View Full Version : My first Esterbrook J

June 11th, 2013, 10:09 AM

I just bought my first esterbrooks they are both J's. Both of them seem to need a little bit of work. I was wondering if anyone could offer some advice.

In one of my esterbrooks the feed is not lined up with the nib. I was wondering if there was something special that needs to be done to line it up or if I could just remove the nib then separate it from the feed and re-align it.

The other issue I have with both pens is the nib seems to be stuck in the section and I can't get it out.

on the other pen the section is stuck in the barrel and I can't get it out.

Do you have any tips or tricks for loosening up those stubborn nibs and sections so I can get the pens working and looking the way they are supposed to?

Thank you for any help you can provide.

June 11th, 2013, 11:28 AM
The nib and feed come out as an entire unit.

Place your index finger underneath the feed close to the section perpendicular to the pen and place your thumb on top of the nib close to the section. Press your index finger and thumb together. Hold the pen stationary by gripping the section - NOT THE PEN. Unscrew the nib counter clockwise. Be careful you do not damage the nib tines.

Good luck.

Jon Szanto
June 11th, 2013, 12:36 PM
A couple of things:

- As far as the nib and feed not lining up, there isn't *too* much that can be done with these units, mainly because they are locked into place in the collar of the nib unit (the back end of the part of the nib that screws into the section). All you can do is use a little gentle force to try to push the nib in the direction you want, while holding the back of the nib unit; while you can press in the opposite direction on the feed, bear in mind they can break with too much pressure

- For the nib unit being stuck, you should first try soaking it overnight in plain water. Immerse the pen just part-way up the section, you don't need the entire barrel in water. If you can't unscrew the nib - counter-clockwise, and you might use something to aid your grip on the section and nib unit - after that, you many need to try to loosen it with an ultrasonic cleaner (if you have access to one) once the section has been pulled from the barrel (see next bit)

- Pulling an Esterbrook section is a bit tricky, but still one of the easier pens to do this on. To my knowledge, none of the Estie sections are threaded, so they are just a friction fit, unless someone (previously) glued (or, better, shellaced) it in place. And for good info on how to remove the section, you should read this on Ernst Bitterman's site (http://dirck.delint.ca/beta/?page_id=4024). I can't remember if he mentions it, but you should leave a nib screwed into the section when pulling it from the barrel, it helps to keep the section from being squashed.

It sounds like a big deal, but of all the pen repairs there are, pulling a section, messing with the nib unit, and even putting a new sac on an Esterbrook is about the easiest thing to do, and quite satisfying once accomplished!

June 12th, 2013, 02:02 AM
One thing the guys have missed is that you should soak the nib and section for a couple of days to get rid of all the dried ink that has collected over the years.
If you find the nib is still not unscrewing, keep soaking. It will eventually free up.

June 12th, 2013, 03:12 PM
Thanks. I was successful in getting the nibs out of both pens. I will try and post pics tomorrow. One of them is an old Bell System pen. It's all black with a silver clip. It is in working order. I carried it with me to work today and it is working great. I had some samples of ink someone sent me so I inked it up with Noodler's 54th massachusets or something like that. It is kind of a navy/blue black colored ink.

The other esterbrook I bought needs the ink sac replaced and it had a lot of ink in the nib and feed. I've been soaking it since last night. I also soaked the section and barrel to try and loosen it up. I think it has been sealed because of dried ink.

Both pens have chipped clip screws but I saw online that I can buy replacements for those too. So both pens should be working and looking good by the time I get done with them. This is fun.

Thank you for the advice and the links. The link to Ernst Bitterman's site was really helpful.

June 12th, 2013, 03:22 PM
Someone MAY also have shellaced the section and barrel together. One of my esties had that done to it. If soaking until it comes clean doesn't loosen it up you may need some very gentle heat to losen the shellac.