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Confession Of A Restoration Wreck


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I now have a nice selection of both new and vintage (restored) pens. I love many of them and dislike very few. I also have a small collection of vintage pens in need of service - basic things such as cleaning, sac replacement, light nib smoothing, polishing and so on.


Over the summer I invested in some basic poem repair / restoration supplies. I read books. I watched videos. I started off with cheap pens with lots of problems. I built up some confidence in turning $3 EBay finds into decent writers.


And then I tried my hand on something a little more expensive, with only a few cosmetic problems. It was - and I emphasize "was" - a Waterman Stateleigh with a "wounded" section and some light wear on the nib and barrel. I got out my trusty micromesh and polishes and cloths. I rewatched some videos. And I set to work.


I did a fine job on the nib. The scratches vanished from the section and barrel. I put it back together and capped it - only to notice that the little gold ring was not there. I took off the cap and the ring was rigidly affixed to the section. Hmmm. I tried to pretty it off with bare hands then rubber grips. No movement. So I thought maybe a few seconds with the craft heat gun might help.


Well, I thought wrong. Two bouts of 5s each didn't work. So I tried 6 seconds. Then 7. 7 seconds is too long. I'm glad I was holding it with rubberized pliers as the section started smoking uncontrollably and I dumped it into a water glass. What was left in the grayish water was a little pile of ruined taperite, a tiny gold nib, and that stupid gold ring.


$29 is not a lot of money to learn a valuable lesson. But I shouldn't have needed to learn it firsthand. I should have known better. Oh well. I'll pay more attention next time.

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Even the pros dislike the taperites... Sorry to hear of your mishap. Most of us have had 'em. We live and learn.


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All three Waterman pens I have tried to use heat on to remove the section for resac have gone up in smoke to some degree. On the plus side I had three 18K nibs to use in replacing Laureat corroded nibs.

"Don't hurry, don't worry. It's better to be late at the Golden Gate than to arrive in Hell on time."
--Sign in a bar and grill, Ormond Beach, Florida, 1960.



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