Thursday, November 28, 2013

It's rust removal, Jim

...but not as we know it.

You know how I said I absolutely wasn't going to get into old pens in a car-boot-sale-scouring way? Well, a lucky break in an antique shop doesn't count, does it?

A black Parker England Duofold Junior with, astoundingly, a soft-ish fine nib and aerometric filler! It may be love. Bit scratched up, but apparently that's their fate. Am hopelessly confused by the Parker timeline (Think of when you first tried to type a Stanley bench plane. Yeah, that bad) but I think it may be from the 60s. Possibly. A later one, anyway.

I think I also said I wasn't going to buy any Parkers, didn't I? Well if you're going to break a resolution, I always say you might as well go big and do the job properly. Another English one with aerometric filler; this time a Victory with a less lovely medium nib. I may grow to like it, you never know. If not, the box may help it find a new owner. This one has a Parker date code, which is supposed to be helpful. Not to me it ain't. But someone did write "25-1-55" on the box, which seems to fit as a likely date of purchase as far as I can tell.

Now that Conway Stewart box. Yeah, about that... Here's the actual Conway Stewart bit in it; a "Nippy" pencil (with five spare leads - handy). I'm not a big posh pencil person, but it's kinda nice, isn't it? I could easily take it as a sign that I need to find a matching pen. Any excuse.

Conway Stewart still makes pens - or rather a new company uses the name and makes pens. They're not cheap, and they're in Devon, so that's two good reasons why I shall likely never own a modern one. ;)

And finally the mystery pen. Utterly unmarked blue and brown marbled button filler. Judging by the rather poor quality bent metal clip (loose) and the three-rings-in-one-piece cap band (also loose), this pen may well aspire to be by a third tier maker. Funky colour scheme, no? Wouldn't have chosen it myself, but it grows on you. Like mould.

Poor thing had suffered in a water attack on that Conway Stewart box (you may have noticed the staining) and lost a good deal of its wafer-thin plating to the resulting oxidisation. Once again I indulged in the heady excitement of crusty rust removal and, I suspect, as a result may be hooked by pen restoration. Dammit. What is it about taking the unloved and unusable implement and making it work again? I just love it. 

Anyway, "Button filler"; meaning you unscrew the end cap and press the little button which pushes on the bar that flexes another bar out to push against the ink sac to squeeze it closed so when you put it in the ink and let go of the button the ink is drawn in. (Clear as mud? How about a demonstration using a cutaway pen here on YouTube.) Except, funnily enough, ingenious though this system is, it doesn't work so well when your ink sac looks like this.

*Shudder*. So I see a steep and exciting learning curve of button removal and sac replacement in my near future. Another one, because I've already tripped the light fantastic on the bent-nib-straightening curve when I cleaned the crusted on ink off the nib of this thing and found unhappiness. But I managed that hurdle okay, and a dip test shows it to be a rather nice medium - I think- stub with a bit of give to it. Very pleasant to write with, so worth getting it working again.

Incidentally, guess what I'll need to stick a new sac on with, kids? Shellac. Hmm, now do I have any of that around here, I wonder...

My initial impressions notes and scribblings while dip testing the three pens

1 comment:

  1. I applaud your restorative powers! Oh, and I won't say anything at all about how I told you so about the slippery slope down the rabbit hole a couple months ago. Nope, nary a word, lips are sealed, won't say a thing. Just watching from a distance I am :)


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