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  1. A year ago I "accidentally" transformed a pen I failed to finish into a prototype (kind of capless bulkfiller). This pen had several issues like an uneven finish, flow issues, ink burping when retracting the nib, no clip, bad ebonite quality: not the ideal workhorse. Here is the journey to this prototype improvement... Overal view of the 3 versions: All the pens have both an inkview and a view on the capless mechanism, an ebonite feed, and hold a large amount of ink. V1 has a flexible size 2 eversharp gold nib, V2 an V3 have a cursive italic nib ground from an Pelikan M100 B nib. V3 has a stronger clip and a matching ebonite insert. V3 is made of german ebonite which seems to oxidize much less than V2 made of japanese ebonite. Evolution of the "capless" mechanism: For those pens the nib unit is activated by rotating the pen grip section. In V1 the nib unit screw (the "elevator screw") is directly set into the back of the ebonite feed which caused the feed channels to be deformed thus preventing the air to flow back to the barrel which caused bad flow issues. V1 "guts" are made of bronze and ebonite, V2 and V3 are made of stainless steel. The V3 nib unit fixed this issue with the nib housing (green) friction fit and epoxy glued into the nib screw. A crescent hole into the nib screw allows ink to flow into the nib feed. The V3 has also a modified screw shape which better regulates ink flow allowing the nib not to be too wet. An issue from V2 feed was that when the nib was retracted the breather hole burped ink onto my fingers. This was corrected in V3 adding a second breather hole "the burping hole" (blue arrow) which is hidden behind the end of the grip section: the pen still burps ink when the nib is retracted... but inside the section preventing ink stains. Evolution of the pen cap: V1 has the trap-cap mechanism directly inserted into the ebonite of the barrel with very fragile and sensitive to wear holes. V2 has a stainless ring which supports the trap-cap mechanism, the main issue with this design was ink drying in the nib after 2 to 3 days without using the pen holding the nib upwards. V3 fixed this issue inserting a friction fit bronze insert into the stainless steel ring, thus reducing the opening of the pen, preventing air to penetrate finally preventing the nib to dry. Evolution of the barrel back end screw: The back on the barrel is closed by a double sided screw with a hole in it allowing the piston rod to glide. In V1 this screw was made of ebonite which allowed free gliding but was not sufficient enough to precisely guide the piston rod the right way... In V2 it was made of stainless steel with problems of piston rod gliding. This was solved using a bronze insert into this double sided screw. Exploded view and plans of V3: And here it is with its 30 parts and countless milling/turning operations! Only one problem remains: the trap-cap is passively activated by the nib itself and goes back to its closing position with a spring blade. Had no problems with this but it appears to be fragile and... ulgly! Any ideas on how to fix this? Thanks and enjoy FPN back again!
  2. I have recently got into vintage pens and bought a few Esterbrooks (which i love now btw) on ebay and resacced and repaired them and a waterman crusader, and I really loved the look of the Sheaffer triumph type nibs so I bought a desk pen vac fill version for a good price. The filling mech doesn't work anymore as the rubber washer inside has fallen apart so I need to get the nib off so I can replace it. Well I've tried everything to get the nib off and I'm at the point that I'm afraid if I try anything more drastic I will break it. So I figured I would ask the pros on here what tricks they might have that maybe I haven't tried yet. I've soaked the pen in ammonia for 3 days already and ran it in my ultrasonic cleaner off and on in ammonia a bunch in those 3 days as well to try and help get it into the pen to loosen it up. After soaking I used my heat gun to heat the section up to even hotter than I would have liked which was hot enough to have a hard time holding it with bare fingers. The I really tried cranking on the nib with just my finger power to try and rotate it to break it loose but no luck.. I'm afraid to use any mechanical means to put more force on it and end up snapping the feed or something. Does anyone have and suggestions of what else I can try? If I can't figure anything else out I'm just going to have to really get it hot and use some padded pliers or something to crank on the nib and pray nothing breaks. Also please don't suggest I send the pen to someone for repair, I don't believe in paying someone to do something that I could learn how to do myself given I try hard enough. I like to learn as much as I can and try to be as self-sufficient as I can, and I recognize that there are people out there that know MUCH more than me but I'm hoping they could give some input to help me out so I can try to do it myself instead of paying someone else and me learning nothing. Thank you. http://i.imgur.com/yRVVIz9l.jpg http://i.imgur.com/J7F1Z41l.jpg http://i.imgur.com/zaIkkvul.jpg
  3. Hello, Everyone! Some 35 years ago, my great grandfather gave me a fountain pen out of his "junk drawer". I took it home, found some ink somewhere and actually wrote/drew with it. Then, at some point (because my dad told me I should) attempted to clean it with nail polish remover. It softened the celluloid and made it "sticky". It ended up lost or in the garbage. Anyway, My GG was born in 1900, and the pen was a black and green striated celluloid with a gold nib (that much I can remember). Doing a bit of digging around the eBay, i've seen that Sheaffer pens come in that same sort of color, and I have recently gotten the bug to buy one. Right now I have almost all modern fountain pens (Edison, Bexley and Conklin) and a few older "mistakes" that need fixiing/ink sacs (Epenco lever filler, Webster button fill and 4 Arnold lever fillers that all work great, so I guess I can't call them mistakes!). Basically, my experience tends toward modern cartridge & cartridge converter pens. I would like to purchase a Sheaffer pen, because that green and black striped pattern reminds me of the one I destroyed/lost/threw out/whatever. I see lots and lots and lots of Shaeffer pens out there, but I have NO idea of what to look for. Is an older Vac Fill that needs repair better than an older Lever fill that needs repair? How much should I budget? Should I buy a working pen that's been restored? Sooooo many questions. Not the least of which is.....How much should I budget for a working pen? $100.00? More? Less? Any and all advice would be appreciated. Even if you could point me towards a reputable dealer or two. I'd much rather buy from a person/store than eBay, to be honest. --Eric
  4. R.D. Herring

    How Is It Supposed To Fill?

    I recently bought a Sheaffer Balance with a vacuum fill mechanism. When I went to clean it, I realized that there was ink caked on the feed and set about cleaning it. During that process, I noticed that the only way the pen would fill was in the up-stroke. This is my first vac fill fountain pen, so I am not well acquainted with how they're supposed to work. But, from what I know of modern vac fillers, they fill by the release of the vacuum made while pushing the plunger down. Is this a common problem with these pens? If so, is there a simple fix?

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