Substituting for Special Ink Sacs

[The PENnant,1993]:

At a pen show last year a friend asked me if I knew of a source for small-sized Ink Vue sacs. At the time I had to say no [the Pen Sac Co. then produced only the large size]. We then commiserated about the difficulty of shoehorning the available sacs into regular Ink Vues, and the near-impossibility of getting them into Lady Patricias. Since then I have discovered that a regular straight 16 sac trimmed to the right length can be used in place of the specially-formed Ink Vue sac. The diameter of the 16 is small enough that even Lady Patricia lever housings can be threaded on without twisting the sac.

First disassemble and clean all parts as usual. Then take the sac, place it over a rod 7/64" in diameter or a bit less, and push it through the hole in the threaded ring. Apply talcum powder as necessary as a lubricant. Normally the sac would pleat as it goes through the constricted opening, but the rod should prevent this. When the sac is in far enough, its belled-out skirt will stick out from the ring, flaring to just the diameter of the cone or a bit less. Now carefully remove the rod and replace it with the cone, which should then be shellacked to the flared skirt of the sac. When the shellac is hard, the whole assembly can be put in place and the ring carefully threaded tight.

A final note: regular sacs can also be used in place of Vacumatic diaphragms, as an Italian friend showed me a while back. I haven't tried it, but it can be done given a sac that is reasonably thin at the end and an appropriately-sized pellet. In this case, however, the substitution hardly seems worth the effort – unless, of course, you have no source for Vac diaphragms.


Copyright 1999 David Nishimura. All rights reserved