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Left A Blue "j" At The Antique Store


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#1 craigs63

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Posted 11 March 2018 - 14:04

I'm a novice at this stuff, especially appraisal and repair.

 

I spotted a nice looking blue Esterbrook (pretty sure a "J" model) yesterday in a display case, priced $9.50.

I took off the cap, and the fins in the feed were either clogged, or melted together? I didn't try the lever (didn't want something to break

while the owner/consigner was watching me do it).

 

Assuming everything internal needed replacement, did I save $100 on repairs/parts to get a nice $50 pen? I already have a fixer-upper in green,

that I'll probably haul to the next Chicago show for a pro to look at.

 



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#2 inkstainedruth

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Posted 11 March 2018 - 16:04

Depending on the nib that was on the pen, $9.50 US is a good to great price.  Any recollection as to what the number on the nib was?  If it was a 1xxx or 2xxx series, the price is good; but if it was a 9xxx (particularly some of the more exotic ones) the price is phenomenal (I've seen nib units for sale -- and have BOUGHT nib units -- for more than that (and yeah, that was just for the nib unit; I got lucky at the Ohio Pen Show last fall and got a 9048 (Flexible Fine) nib unit for $10.  Crazy rare ones like 9312 (Italic) will cost way more than that (I've only ever seen one for sale in six years of searching eBay, and only seen one that someone actually owned).  And the super rare lines, like the 3xxx ("Sunburst") series and 8xxx nibs?  Nosebleed prices....  I saw one 8440 (Superfine/Cartography) nib listed for $85  :yikes: and that was relatively inexpensive... (and no -- I'm NOT kidding...).

My understanding is that Esties are actually pretty easy to repair yourself, and if the nib/feed is bad it is often easier to get a replacement nib unit (the joy of Esterbrook pens is that the nib units are interchangeable).  

I did try to fix the nib on one pen I got a few years ago on the bay of Evil (because it was literally bent into an s shape when you looked at it in profile) by taking a couple of pairs of jewelers' pliers to it -- on the grounds that anything I did wouldn't bork the nib any more than it already was....  Of course, then a couple of years later I found one on an SJ in the wild for less than I'd paid on eBay.  Go figure....  :huh:  And in fact, I had three different nib people look at my hack repair and tell me to just toss the nib unit in the trash and get a replacement one, even before that second 9128 nib came across my path....

But if you send the pen out for repairs it shouldn't cost anything like $100. Not on an Estie lever filler.  A new sac will run a couple of bucks.  A replacement lever will be five or six bucks more.  Figure probably $20-40 for the repairs, depending on who you send it to (vs. the time you spend trying to do it yourself) plus shipping.  

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#3 CraigR

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Posted 11 March 2018 - 16:33

I would have bought the pen for $9.50, but would have offered less first. Esties are not difficult to restore/repair so you should be able to get a full restore for around $40 - $50. As Ruth said, it is also easy to replace the nib units. An Estie with a good body and cap for under $10 is worth buying. In my opinion.  :)


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#4 gweimer1

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Posted 11 March 2018 - 17:34

$9.50 is tough price to beat.  A pen would have to be a near total wreck to pass it up.  As long at the cap and barrel look reasonably clean, and the jewels are good, the rest is pretty easy.

 

$100 to repair an Esterbrook would be twice what most of them would be worth.  

 

Shameless plug - I can restore those for you, and have a pretty wide selection of NOS nibs on hand, for a lot less than that, and at a point where you could maintain the value of the pen.



#5 pajaro

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Posted 11 March 2018 - 19:56

Esterbrook J is a good place to do a first restore.  Paying $40 to $50 to get one restored would be kind of a lot, and if that is the going rate, the heck with it.  Even if all the internals are hosed.  The hardest thing is getting the section out and back in.  If the J bar is rusted, you have to pull it out and get a new one.  Price it and the number 16 sacs.  I have used PVC sacs like what is in the Parker 51.  They work.  Long projected life. 

 

Personally I am not as keen on Esterbrook as I once might have been, but I learned a lot from doing them and restoring them.  I learned a lot from using the various nibs, including 2312 and 9312 italic, 2284 and 9284 stub, 9128 EF flex, 9048 flex, 9314 F M B oblique stubs (Reform).  Most of the others in 15xx, 2xxx and 9xxx series.  Most I paid on ebay was $37.50 for the 9312 NOS.  I still have these and they make a nice static display.


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#6 welch

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Posted 11 March 2018 - 22:01

Go back and buy the pen. That one is a bargain.

 

- The nib and feed are one part. I just bought a bottom-level 1xxx EF for $6 from Anderson Pens. The better nibs (2xxx and 9xxx) are $10 or $15. They unscrew. Old Esterbrook advertisement: "Buy one Esterbrook and three points...like buying three pens". 

 

- Re-sac is so easy that Esties are a great start-repairing pen. It is hard to break an Esterbrook. 


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#7 craigs63

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Posted 11 March 2018 - 23:34

Thanks everyone! 

I've got an excuse for a return trip now. I guess it wasn't the money that was the issue, I'm trying not to accumulate more unfinished projects.

The outside barrel and clip did look good.

I forgot about the rare nibs, the two I have are some of the more common non-flex ones.



#8 JotterAddict62

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Posted 12 March 2018 - 00:23

I saw an Esterbrook for $3 without a nib & section I passed it up [ Forgotten I had a spare at home ] that was last Sept.in Aurora IL at Out of the Attic Antiques. [ Big Dummy ] :(



#9 inkstainedruth

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Posted 12 March 2018 - 00:52

I passed on buying my first Estie (I think it was a blue J or LJ, in retrospect) because I didn't know enough about vintage pens when I saw it.  Don't remember now what the nib was.  It had the imprint for some insurance company in Curwensville, PA, some small town about 45 miles north of Altoona.  Of course when I went back to the antiques store where I'd seen it a couple of months later, it was long gone....  I'm really sorry now I didn't get it because the imprint amused the heck out of me -- and because it was the darker blue.

Ruth Morrisson aka inkstainedruth


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#10 Runnin_Ute

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Posted 29 March 2018 - 04:40

At Anderson Pens you can get 3 sacks, shellac, talc for about $20 shipped. Enough to do three and have plenty of the shellac and talc to do many more. Not sure what j bars are price wise, I haven't replaced one yet. I did replace a nib on one. $6.

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#11 Tom Heath

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Posted 30 March 2018 - 22:14

We have all, at  one time or another  Left a pen prospect purchase for one reason or another

 

Thank you for  bringing you forgotten pen to this board.

 

I already  did a 50 mile return trip to complete a purchase.

 

 

The sum of the parts in the pen  made it a bargan

 

Good Barrel   $ 4.00 especially Blue Marble  Snakeskin

the Lever bar is $ 7.50

The Good Cap annother  $5.00 especially is the  jewel is not damaged   

The section  $ 3.00

  Throw away the nib is it doesn;t clean

 

Replacement Nibe  $ 3.00 to 30.00

 

So indeed if it is still there a  no brainer.

 

Professional restorers charge $ 25. to $ 40.00   for a complete restoration

including  ultrasonic Cleaning.  just add postage

 

If you are inquisitive and wanna try it yourself , Patience and $ 10.00 sac and nib unit

Good Luck


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