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Thread: A Repair Dilemma

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    Default A Repair Dilemma

    I just opened up a Conway Stewart Dinkie 550 (lovely blue marble with golden veins) , to replace the sac and got a lovely surprise

    The old hardened sac came out complete and I was surprised to see it was branded

    IMG_1270_dinkie.jpg

    I've not seen that before and I love the attention to detail , branding a part of the pen which is unlikely ever to be seen outside the factory
    I'm also guessing that maybe Conway Stewart supplied branded sacs to 3rd parties possibly

    So now I have the dilemma of either repairing the pen and losing a bit of history , or preserving it but leaving the pen unworkable

    As sweet as Dinkies are , they are rather on the small side as a EDW, so preservation is winning out

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    Default Re: A Repair Dilemma

    It happens not infrequently that named sacs turn up. I've had Conway Stewart, Waterman and Swan quite often. You may be right that companies sold named sacs but I have always assumed that they are the sacs the pen came with. Dinkies, for instance, don't get a lot of use, being so small so probably never had a sac replaced. One of the reasons that I don't think that companies supplied their own named sacs to repairers is that you never see a Conway Stewart sac in, say, a Burnham and I'm sure repairers would use whatever they had to hand. It's nice to open a pen and find a sac that is older than me!
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    ChrisJ (November 19th, 2019)

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    Default Re: A Repair Dilemma

    This is amazing. I repaired almost exactly the same colour CS but in the larger size yesterday - and it also came with a named sac in it! Separated at birth, obviously.

    I am actually keeping the ossified sac as a little piece of history.

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    ChrisJ (November 19th, 2019)

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    Default Re: A Repair Dilemma

    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisJ View Post
    So now I have the dilemma of either repairing the pen and losing a bit of history , or preserving it but leaving the pen unworkable

    As sweet as Dinkies are , they are rather on the small side as a EDW, so preservation is winning out
    I'm rejoicing with you. Finding an intact and branded ink sac is quite exciting for restorer-type pen people.

    In light of what you wrote above, in your place, I would lean towards preservation.

    Plus you can always use the pen to write by dipping, it won't hurt the ink sac.
    - Will
    Unique and restored vintage pens: Redeem Pens

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    Default Re: A Repair Dilemma

    If it was my pen I would replace the sac. It is just an internal sac, after all, that no-one will ever see, and it was originally designed to make the pen useable. Therefore. for me, it should be useable again.
    Pens were, and still are, branded, so it shouldn't be that much of a surprise that some sacs were too.
    Regards, Chrissy | My Blog: inkyfountainpens

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    Default Re: A Repair Dilemma

    To be honest I do not see a dilemma.

    You have a tool which is not working.
    Inside your not working tool is perished old piece of rubber.
    This old rubber coincidently has a print of the manufacturer on it.
    Why should this print make the part special?

    The sac (with print or without) was and is a wear part with only a limited amount of usage time.
    The pen on the other side is not a wear part, it was designed to be used many sac life spans, it was designed to last several lifetimes (of users).

    No vintage sac pen would be still in use if the wear part (in this case the sac) wouldn’t be replaced from time to time.
    This does not make the pen worse or less authentic.

    Imho a tool which is not used (in this case because itˋs not working) is not worth owning it.

    By replacing the sac your vintage tool will not become less authentic, the opposite is true, you put it back to service not worse than before but better.
    It will become operabel again and can serve again as a enjoyable writing instrument.

    Imagine you own an Oldtimer.
    Let’s say you own a iconic Mercedes SSK from 1931.
    Let’s assume also some day the water hose between the radiator and the motor block became porous and perished on your last Sunday trip.
    You would not hesitate a second to replace the old water hose even it has “Daimler Benz Aktiengesellschaft” with the Mercedes star and a part number printed on it.

    So the idea of not changing a wear part because of preservation thoughts is to be honest for me a little bit odd.....


    Regarding the size of pens.
    Also here it’s a matter of personal preference and to get used to use small pens.
    In the past pens were much smaller than today and still people used and enjoyed them.

    I for example really like smaller pens like e.g. the Montblanc 342,142 or Pelikan Ibis.
    Even my smallest pen a tiny Waterman 12 1/2 is one of my all time favorites, comfortable to use and featured with a awesome flex nib.




    (Waterman 12 1/2 BCHR ..... Diamine Red Dragon)
    Last edited by Pterodactylus; November 19th, 2019 at 01:37 PM.

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    Default Re: A Repair Dilemma

    Thank you everyone, I appreciate all your views and they have given me some clarity around my very first world dilemma

    The Pen isn't a rare museum quality artefact and its not even a rare or particularly special version of its kind,and the branded sac is defiantly never going to work again , it just was something new to me on my own pen journey

    I do find it interesting that something ephemeral and invisible like an ink sac was often visibly branded , not something I knew before today and I find it a shame that this small part of pen history is destroyed over time , but as Chrissy and Pterodactylus point out, the Dinkie in question is a tool which is currently broken and its one I bought to use

    So I think I've found a middle path between preservation and utility (thank you amk)

    I'm going to replace the sac and restore the pen to use , but I'm going to surgically remove the existing sac and keep it in the pen's box , so that maybe a future owner can be enlightened as I was today


    Again thank you to everyone
    Last edited by ChrisJ; November 19th, 2019 at 05:31 PM.

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    Default Re: A Repair Dilemma

    I agree with those above that say that the pen is a working tool which should be returned to a working state and that requires the removeal of the old sac. To be honest the old sac is no big deal. There are a lot of named sacs around. I come across half a dozen most years. But, on the other hand, even a restored Dinkie is not a very good tool. Try writing a page with that tiny thing and you'll probably end up with cramp.

    Probably your compromise is a good way to go.
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    Default Re: A Repair Dilemma

    Protectionism

    Ive just realised the branding of the ink sac is a form of protectionism
    The standard Conway Stewart guarantee states that it became void if non CS parts have been substituted so they needed away to identify if it was a CS sac

    Incidentally the guarantee says that it can be reinstated if the non CS parts are replaced by CS at regular prices

    It all helps to control the post purchase relationship

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    Default Re: A Repair Dilemma

    This sounds true. Typical manufacturer protectionism. I would take that branded sac off and throw it straight in the bin.
    Regards, Chrissy | My Blog: inkyfountainpens

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    Default Re: A Repair Dilemma

    That makes it more interesting. Protectionism, whether by nations or manufacturers, is an essential part of fountain pen history. Of course this version of it wasn't successful, in that most Conway Stewarts, Watermans and Swans no longer have named sacs by time they reach modern restorers. In any case, a sac would outlast most warranties.
    Regards,
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    Default Re: A Repair Dilemma

    Quote Originally Posted by Deb View Post
    In any case, a sac would outlast most warranties.
    and most of the companies issuing those warranties as well

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    Default Re: A Repair Dilemma

    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisJ View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Deb View Post
    In any case, a sac would outlast most warranties.
    and most of the companies issuing those warranties as well
    Maybe. Estimates of a sac's life vary. Anywhere between 7 and 15 years, according to what I have seen. I have pens I restored 15 years ago or more and they're still working.
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    Default Re: A Repair Dilemma

    I have regular misgivings about taking the accordion sacs out of French pens like Stylomines. They are a real part of pen history. But on the rare occasions that I've tried to save one, it ended up leaking within a few months, so I've given up.

    I *do* repair using the clear push-button, where it's in good shape, keeping the look and feel of the original. It's a cute feature, I suppose a sort of French equivalent of the ink window. (Only like much French engineering it only sort-of works, as you have to take the blind cap off the pen to see it.)

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    Default Re: A Repair Dilemma

    I like that filling system but the accordion sac, like the over-and-under feed, is something no-one makes now, sadly.
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    Default Re: A Repair Dilemma

    I have had a few Esterbrook J pens with branded sacs. They were either leaky or becoming flattened. I tossed them over the side. The only pen I keep in a non-working state is my ancient blow-filler pen. It looks too fragile to trifle with inside.
    "Nothing is enough for the man to whom enough is too little." -Epicurus-

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    Default Re: A Repair Dilemma

    Just thinking... that sac has outlasted *two* Conway Stewart companies not just one! So the warranty really won't help. Go ahead and replace it without fear :-)

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    Default Re: A Repair Dilemma

    Repair shops often marked their sacs to identify pens that they have repaired. I've considered doing this, but have found that the people I work for are quite honest, and I've rarely felt the need to do it myself.

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    Default Re: A Repair Dilemma

    Quote Originally Posted by Ron Z View Post
    Repair shops often marked their sacs to identify pens that they have repaired. I've considered doing this, but have found that the people I work for are quite honest, and I've rarely felt the need to do it myself.
    Hello Ron and welcome to FPGeeks.
    Regards, Chrissy | My Blog: inkyfountainpens

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    Default Re: A Repair Dilemma

    Quote Originally Posted by Chrissy View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Ron Z View Post
    Repair shops often marked their sacs to identify pens that they have repaired. I've considered doing this, but have found that the people I work for are quite honest, and I've rarely felt the need to do it myself.
    Hello Ron and welcome to FPGeeks.
    Thanks. I've had problems logging into Pentrace for some time now, regardless the OS or browser. I've all but given up, and want to have another point of contact with the pen community. I'm allergic to social media.

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