What's up at Ravens March.

Vintage pens-Handmade books-Silly statements

Utter Fabrications

Posted by Dirck on 25 February, 2013

Sometimes, it’s very satisfying to make stuff up.  While it’s not the sort of thing we can indulge in all the time, the occasional fabrication keeps the mind agile and will occasionally impress people as a sign of cleverness.  I’m about to brag about several fabrications….

First, the one that I mentioned last week.  A client had a Parker Duofold which came to him in an entirely gutless state; no sac, nor any of the bits that would cause it to fill.  The sac was straightforward enough, and some of the mechanism was on hand as well– there are commercially-available button-filler pressure bars.  The button’s absence took a bit of chasing to track down, but I was able to lay in a score from the pen equivalent of a wrecker’s yard.  Easy then, except for one thing.  The Duofold in question used a hanging bar; rather that the simple form of button filler, in which the bar grounds out on the inside end of the section, the later models (relatively; the latter part of the original 1921 – 1933 run) had a slip-in section rather than a screw-in type, and to avoid poking it out when filling, the bar was suspended from an extra bit of metal that clings to the button-hole itself.

Rather than scour about for a used part, I thought to try and make my own.  The problem with seeking this part is that it’s the sort that tends to disintegrate; it’s inside the pen, with the sac and the ink, which sometimes don’t stay in the correct relationship of container and contained.  The excess of buttons is in part down to this.  One might eventually find the part, but in this case it’s better to increase the number in the world.  A little bit of experimenting, and we are left with:

An original, eighty-year old example is at the top.  Not, I suspect, that you needed to be told....

An original, eighty-year old example is at the top. Not, I suspect, that you needed to be told….

I’m quite pleased with the result.  This is, I’ll admit, a Mark II since my first run used brass stock that was rather too thin, and unbent when one tried to work the mechanism; this was the potential problem I hinted at last week, come to fruition.  This iteration looks to stand up to as much service as the original.  No one will mistake it for an original, either, but since it’s generally hidden away inside a pen, that’s not a big deal.

Good heavens, look at the time.  We’ll have to wait until tomorrow to find out how I turned a ballpoint pen to the side of Goodness and Decent Writing, and to learn what exactly I did with this horrifying collection of chunks:

To quote The Princess Bride:  Dear God, what is that thing?

To quote The Princess Bride: Dear God, what is that thing?

Today’s pen: Lamy 2000
Today’s ink: Herbin Lie de Thé

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One Response to “Utter Fabrications”

  1. I shall eagerly await the tale of how you turned a beast into a beauty.

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