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Sheaffer Lifetime


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#1 BearsPaw

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Posted 24 January 2008 - 04:44

My grandfather gave me his pen, which is an old Sheaffer. The nib says, "Sheaffer's Lifetime" on it, so I am guessing that is the model. I had a couple questions that I thought people here might be able to answer.

1) Is the nib supposed to be slightly bent upwards? I assume it was dropped, but maybe that is a style of nib I don't know about.

2) What is the correct way to fill this thing? I'm not sure if this is a "touchdown filler," a "piston filler," or some other kind I've never heard of. The end opposite the nib unscrews, and pulls out.



Thanks for any information you can give me!

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#2 Ray-Vigo

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Posted 24 January 2008 - 05:27

Here are a few notes:

"Lifetime" is not the actual model. The "Lifetime" was a "guarantee" on the pen. Your pen looks like a 1940s vintage pen. The hardcore experts can tell you more, but that looks like the era to me. I believe this pen is a Sheaffer "Triumph" model. The picture is on the dark side of things- but it looks like the Golden Brown Striated edition- very nice looking.

The pen's nib is a "Triumph" nib- a wrap-around nib made from gold. The end is supposed to bent up slightly- do not attempt to change this as it's supposed to be that way.

You should NOT attempt to refill the pen if it has not been restored or repaired, UNLESS you're sure that everything is working properly.


With a properly set up filling mechanism these are wonderful pens- the Triumph nibs are usually very smooth, reliable, and durable. The only drawback is the that the Vacuum Fill mechanism can be a pain to restore- usually the pros should have a crack at it if you're not sure what to do.

A good place to begin your research is at Richard Binder's website. Have a look around there or do a search for "Triumph" and the Sheaffer Vacuum Fill mechanism.

http://www.richardspens.com/

You're pen actually should have a full "profile" on Richard's site, which means you have an excellent place to start learning about it there.

Edited by Ray-Vigo, 24 January 2008 - 05:34.


#3 jthole

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Posted 24 January 2008 - 07:09

QUOTE(Ray-Vigo @ Jan 24 2008, 07:27 AM) View Post
You're pen actually should have a full "profile" on Richard's site, which means you have an excellent place to start learning about it there.


Nathan Tardiff used to restore them, but I don't know if he still works on pens for customers. His pen work was (is?) excellent.


#4 AllWriteNow

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Posted 24 January 2008 - 14:51

Hi BP
You live in Philly. You should bring the pen to the Philadelphia Pen show this weekend and have one of the on-site repair professionals fix it up for you while you walk around a spend money. You'll need Ink, Paper and proabably a spare Pen or 20 ;-)

At least that's what happened to me in DC last year.

http://www.philadelphiapenshow.com/


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#5 david i

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Posted 24 January 2008 - 15:48

QUOTE(BearsPaw @ Jan 23 2008, 08:44 PM) View Post
My grandfather gave me his pen, which is an old Sheaffer. The nib says, "Sheaffer's Lifetime" on it, so I am guessing that is the model. I had a couple questions that I thought people here might be able to answer.

1) Is the nib supposed to be slightly bent upwards? I assume it was dropped, but maybe that is a style of nib I don't know about.

2) What is the correct way to fill this thing? I'm not sure if this is a "touchdown filler," a "piston filler," or some other kind I've never heard of. The end opposite the nib unscrews, and pulls out.



Thanks for any information you can give me!



Looks like the slender triumph-nibbed celluloid pen of early-mid 1940's $12.50 model might have 1250 stamp on barrel. Upturned nib is correct. Generally nice writers. Here is one i recently sold at the (bleep) site





The pen fills by plunging down the plunger (should pull back couple inches or so) with the nib immersed in ink. MOST of these need restoration and this pen is NOT an easy restoration. Ron Zorn, Richard Binder and Ron Meloche are restorers-to-the-public who do the proper drill out the front and reseal the packing method. Not sure Nathan still offers restorations to the public.

These are nice little pens and fixed properly can give years of happy service.

regards

david


#6 BearsPaw

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Posted 24 January 2008 - 15:57

QUOTE(Ray-Vigo @ Jan 24 2008, 12:27 AM) View Post
You should NOT attempt to refill the pen if it has not been restored or repaired, UNLESS you're sure that everything is working properly.


So, my grandfather had used it until a couple years ago. I think he said he replaced the bladder at one point. I tried filling it with ink the day before I posted here and it seemed to work, although it only held enough ink for me to write that night, and half of the next day. I thought that I hadn't filled it all the way, because I wasn't sure how to properly fill it. Should I hold off on filling it again until a professional looks at it?

Thanks.

#7 david i

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Posted 24 January 2008 - 16:00

QUOTE(BearsPaw @ Jan 24 2008, 07:57 AM) View Post
QUOTE(Ray-Vigo @ Jan 24 2008, 12:27 AM) View Post
You should NOT attempt to refill the pen if it has not been restored or repaired, UNLESS you're sure that everything is working properly.


So, my grandfather had used it until a couple years ago. I think he said he replaced the bladder at one point. I tried filling it with ink the day before I posted here and it seemed to work, although it only held enough ink for me to write that night, and half of the next day. I thought that I hadn't filled it all the way, because I wasn't sure how to properly fill it. Should I hold off on filling it again until a professional looks at it?

Thanks.


You likely will not hurt it tryng to fill it (unless force the plunger if it is stuck), but it should hold a good amount of ink, filling nearly to top. If worked couple years ago and IF fixed correctly (has no bladder) then should still fill. Try leaving it in the ink a few seconds after the plunge.

If the pen has sentimental value, probably worth the $30 to have fixed properly.

regarsd

david


#8 Ray-Vigo

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Posted 24 January 2008 - 16:58

QUOTE(BearsPaw @ Jan 24 2008, 10:57 AM) View Post
QUOTE(Ray-Vigo @ Jan 24 2008, 12:27 AM) View Post
You should NOT attempt to refill the pen if it has not been restored or repaired, UNLESS you're sure that everything is working properly.


So, my grandfather had used it until a couple years ago. I think he said he replaced the bladder at one point. I tried filling it with ink the day before I posted here and it seemed to work, although it only held enough ink for me to write that night, and half of the next day. I thought that I hadn't filled it all the way, because I wasn't sure how to properly fill it. Should I hold off on filling it again until a professional looks at it?

Thanks.



It might still work- I haven't seen this specific pen. I was referring primarily to stuck parts and not forcing them- better safe than sorry if something is stubborn. Try doing what David said- you may actually still have a working pen, and they do hold a decent amount of ink. If that doesn't work, the filler may well need restoration for it to fill properly. Send that one to a pro if so.

Edited by Ray-Vigo, 24 January 2008 - 17:00.


#9 Ernst Bitterman

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Posted 24 January 2008 - 19:09

I've got a couple of similar pens that rate as the favourites in the pack. I understand that the main threat to the mechanism comes during the pull phase of the fill, when the piston can press fluid against the seals at the back of the chamber. If I'm filling one that's not quite empty, I'll do a few short cycles to clear the chamber-- pull about 1/2", pause briefly to let ink settle under the piston, push back, repeat. It's probably unnecessary, but given the sort of a job repairing these things is, I figure it's worth the hassle.

I've also got several that need fixing, and there's no serious threat to trying the mechanism, gently. You won't know it doesn't work unless you give it a try.

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#10 BearsPaw

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Posted 24 January 2008 - 19:10

QUOTE(Ray-Vigo @ Jan 24 2008, 11:58 AM) View Post
It might still work- I haven't seen this specific pen. I was referring primarily to stuck parts and not forcing them- better safe than sorry if something is stubborn. Try doing what David said- you may actually still have a working pen, and they do hold a decent amount of ink. If that doesn't work, the filler may well need restoration for it to fill properly. Send that one to a pro if so.


So, I refilled the pen again, and started using it. I let it sit in the ink for about ten seconds after pushing the plunger down. The plunger moves pretty smoothly, without force, so I don't think I damaged anything. I'll see how long it writes for this time.






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