A Little Pen DIY

A few months ago I came across a new to me Pelikan, the M30. At the time, I did not know the model number but I knew it was a Pelikan and it was a piston filler.  I decided to take a chance and bid on the pen. When it arrived I was pleased with the looks of the pen. Testing the nib dry on some paper gave me an indication that the nib would be smooth. Unfortunately, once I filled the pen with ink, it started to leak.

A bird of in the distance. #pelikan #fountainpen

My first instinct was that the piston seal was the source of the air leak because it did not travel smoothly. The piston knob was very tight for what I know Pelikan to be. I researched online and made a thread on the FPGeeks Forum. Soon I had my answer. The piston is user serviceable if you can find the right sized wrench to remove the piston assembly.

I have several TWSBI wrenches so even if one was small, I figured I could file it down to widen the opening of the wrench. That is exactly what I did. It did not need very much filing to get it to fit. Not even a mm is my guess. Just a few minutes work and I now have a wrench that works with my Pelikan M30.

Modified a #TWSBI wrench to fit a #Pelikan M30 piston mechanism. #fountainpen

I was able to remove the piston assembly and lube the piston seals with some silicone grease I sourced from Anderson Pens. One thing to note about removing the piston assembly, it is loosened by turning clockwise or the direction you would normally turn to tighten a bolt. It’s “righty loosy lefty tighty” for this one.

Pelikan M30 dissasembly

#Pelikan M30 #fountainpen now greased and ready for trial run.

Since I had most of the pen apart, I decided to pull the nib and feed and clean them out. I went at the feed with a tooth brush as it had what looked like purple/red ink all over it. I also went over the nib with a jewelers polishing cloth to bring back its luster.

Decided to take apart the nib and feed. Good thing too, that feed needs some cleaning. #Pelikan M30 #fountainpen #repair

The nib on the #Pelikan M30 is 14K gold so I have gone over it with a polishing cloth. #fountainpen #repair

I worked on the gold filled cap too. It has a few dings but shined up nicely.

The cap got a sunshine cloth once over too #fountainpen #repair

After what was only an hour or two of work, I had a fully functioning Pelikan Piston filler that is just a little older than I am. 🙂

If you are willing to take small risks, use a little elbow grease and choose carefully, you can find some hidden gems.

Thanks for Reading,


Fountain Pen Sith Lord.

*links in this post were provided for convenience and are not paid advertising nor do I have an affiliation with the entities linked. 

Pelikan M30 complete

2 thoughts on “A Little Pen DIY

  1. Congrats, Ivan, this looks like a wonderful pen. Vintage plus gold nib are pretty unbeatable in my book. Also have to compliment you on your narrative about fixing the pen. I know people who think it’s so complicated they don’t want to attempt it, but you do a really good job describing each step of the process. Great post! P.S. Not to be annoying (but I think it’s already too late for that) will you be doing a post soon on the Conklin of PR Avacado fame? 😉 Especially if you had to take it apart.

    1. Thank you Carol. 🙂

      Not annoying at all. 🙂 The Conklin is not mine so no taking apart pictures. It is a loaner pen and I do plan on doing a post on it, not really a review. I don’t like doing reviews of vintage pens since they sometimes are not readily available.

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