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Solution For Too-Loose Feed?



Paul-in-SF
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I have two pens that I've been working on, and although they exhibit different symptoms, I believe they are both caused by feeds that are too loose. I think both feeds are ebonite from the way they look and feel.

 

The first pen is a Wahl-Eversharp school pen or Thrift pen, cousin to the Skyline but with a blunt-ended barrel. At first it didn't take up water at all, and I realized it didn't have a breather tube. On installing a breather tube it takes up water, but as soon as I lift the pen out of the water, the water starts dripping out the end of the section almost before I can eject it with the lever. The nib and feed just slide in and the only thing stopping them from going further is some kind of stop inside the feed. The inside of the feed measures 5.33 mm, using my calipers, and the feed measures between 5.02 and 5.13 mm depending on where I measure it and in which direction (it's not perfectly round, apparently). The nib is an Eversharp nib so I assume that both it and the feed are original.

 

The second pen is a Mercurius, from Italy apparently. In this case the problem is that the outside end of the feed seems to be too small to maintain contact with the nib, and it just doesn't get ink. For this pen the inside of the section measures about 5.09 mm, and the feed measures about 4.91 mm; the feed also has a rather long taper, compared with the Wahl-Eversharp. I tried heat-setting the feed to the nib but it didn't seem to make any difference. The nib is a Warranted 14 Ct. Gold nib, so I don't know if it is original or not, but it does feel a little loose when installed. As with the other pen, nib and feed are easy to pull out and push in.

 

So that's my story. Can these pens be saved?

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fountainbel

The optimal solution - and in my opinion the only right solution - is turning the section out to a bore being approximately 2mm larger and make install an intermediate bushing in hard rubber

The bushing can then be secured with shellack in the section.

Alternatively you could try to apply some shellack at the backside of the feed and on top part of the nib and slide the nib and feed back in, align it and let it dry for a day.

Wishing you succes !

Francis

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Thank you; let me make sure I understand that: I should bore out the section so that it will take a hard rubber bushing, around 2mm thick, which would be both the right size to fit into the bored-out section, and into which the feed and nib would fit snugly?

 

I don't have any kind of equipment or experience or known skill to do that for myself.

 

I was wondering about applying a little thin rubber (I was thinking of using part of a sac, for example) to the backside of the feed. There is a short area at the back where I could shellac on something like that almost all the way around, skipping the ink channel, and it wouldn't cover any air channels either. Might that work?

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Francis’ method is the easiest and is certain to work. The lathefree way is to dig through the massive boxes of parts and find a different section or a different feed.

 

SF pen show is in a few days, the Lotts are attending which means boxes of parts.

San Francisco International Pen Show - They have dates! August 23-24-25, 2019 AND August 28-29-30, 2020. Book your travel and tables now! My PM box is usually full. Just email me: my last name at the google mail address.

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The optimal solution - and in my opinion the only right solution - is turning the section out to a bore being approximately 2mm larger and make install an intermediate bushing in hard rubber

The bushing can then be secured with shellack in the section.

Alternatively you could try to apply some shellack at the backside of the feed and on top part of the nib and slide the nib and feed back in, align it and let it dry for a day.

Wishing you succes !

Francis

I tried the alternate solution and it worked very well

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I had some luck (with persistence) on the Wahl Eversharp school pen. After looking at photos of the same model in various posts (thanks to those who posted their photos over the last couple of years), they all had larger nibs, like the ones you get on Skylines, while mine is a size smaller, and especially shorter. So I took a good grip and pushed it in just a bit further, and that was enough to push the back end of the feed against the section and seal off the ink supply from dripping out. The nib looks like it's almost too short or too far in to write, but it actually writes just fine, and it has a very nice feel to it. So I'm calling it good.

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The second pen is now working too. I swapped in a larger gold-plated steel nib which writes quite well, and that firms up the fit of the feed in the section. That will do very nicely until a gold nib of that size falls into my hands.

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Paul,

If the Wahl nib that fell out of my hands a few evenings ago falls into yours, please do let me know?

 

Tim

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FountainNewbie

A cheap but not elegant suggestion: wrap the feed and the nib altogether with teflon tape (only the part that goes inside the section). The ink 'feed line' is below the nib so the teflon doesn't affect it. Teflon is very thin so you can add thickness as required.

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A cheap but not elegant suggestion: wrap the feed and the nib altogether with teflon tape (only the part that goes inside the section). The ink 'feed line' is below the nib so the teflon doesn't affect it. Teflon is very thin so you can add thickness as required.

Interesting idea. By "teflon tape" do you mean the kind used in plumbing, usually white, and (if memory serves) stretchable?

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Interesting idea. By "teflon tape" do you mean the kind used in plumbing, usually white, and (if memory serves) stretchable?

 

BAD idea. I agree with Francis' assessment.

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A cheap but not elegant suggestion: wrap the feed and the nib altogether with teflon tape (only the part that goes inside the section). The ink 'feed line' is below the nib so the teflon doesn't affect it. Teflon is very thin so you can add thickness as required.

 

Bad idea if the nib and feed do not fit well together.

That would cause stress in the nib by forcing the nib around a too small feed, and "might" stress crack the nib.

I have one nib with a crack that we think may have been caused by that.

San Francisco Pen Show - August 28-30, 2020 - Redwood City, California

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  • 2 months later...

A cheap but not elegant suggestion: wrap the feed and the nib altogether with teflon tape (only the part that goes inside the section). The ink 'feed line' is below the nib so the teflon doesn't affect it. Teflon is very thin so you can add thickness as required.

Yep. This is a viable method for my application. I have used this on 3776 nibs successfully. I mainly use FP's for drawing so I work the nib in different directions. No use for flexing the 3776 XF or UEF since it's more for detailed line work, in my case.

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  • 1 year later...

I had the same issue again, this time considering not to use teflon. My problem was that I had to replace the feed. The original feed was not a standard size, but slightly thicker than the standard size 5, 6.

 

to fill the extra gap, I inserted a small piece of aluminum foil (for food) between the feed and the section. So, if the nib is on the upper side, the aluminum foil is on the lower side (opposite). I could fold the foil to double the thickness if required, but making sure it didn't fit too tight. It worked pretty well, no leaking and good ink flow.

 

I tried searching if aluminum reacts to ink (no results), I know steel nibs react to certain inks over time but I wonder if aluminum is safer?. 

 

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Remembering chemistry... if there is contact between the aluminum foil and the nib (steel, I'm assuming), I think you might get some corrosion... and even if no contact, the ink, mostly water, would contribute to that. I think it's basically a good idea, but I would not use metal foil. Maybe something similar in thickness, but plastic?

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