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Sheaffer Snorkel Repair


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36 replies to this topic

#1 sndeshpande

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Posted 16 July 2008 - 00:24

Hi All,

I recently repaired a Snorkel (a Special) and thought it would be good idea to share my experience with everybody. The following is a brief account of the procedure which went rather well considering the fact that it was my first snorkel repair. Lacking a digital camera, I made a quick sketch of the Snorkel assembly and various parts of interest. Scanned version of this sketch has been attached to this post (and also stored on the web - here) for reference.

[A]. Tools and Supplies used by me –

1. #14 Thin wall Rubber sac for Snorkel (Source: Wood Bin)
2. O-ring and Point Holder Gasket (Source: Martin Ferguson)
3. Silicone Grease (100% Pure, Food Grade) (Source: Silicone Grease for Divers)
4. Talc (100% Pure, Unscented ) (Source: Talc Powder for Billiards)
5. 1/8" x 6" Cabinet Tip Slotted Screwdriver (Source: Local Hardware Store)
6. Shellac (Source: Local Hardware Store)
7. Sac Spreader tweezers (Source: Local Hobby Store) (Note: Purchased but not required)
8. Dental Pick Set
9. Sewing Needle
10. Wooden toothpick
11. Wooden Skewer
12. Scissors
13. Ear Buds

[B]. Following are the important repair steps arranged in a decreasing order of difficulty –

(i) Sac Replacement: The sac in the pen was still somewhat flexible and hence I had to puncture it by pulling it out of the hole at the end of the sac protector with a dental pick and cutting a hole in it. The sac protector on this pen was crimped. I un-crimped it using the sharp point of a dental pick. I did this with utmost care so as not to cause a tear in the thin sac protector sheet and also to avoid gouging the rubber stopper.

I then pushed the rubber stopper out of the sac protector using the tip of an ear bud. While doing so I accidentally pushed out the inner rubber feed out of the snorkel tube. I noticed that the feed had twisted a little when it was pushed out so that the slit on the feed no longer aligned with the slit on the snorkel tube. I then decided to push out the feed completely, clean it, realign it and push it back. This was accomplished by slowly and carefully pushing it using a 20AWG wire. Luckily (beginner's luck!!) for me it slid out without breaking. This gave me a good opportunity to study this part carefully.

Once the stopper was out, it was quite easy to clean the remains of the old sac and to shellac the new sac in place. I spread the shellac in a thin coat using a tooth pick and could easily slip on the new sac onto the rubber stopper without using the Sac spreader tweezers. I let the new sac dry for more than an hour. Before using the shellac, I had pre-tested the shellac for drying time. The sac received an ample dose of talc and the rubber stopper /sac assembly was pushed back into the sac protector. I carefully re-crimped the sac protector and ensured that it slid properly into the section. The snorkel assembly was allowed to dry overnight.

(ii) O-Ring Replacement: This proceeded very fast. The rear cap was unscrewed. I noticed that the rubber washer inside the rear cap was intact. Then using the sharp end of the sewing needle, I prodded and carefully took out the old O-Ring. I inserted and anchored one end of the new O-Ring into the slot and then using a wooden skewer I maneuvered the remaining part of O-ring into the slot.

(iii) Point Holder Gasket Replacement: This was easiest of all. Initially I found the new gasket very tight. However, after a few operations it loosened a little. I avoided using silicone grease as I did not feel comfortable with the thought of some of it finding its way into the feed, gumming it up. I hope the gasket will loosen up progressively with time and use.

(iv) Final Assembly and Testing: I applied a thin layer of silicone grease on the spring and on the rear end of the touchdown tube just below the rear cap. Re-assembled the pen. Checked for the tell-tale sounds of puffs on the up and down strokes of the touchdown tube. Tested the pen with water. Squirts of water confirmed the air seals in the pen and proper operation. Disassembled the pen and tested for leaks from the rubber stopper onto the snorkel tube and inside the section. Satisfied with the results, I proceeded to re-assemble the pen and to fill it with Waterman's Florida Blue Ink. The pen started laying down a smooth, firm and wet line immediately on contact with paper.

[C]. Conclusion:

The snorkel is an absolute delight to work on. With patience and careful planning, the repair is possible even for a absolute beginner like me. thumbup.gif

Attached Images

  • Snorkel_Assy.JPG


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#2 fountainbel

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Posted 16 July 2008 - 19:32

Thanks for shearing your detailed repair approach sndeshpande !
I really appreciate the drawing you provided, very nice!


#3 OnPoint

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Posted 16 July 2008 - 21:39

And from Fountainbel, it's praise, indeed!

#4 Ernst Bitterman

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Posted 16 July 2008 - 22:20

I'd urge a very tiny application of grease to the snorkel below the point-holder gasket. The chances of disaster are tiny, the rewards in smoothness of function are immense.

That is a magnificent "sketch", by the way. Good job of minimizing the horrors of the work, too, especially the O-ring replacement.

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#5 lv7

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Posted 24 August 2008 - 03:10

QUOTE (sndeshpande @ Jul 15 2008, 05:24 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I recently repaired a Snorkel (a Special) and thought it would be good idea to share my experience with everybody. The following is a brief account of the procedure which went rather well considering the fact that it was my first snorkel repair. Lacking a digital camera, I made a quick sketch of the Snorkel assembly and various parts of interest. Scanned version of this sketch has been attached to this post (and also stored on the web - here) for reference.

. . .

The snorkel is an absolute delight to work on. With patience and careful planning, the repair is possible even for a absolute beginner like me. thumbup.gif


sndeshpande,

Today, I repaired my very first snorkel, and I used this post as a reference! Found it by searching FPN. Thanks for posting such a detailed description of what you did -- it was very helpful! clap1.gif


#6 extrafine

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Posted 24 August 2008 - 03:51

I just fixed one up that had the small piece of rubber between the blind cap and tube missing. I ended up taking the piece that I cut off the top of the sac and making a hole in it, and wedging it around the screw.

It seemed to work well enough, but does anyone have any better ideas? My main concern with this "method" is that it probably wouldn't survive being removed and reinserted.

Previous times when I took apart snorkels, the gasket (of sorts) was more-or-less intact.

#7 eckiethump

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Posted 24 August 2008 - 07:40

QUOTE (extrafine @ Aug 24 2008, 04:51 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I just fixed one up that had the small piece of rubber between the blind cap and tube missing. I ended up taking the piece that I cut off the top of the sac and making a hole in it, and wedging it around the screw.

It seemed to work well enough, but does anyone have any better ideas? My main concern with this "method" is that it probably wouldn't survive being removed and reinserted.

Previous times when I took apart snorkels, the gasket (of sorts) was more-or-less intact.

This should be fine, as it is the accepted practice for that particular seal in these pens.

OP, your sketch? is awesome, very coherent and detailed, much the same as information that is supplied by Fountainbelle (Francis) sorry, can't think of higher praise than that. I would guess, that as with Francis, your background is engineering. Snorkels, think are one of the most fun pens to get working again, it's not so much repair as service. Now to move onto something more difficult !!!! embarrassed_smile.gif and supply the drawings thumbup.gif
et
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#8 extrafine

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Posted 25 August 2008 - 03:36

QUOTE (eckiethump @ Aug 24 2008, 03:40 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
This should be fine, as it is the accepted practice for that particular seal in these pens.


Thanks - I was afraid I was missing out on some great idea for a fix!

#9 cvasara

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Posted 14 May 2009 - 18:59

Well, I've read a few of the Snorkel repair Threads here and looked at Richard's anatomy page, but I still can't get the hard rubber stopper with the Snorkel tube to dis-lodge from the sac protector. It just won't budge from the sac protector. I have un-crimped the sac protector tabs, soaked it all in water, applied heat. and exerted force on the rubber stopper with a stiff wire from the hole in the sac protector end.
What am I missing here?

#10 penburg

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Posted 14 May 2009 - 19:08

thanks for this. And I think I'll print your sketch and put it in my copy of Da Book. Very good detail, thanks!
<img src="http://img356.images...ostminipo0.png" border="0" class="linked-sig-image" />

#11 liden99

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Posted 02 January 2010 - 07:44

(ii) O-Ring Replacement: This proceeded very fast. The rear cap was unscrewed. I noticed that the rubber washer inside the rear cap was intact. Then using the sharp end of the sewing needle, I prodded and carefully took out the old O-Ring. I inserted and anchored one end of the new O-Ring into the slot and then using a wooden skewer I maneuvered the remaining part of O-ring into the slot.

Hi. May I have a question about how to remove the old O-ring? I have tried to find a way to unscrew the rear cap, but in vain. Would you give me a little detail information? I thought that it needs a screw driver and have tried to find a screw driver long and narrow enough to put in, but no luck. If it is needed, do you happen to know exactly what model I need? Or, if there is any way to unscrew it, please let me know. Thank you in advance.

#12 Ernst Bitterman

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Posted 02 January 2010 - 12:48

I thought that it needs a screw driver and have tried to find a screw driver long and narrow enough to put in, but no luck.


It's a simple slotted screw. What frequently happens is that some corrosion of the screw itself makes it hard to seat the driver in the slot; it generally just takes some patience while moving the driver around gently to feel when it has purchase.

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#13 gyasko

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Posted 02 January 2010 - 15:42

I don't think the proper screwdrivers are that hard to find. I found one by taking a TD to the hardware store and trying out their screwdrivers. It's one of the green-handled, made in USA ones at Dorn Hardware on Broom St. in Madison. Some time later, i needed a similar screwdriver for an auto repair and found it easily enough at another local hardware store.

#14 noj321

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Posted 03 January 2010 - 10:39

Thanks all - This has been a great help to me as I'm about to attempt my first servicing to a PFM and am trying to get as much info as possible before I jump in! Please can some-one confirm that the method to remove the blind end piece (with the tassie on IV & V's) is similar to that stated within this post - a small flat head screw driver long enough to reach up the barrel? Any potential pitfalls I should be careful to avoid? Many Thanks, Noj

#15 Ernst Bitterman

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Posted 03 January 2010 - 12:52

Posted Image

The main problem is the need of a special tool to take the threaded connector out of the section so you can get at the point gasket (and why I screwed it back in for this picture, I can't imagine). I got mine from Martin Ferguson, who also sells the gaskets.

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#16 11Haze29

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Posted 11 January 2010 - 02:14

I understand almost all of this repair process but have a couple of questions.

On a finished pen, when you compress the plunger to collapse the sack, are you expelling the air around the sac protector and if so where does it go.

Once the sac is full is ink, why doesn't it leak back out the snorkel, and how does the ink flow to the nib.

Is there any sealant required around the rubber stopper to the sac protector and or the snorkel.

#17 Kelly G

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Posted 11 January 2010 - 06:08

I understand almost all of this repair process but have a couple of questions.

On a finished pen, when you compress the plunger to collapse the sack, are you expelling the air around the sac protector and if so where does it go.

You are compressing the sac and the air inside the sac expels through the snorkel tube - that is one way you can tell you have a proper repair; immerse the entire nib and section in water, if air expels from any other place than the snorkel, you have a problem.

Once the sac is full is ink, why doesn't it leak back out the snorkel, and how does the ink flow to the nib.

The Snorkel tube has a hard rubber secondary feed inside - this regulates the flow of ink and air. The Snorkel tube end has slits that feed ink to the primary feed and nib.

Is there any sealant required around the rubber stopper to the sac protector and or the snorkel.

The "rubber stopper" or section, requires no sealant in the interface with the sac protector - the sac is sealed to the section as per usual, with shellac. If the Snorkel tube has been removed from the section, when you get it set in the proper position, a small drop of shellac around the base of the tube will seal it to the section - small being the operative term.

Spend some time on Richard Binder's site; www.richardspens.com, reference info, anatomy of a fountain pen III: Sheaffer's Snorkel to get the complete picture.

Good luck!


Edited by Kelly G, 11 January 2010 - 06:10.

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#18 jorgerp1

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Posted 11 January 2010 - 14:09

Fantastic !! You should ilustrate Da Book. :notworthy1:

#19 velovino

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Posted 12 January 2010 - 02:22

I'd like to frame that illustration.
Seriously!

#20 adyf

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Posted 12 January 2010 - 21:57

Posted Image

The main problem is the need of a special tool to take the threaded connector out of the section so you can get at the point gasket (and why I screwed it back in for this picture, I can't imagine). I got mine from Martin Ferguson, who also sells the gaskets.



I think I understand most of this diagram although I have a couple of questions:

How does the sac protector, filler tube and spring fit together, and how far do you push the snorkel tube into the sac bushing?






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