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Expected Life Of A Sac And J Bars?



New_Falcon

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In the Ink For Esties thread Bruce in Ocala, Fl said that saturated ink will lessen the life over time of a latex sac.

This raised a question in my mind that if you have a Esterbrook should it be assumed that you should replace the sac every so often and if that's the case what would 'often' be?

I've just picked up two Esterbrooks and so am reading as much as I can about them and wondering generally how long should I expect the j bars and sacs to last.

WTT: My Lamy 2000 Fine nib for your Lamy 2000 Broad nib.

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Joe in Seattle

I have Esties with original sacs still going strong. They're the Jeeps of fountain pens.

 

My thought: if it ain't broke, etc.

"how do I know what I think until I write it down?"

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+1 what Joe said. I used my first J-pen daily in school, from 7th grade thru graduation (6 years) and never bothered to clean it. The sac was still good when I put it away to go into the Army ....

Best Regards
Paul


“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”
– Albert Einstein

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If the sac has been replaced with a modern latex sac, I can't answer your question even though I would like to. Something has changed, and the sacs we get today don't seem to last as long as they did 20 years ago. EPA regulations? Who knows.... An optimistic guess for life span would be 5 years.

 

I know that Esterbrook had at least one chemical engineer (I bought some stuff off of his widow several years ago) and from the markings on some of the pens I suspect that they developed their own formula for sacs.

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One thing nice about the Esterbrooks, is that with the interchangeable nibs, you can clean and flush the pen without hammering on the J bar. Just get a syringe, take the nib out, and gently flush out the sac from the section.

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........If the sac has been replaced with a modern latex sac, I can't answer your question even though I would like to. Something has changed, and the sacs we get today don't seem to last as long as they did 20 years ago. EPA regulations? Who knows.... An optimistic guess for life span would be 5 years......

 

-[sNIP]-

 

 

Hmm.. 5 years for the lifetime of a sac is a little below what I was expecting. I understand that it should be a reasonably easy job to replace the sac, but was hoping it would be longer than 5 years.

 

Thanks for the information anyway, I suppose I've got 4 years to read up on changing the sac.

WTT: My Lamy 2000 Fine nib for your Lamy 2000 Broad nib.

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I've heard about some modern silicone sacs. Are they good? Can they last longer?

 

Most excellent question, certainly related to their reaction to saturated inks anyway.

 

Ron, David or Farmboy should know those answers.

 

Bruce in Ocala, Fl

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Regarding the J-bars: in my limited experience they last a long time - certainly more than 5 years - as long as they don't get wet or tangled up with a corroded sac. I've replaced dozens of sacs on various lever filler pens, but have only had to replace about 5 J-bars.

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I've heard about some modern silicone sacs. Are they good? Can they last longer?

 

Take a look at this blog post. Since I wrote the post I have quit using the Vintage Pens silicone sacs because pens have come back to me "leaking." They were a great idea, but the gas permeability issue can be a big issue in some pens.

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I don't think of sac replacement as a matter of regular maintenance. You can feel when a sac has gone bad because the J bar will not spring back as it once did and you will often feel the dry sac crunch when you use the J bar. In my experience the life of ink sacs is highly variable. I've have found some Esties still working with their original sacs and I'veresacced some within the last ten years that need to be sacced again. I have no idea what accounts for the difference.

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Take a look at this blog post. Since I wrote the post I have quit using the Vintage Pens silicone sacs because pens have come back to me "leaking." They were a great idea, but the gas permeability issue can be a big issue in some pens.

"Every option has it’s trade offs. There are no silver bullets."

well done Ron.

my not your expert pondering is: during their high production years, Esterbrook found a manufacturer, additive or process that was stable.

Could this be replicated, or an inert substance silicone-like, some chain mixture mylarD/mellinex/polypro/silicone, that overcomes the gas perm + adhesive issues??? then this sac is applied (at times) to older fragile material.. then, people can't be convinced to store their fragile old material safely.. it's always going to come down to the cost, isn't it? timely replacement of rubber sacs keeps you in the biz :D

oh that posted weird, must be the quote.. too long need to edit later anyway.

Edited by pen2paper
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