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Skyline Command Performance And Gold Award Disassembly


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While I had this apart, I thought I would take a picture to benefit others.


The pen is a solid 14kt Command Performance. It had a very dented body. To gain access to the inside, to fix the dents, the pen had to be broken entirely apart to burnish the dents out.

When burnishing the dents, it is better to get most the dent out and stop, than over do it and create a surface (outward) bump.

The metal bodied Skylines have a plastic piece which presses and glues into the metal body, it is the threaded part in the picture which is next to the gold shell; I refer to it as the "Plug".

This layout is true of both the Command Performance and the Gold Award. The body shell does not have plastic/hard rubber/celluloid under it (part of the reason why they dent). The cap Does have an inner liner. It has the usual fault that the cap liner has shrunk, and the shell is no longer bonded to it. This will be addressed in the restoration.

To replace the sac the Plug must also be removed. The Sac is NOT glued to the section on this model, it actually glues to the Plug.

The section needs to have a good seal where it presses into the Plug, otherwise, you can get leakage.


This is an earlier model Command performance, you can tell by the fact the "tail" of the body is more pointed than later produced Command Performance pens. The same is true on Gold Award (gold filled) pens as well.


A little background on this pen, it was an eBay find. The seller originally listed it as a "gold plated coronet" in his first (brief) listing. After a day he re-listed it as a gold plated pen. I made an offer on the pen, which took the dents into consideration (and the risk of destroying the pen getting it apart to fix the dents. He accepted the offer, he probably wondered why his dented "gold plated pen" got such a large offer, but he accepted the offer within 3 minutes. Some kind of insidious purple ink had been used in the pen, and the sac was so tender you could pull it apart with your fingers. The sac had the strength and consistency of properly cooked pasta. Tomorrow it hits the ultrasonic cleaner, and then a bit more burnishing will be done on the dents. A new Skyline sac will be installed, and the nib may take a few tweaks to get it perfect. It always feels good to save a pen from being sold for parts, or gold scrap.




Edited by Addertooth
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That is Interesting info, thanks for sharing and for providing pictures for future reference.


I previously read that it was almost impossible to remove dents from these metal Skyline barrels because there is a metal inner barrel/inner bush that is difficult to remove without ruining the barrel. Possibly this is the case for the Gold Award pens vs the Command Performance. I would expect though that especially a solid gold barrel, because of its sofness, needs such a supporting inner bush.


Strange also that the sack is attached to the nipple on the Plug and not to the section.


Finally: do you have evidence from catalogs or other that the pointy (metal) barrels are indeed early Skylines?

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I derived the narrow tail information from a posting from Wahlnut (I believe). I have two examples of the Command Performance, this one has the narrow tail, the other is more blunt and rounded. You are correct that they splint the gold with a lesser metal on the inside (likely brass), but it is quite thin (about 15 thousandths thick), the gold measures at 13 thousandths thick (less than 3 times thicker than a dollar bill). However, with caution, you can burnish with the splinted metal in place, which acts as a buffer and helps assure you get less bumps (smoother) in the final result. It actually assures a better outcome (if you use reasonable caution and force). The point I was trying to make (but did poorly) was, unlike Waterman and Wahl earlier pens, there is no plastic/celluloid/hard rubber under the gold inside the body. On the earlier ring pens, that thick inner shell of plastic/celluloid/hard rubber made it impossible to burnish from the inside, and removing the shells almost always resulted in the destruction of the shell. On those pens, you usually have to live with the dents. (Or, fabricate a custom forming mandrel in the inside and outside of the pen, but that is a lot of work for a hobbyist)


Sub note 1: the one example I have of the matching pencil for the Gold Award is rolled gold over brass, with no splinting. The matching pen was rolled gold over silver with no splinting. So perhaps the splinting was a cost savings in manufacturing, to give the rigidity required, but without using over twice the amount of gold. The splinting somewhat belies (makes less truthful) the hallmark stamping on the Command Performance pens, which claims "14K Solid Gold".


Sub note 2: The gold's thickness was measured at the neck of the body, where the plug inserts. When you neck down a tube, the walls become thicker than the main body. As such, the main body probably is about (purely a guess) 10 thousandths of an inch (10/1000 inch thick). Keep in mind the cousin of the Command performance, the "Gold Award" is rolled Gold, which is stated to be 1/10th of the total weight of the body of the tube. The minimum standard for Gold filled is 1/20th of the total weight of the body (not including, sac, plastic pieces, lever, presser bar, etc).

Edited by Addertooth
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