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Sheaffer Plunger Filler Cutaway View


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14 replies to this topic

#1 Ron Z

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Posted 08 May 2019 - 14:06

Over the weekend at the 2019 Chicago show I did two seminars on restoring Sheaffer plunger fillers. Mulling things over, I thought that perhaps a cutaway view of one of the pens would be useful, so I am posting one here.   The pen in question is a war time Triumph with the short black section and a black celluloid covered rod.  Other plunger fillers are similar, the main differences being the section and inside threads, and what I call the "cartridge" style plunger filler with the removable filler unit.
 

SheafferPF-cut.jpg


Going from left to right there are the packing unit threads. You can see the packing unit set into the end of the barrel.  Then the alternating layers of rubber and felt (white felt) and the celluloid washer across the end of the barrel in front of the packing unit.    The plunger rod is in the forward position, just past where the barrel widens and the vacuum is released.  You can see the backing washer, then the head gasket, held on by the nut with the cone end.  I don't have a nib in the barrel.  While I'm willing to sacrifice a barrel and packing unit, the nibs for these pens are somewhat scarce...

 

To fill the pen, the plunger rod is pulled all of the way back, then pushed forward until  you feel the vacuum let go.  Ink is drawn in around the head gasket and backing washer into the barrel.  Normal position for the head gasket is a little forward of where it is in the picture, the end of the rod near the packing unit.   The tail of the feed pushes on the end of the nut, pushing the plunger rod and head gasket to one side to allow ink to flow easily around the head gasket to the nib.
 
Note that the section is one piece with the barrel, and the thread ring is held captive between the section and barrel.   The black inside at the right is the section, not ink stained material.  It overlaps between the thread rings on the right, and where the black ends to the left.  

 

Access to the inside of the barrel is through the front end, with the nib removed.


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#2 Ray-Vigo

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Posted 08 May 2019 - 16:58

I love this kind of thing because seeing what you're working on is a big advantage to knowing what is in the pen.

 

I'm at the point where I'm learning to repair these - I have a couple pens in my drawer that are 1930s-era Balance vacs that look like they would be good pens, but I've never tried fixing them. It seems we've reached the point now that repairs are reliable and part kits are available with what one needs to do the work. The pens I have are a pair of standard Balances - one a relatively early vac with a hard rubber section, spiral ink window, and flat feed. It has what is apparently and earlier vac imprint that I had not seen before. The other is a latter brown stripe from the late 30s. For awhile people were putting rubber plugs in these and there were other work-around kits, but it wasn't as good as what's out there now in terms of repairs.

 

Are there particular dimensions or differences with the 1930s-era Balances, as opposed to the Triumphs?  I'm looking at parts now, and there seem to be several dimensions of rubber plunger washers available. What sizes am I looking for as to repairing a couple standard Balances? I do know the section for the earlier pen unscrewed without a huge fight. I haven't tried the later pen yet. 


Edited by Ray-Vigo, 08 May 2019 - 16:59.


#3 JonSzanto

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Posted 08 May 2019 - 17:11

Ron, this is a remarkably valuable thing to see. Is there ANY chance of getting a larger, higher-resolution image of this? I'm having a hard-ish time seeing the inner bits at both ends.


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#4 Ron Z

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Posted 08 May 2019 - 18:49

Try clicking on the image and see if that helps.  I think I still have the original on the camera, and could upload that, which will open when you click on it.


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#5 JonSzanto

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Posted 08 May 2019 - 19:54

Try clicking on the image and see if that helps.

 

I did, but it just brings up a floating window with the same (size) image. Not urgent, Ron, just curious.


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#6 GlenV

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Posted 11 May 2019 - 15:20

Regarding balance sizes, unless you have an oversized pen the mid size washer will likely be the one you will see to use, you of course will be able to compare to the old one too though. If you buy the washer assortment from Ron (recommend) you will have all 3 sizes readily available. I used to make my own washers but Ron's are so much better I replaced the vac filler washers I'd done. The balance pens are easier than the triumph nibbed ones so why not go for it, it's fun. I differ in the soaking of the nib section which I think makes loosening the section threads easier as I do this with the threaded Sheaffers you have to be careful later with heat not to overheat these, for the Sheaffers I'm using a blow dryer instead of my heat gun to be cautious. They are fun to take apart
Regards, Glen

#7 Paul80

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Posted 11 May 2019 - 21:00

Hi Ron, thanks for the upload.

Can I ask a couple of questions

1. Regarding replacing the packing and I assume you are using the O-Ring and white retainer method, do you go with drilling out the back of the packing unit with it in situ or do you knock it out and change the seal away from the barrel.

2. If you remove the packing how do you know if it's screwed in or glued, given how difficult the screwed ones are to get out compared to the glued ones.

Hope you don't mind sharing your repair technique with us.

Thanks

Paul

#8 siamackz

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Posted 12 May 2019 - 13:49

Thanks for sharing. Very educative!

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#9 Ron Z

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Posted 13 May 2019 - 13:01

1. Regarding replacing the packing and I assume you are using the O-Ring and white retainer method, do you go with drilling out the back of the packing unit with it in situ or do you knock it out and change the seal away from the barrel.
 

 

I drill out the old packing material from the inside.  Drill no deeper than needed, and never more than 1/4".   Richard Binder and I experimented with ways to remove the packing unit for quite some time, and decided that there was no reliable way to safely remove them.  Some will almost fall out, but they are in the minority.  When they do come out, you should rebuild the packing unit, and then epoxy it back in place.  I do not find simply shellacing them in place to be at all reliable.

 

2. If you remove the packing how do you know if it's screwed in or glued, given how difficult the screwed ones are to get out compared to the glued ones.

 

Only the WASP pens, and a few OS Balance pens had screwed in packing units.   You can usually tell if its screwed in by looking straight at the end of the barrel where the packing unit and barrel meet.  You can see the end of the thread.

 

WAHL Eversharp packing units are screwed in, and are nearly if not totally impossible to remove.  Don't even try.


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#10 Paul80

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Posted 13 May 2019 - 13:10

Thanks Ron, most helpful.

Paul

#11 eckiethump

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Posted 14 May 2019 - 07:20

[quote name="Ron Z" post="4206824" timestamp="1557752505"
 
WAHL Eversharp packing units are screwed in, and are nearly if not totally impossible to remove.  Don't even try.[/quote]
I strongly disagree with that statement, having in past, spent quite a few days, with heat, ultrasonic and Balustol, eventually releasing the left hand threaded barrel end,on quite significant Wahl Doric pens,.
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#12 FredRydr

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Posted 14 May 2019 - 08:50

To see the detail in the photo: download, reduce shadow, increase sharpness.

 

Thank you, Ron, for the sacrifice!  



#13 eckiethump

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Posted 14 May 2019 - 09:11

These are my least favourite pens for repair/servicing, the tolerance variables are so variable on Sheaffer pens for circumference and "roundness" with vintage pens.
Gerry Berg, is the expert with these, in the early (our generation) days, Fountanbelle (Francis G), also was, but his work on tool and innovative pen manufacture and design, in modern terms is unsurpassed now.
Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge (Charles Darwin)

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#14 Ron Z

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Posted 14 May 2019 - 12:43

I strongly disagree with that statement, having in past, spent quite a few days, with heat, ultrasonic and Balustol, eventually releasing the left hand threaded barrel end,on quite significant Wahl Doric pens,.

 

It is easier, and safer,  to go in from the inside as we do with the Sheaffer plunger fillers.  Spending days trying to get one out puts it firmly in the "nearly impossible" category.


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#15 Ron Z

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Posted 18 October 2019 - 16:13

Ron, this is a remarkably valuable thing to see. Is there ANY chance of getting a larger, higher-resolution image of this? I'm having a hard-ish time seeing the inner bits at both ends.

 

Just uploaded a larger picture of the pen.  I had to retake, and couldn't find the thing - until I looked in a drawer in my tool box.


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