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The anatomy of the WAHL


spencerfan
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As I sit in solitude by the window on this snowy day in rural Pennsylvania, examining my little Wahl pen in the brilliant sunlight reflecting from the snow covering outside, I ask myself, " what is the inside of this little barrel actually supposed to look like?" After carefully loosening the stiffened remnants of the sac with the aid of a long quilting pin, all that remains is a long, narrow little metal bar, long edges folded in to create a sort of channel. I am perplexed, as I see references to something called a J-bar in every descripion of a lever filling system. But how could such a J-bar have escaped from behind/beside the sac (which was quite stuck to the sides of the barrel, let me tell you!)? What should I expect to find, or not find, inside the barrel of a Wahl?

Well, I realized that it was time to turn to my friends at the Fountain Pen Network for help. Do any of you have illustrations of the insides of the various Wahl models? I saw that Syd has a lovely illustration of the nib section of an Eversharp, I think it was.. Whether or not you have illustrations, can you tell me whether I need to order something beyond just the sac?

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The Wahl-Eversharp lever and presser bar assembly you are working with is an elegant little affair. There are 3 parts involved. The Lever, the Presser Bar and the Presser Bar Anchor or Guide the last of which most folks either dont know about or don't think is important, but it is.

 

When in place, the part of the lever that is then inside the pen barrel has two little "ears" that fit inside the rolled edges on the upper surface of the presser bar. The presser bar rolled edges do not extend the full length of the presser bar. There is a short area at the rear end of the presser bar that gives space for the ears when aligned with the rolled "channels" of the presser bar to engage when the presser bar is slid into the barrel on re-assembly. You will also notice the the end of the presser bar is shaped like a "T". That is that there are cuts from the sides of the presser bar about 1/16" from the end. These slits engage with the presser bar anchor/guide that is seated in the end of the en barrel as the lever engages with the lever ears andis sent all the way home into the barrel. When this is done the Presser bar anchor/guide is attached to the end of the preser bar and the assembly is sent home while simulatneously driving the presser bar anchor/guide into place. The presser bar anchor/guide allows the preser bar to move parallel to the sac as it is presed inward and thus the presser bar presses the sac uniformly the entire length of the sac. It also retain the lever in place and keeps it from moving longitudinally in the barrel. Thus avounding the possibility that the presser bar will move forward and pinch the sac near the sac nipple and wear out the sac at that point. Many restorers, leave this part out, but should not.

 

Here is a photo of the lever, presser bar and presser bar anchor/guide.

 

 

 

http://i9.photobucket.com/albums/a75/wahlnut/PresserBarLeverandAnchorguide.jpg

 

Here is the Lever with the "ears" that go into the presser bar slots

http://i9.photobucket.com/albums/a75/wahlnut/Levershowingears.jpg

 

Here is the lever shown with its ears engaged in the lever

http://i9.photobucket.com/albums/a75/wahlnut/leverinpresserslots.jpg

 

Here is a view of the presser bar anchor guide showing slot in which the t of the presser bar rides. By the presser bar traveling in the slot during lever use/ sac compression, the level presses the presser bar against the sac keeping the presser bar parallel to the sac as it complesses.

 

http://i9.photobucket.com/albums/a75/wahlnut/PresserBaranchorguide.jpg

 

A special tool is used to seat the assembled presser bar and anchor guide into the barrel and onto the lever ears.

 

I hope this helps.

 

Syd

Syd "the Wahlnut" Saperstein

Pensbury Manor

Vintage Wahl Eversharp Writing Instruments

Pensbury Manor

 

The WAHL-EVERSHARP Company

www.wahleversharp.com

New WAHL-EVERSHARP fountain and Roller-Ball pens

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Indeed, Syd, your photos and lucid explanation help me a great deal! thank you.

My little presser bar resembles yours in every respect but one, the t-end, unfortunately. Strangely, I can't feel any roughness indicating that it had somehow been broken off. The presser bar does slide onto the ears of the lever, and moves nicely when the lever is lifted, albeit not perfectly parallel to the length of the barrel, of course, there being no t-end and, furthermore, no little anchor for the missing t-end to fit into. I suppose that when I finally install the sac, I will discover whether my lever/pressure bar assembly functions effectively, despite the absence of the little aids. If not, I guess I will have to scavenge for a properly designed pressure bar/anchor combination. What do you think?

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You never mentioned what model of Wahl Pen you have. I just gave the reply based on the generic mainstream of Wahl Eversharp pens.

 

The earliest Wahl Pens (the BHR, RHR and the MHR from the Tempoint through the Wahl Pen era (1918 through about 1924) did not have the presser bar anchor/guide, so if your pen was an older model, it might not have had one either. As for the flexibility, do the thumbnails test as a rough way to tell.

 

Thumbnail Test:

Press the nib against your thumbnail with pen/nib held in the writing position (feed side down) and watch the nib tines separate as you press down. The thumbnail is sensitive to touch and pressure and the color od the thumbnail changes readily with slight increases in pressure. If the tines separate easily and the pressure on the thumbnail is light (the color stays pink and does not turn white(er) with the pressure required to move the nib tines apart, it is pretty flexible. Also the fingernail is easy to scratch and if you move the nib under light pressure along the thumbnail, you can sometimes see if the nib is rough and "scratchy" as it will leave a scratch mark on the nail.

Syd "the Wahlnut" Saperstein

Pensbury Manor

Vintage Wahl Eversharp Writing Instruments

Pensbury Manor

 

The WAHL-EVERSHARP Company

www.wahleversharp.com

New WAHL-EVERSHARP fountain and Roller-Ball pens

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I am relieved to learn from you recent post that the difference in my Wahl's pressure bar may be due to the particular model of the pen. I am not certain of the year, but I do see at the end of the cap the words

 

WAHL PEN

made in Chicago, USA

 

I had already done the thumbnail test after reading your first posting about the procedure. I think that the nib is not flexible. As there was also a little box of Esterbrook #784 medium extra firm school dip pen points in my mother-in-law's desk, I surmise that youngsters, whether in her youth, or when she was a schoolteacher, were not given flexible nibs, which they would probably damage in the course of mastering penmanship. I see from her mother's diary that her mother favored a flexible nib. At some time in the 1920's she notes that she has had to fill her pen several times in the course of writing, and that perhaps the pen "is in need of a tonic." My mother-in-law's diary appears to have been written with a non-flexible pen.

 

This is fun!

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David is right, about the Jbar style. The early all metal pens used such a method and some were hot soldered into position as well. If we confine our discussion to including just Wahl-Eversharp presser bar and sac filling systems, some of the earliest Whal Tempoints used the flat channel presser bar ala Boston Safety Pens Co, and some of the early metal overlay pens (pre All-Metal pens) used a one piece presser bar and inner collar that was pressed up inside the BHR inner BHR barrel sleeve. There were at least 6 other patents approved by the USPatent Office for Wahl that never so far as I can tell, made it into production. Anyway, I hope the information is useful.

 

Syd,

Syd "the Wahlnut" Saperstein

Pensbury Manor

Vintage Wahl Eversharp Writing Instruments

Pensbury Manor

 

The WAHL-EVERSHARP Company

www.wahleversharp.com

New WAHL-EVERSHARP fountain and Roller-Ball pens

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  • 6 years later...

Thanks very much for the pictures of the lever and bar and anchor mechanism.

 

I have a problem.

 

I just acquired an Eversharp Doric in Kashmir and although the pen is really quite nice, the lever "ears" is currently not engaged in the rails of the pressure bar. The pressure bar remains engaged in the back of the barrel. The lever is firmly anchored at the pivot point by the fulcrum pin embedded in the barrel.

 

Tried and tried, I have to reengage the ears into the rails but to no avail.

 

I would be really glad if someone can walk me through this. BTW, I'm a novice at pen repair and I have so far only replaced sacs.

 

Apologies if this is not posted in the right place or if this is already addressed elsewhere in the great archives of the FPN.

Edited by buntoro
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  • 3 years later...

For future sufferers:

 

1. you have to pull the anchor out. it's just pressed in to the back, so use your long nose forceps and pull it out. if your anchor is glued in the back, you have a problem beyond my ken.

 

2. turn the pressure bar at sorta kinda 90 degrees so you can put the little T into the anchor slot, then turn it back so the T is locked in. as noted above, the bar is now stuck at the back and the tongue-and-groove of the T and anchor means the bar has to move perpendicularly to the long axis of the barrel.

 

3. rubber band the lever down to the barrel. the ears will then be just below the inside of the barrel and at a shallow angle so you can slide the bar on.

 

4. now the tricky part... you've got the pressure bar with the anchor hanging off the back. ok, so you take the long nose forceps (and you might have to open up the slots [rails?] on the forceps end so the forceps don't get stuck under them) and geeeeeennnnnnttttly futz around trying to a) slide the ears under the pressure bar slots while not losing the anchor. it's not that complicated, but it does take a few tries.

 

5. once the pressure bar is on, remove the forceps from the bar (again, so they don't get stuck underneath the slots - which they can if you press the forceps back into the slots) - possibly using a finger at the front of the barrel as a stopper on the pressure bar - and then insert them in the barrel to push against the anchor in order to seat it at the back of the barrel. nice and easy. once the anchor is seated and you're sure the slots are on the ears, gently remove your forceps and you're done.

 

easy as pie.

Edited by porktaco
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  • 5 years later...

MarkSydney,

Yes, the reading of it, can sometimes be briefer than the Doing of it. 

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