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The Wall.

Posted by Dirck on 26 February, 2010

I overdramatize, of course. Using one pen all week long is in no way like running a marathon. For a start, unlike Phidippides, I’m not even close to dropping dead of the strain.

It has been an interesting if slightly pointless exercise. Pointless in that it’s probably harder for me than someone just approaching the buying of a proper pen for the first time because I’ve got this huge heap of other pens calling out to be used.

There is also the underlying, let’s say “psychopathology” for honesty’s sake, that leads to me having a great pile of pens in the first place. If the experiment was, say, a week without any booze (yike!) spent in a house with a well stocked bar, it’s not going to be such a trial for Mormon granny as for someone like Winston Churchill or Charles Bukowski. When it comes to pens, I’m rather more in the latter camp, and the monkey on my back is screaming.

What I learn out of this experiment is somewhat shallow. I have sufficient strength of character to resist the lure of all those other pens (which, the preceding paragraph notwithstanding, is rather like saying I am unmoved by the gravitational influence of Saturn– big deal). I also learn that the ink capacity of a piston-filled pen is as vast as reputed; if I read the ink windows correctly, I still have about half a tank left.

The main thing I learn is that I can inflate a figurative molehill quite nicely, which puts me right along side most other people posting recreationally on the internet. I have made a lot of fuss about this “grand experiment” for the past week. I will continue my efforts to enhance the reputation and mystique of fountain pens despite an awareness that it’s not going to cure any diseases (although I can suggest Carpal Tunnel Syndrome will respond them) nor abolish any war nor famine. But they enhance life in a humble way, and humble enhancements are the best sort.

Today’s pen, crossing the finish line: Lamy 2000
Today’s apparently inexhaustible ink: Pelikan 4001 blue-black

…and an afterword which springs from looking at searches which have brought people to this screed: To get the hood off a Parker “51”, bring a pot of water up to 160F (go buy a candy thermometer, they’re not expensive), remove it from the heat, and hold the pen in it point down and with the clutch ring fully submerged (well under on a Vac, JUST under on an Aero). Hold it thus for about five minutes, then take it out and try unscrewing it. If it doesn’t unscrew, take a large dose of patience and repeat the whole processes as often as it takes. This is more difficult on an Aerometric filler because there’s less to grip and you may end up undoing the filler cover in the process, but if you’re working with a Vacumatic filler you’ll need a special tool for the other end so getting the hood off is the least of your problems.

Dismantled Vacumatic Picture
Dismantled Aerometric Picture

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One Response to “The Wall.”

  1. […] use.  Surprising, because I really didn’t think I used the Lamy 2000 that much (by the way, the full week of using that pen was only counted as one instance), and that Parkers had gotten that much more use than Sheaffers.  […]

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