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Parker Classic Pencil Problems

classic pencil refill

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5 replies to this topic

#1 Checklist

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Posted 14 July 2020 - 01:40

I have a Parker Classic Flighter mechanical pencil that I've been using off and on for several years.  For some reason, I cannot seem to reload the pencil right.  On this site, there are several posts that are very helpful in reloading a twist-top Parker pencil through the tip: fully extend the mechanism to clear the pencil, insert lead, slowly retract, and apply pressure to seat the lead in the holder.  However, when I try this, I cannot get the lead (0.9 mm) to stay in; it will retract, but as soon as I start writing again, the lead falls out.  It's not breaking; there are no pieces left inside, and the ends of the lead are still smooth.  Found some older 0.9 mm leads, and they seem to work better.  Are all 0.9 mms not interchangeable?  Am I doing something else wrong?



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#2 northstar

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Posted 14 July 2020 - 03:14

The lead size is not correct, you should be using a larger lead.


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#3 Matlock

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Posted 14 July 2020 - 09:01

The lead size is not correct, you should be using a larger lead.

The next size up is 1.18 but that would be far too big. 0.9 is the correct size.


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#4 Estycollector

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Posted 14 July 2020 - 09:37

A member helped me with these instructions when I had a similar problem.

 

"The split part of the tube is supposed to be the right diameter to grip a 0.9mm "thin" lead, the solid rod that you see sticking out of that tube ejects the last little stub of lead when it's too short to write with anymore: when the lead won't advance any farther, the spent stub will usually fall out of the end of the pencil if tapped lightly.

Advancing and retracting the lead is done by turning the metal "cap" in either direction. The eraser cover (cap) friction fits on to the actual mechanism barrel, which is a chromed brass tube. Sometimes these won't advance or retract well if the cap doesn't grip the inner tube well enough, so if the cap seems to spin freely, or slides on/off very easily that may be a problem... Under the eraser there is a space around the inner propelling mechanism where you can store extra leads.

To fill a pencil like this, retract the mechanism all the way, then slide a lead into the cone (which you need to screw back on firmly for the pencil to work), then if there isn't any lead visible, advance the mechanism until about 1mm of lead is poking out of the cone/tip, now gently press the lead straight against a hard surface, it should have some resistance, but if all is well it will push back into the "clutch" (split tube) and be held there.

I would test fit a piece of lead before reassembling this pencil, retract the ejector fully, but not the clutch tube, then see if it grips a .9mm lead, it should be firm, but not tight enough to damage the lead as you insert it. If it's too loose you can carefully tighten the end of the clutch tube opening with a pair of small smooth jaw pliers, hemostats, or even robust tweezers, it doesn't take much force at all to bend the tiny brass tube, so be gentle. If you do need to make an adjustment, I suggest doing it with the ejector out, so as to minimize the chance of crushing the clutch tube.

Parker propel/repel pencils aren't as robust as some of the other makers, pencil mechanisms of this type and in my experience are more common to find worn so that the mechanism is sloppy or doesn't function, I've also seen the inner metal sleeve detatch from the threaded and splined nose piece of the mechanism. They can often be repaired, but it requires both precision and finesse."


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#5 Checklist

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Posted 15 July 2020 - 00:54

 

"...

To fill a pencil like this, retract the mechanism all the way, then slide a lead into the cone (which you need to screw back on firmly for the pencil to work), then if there isn't any lead visible, advance the mechanism until about 1mm of lead is poking out of the cone/tip, now gently press the lead straight against a hard surface, it should have some resistance, but if all is well it will push back into the "clutch" (split tube) and be held there...."

This is what I've been doing; I have some old Shaeffer 0.036" leads that work fine using this method, but the modern 0.9 mm leads tend to slip out.  Just put another of the modern leads in, pushed harder, and it seems to stick now.  We'll see if it holds.  Thanks for the help!



#6 Estycollector

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Posted 15 July 2020 - 11:11

I have had two of the Parker 51 pencils, and gave one to my oldest child. Since then I have given up on Parker pencils and moved to collecting and vintage Autopoint pencils. These use .9mm and 1.1mm leads. I read a quote that the most rare Autopoint is the one that does not work. I routinely pair my fountain pen with an Autopoint. Just one note about how Autopoints work. The mechanism will advance the lead, but not retract. What you do is twist counter clockwise and push the lead back inside. 


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