So last week I shared my haul-ette of venerable-ish writing implements and how, like an old war horse, my nostrils flared at the whiff of rust removal and tool redemption.
Now the two Parkers were a simple task; they just needed cleaning. Those aerometric sacs Parker made are, I won't say indestructible, but very resilient, and they proved to be sound. So after a lot of flushing with this 'n' that, thinking I'd got it clean, then finding another gob of ink had worked loose, and so forth, I go them inked and writing. The green Victory benefited from a light nib smoothing and now writes very nicely with a generous ink flow, while the Duofold Junior is a joy and feels like an extension of my hand. I can rather see why people like Parkers now; clearly the old uns' are entirely different animals from the ones of my previous acquaintance.
But the button filler of mysterious manufacture was always going to be more of a challenge. As I said, I'd already managed to straighten the seriously bent nib tine - not at all a professional job (there is now a "wrinkle" in the nib) but entirely functional, which it certainly wasn't before. But the sac had ossified and needed replacing (Good word that, isn't it? Ossified. Not one you get to use often), so suddenly I had a shopping list: sac of the correct size, shellac to stick it, French chalk to dust it and keep it moving freely against the pressure bar and interior of the barrel. Order(s) placed. I ended up having to go to two places - I thought I was okay for the shellac, but when I realised how old my shellac is now, I got cold feet and decided it was better to remove possible adhesive failure from this learning process.
So yesterday I was finally all equipped, and set about my task. The "nipple" was already cleaned of old shellac (and you know what fun crusty old shellac is...), so I lined everything up to work out how long I had to cut the sac. They come over-long, and you trim to size. I erred on the side of caution a bit, I suspect, and then trimmed a bit more because I thought I could get a straighter cut. I couldn't - rubbery ink sacs, it turns out, try to bounce knife blades right off rather than be cut to pieces. Who'd have thunk it? So I probably needed around 60mm, and probably got 58. But that's okay.
A Bad Idea. So first I screwed the section closed with the sac in place. Bye bye, little sac. Please work....
At the other end of the barrel, the blind cap was off and I'd already removed the button with some padded needle-nosed pliers (another nervous moment). Now in goes the pressure bar, through the buttonhole. Clever, huh? Also important to put it facing the right way so the bar will press against the sac correctly. In this instance I'm cautiously sliding the pressure bar in with the sac in front of it, nearest the camera.