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Parker Vacumatic - Hard Start/nib Drys Out

parker vacumatic hard start nib

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7 replies to this topic

#1 EmilyB613


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Posted 10 April 2016 - 19:22

Hi everyone,


I have a Parker Vacumatic in Emerald Pearl (can't tell about date; Made in USA) that I bought from a Goodwill-type place for $22 (obviously they had no idea of its worth) in good condition. I've attached photos for your observation.


Here's my problem: my nib dries out constantly. I thought, at first, it was the way I filled the pen, or the nib wasn't wet enough. Now I think it's the cap with those ventilation holes. Does the cap have to do with the nib drying out? Or am I on the wrong track? To put it simply, what's going on? 


Any help is appreciated, from old forum thread links to replies!




(Hope the photos are okay)





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#2 EmilyB613


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Posted 10 April 2016 - 20:15

After further research, I realized why the vent holes are there. However, I've looked at the inner cap and it *looks* intact. But maybe I have crappy lighting or something. Anyway, I still have my "dry start" problem. Just wanted to add that I did some more research.

#3 AngelovPens


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Posted 10 April 2016 - 21:49

Have you serviced the pen? 


Vacumatics that have not been used in years will have a feed full of dirt, dry ink everywhere, and also, the diaphragms need to be replaced. The breather tube may not be in best condition also... 


By the way, 22$? that's a bargain even if you have to replace a couple parts!

Edited by angelov95, 10 April 2016 - 21:52.

"He who obeys, does not hear himself"




#4 ac12


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Posted 11 April 2016 - 04:06

If the diaphram has never been replaced, it is about 75 years old. It is very likely that the diaphram is shot, and the pen is not pulling up any ink. So the only ink you might have is what is in the feed when you ink the pen. First think that I would do is get it serviced; which means replace the diaphram.

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#5 mitto


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Posted 11 April 2016 - 15:59

The pen certainly needs a new diaphragm.
Khan M. Ilyas

#6 corgicoupe



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Posted 11 April 2016 - 20:14

Danny Fudge fixed two of mine that are just like yours. He suggested I insure them for $100 each, so your $22 was a good deal. Repair is quite reasonable, and your investment in a wonderful pen will still be less than that. $100.

Baptiste knew how to make a short job long

For love of it. And yet not waste time either.

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#7 EmilyB613


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Posted 12 April 2016 - 01:20

Thanks to all! I have contacted Danny Fudge and hopefully will ship it out soon. You guys are the best!

#8 Pen_Ingeneer


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Posted 13 April 2016 - 13:02

Hi Em

For the last few years, I am in the process of publishing a technically oriented site of fountain pens.  The chapter on caps and drying out has not been started.

What has been said so far, the bladder leaking and therefore actually not sucking any ink, makes lots of sense.  Another reason could be a shoddy inner cap, which actually seals the nib from drying out.  The small hole in the cap allows to vent the inside of the cap, so that it does not create a vacuum when it is removed.  This would cause ink being sucked out from the reservoir.

Good luck and congratulation for you excellent buy

with kindness...


Amadeus W.
visit Fountain Pen Design

Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: parker, vacumatic, hard start, nib

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