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Vintage Japanese Plunger (or eyedropper) Filler Repair


Kyle Y
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Posted (edited)

Hi everyone! I received a lot of old Japanese fountain pens that appear to be old plunger fillers, all of which appear to need new seals as they do not vacuum in any ink (the pen pictured leaked from the blind cap end when I syringed some water into the body). The blind cap unscrews, but the plunger has no resistance when pulled up and can be shifted around to various angles. I can see inside the pen with the section removed that there is a small bulb attached to the end of the rod with a small rubber washer not too far behind it.  I did some looking around but had trouble finding a lot of information regarding how to fix these types of pens. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

 

P.S. If anyone knows anything about what this pen is, I'd appreciate any help identifying it. The label reads "shiruba" or Silver

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Edited by Kyle Y
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Maybe they are eyedropper filler not plunger fillers...it looks like Opus 88 f. pen...

Regards.

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1 hour ago, Mr.Rene said:

Maybe they are eyedropper filler not plunger fillers...it looks like Opus 88 f. pen...

Regards.

Hello! Thank you for your comment! I think you're right, this seems to be an eyedropper pen! I am still looking for more information on what this pen is and how to fix it. The threads for the blind cap are all chewed up, so I am worried to take it apart...

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By the way, Why do you think the pens need to be fixed ? Maybe they are in working condition...Did you try to remove the section? I guess it is screwed on...?

Regards

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Not much help here except to say your first impression was correct. It's a vacuum-fil and the gasket has deteriorated.

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These are eyedropper fillers, the plunger is to control ink flow at the rear of the feed. They need the seal at he barrel end to be "sealed" to work correctly. There are a myriad of different make ups of access to replace the original cork seals, which I do with Viton "O" rings.

At one time thought to not be repairable, I think there are a few people who can service/repair them now.

et

Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge (Charles Darwin)

http://www.wesonline.org.uk/

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2 hours ago, Mr.Rene said:

By the way, Why do you think the pens need to be fixed ? Maybe they are in working condition...Did you try to remove the section? I guess it is screwed on...?

Regards

I also have two similar fountain pens.

 I gave up on those fountain pens because I thought they were broken or had missing parts. (I thought it was a fountain pen for viewing)

 I investigated how to operate and fill a eyedropper filler fountain pen.

 

 I can write very good characters.

 Above all, it is very cool that the old and big ebonite fountain pen works normally and draws fine lines.

 

Thankyou very much.

 

By the way, something like a cap band is a price tag. "Silver 1200 JPY"

 

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Hi everyone!

 

Quick update: I was able to unscrew the blind cap and two pieces came along side with the plunger rod. Is this the seal and washer? Both are hard and appear to be made of rubber

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Kyle Y said:

Hi everyone!

 

Quick update: I was able to unscrew the blind cap and two pieces came along side with the plunger rod. Is this the seal and washer? Both are hard and appear to be made of rubber

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I just thought I had somehow understood it, and that understanding may be wrong.

 

 Perhaps the part in the middle of the picture is the part at the end of the rod that contacts the section and supplies ink to the feed.

 I'm guessing that the sealing problem means things like O-rings for sealing sections and barrels and rear cap screws.

 

 My guess may be different.


 The most unusual thing about handling this fountain pen is how to put ink in the fountain pen by spilling it into an ink bottle.

Edited by Number99
Mistranslation.
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3 hours ago, eckiethump said:

These are eyedropper fillers, the plunger is to control ink flow at the rear of the feed. They need the seal at he barrel end to be "sealed" to work correctly. There are a myriad of different make ups of access to replace the original cork seals, which I do with Viton "O" rings.

At one time thought to not be repairable, I think there are a few people who can service/repair them now.

et

My mistake. Thank you for the elucidation.

 

Not having seen one before engages my curiosity. Why would the rod pull all the way out if it's meant to control ink at the rear of the feed? Is it designed that way? Is it because the gasket(s), or whatever, has failed allowing the rod to be pulled out? Help would be appreciated.

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Posted (edited)
14 hours ago, Z man said:

My mistake. Thank you for the elucidation.

 

Not having seen one before engages my curiosity. Why would the rod pull all the way out if it's meant to control ink at the rear of the feed? Is it designed that way? Is it because the gasket(s), or whatever, has failed allowing the rod to be pulled out? Help would be appreciated.

Does it mean that the rod is stretched backwards?

 I'm not an expert, I'm a person who has been ranked up from viewers to users, so I'll give you a guess.

 If so, I think one of the reasons is to give a function to improve the ease of maintenance of the pen.

 My second-hand goods are horribly infested with gunks.

 (Compatibility of ebonite and ink?)

 

 

Edited by Number99
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16 hours ago, Z man said:

Not having seen one before engages my curiosity. Why would the rod pull all the way out if it's meant to control ink at the rear of the feed? Is it designed that way? Is it because the gasket(s), or whatever, has failed allowing the rod to be pulled out? Help would be appreciated.

 

Opus 88 makes modern pens of the same design.  Koloro and Demonstrator for instance.  The rod is full length so that  flow to the feed can be adjusted, or cut off, by turning the rod knob

"Simplicate and add Lightness."

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3 hours ago, Karmachanic said:

 

Opus 88 makes modern pens of the same design.  Koloro and Demonstrator for instance.  The rod is full length so that  flow to the feed can be adjusted, or cut off, by turning the rod knob

 

I have an Opus 88 Koloro (great pen -- I just wish the nib were larger to match the size of the pen).  So can one pull and extend the rod on an Opus 88 pen, as shown in the first post in this thread?  I'm guessing it's not intended to do so, since that really serves no purpose.  Just wondering if this can be done without damaging anything.  I've never tried.

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41 minutes ago, Preserved_Killick said:

So can one pull and extend the rod on an Opus 88 pen, as shown in the first post in this thread?

 

I do so when filling the pen, and when flushing the barrel prior to filling with a different ink.

"Simplicate and add Lightness."

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These similar pens sold on second-hand goods sites in Japan are sold with an image showing the rod pulled out.

 If the structure of the pen is damaged by extending the rod, it is all sold as a defective product.

 

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Yes, these pens were designed as eyedroppers, but they can be filled (completely) without taking the section off.  However, the barrel seal must be in good condition - they would not write without flooding if it were not.

1.  Immerse nib and withdraw the plunger all the way.  Ink enters to approximately the volume of the plunger rod.

2  Hold the pen nib uppermost in a rag and push the plunger back in.  Air equal in volume to the plunger rod will come out.

3.  Repeat step 1 and 2 until only ink comes out at step 2.  The pen is then completely full.

It will take  perhaps 10 cycles or more and must be done without rushing, particularly as full filling is reached (otherwise ink will be sprayed everywhere!).

 

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5 hours ago, lcoldfield said:

Yes, these pens were designed as eyedroppers, but they can be filled (completely) without taking the section off.  However, the barrel seal must be in good condition - they would not write without flooding if it were not.

1.  Immerse nib and withdraw the plunger all the way.  Ink enters to approximately the volume of the plunger rod.

2  Hold the pen nib uppermost in a rag and push the plunger back in.  Air equal in volume to the plunger rod will come out.

3.  Repeat step 1 and 2 until only ink comes out at step 2.  The pen is then completely full.

It will take  perhaps 10 cycles or more and must be done without rushing, particularly as full filling is reached (otherwise ink will be sprayed everywhere!).

 

I think the filling method you say is wonderful.

 But there is a question.

 These fountain pens have no plungers or gaskets.

 How do you create negative pressure in the lumen of these barrels?

 Even if the ink can be filled, if the rod is extended during filling and the sealing is released, will the ink spill from the barrel end when the pen is raised?

 

 

 

 

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To answer your questions:-

The plunger rod is all you need for this filling method.  Provided it can be pushed in and out with leakage you are all set.  I have removed the plunger gasket from Onotos and found that you can fill them completely by this method (which you cannot do using the conventional filling method).

It works because you are reducing the air pressure in the barrel by withdrawing the rod as far as it will go, so ink equal in volume to the volume of rod withdrawn is sucked in.  When you turn the pen nib up the ink in there runs to the back of the pen, so it will not be expelled (unless the seal is bad or you manage to pull the rod right out!).

This is a slow method for filling and you will only know that the pen is full when ink rather than air comes out at step 2.

It really does work - just try it!    What I have described is what a breather tube does for you automatically.  You can use the method to fill other types of pen that lack breather tubes such as sac pens.

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These older Japanese ED pens are not exactly standardized in manufacture (though the general format is adhered to by most that I have seen), so getting the old seals out of the "plunger" packing unit ("packing" is the cork confined around the valve shaft, which seals the back of the barrel) can be tricky, especially if you want to restore them with cork seals.

I have repaired several by removing the blind cap from the shutoff valve rod (always reverse threads), then pushing the rod out the front of the barrel and carefully digging the deteriorated cork seal out of the packing chamber with a dental pick. with the cork out of the way, correctly sized silicone o-rings can be inserted along with some silicone grease and then the valve shaft reassembled to the blind cap. you'll want to test the seal with water before deciding it's fixed.

I've done it this way, because it can be difficult or even impossible to determine how the packing unit is supposed to be disassembled ...sometimes they're even glued in place and essentially un-removeable. even if you're certain of how they come apart, you'll often need to apply heat and enough force to risk breakage, so removing the old cork through the plunger hole is safer overall.

 

it looks like the pictured pen may have had a cover glued over the seal from inside the barrel, in that case a repair that preserves ink shutoff functionality is a bit more challenging, as you'll need to find an appropriate adhesive, then a method to keep the glued cap in place as the glue cures...

 

quirks like that aside, most are pretty straight forward and once you've done a few and gotten the hang of it, this isn't really a terribly hard restoration, it just has a steep learning curve.

David-

 

So many restoration projects...

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