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Restoring A Trupoint Pen With Some Family History


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#1 David R Munson

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Posted 11 January 2019 - 13:30

I am in possession of two vintage pens, both in need of major restoration work, and both coming originally from a great uncle who died in a helicopter crash in the 1950s. One is a short-clip Scheaffer, and the other is a Trupoint, which Googling tells me was probably made by a company in Chicago and sold by Sears. 

 

My intention is to work on a quasi-biographical essay about this great uncle over the course of the year. At the same time, I would like to restore both of these pens, starting with the Trupoint. I have been able to find just shy of zero information on restoring these pens. I understand that they're not exactly sought-after pens, but I want to give it my best effort all the same, given its provenance. 

 

I would like to enlist the help of this community to do a good job of this. I will happily update here as I go about the task. 

 

Relevant details of the pen: 

  • Green celluloid body with black, conical end caps. 
  • The clip, lever, and cap band are corroded, but not badly. They're the parts I'm least worried about. 
  • The nib is inscribed with "TRUPOINT 14K," the body engraved "J.THOMAS." 
  • The lever moves just fine, but predictably the sac has disintegrated, and shaking the pen gives the impression of a tiny maraca. 
  • Thus far, in my feeble attempts, no luck in separating the section from the body or in removing the feed/nib from the section. I have been only slightly more forceful than extremely gentle.
  • The nib is in good condition. The pen, overall, looks pretty good. I think it was well taken care of by James, and then by my grandmother after his death.

Relevant details of me:

  • Mechanically inclined, good with small things, generally able to fix most things in daily life, including film camera shutter mechanisms. Fixing vintage pens is something I suspect I can learn well, but have little experience with so far. 
  • I am in no rush with this, and if something doesn't work, I have no problem moving slowly until something does work.
  • Unless it really turns into something I can't handle myself, I want to restore this pen myself, rather than send it off to someone. The process of restoration has a certain weight for me, especially in writing the essay. 

Which brings me to: (tl;dr)

  • Who has restored one of these? What can you tell me?
  • What did you learn? 
  • What are the most likely pitfalls? 
  • What else should I know? 

Finally, I'm asking for help here, but also want to provide something of value for the community in return. Please let me know what you'd like to know about the process as I'm restoring the pen. 

 

Cheers and thanks in advance! 

 

Attached Images

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Edited by David R Munson, 12 January 2019 - 03:01.


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#2 RoSpectre

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Posted 11 January 2019 - 21:25

Others will have much better advice on these particular pens, but my encouragement is: you can do it! I did a minor restore/sac replacement on my grandfather's Parker Duofold (with zero experience) and it was very rewarding. To get started you will need:

 

--Patience! (There is no problem that you can't make worse by rushing... especially with an heirloom.) Sounds like you're careful, but just don't over-force anything... it can get tricky though as parts will require some force to separate.

--A heat gun! This will help greatly in getting the section loose, which I think will be your biggest hurdle unless the mechanism is broken. (You might be able to substitute a hot water soak, or very good hair dryer, but best not to skimp)

--New sac: someone can help with sizing and sourcing (maybe Google)

 

You'll start by getting the pen disassembled... but I'll let someone else weigh in on the best approach here. PS are the nibs in working order?



#3 David R Munson

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Posted 12 January 2019 - 03:01

PS are the nibs in working order?

 

Yes! Fortunately, the nibs on both pens are in very good condition. They were what he used daily until his death (I understand he was a very careful guy), and then they went into storage for about seventy years. 








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