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51 Writes Perfectly With Hood Off; Barely At All With It On


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22 replies to this topic

#1 the_gasman

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Posted 25 March 2016 - 19:32

I bought my first 51 on EBay. A small ding in the cap enabled me to buy it for £29. It was a very dry writer on first full so I have disassembled it (except the aerometric filler), given it an overnight soak in soapy water, ultrasonically bathed it for 6 minutes, and reassembled it. All components, including plastic breather tube, are in good shape.

It was still dry when I tried it again so I took it apart again to make sure everything was correctly aligned. It was still reluctant to part with its ink so I took the hood off and, voila, it writes with a beautifully wet line. After replacing the hood it went back to its miserly ink yield. I have had the hood off multiple times to try various depths of nib placement but with no joy.

I assume that the hood is somehow impinging on the nib. I have put some downward pressure on the uppermost surface of the nib and this has produced some improvement but it is still not as wet as I would like.

Can anyone give me any guidance as my trial-and-error experiments are frustrating me? Also, I am concerned that I may do something that I may regret!

Cheers,
David.

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#2 Flounder

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Posted 26 March 2016 - 17:33

There does need to be a slight nib-hood gap, it sounds as if yours has closed up a little. Doubtless the pros can recommend a better method, here's what I do, hood off the pen:

 

1. Find a suitable tool to push the tip of the hood up from below. I use this mysterious little cylinder from a screwdriver multi-set, as its curvature is a fairly decent match for the hood tip's internal curvature.

 

2. Heat the tip of the hood in a brief 10 second burst.

 

3. Introduce the cylinder parallel to the hood tip, (abutting the collector stop) and with a light touch, press straight up.

 

4. Remove the cylinder and let the hood cool. Screw it back on to the pen and check if flow is still impeded.

 

Repeat steps 2-4, increasing the heat time slighty each time.

 

That's it. You only require a tiny gap for your issue to go away, so work with deliberate subtlety. Far better to spend 20 minutes in over-caution than heat the tip too much at once. Only pressing on the underneath of the tip helps ensure the external shape is not uglied up.

 

P51 Hood-Nib gap.jpg

 

You do have a slight amount of leeway in the depth you set the nib, but as you've observed it won't really help this particular problem.


Edited by Flounder, 26 March 2016 - 17:35.

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#3 the_gasman

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Posted 26 March 2016 - 17:54

Flounder,

 

That sounds exactly what I need. I shall try that straight away and report the results.

Back soon ...

 

Cheers,

David.



#4 Flounder

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Posted 26 March 2016 - 17:55

Flounder,

 

That sounds exactly what I need. I shall try that straight away and report the results.

Back soon ...

 

Cheers,

David.

 

Back in due course. Patience, subtlelty!


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#5 mitto

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Posted 26 March 2016 - 18:04

Shouldn't a replacement hood be a more simpler solution in such a situation?
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#6 FarmBoy

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Posted 26 March 2016 - 18:17

Shouldn't a replacement hood be a more simpler solution in such a situation?

The first problem may be the 6 minute run in the ultrasonic.  Never use a 6 minute run in the ultrasonic on a 51.

 

Heat setting the hood is a regular task when adjusting flow.  A tight fit and the flow will be stingy to none at all.  To loose and you have the same problem.  The brass shims that get used to mar the inner surfaces of the nib slit are about the right thickness and should fit between the nib and hood with a little resistance.

I find if I just heat the entire hood and then push it up (away from nib) from the bottom with my thumb that is all it takes.

 

 

Just kidding on that 6 minute run but I'm sure it got everyone's attention.


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#7 the_gasman

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Posted 26 March 2016 - 18:51

Flounder,

 

30-40 minutes ... I kept your entreaty for patience foremost in my mind.

 

It was well worth the investment -- I now have a Parker 51 that is the dream writer that everyone hails. It is fabulously wet with the hood off or on; there is no difference in writing character between a naked or hooded nib/feed/collector.

 

  • I used my wife's hairdryer as a heat source and kept my fingers in the flow to allow heat control.
  • I didn't have the serendipitous screwdriver accessory so first I tried the shaft of a narrow screwdriver
  • After two or three cycles there was no change so instead of the screwdriver shaft I gently pressed the tip of the heated hood onto the surface of my desk for 10-20 seconds while it cooled.
  • After that the pen is as generous with ink whether the hood is on or off.

 

Flounder, I am so, so grateful for your advice.

 

This is my first 51. I had great fun washing, ultrasonically bathing, disassembling and reconstructing but I had been disappointed by its extreme dryness. Your tip has made an amazing difference. I love a pen to be generous with its ink flow and that is exactly what I now have. I can now see why people rave about the Parker 51.

 

Thank you, thank you, thank you.

 

Cheers,

David.



#8 Flounder

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Posted 26 March 2016 - 19:01

Yay, jolly good! It was just bad luck that your first 51 happened to have one of the more irksome problems. I'm glad you got it fixed without any trouble.


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#9 the_gasman

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Posted 26 March 2016 - 19:02

The brass shims that get used to mar the inner surfaces of the nib slit are about the right thickness and should fit between the nib and hood with a little resistance.

I find if I just heat the entire hood and then push it up (away from nib) from the bottom with my thumb that is all it takes.

FarmBoy, you must have posted your comment while I was nervously following Flounder's fantastic advice. Once I read your comment I went back to the 51 to try the brass shim assessment. I have three thicknesses of shim: the thinnest passed easily between nib and hood; the middle thickness would have required some force for it to enter so I didn't persist; and I therefore deferred a trial with the thickest shim.

 

I think that beginner's luck has helped me achieve a good result.

 

Thanks again to Flounder, and to you, FarmBoy, for you both sharing your experience and wisdom.

 

Cheers,

David.



#10 pajaro

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Posted 29 March 2016 - 02:13

I am glad I read this thread.  A 51 I have had for some years has poor ink flow and this might be the reason.  


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#11 lsmith42

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Posted 29 March 2016 - 05:34

Never had this problem with any of my 51s... But then again, they've all been to the Farm...
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#12 the_gasman

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Posted 29 March 2016 - 16:04

My thoughts about my first 51 have been: love it; hate it; love it; hate it; love it; hate it; love it; hate it.

I had thought that I had, at last, found everlasting love until it spewed ink all over my fingers at work this morning. Grrr!

Mind you, I accept the blame as I had risked not shellacing the hood on because it had an o-ring. I have it fixed in my head that I want to avoid shellac, so this evening I shall put some silicon grease on both the o-ring and the threads of the hood seating. Fingers crossed.

I'm waiting for the love!

David.

#13 Flounder

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Posted 29 March 2016 - 16:12

Hood sealing: If you don't want to use shellac, you can use rosin based sealant. If don't have any or don't fancy making some up, I can send you some.

 

Spewing all over your fingers - tell us more. I'm wondering if the sac has developed a tear, or the connector has started to deteriorate.


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#14 the_gasman

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Posted 29 March 2016 - 19:51

Spewing all over your fingers.

 

Well! I might have to confess to resorting to hyperbole! Perhaps, "there was some ink staining of my fingers around the hood/barrel joint might be more accurate". The sac is intact -- there is no ink emanating from around the sac protector.

 

However ...

 

I have found a permanent solution to make sure I get no pressure on the nib, but not one that I can advocate.

 

When washing the ink from inside the section, I rinsed the hood. I was waving the hood around to shake out a few drops of water and, in a moment of suboptimal concentration, caught the very tip of the hood on the edge of the basin. Argh! About two millimetres of the tip twanged off into the distance.

 

I console myself with the following:

  • I bought the pen as a "learn how to restore a P51" practice tool
  • I have learned LOADS about 51s in the process
  • It still looks attractive (as a Parker 51/Lamy 27 hybrid!)
  • The pen [still] writes fabulously -- a beautifully wet, smooth line
  • It has served its purpose as a learning artefact
  • I will continue to get loads of pleasure from this pen as I plan to use it as a daily workhorse

 

I am awaiting my next 51, and I now know how to cure any imperfections that it may have.

 

Cheers,

David.


Edited by the_gasman, 29 March 2016 - 19:51.


#15 Flounder

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Posted 29 March 2016 - 20:19

Damn, that's a shame after all your hard work. Like you say, at least it's not too trashed to write - and I bet you stop waving things around to dry them! Jeez!


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#16 mitto

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Posted 29 March 2016 - 20:37

Perhaps someone did the same to a pen that I received today. It is a very clean sparsely used broad nibbed English 51 with date code 6 that I spotted yesterday in a local antique store. Snagged it for $29.00. The only drawback is a tiny bit of the tip of the hood is broken and fallen away. Would have to source a replacement hood or may be I can use a spare hood that I have but in different color. BTW how would it look with barrel and hood in different colors. Wouldn't that be s nice contrast : navey grey barrel and midnight hood? What would ya say?

Edited to correct typo.

Edited by mitto, 29 March 2016 - 20:39.

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#17 the_gasman

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Posted 29 March 2016 - 20:55

I bet you stop waving things around to dry them! Jeez!

 

Miss Takes was the most effective teacher I ever had!

 

I'm only mildly disappointed, though, as I have learned so much, and enjoyed stripping down and reconstructing the pen, that the purchase price has been completely worth it. It was very much a pen for a user, rather than a collector, so I have lost nothing and gained a huge amount from it. Plus, the pen is an absolute delight to write with (thanks to you and FarmBoy, it is way better to write with than when I bought it), so I shall continue to extract immense value from it.

 

Oh, I nearly forgot. Thanks for the offer of rosin sealant. The silicon grease seems to be doing its job so far; I'll report back with any further mishaps.

 

Cheers,

David.



#18 pajaro

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Posted 31 March 2016 - 21:22

Perhaps someone did the same to a pen that I received today. It is a very clean sparsely used broad nibbed English 51 with date code 6 that I spotted yesterday in a local antique store. Snagged it for $29.00. The only drawback is a tiny bit of the tip of the hood is broken and fallen away. Would have to source a replacement hood or may be I can use a spare hood that I have but in different color. BTW how would it look with barrel and hood in different colors. Wouldn't that be s nice contrast : navey grey barrel and midnight hood? What would ya say?

Edited to correct typo.

 

In the abstract this might look cute.  I have actually done exactly what you wrote, taken a midnight blue spare hood and put it on a 51 navy gray pen.  It bothered me.  I found another navy gray hood.  It was worth it.  I was obsessive about having things in proper configurations when I was younger, but I wouldn't hesitate to put the spare any color hood on that pen today.  You sometimes become more tolerant as you age . . . or not.  Do it if you want to.  Customization.


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#19 berlinairlift

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Posted 02 June 2016 - 01:16

I find if I just heat the entire hood and then push it up (away from nib) from the bottom with my thumb that is all it takes.

 

That worked very well. I have a medium nib 51 and this fixed it. Lovely writer now.  Thanks!



#20 ac12

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Posted 02 June 2016 - 02:13

You can round off the tip of the hood, so the cracked off tip is not obvious. I've done that to a couple 51s that had the tip broken off as you have.

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