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Removing Section Of A Button Filler

help button section repair vintage

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8 replies to this topic

#1 em_the_pen

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Posted 05 May 2018 - 17:55

So I wanted to get into pen repair and tinkering so I bought a couple cheap lots of vintage pens on ebay. Most I've been able to disassemble completely so far. However, this one is a bit of a struggle. I can't seem to get the section to even think about budging. I have managed to get the pieces of the dried sack out but the section remains fixed. I've also tried removing the button and have yet to succeed but I can't replace the sack with the section locked in place like it is anyways. Infuriatingly, my hairdryer has not been of any help at all either. If anyone has any tips or ideas, I would greatly appreciate them. Thanks!

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#2 siamackz

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Posted 06 May 2018 - 02:55

So I wanted to get into pen repair and tinkering so I bought a couple cheap lots of vintage pens on ebay. Most I've been able to disassemble completely so far. However, this one is a bit of a struggle. I can't seem to get the section to even think about budging. I have managed to get the pieces of the dried sack out but the section remains fixed. I've also tried removing the button and have yet to succeed but I can't replace the sack with the section locked in place like it is anyways. Infuriatingly, my hairdryer has not been of any help at all either. If anyone has any tips or ideas, I would greatly appreciate them. Thanks!

Hmmm... a visualated section and a sac at the same time? Seems odd. Did the pen have a long sac right from the section onwards that you could see through the visualated section? That would be odd because whats the point of the ink window then? Or this is some kind of bulb filler instead?

Are you 100% sure the section opens up?

With stubborn sections heres what I have done:
1. Soak over night
2. Work a .02mm brass shim into the joint of the section and barrel and try to remove shellac remnants from it. Then soak again as water will get deeper into the section now. Again use the shim to remove more shellac. Then soak again. Till you cant get any more shellac out.
3. Then hit the hair dryer. Be sure to shield the rest of the pen from the heat and only expose the area you need heated. You will need to heat till the area becomes hot enough that if you touch it to your lips it feels pretty hot. You will need to heat many times with stubborn pens
4. I use rubber grippers to help me unscrew the section. You need a good grip. Twisting back and forth in very small but sharp movements has helped me with several pens.

If youre interested in knowing how I dealt with a stubborn section check out the first few pages of my post here http://www.fountainp...50s-my-journey/

But first be sure that the section actually does detach.

Edited by siamackz, 06 May 2018 - 02:59.

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#3 kestrel

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Posted 08 May 2018 - 02:33

I have two pens just like yours.  Look closely and I think you will find signs the section is glued to the barrel.  Both of mine were welded together with a solvent type glue, not shellac.  I have tried all of the suggestions from siamackz to no avail.  I have also employed threats, imprecations, and colorful metaphorical language but I am too stubborn to give up.  Some of these third tier pens were never destined to be resacced.


Dave Campbell
Science Teacher and Pen Addict
Every day is a chance to reduce my level of ignorance.

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#4 em_the_pen

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Posted 13 May 2018 - 00:37

I have two pens just like yours.  Look closely and I think you will find signs the section is glued to the barrel.  Both of mine were welded together with a solvent type glue, not shellac.  I have tried all of the suggestions from siamackz to no avail.  I have also employed threats, imprecations, and colorful metaphorical language but I am too stubborn to give up.  Some of these third tier pens were never destined to be resacced.


I obtained another similar one in another lot and it came apart with only a little bit of effort. Maybe I got lucky with that one.

#5 praxim

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Posted 13 May 2018 - 00:54

I have no knowledge of the particular pens, so my comment is more related to a single thing said by siamackz, "Twisting back and forth in very small but sharp movements...". Now, I know siamackz has both an analytical approach and pretty extensive experience with a variety of pens. I know I might take a different impression from words used compared with what really happens. However, the text bothers me. My preferred approach (allowing all suitable prior options among scraping, soaking, USC baths and heat) Is to twist slowly, adding pressure. I have become (I believe) accustomed to feeling the point where no more pressure would be safe, so release and go back to the earlier parenthesised options before trying again. The advantages of slow pressure as I see it are that you do not accidentally overdo it with a less controlled action, and that maintaining of a small amount of pressure has a separation effect in itself, rather than needing to add more pressure and risk. Time under pressure is also important. If this were otherwise then why would anything slowly separate under constant pressure? :)


Anyone owning three or more working pens is in no position to disparage choices by others.

#6 Pentode

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Posted 13 May 2018 - 01:36

With third-tier pens such as yours its often a good idea to expect the unexpected.

Better button fillers often had threaded sections (so the pressure bar wouldnt pop the section out) but manufacturing a threaded section is expensive so glue was quite often used as an alternative either by the manufacturers or during later repairs. Remember that these pens werent ever intended to be heirlooms so nobody thought twice about gluing a section in.

It would be great if they were always glued with shellac, but lifes not that blissful. Most of the time they were solvent welded. Likewise, the buttons were often permanently attached.

Theres not a whole lot you can do in a case like this. The button might come out if you coax it just right and then you could keep it and the pressure bar as spare parts. You could also cut the section off flush and then carefully bore out the remains and fit a donor section from another broken pen.

Theres always a chance that with repeated heating and soaking you could get lucky. I wouldnt hang too much hope on it, though. Some pens just arent destined to be fixed.

#7 em_the_pen

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Posted 13 May 2018 - 16:18

So it turns out, remnants of the old sac had basically cemented the section in. Once I used enough force, I finally got it out.

#8 siamackz

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Posted 13 May 2018 - 17:07

Well done!

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#9 Pentode

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Posted 15 May 2018 - 03:47

Excellent!





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