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Parker "51" In Dire Internal Condition Send It In Or Not?


PDW123
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I have a 1948 all original (as far as I can tell, except for the section hood because of horrible cracks and missing pieces.) Parker "51" in india black. got it for free at a garage sale about 5 years ago because my name was Parker, replaced the nib hood that had horrible cracks and missing pieces with a new one and just recently got the vacuumatic assembly out. I did not like what I saw. I was planning on doing the repair myself, as I have done pretty basic restorations (sac replacements, nib alignment, nib grinding/bending)on some Sheaffers in the past, but when I opened it up all I saw was hardened ink and sac and horribleness (see pictures in link). So my question is: should I send it in to someone or fix it myself, if i fix it myself what do i use to get the gunk out of the barrel and what should I use to grip the feed to pull it out?

 

Images http://imgur.com/a/jvE3p

(sorry for the imgur link not sure if people like that site, but it is easy to use and the files were to big to attach)

first pen Sheaffer NoNonsense calligraphy in 5th grade was my mothers in the 70's. current collection includes: Noodlers Konrad, fake MontBlanc Starwalker, Hero 616, Platinum Preppy eyedropper conversion, 2 black 1 blue NoNonsense, Retro 51, touchdown tuckaway statesman, touchdown admiral with semi-flexy feathertouch nib, sheaffer school pen, and 1948 Parker "51"

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It's certainly fixable. The pellet cup in this filler looks like it's shot. You can buy a replacement filler unit or use epoxy to attach a makeshift pellet cup (there are threads on that here.) Whether or not you want to go to the trouble learning how to do this, just for the sake of one pen, is up to you. But having learned that myself recently, I'd advise you just to send it to a good pen restorer. It's not an expensive repair, just for one pen.

 

There's a lot of information out there on repairing these pens. I had several Vacs that needed repair, so I did it myself. It can be enjoyable. But in the process, I had a tendency always to want to use any spare parts to build another pen, which then required buying more pens and more parts, ad infinitum. I had to decide to go cold turkey on this habit, because otherwise I'd have to go into the pen restoring business, full on.

These are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives everything its value.--Thomas Paine, "The American Crisis", 1776

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It is indeed a slippery slope.

 

If the collector is packed with India ink, you might want to think about replacing it unless you plan to sit there and clean between every fin of the collectir with a piece of shim stock. Entertaining only if you are tired of watching paint dry.

 

Buy some Koh-I-Noor Rapidoeze pen cleaner and give everything a long soak. As in days, not hours, then see what happens. Soak before you try to take things apart, and use heat. The Lucite can handle a fair bit of heat, more than celluloid, without damage.

 

The pellet cup is more challenging. Noodle around a bit, and you'll find a fair number of suggestions on how to make a replacement. If you have more money than time, a replacement filler is a simpler option.

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Visit Main Street Pens
A full service pen shop providing professional, thoughtful vintage pen repair...

Please use email, not a PM for repair and pen purchase inquiries.

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Thank you so very much for the quick reply, I was expecting to have to wait a week or more. I think I will just send it in. Do you have any recommendations for repair shops, the only one around me closed more than a few years back.

first pen Sheaffer NoNonsense calligraphy in 5th grade was my mothers in the 70's. current collection includes: Noodlers Konrad, fake MontBlanc Starwalker, Hero 616, Platinum Preppy eyedropper conversion, 2 black 1 blue NoNonsense, Retro 51, touchdown tuckaway statesman, touchdown admiral with semi-flexy feathertouch nib, sheaffer school pen, and 1948 Parker "51"

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Take a look at the signature line in the post above yours - or this one for that matter. :) The queue isn't short, but the repairs are I think very good. I've done a few.... hundred.

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Visit Main Street Pens
A full service pen shop providing professional, thoughtful vintage pen repair...

Please use email, not a PM for repair and pen purchase inquiries.

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I can highly recommend Ron Z.

These are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives everything its value.--Thomas Paine, "The American Crisis", 1776

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I know nothing about restoration or this pen, but it's incredible what a long soak and a pair of long angled forceps can do in terms of getting old debris out of barrels. I've also managed to clean up calligraphy FP nibs that were totally jammed with old India ink; rusted, coated - you name it.

 

You'll get a much better idea of its viability once you've cleared some of the yuk. I've rescued nibs that I thought were beyond redemption; it's amazing what a good long soak will do. I've only ever used gentle detergents so don't know about proprietary cleaners, but leave it to soak then I find a baby's toothbrush and toothpaste will tease horrible clogs out of feeds, nibs etc without doing any damage. I'm sure restorers will be retreating in horror but its worked for me.

 

Here's one tip I DEFINITELY wouldn't advise though. Something was impeding the flow on a big broad nib a few days back and I was too lazy to deal with it properly. "I wonder if gently sucking it will clear the feed" thought Our Resident Genius. Of course it bloody cleared it, but anyone with a brain would've worked out why sucking a black-ink-filled pen probably wasn't a good idea...

 

Good luck with it.

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      Thanks for your input! Yes, not putting wood in the list of body materials warranting a mention was an oversight. I love pens with wooden bodies, but my main concern, or chagrin, is that I have not come across a wooden-bodied pen with a wooden cap that seals well. Actually, there is one, but it isn't really wood per se: the Pilot Custom Kaede's maple body is resin impregnated. All other wooden pens I have can dry out while capped and undisturbed; that includes several Platinum #3776 models.
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