I need an --x-- part for an --x-- pen.
FAQ 33.0 by Burt Janz
  Article # 251 Article Type: FAQ


33.0 I need an --x-- part for an --x-- pen.

(This section contributed to the FAQ by Frank Dubiel)

Easier said than done. Say you need a feed for a Vacumatic. There are well over 100 different feeds used in that pen. Then there are the endless obvious sizes and models of the pen made for many years.

However, even if one had two identical pens made the same year, or even (if it could be proven) the very same day at the factory, many basic parts, such as the section, feed, even the cap might not fit properly. Why? Most pens were hand made, one part at a time and then hand fitted together.

For example, there usually was not "one" feed used in a pen model. There was about 10 or more feeds each a few thousandths of an inch larger or smaller in diameter. The assembler would try a feed. If it was too loose, he would try a larger or smaller feed until it was just right. The section was then hand fitted to a cap that was usually matched and hand adjusted to an "inner cap." These parts all interact in the way a cap screws on a pen. So a cap with a slightly different section or inner cap may not interchange with one from an identical pen model to another.

There are rather easy ways to make these parts fit--and that is all covered in "Da Book" (ordering instructions are in the section on "Books" elsewhere in this FAQ). Just don't think its always as simple as asking for a part and then getting it for an easy fit. Experienced collectors know this and may not sell parts since they know that beginners may return them as not being the right fit.

In short there is nothing more useful to a collector looking for parts than a good parts bin made up of otherwise damaged pens from which one can try various parts until one fits properly. Or, failing a parts bin, the collector must gain the knowledge and experience to hand fit, alter and adjust these parts to make them function as needed. Most of it is remarkably easy, using common sense, and some guidance from Da Book.

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