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Parker 51 12K Gold Cap Restoration Help

parker 51 restoration how to

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31 replies to this topic

#1 ALeonardoA

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Posted 19 January 2016 - 03:23

Hello Members,

 

I'm currently restoring my grandfather's Parker 51 with a 12K gold cap. The process been surprisingly smooth so far, thanks to YouTube and good luck probably, except I noticed that the nib of the pen doesn't seem quite right. It's a 14k nib and the tip is bent towards the right a bit. I don't have much experience with these pens and I'm wondering if anyone has any ideas about what options I have to remedy this problem. Would I have to purchase a new nib? If so, where can I find one? Could the nib be repaired? Any recommendations of who would be up to the task? I'd appreciate any help in the matter. Thank you kindly!

 

Sincerely,

 

ALA

 

image.jpg image_1.jpg image_3.jpg image_2.jpg image_4.jpg


Edited by ALeonardoA, 20 January 2016 - 01:01.


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#2 FarmBoy

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Posted 19 January 2016 - 04:36

Please remove the filler shroud and connector from the water.  Soaking this will likely cause damage to the metal.  I would recommend removal of the shroud so that it can be fully dried, you can dry the shroud (metal parts) with a hair dryer but the plastic connector should just be hand dried on a towel.

The nib can most likely be straightened or it can be replaced.  Replacement nibs are readily available.  Your pen should also have a Sterling breather tube.  It looks like this may have been replaced at some point.  Replacement tubes made of Stainless Steel are readily available and will make the pen fill properly as the straw looks a little short.

 

Any number of pen mechanics can help you out.  Where are you in CA? I can think of several options on the West Coast that may make pen repair for you quite simple.

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#3 ALeonardoA

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Posted 19 January 2016 - 05:50

Thank you for the information Farmboy, I put these parts in distilled water to just to rinse everything out, I didn't leave them soaking so hopefully I didn't cause any damage. For future reference, what do you mean by filler shroud and connector exactly? By shroud do you mean the metal covering that holds the ink bladder? And by connector do you mean the plastic part where the clutch ring is? I removed the metal cover around the bladder from the plastic connector (if we're talking about the same thing) after I wet them a bit because it was a bit difficult to get them apart. I will make sure to dry things properly. Sorry, I'm not familiar with the proper terms.

 

I've tried looking online for an original 14k replacement nib but I haven't really found much and what I've found has been *very* expensive. I asked Gary from GoPens.com so far and will probably ask more people. If you have any suggestions that would be great.

 

I've also heard about the sterling breather tube and was curious about it but I saw that some of these pens came with these plastic or rubber tubes as well. Perhaps they started using them in later productions? I only ask because I don't know. Obviously a sterling or steel breather tube sounds a lot better than a flimsy plastic or rubber tube.

 

I'm in Orange County, if you could let me know of any pen mechanics who could address these problems I'd appreciate it. Thank you.

 

ALA


Edited by ALeonardoA, 19 January 2016 - 06:15.


#4 FarmBoy

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Posted 19 January 2016 - 06:33

You could be in luck...Over President's Day Weekend there happens to be the Los Angeles International Pen Show happening at the Manhattan Beach Marriott.  There will be pen mechanics present.

 

The connector and shroud are as you have identified them.

 

The feed and breather tube look to be from a vacumatic filled 51.  Replacements happen.  I can't make out the writing on the nib, it may shed some light on things.

Replacement nibs are available, somewhere around 35 for a typical fine nib.

My worries are with water hiding inside the shroud against the sac and pressure bar.  Corrosion happens sometimes.

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#5 FarmBoy

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Posted 19 January 2016 - 06:33

I should add, the pen is certainly worth repairing.


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#6 ALeonardoA

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Posted 19 January 2016 - 07:14

I see what you mean about the shroud. I did a thorough cleaning inside the metal shroud after I detached it from the connector and sac and I'm glad I did because there was just a little bit of ink gunk hiding in there but now it looks brand new. I also made sure to (carefully) take a compressed air duster to make sure I got as much water out from the spaces between metal then used a hair dryer for good measure. I kept the duster far away as to make sure no particles from the can came out. Honestly I feel like if I just get my hands on the parts I need, namely the breather tube and new feeder and maybe even a new ink collector while I'm at it I should be able to put it back together. The sac and plastic connector look to be in good condition and I'd honestly like to replace as little as I have to. The nib is the only thing that bums me out, and by the way, the nib says PARKER and above that it says 14K. Below PARKER it reads MADE IN USA. I'll definitely look into the LA Pen Show. Thank you Farmboy.



#7 ALeonardoA

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Posted 19 January 2016 - 07:18

Oh, by the way, can you just show up to the LA Pen Show or do you have to buy tickets in advance?



#8 ALeonardoA

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Posted 20 January 2016 - 00:12

Woops, I just realized I should have posted this in the Repair Q&A. Mea culpa!



#9 mariom

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Posted 20 January 2016 - 09:10

Woops, I just realized I should have posted this in the Repair Q&A. Mea culpa!

Perhaps, but as it's a very Parker specific query, so I'm sure no-one minds.


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=====================================

#10 ALeonardoA

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Posted 26 January 2016 - 01:37

Well, if anyone is interested here is the result of my very first restoration. I replaced the nib with the one that was bent, new feed, new collector, new stainless steel breather tube instead of the short plastic one, new clutch ring, new gold clip and new connector with ink sac. The clutch ring I ordered, though I believe to be of better quality somehow than the one that was on there originally, was thicker by about a half a millimeter inside and thus didn't fit on the connector or even make it past the first threads. Thankfully my trusty dremel tool did the trick by carefully grinding down the inside and afterwards it fit perfectly. I ordered the feed and the breather tube from the same place so I could make sure beforehand that they fit because apparently sometimes they don't, as is the case with my old feed which would not take the new steel tube.

 

Buying these parts new or new-old-stock and replacing them cost me almost as much as a used one of these pens (though obviously in worse condition.) Granted I did replace a lot and some things might not have really needed to be replaced, but the experience was valuable in itself. I need to find more clever ways or cheaper places to find these parts, though now I have spares in usable condition that I could try to revive a bit. Anyways, it was a fun and educational experience and I just wanted to post something here so perhaps some noob like me could take something from it. Cheers.

 

ALA

 

Photo-Jan-25,-16-18-53.jpg Photo-Jan-25,-16-43-08.jpg



#11 Flounder

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Posted 26 January 2016 - 02:17

Hmm.. is there any chance you put the O ring in your first photo on the connector before the clutch ring rather than after? Just never heard of having to grind out clutch ring to fit the connector before.


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#12 ALeonardoA

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Posted 26 January 2016 - 02:28

Hi Flounder. They were clearly two different sized clutch rings as I measured them myself and the new one was definitely around a half millimeter smaller and visibly thicker. Not only that but it weighed more, almost as if the old one was made of a lighter material. Like i said, when I tried to slide the new clutch ring into place it wouldn't even make it past the threads that you screw the section onto. I actually didn't replace the O ring as it was a pretty snug fit. I'm not sure if that's a terrible idea or not so if you have any advice on the matter I'd love to know. Also while you're here, how critical is it to shellac the section on to the threads?



#13 ALeonardoA

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Posted 26 January 2016 - 05:41

Correction: I did put the O ring in its proper position actually, I just got a bit confused sorry : )



#14 Flounder

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Posted 26 January 2016 - 19:11

Hi Ala,

 

There's no single definitive answer to that question. It's not 'critical' to use sealant to secure the hood, in the sense that Parker didn't seal hoods with factory-fresh O rings into place. After 50+ years in compression, the o ring might not be in such great shape.

 

I've read your other thread in the repair forum, where you say "I kind of like the idea of being able to unscrew it without much difficulty". I will say that I have had major trouble getting an O ring type 51 hood apart, where enough shellac was used to migrate to the O ring. It took a tremendous amount of heat and more torque than I like to use to get it to budge.

Much more and I'm sure the connector would have distorted or even sheared.

 

Your q is one that pops up fairly regularly. The usual answer is 'seal with shellac or rosin based sealant'. There are valid arugments for both. In the specific case of 51 hoods with the O ring design, my answer would be 'a tiny rub of silicone grease on the O ring to help prevent migration, then apply rosin sealant to the first few threads of the connector'.

 

I say this because rosin sealant releases with far milder heat than shellac (the same pen was easy to open when I changed nib size), with the added benefit of preventing the hood from shifting off-centre without having to torque down the hood too tight against the O ring.

 

Your pen is a bit of a question mark, because the vacumatic breather tube and rather odd clutch ring business tell us it's been worked on in the past. Other parts could have been swapped around too. Is there a groove in the hood to accomodate the O ring? How about the connector, is there a blank space after the threads for it to sit in?


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#15 FarmBoy

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Posted 26 January 2016 - 19:38

It is my opinion that Parker sealed all 51 hoods with hood sealant, even those with o-rings.  I generally don't care if someone wants to open their pen but I also do not understand the need to continuously open pens to check them.  If I want to change nibs I just get another pen so I do not follow that need either.

 

As indicated above, a small amount of rosin based sealant is the best option.  Some nose oil is about all you need on the o-ring to keep it lubricated and prevent binding.

Best


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#16 Flounder

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Posted 26 January 2016 - 19:49

Ah, but what if you discover that you hardly ever use the huge stubbish English broad that surprisingly turned up in a handsome eBay cheapy, and would really rather it had the goldilocks zone English F in the drab gray Aero with workaday lustraloy cap & (yawn) chrome bog standard arrow clip?

 

TELL ME MORE ABOUT THE NOSE OIL!

 

I am similarly nonplussed about the 'maintenance = disassembly' ethos that seems to be gaining ground - not that the OP has expressed this.


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#17 FarmBoy

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Posted 26 January 2016 - 20:26

Ah, but what if you discover that you hardly ever use the huge stubbish English broad that surprisingly turned up in a handsome eBay cheapy, and would really rather it had the goldilocks zone English F in the drab gray Aero with workaday lustraloy cap & (yawn) chrome bog standard arrow clip?

 

TELL ME MORE ABOUT THE NOSE OIL!

 

I am similarly nonplussed about the 'maintenance = disassembly' ethos that seems to be gaining ground - not that the OP has expressed this.

You send the fat stubbish thing to me and I send you a Barbie Locks nib.

 

Nose oil, we better discuss in person, dangerous stuff.

 

Going to LA?

 

Todd


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#18 ALeonardoA

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Posted 27 January 2016 - 00:13

Hi guys. Flounder, to answer your question the hood does have a space for the O ring to sit inside. As for the connector, I just purchased this one from vintagepens.com to replace the old one, the description says it is an original coupler unit for 51 Aerometrics, perhaps you can tell me if it's not the right one. As for the clutch ring, is it possible that they used different sized rings during the production of 51s? Maybe this gentleman (well, not exactly gentleman) who sold me the new one made a mistake since it's only a little under half a millimeter too small?

 

I think the desire to want to be able to open up the pen is understandable, as is the need to keep it sealed to prevent ink seeping, keeping the hood in place and components away from the elements and prying hands. It just so happens that the latter is ultimately more critical and practical. Still, to be able to seal it properly with the option to open it without having to make a federal case out of it is the middle ground. If one can accomplish both successfully and relatively easily then I think that's the winner for me. I'll look into the rosin sealant, which, actually, I have no idea what it is or where to get it. Hello Google!

 

As for the nose oil, that does sound dangerous.


Edited by ALeonardoA, 27 January 2016 - 00:18.


#19 GAtkins

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Posted 27 January 2016 - 01:42

http://www.mainstree...s.com/stuff.htm

 

80% down the page.

 

Glenn



#20 ALeonardoA

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Posted 27 January 2016 - 02:19

Thanks Glenn!







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