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Thread: Parker 51 drying up

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    Default Parker 51 drying up

    Hello, I have noticed that my Parker 51 vacumatic does not write when I leave it inked and unused for a few days (less than a week). However, if I submerge the tip of the nib in water, it starts writing right away. I have also noticed that this drying up does not happen if I use the pen every day. I would be grateful if someone could tell me if this is normal, as I have not experienced this with other pens that I have.

    I apologize in advance if there are any grammatical errors in the text above, as English is not my native language.

    Cristián

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    Default Re: Parker 51 drying up

    Cristián

    May I ask what ink you using please

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    Default Re: Parker 51 drying up

    Quote Originally Posted by proteus View Post
    Cristián

    May I ask what ink you using please
    Hello, I am using Waterman Serenity Blue. I have also used Diamine Sargasso Sea, with which I had the same experience.

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    Default Re: Parker 51 drying up

    It's definitely not normal, especially for a 51. Your cap is likely not sealing properly. Check for cracks or leaks.
    Vintage. Cursive italic. Iron gall.

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    Default Re: Parker 51 drying up

    That was my first thought too. Look for a crack in the inner cap.

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    Default Re: Parker 51 drying up

    Quote Originally Posted by silverlifter View Post
    It's definitely not normal, especially for a 51. Your cap is likely not sealing properly. Check for cracks or leaks.
    I filled the cap with water and it pours out from around the jewel, so I suppose that this is the cause of the problem. Thank you for your help! I'll contact a local expert to see if it can be repaired.

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    Default Re: Parker 51 drying up

    Quote Originally Posted by Ron Z View Post
    That was my first thought too. Look for a crack in the inner cap.
    I was examining the cap and I noticed what appears to be a crack in the inner cap, as you said. Could this be the source of the problem? And, do you know if there's any way to fix it? Due to the pandemic, I don't think it will be possible to take it to the only repair shop that I know of here in Santiago de Chile any time soon.


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    Default Re: Parker 51 drying up

    An observation if I may,

    I have considered this for a while.

    ( it runs against the comments made by the intelligentsia here )


    Personally I think it is a clogged collector / feed.

    Your pen is only operating at 40 – 50 % ability

    Whilst it will perform normally most the time, the full and correct ink flow is not achieved.

    I am unconvinced that a partial hairline crack inner cap is the real issue.
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    Last edited by proteus; March 14th, 2021 at 03:58 PM.

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    Default Re: Parker 51 drying up

    Quote Originally Posted by proteus View Post
    An observation if I may,

    I have considered this for a while.

    ( it runs against the comments made by the intelligentsia here )


    Personally I think it is a clogged collector / feed.

    Your pen is only operating at 40 – 50 % ability

    Whilst it will perform normally most the time, the full and correct ink flow is not achieved.

    I am unconvinced that a partial hairline crack inner cap is the real issue.
    The person I bought it from supposedly restored it, but of course I can't be certain. I have only cleaned it with water. Maybe filling it with an ammonia dilution could clean it?
    Anyway, I put another cap on the pen, so I'll see if it dries up after a couple of days. I'll post what happens, thanks.

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    Default Re: Parker 51 drying up

    Quote Originally Posted by Artsuhtaraz View Post
    Anyway, I put another cap on the pen, so I'll see if it dries up after a couple of days. I'll post what happens, thanks.
    A simple and effective approach in the best tradition of the scientific method.

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    Default Re: Parker 51 drying up

    I just checked and the pen hasn't dried out, so it seems that the problem has to do with the cap. I'm taking it to be repaired, thank you all for your help.

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    Chrissy (March 16th, 2021), da vinci (March 19th, 2021), fountainpenkid (March 16th, 2021), Jerome Tarshis (March 18th, 2021)

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    Default Re: Parker 51 drying up

    Quote Originally Posted by Artsuhtaraz View Post
    I just checked and the pen hasn't dried out, so it seems that the problem has to do with the cap. I'm taking it to be repaired, thank you all for your help.
    It was always quite likely to be as Ron suspected. Hopefully it can be fixed. Good luck.
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    Default Re: Parker 51 drying up

    The inner caps crack for a couple of reasons. One may be that the pen got dropped, and the cap was jammed onto the shell which acts like a wedge and cracks the inner cap. The other is that the cap clutch wears, or just gets loose. To compensate and to get the cap to stay on tight, the user jams the cap on, hard. Same deal - the inner cap cracks, maybe over time, but it eventually cracks. ...which is why I like to pull and tighten a cap clutch on a 51 if I think that it's a bit on the loose side. It's not at all uncommon to find an inner cap that has cracked when the cap clutch is loose.

    Inner caps are generally celluloid, so can be repaired with any of the solvents that are used for celluloid repair. You do have to remove the clutch and the clip and clip screw so that you can take the inner cap out of the pen. You should clamp it with a band clamp or electrical tape, and let it harden over night.
    Last edited by Ron Z; March 16th, 2021 at 04:17 PM.

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    Default Re: Parker 51 drying up

    Ron Z

    Impressive comments.

    Clearly you are a top line pen restorer.



    If I may I have a further question for Artsuhtaraz please.

    Your replacement cap that now works perfectly with your pen………

    If you fill the cap with water does it leak from the top end – jewel end

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    Default Re: Parker 51 drying up

    Quote Originally Posted by proteus View Post
    If I may I have a further question for Artsuhtaraz please.

    Your replacement cap that now works perfectly with your pen………

    If you fill the cap with water does it leak from the top end – jewel end
    Hello. No, it doesn't leak.

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    Default Re: Parker 51 drying up

    Many thanks for your reply Artsuhtaraz

    Interesting..............

    All the P51 Vac & Aero caps I have never encountered have never been totally sealed

    Unless by old solidified ink

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    Default Re: Parker 51 drying up

    I went to a pen restorer today and I already have my pen back. It turns out that, according to him, the feed was the problem (an insufficient ink flow; he even said that it's a common problem with the 51 vacumatic feed, and he replaced it with the one used in aerometric 51s). I commented to him the possibility that the crack in the inner cap was the cause, but he said that the cap was sealing properly (and that the apparent solution with a different cap was simply coincidence). The pen is currently writing, but I'll see if, hopefully, it continues doing so after some days.

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    Default Re: Parker 51 drying up

    I respectfully disagree with them. The flow issue may have exacerbated things, but I still think that the inner cap is still the primary problem. I've encountered it often enough.

    To Proteus - Parker depended on some leakage around the inner cap to release the vacuum when you pull the cap off. They even cut notches down the outside of some of the inner cap to act as a vent, with the air coming in under the clip. Sometimes you get a good seal, but often you can pull air through the cap.

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    Default Re: Parker 51 drying up

    Artsuhtaraz

    Many thanks for your update, I was interested to read it.

    I would think that now your pen has actually been seen by a pen restorer, he should have solved the issue for you.



    Ron, I always read what you have to say with interest.

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    Default Re: Parker 51 drying up

    I was thinking about this over the weekend. I too will be interested in hearing the long term results. Cleaning out the pen is the simpler thing to do, so reasonable to try it. Repairing the cracked inner cap more difficult to do because you have to take everything apart, and not everyone has the tools. It's a bit if an investment, but worth it for someone who is repairing pens for others, or one's self if you do a lot of 51s.

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