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Esterbrook Ballpoint Refills


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#1 philm

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Posted 21 October 2015 - 18:45

Does anyone have any information on what (if any) ballpoint refills (or fixes) are available for the old J series ballpoints?

 

Thanks!

 

Phil



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#2 pajaro

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Posted 21 October 2015 - 19:22

I don't think there are any. Ihave had a ballpoint, and the neck of the refill just behind the point was so much longer than any modern refill that none would fit in the Esterbrook ballpoint pen.

"Don't hurry, don't worry. It's better to be late at the Golden Gate than to arrive in Hell on time."
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#3 Frank_Federalist_Pens

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Posted 21 October 2015 - 20:23

Hello Phil!

 

If you contact Chthulhu- here, or at TFPC (He helps me run my pen forum), he should be able to help!

 

Chthulhu has a knack for making modern refills work in vintage BP pens!

There are a lot of discussions about this on the forum board (see my signature)

 

Regards,

Frank


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#4 Bill M

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Posted 21 October 2015 - 23:24

I need an Esterbrook ballpoint refill...I don't know why I didn't think about Chthulhu.



#5 philm

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Posted 22 October 2015 - 00:48

Thank you all!  I will look into the resources mentioned.  

 

Phil



#6 philm

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Posted 22 October 2015 - 01:21

The solution was to take the plug out of the back of a Lamy M16 refill and it should be a good fit.  I wonder if there are different sizes of Esterbrook pencils as my M16 refill was too small and did not fit and retract and appears about 3/8" shorter than the old Esterbrook refill. Thus, the fit is good, but the refill does not protrude from the cone.  Suggestions anyone?

 

Phil



#7 pajaro

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Posted 22 October 2015 - 03:26

The solution was to take the plug out of the back of a Lamy M16 refill and it should be a good fit.  I wonder if there are different sizes of Esterbrook pencils as my M16 refill was too small and did not fit and retract and appears about 3/8" shorter than the old Esterbrook refill. Thus, the fit is good, but the refill does not protrude from the cone.  Suggestions anyone?
 
Phil

Did you read my post? Big surprise.

"Don't hurry, don't worry. It's better to be late at the Golden Gate than to arrive in Hell on time."
--Sign in a bar and grill, Ormond Beach, Florida, 1960.

 

They took the blue from the skies and the pretty girls' eyes and a touch of Old Glory too . . .


#8 Ted S

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Posted 23 October 2015 - 05:12

Having read of a fellow in Canada who reported successfully modifying a Lamy M16 for the purpose, I purchased a few M16 refills. Comparing the Lamy and Esterbrook refills side-by-side, it seemed that the appropriate modification of the Lamy refill would be to trim the ratcher frame, which is bonded to the neck of this type of refill instead of being located in the plunger end of the pen casing itself, in such a manner as to prevent early full compression of the spring. The early full spring compression, as far as I have been able to determine, is what prevents the refill point from exiting the nib.

 

Well...................................... it's fortunate that I purchased more than one of the Lamy refills. Upon returning from the stationery store with my prizes, my enthusiasm overwhelmed me and, instead of going out to the bench and settting up a jig for my foredom tool with which to make a clean circumfirential cut through the bonded plastic of the rather long sleeve that Lamy uses to reinforce the actual ratcher cam on the refill, I attacked the unwanted length of the sleeve with my trusty linoleum knife (after, of course, attempting to share my unsupportable enthusiasm with the ol' lifelong friend and helpmeet, which resulted in the rather predictable response "that's very nice Dear; would you like a nice bit of grilled chicken with these lovely bell peppers?")

 

I can assure you that, although each new shaving of the sleeve allowed the retractor spring a renewed amount of compression that visibly advanced the refill point toward the opening in the nib, the linoleum knife technique is really quite unsatisfactory. the problem is the resiliance of the bonded plastic sleeve. Despite my frenzied attempts to chew through that plastic like some sort of demented hedgehog, that nylon-whatever-the-heck plastic was adamant in its refusal to yield gracefully to the assault.

 

The Esterbrook refill has its ratcher cam, as we who own these pens know, located in sublime isolation just a few millimeters in width at the appropriate spot on the neck of the refill. A tad forward or aft and it won't operate properly.

 

I still think I can make it work. Possibly a forlorn hope, but when I get the time to make that holding/cutting jig and trim that plastic cleanly from the refill stem all the way up to the ratcher cam, I'll know for sure. The biggest obstacle lies in the obstinacy factor. Once begun, I'll be helpless to stop until all hope has fled, even if it means molding and casting a ratcher cam from one of my Esterbrook refills and shaving the Lamy refill clean, in order to apply a reproduction ratcher cam and make the doggone thing behave as anticipated.

 

It's going to be a while before I have the time. Wish me luck. And patience. And a slightly larger helping of common sense than that portion with which I was born. I'll try to post pictures of the ordeal (win, lose or draw) for your amusement and/or derision, upon ether the success or dismal failure of the undertaking.

 

Right about now, if you've read this far, you're quite possibly thinking "this guy is nuts." You may be correct, but nice people will charitably concede that it's really rather typical of people who collect pens.

 

And I still blame this Esterbrook obsession on Mr. Hoban for publishing that wonderful book. Because taking personal responsibility for these crazed pen projects might trigger a corrolary obsession. Like inkwells. We won't discuss the inkwells.



#9 Ted S

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Posted 24 October 2015 - 21:56

I am mildly pleased to report partial success using the M16 refill in an FJ ballpoint. I was wrong about the sleeve being the obstacle to the point exiting the nib. Using a modelmakers backsaw and mitre box, I was able to make a clean cut right at the teeth of the ratcher cam and remove all of the excess. No joy for two reasons. The first reason is that the bonding of the cam is in the lower (excess) portion of the sleeve. Once cut, the cam slides freely on the neck. The second reason is that the tapered part of the inside of the barrel interfering with the stepped neck of the bare refill is what obstructs the progression of the point, not the plastic sleeve on the M16 refill.

 

Having already chewed the sleeve of the first refill into uselessness, I removed the entire sleeve and discovered that the bare refill fits the pen and will push down all the way to the point where the point exits the nib and looks just right as well. The problem now is that the refill will not click and stay in place.

 

 

What it will do, however, is fit nicely and write well, but only with a spacer behind the back of the refill. The M16 comes with a long, grey plastic point-protecting sleeve. Using the mitre box, that grey plastic sleeve can be easily cut to the proper length to push the refill into the proper position that, once the upper barrel of the pen is screwed on, the refill is in the writing position and holds there firmly. There's a slight amount of "give" to the soft plastic of the grey point-protecting sleeve that alllows a very small amount of forgiveness if the spacer is cut a tiny bit too long.

 

So I have a nice-writing Esterbrook FJ ballppoint that does not allow the refill to retract, making it a sort of desk pen. It writes well and, with a bit of pretending that one never wants to retract the point, restores the pen to usable condition with a modern refill.

 

 

I still think the adaptation project is viable. The next bit will be to get some .003 shim stock, make a band for the refill neck that is so thin that it'd avoid that barrel interference issue, solder or epoxy four tiny squares of plastic or brass in the same configuration as the cam teeth and see what happens.

 

 

Thus, I'm mildly pleased to use the pen without resorting to cutting the point off of the original esterbrook cartridge and using a stick-pen refill inside the Esterbrook refill barrel as so many others have had to do. But I'm not quite satisfied yet. I want it fully functional. I'll let you all know how the next phase goes, but it'll be a while before I get the time to carry the project forward. If the fabricated cam sleeve idea works, it'd be something that only needed to be done once per pen.


Edited by Ted S, 24 October 2015 - 21:58.


#10 jalison

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Posted 17 June 2017 - 21:41

I know this thread is a bit old but see this link-
https://www.shapeway...tionId=59870044
it's a 3D printed adapter- you'll need to clean out the socket with a 3/32 bit, by hand, and add a dab of silicone grease to the 4 tangs. Insert a mini refill and you're in business. It works as advertised.IMG_6162.JPG

Edited by jalison, 17 June 2017 - 21:44.


#11 BamaPen

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Posted 30 August 2017 - 19:21

I know this thread is a bit old but see this link-
https://www.shapeway...tionId=59870044
it's a 3D printed adapter- you'll need to clean out the socket with a 3/32 bit, by hand, and add a dab of silicone grease to the 4 tangs. Insert a mini refill and you're in business. It works as advertised.attachicon.gifIMG_6162.JPG

 

Shameless plug here...The adapter mentioned above has been well-received and works well.  Around 50 have been purchased, with no problems reported.  All you have to supply is a D1 (mini) refill, which slips right into the adapter. D1 refills are readily available at Office Depot and Staples, as well as other office supply sources.  I personally prefer the UNI Jetstream SXR-200-07 (0.7mm) or SXR-200-05 (0.5mm).  These are available from Jetpens.com or from a number of Japanese sources on eBay.

 

Also, I'm about to put up a replacement version that eliminates the need to clean out the socket with a drill bit.  It will be essentially self-cleaning.


Edited by BamaPen, 30 August 2017 - 19:35.


#12 mikedealer

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Posted 31 August 2017 - 06:02

Shameless plug here...The adapter mentioned above has been well-received and works well.  Around 50 have been purchased, with no problems reported.  All you have to supply is a D1 (mini) refill, which slips right into the adapter. D1 refills are readily available at Office Depot and Staples, as well as other office supply sources.  I personally prefer the UNI Jetstream SXR-200-07 (0.7mm) or SXR-200-05 (0.5mm).  These are available from Jetpens.com or from a number of Japanese sources on eBay.
 
Also, I'm about to put up a replacement version that eliminates the need to clean out the socket with a drill bit.  It will be essentially self-cleaning.


I bought 6. They came 5 in one ziplock package and the sixth in a single ziplock. The single one did not work well, had to shape it a bit with An exacto but functions perfectly now. Very satisfied.

#13 BamaPen

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Posted 11 September 2017 - 18:48

I bought 6. They came 5 in one ziplock package and the sixth in a single ziplock. The single one did not work well, had to shape it a bit with An exacto but functions perfectly now. Very satisfied.

 

I contacted Mike and he explained the problem he encountered to me.  I then followed up with Shapeways support and they admitted a quality check failure and offered to reprint the bad part at no charge.

 

To date, this is the only reported problem with a printed adapter.



#14 gregamckinney

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Posted 11 September 2017 - 19:50

I've been using BamaPen's adapter in a LK Deluxe BP since they first came out, and it works perfectly.

 

greg


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#15 philm

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Posted 11 September 2017 - 21:50

Greg,

 

Glad that you posted this today.  I have been remiss in saying the same thing.  The adapter is perfect.  Thank you, Bama Pen  (John)!

 

Phil



#16 Tom Heath

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Posted 23 September 2017 - 14:09

I tried sevel months ago  to buy one and could not navigate the companies firewall

so I gave up

 

Perhaps I will have more luck this time around?  

I certainly appreciate the science.


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#17 NobleDel

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Posted 01 October 2017 - 15:58

I just tried version 3 of BamaPens' Esterbrook adapter he sells on Shapeways.

 

https://www.shapeway...tionId=63671259

 

I got to say it works perfectly!!!  As good as his earlier version was, this one is even better.  No longer does the hole need to be cleaned out with a drill. I was able to push the D1 refill right in by hand. The adapter holds the refill securely. If you have an Esterbrook ballpoint I highly recommend this adapter to get your pen writing again.


Edited by NobleDel, 01 October 2017 - 19:42.







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