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Thread: Too inexpensive to restore?

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    Default Too inexpensive to restore?

    In the UK at least the most common cheap vintage pens are Platignums followed by Osmiroid and then various no name brands. I normally don't bother doing any work on these pens and wait until I have a few of them and than auction them off in a job lot for a few quid.

    At least in the UK sacs are £2.50 a piece which is a bit high to begin with. It's not worth while re-saccing a pen that will sell for £5 on a good day.


    It just got me thinking that maybe 50 years on when all of the there respective sacs have perished and a few people cast them aside. Are we going to be left in place where these 3rd tier pens will be rare, through people not being willing to repair them. Where vintage pens start at P45 and go upwards.

    Kind of interested to know what others do with there Weaver and the like? Other than letting them stack up and selling them to someone else I don't know what else to do with them.
    Last edited by top pen; September 22nd, 2019 at 11:46 AM.

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    Default Re: Too inexpensive to restore?

    I ignore Wearevers and avoid acquiring them. As you say, itís not worth working on them since i wonít use them myself and no one else is going to pay enough to justify the effort required.

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    Default Re: Too inexpensive to restore?

    Buying sacs direct from the manufacturer in quantity reduces the price somewhat. I agree with you that there are some pens not worthy of restoration. I do the same as you, sell them off in a batch in eBay. Perhaps the cheapest Platignums will become rare some day but I suspect it's a long time away. Those pens sold in hundreds of thousands, I should think. Have a look in Ebay UK any day and there they are in quantity.

    My view of what is not worth restoring has altered over the years. I now restore decent Osmiroids as calligraphers use them. Some Platignums are worthy of restoration and will eventually sell at a price that repays the effort. They're not rushing out the door, you understand, but they do sell.

    I try not to put any pens in the trash. Even if it's only for a learner to practice on, every pen has a use and a value, however small. Those cheap pens have survived 50 years and upwards. I don't want to be the one to put an end to any pen if I can help it.
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    Default Re: Too inexpensive to restore?

    As one who has a fondness for Platignums from my school days, I can assure you that they are becoming more rare with each passing year. And yes, there are those of us who collect them.

    Admittedly, a vintage Platignum will never attract the price that a Conway Stewart of the same period will, but binning them as not worth the expense or trouble may be regretted in the not too distant future.

    That,at least, is my opinion.

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    Default Re: Too inexpensive to restore?

    After restored, a good sample of Wearever can be an awesome sketching tool:

    - Will
    A place to look for restored vintage pens: Redeem Pens

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    Default Re: Too inexpensive to restore?

    I have put new sacs in Wearevers, Walthams, and a couple of other 3rd tier brands. I've even replaced some corroded J-bars. And I have one little Waltham where I even improvised a new inner cap. But then, I've never bought a pen with the primary purpose of reselling it. I got a good stock of sacs and J-bars fairly early in my fountain pen obsession, when I was buying a lot of Esterbrooks, and restocked when a favorite online source was going out of business and selling all their stock. I'm not actively looking for more pens for now, but if I picked up a plausibly restorable 3rd tier pen at our local flea market some day, I would enjoy making it usable again. I guess it's the difference between a hobbyist and a dealer.

    Some of my Wearevers are decent pens, and the tiny Waltham that I mentioned above is a surprisingly nice writer, although it holds very little ink. Admittedly, after getting the test run that all of my functional pens have gotten, most of them have been put away, to be used again seldom or never. But I don't regret the relatively minor expense of restoring them. And if I finally do sell some of my pens, then I'll just think of it as getting some money back, and not worry that I didn't make a profit.

    I wouldn't mind finding a Platignum, as I don't think they were very common in America. But I won't look for them on eBay. Maybe one will turn up at a flea market or yard sale some time.
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    Default Re: Too inexpensive to restore?

    It can often depend on the pen, but since I only do a very small amount of selling (and only to reduce my personal gatherings), I don't think about it a lot. There are a number of 3rd tier brands that, while not striking in the quality of build, exhibit vibrant materials and interesting looks or designs. I happen to favor a couple Wearever celluloids and wish they had been incorporated in better pens, so I've fixed up a few and put better nibs in them.

    A large assortment of these pens that just don't seem like I'll hold onto them have found a purpose, though: with only a modest investment of time and a pittance in materials, I can restore one of these to at least working order and then include it as a freebie along with another pen to be purchased, often an Esterbrook or Waterman Phileas. This way, the new buyer - usually new to the pen world - gets a solid pen that will work well, and a modest example of an older vintage pen to whet their appetite. I think it is a good way for these 'lesser' pens to have one more dance on the floor.
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    Default Re: Too inexpensive to restore?

    It probably depends on the pen. I had a chance to pick from a box of free third tier pens and took a few particularly attractive ones and left a lot behind. No sense in fixing an ugly looking pen.

    All my third tiers end up getting a resto-mod.

    My Wearever got a new sac, a blind cap (from an Estie), and a wonderful Eversharp stub nib. I shall call it a WearEversharp henceforth.



    The body has flats making it unusual and it has a matching pencil. The matching (decent) pencil, the color, and a truly phenomenal nib make it worth owning, I think.



    My lizard pattern E. Faber Permapoint were too cool looking to give up on. They needed new nibs. One has a Knox. The other I'm still searching. Maybe a Wing Sung. Maybe vintage. I dunno.



    One of my Arnold pens has a terrible brass J bar and miniscule ink capacity but is pretty and the nib is actually really pleasant to use. I may yet put in a proper J bar.

    I suspect it is similar to cars. Few people bother fixing up old Chevy Chevettes or Geo Metros because they're either bad or undesirable. Some are interesting enough, like AMC Gremlins or Ford Pintos so those that survive get attention. Some are good but not collectible, like Toyota Camrys so they will be around as a relative bargain. But mostly it's desirable cars, high end cars, etc., that will be around and command a higher price as time passes.

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    Default Re: Too inexpensive to restore?

    Jon, I like your idea of including a third tier pen with a purchase.

    Another thought would be to have some as give away pens when someone expresses an interest. That might lead to more Fountain pen users and collectors.

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    Default Re: Too inexpensive to restore?

    To me it sounds like cheap pens would be lovely practice for restoration, experimentation, or just as a challenge to see how nice your could get them. Maybe thinking out a process for restoring them efficiently.

    Any pen that writes is a good pen, as long as it doesn't leech poison into your hand.

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    Default Re: Too inexpensive to restore?

    I have restored third tier pens and combined parts from the junk bin, just to see what is possible. One of my best writers is a Sheaffer desk pen with the Touchdown filler. There is no white dot and the nib and feed were missing. I found an old Sheaffer Feather Touch nib and a feed that fit the combination. The recess in the section is way too deep for the feed, but I found that I could hold the nib and feed together in their correct position, insert the combination into the section and twist them to tighten everything together. I found a black glass/porcelain Sheaffer base for this mutt and now have a great writer. I use this pen A LOT. Smooth, medium point, perfect balance. The whole shebang probably cost me $5, plus a new sac.

    If a third tier pen has an inner cap that keeps the nib from drying out, it is probably worth saving.
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