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Thread: Mabie Todd leverless model

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    Default Mabie Todd leverless model

    I just received one of my recent purchaces, I think it's a fairly late Mabie Todd Swan. It's a nice looking pen, simple black plastic with gold trim. It's a modern type plastic, I'm guessing something in the direction of polyester or pvc, it's hard and shiny, but not like celluloid or acetate.

    Inside is a broken metal bit, part that pushes the sack flat. I'm not sure how it works in a leverless model, there is a screw device on top. I need to track down the right size rubber sack and metal bit, and figure out how the mechanical part work.

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    Senior Member Deb's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mabie Todd leverless model

    I think if the bar is broken the only place one will come from is another Leverless. It's sometimes called an "entangling bar" and that is what it does. It empties the sac of air by twisting it as you twist the turn button For that reason, the Leverless needs the biggest sac you can cram into the barrel. Have a look at the end of the barrel for a number there.

    I'll take a look to see if I have a spare bar but I think it's unlikely.
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    Default Re: Mabie Todd leverless model

    I hope the pictures turn up this time. The pen is not exactly what I was looking for, but I expected a relavely easy repair, and to try the No4 Swan nib. No replacement parts available? The top of the barrel seems to turn up a millimeter and a half, I can't seen how it's suppose to work.


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    Default Re: Mabie Todd leverless model

    That's not a standard Leverless but the later kind. You just need a normal pressure bar of the right size. The millimeter and a half is quite enough to compress the sac. It works somewhat like a button filler.
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    Default Re: Mabie Todd leverless model

    I fould a repair tutorial for a very similar model, maybe even the same. It looks like parts are availble. The nib is not what I hoped for, so I gues I will keep on searching. This Swan No 4 is a bit too wide and ridgid to be ideal.


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    Default Re: Mabie Todd leverless model

    Yes, that's the type of pen that you have. I haven't found Grandmia to be the most reliable of pen repair people but maybe he's OK on this video. I haven't watched it.

    The number of a Swan nib only tells you what size it is, not whether it's flexible or whether it's fine or broad.
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    Default Re: Mabie Todd leverless model

    I was wondering about the number system, I can't tell much from the inscription in the nib. I'm looking for something like a fine flex, and I think I might have to buy from someone that knows more about pens.

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    Senior Member Deb's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mabie Todd leverless model

    Buy from a retailer who tests the pens and provides writing samples. Unfortunately I don't have a fine flex at the moment. You will pay more for a fine flex.

    The pen you have is quite a good one though it isn't what you want. You should get a decent price for it when you have repaired it.
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    Senior Member SchaumburgSwan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mabie Todd leverless model

    Quote Originally Posted by Deb View Post
    Buy from a retailer who tests the pens and provides writing samples. Unfortunately I don't have a fine flex at the moment. You will pay more for a fine flex.

    The pen you have is quite a good one though it isn't what you want. You should get a decent price for it when you have repaired it.
    Hi Deb,

    where there any other materials than celluloid (like the model 4460) or ebonite (model 4461) in the 1950s?
    I'm not an expert, but this one looks like a celluloid pen...

    Best wishes
    Jens
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    https://www.flickr.com/photos/136145166@N02/albums

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    Senior Member Deb's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mabie Todd leverless model

    Hi Jens,

    Let's put it this way. I don't think this pen is BHR. It may be celluloid or some other material. Some of the materials that Mabie Todd used from the thirties on look like celluloid but don't behave like it when it comes to welding cracks.
    Regards,
    Deb
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    Default Re: Mabie Todd leverless model

    So called modern plastics were invented in the 30s, I think nylon stockings was one the first products. By the late 40s they had plastic boxes, bowls,... and it quickly expanded. I don't know too much about the "nylon, pvc, polyethylen,..." group of plastics, I think they are derrived from crude oil. Celluloid is part of a group of early plastics, they had more than one way to make these hard plastics, melamin, bexite (the black handles on old folding knifes), lots of names I suspect were for the same material, at least similar. I think some methods for making them were patented. I know they still make spectacle frames from cellulose acetate, which is the stuff we call celluloid. I don't know enough about it to have a good overview of the situation.
    Last edited by arrow; May 4th, 2019 at 08:30 AM.

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    Default Re: Mabie Todd leverless model

    Quote Originally Posted by Deb View Post
    ...Let's put it this way. I don't think this pen is BHR.
    BHR? I'm slow on abbreviations some times. When was the last Mabie Todd made? There is hint of flex to the black meterial in the pen that's not there in my other pens. I don't have a lot to compare about, but tow are sort of striated tourtoise shell from 1953-55, they feel different, a bit more ridgid. I don't regred the Mabie Todd pen, I shall replace the sack and see what I can managed. I can't use it for the purpose I wanted though. The letters I'm practising is difficult to get right in the first place and impossible in notebooks with out the fine tip nib. I need the flex for the right look too, but not essential for practising the right strokes and shapes.

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    Default Re: Mabie Todd leverless model

    Quote Originally Posted by arrow View Post
    ...I know they still make spectacle frames from cellulose acetate, which is the stuff we call celluloid.
    Before around 1950 photographic film used to be celluloid, then it was replaced by cellulose acetat and sometimes polyester ("safety film" ) due to fires in cinemas...
    I think we should only call cellulose nitrates celluloid... There are celluloids with different degrees of nitrat threatment and camphor btw.

    Best
    Jens
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    Default Re: Mabie Todd leverless model

    Quote Originally Posted by arrow View Post
    I was wondering about the number system, I can't tell much from the inscription in the nib. I'm looking for something like a fine flex, and I think I might have to buy from someone that knows more about pens.
    Sorry, I'm finally catching up on my reading, lol. Arrow, you might want to look at this past thread where various members commented on the type of pen nib that you are looking for. Worth a read and it might save you some time and money. I've read (at that other pen forum) that Mauricio is very experienced with determining just how a nib performs according to HIS rating system, which is on his website.

    linky: https://fpgeeks.com/forum/showthread...-for-me-please

    All the Best.

    [Sorry for getting off-topic.]
    Last edited by junglejim; May 4th, 2019 at 11:25 AM. Reason: spelling, addendum

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    Default Re: Mabie Todd leverless model

    I have spent some time on time on the redeempens-page penwash linked too, but I'm being very undecisive. Except for repair parts I didnt find much on the pendragon-site. I'm still waiting for two other pens I've bought, and one is a 50s Pelikan I might eventually find a F or XF nib for. The next pen I buy will hopefully be a good combination of fine tip and flex. I have noticed some recommend a Pilot custom grinded nib for scripts like spencerian and copperplate. There are some complaints on ink feed, but it looks like it generally works. I almost bought a 1920s Mabie Todd Dropper filler yesterday, but the seller recommended a later type fountain pen for use, this one was apparently a bit messy and with uneven inkflow. I'm taking measures for repair parts at the moment :- )

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    Default Re: Mabie Todd leverless model

    Quote Originally Posted by arrow View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Deb View Post
    ...Let's put it this way. I don't think this pen is BHR.
    BHR? I'm slow on abbreviations some times. When was the last Mabie Todd made?
    Black Hard Rubber. I think the last fountain pen made under the Swan name was 1956. By then it was owned by Biro and they no longer included Mabie Todd on the pens.
    Regards,
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    Default Re: Mabie Todd leverless model

    Quote Originally Posted by Deb View Post
    ...I think the last fountain pen made under the Swan name was 1956. By then it was owned by Biro and they no longer included Mabie Todd on the pens.
    Thanks. I think my small push button pen might be hard rubber? When i first held the MT pen in my hand I was thinking around 1960. The pen has the logo stamped into the barrel, and on the clip. It might turn out to be a nice pen.

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    Default Re: Mabie Todd leverless model

    Quote Originally Posted by arrow View Post
    I fould a repair tutorial for a very similar model, maybe even the same. It looks like parts are availble. The nib is not what I hoped for, so I gues I will keep on searching. This Swan No 4 is a bit too wide and ridgid to be ideal.

    I just watched this video since I've never replaced an ink sac before. I can understand putting some shellac on the ink sac nipple to hold the ink sac in place, but why would you put shellac on the section before putting it into the body? Wouldn't that just make it a big PITA to remove later when it's time to replace the sac again? Or are sections on pens just really loose fitting and you have to do that? On second thought, I'll just send any future sac replacement pens to Danny Fudge to work on. I'm usually all thumbs when it come to mechanical things.
    Last edited by junglejim; May 4th, 2019 at 12:42 PM.

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    Default Re: Mabie Todd leverless model

    Quote Originally Posted by junglejim View Post
    ...I can understand putting some shellac on the ink sac nipple to hold the ink sac in place, but why would you put shellac on the section before putting it into the body? Wouldn't that just make it a big PITA to remove later when it's time to replace the sac again? Or are sections on pens just really loose fitting and you have to do that? On second thought, I'll just send any future sac replacement pens to Danny Fudge to work on. I'm usually all thumbs when it come to mechanical things.
    Hi,

    putting shellac onto the section of a swan sac pen is nonsence. Just shellac to the sac nipple.
    A good idea is aplying some talcum powder on the outside of the sac when it is mounted.
    Nice pen btw. :-)

    Best
    Jens
    .................................................. .................................................. .

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/136145166@N02/albums

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    Default Re: Mabie Todd leverless model

    Does anyone know the time it takes for shellac to dry when it's used as glue? When you polish furniture layers of shellac dries quicky, but it still takes days before it's completely set. It can sort of shrink, and you spend hours with oil and a cloth bundle to smooth it out.

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