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Broken Vacumatic Clip Screw


AeRoberto
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Hello, I've just bought a Vacumatic Major without the clip and the jewel (I have some spare parts). Today, while I was trying to set a new screw to secure the clip I discovered that there are remnants of an old screw inside the cap. I am sure about it because the thin stem jewels fits well, while the thick stem jewels and the clip screws dont'. Since there is only a portion of the threads stuck into the cap, I am looking for suggestions on how to remove the old screw from the cap.

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you may want to try...

take an all pin, apply super glue to it's head...stick the head to the remaining part of the jewel. once secured try turning the all pin with a plas. the remains may unscrew out.

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you may want to try...

take an all pin, apply super glue to it's head...stick the head to the remaining part of the jewel. once secured try turning the all pin with a plas. the remains may unscrew out.

Thank you for the reply, but the problem is not the jewel, it's the retaining screw (brass made).

In the following picture, is the assembly from the left, and the brass screw is broken into the cap.

http://www.fountainpen.it/images/5/51/Parker-Vacumatic-Jewels-Dismount.jpg

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If only part of the screw is there, you may be reduced to cutting it out with a spherical bur on a rotary tool. If you do this, grind carefully so that you take out only the shank portion of the brass screw, leaving the brass threads there, still engaged with the plastic threads inside the cap. You can then pry the brass threads out with a sharp X-acto knife.

Edited by Richard
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I would try a screw extractor - the tapered variety that will grip the sides of the interior of the brass retaining screw. As with most pen repairs, a light touch and a bit of heat (140 degrees F) might help.

May we live, not by our fears but by our hopes; not by our words but by our deeds; not by our disappointments but by our dreams.

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Ha, Richard beat me to it - I would advise going with what he said!

May we live, not by our fears but by our hopes; not by our words but by our deeds; not by our disappointments but by our dreams.

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If only part of the screw is there, you may be reduced to cutting it out with a spherical bur on a rotary tool. If you do this, grind carefully so that you take out only the shank portion of the brass screw, leaving the brass threads there, still engaged with the plastic threads inside the cap. You can then pry the brass threads out with a sharp X-acto knife.

Ok, seems the best way to operate, although I will need to be very careful.

But before taking the bur I'm thinking I will try to glue (with some rosin based sealant) a screw inside and try to unscrew the brass piece. Stop me if I'm going to do something wrong :) .

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But before taking the bur I'm thinking I will try to glue (with some rosin based sealant) a screw inside and try to unscrew the brass piece. Stop me if I'm going to do something wrong :) .

 

I don't think the screw is going to do much good. If the brass bushing (its correct name) is still stuck in there, it's stuck with thread sealant, and it's tight, tight, tight. I doubt any adhesive other than a good 2-part epoxy will hold anything tightly enough inside the bushing, and even then the heat necessary to soften thread sealant that's 60+ years old will likely also not be particularly kind to the epoxy or the plastic of the cap. Also, there is a serious risk of gluing the bushing to the inside of the cap because there's no bottom to the tapped hole through the bushing.

Edited by Richard
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I don't think the screw is going to do much good. If the brass bushing (its correct name) is still stuck in there, it's stuck with thread sealant, and it's tight, tight, tight. I doubt any adhesive other than a good 2-part epoxy will hold anything tightly enough inside the bushing, and even then the heat necessary to soften thread sealant that's 60+ years old will likely also not be particularly kind to the epoxy or the plastic of the cap. Also, there is a serious risk of gluing the bushing to the inside of the cap because there's no bottom to the tapped hole through the bushing.

Ok, thank you. I will go with the bur.

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Richard, is there any reason not to try a screw extractor before going the rotary tool route? Obviously if you get too rough with the pen it will break, but I'm talking a more measured approach.

 

Thanks for your insight.

May we live, not by our fears but by our hopes; not by our words but by our deeds; not by our disappointments but by our dreams.

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Richard, is there any reason not to try a screw extractor before going the rotary tool route? Obviously if you get too rough with the pen it will break, but I'm talking a more measured approach.

 

 

It's always possible to try a screw extractor, but that's a tool pen people are unlikely to have, and small-diameter screw extractors are prone to snap. if this happens, you're dead stuck because you can't use a bur to remove hardened steel.

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Most hardware stores have easy outs AKA screw extractors in with the taps. I disagree with Richard, and would try one as IMO there is less risk of damaging the threads in the cap. Use the burr to remove all of the old jewel, then soak the cap over night in water to soften the dried ink that is most often the real reason why it's stuck. WD-40 doesn't seem to do much, but warming the cap will help. I've used an easy out many times, and had it fail once . That was where the clip screw was steel, not aluminum or brass.

 

IF you damage the threads they can be drilled out, a plug inserted, then the center drilled out and the tapped with the correct tap. It is a standard size, but I don't remember the pitch off hand.

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Richard and Ron - thanks for the replies. My abilities with the rotary tool are not great and I don't have an adjustable speed model, so if I run into this problem I'll likely try the easy-out first - but with the soaking and heat. I do appreciate the problem if the easy-out snaps without enough left to grab onto.

May we live, not by our fears but by our hopes; not by our words but by our deeds; not by our disappointments but by our dreams.

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