All You Need to Know About Restoring Fountain Pens in 2022
restoring fountain pens

Anyone who has ever used a good fountain pen before will attest to the fact that they’re arguably the best writing instruments known to man. Sadly, these pens can be rather fragile. So as a pen owner, it always helps to know about the process of restoring fountain pens.

Knowing how to care for your writing instrument has numerous benefits, not least of which is the fact that it helps you keep your fountain pen in excellent condition and ready to go at any time. Caring for your tools this way can also be very rewarding.

But, as we said, these writing tools are delicate. Because of this, you need to be super careful when fixing different fountain pen models.

Here is all you need to know.

Restoring Fountain Pens With Ease

hand holding fountain pen

Writers are quick to acknowledge the role a good writing instrument plays in their penmanship.

Whether you own an all-component Parker 45, a Sheaffer Legacy, or Moore fountain pens, they all need regular maintenance. Proper care and occasional repairs are essential if you want to ensure it stays as close to its original condition as possible.

Now, the question becomes how exactly you plan to accomplish this feat.

Generally, you only have two options.

Your first option is to seek professional help. You can opt to take your prized fountain pens to a fountain pen specialist for a checkup from time to time.

Alternatively, you can choose to perform the repair services on your own. This will typically require you to consult damage or crack repair manuals and follow the detailed steps to fix your wet or dry fountain pen.

If you’re going with the latter option, you need to keep one thing in mind – botched repairs can cause more damage to your Parker 51s and Sheaffer Skripsert fountain pens than neglect or overuse.

This means you need to go through the various steps of pen repair with extreme care if you don’t want to damage the writing tool.

We know that sounds scary, but there is some good news. Pens haven’t changed too much in the last 50 years. So, as long as you’re able to follow our articles on pen repair, you’ll have no problem fixing any issues you encounter with your pens.

With this in mind, these are some aspects of fountain pen repairing you should be aware of.

Opening Your Fountain Pen

When restoring your writing instruments, the first step is to gently pry the writing tool open without damaging it.

You should know that the most damage to pens during repair occurs at this stage. Because of this, you need to be especially careful during this process.

How to Open Your Fountain Pen Properly

  • Some ways you can eliminate the risk of damage here is to:
  • Limit the amount of force you apply throughout the opening process.
  • Only use padded pliers.
  • Never open shellac-sealed joints by cracking them on a hard surface.
  •  Avoid opening joints cold – there is a possible exception for items like Pelikan barrels and a few other pen barrels made of all-metal.
  • Make sure you move with extreme care throughout the process as applying pressure in the wrong place can severely damage your pens.

Heating the Pen

In some cases, you may need to heat your fountain pen before continuing with the repair process. This process requires a bit of finesse as it’s remarkably easy to overuse or underuse.

Some people often opt to use very hot water or light bulbs as a heat source for opening their Parker 51 Vacumatic or all-component Parker 45. Neither of these is a good choice.

The former causes the pen’s rubber to fade, while the latter can considerably darken the hard rubber of your writing instrument.

Your best option is to use a blow dryer. The airstream will sufficiently loosen your pen. However, this process requires some practice as you can easily overheat your pen with it.

Soaking the Pen

While soaking is a relatively common practice, it isn’t always a helpful one.

For example, if a simple lever-filler or lever fill fountain pen is soaked in water, the exposure to liquid will likely damage its mainspring. Also, water can be particularly destructive to plastics and pen barrels.

You can get by here by simply cleaning the caps without dipping your pen completely in water.

Handling the Sections, Nibs and Feeds

restoring fountain pens, two  pen in black background

When conducting repair services on your writing tools, we strongly suggest that you do not tamper with the nib and feed unless it’s necessary. If you have to move them, make sure you carefully mark their location so you know how to put them back.

Typically, you’ll be able to carry out all your cleaning and maintenance without disassembling these parts. All you need to do here is soak them a little and use a toothbrush to break loose any foreign particles.

For the sections of the fountain pen, try to clean with the feed still inserted if you can. This is because a section becomes even more delicate and can crack with the feed removed.

Lubricating Cleaning and Polishing Your Pen

For ink sacs and vacumatic diaphragms, use 100% pure talcum powder (unscented) as a lubricant. For plunger shafts, piston seals, and so on, get 100% pure silicone grease from dive shops and apply.

When cleaning out ink sacs, make sure to start shipping from the bottom. Remember not to scrape any shiny or transparent parts with your tools during this process, as this will leave a mark.

Finally, if you want your pens to have the perfect shine, we recommend you polish them by hand. While this takes considerably longer, it leaves your writing tool pristine and elegant.

Restoring Fountain Pens Takes Patience

Learning all that goes into personally restoring fountain pens can take a fair bit of practice and patience. However, it places you in the best position to care for your pen.

Now, we hope you know all you need to for you to repair your pens properly.

For more articles on pen repair, read here.

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