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Need Help Identifying + Repairing Botched Esterbrook

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#1 Mojibacha

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Posted 16 April 2017 - 19:39

Hello! This is my first post in the forums, so please excuse any mistakes!

 

I was at an antique market today and my mother picked up a yellow Esterbrook for $15. I thought this was a steal, until I asked her if I could look at it. There's actually no ink sac in the pen at all, and the nib is fit with a "Venus" nib. (From my understanding, Venus is a third-tier vintage company here in Canada.)

 

Whoever did this to the pen didn't factor in the size difference between the feed and the nib, because the nib cannot fit over the entire feed. As a result, about 1/5 of the feed is exposed on one side (reference first picture). 

 

Capped, the pen measured 11 cm. It's a pretty mini pen. Without the cap, the pen measures 9.5 cm (excluding the nib).

 

I'm able to unscrew the feed section out, but the nib is slid in so tightly that I can't get it out with my bare hands. What should I do; and how do I install a new ink sac?

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Edited by Mojibacha, 16 April 2017 - 19:40.


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#2 FarmBoy

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Posted 16 April 2017 - 19:47

Venus and Esterbrook became one company and the nib units are interchangable. The nib is just rotated on the feed slightly.

Your pen is an Esterbrook Pastel an it takes a #16 sac.
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#3 FarmBoy

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Posted 16 April 2017 - 19:48

Forgot--

You need to remove the section to get to the sac. The threads should be the same color as the barrel. Avoid soaking the pen in water unless you remove the j-bar. Heat is advised to remove the section.

Price is good.
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#4 Mojibacha

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Posted 16 April 2017 - 21:23

Venus and Esterbrook became one company and the nib units are interchangable. The nib is just rotated on the feed slightly.

Your pen is an Esterbrook Pastel an it takes a #16 sac.

 

 

Thank you so much for the reply!

 

The nib is extremely tight; will I need dry heat to remove it? As well, do you know how I can clean the ink off of the barrel's threads safely? I'm guessing any ammonia/bleach solutions should be completely avoided.


Edited by Mojibacha, 16 April 2017 - 21:23.


#5 Hobiwan

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Posted 17 April 2017 - 00:24

You can rinse the cap out (many times) under running cool water to get the ink out of it.  They dry out with coiled paper towel.

 

With the section still in the barrel, you can use an old toothbrush with soapy water to brush out the threads and run water over the threads only to rinse (just don't let any water get into the lever area).

 

Then pull the section out of the barrel with nib/feed unit in. Use controlled strength for this so as not to crack the barrel threads.  Then remove the nib from the section.  It might need some soaking to dissolve the dry ink that's holding the nib tight.  Soapy water usually works just fine.  Yes, No Bleach.  Just a drop of ammonia if you use it at all. 

 

The rest should be sac replacement, unless other issues are discovered.

 

HTH


Edited by Hobiwan, 17 April 2017 - 00:25.

Best Regards
Paul


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#6 Hobiwan

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Posted 17 April 2017 - 01:02

...

I'm able to unscrew the feed section out, but the nib is slid in so tightly that I can't get it out with my bare hands. What should I do; and how do I install a new ink sac?

 

Best case scenario.  The section comes out of the barrel with the complete sac on it.  Next best. The petrified sac falls out behind the section in hard pieces.  Next best.  The petrified sac is still in the barrel, having broken off the section, and falls out when you tip the barrel over.  Worst case.  The sac remains in the barrel because it has burst while filled with ink, part of it is pliable, part or all of it is “glued” to the inside of the barrel by the caramelized remains of whatever ink was used, and has to be fished out piece by agonizing piece. 

Once the section is out, pull the old sac off the nipple (the smallest part of the section).  Some sacs, if they’re pliable, will peel off the nipple quite nicely; others are hard and have to be scraped off.  Some of the hard ones you pop off in pieces just by nudging it with your fingernail, and others you’ll have to scrape with a sharp knife blade or Xacto tool or whatever you can devise.  The important thing is to NOT destroy the roundness of the nipple.  The easiest ones will have been secured with shellac, the hardest ones will be those that were glued on with God knows what.
 
The new #16 sac will be too long, so you have to cut it down to size.  

1. Drop the sac into the barrel closed end first, so that it goes to the end of whatever space there is inside.

2. Cut off the part of the sac that protrudes out of the barrel.  Scissors being what they are, you can pull the sac out of the barrel about 1/16 inch to be as close as possible to the length.  Don’t worry, none of this has to be exact.

3. Now take the sac out of the barrel and place the end that you cut at the part of the section that stops at the end of the barrel.

4. Mark where the nipple starts (the beginning of the smallest part) and cut away the excess part of the sac.  In other words the proper length of the sac starts from the beginning of the nipple to the end of its space in the barrel.  Anything longer and it’ll kink up when you replace the section, and not work properly, will twist up, and likely break inside sooner or later from that stress.  Shorter is OK.  Longer is Not OK.  So err on the side of a little too short. Strive to make that last cut exactly perpendicular to the length as humanly possible.  If it’s too crooked a cut, try again to get it straight.  You can lose some sac and it won’t hurt.  What you want is a nice, neat straight fit on the nipple.

5. Apply a coat of shellac all the way around the NIPPLE ONLY.  Be careful NOT to get any shellac on the collar (the part that friction fits into the barrel) or the “finger grip” part of the section.  It’s hard to remove, can mar the finish of an otherwise great looking section, requiring much work to clean off, and is almost like gluing the section to the barrel, which is a no-no.  I use masking tape to protect the rest of the section while shellacing the sac.

6. Pull the sac onto the nipple, and massage it one way or the other, until it’s straight.  (Sounds easy, doesn’t it?)  Here’s where the spreader would come in handy.  You’d simply stick the two “jaw” things into the sac, squeeze it to spread, slip it over the nipple and release it.  

7. You’re done.  The sac is ready, doesn’t need any “setting” time.  Make sure none of the sac protrudes over the nipple onto the rest of the section.  Slip the section/sac assembly back into the barrel and press it in till it’s where it should be.  If the section seems too large to slip back into the barrel, and you’re scared of cracking it, put some talc on it and it’ll slip in easier. Screw the nib back in and you're good to go.
 


Best Regards
Paul


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#7 Mojibacha

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Posted 17 April 2017 - 01:36

 

Best case scenario....

 

 

 

Thank you so much! This was an extremely helpful step-by-step. I've got some bad news and updates though...

 

I just called my parents up (they were the ones who bought the pen), and they said that the seller told them he removed the sac. Not only that, they said that the guy told them he rinsed the entire pen out.

 

So not only is the nib glued into the section such that I can't rotate it, but the sac is gone and the lever part is wet. (Evidently, I can hear little slosh sounds when I move the lever.)

 

I scraped the sac out of the walls with a toothpick and a paintbrush. Should I just leave the pen to air-dry from here? 

 

I've got sac ordered from ebay; hopefully something will go well.  :wacko:



#8 gweimer1

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Posted 17 April 2017 - 11:15

For a quick version of a spreader to help put the sac on, I use a pair of tweezers (I ground off the tips to round them off).

 

So, the nib was glued in place?  You might need a new section.  If the pen was rinsed out, you also need to check the pressure bar for rust.



#9 Tweel

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Posted 18 April 2017 - 00:48

Whoever did this to the pen didn't factor in the size difference between the feed and the nib, because the nib cannot fit over the entire feed. As a result, about 1/5 of the feed is exposed on one side (reference first picture).

 

So not only is the nib glued into the section such that I can't rotate it...

 

The part you're referring to here as the "section" is the nib collar (the section is the black grip into which the point assembly was screwed).  The entire point unit -- nib, feed, and the threaded collar that holds them together -- is meant to be replaced as a unit.  Esterbrook called it a ReNew-Point.  It's possible to take it apart, but success is definitely not guaranteed.  However, you can simply replace it with a different one, with many styles made (here's a scan of an Esterbrook chart hosted on Richard Binder's website), and still available from various sellers (from Anderson Pens as just one example).  The 1xxx and 2xxx series points are untipped, the 3xxx and 9xxx points have "iridium" tipping material (you can't use 7xxx points in your pen).

 

BTW, you'll notice that the nib is rotated counter-clockwise in relation to the feed, as viewed from the front.  It probably happened because someone, sometime, tried to unscrew the point while it was still "glued" into the section by dried ink.


Edited by Tweel, 18 April 2017 - 00:54.

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#10 nefsigh

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Posted 18 April 2017 - 07:14

Hi All. I've been collecting Estie pursers for the last few months and have managed to get 20 of assorted colors and another 6 or so matching pencils. (still looking for lavender pen). Also managed to pick up a nice "nurse" pen with red jewels and another with nice green ones. I want and need to clean all them up a little and put aa nice polish on them but I have a few with old price decals on them and of course, I don't wish to remove them.

Besides soapy water, have any of you had any experience and/or good results with any of the zillion cleaning products available on the markets? (Thinking the de-greasers like Orange "whatever", etc.)? I am aware of the issues with soaking, although drying can be accomplished pretty well if you have a small blower and if you are worried about rust, coating the bars with a light coat of silicon seems to help keep it at bay. Haven't tried any oils yet, but might.

 

Also, I note that many of the feed sections are really "locked on" tight. They don't unscrew that is for certain, and reading the responses here I am guessing you all recommend soaking in a warm solution of H2O,ammonia and a sonic cleaner?

I also cam across a umber of "sunburst" nibs at a sale and wondered if these would be appropriate for the Purse pens era? I am trying to keep them as original as can be. THe ones I have are shown in the photo, none cleaned up yet. 

Any good tips will be much appreciated.

 

Thanks : Lenny Dowhie (Note: The top pen is a Blue Ice Parker for color balance in photoshop)

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Edited by nefsigh, 18 April 2017 - 07:15.


#11 gweimer1

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Posted 18 April 2017 - 10:22

The sunburst nibs pre-date the pastel pens, but they are nice nibs to have.

 

For removing a difficult section, using some gentle heat to warm up the barrel where the section joins is advised.  A hair dryer can provide enough heat.  What I do for the pens I work on is to apply the heat until the barrel is warm to the touch (not hot), then secure the section, and gently twist off the barrel.



#12 ac12

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Posted 22 April 2017 - 02:58

I second gweimer1 on dry heat.

 

But, I recommend that you first get junkers, to practice removing a stuck section.  Because, removing a stuck section is an art that has to be learned.  I have a few "AW $HIT" pens in my junk box, from mistakes trying to remove/reinstall the section back into the pen.

 

For collector grade pens, my advice is to just leave them AS IS.  You could damage the pen, attempting to replace the sac.  And since it is a collector pen that won't be used, it does not matter that the sac has hardened or turned to dust.


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#13 Tom Heath

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Posted 30 April 2017 - 21:20

THE YELLOW PURSE PEN WAS WELL WORTH WHAT YOUR MOM SPENT FOR IT.

 

Assuming  it does not have cap lip cracks and the color returns after polishing  you should be  quite happy


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