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My First Vacumatic - Did I Screw Up?

parker vacumatic restoration nib repair

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11 replies to this topic

#1 razor5cl

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Posted 23 August 2017 - 11:52

Hello all.

 

I recently purchased my first Parker Vacumatic from eBay for the princely sum of £40. I assumed the pen not to be in a working condition with the intention of taking it to Henry Simpole in London for him to repair the mechanism(he charges around £40). And in due course when I received the pen its Speedline filling mechanism was completely shot - the button does not move at all, as expected. 

 

However one thing that was not evident in the poor quality pictures from the listing is that the nib is in fact not an original Parker nib but a "Phillips Oxford" 14ct gold nib! Some reading has told me that this is a Mabie Todd/Swan nib from a repairer's shop in Oxford Street from some time ago. It would seem to me that I've been conned - the nib is not an original Parker one and I'm not sure how much it'll cost me to replace it. 

 

I'll still take it to Henry for him to have a look at this weekend but I now fear the cost of restoring it will far outweigh what the pen is actually worth.

 

Does anyone have any advice?



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#2 pen lady

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Posted 23 August 2017 - 12:21

I'd have the pen fixed up into working condition and use it with the replacement nib, that's the simplest way out.  You could, I suppose, sell the pen "as is" with the nib it has to finance the purchase of another pen that's correct.  Did the eBay listing have any information about the condition of the pen? Even the dullest of sellers should be able to read the words on a nib. Best of luck. Keep searching and if you live near London, in the Autumn there's a pen show I believe.  Always a good spot to get a working Vac. from a reliable source.  

 

Edit: Another thought, Henry might have a suitable nib, could a swap be arranged?  Your nib + cash for a Vac one?


Edited by pen lady, 23 August 2017 - 12:23.


#3 mitto

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Posted 23 August 2017 - 12:33

Good advice by pen lady. Best of luck.
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#4 Joane

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Posted 23 August 2017 - 12:45

Can it be returned because not as advertised?
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#5 tbickiii

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Posted 23 August 2017 - 13:32

I would return the pen via ebay's Buyer Protection program...By the time you buy a new nib and have it repaired, you would probably have a hard time even breaking even...Besides, there are plenty of Vacs out there and you should have one that you are happy with.


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#6 razor5cl

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Posted 23 August 2017 - 13:56

I'd have the pen fixed up into working condition and use it with the replacement nib, that's the simplest way out.  You could, I suppose, sell the pen "as is" with the nib it has to finance the purchase of another pen that's correct.  Did the eBay listing have any information about the condition of the pen? Even the dullest of sellers should be able to read the words on a nib. Best of luck. Keep searching and if you live near London, in the Autumn there's a pen show I believe.  Always a good spot to get a working Vac. from a reliable source.  

 

Edit: Another thought, Henry might have a suitable nib, could a swap be arranged?  Your nib + cash for a Vac one?

 

I know that using the pen with the replacement nib is the easiest way out, but I'd much prefer to have a nice Vacumatic with a genuine Parker nib. It may not write that much better than the nib I've got and cost me a whole load of time/money, but it's a "peace of mind" type thing, where I'd be a lot more satisfied with the "real deal" so to speak. The seller did state that the pen was in "good working order" or similar which I've found to be a blatant lie, so maybe I could pursue a return/refund and start over.

 

The London pen show is definitely on my radar, I'll be visiting if I am free on the day.

 

I will also discuss with Henry the possibility of swapping/replacing the nib.

 

Can it be returned because not as advertised?

 

This has definitely crossed my mind, I may send the seller a message once I've had a play around with the mechanism. I fiddled with it a little and managed to get the button to depress fully but it doesn't appear to be sucking up any ink as such, although I haven't had a chance to properly try to fill the pen.

 

I would return the pen via ebay's Buyer Protection program...By the time you buy a new nib and have it repaired, you would probably have a hard time even breaking even...Besides, there are plenty of Vacs out there and you should have one that you are happy with.

 

This sounds like a good idea, I'd like to have a fully working Vacumatic that has the original nib rather than settle for "second best". I'll look into getting a return/refund.



#7 Bagdatapolous

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Posted 23 August 2017 - 14:14

PM sent.



#8 FarmBoy

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Posted 23 August 2017 - 14:26

We don't know which Vacumatic we are discussing. A red OS, a blue Sr Max or a silver Deb with bad trim. Best to determine exact pen before evaluating price.
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#9 razor5cl

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Posted 23 August 2017 - 17:15

We don't know which Vacumatic we are discussing. A red OS, a blue Sr Max or a silver Deb with bad trim. Best to determine exact pen before evaluating price.

 

I'm no expert on Vacumatics, but I'd be willing to wager it was one of the cheapest, most widely available models. It was a speedline filler Standard sized pen in the Brown colour. Like I said it was my first Vacumatic and I don't exactly have a lot of money to spend so it definitely wasn't a burgundy OS or similar. Plus the filler mechanism is broken, the nib is not original and the plating has some brassing as well.



#10 peterg

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Posted 23 August 2017 - 19:30

Why didn't you just go to Henry? Only his oversize Vacumatic's are expensive (after allowing for your costs of buying an unknown quantity and getting it repaired).



#11 PaulS

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Posted 23 August 2017 - 20:18

should you need or want to visit the London pen show, it's on Sunday 1st October - Coram St., Bloomsbury  -  starts around 10.30 a.m. I think.



#12 razor5cl

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Posted 23 August 2017 - 21:40

Why didn't you just go to Henry? Only his oversize Vacumatic's are expensive (after allowing for your costs of buying an unknown quantity and getting it repaired).

 

My original idea was to buy a known non-working Vacumatic for a reasonable price and take it to him for repair. However since eBay is not looking too good for "nonworking but cosmetically good condition Vacumatics" right now I may just go and visit him anyways.

 

should you need or want to visit the London pen show, it's on Sunday 1st October - Coram St., Bloomsbury  -  starts around 10.30 a.m. I think.

 

Thanks for the information, I'll bear in mind the date and time but it may be tricky as I'm starting university around that weekend.







Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: parker, vacumatic, restoration, nib, repair



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