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Repair Swan Mabie Todd Section Missing Sac Nipple?


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My friend has given me a Swan Pen made by Mabie, Todd & Co., to see if it can be repaired. It came with a ziplock bag of pieces, so I knew that the lever filler was broken. The lever no longer stays hooked onto the tiny part that attaches it to the press bar.


I've already been in touch with someone on here who might be able to fix the lever, fingers crossed. :)


I managed to get the barrel and section apart, and found another surprise. The sac nipple isn't there. Still, looking on the bright side, I was able to knock the nib and feed out and they are now both clean and ready to put back in. There are two very small and very thin bits of plastic in the ziplock baggie, so they may be the remains of what was once a sac nipple.


Is it possible to reconstruct a sac nipple on a pen that is missing it's original one? I don't have a lathe, so I can't make a new section, or cut and drill out a plastic rod to make a new nipple from.


Has anyone managed to reconstruct a sac nipple without a lathe? Or does this need a new section? Can it even be repaired at all?




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I've repaired some awful hack jobs where the sac nipple was replaced with whatever fit or was on hand. Da Book suggests using a bit of a cartridge. But nothing sticks to that plastic. You really do get the most satisfactory results with a lathe and machined hard rubber. The repair can be completely invisible when done right. The pen is worth it.

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I've repaired some awful hack jobs where the sac nipple was replaced with whatever fit or was on hand. Da Book suggests using a bit of a cartridge. But nothing sticks to that plastic. You really do get the most satisfactory results with a lathe and machined hard rubber. The repair can be completely invisible when done right. The pen is worth it.


Thanks Ron. I haven't found any hallmarks, so I'm assuming it is gold plated. I was considering whether a piece of cartridge would work, but that still leaves me with a small metal lever connector that's missing a way of keeping the lever attached onto it. In fact I already smoothed off the spikey rough edges of where the old sac nipple was.


Where the clip top joins to the barrel it says: “Patent Jan 19 1915" plus on the other end around the barrel it says “Swan Pen” Mabie, Todd and Co., New York Made in U.S.A.


Inside the lid of it’s original box it says Mabie, Todd and Co., Ltd. “Swan” Self-Filling Pen. London.


So "she's" an old lady. :) Definitely worth fixing. :)

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I was able to reconstruct a sac nipple to a P51 without a lathe. Using just my fingers and of course, my brain, :) I was able to rebuild the sac nipple.





Cleand and removed the softened nipple and made a new nipple using a pretty thick plascic tube of appropriate diameter. Shaved one end of the tube to make it press fit tightly into the connector opening.




Inserted the shaved/trimmed end of the tube into the connector opening and glued it in. Also cut the excess part of the tube.




Lastly polished the joint and it turned out like this.



Edited by mitto

Khan M. Ilyas

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If you can get the remnants of the old nipple filed perfectly flush with the back of the section you could countersink the back end about 1/4 deep and just wide enough to insert a piece of brass tubing to use as replacement nipple.


The bore of the countersunk section would be increased by the smallest increments possible (1/64 using fractional drills) until the correct bore diameter is reached and this could be accomplished either with a drill press (preferable) or by turning the drill bits by hand as if they were reamers. The brass replacement nipple could then be epoxied into place.


After completing such a tedious task (and risking further damage to the section), you would end up with a repair that would work but wouldnt be especially sexy and likely wouldnt hold up anywhere near as well as the proper repair that Ron suggested.

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For anyone else who comes across this thread -


If you can't repair the nipple the "right" way with a lathe, i.e. making a true replacement, there is an easy way.


Sand the end of the section so it is clear of remnants of the old nipple.

Take any junk donor section and cut off the nipple. Be sure it is a little larger diameter than the original.

Use Loctite 480 and just glue it on to the section. I advise gluing the original inside end to the section (put it on backwards). That helps make it a good square straight nipple off the section, and not askew if your cut was a bit off. It will look good, but not perfect. The glue will hold this joint together just fine. It is an easy "save" for the section for pen people with spare parts and glue, but no lathe.



As for a Swan bar that falls apart, one option is to forsake originality, use the perfectly good lever, but replace the inside with a J bar. The lever, bar and slide are difficult to repair, but it can be done.

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