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Waterman's 52 Lever Fill Failure


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I bought a circa 1918 Waterman's Ideal 52 lever fill fountain pen two weeks ago. I had it filled with Waterman's ink at the store, took it home, and gleefully wrote with it until it ran dry today.


I started to flush it out with distilled water and after about 20, or so, fills and flushes it just stopped filling when I released the lever to fill it one more time.


No forewarning of impending failure, no breaking or snapping sound, nothing.


Any idea what this could be, is a fix simple? I am somewhat handy, but if this is a repair beyond my means, can someone recommend a place that works on lever fill pens that is good?


Thank you for any advice you can offer up.



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  • fotojake


  • gregamckinney


  • praxim


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I will leave recommending repairers to your fellow citizens for obvious reasons. However, I can't avoid mentioning .... after 20 or so fills and flushes.... ?? :unsure:


While it is being repaired, please buy a finger spinner or something to keep you occupied for ten minutes after you have filled and flushed just the few times needed. :)



Edited by praxim


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Sounds like the inc sac ruptured, it may have been old and already fragile. Or was the pen recently restored with a new sac installed? You can find plenty of information on how to re-sac a lever filler, it's fairly easy.

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Could just be a failed sac. Definitely shouldn't need 20+ cycles though.


You could buy a new sac and shellac and resac it yourself. Instructions are easy to find. Or you could send it off, and for about $25 and a few weeks away, you'll have your pen back as good as new.


Best Regards, greg

Don't feel bad. I'm old; I'm meh about most things.

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Experience is simply the name we give our mistakes.


- Oscar Wilde


Ha, ha. My OCD self wanted to see clear water pouring out of that nib. Next time I'll know better! Probably would have had to get it fixed after 15 more ink re-fills anyway, non?


Can't take it back to the shop - no returns on this vintage writer. From what I gather it had been sitting idle for well over 40 years. I was amazed that when it was filled with ink after all that time that it wrote right away. I believe the collector, who has a tray of vintage pens for sale in the shop, had cleaned it out once at some point. He told me that he bought it and other pens "by the dozens for next to nothing in NYC" back in the 70s.


It's been shipped off to be fixed and I should have 'er back in a few weeks.



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