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What's The "parker 45" Or "51" Of Vintage Sheaffer?


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42 replies to this topic

#1 NumberSix

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Posted 07 May 2020 - 00:09

Heaven knows I don't need a second vintage brand to start collecting while I am still trying to amass more and more Parkers. But one day I will venture into this world, too. 

 

So what are the solid, affordable, recommended Sheaffer models for a vintage noob to look for? The P45 and P51, as it were? 



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#2 silverlifter

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Posted 07 May 2020 - 01:01

I'm partial to the vac-fillers. I think they are the complete package: good looking materials (especially the celluloid models), great nibs, terrific filling system. You do need to buy from a credible restorer, though, because it is not something that you would tackle without significant experience.

 

You can pick one up for ~100 USD unless you go oversize, then you'd double your budget. The smaller models are around the same size as the P51.


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#3 Old Salt

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Posted 07 May 2020 - 01:04

I'm partial to the vac-fillers. I think they are the complete package: good looking materials (especially the celluloid models), great nibs, terrific filling system. You do need to buy from a credible restorer, though, because it is not something that you would tackle without significant experience.

 

You can pick one up for ~100 USD unless you go oversize, then you'd double your budget. The smaller models are around the same size as the P51.

 

I just. Picked up two of these. They operate like the vac filler of the Pilot 823.  Who would i go to to get the seals restored?



#4 Freddy

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Posted 07 May 2020 - 01:09

 

I just. Picked up two of these. They operate like the vac filler of the Pilot 823.  Who would i go to to get the seals restored?

Ron Zorn.....................

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Edited by Freddy, 07 May 2020 - 01:14.


#5 inkstainedruth

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Posted 07 May 2020 - 01:14

@ NumberSix -- I don't have nearly as many Sheaffers as Parkers, but I'd say that for earlier models have a look at the Sheaffer Balance (I have my husband's grandfather's Oversize, restored and with a replacement cap on it).  It's a big pen, but very light for its size.  

For the 1950s, definitely look at a Sheaffer Snorkel (but make sure you have one checked out/repaired before trying to fill it -- if there's a leak in the sac you'll end up with the spring rusted (and replacements are not cheap: I had a friend who inherited one, and I said "Oh, I know a guy to do the work the next time I go to a pen show; it will run you around forty bucks or so to get back working...." ; turns out I was wrong because the spring was shot and the repairs were more like $60 -- a THIRD of which was for the spring...).

For an equivalent to a Parker 45?  Maybe a No Nonsense pen.  Cheap, colorful and low maintenance cartridge pens (I think I may have had one growing up, but it might have been a BP, not a fountain pen).

Ruth Morrisson aka inkstainedruth


"It's very nice, but frankly, when I signed that list for a P-51, what I had in mind was a fountain pen."

#6 silverlifter

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Posted 07 May 2020 - 01:18

 

I just. Picked up two of these. They operate like the vac filler of the Pilot 823.  Who would i go to to get the seals restored?

 

As Freddie said: Ron Zorn. Gerry Berg is another master restorer of Sheaffer vac-fillers.


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#7 WLSpec

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Posted 07 May 2020 - 01:56

 

As Freddie said: Ron Zorn. Gerry Berg is another master restorer of Sheaffer vac-fillers.

I got a Sheaffer Balance vac in a brown striated celluloid from Gerry Berg a couple years ago. It was restored wonderfully, and a beautiful pen. It is just a little too slim for comfort in long writing sessions, but a very nice pen nonetheless.

 

I also really like my Sentinel Snorkel. I received it as a gift with some issues - got it restored by Danny Fudge and it is wonderful now. The nib is great - smooth with a little feedback, has a small spot where it can catch on the paper or get a little scratchy - but I can fix that, and the pen is otherwise all-around great. 


Edited by WLSpec, 07 May 2020 - 01:59.


#8 Parker51

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Posted 07 May 2020 - 16:25

I would add to th chorus in regard to the Sheaffer's Snorkel. I would add the earlier touchdown models. They are easier to repair or have repaired than the snorkel and typically are cheaper. Also, Sheaffer's made many cartridge filler pens at about the same time as the Parker 45 and some of them are simply cheap, especially the one with steel nibs. These are typically refered to as Imperial or Quasi-Imperials.

Edited by Parker51, 07 May 2020 - 19:08.


#9 NumberSix

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Posted 07 May 2020 - 16:57

 

As Freddie said: Ron Zorn. Gerry Berg is another master restorer of Sheaffer vac-fillers.

I found Ron Zorn's site: https://www.mainstre...m/pricelist.htm

 

Does Gerry Berg have one?

 

 

ETA:  d'oh!  I see the link to Zorn was in post #4 above, so I didn't need to go looking for it.  :lol:


Edited by NumberSix, 07 May 2020 - 17:01.


#10 NumberSix

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Posted 07 May 2020 - 17:00

I'm partial to the vac-fillers. I think they are the complete package: good looking materials (especially the celluloid models), great nibs, terrific filling system. You do need to buy from a credible restorer, though, because it is not something that you would tackle without significant experience.

 

You can pick one up for ~100 USD unless you go oversize, then you'd double your budget. The smaller models are around the same size as the P51.

 

Looks like they can be had on ebay for 80-ish, but I assume they would then need to have restore work done. The two P51's I bought from a seller yesterday came with optional add-on restore work. I'll be curious to see how they turn out after he's worked on them. (of course I won't know how they were before!) I think he has Shaeffers, too, but doesn't list his restore service on the auction description like he did with the Parkers. 

 

Those Shaeffer vac fillers look like gorgeous pens!



#11 inkstainedruth

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Posted 07 May 2020 - 17:22

I don't know if Gerry Berg has a website.  But I know he has a table at some of the pen shows I've been at, and he's the champion of Sheaffer Vac fillers (and will happily talk your ear off to no end about how wonderful they are...).  :rolleyes: 

Truthfully though, the colors haven't interested me all that much.  And I remember Ron at a pen club meeting a couple of years ago going "Ooh ahh" over a Balance that was one of the flake designs and I was going, "Yeah, whatever".  (But then I look at Parker Golden Web Vacumatics that people go on and on about and go "Sorry, but I think they're ugly, and you can buy all the ones you want and can afford...."

​Everyone has different tastes, and I'm sure there are people out there who think I was nuts for buying the "Shrek Puss in Boots" Parker Vector....  :lol:  But I like it; it makes me laugh (anyone know if they also did one for Fiona?  I'd buy that in a heartbeat too, price considering -- but the only other two I've seen for sale were for Shrek himself and for Donkey.  

Ruth Morrisson aka inkstainedruth


"It's very nice, but frankly, when I signed that list for a P-51, what I had in mind was a fountain pen."

#12 NumberSix

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Posted 07 May 2020 - 17:47

For an equivalent to a Parker 45?  Maybe a No Nonsense pen.  Cheap, colorful and low maintenance cartridge pens (I think I may have had one growing up, but it might have been a BP, not a fountain pen).

 

 

Just for the heck of it, I put in a cheap bid on a Shaeffer Cartridge Pen, which looks to be their Vector of the 70s and 80s (and 90s?). If I don't win that one, I will get another one. Lots of them available on ebay for cheap. Not as cheap as they were originally, no doubt! But cheaper than a Parker 25, for instance. 



#13 silverlifter

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Posted 07 May 2020 - 18:55

I found Ron Zorn's site: https://www.mainstre...m/pricelist.htm

 

Does Gerry Berg have one?

 

No. But PM me if you want his email.


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#14 NumberSix

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Posted 07 May 2020 - 18:58

 

No. But PM me if you want his email.

 

Should I need it, I will do so. Thanks!



#15 IThinkIHaveAProblem

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Posted 08 May 2020 - 01:05

be careful with the snorkels... a month and a half ago, i had none. 

I thought to myself: those seem pretty cool, and I REALLY REALLY want something with a Triumph nib... and I am NOT touching another vac, not after the last ... incident... 

 

When the mail arrives in a couple weeks, I will be at four. (technically 5, but I will be sending one to my mom as a gift)

 

ye be warned!

 

oh, and try filling them from a 1.8ml sample vial with about .5ml in it... its fun to watch the pen empty the vial in one go!


Edited by IThinkIHaveAProblem, 08 May 2020 - 01:06.

Just give me the Parker 51s and nobody needs to get hurt.

#16 Estycollector

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Posted 08 May 2020 - 12:12

I've had no interest is Sheaffer and I think the snorkel a gimmick, but that doesn't mean I would pass up on the brand just for the experience. I like the "40's and 50's era pens so I might consider a cadet. Compressing a sac the way Sheaffer design does it when the lever works so well and it less complicated just seems unnecessary. I've become curious if they were just trying to find a way to compete with Parker systems and Esterbrooks replaceable nibs.

 

That said, there is a seller who I bought my first 51 from that has several options currently. I know Ben be trusted. OP, send me a PM if interested in his contact information. 


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#17 IThinkIHaveAProblem

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Posted 08 May 2020 - 19:00

I've had no interest is Sheaffer and I think the snorkel a gimmick, but that doesn't mean I would pass up on the brand just for the experience. I like the "40's and 50's era pens so I might consider a cadet. Compressing a sac the way Sheaffer design does it when the lever works so well and it less complicated just seems unnecessary. I've become curious if they were just trying to find a way to compete with Parker systems and Esterbrooks replaceable nibs. 

The Sheaffer Snorkel is the ultimate in First World Problem solvers! But it's also super cool while doing it!

 

Re Touchdown filling: I think it obviously was a way of competing with Parker. The touchdown system makes an aero-metric seem pedestrian by comparison. It's the same thing car manufacturers do now with tail gates that open with a button instead of having to touch the handle. Anything to make the other guy seem "ordinary" :)


Just give me the Parker 51s and nobody needs to get hurt.

#18 NumberSix

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Posted 08 May 2020 - 19:20

OP, send me a PM if interested in his contact information. 

I'll keep it in mind, thanks. Not looking to buy anything fancy at the moment. I think I mentioned I am bidding on a cheap student Cartridge Pen (one of the colored demonstrator barrels) just to play with. That will hold me over for the moment on vintage Shaeffer. But I started the thread so I could learn more about what to look for moving forward.

 

On a whim, I also ordered a new Prelude from Vanness ($40 - cheaper than everywhere else; it's the last Shaeffer FP they're showing in stock, so I wonder if he's getting out of the Shaeffer pen business).



#19 Estycollector

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Posted 08 May 2020 - 21:44

I'll keep it in mind, thanks. Not looking to buy anything fancy at the moment. I think I mentioned I am bidding on a cheap student Cartridge Pen (one of the colored demonstrator barrels) just to play with. That will hold me over for the moment on vintage Shaeffer. But I started the thread so I could learn more about what to look for moving forward.

 

On a whim, I also ordered a new Prelude from Vanness ($40 - cheaper than everywhere else; it's the last Shaeffer FP they're showing in stock, so I wonder if he's getting out of the Shaeffer pen business).

 

He has 3 of 4 in the $20 range. I'm still on the fence or spoiled by my Esterbrook and Parkers. I just don't see the snorkel as solving a problem, or a problem for me that is. 


Edited by Estycollector, 08 May 2020 - 21:44.

"Respect science, respect nature, respect all people (s),"


#20 rdh

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Posted 08 May 2020 - 21:57

There are a lot of nice Sheaffers to collect.  2 of my favorites are an OS Balance from the 30s and a Legacy I from the 90s.  Since Sheaffer made a lot of pens, you can find older Balance pens that have gold nibs for less than modern pens with a gold nib.  This is even more true for many of the pens with TouchDown fillers from the 50s and 60s.  However, if you are looking for something iconic, a pen with the tubular Triumph nib or one of the inlaid nibs are instantly recognizable as a Sheaffer.

 

Dave 








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