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  1. So.. I finally got my shipment from Anderson Pens for restoring my little Wearever and everything went great! I put a new sac on (which is watertight) and put a new j-bar in (40mm) but since they didn’t have talc in stock I ordered it from a separate place, and it is due to arrive soon. Anyway, so as I was moving the barrel with the j-bar, I dropped it, and the j-bar moved a little bit further back (I didn’t know it could, I pushed it back as far as I could) leaving me not able to pull it out with the hemostat. Long story short, I gave it somebody who, despite me telling them explicitly several times not to open the lever when trying to pull it out, did it anyway, and pulled the lever and a little metal ring out of the pen, along with the j-bar. Can I get the lever back in? Is my pen broken? Could I do anything to fix it? And if I can, should I put it a slightly bigger j-bar? Thank you for all of your help. I really like the way this wrote, it was like a medium that was ground quite stub-like. So I really want it to be a functioning pen. Thank you for all of your help. Below is a picture of all the parts, including the lever and the ring.
  2. Hello there, I have recently acquired a beautiful blue swirl Bantam and I'm refitting the sac since it is a bulb system and the old sac was worn. The pen came from factory with an aluminum press fitted ring that held the old sac. (see picture) Now I need to remove this ring in order to properly fit another sac, but have been experiencing some difficulty doing so. Does anyone have any experience with this or how I should tackle this? As one of the pictures will show, I have started to chip away at a deep groove in the ring. Will this be problematic? Thanks in advance for any guidance whatshowever. This is the first proper restoration that I am starting so any information is welcome.
  3. I have a few Parker 51 pens that I've taken apart, cleaned out, and now it's time to replace their sacs, so I thoroughly removed any gunk and residue from the sac nipple, then shellac'd the new sac and left it to dry for a day or so. The result: after the shellac dries, it seems that it doesn't provide a good air seal. There seem to be "bubbles" under the sac between the "ridges" of the sac nipple, and as I apply some pressure on the sac, it starts to separate from the sac nipple very easily. For this reason, I'm too afraid to put this in a pen, because even though it sold of holds, I'm afraid it would come loose and start to leak soon. It also seems that the shellac is weak, if I apply very little force the sac comes off easily. I've now repeated the process 3 times, tried 2 different kinds of shellac, each time cleaning out the gunk and residue from the previous attempt carefully. But I always get the same result. What am I doing wrong? Is there a trick that I'm missing here? This feels very silly because I was able to do this successfully in the past but for some reason I can't get it right this time.
  4. I've disassembled a couple of Parker 51s for cleaning and tuning. On one of these pens, the sac came off even though I didn't really want to take it off. I assume when I heated it up in order to take off the hood, it must've also destroyed whatever was holding this sac in place. The sac itself is somewhat discolored but it doesn't seem torn or damaged in any way. Is it okay to reuse this old sac by shellacing it back to the connector when I reassemble the pen? Or is this something that I shouldn't do?
  5. I have a Conway Stewart in excellent outside condition. I sent it to a pen repair person for a complete restoration, new sac, nib tuned and polished. I got it back and all it got was "grease" and does not fill or write. Charge was $17. (restoration quote was $40) Rather than pursue with this fellow and waste my time, are there any reputable pen restorers, repair persons in the USA, with an online website, that I can send my pen to for restoration and nib tuning and polish? Thanks for your help. jim
  6. Hi all, I have 3 vintage Sheaffer fountain pens that were recently passed down to me from my late great-grandfather. I know that one of them is for sure a Sheaffer Snorkel, but I'm not sure about the other two. Images of the Snorkel: https://imgur.com/a/TWdURQp Images of the brown pen: https://imgur.com/a/BYhi5jT Images of the green pen: https://imgur.com/a/2myBKsk The two unknown pens I'm fairly confident I can easily restore. They both AFAIK have petrified sacs, though one of them came apart and I was able to get it out. The Snorkel I am less confident about, given its complexity. I'm somewhat sure that the filling mechanism works (I just accidentally sprayed my dress pants with Waterman Intense Black testing the nib and the pump), but getting the seals and especially the sac replaced will be a doozy. Any comments or thoughts as to what those two pens are or how I should proceed in the restoration process? Thanks!!
  7. I'm not at all experienced in restoring pens, but I thought I would try my hand at it a bit with a Sheaffer snorkel I just received as a gift. It is a black snorkel with a waverly nib, and it is in incredibly good condition except for the sac, which I plan to re-sac later. But first I have to get that sac out of the metal sac protector. I tried to loosen the metal crimping around the black piece at the bottom of the sac to gently pull it out via the snorkel, but I ended up pulling the snorkel out of the black piece instead. So my question is - as a non-experienced pen restorer (I mostly use modern pens but have a bit of vintage experience), how should I do this? I've heard I can heat it up a bit with a hairdryer to make the removal easier, but I'd like the advice of the experts here. And if you don't think I'm qualified to do this, please let me know. It seems like a small job but I really cannot say. Thank you for any advice.
  8. Yesterday I started my new year with a new achievement: I restored a Sheaffer Snorkel! I’m sure that’s not exactly a “stop the presses” moment for most of you, but it was a bit of a watershed for me. I’ve been collecting and using fountain pens for some years now, and I’ve done a bit of light tinkering along the way. I’ve learned to swap standard #5 and #6 nibs around freely, made some basic nib adjustments, got a sonic cleaner. I even replaced rubber bulbs on my bulb-fillers, which is about as easy as it gets, because it doesn’t even require disassembling the pen at all. But the Snorkel… It’s got a reputation as possibly the most advanced—and most complex—fountain pen ever produced. Jumping into this was a leap of faith for me. With three non-functioning Snorkels in hand, I snagged a fresh bottle of shellac and a parts kit from eBay. Then took a while to work up my nerve. The most scary thing to me is disassembly, if a pen was put together with glue and not designed to come apart easily. I figure if I’m going to break one, or scar one up, that’s when it’ll happen. Fortunately, a lot of Snorkels seem to come apart quite easily. Unfortunately, the one I picked to start working on was stubborn and seemed like it got a triple shot of glue back at Ford Madison. I had to apply heat and a fair bit of torque (with latex-coated gloves for extra grip) before it gradually turned loose. My parts kit came with three O-rings, three point seals, and three sacs. After getting the pen apart, the orginal factory O-ring and point seal were in great condition. They weren’t hard or cracked or gummy, and I decided to just keep them. (Getting that O-ring back in place after examining it was pretty comedic, though!) The sac, though… It had turned to crumbly, stubborn goo. Or gooey crumbs. Either way, it didn’t want to come out. I eventually discovered that a 22-caliber bronze bore brush was very helpful with this. I probably shouldn’t even call what I did “restoration” because all I ended up doing was replacing the sac in this pen. It was already a superbly preserved “eBay minty” specimen. Even so, I can’t help feeling a little pride that I managed to disassemble the notorious Snorkel, replace that sac and reassemble everything correctly without damaging anything or losing any parts, and I got it working as it should. One down, two to go!
  9. tonybelding

    Rubber-Friendly Ink

    I recently pulled a couple of my Edison bulb-fillers out of storage. One had traces of ink dried in it, as I must have neglected to flush it before putting it away. The other looked clean. Both of them had the rubber bulbs partially melted. The conventional wisdom says rubber bulbs and sacs (as in lever-fillers, touchdown-fillers, etc.) should last for many years, perhaps decades. I've been having a lot of failures with them, and I've heard about friends having problems with them too. I've had restored vintage pens that failed too, much sooner than I would have expected. My first impulse was to blame today's rubber sacs. I've heard about bad batches of rubber sacs getting out, and I was left wondering whether today's "good" batches are as good as they were in the Good Old Days. However... I also am a fan of Noodler's ink, and I was beginning to wonder if the bulletproof/eternal inks are degrading the rubber and reducing its life span. I sent the Edison Morgan back to Brian Gray for repair, and he had some interesting comments about the situation. His observations: Inks that he recommends include: Waterman, Sailor, Aurora and Diamine. As luck would have it, I currently have no ink from any of those companies! (I've had Waterman and Diamine in the past, though. I didn't ask about Herbin, perhaps I should?) He also pointed out this article from Richard Binder: http://www.richardspens.com/?care=inks I found this most pertinent: "Some other Noodler’s inks, whose identities I have not yet pinned down, will reduce latex sacs to goo." I haven't pinned them down either, but I've gradually come to believe it. So... Where does this leave me? Do I give up all my favorite "boutique" inks and permanent inks and switch everything out for old-fashioned weak-and-washable colors? Or do I get rid of all my pens with rubber sacs and bulbs? OK, let's calm down. I'm not getting rid of all my vintage pens, that's for sure. However, I don't write with them all that much on a daily basis anyhow. I'm using mostly modern pens these days. So... I doubt I'll be buying any more modern pens that use rubber sacs or bulbs. There are plenty of other ways to fill a pen. Now I just need to pick out a rubber-friendly ink or two for those vintage pens, I guess. It's an excuse to buy more ink!
  10. I received a pair of CS, a ballpoint 95 and a fountain pen 150. I love these models, esp. the ballpoint. And folks, I need your help....... For the ballpoint, I can't fine the refill in Hong Kong, I tried many similar refills but the metal points are too big that cannot be used. Any recommendations for getting any compatible refill anyway? I saw a thread here below saying that 2 refills may fit. https://www.fountainpennetwork.com/forum/topic/342875-a-vintage-conway-stewart-ballpoint/?hl=%2Bconway+%2Bstewart+%2Bballpoint Anyone tried before?, as I need to order form Cultpens and if the model doesn't fit, then the $$$ is gone... For the fountain pen, the sac is broken and the original metal cover is rusted and so the seller used a silicon sac instead. Now the pen cannot be washed and the ink is difficult to be filled. Any recommendations that I can find a replacement? Thank you very much for your opinions..... ^_^
  11. ColdDeadHand

    Permanent Ink For Vintage Pens?

    I have a bit of a hangup for permanent inks, and this is often at odds with my passion for vintage pens. Do you think I'm going to take apart a Parker Vacumatic, clean it, replace the diaphragm, admire the clarity of the barrel that has survived for 70 or 80 years, and then fill it with Heart of Darkness? No. That is not happening. I love HoD, but that goes into modern pens that I don't really give a darn about. Inks with no water resistance are uninteresting to me. Yes, I have a bottle of Waterman Serenity Blue. It's used for dip tests after I refurbish a pen, but there is no way I would write in my journal with it, the audience for my journal is my family, but a hundred years from now. Dr. Murphy would assert that it's basically impossible for a journal to survive a hundred years without being subjected to some spillage of liquid, and the likelihood of spillage is probably higher around me, considering the amount of coffee I consume daily. So... First, I'd like to know your opinions on the 2 inks that I do use: Platinum Blue Black (the regular ole' dye-based version, not the pigment-based version) and Platinum Forest Black (good old iron gall, which I assume was used a good bit on any older pen before I got to it). Is there any sound reasoning or scientific evidence that would tell us not to trust these two inks in my vintage pens? Next, I'm looking for a black. As stated, I have Heart of Darkness, but I just couldn't put that into an old Vac. I have a bottle of Pelikan 4001 Brilliant Black that came included in an eBay auction, and I probably will never open it, not in all my life, because it's not permanent at all. What if the ancient Egyptians had used such junk to write on their papyrus? What if the ancient scribes had used impermanent ink to copy the Torah? Imagine all the culture we would have lost to the eons. My current options for black inks are: "GRAF VON FABER-CASTELL CARBON BLACK DE ATRAMENTIS ARCHIVE INK DE ATRAMENTIS DOCUMENT INK - BLACK" To be clear, I'm open to hearing about any permanent inks that will not kill the rubber internals or celluloid walls of old pens. When I say "permanent," I don't mean "eternal and unmoving," but it would be nice to know that if it falls into a river and I fish it out, that what is left when I dry the paper will still be legible. Your suggestions?
  12. Recently got this and a Duofold from a colleague. The nib is in excellent condition and writes quite well, but the internal sac has crumbled to dust. Would it be possible to buy a new sac for this in India? If not, what are my sources online for buying parts for this? I think this is a Sheaffer Triumph but I might be wrong and more information on the pen is always welcome.
  13. law_kid

    Shellac - Type And Cut?

    I'm ready to take the plunge and restore a couple of (inexpensive) old Esties. The instructions/videos I've seen suggest using ":shellac" to adhere the new sac to the nipple, and I know some of the supply places sell small bottles of it. However, as a woodworker, I have multiple types of shellac flakes sitting around.and I'd rather not pay relatively big $$$ for a small bottle of something I ordinarily make by the quart. Can anybody tell me the type of shellac used (waxed vs. dewaxed, does orange vs blonde matter, etc) and also the strength or "cut" of the shellac i should use (e.g. a one-pound cut vs. a three-pound cut)? Thanks!
  14. TomCorbett

    Mabie Todd: L330/60 Sac Size?

    Found this at the local antique market today: it may be a little rough, but at $25CAD I couldn't resist it as my first foray into vintage pens From the stamp on the bottom (L330/60), I figured it's a pre-war, black hard rubber, size 3 Mabie Todd Leverless, c.1934. The nib section is stamped with "Swan L3" and the body is stamped with "Patent No. 390585/32". The nib is #3, 14ct gold, and apparently flexible from a quick dip-test with Monteverde Sapphire ink. It's so smooth and wet!! Unfortunately the left tine of the nib looks a little bent... but I'll see if I can massage it back into shape. The rubber sac is totally missing but the pressure bar is present (hard to see from the photo) and the twist button turns well. Anyone know what sac size this would take? Anyone done a sac replacement on this pen? Any help would be much appreciated!!
  15. I can't believe this isn't a pinned topic somewhere, but I didn't see it, so... Several years ago I was bitten by the vintage fountain pen bug & acquired some (ahem) pens, mostly lever fillers. Now that it's been a while I am wondering about sac replacement. The "dumb" question (even though I know there are no dumb questions): how do I know when a pen needs a new sac? I have one pen that seems obviously in need, since it no longer holds ink. Others hold ink but I can hear slightly creaky or crackly sounds when I depress the lever. I'm guessing this means the sacs are showing signs of age but are still intact? The other question: ideally I'd love to gather up a few pens at a time & take them in-person to someone local, reliable, & reasonably priced for re-saccing. Any recommendations? I'm in Berkeley, so East Bay or San Francisco would be my first choice, Marin my 2nd choice. If necessary I'd schlep to the peninsula or wine country, but by then maybe it would make just as much sense to mail them to whomever offers best combo of expertise & price anywhere in the country. I have zero interest in doing it myself, in case that wasn't already obvious Thanks in advance!
  16. fotojake

    Waterman's 52 Lever Fill Failure

    Hi, I bought a circa 1918 Waterman's Ideal 52 lever fill fountain pen two weeks ago. I had it filled with Waterman's ink at the store, took it home, and gleefully wrote with it until it ran dry today. I started to flush it out with distilled water and after about 20, or so, fills and flushes it just stopped filling when I released the lever to fill it one more time. No forewarning of impending failure, no breaking or snapping sound, nothing. Any idea what this could be, is a fix simple? I am somewhat handy, but if this is a repair beyond my means, can someone recommend a place that works on lever fill pens that is good? Thank you for any advice you can offer up. Jake
  17. I have this Parker Slimfold which is missing its ink sac and protector. I am curious if a converter may be purchased for the pen, or if anyone could point me toward replacement parts? I will include a photo of the pen section below. Thank you
  18. I'm putting together an aerometric Parker 51 on which I replaced the pli-glass sac and the breather tube. The sac guard is one of the early aerometric models (maybe the chrome plated one) and can be screwed off easily. Should I seal it with shellac? Or something? Or just leave it as it is, to make it easier to repair next time?
  19. bsenn

    Anode Rubber Sac

    Most ossified sacs crumble away. I found one in a senior Duofold (non-lucky curve) which is hard as a rock, but intact. It appears to be imprinted "PARKER ANODE" and "MADE IN USA". Googling the term anode, I came across Parker Service Manual 5115 which mentions "Sac, Anode Rubber". Was Anode Rubber a Parker marketing term, and is it common to find imprinted sacs? BTW, here is the opening paragraph of the service manual: "Repairing a fountain pen is not as simple as it seems. It might be compared to repairing a watch. It is easy to tinker with a watch with the result that it keeps poor time or no time at all; and it is easy to tinker with a fountain pen so that it gives the poorest kind of satisfaction or no satisfaction at all." Been there, done that... Watches and pens... Brian
  20. queerspaceman

    Good Assortment Of Sac Sizes?

    Hi all, I've decided to learn to restore vintage pens, and i've got some lower end ones (so i can learn without breaking something priceless) coming in from ebay soon. i'm getting ready to order an assortment of sacs, what sizes would you suggest i get? i was thinking something like: 2x#12, 3x#14, 3x#16, 3x#18, 2x#20. does that sound about right?
  21. elysee

    Esterbrook Sac: Duration?

    I purchased several Esterbrook fountain pens during graduate school. When I purchased them, they were newly restored with new sacs. How long should these sacs last? That is, what is the approximate lifetime for a sac? Other than waiting for the sac to leak, is there any way in which to determine when the sac needs to be replaced?
  22. Hello everyone, I recently picked up an absolutely mint W-E Doric desk pen (in Cashmere, of all places) and was wondering what the correct sac size for it was. It has a #5 adjustable nib and the nipple appears to be slightly more than 1/4" across. I've seen conflicting info from several sources on which size sac to use: Richard Binder's website cites the proper size as 17 or 18 (not quite sure if my pen qualifies as a Doric or a Personal Point) while some other sites give the proper size as 22 (which seems way too big). On a similar note, should I use a regular latex sac or a silicone sac to protect the celluloid (it's a grey-black color and I am unsure if it is prone to discoloration)? Thanks for the help!
  23. tonybelding

    Bulb-Filler Experiment

    Because of all the questions around some inks possibly causing rubber sacs to fail prematurely, I have decided to conduct a series of methodical tests using my bulb-filler pens. Because these pens use rubber bulbs, but the bulbs are quite easy and inexpensive for me to replace as needed, they're ideal for testing inks that might possibly be "dangerous" to latex rubber. The methodology I've decided on is. . . Ink one pen each month, and use it continually with the chosen ink for three months. At the end of that time, check the bulb carefully for evidence of decay. Because I have three bulb-fillers, using all of them will give me one test result per month. (Obviously I expect to be doing this for A While.) I also decided to only flush them with distilled water, to rule out any possible contaminants in the tap water here. If anybody else would like to join in and report your results too, that would be OK. I'd only suggest following a similar regimen, if you can, so that our results can be compared on a somewhat even basis. The first pen in the series is my Edison Morgan, which I inked a month ago with Montblanc Midnight Blue. Because of its huge ink capacity, I've used less than half the fill, and it's still going strong. Today I tanked up the second pen, my Edison Glenmont, with that most iconic ink: Noodler's Black. Next will be the Gate City New Postal Jr., and I have a month to decide what ink to put in that. I also need to get another new bulb for it. I've already installed a fresh bulb, but it seems to be too small, and it doesn't displace enough air to fully fill the pen. So, I'll try a bigger one and see how that goes.
  24. Hello everyone! So I am new to purchasing vintage fountain pens, though I am an avid user of FPs in general! I recently purchased this beautiful Wahl Deco Greek #2 flex nib on eBay because I was looking for a flexible nib that allows more line variation than my metal falcon. Overall, it looks to be in pretty good condition, however, the seller said that the pen needs a new sac. I found some places online that had sacs for the #2 nib with the ring top, but mine is a clip top. Furthermore, I am not completely sure where to buy these sacs for vintage pens! If you could help me out, I would greatly appreciate it! I just want to know what i need to buy so that I can use this beautiful pen! Thanks so much for your help everyone!
  25. Inkysloth

    Sheaffer Bulb Filler?!

    Hi all, I bought a cluster of "old pens" from Ebay as one was a Sheaffer I thought might scrub up well. A photo will follow when I've charged my phone up. My confusion is, it has a sac fixed in place, but no other sign of a filling mechanism - no moving blind cap, no snorkel, no nothing. Just an ink sac. Did Sheaffer make any bulb fillers?! Or is this someone's cartridge pen that they've glued a sac into, to make a bulb filler?





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