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Reform Rekord 18 - Looking For Disassembly Advice



stephanos
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I have two vintage pens by Reform. One is the Astra model (steel nib) and the other is the Rekord 18 model (14k nib). Both are filled using an external piston rod that you screw into the back of the pen (in that respect, like an early prototype of CONID's filling system). The Astra works fine, but the Rekord needs a new cork.

 

And there's my problem: I don't know which end of the pen I should be trying to open. I can't find anything on FPN that might help (only this report from 2014 of a self-destructing model).

 

The section on the Astra can be unscrewed, which speaks for trying the section on the Rekord. That was my first thought. But nothing budges on the Rekord even after application of gentle heat, and I really don't want to break the pen in an uninformed effort to open the wrong end.

 

On the other hand (end) the Rekord has a kind of 'blind cap' and it looks like there are gaps at the end of the barrel for a screwdriver. That makes it tempting to try to unscrew the back - but that could so easily be a recipe for a broken pen.

 

Do you have experience with this model? Do you have any suggestions?

 

Here are two photos that I hope will help. Apologies for the poor quality - I have only my phone camera at present.

 

1. The barrel (I've pushed the internal mechanism along the barrel to make both ends more visible)

fpn_1471378947__reform_rekord-drgm-18_ba

 

2. Focus on the back

fpn_1471378968__reform_rekord-drgm-18_ba

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I am almost certain that the section will unscrew from the barrel. Consider soaking that end in water for 2-3 days and then trying gentle heat. I have a had several German pen that took some effort due to the glue used to seal section threads.

I suggest looking at listings on eBay. The pictures on the listing can be invaluable reference for the restoration.

Here is one but it it has a different blind cap compared to your pictures. http://www.ebay.com/itm/vintage-part-for-Fountain-Pen-Reform-Rekord-18-D-R-G-M-WWII-GERMAN-OFFICERS-RARE-/122062656415

 

Loads of patience and good luck.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thank you very much indeed for the tip.

 

The pictures in the eBay listing were most useful, and led to my trying the take it apart from the front. Success!

I now have the pen disassembled (and undamaged). It was extremely tricky - as you indicated - certainly more so than any of the (small number of) lever-fillers that I've worked on.

 

If I had a spare pen, I would try to remove the back as well, though, because it looks like it should come apart. Interestingly, the blind cap in the eBay listing is very different, but the barrel and section look the same, and the barrel has exactly the same markings. Perhaps my pen was made just after the war, and shortages meant they just made do with whatever they could get their hands on (on the other hand, if the gold nib is original to the pen, then that theory seems flawed).

 

Now to make a new cork...

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Well, I managed to get the section and barrel apart, but haven't had the mental space to get the cork going. I'll need to cut the cork down to size - with pretty rudimentary tools - then 'cook' it in a 40% parafin oil/60% beeswax mix before testing it out. When I do manage to make any progress, I'll report it here. But don't hold your breath.

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I have a Reform Rekord 18 coming in the mail as I type. It is supposed to be in working order but I wonder if you and I will have similar adventures in the near future.

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Stephanos,

When you get your replacement cork made, I recommend you simply use 100% parafin wax. Bees wax is a bit "stickier" than parafin wax - and you don't want the seal to stick when it's traveling up and down the barrel. At the very least, use just 20% or 10% bees wax. I replace corks in piston fillers regularly, and just use 100% parafin wax. It doesn't take long to "cook" the cork in your heated wax; in fact, cook it too long, and the cork will swell & distort so much you can't use it. Also, just before I re-install the filling system, I give the cork a light coating of pure silicone grease.

Good luck, and keep us posted!

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Thanks for the experience-based tip, Don Jr. At this stage, I don't know when I'll have the time to make up the cork (perhaps I'll be tempted to 'cheat' when I go to the London pen show...), but I'll try the 100% parafin wax approach when I do (I guess adding beeswax is for longevity?). I don't have special tools, so plan to roughly cut the cork, drill a hole through it and then trim using sandpaper until it gets down to size.

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  • 4 weeks later...

My Rekord arrived and it was quite nice but the cork seems to be just a tiny bit small. Ink will get behind it and eventually start to leak out the end of the pen. I have tried simply soaking the cork with water in the barrel. This actually helped a bit but I think at this point it is not really going to swell any more. Is it necessary at this point to replace it or is there something I can do to salvage it? It will pull up a full barrel of water. It just needs a slightly tighter seal. Can anything be done? I do not think I have what it takes at this point to make a new cork from scratch. Will "cooking" in paraffin help at this point?

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  • 2 weeks later...

Alright, let me rephrase the question. Is there anyway to rejuvenate an old cork or should I just get it redone? I am tempted to do it on my own, however. Is there a place where I might find instructions with pics?

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  • 1 month later...

Just a brief update, as it's been quite some time: I have not yet managed to get to the 'cork-cooking' stage, whether with 100% parafin-wax or a 40:60 parafin oil:beeswax mix.

 

This is because I have been unable to make the cork exactly enough to shape. I can get it to about the right shape using a drill (and then careful application of sandpaper) to hollow out the centre, and sandpaper/dremel tool to shape the outside (measuring with calipers). But I just have not (yet) been able to get it exactly right. The best I've managed is a cork that does fit but is slightly too small, and that therefore doesn't make a seal.

 

I'm sure that extra tools would help, but the real problem is me: I haven't developed the skill yet (or I'm missing some or other trick). Not that I have copious amounts of spare time to practice, but I expect that I'll finally get it right some time.

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