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Mentmore And "national Security" Identification And Repair


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#1 Trogdor

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Posted 12 July 2018 - 12:12

Friends,

 

I stumbled across a couple of vintage fountain pens in a junk shop and (perhaps foolishly) thought it might be a "fun" summer project to restore them. The first step, I guess, is to try to identify them, so I wonder if anyone might be able to help.

 

1) I can just about make out "Mentmore auto-flow" from the engraving, and it's a lever filler (the sac has either been removed or completely perished, as there is only dust inside). Here's the pen:

 

fpn_1531396772__ment-auto-flow.jpg

 

The weird thing about it is the nib: it appears to have two nibs overlaid on top of each other. The one that makes contact with the paper is actually (I think) ground to an architect/Hebrew nib, but it's overlaid on top of what looks like a 1.1mm stub. Here it is from the side:

 

fpn_1531396820__ment-nib-1.jpg

 

and here it is from the underneath, so you can see the feed:

 

fpn_1531396831__ment-nib-2.jpg

 

2) The second pen (visually similar) is a "National Security Auto Tank", button filler. Again, the sac inside has perished to dust, and it appears that the metal lever has snapped, since it fell out in two parts. Here's a picture:

 

fpn_1531396851__ns-auto-tank.jpg

 

Any help with identifying the pens, and suggestions of how I might proceed to get them up and running again will be most welcome!



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#2 northlodge

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Posted 12 July 2018 - 19:46

They are exactly what you are saying they are:

 

The Mentmore was a very common pen back in the day, a lever filler, it would be a good 'first pen' to learn restoration on yourself. The nib might be a cheap replacement (I am sure Platignum, a Mentmore economy brand,  produced some that looked like that). A better photo might help.

 

The National Security was sold by BCP, and probably made by Lang (Summit). Not a great photo, but I suspect it is a bulb filler rather than a button filler - (a refinement on the Summit Autovac model). If so these can be a little harder to restore as there is a greater risk of accidental damage, not that the technique is any more difficult or mysterious. 

 

Have a bash at sorting these yourself, you may surprise yourself! 



#3 Trogdor

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Posted 13 July 2018 - 10:07

Thanks for your reply, Northlodge: much appreciated. I certainly intend to try and restore them myself, not least since when I dip them, the nibs are both quite nice to write with!

 

In the case of the the Mentmore, the only repair will simply be putting a new sac in there. The lever mechanism seems to be in good working order, and I can clean out and tune the nib easily enough. I just need to figure out what size of sac to get, and what tools I'll need to fit it; can you point me in the direction of any resources that might advise me on it.

 

In the case of the National Security, I may have used the wrong terminology; sorry if so. I called it a button filler, because there's a blind cap that screws off that reveals a button that can be pressed (image below).

 

fpn_1531475978__bc.jpg

 

The button is loose at the moment, and I think that the mechanism inside the pen (by means of which it would depress the absent sac) is also broken, since there are a few shards of broken and rusted metal rattling around inside the body, which I assume is what's left of the pressure bar (see below). So in this case, it'll need a replacement sac and a repair of the mechanism. Any hints on where I might find some guidance about where to get started would, again, be hugely appreciated.

 

fpn_1531476317__bc2.jpg



#4 eachan

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Posted 13 July 2018 - 13:07

If you plan to restore different pens, Marshall & Oldfield: Pen Repair would be a worthwhile investment.


Regards,

Eachan


#5 northlodge

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Posted 13 July 2018 - 20:10

For the mentmore a size 18 would do.

 

For the NS as large as you can get (20/21?) which will be cut very short I suspect. It is a very unusual buld filler, they did not make very many. You may have to improvise. be careful if / when you remove the section - the top of the barrel is prone to cracking.



#6 MercianScribe

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Posted 18 July 2018 - 00:23

I have a couple of Osmiroid nibs with that double set-up too... never worked out quite what they were designed like that for.


Hi, I'm Mat

  :)  


#7 Trogdor

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Posted 18 July 2018 - 11:03

Northlodge: thanks so much for this -- that's really helpful. It seems straightforward enough to source replacement sacs online, so I'll get a variety pack of sizes and experiment a bit. Do you know of any retailers who'll sell me the metal bits for inside the NS pen (i.e., for connecting the button to the sac)? Or indeed any resources that might tell me what kind of metal bits I might need? I could probably improvise a bit, but it'd be good to have a target!

 

MercianScribe: that's good to know! The top nib (which seems to have an architect grind) does indeed say "Osmiroid" I wonder whether it's some kind of frankenpen where someone's hacked an Osmiroid nib/section into a Mentmore body... Curiouser and curiouser!



#8 northlodge

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Posted 18 July 2018 - 14:11

. Do you know of any retailers who'll sell me the metal bits for inside the NS pen (i.e., for connecting the button to the sac)? Or indeed any resources that might tell me what kind of metal bits I might need? 

 

 

I doubt there will be any, or indeed anyone that could say for certain what you do need. The best I could suggest would be a J bar intended for a CS Dinkie. This might be small enough to craft into something that would work. (I have these and ink sacs if you need a source).








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