and bits on the pen. I just unwrapped it from a cloth. Also, what appears to be grey on the section is lust a ligh reflection.


Edited by zaddick, 14 April 2016 - 16:42.

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#73 fountainbel

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Posted 15 April 2016 - 10:04

Hi zaddick !

Just found this fascinating thread, thanks for shearing !

Congratulations with the resurrection of your vintage 149, the demonstrator barrel is beautiful .

Brad surely did a splendid job !

Francis



#74 luckduck369

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Posted 15 April 2016 - 16:26

 

As requested. You can really see the two stage nature of the piston when extended.

 

Sorry for the dust and bits on the pen. I just unwrapped it from a cloth. Also, what appears to be grey on the section is lust a ligh reflection.

 

Excellent! Thanks for sharing. It's nice to see the two stage piston in a barrel instead of just the piston by itself. Congrats on again on such a wonderful pen!



#75 akafridi3

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Posted 09 June 2016 - 21:32

I like the demonstrator! looks cool!



#76 Coral_Montblanc

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Posted 21 July 2016 - 18:39

 The demonstrator barrel is beautiful. Perfect.



#77 fb1949

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Posted 16 June 2017 - 01:37

so many times you made my day, you all, with your threads !

 

Nice stories to read in delight and so many superb pictures to look at, gorgeous pens to admire, in full extasy !

 

This time it's you, Zaddick, and I thank you a lot. Congratulations !



#78 jmnav

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Posted 24 June 2017 - 11:21

If a "silver rings" is always a thing to have a second look at, yours becomes really unique.

 

Great job from Torelli!



#79 meiers

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Posted 27 June 2017 - 18:59

fpn_1460491549__20160411_150120_resized.
 
fpn_1460491252__20160412_123124_resized.
 
fpn_1460491297__20160411_145305_resized.

fpn_1460491336__20160411_145405_resized.

fpn_1460491379__20160411_145329_resized.
 
Zaddick, your narrative and your photos made my day. This thread is so enjoyable.

Edited by meiers, 27 June 2017 - 19:45.


#80 slippery when wet

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Posted 27 June 2017 - 21:24

The rebirthing of a great pen





Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: silver rings, celluloid, 149, refurbish



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