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Thread: Odd problem with Sheaffer Snorkel

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    Default Odd problem with Sheaffer Snorkel

    I picked up a Sheaffer Snorkel on that auction site. The seller represented that the pen took in water and expelled it in "cartoon fashion". He was correct in that, but the snorkel tube was not seated far enough into the plug at the top of the sac protector. The slit at the end of the snorkel extended past the feed, so no ink was reaching the feed and the pen could not write. Also, the snorkel slit was slightly out of alignment with the nib and feed. I repositioned the snorkel tube so that it is properly aligned and seats just below the edge of the feed. In doing this, I noticed that there was some grease around the snorkel tube where it entered plug, and I suspect that was what was making the seal around the snorkel tube. I guess it could have been lubrication that ran down the snorkel tube, but either way it had to go so I could reposition the snorkel tube and reseal it. I (re)sealed snorkel tube and realigned the tines of the nib so it was smoothly putting down a wet fine to medium line. I thought I was done.

    Now to the problem. When I push down on the blind knob, the pen expels the proper amount of bubbles, so the seal at the bottom of the barrel is doing its job. However, the pen just will not draw ink. I pulled the snorkel/sac assembly and tested to make sure the sac is good and all about it is airtight. All good there. I assume that with the pen producing a copious amount of bubbles, the snorkel tube puck seal is good.

    With all that, the pen refuses to take in ink. What am I missing here? Thanks in advance.

    custar

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    Default Re: Odd problem with Sheaffer Snorkel

    Could the snorkel tube be blocked (for example by the grease)? If you dip the tip of the snorkel in water with the sac protector out of the pen, and just squeeze the sac through the holes in the protector, will bubbles come out and water go in?

    In general, though, these pens are pretty solid, and when they have problems it's almost always one of the four rubber pieces, even if it's not always obvious . . . You may want to just replace all the rubber so you know you are starting from a good place.

    Good luck!

    Ralf

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    Senior Member FredRydr's Avatar
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    Default Re: Odd problem with Sheaffer Snorkel

    Did you seal the screw at the top? It takes a little washer, but you could use a pit of sac or snippet of bicycle inner tube.
    Quote Originally Posted by custar View Post
    ...I pulled the snorkel/sac assembly and tested to make sure the sac is good and all about it is airtight. All good there....
    What was your test? Replace it anyway to eliminate any (seemingly impossible) pinhole leak that pulls in air when trying to draw in ink. Then move on to more invasive parts replacement if it persists.
    Last edited by FredRydr; March 1st, 2022 at 05:11 AM.

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    Senior Member Ron Z's Avatar
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    Default Re: Odd problem with Sheaffer Snorkel

    Sacs can have a pin hole that makes it appear to be OK, but it in fact leaks. Sacs are cheap, replace the sac, especially since it can get really messy and expensive to repair the pen very fast when a sac leaks. Air would come out the snorkel tube if there is a pin hole in the sac, but it wouldn't pull ink in.

    After replacing the sac, immerse the pen over the section barrel joint and push the TD tube down. Bubbles anywhere but from the end of the snorkel tube reveal a leak.

    Point holder gaskets are cheap too, but if liquid (ink or water) gets in around a hardened point holder gasket, again, it gets very messy and expensive.

    When you know that the sacs and seals are good, take a syringe and flush the snorkel tube. You can buy a syringe to inject turkeys. The blunt needle is nice and big, and often fits over the end of the snorkel tube, so you can power flush the crud out.

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    Default Re: Odd problem with Sheaffer Snorkel

    First, thanks to all for the help.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ron Z View Post
    Sacs can have a pin hole that makes it appear to be OK, but it in fact leaks. Sacs are cheap, replace the sac, especially since it can get really messy and expensive to repair the pen very fast when a sac leaks. Air would come out the snorkel tube if there is a pin hole in the sac, but it wouldn't pull ink in.
    I think that must be it. On Monday or Tuesday evening, I was looking for an excuse to avoid some work I was dreading, so I replaced the snorkel gasket. That seals nicely now, but the overall result is the same; bubbles expelled but no ink drawn in. I have had some unfortunate results in loosening the sac protector in the past, but that looks like the job for this weekend. Update when completed.

    custar

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    Default Re: Odd problem with Sheaffer Snorkel

    Update:

    Thanks for the kind help. I removed the sac protector and . . . to my immense surprise . . . found that parts of the sac had turned to goo in more than one spot. I have no idea how the sac was holding any air when it was being compressed. The bubbles the pen expelled when I depressed the blind cap had to be from the air being pushed through the holes of the sac and finding its way down the snorkel tube. I removed the sac and replaced it with a silicone sac because I was concerned that whatever had caused the latex sac to become gooey would have the same effect on a new latex sac. I know; don't leave the pen with the point down because the silicone is slightly air-permeable. With that, the pen fills pretty decently and writes well. I do like the way Snorkels write.

    custar
    Last edited by custar; March 18th, 2022 at 07:10 PM.

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    da vinci (March 20th, 2022)

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    Default Re: Odd problem with Sheaffer Snorkel

    Great outcome! I had a gooey sac in a snorkel and it took me ages to figure it out. Went gooey very soon after installation too (and no, no fancy inks were involved). Anyway, nice to have a happy ending.

    Ralf

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    Senior Member Ron Z's Avatar
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    Default Re: Odd problem with Sheaffer Snorkel

    I have had cases where the sac has apparently reacted with the metal in the sac guard. One assumes a different formulation to the latex sacs in the last 65 years. I've used PVC sacs, but the ones currently sold by David Nishimura have a sac wall that is about 3 thousandths thicker than the ones I've used, so the pen doesn't want to fill right. Have to follow up on that. For now, make sure that you have a good layer of talc on the sac before you put it in the sac guard to minimize direct contact between sac and sac guard.

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