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Parker 61



mongrelnomad

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mongrelnomad

Hi all,

 

I have been clearing out my grandfathers things and have just uncovered a solid gold Parker 61. It is an absolutely gorgeous pen.

 

The reputation of the capillary filler system preceded it - there is a reason I have half a dozen 51s and no 61s. I would love to start using the pen; what do I need to know? How do you fill this thing, how do you change inks, how do you keep it clean and stop it from clogging? Is it possible at all?

 

Thanks in advance...

Too many pens; too little writing.

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Take off the cap and unscrew the barrel.
Fill cup with about an inch of cool water and stick the end of the capillary filler into it.

If after a few seconds ink begins to come out the end of the filler then it is likely that the pen had some amount of ink in it when put away and that ink will need to be cleaned out.

Dried ink will need to be exposed to water to re-liquify and be removed.
I would be gentle and soak the filler in water for a while before trying to remove the ink.

Soak the filler and then put the pen nib down into paper towel to drain the ink through the feed and nib. (Since capillary action would bring water up that far.)

Repeat.

Repeat.

When the water through the nib is almost or mostly clean, then I would try to draw water in and out with an ear-bulb to flush the last remaining ink residue.

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inkstainedruth

You could do what Glenn-SC suggests with the added suggestion that you could write with the reconstituted ink. I bought my first 61 at DCSS one year, and the seller suggested sticking the pen (barrel removed) under the faucet, nib down, to flush the ink, but since I have hard water at my house, I did NOT want the innards gunked up with mineral deposits, so I used a bulb syringe with the tip cut partway off so it fit over the back end of the capillary filler. and flushed from behind using distilled water. Once I got ink flow, I used the pen till it ran "dry"; then I repeated the process -- ended up using whatever ink had dried in the capillary and feed for around four MONTHS, until the ink was diluted to the point of illegibility on the page. :D

Finding your grandfather's pen -- that *alone* is priceless.

Ruth Morrisson aka inkstainedruth

"It's very nice, but frankly, when I signed that list for a P-51, what I had in mind was a fountain pen."

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mongrelnomad

Thank you both. I filled the pen with distilled water, and left it to dry. There appears to be ink in it (enough to stain the paper) but not to colour the water.

 

Here is the pen. I initially thought it was solid gold, but now I think it may be rolled gold. There are hallmarks on the barrel - would people more familiar with vintage Parkers be able to tell?

 

TKI01Lv.jpg

Too many pens; too little writing.

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Great pen.

 

Parker 61 Capillary fillers have their pluses and minuses. They like a simple washable ink such as Parker Washable inks, they hate saturated inks. They like to be used each day and they like repeat fills of the same ink. They like to be washed through, use an ear bulb to pump water through the nib, but if the pen still has the gold dart on the section know that many have lost their dart whilst it is being washed out, and it will be almost impossible to fit the dart to manufacturers standard.

 

The plastic used in the section is prone to shrinkage and cracking, its a great pity that the 61 isnt made of the 51s Lucite.

 

The 51 is easy to live with on a daily basis, the 61 is a bit high maintenance, rewarding, but still high maintenance.

 

Edited to add about filling the pen. You are supposed to fill the pen by dipping the pen in ink and leaving it for 20 seconds, wipe the Teflon clean and off you go. I always think that you dont actually know if the capillary is full and whether there is water (or old ink) inside the pen. I fill my 61s over a sink and use a large diameter drinking straw, as from starbucks and such, put the nib into the ink and suck ink through the section up through the capillary and half an inch up the straw. You then know that the pen is completely full of ink.

Edited by Beechwood
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mongrelnomad

Thank you all for the advice and info. Judging by the hallmarks, the pen is 18k gold. It is absolutely beautiful, and I fully intend to use it. I will wait until I am back in London to deal with it properly, but hope I can get it up and running and in good health. I will keep this thread informed!

Too many pens; too little writing.

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Congratulations! Parker 61 is a lovely pen (underrated I think) and yours is really beautiful! I have my father's 61. He used it daily and all the letters he wrote to me were written with that pen. I know you will enjoy yours!

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I've been seeing so many amazing Parker 61s recently!

Congrats on the pen—I didn't know they also came in 18k versions, not just 9K.

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I've been seeing so many amazing Parker 61s recently!

Congrats on the pen—I didn't know they also came in 18k versions, not just 9K.

Neither did I. Congratulations! Enjoy it!

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