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None of Your Beeswax

Posted by Dirck on 17 September, 2012

Another excellent weekend!  The refit of a client’s Vacumatic, the reduction of the defences of a couple of Taperite Watermans (one of whose walls I’ve invested for a very long time indeed, and various of the other small triumphs over entropy that we humans are always attempting.  One of these was the address a bit of a seep in my Parker 65.

This pen is a bit of an oddity.  Like the 45, the VP, and the 75, it has its point and feed arranged in a dismountable unit, although it shares with the VP a need to largely dismantle the section to free the unit.  Unlike those other pens, the feed of the 65 is contiguous with the line of the section, and the seam between them is a source of unwanted ink on the fingers unless it is properly sealed.  Occasionally, that seal needs to be renewed, and this is the state my pen got itself into.

The other oddity of the 65 is the nature of this seal.  It is not shellac, that duct tape of the pen world, as the construction of the point/feed unit would both make it very hard to release the shellac when dismantling was needed and would also make it very likely that the shellac would get into the bits of the feed that only ink should ever touch.  The other usual stuff, a rosin-based quasi-pitch, is easier to release than shellac but it’s also rather on the goopy side; a little difficult to direct with any grace.  This isn’t a problem in its regular application, a full band on the threads of a section, but in this case the zone of application is only a little crescent.  Also, the seam in question is exposed; there would be a little line of perpetually sticky glop threatening the writer’s fingers.

The best thing to use, then, is wax.  Wax can be liquefied for easy application, but is solid at almost any temperature a person would be contemplating the use of a pen, and it is nicely resistant to fluids.  In the case of my efforts this weekend, I put beeswax to use. I had it on hand (it is thus mine, not yours; I wouldn’t presume upon someone else’s beeswax), and it’s a little more malleable than the more common paraffin wax.  It also pleased my whimsy to be using such a deeply archaic material, incorporating it into the fabric of an otherwise quite modern tool.  Seep undone, a pen returned to use and rendered pleasant smelling all in one act!

As a follow-up to my complaint of last week, I can also report victory on the Targa front.  Let me make a montage of before and after:

Droopy before

Upright after

That plane I mentioned in the complaint phase of the operation.

I also got a little outdoor time with my son, as the weather is still relatively fine. That’s a weekend well applied, in my books.

Today’s pen, all modern materials (c. 1927): Parker Duofold
Today’s ink, traditionally sourced: Herbin Vert Empire

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4 Responses to “None of Your Beeswax”

  1. Maja said

    Nice to see the Targa is back in usable shape—-bravo!
    I have one Parker 65, an eBay pen won in a “Canadian-bidders-only” auction, something as rare as hen’s teeth.

    • I’ve been chasing three (THREE!!) on eBay this week. Like flying saucers, they have easily exceeded my capacity to pursue them; the purported boom in the provincial economy trickles nothing upon me but political agitation. Two of them were flighters, too, one of my especial weaknesses.

      • Maja said

        I hope you are successful in at least one of the eBay auctions. It seems to be “feast or famine” some weeks, when one is hunting for a particular pen…..

  2. […] I’m frequently given to, these days.  Fixing bends in inlaid points is, to a certain extent, all in a day’s work for me.  So, I gave a good hard think about how much I would spend on that particular model if it […]

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