Posted in fountain pen repair

An eBay Fountain Pen Find

I saw this BCHR (Black Chased Hard Rubber) ringtop pen and could not resist the price. It arrived yesterday. It is a smallish pen. The red cap finial is a transparent plastic or celluloid? The only thing is that it wreaks of cigarette smoke. I went through and wiped it down with water and cotton swabs, trying to keep the water to a minimum. I went through 4 swabs before they started to come clean. There is still a lot of smoke residue on the back side of the lever that I need to work on. I took it apart. No sac in it. There are some remains of the old ossified sac still stuck to the section nipple that I will have to scrape off. The lever assembly and sac press bar (is that what it’s called?) are in good shape. Continue reading “An eBay Fountain Pen Find”

Posted in fountain pen repair

You Need To Try It At Least Once

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.

The pen arrived and to my delight, it was that deep blue color I was hoping for.
Blue Estie arrived today.

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

Success in Esterbrook section removal. Sac is totally intact but ossified inside the 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.
Sac came out almost in one piece. J bar looks like it has never touched water. Looks about new!

Close up of old ossified Esterbrook #fountainpen sac

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.

New sac, shellac, and talc standing by.

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.
Esterbrook #fountainpen ink sac installed. Now I wait for it to dry until tomorrow night.

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. 🙂

Dusting the ink sac with talc.

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.

Finished pen ready for ink. Note ink lever aligned with nib. :D

I filled the pen with Private Reserve Tropical Blue and enjoyed my “new” pen.

Writing Test.


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.


Posted in fountain pen repair

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

Posted in fountain pen repair, Fountain Pen Review

Wancher Naranja Update and a Thanks!

Just an update and a thank you to Alejandro M. for asking about the number 6 nib fitment in the Wancher Naranja pen. It is an obvious homage to the Delta Dolce Vita. I also want to thank Carl for pointing out that the Bexley 802 has a #6 nib. I have the cracked ice version of the Bexley 802 but never liked how the two tone steel nib did not match the rest of the pens silver colored hardware. A few swaps and one more pen and my Bexeley has a steel nib that matches and my Naranja has a two tone B nib that works way better than the stock nib. Thank you again Carl and Alejandro! I have a 1.1 mm Goulet nib on the way!
Number 6 nib in the Wancher Naranja

Posted in fountain pen repair

Adventures in Nib Salvage – Platinum Glamour

It was a few months ago that I came across a Platinum pen that grabbed my attention. Not knowing what the model was, I took to Google searches with only a picture to go on. I eventually came up with a model name. Glamour. A short, fat fountain pen that resembled the ribbed Platinum 3776. Armed with this information I set out to find one for sale.

I hit eBay first. My search terms did not yield anything but doing an advanced search told me they had been sold in the past. I set my eBay search to notify me when one was listed. Then I waited. A few weeks later, I had my very own Platinum Glamour. The glamour wore off when I examined the nib. I did not have a loupe with me but I could tell something was not right with the nib. I inked it anyway. It did work after a lot of coaxing but ink flow would stop if I let the pen sit for a few minutes. I tried priming the feed by squeezing the ink cartridge a few times. It would work for a bit then ink flow would stop again. When I was able to look at the nib under magnification, I confirmed what I feared. It looked like someone was trying to make the nib wetter and used a sharp object to pry the nib tines apart. This ended up chipping the inner right tine which hampered ink flow.
The next nib grind. Platinum Glamour that has a chip on the right tine.
The Platinum Glamour has a damaged nib. :(

At this point it was either find another nib or try and fix this one. I did find another pen eventually. It was in much better shape too. What to do about this pen. I could just try to sell it as-is and most likely at a loss. Before this, I had been experimenting with a rotary tool to speed up nib grinds. Next thing I know, I was grinding away at a furious pace. A few minutes later, I had myself a Platinum Glamour with an italic nib. 😀

Platinum Glamour with the chipped slit now fully operational with a ~1.2-1.5 mm stub. Freshly ground nib. Writing sample to follow

An otherwise worthless nib was given new life. 😀 I am not sure how wide of an italic I have now but it writes very smooth. Thank you for reading.
Platinum Glamour "stubification" writing sample. I modificatified it. :p