Tools & Supplies

Many pen collectors dabble in repair as well. Before you get in too deep, take a look at some of the articles in the Repair FAQ area, in particular Pen Repair Don'ts.

The main manufacturer of replacement ink sacs is the Pen Sac Company. Their operation was founded as a hobbyist venture, buying out the tooling and equipment of the White Rubber Company's defunct sacmaking department. A more recent sacmaking enterprise, based in Canada, is Wood Bin. Both the Pen Sac Company and Wood Bin sell traditional latex rubber sacs. Be warned, however, that the silicone sacs sold by Wood Bin are not silicone, but PVC (vinyl). While PVC can be a perfectly acceptable sac material, it is not silicone, and unlike silicone it is not safe for long-term contact with celluloid (PVC plasticizers are known to attack celluloid). At present, the only real silicone sacs on the market come from us. These special-purpose sacs are listed here, along with reproduction sacs for Parker 51 Aerometrics, and various assortments of Pen Sac Co. latex sacs.

The Vacumatic tools formerly sold by FPH in New York are no longer available, but Wood Bin sells both wrenches and screw-clamp blocks. The wrenches are preferable, since their grip-operated closing lever enables precise control over how much pressure is applied to the filler unit.

Best inner cap puller is the machinist's masterpiece sold by Peter Amis (contact at The Pen Sac Co., at around $250. A copy is also available from Sherrell Tyree and Joel Hamilton. A cheaper but decidedly cruder alternative was formerly offered by FPH in three sizes, at around $40 each. Many pen mechanics use taps instead, which are less likely to cause the inner cap to expand and bind -- but correct sizing is essential.

A wide selection of parts and high quality tools is available through Laurence Oldfield in England, along with the most authoritative pen repair books in print.

Nib smoothing disks: One can get coarse grades of abrasives (5000-10,000 grit) at a hobby shop, or one can use a fine Arkansas stone. Too often, however, once a nib has been so treated, there is a residual drag -- something finer is needed, and sometimes is all that is needed. That something we stumbled across a number of years ago: paper-thin mylar disks coated with ultrafine industrial diamonds. They are durable, usable wet or dry, and can leave a properly shaped nib gliding across the paper like ice on ice. Click here for information and purchase.

O-Rings and other seals for Touchdown, Snorkel, PFM, and plunger-filling pens: Click here for information and purchase.

Silicone grease is essential for lubricating rubber and cork seals on piston, plunger, and pneumatic filling systems. Avoid grease that is only silicone-bearing, as anything petroleum-based will degrade plastics and attack rubber -- use only grease that is 100% silicone, obtainable from shops that specialize in SCUBA equipment and other diving supplies.

Those flat cardboard boxes with the inserts, with slots for twelve pens? They are available once again, at around $6 each. Gary Lehrer is the source. He also sells economical glass-topped versions that hold 12 or 24 pens.

Peter Miller began making reproduction felt-covered wooden pen trays and display cases years ago, with either Parker Lucky Curve or Waterman Ideal labels. The operation has now been taken over by David Tallant.