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Pelikan 100N: Repair Questions


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Many months ago, I bought two old Pelikan pens quite cheaply (they were worth it for the OB and Fine 14k nibs alone). Each pen is slightly different, but they seem to be variations on the 100N produced in the late 1940s or early 1950s (based on the nib, piston, and posts on FPN such as this one). These pens are pretty, and I'd like to be able to write with them. But I'm not prepared to invest a large amount of money in order to do so: the value to me is at least as much in the learning effect of trying to get them working again myself. So, with that in mind, I have some questions, and would be very grateful for any wisdom or tips.



1. Piston seals

Each of the pens will need a new piston seal (synthetic, not cork), as they draw some water, only to leak from the back of the barrel (via the piston knob). I have been unable to find a supplier in the European Union. Can anyone point me in the right direction?


(I know I can get parts from David Nishimura's site, but I want to buy from a seller based in the European Union: I am allergic to paying handling fees in addition to the inevitable P&P and taxes, plus having all the extra hassle of sorting out this additional payment.)



2. Cracked section

One of the pens has two hairline cracks in the section, one on each side. It doesn't presently seem to be a huge problem - I can still screw the nib unit in and out and there is no indication that the cracks open up when I use the nib gently - but it can't be good for the pen. I'm tempted to use a little superglue, or to try some shellac. But perhaps there's a tried-and-trusted way that I have not turned up. Can anyone suggest a way of repairing the cracks?



3. Screwing the piston back in

I was able to remove the piston on both pens without too much trouble. And in each case, I was lucky that the threads are still intact. But, weirdly, the piston seal on one of the pens now seems to be too big to be able to fit back into the barrel. That is, I have made no changes to the piston mechanism beyond cleaning it, but simply cannot screw it back in. I know it's a problem with the width of the seal, because when I remove the actual seal, I can reinstall the piston mechanism without any trouble. I have tried with the piston from the other pen and have had the same problem (both pistons can screw into one of the barrels, but not the other). Can anyone offer an explanation? (I don't have a good enough camera to take a photo down the barrel)



4. Going via Pelikan

Finally, I saw somewhere on FPN (cannot remember where) that it is possible to send vintage pens to Pelikan and that they will repair them for a reasonable fee. That may be an option if I get nowhere on my own. Can anyone confirm that, and/or have any experience with doing so?


Thank you!



Edited for greater clarity in Q3.

Edited by stephanos
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  • soapytwist


  • whych


  • stephanos


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Superglue doesn't work for crack in pens.

I think Pelikan now charge for repairs so to get the seals replaced and the cracks repaired, it's probably easier to send it to one of the professional guys to do.

If you tell us where you are, we can suggest a repairer near to you.

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As an answer to 1), I'm in the UK and ordered my seals from David with no issues at all.

I'm sure if you send the pen to a pro repairer for the other problems, they'll have seals and can sort that out at the same time as the other repairs.


For 3), does the piston seal enter the barrel and then stop? If so, you might find that the seal is sticking on the threads that the piston screws into, and screwing the piston seal in the direction of the threading (so anti-clockwise) may help get the seal past the threads and onto the smooth inside of the barrel. It should then move more easily (especially if you have dabbed some silicone on the seal). A gentle rocking of the piston also helps ease the seal down.

"Truth can never be told, so as to be understood, and not be believ'd." (Wiiliam Blake)


Visit my review: Thirty Pens in Thirty Days

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Thank you, both.


Whych, I spend lots of time in both the UK and Germany, so either would work. Of the two, I think I may have a mild preference for a UK-based option. When I was (even) newer to FPs than I am now, my partner sent a family heirloom to be serviced by a professional repairer in Germany. It was pretty expensive. Even though that's a sample of only one, I am a little wary of the cost of having actual repairs carried out in Germany.


soapytwist, for 3), the piston problem. I did as you suggested and... It works! Hooray. Thank you again.

For 1), non-EU sellers. I know that it is possible to have a parcel sail through without getting snagged, but it's by no means guaranteed. I am once-bitten-twice-shy, and others on this forum have reported getting stung. I simply won't buy from outside the EU unless there is no alternative, as it's not worth the extra cost and hassle.



So, to sum up, I'll look at finding a repairer for the crack in the section of the one pen (you both recommend I don't try this myself). Before doing so, though, I'll work on the other pen myself, and for the moment, my priority is therefore finding someone in the EU who can sell me piston seals.

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