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Revisiting the capillary filler of the Parker 61


david-p

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1 minute ago, Freedonian said:

I believe that may be the problem.  I can hear the sound of the spring being compressed, but I need to examine its condition.  The diagram shows that the sealing-valve assembly is held in place by the "tassie screw" at the end of the barrel.  I am sure it has not been removed since the pen was assembled around 1960.  My guess is I need to warm it  and use a soft-jawed pliers to loosen it.

 

Someone on Ebay now has NOS units. I have one sitting here now(along with a jewel) that I need to get fitted to the aforementioned Flighter.

 

I should probably grab a few more as I wonder how many of these act up over poor/incomplete sealing.

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2 hours ago, bunnspecial said:

 

Someone on Ebay now has NOS units. I have one sitting here now(along with a jewel) that I need to get fitted to the aforementioned Flighter.

 

I should probably grab a few more as I wonder how many of these act up over poor/incomplete sealing.

I searched Ebay and did not find them.  I found some on fivestarpens.com and ordered one.  They did not look like NOS.

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When I bought my first 61 (it was at a pen show), the seller said to just stick it under the tap, barrel removed and nib down, to flush it.  I didn't want to do that because I have very hard water, and so used a bulb syringe.  There was definitely ink in there when I bought it.  But I got it reconstituted enough so the pen would write.  And did that repeatedly every time the pen seemed to run dry.  And nearly four months later, when the ink was so diluted that it was to the point it was illegible on the page, I used the same process to flush it out fully.  

I don't put saturated inks in mine (J Herbin Eclat de Saphir worked really nicely in the first one). 

My issue with 61s isn't the filler -- it's the crummy grade of plastic that Parker used.  Nearly all of mine (I have four at this point) got cracks.  If Parker had made the barrels out of Lucite, the way they did for 51s?  IMO, they'd have given 51s a run for their money as the flagship pen line.  

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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To me, one of the more interesting possiblities with the 61 was the ink "cartridges"-basically the sponges full of dehydrated ink-that Parker made.

 

 

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I have a black 61 that I got in an eBay pen lot. I restored it and it is one of my best writers. I only use Waterman Mysterious Blue Ink in it (Per Richard Binder's recommendation) and I have had no clogs so far. My only problem with it is that it slowly leaks ink from the place where the Teflon cell and the section barrel threads meet. Tim@parker51 said that it could be a crack in the hood. I read elsewhere on the forum that the gasket at the base of the cell was to blame. When I restored it I used the old gasket and did not use silicone grease. It is a minor annoyance and requires more maintenance, but I would like to find the problem and fix it.

 

On 10/5/2021 at 1:15 PM, inkstainedruth said:

My issue with 61s isn't the filler -- it's the crummy grade of plastic that Parker used.  Nearly all of mine (I have four at this point) got cracks.

I agree. Mine has a big crack in the barrel.

 

JParker51

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I must have been very lucky.  I have two 61s. One, a converter, writes very nicely with a broad nib and the other, a capillary, also behaves well, self-filling very easily and lasting a long time between fillings, though the nib is too fine for my taste (I am plucking up courage to replace it, realising that doing so is a touch and go process). Neither leaks.

 

David

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I keep a Rage Red and Surf Green both filled constantly. China Blue in them and the write great!

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22 hours ago, Carguy said:

I keep a Rage Red and Surf Green both filled constantly. China Blue in them and the write great!

I have had no problems with my capillary 61s (normally filled with Parker Quink) once started using and enjoying them quire recently :) 

However, I have recently bought a nice US-made Rage Red and have certain suspicions on its condition... 

Juts trying to make it working... lets' see...

 

All the best is only beginning now...

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2 hours ago, TheRedBeard said:

Juts trying to make it working... lets' see...

I enjoyed taking apart my 61. I just had to disassemble it and rinse it out. However, be careful with heat. I accidentally shrunk my hood. (I actually like the feel of it better now.) Some advice I got to fix the leak in mine was to coat the gasket in shellac and reassemble the pen. (Courtesy of Tim at Parker51.com)

 

JParker51

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5 minutes ago, JParker51 said:

I enjoyed taking apart my 61. I just had to disassemble it and rinse it out. However, be careful with heat. I accidentally shrunk my hood. (I actually like the feel of it better now.) Some advice I got to fix the leak in mine was to coat the gasket in shellac and reassemble the pen. (Courtesy of Tim at Parker51.com)

 

JParker51

Oh, I will not disassemble this P61 as I am not comfortable to do that at all :) 

Using kind useful advice ("bulb flush" method) of some experienced FPN members in the past, I managed to "restart" two used capillary 61s - both are working well now. 

So, I hope this Rage Red will not require too much servicing...

 

 

All the best is only beginning now...

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1 hour ago, TheRedBeard said:

Oh, I will not disassemble this P61 as I am not comfortable to do that at all

Of course! A good flush with a bulb (or an overnight soak) should be all it needs. That was my first (and only) P61 and I wanted to see how it worked. Does the Red have any cracks?

 

JParker51

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54 minutes ago, JParker51 said:

(or an overnight soak

 

Maybe I'm just getting too obsessive over it, but when I get one that's new to me, I usually let it soak for at least a week. I've never had one NOT still leak ink out the top after that much time.

 

These are great pens, but slow and steady really is the name of the game when it comes to dealing with them.

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13 hours ago, JParker51 said:

Of course! A good flush with a bulb (or an overnight soak) should be all it needs. That was my first (and only) P61 and I wanted to see how it worked. Does the Red have any cracks?

 

JParker51

Well... it seems this Red has got a tiny crack closer to nib at the right side of the arrow... Not clear if it may cause serious problems... Will try to test it withing coming days and see. 

 

However, i like this pen and am about to keep it in my collection regardless, because it is a US-made P61 Mk I with a thinner ring and longer Rainbow cap. 

And I don't have any other early US-made 61s in my collection. 

 

All the best is only beginning now...

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On 10/2/2021 at 6:22 PM, Checklist said:

 

That makes two of us.  I think that Parker got burned by the original, as poorly-maintained 61s got clogged faster than previous pens.  With a Vac or Aerometric filler, the act of filling would clear out smaller clogs with the force of the ink rushing by.  Since the capillary fill is much more gentle, people who weren't used to cleaning their pens were angry as their expensive 61s clogged.

 

That, and probably a healthy dose of "I'm not spending 25 cents on a bulb syringe just to cut the end off!"

 

Or you could track down one of these :D

 

 

(Yeah I also did the bulb syringe thing. I bought a 10-pack a while back and have them cut off at different diameters for different use cases)

 

-k

Image 1 - RARE VINTAGE PARKER 61 PEN INK EJECTOR BULB CLEANER NOT PUBLIC ISSUED + LETTER

s-l1600.jpg

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  • 2 weeks later...

I now have 41 Parker 61 fountain pens.  15 are capillary-fill that are unlinked (NOS), which I never ink, including two First Editions.  I have even more used capillary-fill, including one First Edition.  And I have several that are cartridge-converter fill.  I'm very fond of the capillary-fill versions.  Among the capillary-fill versions, the used capillary-fill ones have been very reliable (with very few exceptions).  I use the bulb syringe to clean them when they first arrive and thereafter when I'm ready to clean them after use.  I, too, am a big fan of the capillary-fill system for those of us willing to maintain them properly.  

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  • 5 weeks later...

I was given a new 61 in 1965 or 66 but never really liked it.  It always wrote too dryly, and nothing like as well as my father's 51, even after going back to the supplier for adjustment. At the time I put this down to the capillary filling mechanism.

 

More than 50 years later I still have my 61 and it hasn't improved. In fact it no longer writes at all after my efforts to open up the nib to improve the ink flow!

But I've now bought several more 61s, mostly with converters but also 3 with capillary fillers, and they all seem to write well.  I still prefer the 51 because I think the design is much cleaner without the jewel and the gold arrow. But these days 61s are a bit cheaper, especially once the arrow has fallen off.

 

Incidentally, Parker's publicity efforts to promote Quink ink obviously worked well because even today a lot of people seem to think that it's the best ink for a Parker pen.  But back in the 60s and 70s my father ran a commercial stationery business and sold quite a few pens and inks, including Parker.  He used the same Parker 51 every day for most of his life, yet he would never fill it with Quink because he was convinced that it slowly clogged the pen. As a result I've never used Quink (always Watermans and more recently Diamine), so I can't comment on whether he was right or not.

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