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  1. I’ve successfully stripped down about 4 Parker Vacumatics and 2 Parker 51 Vacs over the past 2 years to replace the diaphragms and found the process very straightforward using tools purchased from Laurence at penpractice.com. However, I recently bought a beautiful Duofold Senior Vacumatic in Blue Pearl Laidtone date coded 1943, needing a new diaphragm but unfortunately it has a plastic filler bush. I’ve tried warming the barrel gently (to make it less brittle) and gripping the bush with the Oldfield tool but the filler won’t budge. My hand grip on the barrel (using a soft rubber mat) was greater than the grip of the tool to the plastic bush threads. The tool thus slipped a little and has left light scores on the bush threads. I’m worried that if I apply more pressure on the threads I’ll completely destroy them, or possibly crack the barrel? Marshall & Oldfield in their book “Pen Repair” say that the plastic bushes are almost impossible to remove without damage to the threads and recommend drilling out the bush so it can be replaced with a metal one. This is the only written reference I’ve been able to find describing problems with the plastic bush and wondered if anyone can share their experiences? Is the plastic bush glued in or is it just difficult to grip it with the wrench? If I grip the bush tighter will it eventually release or damage the barrel. If I follow the Marshall / Oldfield recommendation of snapping out the plunger and then drilling the bush, will the remaining bits of the bush simply fall out or will I need to pass a thread tap through? I’m quite happy to fit a replacement unit containing a metal bush so long as I can remove the old one without damage to the barrel and would appreciate to hear from others who have come up against this problem.

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