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Modern Mb146, Nib Unit Disassembly, Warning !


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53 replies to this topic

#1 fountainbel

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Posted 12 February 2018 - 10:59

Hi all,

Being already several times confronted with modern Montblanc 146 pens on which ink was seeping through the seam between section and the rounded section front collar, I wanted to shear my experiences and give you a - gentle ! - warning.
Montblanc changed the design of the screw-in nib units over time.
Initially the rounded section front collar was part of the nib housing, but in later stage - till now?- the section front collar was made as a separate ring which is glued on a thin collar at the front of the section.
The latter design is very delicate : when unscrewing the nib unit using an unappropriated tool which radially touches the glued ring, chances are high the thin section wall will crack leading to leakage by ink seeping through the cracked seam. 
Their so called “precious resin”  is very brittle ,and the collar wall thickness being only 0.25mm thick, it cracks very easy !
Hence Its very important to use a perfect tool which radially not touches the front ring.
The earlier design - featuring the nib housing with the  front ring - is much stronger.
Really disappointing seeing Montblanc went from a much better design towards such a weak alternative.
On the sketch below you can see both versions. 
Francis
2018-02-122011.22.04202.jpg


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#2 Matlock

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Posted 12 February 2018 - 11:25

It would seem that MB have a lot to learn from Pelikan. 


Peter


#3 Michael R.

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Posted 12 February 2018 - 12:34

Good to hear from you experiences!

So far I liked the new design better because it appears to use „self sealing“ nib units which allows an easier change of nib units.

I will keep this in mind when working on modern Montblanc pens in the future.

Cheers

Michael

#4 fountainbel

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Posted 12 February 2018 - 13:38

Good to hear from you experiences!

So far I liked the new design better because it appears to use „self sealing“ nib units which allows an easier change of nib units.

I will keep this in mind when working on modern Montblanc pens in the future.

Cheers

Michael

 

Hi Michael,

When carefully using  a perfect tool - which is not touching the collar - removal of the nib unit should not be problematic.

But since some users tend to use a rough "homemade" tool, one should be extremely careful not to crack the thin walled seat of the ring on the section.

Regards,

Francis 



#5 Reed_thoughts

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Posted 12 February 2018 - 14:20

As a user who has had both: homemade and "real" tools, i have to say that the risk in the homemeade tools is HUGE!

I actually even broke a pen because of it... long story... montblanc was partly at fault, and they accepted it.

 

Point is: use the right tools for the job. They can be found online, they are fairly simple. I bought my tools on ebay for $30 from China. It took about 2-3 months to get them, but they were worth it. Now i can service myself ALL of my 146s, including my 146 based special editions, and the 149 (i only have one!)



#6 fountainbel

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Posted 12 February 2018 - 14:32

As a user who has had both: homemade and "real" tools, i have to say that the risk in the homemeade tools is HUGE!

I actually even broke a pen because of it... long story... montblanc was partly at fault, and they accepted it.

 

Point is: use the right tools for the job. They can be found online, they are fairly simple. I bought my tools on ebay for $30 from China. It took about 2-3 months to get them, but they were worth it. Now i can service myself ALL of my 146s, including my 146 based special editions, and the 149 (i only have one!)

 

Hi Reed_thoughts !

Thanks for your reaction, you surely have a point !

Montblanc altered the angular postion of the nib housing removal grooves over time.

Initially the removal grooves were 180° apart , while actually the grooves are 120° apart.

The tools for grooves at 180° are easily found, but what about the tools for nib units  were the grooves are 120° apart? Could you specify were we can buy these?

Thanks in advance,

Francis 



#7 Chrissy

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Posted 12 February 2018 - 14:52

Pentooling.com offered both types the last time I checked.



#8 CS388

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Posted 12 February 2018 - 14:53

So ... is there any point/function of the glued on collar? Or is a cosmetic addition?

 

I recall having gone through quite a few 146 collars, in my time (the older integrated collar). I wondered if the continued dipping and immersion in ink had weakened the material - although, the rest of the housing was always stable?

 

Thanks, Francis. Great information, as usual.



#9 Chrissy

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Posted 12 February 2018 - 14:58

When searching on ebay one can spot quite a few Montblanc 146 sized pens with the collar missing. I saw a 75th anniversary Solitaire Silver barleycorn pattern pen the other day that didn't have one.  :(

 

I once removed the cap from my Solitaire Silver pinstripe a few years ago only to find that mine had dropped off. Fortunately Montblanc fixed it for free.  :)



#10 fountainbel

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Posted 12 February 2018 - 15:48

So ... is there any point/function of the glued on collar? Or is a cosmetic addition?

 

I expect MB wanted to avoid locking  torsion contact between the  brittle " precious resin"section front in the inner cap.

The glued nylon ring is rather soft, and will slightly deform axially when closing on the inner cap, ensuring a better cap locking effect.

 

I recall having gone through quite a few 146 collars, in my time (the older integrated collar). I wondered if the continued dipping and immersion in ink had weakened the material - although, the rest of the housing was always stable?

 

I  don't expect the collar material  is hygroscopic , but the material may degrade  faster compared to the hard "precious resin" material used  for the section. 

 

Thanks, Francis. Great information, as usual.

You are very welcome !



#11 fountainbel

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Posted 12 February 2018 - 15:48

Pentooling.com offered both types the last time I checked.

Very interesting, thanks for shearing Chrissy !

Francis



#12 Pen Nut

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Posted 12 February 2018 - 17:01

As a user who has had both: homemade and "real" tools, i have to say that the risk in the homemeade tools is HUGE!

I actually even broke a pen because of it... long story... montblanc was partly at fault, and they accepted it.

 

Point is: use the right tools for the job. They can be found online, they are fairly simple. I bought my tools on ebay for $30 from China. It took about 2-3 months to get them, but they were worth it. Now i can service myself ALL of my 146s, including my 146 based special editions, and the 149 (i only have one!)

 

At the risk of me being shouted down for this statement it always baffles me why some people would risk using a paper clip, bent fork, adapted nail clippers or gannies suspender belt to attempt stripping down their pride & joy (not to mention expensive) Montblanc. Surely working on classic / expensive cars etc you go for the best tools available and use them correctly so why not pens ? I use tools made by Francis and they fit absolutley perfect, no slipping or standing proud of the slots etc. One slip during any piston or nib removal procedure could be a costly mistake and I personally dont want to make one for the sake of saving a few £s or $s

 

The interesting and researched points raised by Francis have me thinking.........I am getting pens, tools & Optivisor out this evening to see whats what.

 

Thanks for the heads up Francis.


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The true definition of madness - Doing the same thing everyday and expecting different results......


#13 Corona688

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Posted 12 February 2018 - 17:32

At the risk of me being shouted down for this statement it always baffles me why some people would risk using a paper clip, bent fork, adapted nail clippers or gannies suspender belt to attempt stripping down their pride & joy (not to mention expensive) Montblanc.


Disbelief that it should be so complicated, fragile, or "unique"; impatience at having to wait weeks or months to fix something you want to use right now. Especially, frustration at having got the wrong tool and no longer trusting your next purchase will be the "right" one.

None of these may be good reasons, of course. :)

Surely working on classic / expensive cars etc you go for the best tools available and use them correctly so why not pens?


A screwdriver or socket of the correct size can be gotten by the specs, not the brand. Fountain pens are more like jewellery or locks, tools for them are expensive, weeks of mail-time away, and without specialized knowledge easy to get the wrong one.

#14 pugsmanias2

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Posted 12 February 2018 - 19:34

I agree with Pen Nut. After 40 years of working on Vintage Mercury Outboards that use a catalog full of special proprietary tools, I will not attempt any disassembly without the correct tool. I have ruined parts of these engines that are no longer available. If I don't have the tool, I search for it! Just my experience!

#15 Reed_thoughts

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Posted 13 February 2018 - 14:18

[...]Fountain pens are more like jewellery or locks, tools for them are expensive, weeks of mail-time away, and without specialized knowledge easy to get the wrong one.

 

I paid $30 USD and 8 weeks for the tools shipped 

 

I have paid $100 and 4 weeks to have my pen serviced at Montblanc HQ.



#16 Pen Nut

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Posted 13 February 2018 - 14:46

"A screwdriver or socket of the correct size can be gotten by the specs, not the brand"

 

Not really with you on this mate. I am a Snap-On man through & through and have a truly massive collection of the stuff. Pricey ? well depends of how you look at it. If only used occasionally in a diy sort of way yes I am with you on the fact that there are now less expensive automotive tools on the market that will do the job but if you are making continual daily high demands on your hand tools I side with a well used Snap-On ad   "nothing even comes close" .

 

If a hastly adapted paper clip/ nib removal tool slipped out of the slots and damaged the feed or scratched the grip section it whould haunt me for the ownership of the pen. Just simply not worth the risk in my opinion.

 

Oh and finally..............being actively involved in the Rolls-Royce & Bentley world for more years than I care to remember, a quote I recall from a lecture at the Sir Henry Royce Foundation sticks in my mind and could be applied to tools as well (in my opinion)  "The quality remains long after the price is forgotten"

 

:) 


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#17 Chrissy

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Posted 13 February 2018 - 14:55

 

At the risk of me being shouted down for this statement it always baffles me why some people would risk using a paper clip, bent fork, adapted nail clippers or gannies suspender belt to attempt stripping down their pride & joy (not to mention expensive) Montblanc. Surely working on classic / expensive cars etc you go for the best tools available and use them correctly so why not pens ? I use tools made by Francis and they fit absolutley perfect, no slipping or standing proud of the slots etc. One slip during any piston or nib removal procedure could be a costly mistake and I personally dont want to make one for the sake of saving a few £s or $s

 

The interesting and researched points raised by Francis have me thinking.........I am getting pens, tools & Optivisor out this evening to see whats what.

 

Thanks for the heads up Francis.

 

I would pay for and dearly love to have the correct tool made by fountainbel for my Montblanc 146 and 149 pens. Sadly when I asked, I was advised that he no longer makes them, so I have to try and buy something that I know is inferior from someone else.  :crybaby:



#18 hari317

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Posted 13 February 2018 - 15:02

Even the best Tools can be purchased. Unfortunately, the skills to use the tools properly cannot be bought. They have to be only acquired through practice and hard work and making some mistakes on the way.

Edited by hari317, 13 February 2018 - 15:03.

In case you wish to write to me, pls use ONLY email by clicking here. I do not check PMs. Thank you.

#19 hari317

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Posted 13 February 2018 - 15:07


Hi all,
Being already several times confronted with modern Montblanc 146 pens on which ink was seeping through the seam between section and the rounded section front collar, I wanted to shear my experiences and give you a - gentle ! - warning.

Montblanc changed the design of the screw-in nib units over time.

Initially the rounded section front collar was part of the nib housing, but in later stage - till now?- the section front collar was made as a separate ring which is glued on a thin collar at the front of the section.

The latter design is very delicate : when unscrewing the nib unit using an unappropriated tool which radially touches the glued ring, chances are high the thin section wall will crack leading to leakage by ink seeping through the cracked seam. 

Their so called precious resin  is very brittle ,and the collar wall thickness being only 0.25mm thick, it cracks very easy !

Hence Its very important to use a perfect tool which radially not touches the front ring.

The earlier design - featuring the nib housing with the  front ring - is much stronger.

Really disappointing seeing Montblanc went from a much better design towards such a weak alternative.

On the sketch below you can see both versions. 

Francis

2018-02-122011.22.04202.jpg


Thanks for sharing your observations Francis. Probably Montblanc decided to punish those who fiddle with their pens. Tamper evident.
Btw even the older design was very prone to case feeder collar breakage. Mb never reused the case feeders, always replaced them. The best design was on the celluloid era case feeders.
In case you wish to write to me, pls use ONLY email by clicking here. I do not check PMs. Thank you.

#20 Matlock

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Posted 13 February 2018 - 15:52

Even the best Tools can be purchased. Unfortunately, the skills to use the tools properly cannot be bought. They have to be only acquired through practice and hard work and making some mistakes on the way.

 

That is so true. However when other pen manufacturers can provide pens that only require fingers to remove the nib unit, why can't MB? I think we know the answer.


Peter







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