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Leaky Lever Filler Where to Start



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I have a lovely little vintage Wahl ring top gold filled lever filler I picked up from Greg Minuskin a while ago (photo from Greg's website bellow). Unfortunately I am having some trouble with the pen: it floods and drips onto the page almost instantly when I start using it. I can sometimes get a line or two before it does so, but it almost invariably does so after that. 

At first I thought the issue was just hand heat causing air to expand and force ink out of the pen (which seems more likely given its tiny size). However, I don't think this is the issue since holding the pen upright in my hand for several minutes to heat it up and equalise air pressure does not help the issue. 


So I suspect there is some other issue with the pen: perhaps the feed is not properly set or there is an air leak somewhere? I live in Australia where it is 38c/100f today and I have carried this pen in my pocket so it is possible that heat has loosened something somewhere. 

What I would most like to know is how I should go about diagnosing the problem. The section seems to be quite tightly screwed in, I cannot remove it with reasonable hand force and I'm nervous about applying too much force with a vintage pen like this. 

 

I would prefer not to have to send it off for repair if I can fix the problem myself, but I will do so if I have to since in its current state it is basically unusable. 

Mods: I've copied this post over from the Wahl-Eversharp forum since I wasn't getting any response there, I hope this is ok.
 

rs=w:1280

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To eliminate air ingress, the first and simplest line of inquiry is the sac, either its point of attachment to the section or the sac itself.  You could reinstall the existing sac with fresh shellac on the cleaned section nipple, but if you already have new sacs, I would go straight to replacement.  

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If the pen is leaking and hadn't before now, a pen mechanic will go straight for replacing the sac.  Even a new sac can have flaws that cause the pen to flood, so we replace them too.  FWIW, I never reuse a sac...

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Visit Main Street Pens
A full service pen shop providing professional, thoughtful vintage pen repair...

Please use email, not a PM for repair and pen purchase inquiries.

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Ok, so assuming I do have to replace the sac, any ideas on how to safely remove the section? I don't want to break anything.

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Start with this tool: Pen Repair (now in its 4th Edition) by Jim Marshall and Laurence Oldfield

 

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You need a dry heat source and a gentle hand.  Prior experience is a big plus when it comes to a valuable or cherished pen.

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Working on an expensive pen with zero prior experience:

 

The positive: you can really feel the adrenaline going.

The negative: you get some experience in the end but no pen.

 

That’s a great book btw, Pen Repair.

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The sections on metal pens like this can be really tough to get out. As in really tough because the hard rubber cold flows to conform to the shape of the threads inside the barrel.  Heat is needed, in this case you can get it pretty warm and the barrel will conduct the heat, so I suggest a rubber grippy pad (made of the rubber mesh shelf liner) to grip the pen so that you don't burn your hands, and then try to unscrew the section.  Use section pliers, or fuel line hose slipped over the section to keep from marring it with a pair of pliers.  Don't let the jaws of metal pliers come in contact with the section.

 

An article about making your own tools can be found here.

 

The advice to have someone do the work isn't a bad one if you have never repaired a pen, because these usually are a pain to get open.

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Visit Main Street Pens
A full service pen shop providing professional, thoughtful vintage pen repair...

Please use email, not a PM for repair and pen purchase inquiries.

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