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Aerometric Filler - I Found A Strange Piece!

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I am a user rather than a mechanic. I have a 1960s Parker English Duofold (same size as Junior but marked Duofold). I bought it as a user grade pen a while back and it has been fine until ink started leaking from the bottom of the sack.


Having done some FPN research,with great care and no difficulty I took it apart and found everything as expected. Until I realized there still seemed to be something in the ink sack and a tatty, thin, plastic rod fell out. This piece is solid, too large to fit in the breather tube, one end appears to have been snipped with pliers and the other looks to have some sort of residue.


The pen has clearly been re-sacked at some time (plain black rubber) and my guess is that this plastic rod was used for applying shellac and somehow got left behind (rather like surgeons and scalpels!)


I have attached a picture. Can anyone shed any light?


Thanks in advance, Martin



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  • martinbir


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  • Ernst Bitterman


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Slimfolds certainly have them, but I wasn't aware that larger sizes did. I assumed it was as Martin says, to break up ink surface tension, although I've also read the suggestion it was to stop the sac sides sticking together. Either way, I wonder if it contributed to making that hole in the sac? While I'd have no hesitation returning it to an original pli-glas sac, not sure how well ordinary rubber sacs respond to pointy sticks floating around in their innards.

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Well, thank you both for such speedy and knowledgeable replies. I know it has been said many times, but FPN really is an incredible resource!


The sac itself is undamaged. There seems very little evidence of shellac and I think it had simply come loose through lack of glue. As for the little plastic rod - it has spent nearly half a century as some sort of pen parasite so it seems cruel to separate them now.


Shellac is on its way and I am looking forward to my first bit of pen repair.



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Pen parasite. Heh! I misunderstood your "leak from the bottom of the sac" comment. My apologies to the parasite. Er, I mean the Little Rod That Could!

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Ernst Bitterman

I've found these in Aerometric Duofolds before so it was obviously a standard fitting. Maybe its function is similar to a ball in a converter?






I don't have a citation at hand, but I'd seen this mentioned previously-- a preventative against surface tension confining the ink to one end of the sac. It is meant to ride loose in the sac, and it was put there on purpose. I've seen it in smaller UK Duofolds and various "17"s.



While I'd have no hesitation returning it to an original pli-glas sac, not sure how well ordinary rubber sacs respond to pointy sticks floating around in their innards.


It's not very pointy (certainly nothing to cause the drill sergeant to release the tiger), and it doesn't have enough mass to force a hole in the sac, even if the pen is shaken vigourously while empty. Re-insert it with confidence!


...or as much confidence as we can ever have in our repairs, anyway.

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

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



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  • 2 weeks later...

Well, the pen has been back in action for 10 days now and all seems well.


I think the sac is actually a little too large which may have caused the original problem. Still, a second coat of shellac had if firmly in place. Only problem now is the sac is too long so the metal Aerometric cage wants to spring up slightly. I am allowing it to remain unglued for now.


Whilst doing all this I also removed the nib and feed for a thorough clean. There is no indication as to where the nib should be seated and I guessed wrong first time.The nib was too far out and flow very poor.


All fixed now though and it has been filled, refilled and finally flushed before resting again.


Basic maybe, but I do feel a bit pleased with myself. Thanks again for all the help available through FPN.

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