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Story Of A Sheaffer Cadet.


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In case this might be of interest, here's the story of a Sheaffer Tip-Dip Cadet I now have.


Six months or so ago, I bid on an Ebay pen that supposedly was a Sheaffer Snorkel in excellent condition. I thought I was paying a very good price (around $20, as I recall it) and won the auction a little easier than I thought I would. After receiving the item, I realized two things: first, that it had been misidentified and actually was a Tip-Dip Cadet and, second, that the sac was brittle and disintegrated to hard pieces when I touched it.


I already had two Cadets in excellent condition that were previously sold to me by a much more honest seller. In fact, the previous seller had advertised a semi-flex SM1 nib and when the Cadet arrived with a plain medium M1 and I contacted him, he sent me a second whole Cadet with the SM1 nib and said to just keep both for the price of one.


Since I never got into the workings of the Cadet, I decided to just keep my third one, that had a broken sac. I took it apart and learned how it worked, but I did not feel very motivated to go out and buy a new sac (plus postage), since I already had two working Cadets (actually, one working one and one that never had been inked). I thought that I'd like to just see if I could get the third one into working condition, as long as I had it sitting around. Its one redeeming feature was that it had a fine F1 nib, different from the SM1 and M1 I had on the others.


It just sat around until I started scrounging around for an unbroken sac I could try on it. I pulled the sac from a Wing Sung pen I had in a drawer that I never used because it had a bent squeeze filler. The sac looked supple and as good as new. My next problem was that I had no shellac, so, just for fun, I decided to see what would happen if I mounted the Wing Sung sac on the Cadet. Since there was a tight sac protector, I thought I might get away with using no shellac. The o-ring and blind cap gaskets were also shot and I found an o-ring among my plumbing washers and made a blind cap gasket out of some of my cut sac material. Well, it wound up working pretty well and I've been using it.


Recently, I began to worry that it might leak and destroy my shirt, due to the lack of shellac. I searched and searched for people who said you could use a sac protector without shellac, but to no avail. Everyone said you needed shellac. Not wanting to buy a whole pint or order a bottle when I only needed a drop or two, I searched for a woodworking shop. This morning I found one and the owner kindly invited me to stop by for a free ounce or so of orange shellac. I went there this afternoon, ready to explain my strange reason for shellac: to repair a fountain pen sac. To my surprise, the woodworker turned out to be an amateur wooden fountain pen maker! I showed him the pen I was working on and he showed me his wooden self-made cartridge pen, some of which he sells on Etsy auctions! Since he doesn't use sacs, he actually never had heard of using shellac for this purpose. He also complained about his pens getting plugged up. I told him about using a 1:10 solution of ammonia and using a syringe to force water through the feed.


So, as I wait for the shellac to dry, I'm still not sure if I need a third Cadet like a hole in the head or not. But, it was an interesting experience, in any case.post-71270-0-63387600-1377549243_thumb.jpg

Edited by rff000
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I had gotten a tip dip with a metal cap for $15 and was having some fun with it - unfortunately the clip has given out so I'll have to find a new cap. You should familiar yourself with snorkels as you noted there was not high demand for the auction as others could tell it was not a snorkel. The earlier touchdowns are wonderful as they have the touchdown filler without the complication of the snorkel. That is not to say I don't like snorkels just the simplicity of the touchdown is unbeatable.


Roger W.


All the snorkel colors

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When I realized that the Tip-Dip is essentially not that different from a Snorkel, I stopped searching for one and feel content with my 3 Cadets with different nibs. Actually, I bought an NOS Snorkel around 15 years ago and used it for several years. It broke when I cleaned it too vigorously, by pulling the blind cap in and out while the snorkel tube was in water. I sold the broken parts for $30, though, to a well-known Snorkel restorer. The NOS new one had only cost me around $27, so I'm not really too sad. I'm just feeling my ignorance, first for ruining a good Snorkel and then for not recognizing a pen that wasn't one when I should have seen it on the photos. Luckily, I'm not a professional restorer. I can only imagine the horrible mistakes I'd inflict on an unsuspecting public!! I'd need fountain pen malpractice insurance and I'm not even sure they sell it.

Edited by rff000
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