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Attempting My First Snorkel Restoration - A Couple Of Problems

sheaffer snorkel

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11 replies to this topic

#1 mariom

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Posted 22 January 2015 - 13:35

I'm attempting my first restoration of a Snorkel an I have managed to damage the sac guard - perhaps terminally. I picked up the pen quite cheaply, so it's no great drama if I've ruined it, but I'd still like to get it working if I can.

 

The guard is of the variety which is pinched in all the way around the hard rubber plug. I got the sac out cleanly through the hole in the end of the guard, and proceeded to heat the guard around the plug and try to push the plug out. In the process, my push rod slipped between the guard and plug and out through the end a couple of times, and I think this was the cause of one of my problems. 

 

Firstly, two of the raised ribs of the guard which key into the section are split along their edges for about 1/3 their length (from the open end)- the photo shows the location. The other two ribs appear undamaged. The guard still slides into the section easily enough, but it's not as smooth as it was. It feels quite secure once it's seated.

 

Secondly, the plug is now quite easy to slide into the guard, certainly much easier that it was to get out. I've re-heated the plug and it seems to have largely returned to the right shape.

 

Do either or both these issues  mean that my pen is toast? For what it's worth, the snorkel tube is still a tight fit in the plug, and the operation of the snorkel extension knob seems smooth enough in the re-assembled pen without the plug and snorkel tube.

 

Thanks in advance

 

.85808332451148F5A065EAF4C91B3006.jpg


Edited by mariom, 22 January 2015 - 13:57.

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Mario Mirabile
Melbourne, Australia

www.miralightimaging.com

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#2 Ron Z

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Posted 22 January 2015 - 14:59

The small splits don't mean that the sac guard is toast.  It'll still work. 

 

You normally have to open or un-crimp the end of the sac guard, including the ends of the ridges before you reinstall the plug.  To tighten the sac guard again, with the plug in place roll the edge of the sac guard against a hard surface. This folds the end in a little bit, as it originally  was.   Sometimes you have to press the corner next to each ridge right at the end to close them down a bit so that the sac guard moves freely in the section.

 

I no longer use latex sacs in these pens.  Rather I recommend using (and do use)  a plyglass sac from Woodbin in any Sheaffer pneumatic filler - snorkel, TD or PFM.  This reduces the chances of having to open the pen again to replace the sac, and also the risk of damage (read rust) to the internal parts from a leaky or failed sac.


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#3 mariom

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Posted 22 January 2015 - 22:14

I no longer use latex sacs in these pens.  Rather I recommend using (and do use)  a plyglass sac from Woodbin in any Sheaffer pneumatic filler - snorkel, TD or PFM.  This reduces the chances of having to open the pen again to replace the sac, and also the risk of damage (read rust) to the internal parts from a leaky or failed sac.

 

Thanks Ron - that makes sense given the difficulty of getting at the sac. Is regular shellac OK for attaching a pli-glass sac?


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#4 Oslowe

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Posted 23 January 2015 - 03:45

Mariom,

 

Nice photo/grapic.

 

Just to be SUPER picky... the ring that holds the spring is a slip fit and has worked it's way down from the shoulder. This is a frequent occurrence when repairers use a rod to push out the plug, aka Sac Section: it is a natural feeling place to resist the pressure you are exerting on the plug with the rod.

 

This is often done by a repairer who works on every pen before it gets to me. He is known as "Thumbs Hamfist." Nice guy, Bless his heart. :)

 

You can easily push this back into position by just pushing it back down. Just be a little careful as the Sac Protector is delicate, and the back of the ring can be sharpish.

 

It will work this way... but the extra tension it imparts, sort of shoots the Touchdown tube out in an unnatural way and can affect the Sac Protector threads as it 'pops' off. You can see a few tiny tears that "Thumbs" put in the Sac Protector in my photo. A store-bought or home-made burnishing tool puts this back in order.

 

Looks like you are doing great. This is a pretty ambitious repair, despite Richard Binders low-intermediate rating. You of course are looking at his page "How to Restore the Snorkel/PFM Filling System"

(highly recommended.)

 

Try not to resort to an adhesive to fix the plug/Sac Section. It really upsets the next guy to work on the pen. As Mr. Zorn notes, as you re-create the bend or crimp, that is what will hold the Sac and Sac Section/plug physically in place in the Sac Protector -- and so make the snorkel tube move in and out of the pen. The Sac, Sac Section (rubber plug) and snorkle tube form the ink sealing.

 

Double-check the tiny piece of ebonite that protrudes up through the rubber plug/Sac Section. If this is accidentally broken off, that will toast your snorkel.

 

Sorry to be so wordy, easier to do than say... but hope this helps.

 

All the best - pictures and writing samples requested when you are done.

 

 

 

fpn_1421980064__snorkle-sac-protector_co


I beg to remain, Sir or Madam, your most humble, historical valediction using, and obedient servant, Oslowe

#5 mariom

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Posted 23 January 2015 - 07:08

Nice photo/grapic.

 

Just to be SUPER picky... the ring that holds the spring is a slip fit and has worked it's way down from the shoulder. This is a frequent occurrence when repairers use a rod to push out the plug, aka Sac Section: it is a natural feeling place to resist the pressure you are exerting on the plug with the rod.

 

This is often done by a repairer who works on every pen before it gets to me. He is known as "Thumbs Hamfist." Nice guy, Bless his heart.  :)

 

You can easily push this back into position by just pushing it back down. Just be a little careful as the Sac Protector is delicate, and the back of the ring can be sharpish.

 

It will work this way... but the extra tension it imparts, sort of shoots the Touchdown tube out in an unnatural way and can affect the Sac Protector threads as it 'pops' off. You can see a few tiny tears that "Thumbs" put in the Sac Protector in my photo. A store-bought or home-made burnishing tool puts this back in order.

 

Looks like you are doing great. This is a pretty ambitious repair, despite Richard Binders low-intermediate rating. You of course are looking at his page "How to Restore the Snorkel/PFM Filling System"

(highly recommended.)

 

Try not to resort to an adhesive to fix the plug/Sac Section. It really upsets the next guy to work on the pen. As Mr. Zorn notes, as you re-create the bend or crimp, that is what will hold the Sac and Sac Section/plug physically in place in the Sac Protector -- and so make the snorkel tube move in and out of the pen. The Sac, Sac Section (rubber plug) and snorkle tube form the ink sealing.

 

Double-check the tiny piece of ebonite that protrudes up through the rubber plug/Sac Section. If this is accidentally broken off, that will toast your snorkel.

 

Sorry to be so wordy, easier to do than say... but hope this helps.

 

All the best - pictures and writing samples requested when you are done

 

Thank you. I sat there trying to describe the problem exactly and eventually figured this was the easy way out.

 

Thanks for the heads-up. The spring rest is now sitting comfortably on its collar.

 

I have read Richards's instructions, as well as David Nishimura's. Part of the attraction of any passion for me is the gear and the attendant tinkering, so finding out last year just how much scope fountain pens offers in this regard was a real eye-opener for me, and I've taken to it very quickly. A snorkel restoration may well be a bridge too far at this stage of my Jedi training, but repair options are quite limited here in Australia. (as I noted in this thread ), so I figured I might as well give it a go. The pen didn't cost me much, so while I'll be disappointed if it doesn't work out, it won't be a disaster, and I'll know a lot more about it next time I try. 

 

 

If you mean the piece of ebonite poking out the end of the snorkel tube, it's all fine. When I re-assemble, should that just protrude from the sac section?
 
I'll put some pics up when I'm done, but it will be a while. I've only ordered the sac and seals today as I wanted to make sure I could get the pen apart first.

Edited by mariom, 23 January 2015 - 07:32.

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Mario Mirabile
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#6 Oslowe

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Posted 23 January 2015 - 10:41

This little nub of ebonite will make or break your snorkel. This end is the same for a "baloney cut" Triumph Snorkel nib or the flat-faced snorkel for the "open nib." Remember snorkel tube orientation is critical. I only mentioned it because when you are first probing around with your removal rod to remove the plug, it is easy enough to hit and break this tiny tip. Ive pushed them out the end of the snork tube before and used a mirror for a flat surface to push it back into place.

 

All looks well for you becoming the snorkel king of the roaring 40's. Much luck. -- Oslowe

 

 

fpn_1422008891__snorkel-section-with-ebo


I beg to remain, Sir or Madam, your most humble, historical valediction using, and obedient servant, Oslowe

#7 mariom

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Posted 23 January 2015 - 12:04

This little nub of ebonite will make or break your snorkel. This end is the same for a "baloney cut" Triumph Snorkel nib or the flat-faced snorkel for the "open nib." Remember snorkel tube orientation is critical. I only mentioned it because when you are first probing around with your removal rod to remove the plug, it is easy enough to hit and break this tiny tip. Ive pushed them out the end of the snork tube before and used a mirror for a flat surface to push it back into place.

 

There was no risk I was going to break that bit of ebonite as my snorkel had come out of the sac section before I started pushing the plug out. It's still a very tight fit, though, so  I hope that won't be a problem. When you refer to the tube orientation, I assume you're saying the the baloney cut should line up with the taper cut in the feed when it is retracted? This wasn't the case when I got the pen, so I assume someone had been fiddling with it before me.

 

BTW, I thought my sac section got beat up when I pushed it out, but seeing yours makes me feel better. Tou can see in the photo that the sac nipple is somewhat flared outward. Is this going to be a problem?

 

C3F9B6E811344CA2A81723BA486F1F31.jpg


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Mario Mirabile
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#8 Ron Z

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Posted 23 January 2015 - 15:05

To answer the question above - the taper is built into the sac nipple, so is supposed to be there.  Oslowe's plug still has the end of the old sac on it, and that of course will be removed before the new sac is installed.

 

Use shellac to hold the Woodbin synthetic sacs on the sac nipple. Give a little extra time for the shellac to set before assembling if possible.  I like to see a fillet of shellac at the end of the sac to provide a little extra security.  I run a cotton swab saturated with alcohol down the sac, and then dry it with the dry end, before installing to remove any mold release stuff that may have been left behind.  In cases where the ink hasn't wanted to flow properly, going back and cleaning the inside with the alcohol cured the problem (same sac), so it's now part of the restoration routine.

 

If you use one of David Nishimura's silicone sacs, clean the sac with alcohol, and use silicone cement as your adhesive.  I've advocated using non-corrosive  (as in an alcoxie) RTV because it releases alcohol as it cures.  But thinking about it farther, I'm not so sure that caution is  necessary nor is the extra cost warranted given the very small amount of RTV used to secure the sac.


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#9 gweimer1

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Posted 23 January 2015 - 18:41

I've got a couple of snorkel's that refuse to co-operate after doing all the steps.  I suspect that the snorkel tube is too loose, and that I'm not getting vacuum.  Are there replacement sac nipples available anywhere?  I'm guessing not, but I thought I'd ask.  Is there a method to reproduce them that anyone is using?  Chasing a snorkel sac nipple seems to be about as easy as finding a three-ridge clip/jewel for a transitional Esterbrook J.



#10 Ron Z

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Posted 23 January 2015 - 20:56

I have a precious few plugs, which means that I am hanging onto them.

 

I put a bead of shellac about 1/4" - 3/8" above the end of the snorkel tube prior to installing it in the plug.  This both secures the snorkel tube and seals.  You need to assemble the pen and align the tube with the feed and set it's depth right away, but the shellac is effective.    It's easy to get it loose again if you lay it in the groove of a pair of parallel jaw pliers (so you don't crimp the tube) and twist. 

 

Remember the pen fills after the down stroke, not on the up stroke.  If you have a chiff of air at the end of  the downstroke the pen should fill.  I doubt that the snorkel tube is the problem.  Look elsewhere for the leak.  Immerse the front end of the pen in a glass of water and push the filler down.  Watch where the bubbles come out.  If you have bubbles anywhere but the end of the snorkel tube, you have a leak.  Check the back end of the barrel for a crack.  It might look like a scratch.  Make sure that you have a good rubber gasket between the TD tube and the blind cap and that the screw is snug.  If you have to replace that, you can use a bit cut off of a new sac or diaphragm. 


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#11 Oslowe

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Posted 24 January 2015 - 10:38

Mario,
Seeing only your Sac Protector, was not aware if your pen was an open nib variety or a Triumph nib.
 
Those that used the blunt cut Snorkel tube for an "open nib" should be oriented as below.
 
All the best with the rest of the repair. - Oslowe
 
 
fpn_1422094137__snork-tube-for-open-nib.

Edited by Oslowe, 24 January 2015 - 21:48.

I beg to remain, Sir or Madam, your most humble, historical valediction using, and obedient servant, Oslowe

#12 mariom

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Posted 26 January 2015 - 08:37

Thanks to everyone who has provided feedback and assistance so far, particularly Oslowe and Ron.


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Mario Mirabile
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