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Thread: Vintage Piston Repair

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    Default Vintage Piston Repair

    I haven't dove head first in pen repair yet, but with my 30+ vintage personal stock pile of fountain pens not usable, im thinking of buying sacs to fix the majority of them (300 or so sacs, cement, and powder) but my favorites are piston's, and those are a bit harder to fix. Any how to guides on how to repair one?

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    Pistons are more specialized and it is going to depend on the pen. Some are not designed to be user serviceable (ie Montblanc, Pelikan) while others are. (Noodler's). Some people people have gone as far as making their own improvised tools to work on the unworkable pens.
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    The pens i have are vintage, and none are Pelikan. What types of tools, and what would i need to make a piston or buy piston's for pens? Isn't it just a rod with a circular bottom for a rubber o ring or cork...

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    I am not the right person to answer that but I have seen a fork with twisted prongs used as a tool to remove Montblanc pistons. It may be worth it to research the specific pens you want to repair. Parts for vintage pens usually come from same model pens that are broken or no longer serviceable, especially if it's vintage. Some parts are self fabricated by the pros. Wish I could be of more help.
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    Most piston repair will be pen specific. You'll need to search for your specific pen and see if anyone has taken it apart or done a full repair. If you can't find your exact pen search for pens with a similar piston system and if a guide is available for that pen, then use it to point you in the general direction of repairing your pen.

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    Thanks Dan,

    This pen is a no name Warranted nibed fountain pen, and the other fp is a Traco. I took my three favorite piston pens apart to see what they looked like, and on my sterling silver Traco the plunger looks like i just add a few o-rings, but im no expert, so you decide.
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    When I made up my mind to fix fountain pens, It was because I did not want to pay to send them out to someone else and have them do what I thought I could probably do. So I studied and studied everywhere I went on line. There is a ton of information over at FPN, on their Repair forums, you just have to have the patience to go thru those forums looking for what you need to do what it is you want to do. The one thing I have yet to study is piston repair, otherwise I would like to help you more than what I am doing here. Go to Richard Binder's site and look around in there, I believe he has some tech tips like your looking for. Google your topic and work thru those topics. Hope this all helps you.

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    Thanks,

    I love it over at FPN, though they have no banned me because they found out i was listed under a different username than before, as i must of been immature than, but have since grown much more mature and have an actual fountain pen to use. Ill look through more threads and hope to see a thread that can help me.

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    Senior Member Chi Town's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brando090 View Post
    Thanks,

    I love it over at FPN, though they have no banned me because they found out i was listed under a different username than before, as i must of been immature than, but have since grown much more mature and have an actual fountain pen to use. Ill look through more threads and hope to see a thread that can help me.
    Just a thought as to help you, Do you have any Refrence books to help you in the repair of Fountain Pens? I have many to help me, as do many of the other repair people on these forums. The 1st book you should have is "Da Book", it's about 20.00 and can be found at Woodbin.ca and Richard Binders website. The 2nd and more valuable updated book that you need is by Marshall and Oldfield, it is 50.00 and it to can be found at Woodbin.ca or Richard Binders website. Between these two books, you should be covered to fix about 80% of what is out there. If you are investing in fountain pens and sac's and such, then you need to switch your sites over to these Repair books, again if you don't already have them. Once you have these Repair manuals, then you can continue on buying pens, sac's, materials, tools and such to aid you in your hobby.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chi Town View Post
    When I made up my mind to fix fountain pens, It was because I did not want to pay to send them out to someone else and have them do what I thought I could probably do. So I studied and studied everywhere I went on line.
    I did the same thing. Not everything is as easy a replacing a sac but the process is engaging.

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    Ive heard alot about those books, but i dont have the money to buy them. Do you have a copy for me to borrow

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    Quote Originally Posted by brando090 View Post
    I haven't dove head first in pen repair yet, but with my 30+ vintage personal stock pile of fountain pens not usable, im thinking of buying sacs to fix the majority of them (300 or so sacs, cement, and powder) but my favorites are piston's, and those are a bit harder to fix. Any how to guides on how to repair one?
    It would seem that if you have money to buy 300 or so sacs and more, and money to buy a custom pen storage box, you have money to buy at least one of the books.

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    , ill see if i can get one used. I will show 80% of everything ill need to know?

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    Investing in the 2 books is a good idea. I have both and though sometimes the pen I'm looking at doesn't have a section dedicated to it, the pictures and/or instructions are still useful.

    That's an interesting looking pen. I could be wrong but the mechanism looks similar to the one on the Noodler's Konrad. I was looking at your 2nd picture. The piston can't be further disassembled? What the Konrad has is a threaded sleeve that attaches to the barrel, a plastic large-threaded screw that moves the third part (like the one in your picture with the notch in it) up and down. If the part with the notch isn't inserted into the sleeve properly, it won't move. At least, that's what I've seen on the Konrad.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jor412 View Post
    Investing in the 2 books is a good idea. I have both and though sometimes the pen I'm looking at doesn't have a section dedicated to it, the pictures and/or instructions are still useful.

    That's an interesting looking pen. I could be wrong but the mechanism looks similar to the one on the Noodler's Konrad. I was looking at your 2nd picture. The piston can't be further disassembled? What the Konrad has is a threaded sleeve that attaches to the barrel, a plastic large-threaded screw that moves the third part (like the one in your picture with the notch in it) up and down. If the part with the notch isn't inserted into the sleeve properly, it won't move. At least, that's what I've seen on the Konrad.
    The second picture is the most ive disassembled it. The pen has a sleeve in it for the piston, but that's besides the point. I think i just need replacement cork, and ill be good.

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    Here is a picture of an almost fully disassembled GEHA Schulfüller. This one is relatively easy to take apart for maintenance. The screw-in nibs/feeds are always a problem with older German fountain pens. The plastic sleeve that holds feed and nib together easily snaps/cracks; therefor i did not touch it. The good thing is that the nibs are often interchangable between different pens.

    Add some silicon grease to all parts and it gets as smooth as baby skin. The piston unit on this pen screws out counterclockwise. The barrel is very sturdy, so taking the whole thing apart is a pretty save thing to do.

    Putting the whole shebang back together is easy too, but adjusting the length of the piston rod is a thing of trial and error (to me)

    Last edited by Pinkys.Brain; July 30th, 2012 at 01:18 AM.

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    Thank you. Seeing your pen was most likely bought repaired/new, do you recommend cork or rubber o-rings for the piston?

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    Quote Originally Posted by brando090 View Post
    Thank you. Seeing your pen was most likely bought repaired/new, do you recommend cork or rubber o-rings for the piston?
    I have 3 pens with cork and all of them leak a bit. So I really do not like cork. Maybe I am just unlucky, though.

    And I bought the pen used and it only needed cleaning and some grease to get it working again.
    Last edited by Pinkys.Brain; July 30th, 2012 at 06:52 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pinkys.Brain View Post
    I have 3 pens with cork and all of them leak a bit. So I really do not like cork. Maybe I am just unlucky, though.

    And I bought the pen used and it only needed cleaning and some grease to get it working again.
    What does Pelikan use? Rubber?

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