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. Woodbin, in Canada, is now out of business, but their products may still be found for sale. Note that Woodbin's transparent "silicone" sacs are actually 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 PVC sacs for Parker 51 Aerometrics, and various assortments of Pen Sac Co. latex sacs.

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.

In the UK, a wide selection of parts and high quality tools is available through Laurence Oldfield, along with the most authoritative pen repair books in print. In the USA, Pentooling offers an ever-growing selection of tools and parts.

Nib smoothing sheets: One can get reasonably 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 sheet 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 to purchase.

O-Rings and other seals for Touchdown, Snorkel, PFM, and plunger-filling pens, as well as European-style piston-fillers and safety pens: Click here for information and to 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.