Part Two: First attempt at fountain pen renovation.

Link below to First Blog upload Part One re: Taking the Parker Duofold apart.

Above is my hand drawn diagram of names for parts of pens. This drawing of a Faber Castell Ambition pen gives a general idea. Certainly what the section, feed and nib look like. Please tap on each of all 4 of the photographs to enlarge.


Conway Stewart 286, circa 1930 until 1945; Lever filler. 14 carat gold nib.

and the Parker Duofold AF approximately 1948. Aluminium button filler 14 carat gold nib.

Both these are the first time of myself mending and cleaning two fountain pens. Just the simple procedures of dismantling with care; cleaning off the inherent dried inks and putting on new ink sacs. No major repair. That’s out of my knowledge base. This sort of content probably works best as a visual process as per YouTube or close up photographs. This below and the first post are simple word salad. But they may both help.

Both were taken apart almost completely. The section, nib and ink feed were left intact in both. Too difficult to remove nib and feed from the ‘section’, and with considerations of vintage age, the both pens’ section complexes were left alone in case they got broken.

The Parker Duofold AF parts were all put into an Ultrasonic Water Bath. As per the video advice linked in part one above. The water turned dark blue from the removal of the old inherent ink. Afterwards, the section, feed and nib could be ‘blown through’ and air felt on the hand meaning that an ink flow could well get to nib. Shellac painted onto the section nipple stub; ink sac, size #16, then attached with use of reverse tweezers; French chalk powder around sac; pressure bar re-sited with small plate facing the sac; presented the end of the metal pressure bar at an angle so that the front end went up and over the top of the sac (avoids stabbing the sac’s end); the aluminium pressure button put back in place (it has two ‘cross’ slits to house the presser); and finally the aluminium button, once in situ, pressed with a resulting ‘whisper of air’ noise escaping through the nib. This, I hoped, meant it would be able to be filled nicely. It did.

The Conway Stewart 286 lever filler fountain pen could not be put into the Ultrasonic cleaner due to fear of damage. Some pens, as suggested by a more knowledgeable blogger who knows his vintage pens, are either of the wrong material used or too delicate to withstand water or ultrasonic baths. So brushed out the inside of cap and barrel with a mini barrel brush cleaner (like a mini baby bottle brush). Not much was produced really. Just a staining of black powdered ink sac residue. Ink sac size #17 applied as per the Parker above and followed through with simple gentle application of locating the sac into inside barrel. Ensuring no tightness existed and the sac was of the right diameter to not cram into the barrels inside walls. Allowing it to sit nicely alongside the levers metal bar is the aim. The lever works well. But the lever needs a bit of a push to house flat. There is no ‘slap’ close to flat level on this one.

All in all a fun small project. Cutting the sac to the correct length is best seen visually. There are lots of fine instructions on YouTube or visual photograph stills. It’s a procedure of laying the barrel, the section with nib and the ink sac side by side as if presenting how the pen looks when put together. To remember! The section goes inside the barrel, so the ink sac is cut accordingly lined up to compensate this shorter length sac requirement. Best go look at a video! I’ve linked one below. Measure twice or thrice and cut once is my Mantra. Also. Looking on the internet for advice re: how long to leave the shellac to dry before filling with ink? Anything from 1/2 hour to overnight. So I left it for about 5 hours.

Filled both with Sheaffer Black ink as I wanted a standard vintage ink that has shown its suitability for decades. The Parker, when posted, has beautiful balance. A little wetter in flow with the Sheaffer ink. But flows like a dream. The Conway Stewart, when posted, balances well too. But the Parker has the edge. Again, it writes like a dream.

These are going to be faves. Oh! And…..They need a decent polish up next. Got to find out what to use.

2 thoughts on “Part Two: First attempt at fountain pen renovation.”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s