I have mentioned time and again that this pile of words was born out of a need to distract myself from the perils of eBay. Since I began it, all those years ago, that need has slipped under the waves– I have found other and more useful distractions in the shape of fiction writing, and have become increasingly alarmed at the ratio of income to demands for payment in my household. Sometimes, however, a peek into the den of temptation is required, and therein lies today’s story.
In December, I was contacted by a fellow that needed some point-work done on a Parker 75 and a Montblanc 149. The former has some resistance to dismantling in its fabric, but I know its ways and can overcome it. The latter, though… to get that apart needs special tools. However, as coincidence would have it, I had just been reading on the forums about a place for those of us not anointed with the white bird splat of approval to get functional tools. Where? An eBay storefront belonging to someone with machining skills.
Here was the impetus as well as the opportunity to order the tool, or rather tools, because they vary with era, and a wrench capable of drawing out the piston mechanism as well. So I said yes to the fellow with the pens and placed the order on eBay.
…and as of yesterday, I was thinking that I would have to send an apology to the pen-owner for my inability to deal with his pen, as the tools were clearly never going to appear. “I will,” the inner voice said, “hold off until Friday to send this note.” Patience and timidity combine, then, to make way for joy– the package with the tools in it arrived today. It is postmarked for December, so it was definitely sent briskly; apparently this global shipping crisis is affecting the mails as well. Or, possibly, Canada Customs are giving a parcel of mysteriously-shaped bits of metal a long hard think before passing it through.
The joy is tinted, though, because the window for providing eBay feedback is closed. So, let me share with you the note I dashed off to the vendor:
I mean it, too, and am making good here on the promise. They’re as professional a set of tools as you could hope to find, and I’m delirious with glee at the prospect of unsanctioned rummaging in the guts of Montblanc pens.
While I’m at this, I think I should also do my small part to boost the Google results of Custom Pen Parts, since I’m very nearly as happy with the small purchase I recently made from them– my Pelikan 140 is back in circulation thanks to a part they provided, and their PFM fore-seals are really hard to tell from the factory originals. I don’t doubt the rest of their catalogue is as satisfactory. I mentioned this a little while ago, but I don’t think I mentioned it vigorously enough.
Are these, a cynic will wonder, paid endorsements? Not at all. Any money connected to this contented burbling has moved away from me; I feel I’m repaid in quality goods, but the fact that I’m saying it out loud is perfectly non-commercial. I’m not uninterested, but I am the dictionary definition of disinterested… except to the extent that it serves my own interests to see their enterprises flourish. Quality tools and parts for elderly pens? YES, PLEASE!
Today’s elderly pen: Sheaffer Imperial Triumph
Today’s quality modern insert: Herbin Lie de Thé