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Unable To Open Kaweco Aluminum Sport Fountain Pen

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#1 ssata

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Posted 11 July 2015 - 13:57

I bought a Kaweco AL Sport Fountain Pen - Fine Nib - Raw Aluminum Body (KAWECO 10000628) from Jet Pens online in February. I've been using it with the Kaweco squeeze bladder filled with Noodler's Black Ink. The second time I tried to reopen the pen to refill it, I was unable to unscrew the body. A repair shop couldn't do it. A friend managed to pull out the nib section, which had separated from the bladder. The bladder is still stuck in the pen and I fear it has leaked and jammed up the works. 

Jet Pens won't help me, saying it's outside the return policy. Kaweco hasn't responded.

I need some advice as to how to get it repaired. Note that I have weak hands and fumble with trying to take pens apart.  :(

I'm in Connecticut. Could you kindly let me know where I should get it repaired? Thanks so much.



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#2 Goudy

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Posted 11 July 2015 - 14:27

Some things to try:

 

1. Rubber gloves. They'll give you better purchase on the smooth metal.

2. Section pliers. Pliers with shaped coated heads, designed specifially for this task. You can buy them on eBay. They're risky with vintage ebonite pens, but the AL Sport has metal threads.

3. Water. Get some inside the pen where the nib section unscrewed, and leave it to work overnight on the dried ink.

4. Heat. A hairdryer aimed at the jammed thread should cause the metal on the body side of the thread to expand a little.


Edited by Goudy, 11 July 2015 - 14:29.

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#3 graystranger

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Posted 11 July 2015 - 15:01

Aluminum against aluminum galls terribly; even though the aluminum on this pen is anodized heavily, the threat is still there. I like the hairdryer idea, aluminum has a large coefficient of thermal expansion compared with most metals, and this is simple and practical. Once the barrel is warm I would dip the grip section into ice water to cool it to shrink it away from the warm expended body. Work quickly so the two parts don't cool/heat up.

 

I would suggest trying to get a little light penetrating oil to soak into the threads to help lubricate the gall. When you succeed (I'm sure you will), I would try to keep some grease on the threads. It is possible that the threads were not cut properly to begin with.

 

By the way, this is one reason I order my pens from Goulet Pens. Brian Goulet would stand behind any pen he sells and not abandon you.


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#4 aeba

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Posted 13 July 2015 - 05:43

 

I bought a Kaweco AL Sport Fountain Pen - Fine Nib - Raw Aluminum Body (KAWECO 10000628) from Jet Pens online in February. I've been using it with the Kaweco squeeze bladder filled with Noodler's Black Ink. The second time I tried to reopen the pen to refill it, I was unable to unscrew the body. A repair shop couldn't do it. A friend managed to pull out the nib section, which had separated from the bladder. The bladder is still stuck in the pen and I fear it has leaked and jammed up the works. 

Jet Pens won't help me, saying it's outside the return policy. Kaweco hasn't responded.

I need some advice as to how to get it repaired. Note that I have weak hands and fumble with trying to take pens apart.  :(

I'm in Connecticut. Could you kindly let me know where I should get it repaired? Thanks so much.

 

"Pull out the nib section"? The nib and feed-system is threaded. If the nib actually was pulled off and not unscrewed, you'll still have the black nib collar in the grip section.

 

Personally I would throw the pen in ultrasonic bath and see if that loosens some of the ink. If not, then try solutions mentioned above by other people.


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#5 ssata

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Posted 13 July 2015 - 13:39

Folks, I've tried all your helpful suggestions. The pen shop in Hong Kong tried the pliers. I tried the rubber gloves -- before and after using the hair dryer (loved that!) and soaking with a bit of toilet cleaner to clear out any dried ink (not much coming out). It has galled itself into one unit.

 

Kaweco replied and asked me to send the pen back to the factory. I'm hoping I can get something else to replace it since I don't want to go through this again. 

 

I must say, I'm quite unhappy with Jet Pen's complete indifference.

 

Thank you all!


Edited by ssataline, 13 July 2015 - 13:39.


#6 graystranger

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Posted 13 July 2015 - 14:58

Thanks for letting us know about this. The indifference you saw as a customer gives me a clear warning, I now know not to bother with Jet Pen.

 

Hope Kaweco will give you a replacement. One thought I have is that this could be more problematic as an Aluminum Sport is used over time and the anodizing of the threads wears down to the bare metal. Would the chance of galling increase? I have seen an aluminum set screw threaded into a ring become so galled it could never be removed. I've always heard that it is best to avoid aluminum sliding against aluminum in mechanical designs.

 

Brass has a natural lubricity, too bad the brass Sport pens are so much more expensive than the aluminum, but maybe they are worth it.

 

Please let us know what you hear from Kaweco. Even if you've given up on the pen, Kaweco needs to be aware of the problem if there is some design flaw here that needs to be addressed.


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#7 Goudy

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Posted 13 July 2015 - 23:25

I've been reading up about thread galling. Interesting - and I had no idea my Kaweco was at risk from it. If that's what's happened to ssataline's pen, I'm not surprised that none of my suggestions worked.

 

I wonder if this is just a one-off incident due to a badly machined thread, or whether all AL Sport owners are at risk of finding their pens suddenly welded shut. I guess that keeping the threads clean and not over-tightening would be a sensible precaution.


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#8 Frank C

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Posted 13 July 2015 - 23:44

I've been reading up about thread galling. Interesting - and I had no idea my Kaweco was at risk from it. If that's what's happened to ssataline's pen, I'm not surprised that none of my suggestions worked.

 

I wonder if this is just a one-off incident due to a badly machined thread, or whether all AL Sport owners are at risk of finding their pens suddenly welded shut. I guess that keeping the threads clean and not over-tightening would be a sensible precaution.

 

It sounds to me like the leaked ink caused some corrosion and that is what precipitated the galling. I have avoided Kaweco's converter for that reason. Lubrication, as your article states, will help to prevent this. 


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#9 ssata

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Posted 15 July 2015 - 11:40

An update on the Kaweco aluminum: after writing again to Jet Pens and expressing my pique (and mentioning my criticisms posted to this forum), an employee wrote back, apologizing for being new and offering me a replacement pen. So I'll ship the defective one back and try my luck with a new pen -- avoiding the bladder refill. Time to learn how to fill cartridges, I guess.

 

A final question: what kind of lubricant should I use?

 

Thank you everyone.



#10 Frank C

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Posted 15 July 2015 - 12:48

An update on the Kaweco aluminum: after writing again to Jet Pens and expressing my pique (and mentioning my criticisms posted to this forum), an employee wrote back, apologizing for being new and offering me a replacement pen. So I'll ship the defective one back and try my luck with a new pen -- avoiding the bladder refill. Time to learn how to fill cartridges, I guess.

 

A final question: what kind of lubricant should I use?

 

Thank you everyone.

 

I would recommend silicone grease. It is available from Gouletpens:

 

http://www.gouletpen...-SiliconeGrease

 

or Andersonpens:

 

http://www.andersonp...silicone-lg.htm

 

Just a little bit goes a long way. It is very benign stuff; it may even be safe to eat, I'm not certain. 


"One can not waste time worrying about small minds . . . If we were normal, we'd still be using free ball point pens." —Bo Bo Olson "I already own more ink than a rational person can use in a lifetime." —Waski_the_Squirrel
I'm still trying to figure out how to list all my pens down here.

#11 graystranger

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Posted 15 July 2015 - 15:31

Filling cartridges is simple. I've been doing it since 1996 when I got a 1965 Sheaffer Lifetime Pen finally cleaned out and started using it at work. Hated the idea of buying cartridges, the cost and waste (must be related to Nathan Tardif) and started using a syringe to refill them from bottles. Now I often prefer it to using converters. I recommend Goulet Pens ink syringe ( http://www.gouletpen.../GPC-InkSyringe ) along with the grease which is food grade 100% silicone (link in the post above). Brian also has a short video showing you how to fill a cartridge with the syringe.

 

The needles that come with these ink syringes are blunt. I refilled one Pilot cartridge for years so they can last a long time. Pilot cartridges have a large opening and are the easiest to clean out and refill. I usually use a polymer pipette to refill them. If you change ink you have to flush the old ink out of the converter. I fill the syringe with tap water and, while holding it over a sink carefully with the hole tipped downward, inject tap water into the cartridge repeatedly until the ink is cleaned out. It has been my experience that wet ink in a cartridge does not wet the poly material and flushes out very clean quickly. That is based on a couple of dozen bottled inks, most permanent waterproof ink.

 

I usually remove the syringe plunger and wipe it off with a paper towel, shake out the water inside and let it dry separated so there won't be any mineral buildup in the syringe from the tap water. Every month or two I will wipe the rubber tip with a bit of silicone to keep it lubricated and working smoothly in the syringe. You don't want it to get tight then loosen as you press the plunger, or you may squirt the ink harder than you intend.

 

About the only time I use new ink cartridges is when I want to try a new ink for a pen that comes in cartridges for that pen. This gives me extra used cartridges, a nice sample of ink to evaluate, and I'll buy the bottle when the cartridges get low. Now using Platinum Blue Black ink cartridges and I love this permanent modern iron gall ink. Will buy the bottle when I use up a few more cartridges.

 

Plus, the inks available for cartridges are so limited, life is too short to limit myself to inks in cartridges. So many of these cartridge inks are too ho-hum and mundane.


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#12 janelle

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Posted 17 July 2015 - 15:29

I had the same problem with my raw aluminum Al Sport. I was using refilled cartridges, and carrying it around in my pocket at work, so very possible some ink worked its way into the threads.  It became hard to screw and eventually seized up. I have two other non-raw Al Sports that haven't had any problems.  I won't be getting another raw aluminum pen, but if you have one, lubricating the threads is an excellent idea.  I wish Kaweco would add that bit of advice in their instructions. 



#13 bxrgrl

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Posted 06 March 2018 - 22:22

Y'all, this just happened to me. I had dropped my capped raw Al Sport a few days ago, causing the cartridge to jog loose and splash ink inside the barrel. I had no idea the ink (presumably) galled the threads together. I have emailed Jetpens. I hope for satisfaction.

 

I also read on "The Practical Machinist" website (not a site I usually frequent but Google takes a gal to interesting parts of the Internet) that it's virtually impossible to unstick galled aluminum without destroying whatever you're trying to unstick. Now that I think about it, that's true for seatposts that get stuck in aluminum bike frames, but I've only owned one aluminum bike and always kept the seatpost well greased.

 

Darn it. I just bought like six boxes of Kaweco cartridges.



#14 Ron Z

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Posted 06 March 2018 - 23:25

Darn it. I just bought like six boxes of Kaweco cartridges.

 

Buy a Dia and move the nib over.   A longer pen, but nicely made IMO.


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#15 bxrgrl

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Posted 07 March 2018 - 16:44

 

Buy a Dia and move the nib over.   A longer pen, but nicely made IMO.

 

 

 

Jet Pens sent me a return label for me to send the pen back, so we'll see where it goes. I really like the look of the raw aluminum and the idea of it developing a patina, but maybe it's too high-maintenance. Also, although it's not a hugely expensive pen, it's also not a cheap or disposable pen, so if I can be made whole I'd rather that than repurposing the nib.








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