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Are All 52 1/2 V Caps Interchangeable?


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#1 Honeybadgers

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Posted 11 November 2017 - 06:06

I picked up a pretty nice 52 1/2 V with a gorgeous wet noodle nib off of etsy for $45. I figured that worst case scenario, a good waterman #2 ideal nib is worth more than that anyways.

 

The only problem it has apart from needing a new ink sac and good cleaning, is that it has no cap. I've never restored a waterman before, so I am curious if I will be able to just pick up any old cap for it? 

 

And if the answer to that is yes, anyone have a cheap spare cap for sale?  :D



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#2 praxim

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Posted 11 November 2017 - 07:06

If it is any help, I own three Waterman 52 1/2v, one BHR, one gold (0552) and one silver (452), and can tell you that none of the caps is interchangeable. The three pens are different lengths, albeit slight for the metal pair. Whether all BHR are the same length, I do not know. Given my gold and silver are different from each other let alone from the BHR, good luck.
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#3 EMQG

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Posted 11 November 2017 - 20:25

I'm not sure, but I'll defer to Praxim's authority here.

 

I think your best bet would be to send the pen to someone who's likely to have a supply of caps, and they'll sell you the one that fits best.



#4 praxim

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Posted 12 November 2017 - 08:57

Hey! That’s not authority, just what I know about three different 1/2v pens. :)
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#5 EMQG

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Posted 12 November 2017 - 20:14

Hey! That’s not authority, just what I know about three different 1/2v pens. :)

That's three 1/2Vs more than I've got! ;) Not a fan of ringtops, since I carry my pens in my shirt pocket.



#6 Honeybadgers

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Posted 13 November 2017 - 01:18

I've only got one ringtop 52 1/2 v and I'm genuinely not a fan of the size, also greg minuskin accidentally shipped it to me with ink in it and wound up ruining the red ebonite, which didn't help. I wound up taking the nib and putting it into a chinese eyedropper that's now my favorite pen, so I'll test that cap for funsies, and worst case, I can just move the nib over and sell this one's barrel/feed/section/lever box for parts. In the end, $45 for a wet noodle ideal nib is a stellar deal.



#7 robert1962

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Posted 13 November 2017 - 18:12

Looked at a dozen or so. All interchangeable. Problem is, for every spare cap, there are two barrels waiting for caps, and so on...

 

A Googling might bring up some dealers who sell such parts. Five Star Pens comes to mind (no affiliation, just a satisfied parts customer).

 

Enjoy the hunt, or maybe upgrade to a 52 that needs a nib.

 

Take care, Bob


Shouldn't phonics be spelled with an f?

#8 Honeybadgers

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Posted 15 November 2017 - 00:58

The cap to my current 52 1/2 V fits it perfectly. Might as well just put its nib into that pen (since that nib is in my Lecai eyedropper)

 

Going to clean the pen and soak it in an ultrasonic cleaner of warm water.

 

After a good soaking, I can see the barrel was actually chased at one point and so well used it was smoothed!

 

Nib came out easily with a knockout block and it's a tad sharp when flexed, but definitely a full flex, possibly an EF-F wet noodle (it's as soft and spreads like the one greg sold me as a noodle)

 

Question - I've never had to remove an old ink sac. I soaked it in warm water in my ultrasonic cleaner, and it all cleaned easily enough out from the barrel, but how do I remove the ink sac neck from the section?


Edited by Honeybadgers, 15 November 2017 - 03:21.


#9 MercianScribe

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Posted 15 November 2017 - 05:44

Five Star Pens will charge you two or three times what you paid for you pen for a cap, and as Praxim said, they're often different fits.


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#10 praxim

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Posted 15 November 2017 - 07:07

In my examples: The thread pitch is the same of course. Thread diameters are the same. Lengths are different, to the extent it is not merely an inconvenience.
If you see anything unusual, just enjoy it while you can.

#11 Honeybadgers

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Posted 15 November 2017 - 08:09

The barrel may just be not worth restoring, but keeping for parts. The lever box (are these made of 14k gold?) is in absolutely stunning condition, but the rest isn't in great shape apart from the feed.

 

*edit 18k gold, the imprint was on the back of the lever.


Edited by Honeybadgers, 15 November 2017 - 20:39.


#12 sidthecat

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Posted 15 November 2017 - 19:14

It's easier to find a good pen than a good nib, so I've done a lot of switching around. The problem with all ringtops is a tendency for them to untwist themselves from their caps and disappear. If it lives in a pocket, you may be safe.



#13 gregamckinney

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Posted 15 November 2017 - 21:06

It is interesting to note that these would have originally all interchanged.  There weren't different sizes of 52-1/2V.  The shrinkage and warping that has occurred over the last 85+ years has made for quite a few "variants" in size today.  I have quite a number.  Only one doesn't interchange with all the others.

 

greg


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#14 Vintagepens

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Posted 16 November 2017 - 00:26

Most likely 18K gold filled -- not solid.

 

The barrel may just be not worth restoring, but keeping for parts. The lever box (are these made of 14k gold?) is in absolutely stunning condition, but the rest isn't in great shape apart from the feed.

 

*edit 18k gold, the imprint was on the back of the lever.



#15 Vintagepens

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Posted 16 November 2017 - 00:28

Hard rubber doesn't shrink with age, nor does it warp unless it is heated and then bent. What surely happened is variation of thread profiles and depth over a decades-long production run.

 

It is interesting to note that these would have originally all interchanged.  There weren't different sizes of 52-1/2V.  The shrinkage and warping that has occurred over the last 85+ years has made for quite a few "variants" in size today.  I have quite a number.  Only one doesn't interchange with all the others.

 

greg



#16 Vintagepens

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Posted 16 November 2017 - 00:36

Rule #1: do not put hard rubber parts in water, especially warm water. If the surface has ever been exposed to light, the hard rubber will instantly fade to brown or worse. There is absolutely no reason to soak a hard rubber cap or barrel.

 

Rule #2: do not take the nib and feed out of the section unless necessary. Clean the assembly with an ultrasonic and finish by flushing with a rubber bulb. If the nib and feed are properly set, it's much the best leaving them alone.

 

Proper procedure is to use heat to remove the section. The old sac is then extracted from the barrel, dry. The remnants on the sac nipple are heated to reduce brittleness, and then peeled and scraped away. Only then does water enter the picture, as the section assembly is put into the ultrasonic for a couple of minutes. The ink inside the cap is cleaned off with cotton swabs dipped in an ammonia solution.

 

Going to clean the pen and soak it in an ultrasonic cleaner of warm water.

 

After a good soaking, I can see the barrel was actually chased at one point and so well used it was smoothed!

 

Nib came out easily with a knockout block and it's a tad sharp when flexed, but definitely a full flex, possibly an EF-F wet noodle (it's as soft and spreads like the one greg sold me as a noodle)



#17 praxim

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Posted 16 November 2017 - 01:18

I am not talking about distortion over time, rather than manufacturing variation which may be over time.

If it is any help, I own three Waterman 52 1/2v, one BHR, one gold (0552) and one silver (452), and can tell you that none of the caps is interchangeable. The three pens are different lengths, albeit slight for the metal pair. Whether all BHR are the same length, I do not know. Given my gold and silver are different from each other let alone from the BHR, good luck.

 

To spell out the comment I have bolded above, these are various measurements of the three 52 1/2V pens I have. The three numbers on each line are for the BHR, the 0552 and the 452 respectively:

  • Capped length (excluding ring at end): BHR 109 mm, 0552 88mm, 452 92 mm
  • Uncapped, nib tip to barrel end excluding ring: 102 mm, 86 mm, 88 mm

Note the differences implied for nib-tip-to-cap-end clearances in the above.

  • Cap length: 54 mm, 46 mm, 47 mm
  • Section length excluding threading: 14.3 mm, 12.9 mm, 12.9 mm
  • Threaded length: 6.3 mm, 7.5 mm (only ~5.5 mm of this appears used), 5.6 mm

Figures without a decimal are rounded to the nearest millimetre, otherwise 100 µm. Measuring the threads next to the section, or just inside the lip of the cap, it appears the BHR cap is about 100 - 200 µm smaller than the gold-filled and silver caps.

 

The main caveat I have offered on my information is that, although all 52 1/2V pens, these are three variations in more than their finish. The measurements show this, and on attempting interchange the BHR is incompatible either way, while interchanging the gold and silver is a slight but obvious kludge. Without multiple pens of one exact type, I do not know whether there might be variations over time within exact types.

 

HTH

 

 

Afterthought: Consider holding a 90 mm pen, and you can see why I post those. :)

 

edit: clarify opening line


Edited by praxim, 16 November 2017 - 01:19.

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#18 Honeybadgers

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Posted 16 November 2017 - 01:39

Rule #1: do not put hard rubber parts in water, especially warm water. If the surface has ever been exposed to light, the hard rubber will instantly fade to brown or worse. There is absolutely no reason to soak a hard rubber cap or barrel.

 

Rule #2: do not take the nib and feed out of the section unless necessary. Clean the assembly with an ultrasonic and finish by flushing with a rubber bulb. If the nib and feed are properly set, it's much the best leaving them alone.

 

Proper procedure is to use heat to remove the section. The old sac is then extracted from the barrel, dry. The remnants on the sac nipple are heated to reduce brittleness, and then peeled and scraped away. Only then does water enter the picture, as the section assembly is put into the ultrasonic for a couple of minutes. The ink inside the cap is cleaned off with cotton swabs dipped in an ammonia solution.

 

 

 

Thanks for all the info! Good to know when I restore a pen that isn't junk. In the end, this purchase consisted of a good feed, section, lever box, and wet noodle EF nib for $45 (the barrel, after cleaning, is very pockmarked and worn, and not worth restoring unless I happen to find another very worn cap.) I'm very happy. Especially since I already had a donor pen to put it into (I really wish this cardinal red pen wasn't ruined when Greg accidentally shipped it to me with ink in it) I've got a fantastic writer now since I pulled that pen's needlepoint nib for another purpose.

 

I would have had to remove the nib anyways for proper polishing, and once I heard feedback and got a look at it, I figured I'd just see what was under the pen. It was already a chased brown, and warm water didn't harm it (it did clear away the decades of hand gunk and brought out the invisible chasing and imprints,) but your method sounds just as good. 


Edited by Honeybadgers, 16 November 2017 - 01:41.


#19 Vintagepens

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Posted 16 November 2017 - 15:40

Greg was the one talking about distortion over time, whose comments I was addressing.

Strictly speaking, you are talking about two different models, since the overlays do differ significantly in dimensions from the plain pens, even with manufacturing variation factored in. One of the biggest differences that immediately becomes apparent when doing work on the small overlays is their distinctively short section. If damaged, one can't just substitute one from a plain pen, unfortunately.

 

I am not talking about distortion over time, rather than manufacturing variation which may be over time.

 

To spell out the comment I have bolded above, these are various measurements of the three 52 1/2V pens I have. The three numbers on each line are for the BHR, the 0552 and the 452 respectively



#20 Vintagepens

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Posted 16 November 2017 - 15:44

Glad to help. It's a really bad feeling when you have a nice dark pen and you put it in water only to see it turn a splotchy light brown.

I don't understand the issue with the Cardinal. You should be able to polish off any ink stains quite easily.

 

I really wish this cardinal red pen wasn't ruined when Greg accidentally shipped it to me with ink in it. 








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