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Thread: I need help with info on a Parker Vacumatic

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    Default I need help with info on a Parker Vacumatic

    Hi all, I was gifted a Parker Vacumatic pen by my late grandfather, and I haven't looked at the pen in years. A couple of days ago I found it in a box and thought I'd try to find some information about it. My google-fu stumped me, though, which is why I'm turning to all you experts here! I have created a Google photos album with pictures of the pen, the nib and so on.

    https://photos.app.goo.gl/iHSvPRiwSn7k45dK9

    From what I've found: It's a Canadian made pen, both the nib and the text on the outside mention Canada, so that's a dead give-away. The year-number on the pen seems to say "6", but I can't distinguish any dots, maybe. The number on the nib is definitely a "6" though with a dot to the right of the number, at least. I'm not sure if this is relevant, though? The colour of thepen is black-blue-purple or something. I'm not sure how to categorize it.

    Was this pen made in 1946? My granddad would have been 25 at this time, so it fits with that timeline, as well as him having been recently discharged from the Swedish army (he served during most of the war guarding our borders). I have found guides to Parker pens that were made in the US, but none for Canadian made ones.

    In a very related question - where could I get help getting the pen into working order? The pump doesn't work, which I suppose isn't surprising having been unused for the better part of 30-40 years. I have found one place in the UK, but they're not accepting any more work orders from the EU because of Brexit.

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    Default Re: I need help with info on a Parker Vacumatic

    You have done half the work already.

    The Vacumatic is a series 3 azure blue, Pen was made in 1946 as you say and made in Canada, all just as you would expect. The pen looks to be in very good condition and it is nice that you have the original box, if you send it away to be fixed, find a different box for the journey.The nib might need straightening, hard to tell from the pic.

    Fitting a new diaphragm is not difficult and any specialist will do this for you, here is one company

    http://www.classicpenengineering.co....l-repairs.html

    I haven't heard the Brexit excuse before, perhaps ask Classic Pen if they are currently repairing pens before mailing it.

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    Default Re: I need help with info on a Parker Vacumatic

    You don't say where in the UK you are located but you might contact Mora Pen Stylos in Paris to see if they can help.

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    Default Re: I need help with info on a Parker Vacumatic

    I take it you, Frederyck, are in Sweden. If Classic Pen Engineering, or other UK repair shops, cannot accept your order right now, you might skip over the Atlantic. Ron Zorn does this sort of work, and so do many others.

    However, as best I understand the Brexit negotiations, all that might be settled soon. However, you are closer to all that.

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    Default Re: I need help with info on a Parker Vacumatic

    I just looked on the Battersea Pen Home site and they are still doing repair work during Covid-19
    I bet they will be able to service this Parker Vacumatic.
    Regards, Chrissy | My Blog: inkyfountainpens

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    Default Re: I need help with info on a Parker Vacumatic

    Quote Originally Posted by Frederyck View Post
    Hi all, I was gifted a Parker Vacumatic pen by my late grandfather, and I haven't looked at the pen in years. A couple of days ago I found it in a box and thought I'd try to find some information about it. My google-fu stumped me, though, which is why I'm turning to all you experts here! I have created a Google photos album with pictures of the pen, the nib and so on.

    https://photos.app.goo.gl/iHSvPRiwSn7k45dK9

    From what I've found: It's a Canadian made pen, both the nib and the text on the outside mention Canada, so that's a dead give-away. The year-number on the pen seems to say "6", but I can't distinguish any dots, maybe. The number on the nib is definitely a "6" though with a dot to the right of the number, at least. I'm not sure if this is relevant, though? The colour of thepen is black-blue-purple or something. I'm not sure how to categorize it.

    Was this pen made in 1946? My granddad would have been 25 at this time, so it fits with that timeline, as well as him having been recently discharged from the Swedish army (he served during most of the war guarding our borders). I have found guides to Parker pens that were made in the US, but none for Canadian made ones.

    In a very related question - where could I get help getting the pen into working order? The pump doesn't work, which I suppose isn't surprising having been unused for the better part of 30-40 years. I have found one place in the UK, but they're not accepting any more work orders from the EU because of Brexit.
    I might get a lot of hate from this but if you’re not of the faint of heart and up for the challenge you could possibly repair it yourself.... I’ve done a couple repairs already and they’re relatively easy but you have to be careful when disassembling the pen.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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    Default Re: I need help with info on a Parker Vacumatic

    Quote Originally Posted by penmainiac View Post
    I might get a lot of hate from this but if you’re not of the faint of heart and up for the challenge you could possibly repair it yourself.... I’ve done a couple repairs already and they’re relatively easy but you have to be careful when disassembling the pen.
    It isn't hateful to offer honest opinion, which is what I'll do.

    You have determined they are "relatively easy" based on doing a couple of repairs. Which means you just haven't come upon a prolematic pen, or cracked a barrel trying to remove the filler, or... any number of issues. Yes, sometimes it does go well and without issue, but beyond needing special tools to do a proper job, do you really want the first restoration on a pen that might get damaged if not done right to be a valuable family heirloom?

    I think the point is that just any old pen might be fine for a first time repair... maybe. But the last pen I'd attempt to make my first fix would be a pen that had a high degree of sentimental value, one that is not simply another pen, but a pen of personal importance. At this juncture, it is well worth sending to a qualified repair person to put it back in order. Many other pens can go in the "I can do this myself" queue.
    "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: I need help with info on a Parker Vacumatic

    There is also the issue that if we don't support the expert pen repairers then they might just go away and do something else.

    We have all seen many a good pen ruined by a well meaning amateur and with this special vacumatic having a personal connection, an heirloom piece, then personally I would make sure that it is being done properly.

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    Default Re: I need help with info on a Parker Vacumatic

    penmainiac,

    I liked your honest well meaning comments.


    Perhaps try to remember that Frederyck has only just arrived here seeking help to restore a pen that is clearly very important to him.

    Not everyone here has the confidence to restore these early Parker pens themselves.


    __________________________________________________ ______________________________________________


    Frederyck,

    Given all the assistance offered.

    Where are you going to send your pen to be restored ?
    Last edited by proteus; December 15th, 2020 at 02:16 PM.

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    Default Re: I need help with info on a Parker Vacumatic

    Thank you all for your information and ideas. I did check out some information about doing self-repairs on the pen, but gathered quite quickly that it was well beyond my skills, even though I am an engineer. Regarding looking for help repairing it, the reason I mentioned the UK and Brexit was that the Battersea Pen Home has this text on their website

    "The UK's Brexit transition phase ends on 31 December 2020. It is unlikely that we will be able to continue accepting repairs from EU countries after this date due to VAT and potentially import duties being levied on entry to the UK and on the return to the EU country. The situation is still evolving and we will post updates here when the scale of charges becomes clearer."

    I am not based in the UK, but rather in Sweden, but I'll be checking out all your suggestions!
    Last edited by Frederyck; December 15th, 2020 at 03:30 PM.

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    Default Re: I need help with info on a Parker Vacumatic

    Quote Originally Posted by Frederyck View Post
    Thank you all for your information and ideas. I did check out some information about doing self-repairs on the pen, but gathered quite quickly that it was well beyond my skills, even though I am an engineer. Regarding looking for help repairing it, the reason I mentioned the UK and Brexit was that the Battersea Pen Home has this text on their website

    "The UK's Brexit transition phase ends on 31 December 2020. It is unlikely that we will be able to continue accepting repairs from EU countries after this date due to VAT and potentially import duties being levied on entry to the UK and on the return to the EU country. The situation is still evolving and we will post updates here when the scale of charges becomes clearer."
    It might yet not come to that. Even though the last chance for a deal was meant to be last Sunday, talks are still ongoing.
    Anyway, even if there is no deal, Battersea Pen Home will be able to accept a pen for repair if it's valued at less than £135 and no import tax should be levied on a pen coming into the UK just for a repair service. That's never been the case even for pens sent here for service from outside of the EU. The main prospect is whether you will be charged import tax on the cost of their service when it returns to you in Sweden.
    Regards, Chrissy | My Blog: inkyfountainpens

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    Default Re: I need help with info on a Parker Vacumatic

    Chrissy,

    What a good reply.

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    Default Re: I need help with info on a Parker Vacumatic

    Quote Originally Posted by Jon Szanto View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by penmainiac View Post
    I might get a lot of hate from this but if you’re not of the faint of heart and up for the challenge you could possibly repair it yourself.... I’ve done a couple repairs already and they’re relatively easy but you have to be careful when disassembling the pen.
    It isn't hateful to offer honest opinion, which is what I'll do.

    You have determined they are "relatively easy" based on doing a couple of repairs. Which means you just haven't come upon a prolematic pen, or cracked a barrel trying to remove the filler, or... any number of issues. Yes, sometimes it does go well and without issue, but beyond needing special tools to do a proper job, do you really want the first restoration on a pen that might get damaged if not done right to be a valuable family heirloom?

    I think the point is that just any old pen might be fine for a first time repair... maybe. But the last pen I'd attempt to make my first fix would be a pen that had a high degree of sentimental value, one that is not simply another pen, but a pen of personal importance. At this juncture, it is well worth sending to a qualified repair person to put it back in order. Many other pens can go in the "I can do this myself" queue.
    My apologies, I was just trying to put forth another option that might even make the pen more memorable.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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    Default Re: I need help with info on a Parker Vacumatic

    Quote Originally Posted by Chrissy View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Frederyck View Post
    Thank you all for your information and ideas. I did check out some information about doing self-repairs on the pen, but gathered quite quickly that it was well beyond my skills, even though I am an engineer. Regarding looking for help repairing it, the reason I mentioned the UK and Brexit was that the Battersea Pen Home has this text on their website

    "The UK's Brexit transition phase ends on 31 December 2020. It is unlikely that we will be able to continue accepting repairs from EU countries after this date due to VAT and potentially import duties being levied on entry to the UK and on the return to the EU country. The situation is still evolving and we will post updates here when the scale of charges becomes clearer."
    It might yet not come to that. Even though the last chance for a deal was meant to be last Sunday, talks are still ongoing.
    Anyway, even if there is no deal, Battersea Pen Home will be able to accept a pen for repair if it's valued at less than £135 and no import tax should be levied on a pen coming into the UK just for a repair service. That's never been the case even for pens sent here for service from outside of the EU. The main prospect is whether you will be charged import tax on the cost of their service when it returns to you in Sweden.




    If this pub sign was correct it will be the only target that has actually been hit.

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    Default Re: I need help with info on a Parker Vacumatic

    Quote Originally Posted by penmainiac View Post
    My apologies, I was just trying to put forth another option that might even make the pen more memorable.
    No offense taken, and that is actually a very nice sentiment. For anyone who already had the skills, tools, etc to do this, I think you are spot on. Especially for the 'hobbyist-repairperson', fixing a pen you will use or keep for yourself does lend another level of appreciation and import. I just think in this case that it's like the doctor's Hippocratic Oath: "Before all else, do no harm."
    "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: I need help with info on a Parker Vacumatic

    Quote Originally Posted by RobJohnson View Post
    If this pub sign was correct it will be the only target that has actually been hit.
    History shows us the EU Commission's habitual negotiating strategy is to take talks to down to the wire and hope the other side are worn down enough to give in. I recall reading somewhere that diplomats pack extra shirts in anticipation of it. Only extremely credulous optimists and, apparently, the media would have expected otherwise.

    Aside from that, Covid is having a rather damaging effect on deliveries all over. Given that this is a pen with family connections I think I'd wait for things to settle back into a little more normality before sending it anywhere lest it get lost in the mêlée. It's waited 40 years - a couple more months won't worry it.
    In the words of Paul Simon, you can call me Al.

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    Default Re: I need help with info on a Parker Vacumatic

    Frederyck

    For what it is worth…………


    One of the very best UK Parker pen restorers of this type of Parker pen is Peter Twydle
    Taught by his father, a master pen restorer.
    If you want the best there is in the UK this is your answer


    http://www.penmuseum.co.uk

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    Default Re: I need help with info on a Parker Vacumatic

    Many of the Canadian pens are identical to the US made pens. There are exceptions, but in general their models tended to follow the US when issued. As noted, there are exceptions, which is why most of us don't get flustered when we see something that is a bit weird, and then see the Canadian imprint on the barrel. The Parker Vacumatic book by David Shepherd and Dan Zazov has lots of good information. There are bound to be some articles and copies of ads in the library in the Pen Collectors of America library, as well as past issues of The Pennant, and Pen World, though you may need to be a member to access those files.

    The Azure blue is one of the more sought after colors, and on a par with, if not a bit ahead of red. A great pen, and well worth having it restored.

    Visit Main Street Pens
    A full service pen shop providing professional, thoughtful pen repair....

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    Default Re: I need help with info on a Parker Vacumatic

    Quote Originally Posted by proteus View Post
    Frederyck

    For what it is worth…………


    One of the very best UK Parker pen restorers of this type of Parker pen is Peter Twydle
    Taught by his father, a master pen restorer.
    If you want the best there is in the UK this is your answer


    http://www.penmuseum.co.uk
    Very sadly, I might have to slightly disagree with you there although only on a technicality.
    I once sent a reasonably valuable pen to him to be serviced and he did a good job servicing it.
    However, he returned it to me completely uninsured, by RM 2nd class Signed-for mail, just stuffed in a "jiffy envelope" or "bubble mailer", with no other packaging. Although he was lucky and it arrived without being damaged I complained about the packaging (or lack of it) and the uninsured service. He said that was his usual practice unless his customers paid more for a different service. Obviously he wouldn't do the same when he returned a pen to Sweden. Well, at least I hope not.

    For the UK only how about Laurence Oldfield?
    In the EU does fountainbel still do any servicing?

    If I had a pen that needed a service of any type I hope that I would be able to enlist the expertise of Ron Zorn to do it for me.
    Last edited by Chrissy; December 17th, 2020 at 03:31 AM.
    Regards, Chrissy | My Blog: inkyfountainpens

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    Default Re: I need help with info on a Parker Vacumatic

    Quote Originally Posted by Chrissy View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by proteus View Post
    Frederyck

    For what it is worth…………


    One of the very best UK Parker pen restorers of this type of Parker pen is Peter Twydle
    Taught by his father, a master pen restorer.
    If you want the best there is in the UK this is your answer


    http://www.penmuseum.co.uk
    Very sadly, I might have to slightly disagree with you there although only on a technicality.
    I once sent a reasonably valuable pen to him to be serviced and he did a good job servicing it.
    However, he returned it to me completely uninsured, by RM 2nd class Signed-for mail, just stuffed in a "jiffy envelope" or "bubble mailer", with no other packaging. Although he was lucky and it arrived without being damaged I complained about the packaging (or lack of it) and the uninsured service. He said that was his usual practice unless his customers paid more for a different service. Obviously he wouldn't do the same when he returned a pen to Sweden. Well, at least I hope not.

    For the UK only how about Laurence Oldfield?
    In the EU does fountainbel still do any servicing?

    If I had a pen that needed a service of any type I hope that I would be able to enlist the expertise of Ron Zorn to do it for me.
    Two similar bad experiences, I would not recoommend Peter Twydle at all.

    First experience was a Conway Stewart 388, it came back broken in half, he had simply put the pen in a padded envelope. I pointed this out and had the reply, 'don't blame me, damage is down to the Royal Mail'

    Second time was a Parker thrift time pen. It had cost me £200 but needed a service. I sent it to him in a WES plastic mailing box. He kept the pen for almost 6 months, changed parts for inferior non matching parts and sent the pen back in a padded envelope, I asked about the WES box and was told that he had no record of that but if I wanted a plastic box it would be an extra £5. I asked why it had taken so long, his reason was that he had a photographer booked and wanted a pic of my pen for his new book, sure enough it is in his book.

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Fountain-Cr.../dp/1847971148

    Would not use this man either,

    https://www.vintagefountainpens.co.u...torations.html



    Laurence Oldfield does not do pen servicing any longer, not sure about Francis, a Vac service may be a bit below him, in the nicest possible way
    Last edited by Fermata; December 17th, 2020 at 03:54 AM.


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