It is an unfortunate reality that plastics deteriorate over time. With modern fountain pen feeds typically made of plastic, my beloved collection of 1970s student fountain pens is becoming susceptible to breakage. This holds true for my Montblanc Carrera pens, where the feed post (the bit that protrudes into the cartridge) is prone to breaking off. I would recommend against pressing a new cartridge into old pens with this feed type (not being a fan of using converters, I refill my old cartridges with a syringe).
I have found many useful repair tips in this forum and it’s only fair that I share solutions that I have developed. In this article, I will explain a simple feed repair, should you suffer the breakage of the post from the feed. All you need is a drill with small bit, an ear bud and a very small pair of scissors (or a sharp knife). The initial steps are:
- Drill a small (say 1mm) hole into the centre of the broken feed;
- Cut a suitable length of plastic from the ear bud;
- Cut that section of plastic lengthways twice so that about a quarter of the circumference is removed.
This is illustrated in the first photo below. On the left you see the small scissors that I used from a small key-chain multi-tool. For an easy comparison, in the photo below, I have placed the broken feed (with hole already drilled into the centre) on the right of an intact feed from another pen.
All that is left to do now is to reassemble the pen. The first step is to roll the length of plastic from the ear bud in your fingers, until it has a circular cross section (albeit with a smaller diameter than the original length of ear bud). During assembly, I found it easier to place the new feed post (no glue needed) into the clear section (rather than into the feed itself). This is shown in the picture below.
The final picture shows the reassembled pen. The ink flow after the repair is the same as what one would expect from a pen with an intact feed.