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How To Remove Section From Swan Leverless

swan leverless section

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14 replies to this topic

#1 old-scribbler

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Posted 15 April 2017 - 01:44

My wife has dug out an old Swan Leverless which she says belonged to her grandmother.  It has not been used for many decades.  I'd like to know hold old it might be, and what model number.

 

swan-leverless.JPG

The barrel is stamped with a swan logo surrounded by this text:
    SWAN LEVERLESS PEN
    MABIE TODD & CO LTD
    MADE IN ENGLAND
    TRADE MARK
    PAT. APP. FOR
The clip also bears a swan logo.
The section is stamped with:
    SWAN
The nib is engraved with:
    "SWAN"
    4
    14 CT
    MABIE TODD & CO LTD
   
The section is loose in rotation, maybe an eight of a turn.  The filler cap also rotates, perhaps a third of a turn, but does not appear to suck up any ink.

I want to take it apart for inspection and cleaning, and probable replacement of sac.  I've tried warming it up with a hair drier and pulling firmly, but it won't budge.  Can anyone confirm that it is definitely a push fit, and suggest why it might turn but not pull out?



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#2 mitto

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Posted 15 April 2017 - 03:38

The section is press fit. Not threaded. So not screwed. A little soak and dry heat would do the trick. For resacking Swan leverless, you may watch this video.



Khan M. Ilyas

#3 old-scribbler

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Posted 16 April 2017 - 01:42

Hmmm ... interesting!

Soaking and heating didn't help, so I tried a soak in hot water.  Found that the section would turn a little more, so persevered until it turned enough to show a gap, which went away if I turned it back again. Encouraged, I worked it back and forth until eventually it unscrewed completely.

swan-section-removed.JPG

The sac was well perished and disintegrated, so it may have been a piece of that which was impeding the turning of the section.

Anyway, now I have it all apart, and assuming I can get hold of a new sac I'll be able to repair it (thanks for the helpful video)  Except: the operating lever came out along with the remains of the sac, and I cannot see how to reattach it; it may be broken, or it may fit into a notch in the filler cap, which now unscrews part way as shown in the picture.  Grateful for hints ...

The pen in the video is described as a model 4240, I assume mine is definitely not that; I'd still like to know what model and age it is, if anyone has any clues.



#4 farmdogfan

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Posted 16 April 2017 - 05:56

You will probably get more response here           http://www.fountainp...est-forumgroup/



#5 PaulS

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Posted 16 April 2017 - 08:43

I could be wrong, but I'd suggest that what you have is NOT a M.T. Leverless, but a M.T. Button Bar pen  -  apparently it's quite easy to confuse them with the earlier leverless models.      Your bar is a pressure bar, as in b.f. pens, and not a rotating bar as in leverless.       In my opinion this is the rarer of the two types of pen, and probably more desirable. :)


Edited by PaulS, 16 April 2017 - 08:46.


#6 mitto

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Posted 16 April 2017 - 10:09

I think the leverless would have a press fit section. Not a threaded one like the one on OP's pen is.

Edited by mitto, 16 April 2017 - 10:57.

Khan M. Ilyas

#7 PaulS

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Posted 16 April 2017 - 10:43

the more obvious feature on the later pen is the aluminium threading on the button, which I'm sure none of the leverless have.     Whether this button bar is any more efficient that the earlier pen I've no idea as I don't have an example of a b.b.       Hindsight is a marvellous thing and gives 20/20 vision, and easy to be critical of something designed 80 - 90 years ago, but I really can't love the leverless...........    possibly because I've been trying to glue a bar back onto a cam, and can't get it to stick.         I also get confused with l.h. threads :D


Edited by PaulS, 16 April 2017 - 11:58.


#8 PaulS

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Posted 16 April 2017 - 21:29

In view of the U.K. interest in Swan/M.T., I had a look at Deborah Gibson's 'Goodwriterspens' blog, hoping to see some coverage of this b.b. pen., somewhere in the lady's very substantial output covering Swan/leverless pens.

Apart from a single entry with a few words on a long blind cap example from c. 1950, there was nothing there to help with these b.b. pens, suggesting this particular filling method may not have had a very long production run, or possibly is a model avoided. 

The advice seems to be that provided the button mechanism works and doesn't need replacement, then servicing is fairly straightforward although sac renewal can apparently be a little tedious.

The real problems start when buttons need replacement, and Marshall & Oldfield comment  .........   "and it is almost essential to make a set of special tools".

 

This is where their Pen Repair manual will help, if you have access to a copy. :)     



#9 old-scribbler

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Posted 17 April 2017 - 05:59

Thanks for all the hints, everyone.  Further search turned up this:
http://www.vintagepe...leverless.shtml
which has a cut-away picture at the bottom of the page that looks exactly like the inside of my pen. This dates it to the early or mid 1950s (so it's nearly as old as I am).

I now see how it fits together, and the mechanism shows all signs of working too, so I just need to get myself a new sac. I suspect that the size is not so critical as for the original 'twisty' leverless mechanism, which may make it easier, but finding one in New Zealand will be a challenge. The prices for shipping small items from the USA are outrageous ... :(
 



#10 RayCornett

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Posted 07 September 2019 - 21:19

This gets confusing. My what I thought to be a 4660 has a threaded section, no model number, has a flat groove on the threads to hold a button filler type bar but I have been told it should take an entangling bar. Anyone know what's up?



#11 como

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Posted 07 September 2019 - 22:42

Please be aware that there are really two types of Mabie Todd "Leverless", one of which uses a normal pressure bar seen in button fillers, while the other uses a twist mechanism. The pressure bar type (yours) uses a normal sac, and the twist mechanism uses a necked sac. See pages from Pen Repair by Jim Marshall and Laurence Oldfield. You knock out (or pull out) the nib and feed, then replace the sac. Only after you install the pressure bar and use a dowel to make sure that the sac is not twisted during pressure bar installation, you'd be safe to set the nib and feed back into section. I've had a 4230 (grey plastic, with pressure bar) and a 4350 (maroon, with twist mechanism). From outside you can't see if it's a pressure bar type or twist thing. Very nice classic pens with wonderful nibs.

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#12 RayCornett

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Posted 07 September 2019 - 23:11

Please be aware that there are really two types of Mabie Todd "Leverless", one of which uses a normal pressure bar seen in button fillers, while the other uses a twist mechanism. The pressure bar type (yours) uses a normal sac, and the twist mechanism uses a necked sac. See pages from Pen Repair by Jim Marshall and Laurence Oldfield. You knock out (or pull out) the nib and feed, then replace the sac. Only after you install the pressure bar and use a dowel to make sure that the sac is not twisted during pressure bar installation, you'd be safe to set the nib and feed back into section. I've had a 4230 (grey plastic, with pressure bar) and a 4350 (maroon, with twist mechanism). From outside you can't see if it's a pressure bar type or twist thing. Very nice classic pens with wonderful nibs.

I just found out about that book today. I do need to get it. Here is a horrible picture of my pen minus the nib2019-09-07 15.45.24.jpg .



#13 como

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Posted 08 September 2019 - 07:26

As you can see in the book and also in Grandmia's video, it's an uncomplicated procedure. You just need the normal sac, not a necked one as shown in Grandmia's video as yours is a pressure bar type, not a twisting spatula inside. Unlike what's shown in the book, Mabie Todd also made the twisting spatula type of Leverless with the cone shaped twisting knob, which is why the only way you would know the type is to open the section. I would guess that your model number is a 4250 (looks maroon to me). The model number should be near the twisting knob.

I just found out about that book today. I do need to get it. Here is a horrible picture of my pen minus the nibattachicon.gif 2019-09-07 15.45.24.jpg.



#14 RayCornett

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Posted 08 September 2019 - 21:25

As you can see in the book and also in Grandmia's video, it's an uncomplicated procedure. You just need the normal sac, not a necked one as shown in Grandmia's video as yours is a pressure bar type, not a twisting spatula inside. Unlike what's shown in the book, Mabie Todd also made the twisting spatula type of Leverless with the cone shaped twisting knob, which is why the only way you would know the type is to open the section. I would guess that your model number is a 4250 (looks maroon to me). The model number should be near the twisting knob.

There's no model number anywhere but it is definitely black. The Grandmia video mentions a specific length to the button filler bar he used but I don't know which pen he is working on to know if it is the right size for mine.



#15 como

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Posted 09 September 2019 - 16:24

So far the Mabie Todd Leverless model pens with cone-shaped turning knob are all the same size, around 13,2cm long capped, regardless if they are with pressure bar or the twisting spatula type, from what I've seen. Model numbers are in the 42x0 format, x being the color code. If you do some search online, you will find instructions of how to determine the pressure bar length that you need and how to fit a pressure bar. Good luck!

There's no model number anywhere but it is definitely black. The Grandmia video mentions a specific length to the button filler bar he used but I don't know which pen he is working on to know if it is the right size for mine







Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: swan, leverless, section



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