Some people prefer to get their fountain pens ready to write “out of the box.” I can appreciate that especially with some of the prices we pay for pens. Every once in a while it is good to get your hands dirty and just try some basic pen repair. My last post is a reflection of that sentiment. Keeping with that same theme, I present to you the story of an Esterbrook with an ossified sac.
I found the pen on eBay and the thing that caught my eye first was the deep blue color I had not seen before. I already have a blue Esterbrook and have seen plenty of blue Esterbrook photos. I could not be sure if the seller’s photos were accurate but I decided I could take a chance. The fact that the pen also had a #3556 “sunburst” nib was a big reason I wanted the pen too. The plating was gone but for the price I paid, I was not going to complain.
I read up on the process of replacing an ink sac and also watched a couple of Youtube videos. I was confident I would be able to get the job done. Esterbrooks are probably the most forgiving pens when it comes to repairing them. I took to Andeson Pens and purchase a #16 sac, shellac and some talc. I already had a heat gun but decided to go with my wife’s hair dryer instead. After less than a minute warming up the section, it came right out. One problem. The sac remained inside the pen barrel
I tried using some tweezers to pull the sac out of the barrel but it was just breaking off in small pieces. I decided to use an old computer chip puller along with a couple other computer related repair tools to try and get the sac out. It finally did come out. It was the original Esterbrook sac. I could still see the Esterbrook labeling on it.
I then measured out the new sac using the old sac as a lose guide along with the barrel. Once I was sure about the length I needed, I cut the new sac to size.
After scrapping the section nipple clean, I used masking tape to cover the section so I did not accidentally get shellac where it should not be. The surprise of the evening was that the old computer chip pullers work perfectly as sac spreaders. This made it really easy to slip the sac onto the section.
I was going to let the sac dry overnight but someone on Instagram and with access to “Da Book” told me that 20 minutes was long enough of a wait. By this time 30 minutes had already elapsed so I dusted the sac with talc by putting some talc in a small Ziploc bag and wrapping it around the sac. I closed it up with a rubber band and shook it up. A perfectly dusted sac emerged. 🙂
I put everything back together and made sure the nib was aligned with the lever box. I am OCD like that. 😛 I was satisfied everything would work. I did check the J-bar for corrosion and it was shiny. I did not bother pulling it out.
I filled the pen with Private Reserve Tropical Blue and enjoyed my “new” pen.
I hope this inspires you to try your own basic pen repair. Being able to do this opens doors to many pen prospects that otherwise would go untouched.
Thank you for reading.
The Fountain Pen Sith Lord.