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How To Tighten Up A Loose Section


sundragon
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Hello, I have a couple of older fountain pens Mabie Todd, Wahl, and Waterman that have loose sections. One is BCHR, the others are celluloid. The section with the nib and sac are loose and you can easily turn them in the body or worse they can slide out with a little pressure and or come off with the cap being unscrewed and get stuck in the cap.

 

I've read that in the olden days they used shellac but I don't want to make servicing the pen difficult. Especially on 70-90 year old pens that are now more brittle and delicate.

 

Would a drop of shellac vs shellacking the whole section that fits in the body firm it up?

 

What do you recommend?

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Shellac yes, but not the way you think. Paint a layer round the section and let it dry thoroughly, with any luck that extra thickness will hold things in place when you replace it in the barrel.

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Shellac yes, but not the way you think. Paint a layer round the section and let it dry thoroughly, with any luck that extra thickness will hold things in place when you replace it in the barrel.

This is very clever! Would this work on lose slip for hard rubber caps too? I have a Watermans No2 and No22 with lose caps. I have stuck scotch tape inside the cap, which helps make the fit right. But, I need to replace it every now and then. I am wondering if the shellac trick might work. Thoughts?

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This is very clever! Would this work on lose slip for hard rubber caps too? I have a Watermans No2 and No22 with lose caps. I have stuck scotch tape inside the cap, which helps make the fit right. But, I need to replace it every now and then. I am wondering if the shellac trick might work. Thoughts?

 

You would probably need a thicker layer in a cap, and it would wear off because of repeatedly putting the cap on and taking it off.

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the best advice is 'try it and see' - don't bathe the barrel threads in the stuff - just sufficient to create some additional substance. IMHO, personally I don't think I would try this - if the cap jams there's always the danger that too much force might be needed to free the cap, but if the pen has little value then no harm in having a go.

 

Am sure I remember previous threads on the subject of shellac being used to tighten a loose section to barrel join, and seem to recall it did have the seal of approval, although I always have this dread that the two parts will stick together too well. Knowing the problems experienced when trying to remove sections from old pens, where shellac had been used as a sealing compound - I'm worried this is stacking up future problems when wanting to replace a sac, for example .

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Another direct hit for Pen Lady. Letting the shellac dry lets you add other layer if necessary.

 

In extreme cases, I've used (sparingly) a couple of tightly-stretched rounds of plumber's tape (non-adhesive), which lets you control the thickness and grabs well.

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Shellac yes, but not the way you think. Paint a layer round the section and let it dry thoroughly, with any luck that extra thickness will hold things in place when you replace it in the barrel.

 

That is awesome! Thank you. Didn't think of that. I will try and let update. I was afraid of having it stick because the hard rubber pens become more brittle as they age.

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