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How Do I Remove A Stuck (Shellac'd?) Barrel In A Casein Pen, And More? Cs Dinkie



BookCat

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Hi, I recently received a Conway Stewart Dinkie 550 which I purchased online; it was described as needing a new sac. I don't know much about casein, but read this on the CS website:

 

Casein is a protein derived from milk which following a 6-9 month pressure and curing process results in a beautiful, hard, lustrous material. This material was used extensively in pen making prior to the advent of modern resins and has been re-introduced by Conway Stewart on a range of models. Casein is a natural material and as a result has some properties that must be carefully handled. Firstly casein is water soluble - it can be wiped clean with a slightly damp cloth but if left submerged for any time it will begin to dissolve. Secondly the material contains pores which can swell and shrink when subjected to changes in heat and humidity. This can affect the fittings of the bands and so is best avoided in areas of extremes of temperature or humidity.

 

 

Firstly, if I can't apply heat to the pen, how am I going to unstick the barrel from the section, which appear to be shellacked (spelling?) together? I'll have to do this in order to fit the new sac.

 

Secondly, how does one clean the section of a casein pen without dismantling the nib and feed? I had intended to flush it out with a bulb syringe - if it will fit, the pen is so tiny - but wonder if this will affect the casein.

 

The nib is great, I've dip-tested it: it's flexy, which shocked me as I've never written with a flexy pen before. I may gently smooth the nib a little, I have lots of experience of doing this with very cheap pens, but this will be the first gold nib I've smoothed.

 

I would like to turn this pen into a good everyday writer and any advice you can give me about servicing and caring for this pen will be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

Catherine

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You cant, indeed should apply heat to the barrel to remove the section. However the barrel on the dinkie is prone to cracking, so you need to be careful.

 

The section / feed is not made of casein, so you can apply water once removed from the barrel

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I have used heat on cassein, but you MUST be very, very careful about too much heat!

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Thank you. So hairdryer rather than over a candle? Da Book has illustrations of pens being warmed over a candle, but I wonder if this would be too hot. If it's the hairdryer, I'll have to borrow one from a friend as I mislaid mine in a recent house move.

 

I have almost all the materials for doing the job now.

 

Thanks lots for the advice.

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Thank you. So hairdryer rather than over a candle? Da Book has illustrations of pens being warmed over a candle, but I wonder if this would be too hot. If it's the hairdryer, I'll have to borrow one from a friend as I mislaid mine in a recent house move.

 

I have almost all the materials for doing the job now.

 

Thanks lots for the advice.

 

This is one of a gazillion areas where most professional pen restorers think that Frank got it wrong. I really need to write an article about this stuff some day.....

 

Don't use open flame. Ever.

 

Open flame was suggested in the manufacturer's repair books for heating feeds, but they advised caution of you did. It might have been "safe" for hard rubber pens, but never for celluloid, casein, or any of the modern plastics. I say "safe" for hard rubber because it is possible to ignite a hard rubber barrel. It just takes more heat to do it. We have heat guns and hair dryers that are much more efficient and safer for heating barrels.

 

If you want a spectacular demonstration of why you shouldn't use open flame, go outside and take a chunk of a broken celluloid barrel and hold it out on the end of a long clothes hanger or something like that, then hold a lighter under it. Do it out over a concrete sidewalk or other hard, surface that won't catch fire.

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It's the equivalent to holding fire to gunpowder and praying that it doesn't burst into flames

 

Ron, let us know when the addendum to Franks book comes out

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Thanks. :yikes: So no open flame, got it. Would also like a "revised" version of Da Book, or at least modern footnotes. Let me know when this is available: will buy. :thumbup:

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Thanks. :yikes: So no open flame, got it. Would also like a "revised" version of Da Book, or at least modern footnotes. Let me know when this is available: will buy. :thumbup:

 

WES run various pen repair workshops. You should sign up for a series, and purchase the Marshall & Oldfield book that is the course study material.

 

Forget the "Da Book"

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purchase the Marshall & Oldfield book that is the course study material. Forget the "Da Book"

Agreed.

 

I have a copy of Da Book, just because there are some things that he talks about that others don't. But there are many things that I think border on downright dangerous. I understand that Frank was starting on an updated version when he died about 10 years ago. But there were some things that he wouldn't change.

 

BTW, a great resource for information on pens and how they're made is the one published by the Pen Collectors of America's new editor for the Pennant. John Veley has created a very comprehensive cross reference of pen patents. You can look up information from a number of different directions, and it will give you a patent number. You can then pull up PDF copies of patent information on line, which will give you all kinds of clues as to how the pen was made including drawings and discussions about how it's supposed to work. John had them for sale at the DC pen show, and will most likely be at Ohio too.

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Agreed.

 

I have a copy of Da Book, just because there are some things that he talks about that others don't. But there are many things that I think border on downright dangerous. I understand that Frank was starting on an updated version when he died about 10 years ago. But there were some things that he wouldn't change.

 

BTW, a great resource for information on pens and how they're made is the one published by the Pen Collectors of America's new editor for the Pennant. John Veley has created a very comprehensive cross reference of pen patents. You can look up information from a number of different directions, and it will give you a patent number. You can then pull up PDF copies of patent information on line, which will give you all kinds of clues as to how the pen was made including drawings and discussions about how it's supposed to work. John had them for sale at the DC pen show, and will most likely be at Ohio too.

 

Here's the link to Jon Veley's on-line books sales page:

 

http://www.jonathanveley.com/books

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Are there any repair books dealing with British pens? I have very few US pens, except a Monteverde. Thanks.

Catherine.

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The pen repair book by Marshall/Oldfield. Both are from the UK and members of the WES.

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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 have successfully parted section and barrel and got out all of the perished sac. The main problem I had was my assumption that the section would twist off when it really pulls off. I realised this and eased the two apart.

 

The section is now soaking overnight in water. The feed looked very dirty with old ink. I haven't taken the nib off, just looked at the back through a loupe.

 

All going well so far. In the morning I'll give it a good flush with water then try to fit the sac.

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