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Thread: MRHR Mabie Todd Swan SF2 Weird Clip

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    Senior Member Jeph's Avatar
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    Default MRHR Mabie Todd Swan SF2 Weird Clip

    This is a nice mottled red hard rubber pen. The barrel imprint is almost gone but you can make out Mabie Todd Co LTD. On the section is "SWAN" SF2 and of course the swan #2 nib.
    The weird thing about this pen is the clip. It pivots in the middle. When the clip is folded up, it forces a tooth towards the barrel. I assume this is to old onto a pocket. A nice feature of that is the act of pulling the pen out of the pocket actually forces the tooth towwards the barrel. With the clip folded out, the tooth clears out of the way. I think it is very cool, but I have never seen anything like this. Does anyone have any additional information?

    Mabie Todd Capped.jpgMabie Todd Nib.jpgMabie Todd Clip Closed.jpgMabie Todd Clip Open.jpg

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    Default Re: MRHR Mabie Todd Swan SF2 Weird Clip

    An interesting design are you sure its original to the pen, looks more like an addon to me.

    Paul

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    Senior Member tandaina's Avatar
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    Default Re: MRHR Mabie Todd Swan SF2 Weird Clip

    Doesn't look original. There is a groove in the pen (from the pics at least) where an original cap band should be (at the top, under the current clip). I'm betting that is not the original clip.
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    FPG Donor ♕ KrazyIvan's Avatar
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    Default Re: MRHR Mabie Todd Swan SF2 Weird Clip

    That just looks so Steam Punk cool even if it is not original. I would like to see the pen that belongs to that clip too.
    Fountain Pen Sith Lord | Daakusaido | inktronics blog | Twitter | Instagram

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    Senior Member kaisnowbird's Avatar
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    Default Re: MRHR Mabie Todd Swan SF2 Weird Clip

    +1 on steam punk cool. It's functional too. I love it!
    Kai

    "Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished." -- Lao Tzu


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    Senior Member AndyT's Avatar
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    Default Re: MRHR Mabie Todd Swan SF2 Weird Clip

    Quite a talking point ... I agree that it looks like an after market accommodation clip, but a most unusual one.

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    Senior Member Jeph's Avatar
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    Default Re: MRHR Mabie Todd Swan SF2 Weird Clip

    I like the name. It is now my Swanpunk!

    Just to be clear, I am pretty certain that the clip was not on this pen when it left the factory. I think that this was a clipless model. The distinct line at the top of the cap looks to be the cap closure, but that does not mean that there was not also a clip there. If anyone could post a picture of a swan clip that fits that shadow I would appreciate it. What I am really fishing for is if anyone has seen a clip like this or similar on any pen at any time.

    If you ignore the clip this is still be beautiful pen. I think that today I will start attempting disassembly. Operating the lever makes the distinct crunch of a petrified sac. Cross your toes and hope that Ido not destroy this one.

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    Senior Member Jeph's Avatar
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    Default Re: MRHR Mabie Todd Swan SF2 Weird Clip

    I did finally manage to get this pen back together and working. I was trial fitting sacs in the pen, but the talc was not enough to keep the rough edges of the corrosion on the lever mechanism from grabbing the rubber of the sac and getting partially removed. I had no choice but the remove the lever mechanism at that point. Once I did I saw a rather strange arrangement with a sliding shoe that was attached to the lever that ran along the pressure bar. I also saw that it was so corroded that there was little hope of it ever working properly again. With a lot of patience, some penetrating oil, simichrome and lots of elbow grease I was very surprised that the lever mechanism actually eventually came clean.

    The retaining ring, however, was a different story. There was also a second circumferential groove farther up the barrel that was not used. I could not figure out why they would go through the trouble to make something that was not used. After some searching I managed to find a copy of the patent filed by Homer Catuuci for Mabie Todd & Co. New York for the fill mechanism. (attached) That showed that the second internal groove was for a second retention ring for the tooth on the upper end of the lever to catch on to stay closed. I was able to find a properly sized spring that I could cut to make replacement retention rings and I was in business.

    There are imprints all over the pen telling you that it is a swan. They are for the most part exceptionally light where they are not completely gone. I could not even get talc to stay in the imprints they were so light. Some of them can only be seen with strong light, with the pen held at just the right angle, using 10x magnification, squinted eyes and your tongue held just so. I did the best that I could to photograph them. The nib imprint is very crisp, however. On the nib it says “SWAN” / 2 / 14 CT / Mabie Todd & Co / MADE IN / U.S.A. That is somewhat strange, as the barrel says Mabie.Todd& Co. Ltd which was after they moved to England. On the side of the Section it says “SWAN” SF2. On the side of the cap it says “SWAN” SF2V. I might be imagining the “V” part. On top of the cap is a very, very faint swan. I actually thought the marks were scratches until I saw it in the right light and noticed it made a design.

    One note for repairers, the feed is very long, with a full 1 1/2 inches within the section. That is a lot of surface area for friction so a knock-out block is advised to remove the nib and feed.

    I still do not have the nib tuned to my liking but it is getting better. I find that with the nib set to the proper depth in the section there really is not much true flex as is often claimed for vintage Swans. This is the only one that I own (so far) so I have nothing for comparison. It does have a good amount of spring, but during normal writing small changes in pressure do not change the line width. This is actually what I prefer, and it writes a nice, fine line so I have high hopes for this pen once I get the nib tuning finished.

    I never did find another clip like the one on this pen. And now to the pictures.

    Swan Capped.jpgSwan Uncapped.jpgSwan Cap.jpgSwan Cap Top.jpgSwan Barrel.jpgSwan Parts.jpgSwan Nib.jpgSwan Section.jpgSwan Feed.jpgSwan Sliding Lever Patent P1.jpg

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    Senior Member Bogon07's Avatar
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    Default Re: MRHR Mabie Todd Swan SF2 Weird Clip

    Fascinating account of your restoration of a unique looking pen with the Swanpunk clip.
    Great pictures and the patent drawings are a nice touch.

    Good luck with the nib tuning.
    sinistral hypergraphica - a slurry of ink
    "Nothing means less than zero"

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    Senior Member ardgedee's Avatar
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    Default Re: MRHR Mabie Todd Swan SF2 Weird Clip

    The action of your nib sounds like the one on my American Swan pen (also a no.2 nib). Enough spring to provide a little cushioning, but nothing more. Yet too much flex to be useful as a manifold nib.

    Most of the manufacturers in the early part of the century seem to have intended to offer a range of nibs, rather than subjecting customers to the vagaries of manufacture variance. I always wonder why pen manufacturers of the 1900s-1930s rarely marked nibs with their intended features.

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    Default Re: MRHR Mabie Todd Swan SF2 Weird Clip

    Very cool post. Thanks for sharing!

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