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View Full Version : The Height of Form and Function aka Esterbrook?!



Chuck Naill
December 27th, 2019, 03:34 AM
I often read the repair section of this and other forums. Last night I read one plea for help with an Esterbrook and it was because the owner had been to rough in trying to restore. The Esterbrook appears to be the height of form and function. The simplicity of a j bar, that is easily replaced, and a ink bladdler we call a sac never fails until disuse and time destroy the latex. The pens just work even if near 90 years old once the simple mechanism is replaced or cleaned.

Esterbrook plastic has to be the best. It does not crack over time or become brittle from what I've see on the 1940's and '50's pens.

Is there another brand that offers the ability to change the pen by a simple nib swap? Perhaps??

Deb
December 27th, 2019, 05:21 AM
Osmiroid.

FredRydr
December 27th, 2019, 06:08 AM
...Is there another brand that offers the ability to change the pen by a simple nib swap? Perhaps??
Pelikan. Aurora. Some Wahl-Eversharp. & etc.

But yes, Esterbrooks seem to be indestructible, even their factory sacs.

jbb
December 27th, 2019, 07:18 AM
Osmiroid.
BTW, the older Osmiroid nibs fit Esterbrooks and some of them seem more "expressive" for writing. Are there any truly flexible Esterbrook nibs? The ones I've tried have been rather stiff.

azkid
December 27th, 2019, 10:27 AM
I am a big fan of Esterbrook J series pens for their beautiful and robust plastics and good quality stainless steel hardware.

Speaking of Esterbrook nibs, their steel dip pen nibs are brilliant as well. The 048 Falcon is a fantastic practical writer with wonderful line variation (the slitted older ones blow the doors off the 2048/9048 and even the un-slitted ones are better). I can see why it was so popular. This nib totally changed my view of writing with dip pens.

The 442 Jackson Stub is a joy to write with (similar but better than the 9442/2442 medium). I've tried some of the school nibs that are also great.

And afficionados of Esterbrook know that Charles Schulz used a 914 to ink Peanuts.

Ron Z
December 27th, 2019, 11:33 AM
Esterbrook made some interesting nibs. The 9128, 9048, are a some of flexible nibs. Not wet noodle, but flexible. 9314 or X314 nibs are relief, or left oblique nibs in fine, medium and broad, 9341B (stub), 9284 is a signature stub.

Great pens, often overlooked.

Deb
December 27th, 2019, 11:37 AM
There are numerous German piston fillers that share the common thread type. Esterbrook and Osmiroid differ from other manufacturers in that they both produced a very large range of nibs for use with their fountain pens. Platignum did something similar, though on a lesser scale, with their Quick Change pens and nibs.

penwash
December 27th, 2019, 01:41 PM
Yes, Estebrook pens deserve and should be put in a special place in vintage-pen ratings.

But there are so many other pens that are interesting and cool, in different criteria.

For example, no matter how much I like Esterbrook celluloid, I still like woodgrain ebonite looks more.

Or, no matter how much I like the ease-of-restoration of Esterbrook lever fillers, I still like Conklin Endura lever filler system more.

Or, no matter how much I like the ability to exchange nibs, I am still happier if I manage to rescue a single nib that writes beautifully that will only fit one pen.

So that's why even though I like Esterbrook pens, it's not by any means the only one that rank high in my view.

Chuck Naill
December 27th, 2019, 01:47 PM
Just a review of my OP, I didn't suggest other more interesting pens did exist. It's just that the beloved Parker 51 or the Shaeffer "snorkel" , while wonderful pens, they appear to be a challenge to restore, get parts for, or that have not broken because of the complexity of their plastic and design. When you can take a 1934 Dollar and turn is into a daily driver for the cost of a new j bar and sac, it's the height or near the height of value.

jbb
December 27th, 2019, 02:19 PM
On the spectrum of easy vintage pens to find and use with little effort I'd add Parker 45s. I know they're not as old or as pretty as Esterbrooks but they're the kind of pen you can find add a yard sale, fill with water (which re-hydrates years of old, dried ink) and POOF! they work. At least that's how it's happened for me.

Chuck Naill
December 27th, 2019, 02:59 PM
On the spectrum of easy vintage pens to find and use with little effort I'd add Parker 45s. I know they're not as old or as pretty as Esterbrooks but they're the kind of pen you can find add a yard sale, fill with water (which re-hydrates years of old, dried ink) and POOF! they work. At least that's how it's happened for me.

That's good to know. I'll check them out.

penwash
December 27th, 2019, 04:02 PM
Just a review of my OP, I didn't suggest other more interesting pens did exist. It's just that the beloved Parker 51 or the Shaeffer "snorkel" , while wonderful pens, they appear to be a challenge to restore, get parts for, or that have not broken because of the complexity of their plastic and design. When you can take a 1934 Dollar and turn is into a daily driver for the cost of a new j bar and sac, it's the height or near the height of value.

But sometimes, the challenge to restore is part of the reward. At least for those who think like I do. :)

Sometimes, the figuring out, the aggravating difficulty or the long wait for the right part, and yes, even the anguish of holding two pieces that used to be one, adds to the final sense of satisfaction when the pen, against all odds, function again, and writes beautifully.

By the way, I am not challenging your conclusion, which is yours to make, I'm simply offering a different perspective.

Chuck Naill
December 28th, 2019, 03:40 AM
Just a review of my OP, I didn't suggest other more interesting pens did exist. It's just that the beloved Parker 51 or the Shaeffer "snorkel" , while wonderful pens, they appear to be a challenge to restore, get parts for, or that have not broken because of the complexity of their plastic and design. When you can take a 1934 Dollar and turn is into a daily driver for the cost of a new j bar and sac, it's the height or near the height of value.

But sometimes, the challenge to restore is part of the reward. At least for those who think like I do. :)

Sometimes, the figuring out, the aggravating difficulty or the long wait for the right part, and yes, even the anguish of holding two pieces that used to be one, adds to the final sense of satisfaction when the pen, against all odds, function again, and writes beautifully.

By the way, I am not challenging your conclusion, which is yours to make, I'm simply offering a different perspective.

Yes, I can appreciate the challenge of doing a restoration on a 51 or snorkel and the user satisfaction that ensues. My OP was just to highlight how well a simple design the Esterbrook or similar type are and the quality of how the parts are made in contrast to other more complicated designs that do not tend to hold up well over time.

Deb
December 28th, 2019, 04:30 AM
Quite so, Chuck, but remember that there are a host of other lever fillers out there, equally straightforward to repair and equally well made. To my mind, that's not why the Esterbrook is unique but in the combination of these excellent qualities with the huge array of different nib types. No other manufacturer produces anything truly comparable. Osmiroid nibs are excellent. The same cannot really be said of the pens.

stub
December 28th, 2019, 10:38 PM
Esterbrook plastic has to be the best. It does not crack over time or become brittle from what I've see on the 1940's and '50's pens.


tough plastic, good cap seals, and (you forgot one) bomb-proof hardware. I have seen really super sweet minty vintage pens with brassed up clips and bands. Not a problem with Esterbrook. Gotta love them. And if you do clean it up (polish), they clean up real nice. Great pens.

Chuck Naill
December 29th, 2019, 04:36 AM
Esterbrook plastic has to be the best. It does not crack over time or become brittle from what I've see on the 1940's and '50's pens.


tough plastic, good cap seals, and (you forgot one) bomb-proof hardware. I have seen really super sweet minty vintage pens with brassed up clips and bands. Not a problem with Esterbrook. Gotta love them. And if you do clean it up (polish), they clean up real nice. Great pens.

Excellent point about the hardware. I've only had to replace one rusted and broken j bar. That I could use long nose tweezers to extract the old one and shove a replacement back and have the mechanism fully functional was a pleasant surprise.

We are fortunate to have suppliers that can supply us with new sacs and j bars. It was another forum that gave me the idea of using a mandolin or guitar string to unclog a nib feed.

welch
January 2nd, 2020, 04:19 PM
On the spectrum of easy vintage pens to find and use with little effort I'd add Parker 45s. I know they're not as old or as pretty as Esterbrooks but they're the kind of pen you can find add a yard sale, fill with water (which re-hydrates years of old, dried ink) and POOF! they work. At least that's how it's happened for me.

I'm laughing. My first full-time pen was a Parker 45, Christmas, 1960, which replaced a scratchy Sheaffer school pen I had used the previous year or two. Vintage??? No! Not yet!

And, half-seriously, I call the P-45 the first modern pen, because it was the first pen that did not depend on the Parker counter at a department store, and Parker Repair, to keep it running. Dislike the nib? You could buy another for a dollar or so, and then "install" it yourself. The 45 nib unit unscrews, just like the Estie. All the parts of the P-45 unscrew down to some low-level components. Consider the Parker 51, and the various bits that make up the filling system or the feed. The 51 implies -- requires -- much more of a company support system. With the 45, and nearly all pens that followed, you could pick one off a rack and never need to deal with Parker again, unless you wanted to buy some of their ink cartridges.

So, not my idea of a vintage pen, but the Parker 45 is still anyone's best first pen. Still inexpensive. The company made them for about 45 or 50 years, and the parts are interchangeable so they should write for a long time.

pajaro
January 7th, 2020, 10:32 AM
I have replaced a few of the Esterbrook J and M2 sacs with PVC sacs like the ones in Parker 51s. I am not expecting anyone will have to replace those again. In the M2 pens I used Parker 51 sacs. I think I used P51 sacs in the J pens as well.

FredRydr
March 29th, 2020, 08:54 AM
Be aware that some of the best nibs that fit your Esterbrook fountain pen are certain Osmiroid nibs. I sold a boxed set with pen at the Baltimore show. There's a box of Osmiroid music nibs compatible with Esterbrook that I've located in the wild and need to pick up, once the travel restrictions are lifted.

Box fourth from the top contains Esterbrook compatible nibs:

53020

AzJon
March 29th, 2020, 11:41 AM
Just a review of my OP, I didn't suggest other more interesting pens did exist. It's just that the beloved Parker 51 or the Shaeffer "snorkel" , while wonderful pens, they appear to be a challenge to restore, get parts for, or that have not broken because of the complexity of their plastic and design. When you can take a 1934 Dollar and turn is into a daily driver for the cost of a new j bar and sac, it's the height or near the height of value.

Interestingly enough, I don't really care for either of those pens, despite their following and desirability. The 51 is fine, but kinda boring. I'll give them a +1 for the pliglass sac in the aerometrics though: that badboy is a marvel.

Snorkels are interesting if you like over engineered, but I'll take the regular Touchdown system over the snorkel every time.

I always appreciated the brilliant simplicity of the Conklin Crescent, but rarely use them. I will always fall back on the good old tried-and-true German piston filler.

Jon Szanto
March 29th, 2020, 11:50 AM
A pen that I haven't seen mentioned (and sorry if I missed) is the Sheaffer No-Nonsense line of pens.

The only thing it gives up to the Esterbrook is as many nib options, yet the pen could still be found wifh f/m/b standard nibs, as well as f/m/b italic nibs. To this day, it is rare to find one (remotely well cared for) that has cracked, there is no filling system to be concerned with restoring (simply pop in a cartridge) and converters can be used. The pens were reliable writers and a good size to hold. If I was going to give someone some vintage pens to put in a backpack and go to school and have bombproof results, I'd pick those over a sac filler. They can still be picked up used for next to nothing and there is almost no restoration to be done.

Just a thought, from someone who also owns a whole bunch of Esties.

Chuck Naill
March 29th, 2020, 04:17 PM
A pen that I haven't seen mentioned (and sorry if I missed) is the Sheaffer No-Nonsense line of pens.

The only thing it gives up to the Esterbrook is as many nib options, yet the pen could still be found wifh f/m/b standard nibs, as well as f/m/b italic nibs. To this day, it is rare to find one (remotely well cared for) that has cracked, there is no filling system to be concerned with restoring (simply pop in a cartridge) and converters can be used. The pens were reliable writers and a good size to hold. If I was going to give someone some vintage pens to put in a backpack and go to school and have bombproof results, I'd pick those over a sac filler. They can still be picked up used for next to nothing and there is almost no restoration to be done.

Just a thought, from someone who also owns a whole bunch of Esties.

Thank you, Jon. I had a look. They remind me of a Parker Duofold which I've never cared for in appearance. For me, the Esterbrook line through the mid '50's are the ones I'm really am drawn toward. It would be special to find a decent Relief Esterbrook some day.

Deb
March 29th, 2020, 04:50 PM
I've had a few Reliefs. Conway Stewarts with an Esterbrook nib. They come in some nice patterns.

Chuck Naill
March 29th, 2020, 05:41 PM
I've had a few Reliefs. Conway Stewarts with an Esterbrook nib. They come in some nice patterns.

I agree those CS are very nice. The ones I had in mind were the hard rubber ones.

Ron Z
March 30th, 2020, 06:51 AM
... I've found many NN pens that are cracked. The cap from over tightening, the barrel gets stress cracks at the edge, also from over tightening. The nibs are not tipped, but have just a round polished ball at the end, which puts them at the same level as a 1500 or 2500 Esterbrook nib. I still have the NN that I bought on my way to college. It saw a lot of use, but not heavy use, and there was a flat spot worn on the ball.

While I like the NN, the Esterbrook J is a much better pen.

Jon Szanto
March 30th, 2020, 11:33 AM
... I've found many NN pens that are cracked. The cap from over tightening, the barrel gets stress cracks at the edge, also from over tightening. The nibs are not tipped, but have just a round polished ball at the end, which puts them at the same level as a 1500 or 2500 Esterbrook nib. I still have the NN that I bought on my way to college. It saw a lot of use, but not heavy use, and there was a flat spot worn on the ball.

While I like the NN, the Esterbrook J is a much better pen.

Well, you certainly see more pens that I do, so there is that. I sure with there had been a JOS or JMax, because they are just a bit too small (mostly too thin) for comfortable/long writing sessions for me. If I have to pick one reason I am glad the J series existed, it's that this was the pen that got me into a little bit of my own restoration work - the perfect "first pen" to replace a sac, etc.

Chuck Naill
March 30th, 2020, 11:37 AM
... I've found many NN pens that are cracked. The cap from over tightening, the barrel gets stress cracks at the edge, also from over tightening. The nibs are not tipped, but have just a round polished ball at the end, which puts them at the same level as a 1500 or 2500 Esterbrook nib. I still have the NN that I bought on my way to college. It saw a lot of use, but not heavy use, and there was a flat spot worn on the ball.

While I like the NN, the Esterbrook J is a much better pen.

Well, you certainly see more pens that I do, so there is that. I sure with there had been a JOS or JMax, because they are just a bit too small (mostly too thin) for comfortable/long writing sessions for me. If I have to pick one reason I am glad the J series existed, it's that this was the pen that got me into a little bit of my own restoration work - the perfect "first pen" to replace a sac, etc.

What you said, Jon, is what led me to start the thread. For a product to be so simply put together. easily repairable relative to other brands, and work so well for it's intended purpose, its the height of form and function.

carlos.q
March 31st, 2020, 03:07 PM
For me, the Esterbrook line through the mid '50's are the ones I'm really am drawn toward. It would be special to find a decent Relief Esterbrook some day.

Here is one available from a known seller:
http://penamie.com/html/other-uk/ouk060.html

pajaro
April 2nd, 2020, 06:50 PM
I have used Pelikan M2xx and M4xx nibs in Esterbrook. They screw in but protrude a bit farther. They write well like that, though.

Parker Sonnet has nib units that screw out/in. Sonnet has an interesting variety of nibs.

Scrawler
April 2nd, 2020, 07:33 PM
A pen that I haven't seen mentioned (and sorry if I missed) is the Sheaffer No-Nonsense line of pens.

The only thing it gives up to the Esterbrook is as many nib options, yet the pen could still be found wifh f/m/b standard nibs, as well as f/m/b italic nibs. To this day, it is rare to find one (remotely well cared for) that has cracked, there is no filling system to be concerned with restoring (simply pop in a cartridge) and converters can be used. The pens were reliable writers and a good size to hold. If I was going to give someone some vintage pens to put in a backpack and go to school and have bombproof results, I'd pick those over a sac filler. They can still be picked up used for next to nothing and there is almost no restoration to be done.

Just a thought, from someone who also owns a whole bunch of Esties.

The nib size on NN pens was awkward to find replacement nibs for. But they do convert to eyedropper easily. This Italian nib needed a home and the NN was pretty much the only thing it would fit. I should probably get a decent cap for it.

53134

grainweevil
April 3rd, 2020, 01:06 AM
Two things have occurred to me reading this thread.

Firstly, is it really that Esterbrook offered more nib options, or simply that they made it off-the-shelf easy to know which nib was which? Something we particularly value today because we don't have the luxury of popping into a pen retailers and trying half a dozen vintage Watermans, say, in order to find the nib style we favour.

Secondly, I have a hard time reconciling any pen that relies on a perishable rubber sac with the height of function.

fwiw, I have a number of Esterbrooks and an even larger number of pens with sacs, so I have nothing against any of them. But I couldn't class any pen utterly above the rest; they all have their quirks and foibles,

Chuck Naill
April 3rd, 2020, 04:21 AM
Two things have occurred to me reading this thread.

Firstly, is it really that Esterbrook offered more nib options, or simply that they made it off-the-shelf easy to know which nib was which? Something we particularly value today because we don't have the luxury of popping into a pen retailers and trying half a dozen vintage Watermans, say, in order to find the nib style we favour.

Secondly, I have a hard time reconciling any pen that relies on a perishable rubber sac with the height of function.

fwiw, I have a number of Esterbrooks and an even larger number of pens with sacs, so I have nothing against any of them. But I couldn't class any pen utterly above the rest; they all have their quirks and foibles,

Consider other brands with other types of filler systems that are much more complex, no longer available converters/cartridges, that would be impossible for most of us to repair or obtain the parts. Yes, if sacs were no longer being manufactured it would make it impossible. That Parker moved from the Vacumatic to Aerometric is noteworthy.

And, I think with the inks we use today coupled with a basic understanding of fountain pen maintenance, the sacs will last a lifetime so no need to restore again.

I am not trying to change your mind as much as just providing an explanation.

Deb
April 3rd, 2020, 05:25 AM
Expecting a sac to last a lifetime may lead to disappointment. Purely on the basis of my own experience, sacs last between 7 and 15 years. I've had none that lasted longer than 15 years. The experience of other people may be different and I'm sure there are exceptional sac lives around but they don't last a lifetime.

I'm not disagreeing with your basic thesis about the Esterbrook, just this one point.

grainweevil
April 3rd, 2020, 07:47 AM
I am not trying to change your mind as much as just providing an explanation.

s'okay, I'm open to having my mind changed. :) But like Deb, I don't see your average sac as a lifetime thing. The Parker Pli-glass sacs are another matter, but not applicable to the Esterbrook. And yes, there are definitely much more complicated filling systems, even sac-based ones. But I'm not going to argue those are the height of anything, except maybe gizmocity. Which, in fairness, is a feature I do enjoy.

Chuck Naill
April 3rd, 2020, 09:05 AM
I am not trying to change your mind as much as just providing an explanation.

s'okay, I'm open to having my mind changed. :) But like Deb, I don't see your average sac as a lifetime thing. The Parker Pli-glass sacs are another matter, but not applicable to the Esterbrook. And yes, there are definitely much more complicated filling systems, even sac-based ones. But I'm not going to argue those are the height of anything, except maybe gizmocity. Which, in fairness, is a feature I do enjoy.

I do understand and appreciate yours and Deb's perspective. I do believe the reason for me is the overall use options many nib types provide, the excellent quality of materials, and simple yet bombproof mechanism. I compare this era Esterbrook with modern pens whose plastic cracks, leaks develop, and only a few nib types are available, but sell for hundreds of dollars.

pajaro
April 3rd, 2020, 09:26 AM
Pli-glas sacs are PVC. PVC sacs last a long time. Some of my Esterbrooks have PVC sacs I put into them. Still going after eight years. M2 pens and J-series pens as well.

Chuck Naill
April 3rd, 2020, 10:34 AM
Pli-glas sacs are PVC. PVC sacs last a long time. Some of my Esterbrooks have PVC sacs I put into them. Still going after eight years. M2 pens and J-series pens as well.

What size and do you still use shellac?

Chuck Naill
April 3rd, 2020, 04:59 PM
Read a post of a 40 year old MB with cracks and leaks being sent in for service. The charge was $99. "Oh the dreadful wind and rain..."

Jon Szanto
April 3rd, 2020, 05:25 PM
Read a post of a 40 year old MB with cracks and leaks being sent in for service. The charge was $99. "Oh the dreadful wind and rain..."

Ever seen an Estie with the jewels chipped or missing? Of course you have. Things do happen to pens. For $99 you could just buy a handful of J's to replace them, though.

Side-note: a good, young nibmeister is pairing up with Yafa to offer a new nib grind for current production Esterbrooks that is modeled after the 9314M nib (a great nib). Gena Salorino of Custom Nib Studio will be doing the nibs, which are going to be referred to as the "Journaling" nib. I think it's a great project, though I'll ust be using my old x314M or F nibs in vintage Esties.

penwash
April 3rd, 2020, 07:01 PM
Read a post of a 40 year old MB with cracks and leaks being sent in for service. The charge was $99. "Oh the dreadful wind and rain..."

If the owner has a lot of sentimental value attached to a pen, who are we to judge that they are being duped for not opting for a cheaper pen to repair. Besides, older MB pens are delightful pens and some of them are much better and a lot more interesting than Esterbrook J.

I paid quite a bit for the repair of my Aurora Optima Primavera, but it's very worth it to me because I get back basically a brand new pen. If I were to sell it, I'd recover all my costs and then some.

We can't judge different cases with different context using only a single perspective.

grainweevil
April 4th, 2020, 01:01 AM
There's a difference between being enthusiastic in advocating the pen variety you love and starting to deride pen brands that you don't. Please let's not wander into that trap, and for the love of mike, let's not have the thread descend into MB bashing.

As to PVC sacs in Esterbrooks, I'm sure they're excellent. They're also non-standard, which I would suggest makes them not really in the spirit of the original claim of form and function.

Anyway, Chuck, you'll be pleased with me - I have my first Dollar pen. Currently in quarantine, unfortunately, but hopefully will clean up nicely in due course. Life being what it is, what's the betting I don't have the correct size of sac? :rolleyes:

Chuck Naill
April 4th, 2020, 05:06 AM
If I am going to make a wide general statement about Esterbrooks being the height of something, I must make comparisons in order to validate why. I have owned a MB149 just as I currently have two Parker Vacumatics. No derision was intended, but only did so to make a comparison of reliability and simplicity.

I don't plan to use PVC, just curious about using them. If the same as in my Parker 21, they have a different pliability and not sure an Esty j bar and lever would work as well.

Yes, I am pleased you got a dollar. I have one sac left. I usually purchase 6 at a time from Anderson Pen. So, congratulations. I see Deb thanked your post. She's forgotten more than I will ever know. It is just that I have been surprised at how well an Esty cleans up and especially how well they write. Being able to use anything 90 years old for a common, daily purpose is very pleasing for me.

As an aside, I recently got another Parker 51 that was supposed to have be restored, but wasn't. I sent it out to be re-restored and got a message last night that the collector was the wrong size and part of the old diaphragm was floating inside the part that holds the ink. I would never have been able to have corrected the problem myself as I have been able to solve every problem with an Esty.

Anyway, just enjoying the discussion, but again not disparaging another's opinion and certainly not a different brand. I mean, we are all advocates of FP's here. :) I apologize if it appeared otherwise.

Deb
April 4th, 2020, 05:56 AM
I think it's good to be cautious about PVC sacs in lever fillers. They do put more stress on the delicate lever.

I don't know about having forgotten more than you will ever know. I have forgotten most of what I used to know.

grainweevil
April 4th, 2020, 06:09 AM
I don't plan to use PVC, just curious about using them. If the same as in my Parker 21, they have a different pliability and not sure an Esty j bar and lever would work as well.


I think it's good to be cautious about PVC sacs in lever fillers. They do put more stress on the delicate lever.

I wondered about that myself. Pajaro would be the one to know, I imagine.


I don't know about having forgotten more than you will ever know. I have forgotten most of what I used to know.

Oh crumbs, Deb, tell me about it.

guyy
April 5th, 2020, 09:11 AM
Iíve heard not to use PVC in celluloid pens. That would include Esterbrooks.

pajaro
April 6th, 2020, 11:30 AM
The Esterbrooks I put PVC sacs in were a few done around 2012. A couple of J pens and a couple of M2 pens. Maybe others. All of these are working well. I pulled the section of a J sacked with a latex sac at the same time, and it feels funny on the surface of the latex. It feels as if it needs a resac. This is what I had hoped to avoid with the PVC.

Delicate lever? Doesn't feel delicate. Perhaps, Deb, you have seen a lot of them break?

Yes, using PVC sacs breaks with the usual custom. I try things. I bought a nice Sheaffer Touchdown Imperial, inlaid nib, from Main Street pens that Ron Zorn had resacced with a PVC sac in lieu of a latex sac. Working great. So, should I try something that promises to reduce maintenance and is generally not outwardly visible, or should I be bound by tradition and keep resaccing every eight to ten or so years? The answer depends on what you are after. A collector who doesn't use the pens or uses them little would go with the latex sac, because it's not performance he's after but a sample of something in original condition. Ideally he might have NOS pens and not bother resaccing. A user might be OK with PVC, because it might never need a resac. If it doesn't break, no need to fix it.

corgicoupe
November 29th, 2020, 08:05 PM
I have found the 9314F nib to be preferable to the 9314M.

Chuck Naill
January 2nd, 2023, 01:56 PM
Just a casual eBay observation; these pens have doubled or tripled since I was restoring them.

Ron Z
January 2nd, 2023, 04:20 PM
Just a casual eBay observation; these pens have doubled or tripled since I was restoring them.

They have indeed as more of them have landed in collections.

I evidently missed a good part of this thread for one reason or another. They aren't "just" lowly Esterbrooks anymore. The nibs 9XXX nibs are getting to be harder to find. But I still find pens at flea markets and antique shops.

FWIW, two sizes of sacs were used in Esterbrooks. For the early Dollar pens and transitional J with out the tray inside, a #18. For the other pens including a J with the sac tray inside, a #16.

PVC sacs are at this point almost extinct since Martin Smith passed a number of years ago. David Nishimura still sells #14 PVC, and his Parker 51 sacs are PVC. The sacs are a bit stiffer, and I had one or two levers fail out of all the pens they went in, usually the pin or spring ring. Never in an Esterbrook.

Chuck Naill
April 14th, 2023, 02:53 PM
I mentioned obtaining an Esterbrook "transitional" pen with a 2788 nib. I've been using it for journaling for 6 weeks now and think it might be one of the best nibs in my collection.

LuckyLefty19
May 18th, 2023, 10:39 AM
Hello all. New guy here but I just acquired my first Esterbrook FP. Itís a J with a 2556 fine steel nib. It seems to work smoothly so far and Iím learning about these pens as I go. Any ideas of when this one may have been made? Iím guessing 1950ís but Iím not sure.
Also, any tips, tricks or even general info on these pens would be much appreciated as Iím trying to learn all I can about the FP hobby. Thanks. https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20230518/df3da05fa896c97a9c7dd121a28ccc17.jpg


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Chuck Naill
May 23rd, 2023, 03:10 PM
Hello, congratulations and Iím a user and appreciate the 2556 nib.

This is a resource I used for dating, http://www.esterbrook.net/