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Thread: Parker 51 vacumatic restoration

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    Default Parker 51 vacumatic restoration

    Well the Parker Blue Diamond vacumatic finally arrived yesterday and I rushed into restoring it like a bull at a gate.
    After a few spins through the ultrasonic and watching Grandma Pens UTubes on how to I tackled stripping it.
    Not a problem except for one item , the damn cap jewel. I have tried heat , freezing to no avail so I’ll have to think about it a bit more.
    What I know . The gold cap is 14c . The nib is dated 1943. The print on the barrel says ‘Parker 51 ‘ Made in USA , 4 . and after a thorough clean the pump works fine. In all my endeavours to take the cap jewel off I have lost part of the blue enamel so a bit more to do.

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    Default Re: Parker 51 vacumatic restoration

    Nice pictures. One of the less common caps in really nice shape. It sure cleaned up. I assume you want to straighten that clip, thus the attempts to remove it. One method that may work is to tightly fold some duct tape sticky side out. Kind of makes a stickier version of a rubber pad to grip that little jewel, sometimes just makes a mess.

    Bob

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    Default Re: Parker 51 vacumatic restoration

    Quote Originally Posted by Seattleite View Post
    Nice pictures. One of the less common caps in really nice shape. It sure cleaned up. I assume you want to straighten that clip, thus the attempts to remove it. One method that may work is to tightly fold some duct tape sticky side out. Kind of makes a stickier version of a rubber pad to grip that little jewel, sometimes just makes a mess.

    Bob
    Thanks Bob, You are right , thats exactly why I need to get the clip off. I’ll give that a try. One of the problems is the whole section the jewel screws into turns so I am jamming a screwdriver fashioned for Conway Stewart clip removal up the barrel to stop it turning while I twist the cap jewel.
    Terry

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    Senior Member Jon Szanto's Avatar
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    Default Re: Parker 51 vacumatic restoration

    I cringe every time someone references a Stef vid, but it appears no harm was done this time. Clips bent outward, if you can't remove the clip, can be done as follows (with care):

    - Slip an object that won't mar the cap finish under the very top of the clip (under the feathers); I have a plastic letter opener that starts thin and gets thicker, so I slide it underneath until it lightly holds up the top of the clip.
    - You can then apply some downward pressure on the clip further down, bending it towards the body and reversing the bend that had pulled it away.
    - Do this repeatedly in small increments and you should be able to get it to press against the cap, though I never use sprung clips fixed this way to be held in a shirt pocket.

    If you can remove the clip safely and rebend it, that is the preferred method. Nice pen.
    "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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    Default Re: Parker 51 vacumatic restoration

    Thanks Jon , Its looking like that may be only option.
    This is how the clip looked originally. Its straight now .
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Default Re: Parker 51 vacumatic restoration

    I do like restoration stories!

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    Default Re: Parker 51 vacumatic restoration

    That looks like a pretty complicated "unbend".

    A blunter tool may give you enough surface to allow the inner cap to have friction with both the tool, and the cap body. I have had good luck with a tapered piece of wood that I turned and fitted, using a spare inner cap as a guide. You can then hold cap, clip, and tool as a unit (don't dent the cap with the clip ball). Only thing left to spin is the jewel or the clip screw. Can still be a pain. Other people certainly have different approaches, but this woks pretty well for me.

    Bob

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    Default Re: Parker 51 vacumatic restoration

    Releasing P51 FP Vac / Aero Jewels & screws :

    After soaking / ultra sonic et al

    Apply heat ( a hair dryer is best )

    Try a rod ( measured width ) inserted into the cap mechanism to trap it whilst you release the jewel / screw

    Use a piece of Dycem on the jewel top.

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    Default Re: Parker 51 vacumatic restoration

    I cringe every time someone references a Stef vid, but it appears no harm was done this time.
    Amen!

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    Default Re: Parker 51 vacumatic restoration

    Bananabender, could you please describe the process you followed to restore the cap? It looks fantastic now! Thanks

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    Default Re: Parker 51 vacumatic restoration

    Thanks everyone proteus and Seattleite . I’ll give it a soak for 24 hrs. and have another go.
    Hi da vinci thanks for comment.
    In short wacked it in the ultrasonic a couple of times , dabbed some polish on and rubbed it with my teeshirt.
    Detailed
    First step was to ascertain what gold content was . Being 14c I knew I had a tiny bit of leeway re polishing.
    I have one of those cheap ultasonic cleaners.
    First two washes was each of 3 mins. in plain water changing between washes. This included the whole pen before disassembling to get rid of dried ink etc.
    Third wash included a few drops of dishwashing concentrate.
    Rinsed cap in Naptha and dried off with hand bulb blower
    Using cotton rag applied small dobs of polywatch and polished lightly in small sections Washed off in Naptha then using a sharpened pegwood and polywatch clean all grooves under a loupe. One final ultrasonic in plain water , dried off and polish with cotton rag.
    I also used Polywatch on the barrel etc. very very lightly. (Not recommended on celluloid etc. but I gave it a go anyway).

    I should mention I had all the gear as I used to restore old mechanical watches.

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    Default Re: Parker 51 vacumatic restoration

    I just sounded out your name.. Ha ha. As a banana bender I think that you should keep that clip just as it is as a personal homage. Now if you were known as the bananastraightener...

    Bob

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    Default Re: Parker 51 vacumatic restoration

    I word on soaking any pens, if I may.

    It is no good to place them in warm water and leave the water to get cold overnight.

    You will have to replace the water at least 3 or 4 times at hourly intervals.

    If you wish to get it right, it is a process.

    ( Never place a pen in pan on a stove and gently heat it for hours – the plastic will not survive it )

    Never ever use any chemicals, water is just fine.


    As for polishing metal finishes ( caps et al ) try Simichrome, not AUTOSOL / T CUT – these are harsh pastes designed for car chrome.
    Apply very sparingly with a soft cotton bud, the results are amazing.
    ( No damage to the metal / GF / GP finishes )


    As for Stef videos on You tube, what great entertainment.


    Still have not stopped laughing………Seattleite’s comment.

    Bananastraightener, now that is seriously good name.
    Last edited by proteus; November 12th, 2020 at 01:15 PM.

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    Default Re: Parker 51 vacumatic restoration

    Quote Originally Posted by Seattleite View Post
    Now if you were known as the bananastraightener...
    Captain Viagra.
    "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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    Default Re: Parker 51 vacumatic restoration

    Quote Originally Posted by Seattleite View Post
    I just sounded out your name.. Ha ha. As a banana bender I think that you should keep that clip just as it is as a personal homage. Now if you were known as the bananastraightener...

    Bob
    WHAT!! I thought everybody knew bananas grew straight on trees and to fill in the day in the tropics we put the bend in them.
    Ha, I appreciate your suggestion but it would take me 30 mins to log in .

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    Default Re: Parker 51 vacumatic restoration

    Quote Originally Posted by proteus View Post
    I word on soaking any pens, if I may.

    It is no good to place them in warm water and leave the water to get cold overnight.

    You will have to replace the water at least 3 or 4 times at hourly intervals.

    If you wish to get it right, it is a process.

    ( Never place a pen in pan on a stove and gently heat it for hours – the plastic will not survive it )

    Never ever use any chemicals, water is just fine.


    As for polishing metal finishes ( caps et al ) try Simichrome, not AUTOSOL / T CUT – these are harsh pastes designed for car chrome.
    Apply very sparingly with a soft cotton bud, the results are amazing.
    ( No damage to the metal / GF / GP finishes )


    As for Stef videos on You tube, what great entertainment.


    Still have not stopped laughing………Seattleite’s comment.

    Bananastraightener, now that is seriously good name.
    Valuable info. Thanks.
    I’ll source some simichrome as just run out of polywatch.

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    Default Re: Parker 51 vacumatic restoration

    Quote Originally Posted by Jon Szanto View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Seattleite View Post
    Now if you were known as the bananastraightener...
    Captain Viagra.
    Good on ya. 😱

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    Default Re: Parker 51 vacumatic restoration

    I have tried to the best of my limited ability to unscrew the cap jewel . So I have coming a nos jewel from the States
    My thinking is I can ,using a fine drill bit ,drill out the old one from the inside without damaging anything .
    Possible?

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    Default Re: Parker 51 vacumatic restoration

    Quote Originally Posted by Bananabender View Post
    I have tried to the best of my limited ability to unscrew the cap jewel . So I have coming a nos jewel from the States
    My thinking is I can ,using a fine drill bit ,drill out the old one from the inside without damaging anything .
    Possible?
    No not easily possible as you would have to remove the cap clutch before you could get access to the bottom end of the screw. I looked in the Pen Repair manual and both 51 Aero and Vac have internal clutches. They are very hard to remove without a special tool made for that purpose.

    Also, it would depend on whether you are buying a new screw to go with your new jewel since the jewel is screwed into a screw that is specially threaded to fit the jewel. Damage that thread with your drill bit and you will need a new screw.

    If you absolutely have to destroy an original Parker cap jewel (tragic), because all of the available sticky/rubber gripping removers have failed, then it maybe better to slice it off from the outside then drill the stem out of the screw before fitting your new jewel.

    Did you look on Pentooling for cap tools/jewel removers? I bought a couple of different versions and they both work like a dream.

    I've just spotted you are in Australia so maybe you can't get a delivery from Pentooling. Have you tried rubber gloves or a pencil eraser? Ideally you need something that is rubbery and very sticky.
    Last edited by Chrissy; November 27th, 2020 at 04:09 AM.
    Regards, Chrissy | My Blog: inkyfountainpens

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    Default Re: Parker 51 vacumatic restoration

    Quote Originally Posted by Chrissy View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Bananabender View Post
    I have tried to the best of my limited ability to unscrew the cap jewel . So I have coming a nos jewel from the States
    My thinking is I can ,using a fine drill bit ,drill out the old one from the inside without damaging anything .
    Possible?
    No not easily possible as you would have to remove the cap clutch before you could get access to the bottom end of the screw. I looked in the Pen Repair manual and both 51 Aero and Vac have internal clutches. They are very hard to remove without a special tool made for that purpose.

    Also, it would depend on whether you are buying a new screw to go with your new jewel since the jewel is screwed into a screw that is specially threaded to fit the jewel. Damage that thread with your drill bit and you will need a new screw.

    If you absolutely have to destroy an original Parker cap jewel (tragic), because all of the available sticky/rubber gripping removers have failed, then it maybe better to slice it off from the outside then drill the stem out of the screw before fitting your new jewel.

    Did you look on Pentooling for cap tools/jewel removers? I bought a couple of different versions and they both work like a dream.

    I've just spotted you are in Australia so maybe you can't get a delivery from Pentooling. Have you tried rubber gloves or a pencil eraser? Ideally you need something that is rubbery and very sticky.
    Many Thanks for for your detailed reply . I’ll have to absorb it all .
    As my other hobby is/was restoring old watches I have tools such as sticky ball to unscrew casebacks etc and have used other
    Ways such as masking tape wound around rubber balls sticky outside. I tried an eraser , rubber base , heat gun to no avail.
    It doesn’t help the clip band it screws into also turns without jamming something uo the cap.
    Pentooling do deliver ,not cheap and takes a month with covid but may be the way to go.

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