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Thread: A Parker Vacumatic that is a fighter

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    Default A Parker Vacumatic that is a fighter

    Warning, this is a long story about restoring vintage pens, if you have no interest in vintage pens or pen restoration, skip this, or you'd risk getting infected by the fascination with vintage pens



    This particular Parker Vacumatic is a fighter. Actually it's a fighter in two sense: It's a fighter in survival, the trims are brassed in an interesting way, have a look:


    The brassing pattern looks like a head of a snake with eyes How can you plan something like this?

    I can see that this fighter of a pen has gone through a lot, in a land that is far from its birthplace, in the era of a great war. Yet this pen can still withstand restoration and as you see it today, it became an excellent writer/sketcher once more.

    In the other sense, this pen is a fighter, because it fought me all the way through the restoration process

    At first, I was encouraged that the section threaded off the barrel quite easily with no drama. But to my dismay I discovered that parts of the plunger were literally glued by melted diaphragm at the end of the section including a severely caked breathing tube, it's a miracle that the tube still works in the end.

    But let's forget about the tube for a second, how on earth did the part of the plunger which is supposed to be at the other end of the barrel ended up here, stuck at the section?? Do you know how long it took me to clean up the section from this mess? Too long for something that isn't supposed to happen in the first place.

    This started to make me worry.

    Then I looked under the blind cap and discovered that the old plunger has literally shattered into pieces. This pen being the 2nd generation Vacumatic -- with the double jewel -- has the speedline filler but as the pieces in my hand attested to, it's the brittle thin aluminum one, instead of the latter celluloid model which I prefer because they are newer and better designed, innards and all.

    This kinda... sorta... explain how the plunger had been broken off and parts of it ended up down there at the section? Still incredible though, what had this pen went through? And why aren't the rest of the pen in shambles also?

    Okay, then at least I can replace the shattered plunger with the spares I have (these are celluloid ones, so it's really an upgrade). But out of several that I tried, only one would thread correctly, and it happened to be the one that is missing the hard-rubber pellet cup (sigh!). And so thus this restoration story became longer and longer.

    I know some of you readers left already, so I'll skip ahead, and for those who stuck around, here's the happy ending: The pen writes again, with new feed (another weird story on why I can't use the original one).

    And this pen fills up with ink very nicely, the combination of the new plunger filler, new feed and original breathing tube do their job splendidly. So it's ready for a new application of thread sealant when I finished my testing.

    So there, this story is to encourage future vintage pen restorers that when a pen is well made, well designed, it can withstand enormous stress during restoration (probably better than the restorer... hah), and it's worth your effort and time.

    For now, enjoy the pumpkin Sloppy Sketch(TM) and I have no idea which brown ink that is, it's one of my sample vials. I know it's not the Sheaffer Skrip (because I finally finished that darn bottle).
    Last edited by penwash; November 9th, 2019 at 12:47 PM.
    - Will
    Unique and restored vintage pens: Redeem Pens

  2. The Following 9 Users Say Thank You to penwash For This Useful Post:

    azkid (November 10th, 2019), carlos.q (November 9th, 2019), Chrissy (November 9th, 2019), fountainpagan (November 11th, 2019), FredRydr (November 9th, 2019), Jon Szanto (November 9th, 2019), KrazyIvan (November 9th, 2019), Robert (November 10th, 2019), silverlifter (November 9th, 2019)

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    Senior Member Deb's Avatar
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    Default Re: A Parker Vacumatic that is a fighter

    A fine restoration tale!
    Regards,
    Deb
    My Blog
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    Senior Member Jon Szanto's Avatar
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    Default Re: A Parker Vacumatic that is a fighter

    Most anything good is worth fighing for. Nice story and pen, Will. I'm in the middle of a multi-year pen/restore that has the same, obstinate fight in it!
    "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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    Senior Member Linkinyeah's Avatar
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    Default Re: A Parker Vacumatic that is a fighter

    Great job on the restoration. Don't give up on these pens. Keep bringing them back to life for us who appreciate American craftsmanship. Will this one be for sale?

    Sent from my SM-G955U using Tapatalk

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    FPG Donor ♕ Chrissy's Avatar
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    Default Re: A Parker Vacumatic that is a fighter

    It's always a joy to read your restoration stories. Thank you.
    Regards, Chrissy | My Blog: inkyfountainpens

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    Default Re: A Parker Vacumatic that is a fighter

    Quote Originally Posted by Deb View Post
    A fine restoration tale!
    Thank you, Deb

    Quote Originally Posted by Jon Szanto View Post
    Most anything good is worth fighing for. Nice story and pen, Will. I'm in the middle of a multi-year pen/restore that has the same, obstinate fight in it!
    Thanks, Jon. If it weren't for the fact that I have accumulated parts for Vacumatics, this restoration would be prolonged significantly by parts hunting.

    Quote Originally Posted by Linkinyeah View Post
    Great job on the restoration. Don't give up on these pens. Keep bringing them back to life for us who appreciate American craftsmanship. Will this one be for sale?
    Yes, my job as a restorer is done, it's time for this pen to serve a new owner who would appreciate its fighter spirit
    Truthfully, this pen very fun to write and sketch with.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chrissy View Post
    It's always a joy to read your restoration stories. Thank you.
    Glad you enjoyed this long-winded account.
    - Will
    Unique and restored vintage pens: Redeem Pens

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    Senior Member azkid's Avatar
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    Default Re: A Parker Vacumatic that is a fighter

    Nice job and very encouraging indeed!

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    penwash (November 10th, 2019)

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    Senior Member fountainpagan's Avatar
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    Default Re: A Parker Vacumatic that is a fighter

    Beautiful restauration, and nice tale. Parker Vacumatic is my favorite Parker model. I do love the way their hue changes with the light. Keep on, please

  11. The Following User Says Thank You to fountainpagan For This Useful Post:

    penwash (November 11th, 2019)

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