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Thread: Bought my first Parker 51

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    Default Bought my first Parker 51

    Hello all,

    I bought a Parker 51 from a guy who wasn't a collector but accepted as payment from a woman (widow possibly) for a service. I'd say the pen is in very good shape from what I can tell. He mentioned had the pen inspected and I have no reason to doubt since it wrote right away as soon as I inked it without much problems.
    I was checking the nib with a 200mm macro lens and noticed the nib is slightly misaligned (as is the hood to the nib it seems). I tried to unscrew but it looks like the shellac wasn't removed from the hood screw (ever?).

    So what I'm thinking is, should attempt to alight the tines even though the pen writes well? It is not glass smooth as my Lamy Studio M nib, but it writes well. It just have some hard starts sometimes, like first letter comes with no ink and I have to rewrite. After that the ink flow tend to go alright..
    Ah its an Made in England Parker.


    IMG_5715.JPGparkerNib.jpgIMG_5712.JPGIMG_5711.JPG

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    Default Re: Bought my first Parker 51

    First, if youíre satisfied with how the pen writes, there is no reason to fiddle with it.

    Hard starts would bother me, and those English 51 nibs are generally very smooth. I would expect it to write better than a modern Lamy. I would try adjusting the tines.

    Apply heat before unscrewing the hood. Sometimes holding it under the hot water tap will do it. Lucite wonít discolor like celluloid, but donít dunk the pen in hot water. You donít want hot water in your collector. A hair dryer will work, too.

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    Default Re: Bought my first Parker 51

    Quote Originally Posted by guyy View Post
    First, if youíre satisfied with how the pen writes, there is no reason to fiddle with it.

    Hard starts would bother me, and those English 51 nibs are generally very smooth. I would expect it to write better than a modern Lamy. I would try adjusting the tines.

    Apply heat before unscrewing the hood. Sometimes holding it under the hot water tap will do it. Lucite wonít discolor like celluloid, but donít dunk the pen in hot water. You donít want hot water in your collector. A hair dryer will work, too.
    Thanks. I wonder if it is possible to align the tines without taking off the hood?

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    Default Re: Bought my first Parker 51

    You are more likely to snap off a tine if you donít remove the hood. If youíre going to adjust the nib, you should definitely remove it. Itís usually not difficult.

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    Default Re: Bought my first Parker 51

    Wow. That nib is really outta whack! Iím surprised it writes at all without being insanely scratchy!

    As stated above, if your are happy with it, then you can leave it. Itís your pen.

    When Iím removing aĒ51Ē hood i fill a small bottle with very hot water (165-170F) and submerge the pen up to the clutch ring for a minute or two then try and remove the hood. If it doesnít budge, dump the water that has now cooled and repeat the process with hot water again. NB this is only considered safe with the lucite of a ď51Ē! Do not do this with other plastics! Including the mk3 51s made of polystyrene!

    You should DEFINITELY remove the hood and remove the nib from the pen before attempting to adjust it if you are going to do so

    Ps i think the cap jewel may be a pencil cap jewel... seems a little small.
    Here is a nice clear pic i found: https://images.squarespace-cdn.com/c...Q/IMG_1181.jpg
    Last edited by INeedAFinancialAdvisor; July 23rd, 2020 at 09:16 AM.

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    Default Re: Bought my first Parker 51

    Thanks, I'm not sure if its the Lucite version

    Ok, before the responses came I went very gentle with a plastic spatula pushing very slow a little bit and the tines look more aligned now. It writes with a little less feedback indeed. Better check the nib under the hood? I'll have to open anyway at some point to align the nib with the hood I think. I think I'll go with hair dryer to be safe?


    nibaligned.jpg

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    Default Re: Bought my first Parker 51

    I would say almost certainly yours is lucite. And will be safe with hot water

    Good job on the realignment

    How bad is the off centering of the nib vs the hood?

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    Default Re: Bought my first Parker 51

    Yours is lucite.

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    Default Re: Bought my first Parker 51

    Quote Originally Posted by INeedAFinancialAdvisor View Post
    How bad is the off centering of the nib vs the hood?
    Thanks, it's not too bad but I can feel the feed is a little twisted and the line between the tines is off center with the very tip of the hood.2020-07-23 13_30_31-Window.png

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    Default Re: Bought my first Parker 51

    The tines to hood alignment is pretty good but i do see what you mean. And yeah the feed.

    Itís easy to fix once the hood is off. A little tedious, but not difficult.

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    Default Re: Bought my first Parker 51

    MRusso, Great repair with the spatula. Looks much improved. Glad it's writing better. When you do decide to remove the hood, I agree that dry heat (hair dryer) is the best method. Nice photos.

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    Default Re: Bought my first Parker 51

    Congratulations on your first "51"!! If you are in the US, this is a repair person I highly recommend.
    http://parker51.com/index.php/repair...20will%20apply.
    Last edited by Chuck Naill; July 24th, 2020 at 03:40 AM.

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    Default Re: Bought my first Parker 51

    Congrats on the 51! They are great pens for their practicality. The design is excellent. And the Aerometrics will last for...well nobody knows how long because loads of examples from 1948 still work perfectly with their original pliglass sacs (like mine).

    As to hood alignment, it's easy to warp the plastic of a 51 hood and requires fairly precise heat control because the softening point of shellac and melting point of lucite are fairly close.

    The good news is that it is still pretty easy to find NOS hoods (black being very common, other colors not so much) if you did warp it. I've found em for $15 or so. But they can go much higher.

    Aligning the nib is nearly impossible without taking the hood off. But that nib needs aligning for a good writing experience.

    I tend to be a diy guy and if I hadn't first wrecked several similar Parker 21 hoods (even more prone to warping) for practice before getting the technique down, I wouldn't ever try messing with a 51 and I'd just send it to a 51 guru.

    I'm not a guru. And I'm sure one of them will suggest a better way. But I use a hot air rework station (for SMD soldering) with digital temp control, rotating the pen under the hot air to slowly heat up the thread area and taking breaks to allow for heat transfer from outside to inside, to check surface temp with a digital non-contact thermometer, and to try unscrewing the hood. That way I'm applying only just enough heat for just long enough to break it loose and get it off.
    Last edited by azkid; July 24th, 2020 at 09:42 PM.

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    Default Re: Bought my first Parker 51

    I agree with all of the other members that once you have the hood off you will be able to align the nib more easily and it will be easier to align the nib and feed with the point of the hood. You will also be able to find out if your nib is gold or not and maybe even what year it was made.

    You could use a hairdryer but you would still need to be careful to not hold the pen too close and keep moving it all of the time.

    I once had a Parker 51 and held it under the hot tap for a while before easily removing the hood. Once it had been removed it didn't seem to make any difference to it's performance by not using any shellac to stick it back in place. Many disagreed with that idea, but the pen always wrote without any problems.
    Last edited by Chrissy; July 25th, 2020 at 02:30 PM.
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    Default Re: Bought my first Parker 51

    Iím with Chrissy, hot water and Iíve never had to reseal a pen.

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    Default Re: Bought my first Parker 51

    Thanks guys, I'm currently writing with it daily to empty the sac of ink and attempt to remove the hood. If I lived in U.S I'd happy send to a fountain pen Guru hehe! I paid a bargain for the Parker (around 56 USD, making the conversion), so far can't complain. I was looking into other gold filled Parkers but they had some brassing that would certainly get bad over time because this is a pen I intend to use a lot

    I was reading other topics about the hood removal and I noticed some people said they would not shellab the hood back in place. Would this cause leak? If so I'd probably prefer to use a PTFE thread seal tape instead.

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    Default Re: Bought my first Parker 51

    The hoods can crack if youíre not careful. I definitely wouldnít go 3x around like people do with pipes.

    The advantage of shellac is you can get a seal easily without cranking too hard on the hood.

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    Default Re: Bought my first Parker 51

    Quote Originally Posted by MRusso View Post

    I was reading other topics about the hood removal and I noticed some people said they would not shellab the hood back in place. Would this cause leak? If so I'd probably prefer to use a PTFE thread seal tape instead.
    Mine was never shellacked on and it never leaked. You should not use PTFE tape or you are likely to crack your hood. First try it without anything and see if it works without leaking. If it doesn't then that's the time to try it with a tiny amount of shellac.
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    Default Re: Bought my first Parker 51

    Do NOT use ptfe tape! That is likely to crack the hood

    I have opened over a dozen 51s and have not shellacked any back together. NONE of them leak. Not one.
    If yours DOES leak (which i doubt) or the hood just feels a little loose (far more likely than a leak, but still not terribly likely) use rosin to seal it back up. Itís much easier to soften it back up if you need to get into the pen again.

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    Default Re: Bought my first Parker 51

    Quote Originally Posted by INeedAFinancialAdvisor View Post
    Do NOT use ptfe tape! That is likely to crack the hood

    I have opened over a dozen 51s and have not shellacked any back together. NONE of them leak. Not one.
    If yours DOES leak (which i doubt) or the hood just feels a little loose (far more likely than a leak, but still not terribly likely) use rosin to seal it back up. Itís much easier to soften it back up if you need to get into the pen again.
    I believe Ron Zorn also recommends rosin for Parker hoods.
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