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Thread: Rescued a broken Aurora 88K

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    Default Rescued a broken Aurora 88K

    Got this pen last year as part of a batch of unrestored pens. Been procrastinating in restoring it because I've been busy with work and other pens. But last week I decided that I'll give it a go.

    First of all, this pen already is in a rough shape. I don't know what happened to the section, the imprint is scuffed up, then there is this coarse/abraded "ring" near the nib. It can't be the cap, maybe an attempt to open the section. The cap has also lost it's gold filling in a few places, though overall it doesn't look bad.

    The piston is super nice. I really had to hand it to Aurora, when it comes to piston construction, they are the top quality one from Italy, I think. This old pen, used up as it looks, has the smoothest piston, which unfortunately doesn't work because the seals inside is gone.

    So now it's time to open the section, fast forward two days and a lot of heating and soaking and grunting later, the section is separated from the barrel. Then the bad news hit. The piston seal assembly which is ingeniously designed, came out with the tip broken, so now I'm left with a hexagonal shaft with a stump and a hole at the center. Even if I can find the right o-ring to replace the hardened old seals, what am I supposed to do with the hole which would compromise any attempt from the piston to build a vacuum.

    But first thing first, I reached to my collection of o-rings and I found that the C-sized ring that David Nishimura sells would fit perfectly. And I mean perfectly, it slides and "hug" the piston shaft, then inside the barrel, it slides effortlessly but snugly against the barrel, sealing the barrel to create the vacuum that is needed to suck ink into the barrel.

    NOTE: This restoration is not possible if the pen was made poorly. In fact, the rest of the piston assembly is solid that the only breakage is on the hexagonal shaft, which I can deal with.

    Now to take care of that pesky hole left by the broken tip. After thinking about it for a long while, I took a note from my restorations of safety pens and Japanese eye-droppers. Synthetic cork to the rescue, I took out my smallest punch and created a tiny cork capsule, just large enough that it can be squeezed into the hole and expand to fill the space perfectly. As the result, with the hole plugged up, the pen started to take water in. Yeah!

    So after applying some silicon grease, I can fill the pen with ink.
    I'm going to test the pen for a few days and see if it'll write with the ink instead of coloring my fingers.



    Stay tuned.
    Last edited by penwash; April 1st, 2019 at 11:06 PM.
    - Will
    A place to look for restored vintage pens: Redeem Pens

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    Ahriman4891 (April 4th, 2019), amk (April 2nd, 2019), AzJon (April 2nd, 2019), carlos.q (April 2nd, 2019), catbert (April 1st, 2019), Chrissy (April 2nd, 2019), Jon Szanto (April 1st, 2019), mmd (April 8th, 2019), Sailor Kenshin (April 2nd, 2019)

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    Senior Member Jon Szanto's Avatar
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    Default Re: Rescued a broken Aurora 88K

    Nicely done, dog! Man, I love these pens (though the 88P is my pen of choice - only cosmetic differences). I'll take one of these over a P51 any hour of any day.
    "When Men differ in Opinion, both Sides ought equally to have the Advantage of being heard by the Publick;
    and that when Truth and Error have fair Play, the former is always an overmatch for the latter."

    ~ Benjamin Franklin

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    FPG Donor ♕ Chrissy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Rescued a broken Aurora 88K

    Great story Will. Way to go. I love the shape of this Aurora model.

    Slightly off topic: Do you happen to know what size the large, fat, O-ring is that fits onto the section of the Sheaffer Legacy Mk1? And if you do where I can get one? I've only ever seen large, thin, PFM O-rings available for sale. When I bought a pack from Anderson Pens I got PFM O-rings that aren't any use for the Legacy.
    Regards, Chrissy | My Blog: inkyfountainpens

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    Default Re: Rescued a broken Aurora 88K

    Quote Originally Posted by Jon Szanto View Post
    Nicely done, dog! Man, I love these pens (though the 88P is my pen of choice - only cosmetic differences). I'll take one of these over a P51 any hour of any day.
    Woof, woof!

    This pen, even "user-grade" one like this, feels substantial.
    I absolutely love the piston filler on this pen, and I'm so glad that they carry the quality to the Optima model also.
    - Will
    A place to look for restored vintage pens: Redeem Pens

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    Default Re: Rescued a broken Aurora 88K

    Quote Originally Posted by Chrissy View Post
    Great story Will. Way to go. I love the shape of this Aurora model.

    Slightly off topic: Do you happen to know what size the large, fat, O-ring is that fits onto the section of the Sheaffer Legacy Mk1? And if you do where I can get one? I've only ever seen large, thin, PFM O-rings available for sale. When I bought a pack from Anderson Pens I got PFM O-rings that aren't any use for the Legacy.
    Thanks, Chrissy.

    Regarding the o-ring, if you have not, check with David Nishimura (vintagepens.net), he probably can get you one.
    - Will
    A place to look for restored vintage pens: Redeem Pens

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    Chrissy (April 2nd, 2019)

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    Default Re: Rescued a broken Aurora 88K

    Quote Originally Posted by penwash View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Chrissy View Post
    Slightly off topic: Do you happen to know what size the large, fat, O-ring is that fits onto the section of the Sheaffer Legacy Mk1? And if you do where I can get one? I've only ever seen large, thin, PFM O-rings available for sale. When I bought a pack from Anderson Pens I got PFM O-rings that aren't any use for the Legacy.
    Thanks, Chrissy.

    Regarding the o-ring, if you have not, check with David Nishimura (vintagepens.net), he probably can get you one.
    Thanks Will, I'll be able to do that very soon.
    Regards, Chrissy | My Blog: inkyfountainpens

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    Senior Member whych's Avatar
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    Default Re: Rescued a broken Aurora 88K

    Quote Originally Posted by Chrissy View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by penwash View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Chrissy View Post
    Slightly off topic: Do you happen to know what size the large, fat, O-ring is that fits onto the section of the Sheaffer Legacy Mk1? And if you do where I can get one? I've only ever seen large, thin, PFM O-rings available for sale. When I bought a pack from Anderson Pens I got PFM O-rings that aren't any use for the Legacy.
    Thanks, Chrissy.

    Regarding the o-ring, if you have not, check with David Nishimura (vintagepens.net), he probably can get you one.
    Thanks Will, I'll be able to do that very soon.
    Try pendragons - they sell complete kits for the whole Sheaffer TD and Snorkel range.

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    Default Re: Rescued a broken Aurora 88K

    Quote Originally Posted by whych View Post
    Try pendragons - they sell complete kits for the whole Sheaffer TD and Snorkel range.
    Yes they do sell kits, and I've used them a lot. They don't do an O-ring for a Legacy though.

    I also emailed David Nishimura, and he doesn't have any either. He has no idea who might have them and thinks there isn't enough demand to justify carrying them.
    Regards, Chrissy | My Blog: inkyfountainpens

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    Default Re: Rescued a broken Aurora 88K

    Quote Originally Posted by Chrissy View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by whych View Post
    Try pendragons - they sell complete kits for the whole Sheaffer TD and Snorkel range.
    Yes they do sell kits, and I've used them a lot. They don't do an O-ring for a Legacy though.

    I also emailed David Nishimura, and he doesn't have any either. He has no idea who might have them and thinks there isn't enough demand to justify carrying them.
    Chrissy, at one time I was talking with Shawn Newton and we got to talk about O-rings, he said that it's pretty easy to order low volume a custom-sized O-rings from manufacturers.
    Of course by "low volume" we're talking about hundreds or thousands of O-rings, and I've seen a manufacturer that will produce them at $200-300 cost.

    I'm not expecting that anyone but pen makers would jump on this route, but that option is available
    - Will
    A place to look for restored vintage pens: Redeem Pens

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    Default Re: Rescued a broken Aurora 88K

    Quote Originally Posted by penwash View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Chrissy View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by whych View Post
    Try pendragons - they sell complete kits for the whole Sheaffer TD and Snorkel range.
    Yes they do sell kits, and I've used them a lot. They don't do an O-ring for a Legacy though.

    I also emailed David Nishimura, and he doesn't have any either. He has no idea who might have them and thinks there isn't enough demand to justify carrying them.
    Chrissy, at one time I was talking with Shawn Newton and we got to talk about O-rings, he said that it's pretty easy to order low volume a custom-sized O-rings from manufacturers.
    Of course by "low volume" we're talking about hundreds or thousands of O-rings, and I've seen a manufacturer that will produce them at $200-300 cost.

    I'm not expecting that anyone but pen makers would jump on this route, but that option is available
    What surprises me is that many of these Legacy pens had their barrels swapped over to brightly coloured versions to become Legacy Fantasy pens, that accepted both the press bar and twist action converters. I would find it hard to believe that all of those O-rings were just thrown away. On the other hand, maybe they all went hard, which is what happens to them.

    Is the potential demand for them so very different to the demand for PFM O-rings? $200-$300 cost within the US isn't something that I could do.
    Regards, Chrissy | My Blog: inkyfountainpens

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    Default Re: Rescued a broken Aurora 88K

    I have an 88P along with the modern version. The 88P has been my go to writer for the last week. Itís a very well made pen and I like it much better than a Parker 51.

    Some of these can be found with flexible nibs, mine is a firm fine.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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    Default Re: Rescued a broken Aurora 88K

    Quote Originally Posted by Butthurticus-VIII View Post
    I have an 88P along with the modern version. The 88P has been my go to writer for the last week. Itís a very well made pen and I like it much better than a Parker 51.

    Some of these can be found with flexible nibs, mine is a firm fine.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    I took the pen to the pen club meeting last night and an Aurora enthusiast told me the same thing, the pen feels more substantial than Parker 51.
    - Will
    A place to look for restored vintage pens: Redeem Pens

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    Default Re: Rescued a broken Aurora 88K

    Nicely done. That is a fine looking instrument. Sounds like I will have to try one out some day.

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