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On A Crystal Tray: Fixer Uppers Worth Saving?

american pens vintage pens fountain pens repair sheaffer epenco penman champion vacuum filler

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#1 TheLeverist


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Posted 22 June 2017 - 01:57

Hello, F.P.N. people from away down south in Dixie.  I go by "The Leverist," I tinker with antique anything until it works, and I'm a random person on the internet. That's all you really need to know about that, so let's get down to the important business and talk pens.


Okay, so I did the Sumgai thing and ended up with a pile of wrecked pens. One Parker 21 was the only one still workable, and it was cracked. Model cement to the rescue! It's fine now. Others were a mostly third-tier accumulation of pens that survived the Great Depression, and look like they rode in the glovebox of a Model T out to the land of opportunity. Here's the body count:


1. Fifth Avenue, built by Safford Pen Co. Red celluloid marbled. Condition: Poor--mangled brass nib, broken J-bar, obligatory ossified sac, and no cap. Has a red Waltham's cap with bent clip.


1. Wearever, Model "Deluxe 100," double jewel, brown striped celluloid. Condition: Very Shiny, but the nib tipping crumbled away when I touched it. "Special Alloy," indeed. Clip not quite right, lever very corroded, J-bar ok. 


1. Champion. Model unknown. A very YELLOW pen colored like a Duofold, but shaped like a blend of old Sheaffer Balance and new Nemosine Singularity. Condition: Really good! Well, except for the sac. Everything else is just the way I never find them!


1. Sheaffer Balance Jr. Vac fill, flat ball clip, black with pearlescent flecks. Original Junior nib. Condition: I would tell you, if I could get the vacuum rod to move more than half an inch. Other than that, it's scuffed up but will polish nicely. Section is stuck on pretty good (regular non-triumph nib.)


4: Epenco's . Eagle Iridium Tipped nibs, GP steel. One burgundy, one navy, two really cool striped blue ones with a thunder-and-lightning pattern, like Noodler's acrylics but old-school. Condition: Every single one had a good sac (considering) but the J bars were neatly broken.


3. "Penman" pens. Look almost exactly like Nemosine Singularity pens. One black, missing cap band. Two grey flake celluloid, one in much nicer shape than the other, but I can't bring myself to part out the really grungy one. Curvex nibs, 14k Gold Plate. And--broken J-bar on one gray one. The other hasn't deigned to come apart yet.


So There You Have It! I don't know what to do with the nib on the Wearever--not fond of Fleabay, but if I have to then I will. It doesn't have to be original Wearever, it just has to write. Fifth Avenue is cool but really battered. The Epencos are neat, the Penman pens are nice shapes, the Champion is really well preserved, and the Sheaffer is a seized-up but beautiful pen.  The Parker? It's cool--testament to the most practical designs in history, if not the prettiest. I have already resacced another lever pen of mine (Gold Flex!) but these are pretty messy.


Mostly I need nib ideas for that poor old Deluxe 100. Then, on to discussion of caps and clips, and freeing up the Sheaffer--which I think might be a 1935 model.


I will trade a 1950ish Sheaffer Tuckaway Vac parts pen, with a beautiful pencil matching it, if someone can come up with either some parts or another project lever pen. The Tucky just needs the barrel bored and tapped and a new nib unit. A recognized pen mechanic quoted me $85 but I didn't have the money then.


Anyhow, thanks for watching, and stay dipped.

The Leverist

(Who should have probably posted pictures.)


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#2 ac12


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Posted 22 June 2017 - 03:15

Replacement J-bars are available from several sources:

  • Anderson Pens
  • Woodbin
  • etc.

Generic Chinese nibs off eBay will fit some of the old pens.  I've used them to replace many missing/broken nibs.

Problem here is you don't know the size of those nibs vs. the nib on the pen you want to replace.  You buy the nib and take your chances.  But they are not #6, they are smaller.

San Francisco Pen Show - August 28-30, 2020 - Redwood City, California


#3 TheLeverist


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Posted 23 June 2017 - 01:38

Thanks ac12. I found where to get a nib for the DeLuxe, and where to buy sacs and pressure bars. Some of the old steel nibs on them are actually quite good, after dip testing.


Now to get one of the Penman gray marble celluloids apart, after a shoddy repair which left the section caked in dried shellac. It still fills and writes, but reluctantly, and I would prefer to restore it...This is one of the few chances for a manly man to use a hair dryer.


And the Balance Jr is apart with a touch of heat. I found out it's probably a 1935 Ebonized Pearl, and YOU CAN SEE THROUGH THE BARREL! Too cool! I need some rubber rings for that but life intervenes and next week will probably see me buying parts for them, as I allocate a bit to my antiques budget.


The Parker 21 is now working and seems as nice as a 51, I guess. But it's writing dry and expelling chunks of dried ink. A cleaning will be in order.


There is now another contender in the bullpen: a Scripto hooded lever filler. It looks pretty nice, when posted--because the cap covers the crunched end of the barrel. I am thinking epoxy will be a good fix here, and a new sac.


The saga continues!



The Leverist.

Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: american pens, vintage pens, fountain pens, repair, sheaffer, epenco, penman, champion, vacuum filler

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