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My 61 Mk3 Disassembly And Repair (Thanks To 'custom Pen Parts')



terminal

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I happened across this late model Parker 61 and ended up paying $32 for it. It was in great condition cosmetically, but upon filling it, I found that it leaked ink everywhere. The ink was pouring out of the bottom of the spring-bar converter, even though it seemed like it was seated fine.

 

But let me back up for a second: for those unfamiliar (myself included), the 61 mark 3 was released in 1969 without the infamous capillary filler. Instead, it shipped with a system which was cartridge / converter, like the 45. So this pen is actually all original, and was made in England sometime between 1969 and 1983(!). Richard's Pens and the Parker Pens Penography have more information.

 

Getting the pen apart was difficult but not overly so. I soaked the thing in water for four or five hours, and kept trying carefully to loosen it. The only sticky wicket was getting the feed / nib unit out of the hood section. I just kept trying to unscrew it gently and finally it came out. The inside of the hood was a mess, so I spent some time cleaning.

 

In any case, the long and the short of it is that the connector was cracked. Apparently, Parker replaced the connector (which had been metal in the mk1 & mk2) with plastic, and it's known to crack.

 

And so, without further delay, here's the offending part:

http://www.suramar.org/fpn/parker61-mk3_02.jpg

 

This is where it fits in:

http://www.suramar.org/fpn/parker61-mk3_03.jpg

 

And this is the full disassembly:

http://www.suramar.org/fpn/parker61-mk3_01.jpg

 

I wasn't really sure what to do with this pen, now that I'd found the problem. So, To The Web, Batman! After a lot of Googling, I turned up a place called "Custom Pen Parts" in England. To my absolute delight and surprise, they make a replacement for this IN BRASS! And, it was $12! The folks who run the place are incredibly helpful, and "Roger" dispatched the part right away.

 

As soon as it arrived, I rebuilt the pen. The new connector was a perfect fit.

 

http://www.suramar.org/fpn/parker61-mk3_04.jpg

http://www.suramar.org/fpn/parker61-mk3_05.jpg

http://www.suramar.org/fpn/parker61-mk3_06.jpg

(gotta watch out to get that trim ring put back the right way)

http://www.suramar.org/fpn/parker61-mk3_07.jpg

http://www.suramar.org/fpn/parker61-mk3_08.jpg

http://www.suramar.org/fpn/parker61-mk3_09.jpg

http://www.suramar.org/fpn/parker61-mk3_10.jpg

 

It's really quite good looking. I filled it up with Iroshizuku Tsuki-yo because it's almost an exact match.

 

Unfortunately (and as Richard Binder mentions in his Parker 61 write-up linked above), the pen is quite fine and writes dry. It's not horrible, but definitely not to my taste. I wouldn't call it scratchy... it's still a decent pen, but I'll probably have it tuned (yes I wrote the wrong ink color here).

 

http://www.suramar.org/fpn/parker61-mk3_12.jpg

http://www.suramar.org/fpn/parker61-mk3_11.jpg

 

 

Just for reference, here's the mk3 compared to the mk2. The differences are nominal, save the filling system. You can see the hoods are a bit different, and apparently the cap is different on the inside, but it's nothing I can really tell.

 

http://www.suramar.org/fpn/parker61-mk3_13.jpg

http://www.suramar.org/fpn/parker61-mk3_14.jpg

http://www.suramar.org/fpn/parker61-mk3_15.jpg

http://www.suramar.org/fpn/parker61-mk3_16.jpg

 

In any case, I guess my summary is, yay for Custom Pen Parts!

 

But also, I personally am quite a fan of the Parker 61. I understand people's complaints about the capillary system... but I'm not as bothered by it as others are. I think it changes the way you use a pen, and I certainly wouldn't want all my pens to work that way, but it's not a deal breaker for me. Parker 61s can be had for a song and a dance. They seem to be more popular in England then they are elsewhere, so I've had good luck finding replacement parts too. I personally think the 61 is an undervalued pen.

 

"One always looking for flaws leaves too little time for construction" ...

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Say, that is a nice little bit of brass. I'll definitely keep them in mind when casting about for a part.

 

I think the 61, and Sheaffer's Snorkel, underline the differences in pen use between then and now-- not so many inks to choose from, and once you'd chosen you tended to stick. I confess to being a bit of a butterfly, and don't take my 61 out as much as it deserves.

Ravensmarch Pens & Books
It's mainly pens, just now....

Oh, good heavens. He's got a blog now, too.

 

fpn_1465330536__hwabutton.jpg

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richardandtracy

I have a Custom Pen Parts connector for my P65. The same crack had happened, and as it was a common part with the P61, I used it. Works well. The brass has since turned black, and now looks identical to the old plastic part.

 

Regards,

 

Richard

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Say, that is a nice little bit of brass. I'll definitely keep them in mind when casting about for a part.

 

I think the 61, and Sheaffer's Snorkel, underline the differences in pen use between then and now-- not so many inks to choose from, and once you'd chosen you tended to stick. I confess to being a bit of a butterfly, and don't take my 61 out as much as it deserves.

 

You have such a succinct way of putting things. I completely agree. I fear no capillary filler will ever be in my permanent rotation because they are simply too hard to clean if I want to switch inks. When I carry one, I generally choose an ink and stick with it until I want a break, then I clean it (for the next 4 hours) and put it back in the case.

"One always looking for flaws leaves too little time for construction" ...

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I have a Custom Pen Parts connector for my P65. The same crack had happened, and as it was a common part with the P61, I used it. Works well. The brass has since turned black, and now looks identical to the old plastic part.

 

Regards,

 

Richard

 

I figure it must be a fairly common failure if Custom Pen Parts is able to sell enough connectors to make it worth the time.

 

It will be interesting to see the brass change color. I'm not sure if that's a good thing or a bad thing yet...

"One always looking for flaws leaves too little time for construction" ...

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Would I be able to convert my cap filler to a converter filler with this thing? I love my 61, but the filler kills it for me.

Ok, my understanding (and I'm a little shaky on this) is that the mk1 and mk2 had different threads from the mk3, making it so the connector I used own't fit.

 

However, Custom Pen Parts also has what you're looking for :-)

 

For the same price as the piece I bought, they sell the Parker 61 converter / connector which is something they manufacture themselves. Here's the description:

 

 

This converter is specifically made in order to modify a Parker 61 pen that originally used the cappillary filling system to a cartridge system.

Manufactured by me they are made out of black plastic material suited to their use.
For the conversion the piercing tube from the original pen is utilised which is a press fit in the nib end of the connector and fits flush in the recess as can be seen in the photographs. The converter then screws into the barrel and seats on the ink feed to seal
The other modification requires that the barrel is opened out to accept the larger diameter of the cartridge
Have a look at the DOWNLOAD tab to see further instructions. Thanks to J.Marshall for content.

 

It's not as straight forward as what I did though. Also, don't forget about Richard's conversion thread too (also his other one).

"One always looking for flaws leaves too little time for construction" ...

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richardandtracy

Goodness me, I didn't realise there was a copy of that barrel making article still about after free Geocities were removed.

 

I had to get rid of that pen in the end. The hood had gone porous due to microcracks joining up from inside to outside and I got inky fingers every time I used the pen even after wiping it down before holding the hood.

 

Don't follow any of the other links from those pages - something (maybe one of the ads) seems to be infected with malware.

 

Regards,

 

Richard.

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