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Thread: Section - shellac

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    Default Section - shellac

    I've got this vintage Accurate pen that is absolutely lovely in design and materials (woodgrain plastic). After the seller sent it with the wrong nib, and then replaced said nib with a vintage Parker Duofold nib, I thought I was going to 'live happily ever after' with regard to this pen.

    Alas this is not the case. The new nib is 'extra fine' and has a pencil like feedback that I am not enjoying. I would have preferred the nib I was expecting to get (a Warranted #8) but now I am resigned to trying to make this work or giving it to Penwash as a gift.


    Anyway, the point of the thread. The pen fills and writes. However, as I am writing I notice a build up of ink where the nib is seated in the section. It's actually made me clean the pen out and put aside for the moment. The nib and feed are probably friction fit, so no shellac there! What I did note is that the whole section, while not loose, is relatively easy to pull out of the body.

    Is it desirable to shellac the section so as to provide an airtight seal? In asking this I vaguely recall that if any air gets into the barrel it can put pressure on the sac and cause ink drip. Of course the lever and box are hardly airtight, so I don't see how that can be true.


    Other than that I am at a loss on how to solve this issue. I really, really want to keep this pen, but it has to be functioning.


    So, wise-heads out there. What's going on here?
    Last edited by Empty_of_Clouds; December 30th, 2019 at 03:45 AM.

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    Default Re: Section - shellac

    I would not shellac the section in place. Instead I would build up layers of shellac to make the section fit securely in the barrel and allow it to cure completely before refitting.
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    Default Re: Section - shellac

    Before painting the area with shellac, it might be worthwhile eliminating other potential problems 1st, as Shellac is probably the last solution to consider.

    I've dabbled with pen tinkering, so I'm not an expert so do not tke this as gospel, but these are some things I've noticed when taking pens apart. (Consider this an opinion from a not-so-wise head)

    1/ The nib might not be a great fit. If it's not the original nib, then the build up of ink might by evidence that the nib doesn't fit, or isn't seated properly causing the problem.
    2/ Could there be a missing o-ring? Some of the vintage pens I've taken apart have had O-rings beneath the hood. It's possible that the rubber has disintegrated and needs replaced.

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    Default Re: Section - shellac

    Deb explains how to repair a lever filler pen here and does not shellac the section into the barrel. Even if you did shellac the section into the barrel it wouldn't be an airtight seal anyway because of the lever and box as you suggest.

    An ink build up where the nib is seated into the section suggests the nib and feed aren't playing perfectly well together. As you've replaced the Warranted #8 nib with a Parker Duofold nib this would seem to be the more likely problem.
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    Default Re: Section - shellac

    I think the section is secure enough, it certainly isn't wiggling free as I write with the pen. I was asking more about the sealing properties against leaks, but I do appreciate this additional information.


    Edit: just to note, I didn't change the nibs over, the seller did, assuring me that the Duofold nib would be a good fit and a decent tip. It looks like it's turning out to be neither of these things. It is quite frustrating as it is a beautiful pen, but if I cannot effect a simple remedy here then I will have to chalk it up to another case of being cheated by an eBay seller.
    Last edited by Empty_of_Clouds; December 30th, 2019 at 12:40 PM.

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    Default Re: Section - shellac

    Quote Originally Posted by Sandy View Post
    Before painting the area with shellac, it might be worthwhile eliminating other potential problems 1st, as Shellac is probably the last solution to consider.

    I've dabbled with pen tinkering, so I'm not an expert so do not tke this as gospel, but these are some things I've noticed when taking pens apart. (Consider this an opinion from a not-so-wise head)

    1/ The nib might not be a great fit. If it's not the original nib, then the build up of ink might by evidence that the nib doesn't fit, or isn't seated properly causing the problem.
    2/ Could there be a missing o-ring? Some of the vintage pens I've taken apart have had O-rings beneath the hood. It's possible that the rubber has disintegrated and needs replaced.
    If the section is "relatively easy to pull out" that's a problem with the section - nothing at all to do with the nib. The Accurate is not a hooded pen and would not have an O-ring. Why should shellac be the last solution to consider?
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    Default Re: Section - shellac

    Quote Originally Posted by Empty_of_Clouds View Post
    I've got this vintage Accurate pen that is absolutely lovely in design and materials (woodgrain plastic). After the seller sent it with the wrong nib, and then replaced said nib with a vintage Parker Duofold nib, I thought I was going to 'live happily ever after' with regard to this pen.

    Alas this is not the case. The new nib is 'extra fine' and has a pencil like feedback that I am not enjoying. I would have preferred the nib I was expecting to get (a Warranted #8) but now I am resigned to trying to make this work or giving it to Penwash as a gift.


    Anyway, the point of the thread. The pen fills and writes. However, as I am writing I notice a build up of ink where the nib is seated in the section. It's actually made me clean the pen out and put aside for the moment. The nib and feed are probably friction fit, so no shellac there! What I did note is that the whole section, while not loose, is relatively easy to pull out of the body.

    Is it desirable to shellac the section so as to provide an airtight seal? In asking this I vaguely recall that if any air gets into the barrel it can put pressure on the sac and cause ink drip. Of course the lever and box are hardly airtight, so I don't see how that can be true.


    Other than that I am at a loss on how to solve this issue. I really, really want to keep this pen, but it has to be functioning.


    So, wise-heads out there. What's going on here?
    Another thing to consider: Duofold nibs are generally thicker than many others. I'm not terribly well up on the Accurate, but those I have seen had steel nibs, probably quite a bit thinner. If the nib is not seated well against the feed it might lead to the production of excess ink. Only guesswork, E-O-C, without sight or handling of the pen.
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    Default Re: Section - shellac

    Quote Originally Posted by Empty_of_Clouds View Post
    I think the section is secure enough, it certainly isn't wiggling free as a write with the pen. I was asking more about the sealing properties against leaks, but I do appreciate this additional information.


    Edit: just to note, I didn't change the nibs over, the seller did, assuring me that the Duofold nib would be a good fit and a decent tip. It looks like it's turning out to be neither of these things. It is quite frustrating as it is a beautiful pen, but if I cannot effect a simple remedy here then I will have to chalk it up to another case of being cheated by an eBay seller.
    I think you're rather quick to level the accusation of cheating. He/She may just have got it wrong. Not much better from your point of view but there isn't necessarily an intent of dishonesty.

    A section that is not firmly fitted can lead to a diiferent problem. Instead of the the pressure of writing being evenly distributed around the section, as is the case with a tight fit, the pressure is concentrated above the nib. Through time, this can cause damage to either nib or section.
    Last edited by Deb; December 30th, 2019 at 06:04 AM.
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    Default Re: Section - shellac

    Some might have thought that a Parker Duofold nib was a very decent upgrade on what was already there.
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    Default Re: Section - shellac

    Quote Originally Posted by Chrissy View Post
    Some might have thought that a Parker Duofold nib was a very decent upgrade on what was already there.
    No question about that but it might need a change of feed as well.
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    Default Re: Section - shellac

    I'm confused by some of the answers in this thread.

    If the nib and feed are tight enough in the section that the nib doesn't shift, then the fit is appropriate, and no damage will result. A loose section in the barrel will not damage the nib, feed or section. I don't like a section that is loose in the barrel simply because the shifting as I write is irritating. I suppose that the stress on the barrel as you write could cause it to crack, but I haven't seen evidence of that. Deb is right - if you want to tighten up the fit of the section in the barrel the best thing to do is to add a layer of shellac at a time, let it dry, and then test the fit. Warming the section and barrel as you fit it in place will allow the shellac to soften a bit, and will help to avoid cracking the barrel.

    re. needing an air tight seal. With a sac pen, you want air to get into the barrel - and it will through the hole for the lever or the button. You do need an air tight barrel when the ink is held directly in the barrel, as is the case with a Vacumatic or Sheaffer plunger filler. A poorly attached sac or a pin hole in the barrel can cause the pen to leak. A silicone sac can cause the pen to ooze.

    Now the oozing. Check the air channel in the feed. If a little too big, the pen might ooze. Check the set of the feed against the nib. It should fit close enough that you can not fit a piece of paper between the feed and the nib. If the nib won't shift easily, its snug enough in the section, and should keep ink from flowing around the nib and feed. Then there are the cases, especially on lower end pens when the answer is "some pens just do that," which is why you often find a wide chamfer at the end of the section - it keeps the ink from the edge of the section so you don't get ink on your fingers.

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    Default Re: Section - shellac

    Again, just for clarity. The section isn't loose. I asked about shellacking it into the barrel to provide air tightness. That idea has been satisfactorily dismissed now. The nib and feed are tight to each other, and I cannot pull them from the section. At least not without putting what would be (to me) a scary amount of pressure on them.

    @Deb, the seller sent me the pen with a different nib to the one in the pictures of the pen I bought. Claimed someone else had swapped them over for some reason. I was going to return it but liked the pen too much. They offered to change out the nib for the Duofold, which I thought was reasonable at the time. Besides the issue noted in this thread, the nib is extra fine (presumably), is scratchy, has misaligned tines and the tines have a perceptible curve to one side - not huge but noticeable. I believe this is not a good representative of a vintage Duofold nib, and feel that it has just been passed off on me.

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    Default Re: Section - shellac

    I would be inclined to agree. But I admit that I'd be inclined to think, "Cool!" Even with the issues described, which can be fixed, the Duofold nib is a better nib and worth more. Warranted nibs are fairly common, so you could get one cheap, put one in, and have the Duofold nib for a nice pen that needs it.

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    Default Re: Section - shellac

    I don't believe it is representative of the brand. I've had a go at the alignment but to no effect, and I dare not put any more pressure on the tines, as this is a task that I have no experience of at all.

    Just seems a real pity to me that I have a superb pen (to my eyes) that is let down by a shonky nib.

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    Default Re: Section - shellac

    Quote Originally Posted by Empty_of_Clouds View Post
    ...the seller sent me the pen with a different nib to the one in the pictures of the pen I bought. Claimed someone else had swapped them over for some reason. I was going to return it but liked the pen too much. They offered to change out the nib for the Duofold, which I thought was reasonable at the time. Besides the issue noted in this thread, the nib is extra fine (presumably), is scratchy, has misaligned tines and the tines have a perceptible curve to one side - not huge but noticeable. I believe this is not a good representative of a vintage Duofold nib, and feel that it has just been passed off on me.
    When you received the pen it was obviously not as described in the ebay listing. Returning it for a full refund, with return postage paid by the seller, was always an option, but you liked it too much to do so.
    It would seem that you maybe made your decision in haste without having checked the nib carefully enough.
    You need to do something to make the pen that you like write how you want it to write. Ron's suggestion is a good one.
    Last edited by Chrissy; December 31st, 2019 at 03:14 AM.
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    Default Re: Section - shellac

    Yes, a full refund was offered at the time but I wanted to keep the pen, hence the further offer to fit what I was led to believe was a decent Duofold nib. Even now the seller is offering to take it back and refund. However, I would prefer to keep the pen and try to upgrade it because chances of me finding anything remotely this nice again are slim to none.

    While I respect Ron's suggestion, I don't want to put just any old nib in the pen. I would prefer something that is a decent writer. Problem is in finding something - obviously I don't have access to junk stores and what not to source salvageable nibs, so it's going to be tough. I get that. It's a waiting game.
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    Default Re: Section - shellac

    Quote Originally Posted by Empty_of_Clouds View Post
    Yes, a full refund was offered at the time but I wanted to keep the pen, hence the further offer to fit what I was led to believe was a decent Duofold nib.
    Even now the seller is offering to take it back and refund. However, I would prefer to keep the pen and try to upgrade it because chances of me finding anything remotely this nice again are slim to none.
    If the seller has offered you a full refund, and is still offering to take it back and give you a refund why do you say you "will have to chalk it up to another case of being cheated by an eBay seller" and that you "believe this is not a good representative of a vintage Duofold nib, and feel that it has just been passed off on me." ? What more can he do to help you?
    Last edited by Chrissy; December 31st, 2019 at 04:29 AM.
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    Default Re: Section - shellac

    A refund doesn't absolve the seller of the original fault. A nib on a pen does not just 'go missing'. It takes a focussed effort to remove and replace with something else.

    If you had this pen in hand you would know why I am reluctant to part with it.

    I know I bang on about this quite a bit - I've got 12 minutes before midnight ends my involvement here - but if I lose this there are virtually no chances of getting anything like it. My resources here are limited and thin.
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