Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Fountain Pens- Replacing a Lever Ring

Disclaimer: Proceed at your own risk, I will not be held responsible to any damage you do to your pens.  Use common sense, if you don't feel competent enough to do these repairs don't do them.  Please send your pen off to a repair person.  Please keep in mind that sixty year old materials may be brittle due to age and sometimes a pen will just break even if you follow all the directions carefully.  Everyone who has repaired many of pens can vouch for me.

This is one I've been toying with from almost the beginning, but first I wanted to do some posts about the basics before jumping right into some of the more complicated repairs, which most beginners will not face right away.  Anyway, I received this little pen for Christmas and I knew it would have a few problems but not this many.  Most obvious is the missing ring top tassie (the majority of Salz Peter Pan pens are fitted with them), also prior to taking the pen apart I noticed that the nib and feed were seated incorrectly (the feed was pushed to far into the section).  Upon opening the pen and cleaning it out first thing I noticed is the ring that holds the lever it place was corroded and broken.  Lifting the lever caused it to crumble and break.

Salz Bros Peter Pan fountain pen or Mister Stripy.  Lever and broken ring seen at bottom left of photo.

In order to keep this post short and to the point, I'm just going to say I acquired some replacement C-rings or split rings from an acquaintance.  None of them were the right size, they were made for Conway Stewart Dinky pens, which happen to be larger than Salz Peter Pan pens.  So, after much grumbling and wrecking several rings I was able to reshape one to fit inside this pen.

Rings, pen, lever and J-bar (what depresses the sac when you lift the lever)
After forming a ring to the right size and shape the next challenge was to get it inside the pen with the lever attached to it.  There are two methods of doing this, the first involves sliding the whole assemblage into the pen barrel and pushing the lever outside from inside the pen, but this only works with pens that have straight levers without a 'spooned' end.  For the second method the lever and ring are pushed into the pen from the outside, by positioning both inside the lever slot standing straight up and twisting (shown below).  This method is used for pens that have a lever with a spooned end that will not fit through the lever slot from the inside (which this pen has).  If you haven't already you'll have to remove the J-bar, I use a tweezers or hemostats depending on the size of the pen.  Grasp the end of the J-bar and pull straight out, do not rock it from side to side or you'll risk cracking your pen barrel.

Ring slipped through lever
Position lever and ring in lever slot like this, stand upward with bottom of lever inside the pen.  Press down gently and twist until seated correctly.
Inside nearly all, if not all pens that use a C-ring to hold the lever there will be a grove on the inside of the barrel that the ring fits in.  This groove keeps the lever and ring in place, so once the lever is seated, peek inside the pen to make sure the ring is completely in the groove and no parts are sticking out.  If it is sticking out the lever could shift and it could also cause wear to the sac.  If you need to manipulate the ring a small dental tool or something else similarly sized will work, I used a large straight pin since this pen is so small.

A large straight pin works well for positioning the ring and pushing in the J-bar
Once you are certain the ring is position as it should be you can put the pen back together.  J-bars can be pushed back inside with hemostats, small paint brush handles, or in my case the straight pin again.
J-bar and pen barrel

Start pushing in the J-bar with your fingers and finish with the tool of your choice
Even though I fixed this problem there are still several others that need taking care of until this pen is back in order.  The section cracked when I was trying to reseat the nib and feed correctly, so I'm having a new one turned and I should have it in a few weeks, along with the section for my Wahl Eversharp Doric.  And I still need to find the right tassie, but that one is going to take awhile.  If you happen to have an extra Peter Pan tassie please message me.

One warning:

While replacing a C-ring you are putting extra pressure on the weakest point in the pen's barrel, which happens to be the groove where the ring fits.  Please be careful, use only the amount of force needed and don't rush or else you could break your pen.

Feel free to ask questions.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

...Adding to My Previous Post...

This photo is of Charlie around the time A Brother's Reflection is set.  From what I read, this was taken in his studio office at Lone Star Studios.

Charlie circa 1916- 1917.  Probably one of my favorite photos of him. *
 These other two are of Charlie and Syd, his older half-brother, who was really as much of a father figure to him as much as he was an older brother.  Growing up they were very close and continued to be into adulthood.  He was four years Charlie's senior.

This photo and the one above are borrowed from Jess or Discovering Chaplin - Please take the time to check out her blog sometime, there is a lot of information and gorgeous photographs.

* I cannot remember where I found this photo.  If it happens to be yours please contact me so I can give you credit.

A Brother's Reflection- An Answer About The Films Mentioned

To answer a question I was asked about the films mentioned in A Brother's Reflection: Yes both were real films produced by Charlie Chaplin in 1916 (The Pawnshop) and 1917 (The Adventurer).  It is also true that he liked to take his time while making films much to the ire of the company he was working for.  If an idea wasn't progressing well he would shut down filming for days sometimes while he worked out the first idea or developed a completely new scenario.  It wasn't until Charlie fulfilled his contract with First National that he was allowed to distribute his film through United Artists and take as long as he wished while filming.

Here are links to both the films.  These are better quality that what is available on Youtube, hence the links.

The Pawnshop

The Adventurer

Any other questions?  Feel free to ask and I'll try and find you an answer.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

A Kitty in My Snowbank

Here's my silly kitty Cootie enjoying all the snow we have around these parts right now.  The last few weeks have been cold, today it was around 18 degrees (-8 C) yesterday it was cooler yet.

I'm working on getting the third part of The Groupie Story ready to post, at the moment it's to raw.  You see there is a fine line between trashy and classy and that line has been crossed just a little bit and I cannot let myself stoop to the levels I once did when I was younger.  Being wiser and more experienced than I was at the time I wrote this story, I now find trysts in literature more appealing if there is some mystique instead of lists of details and descriptions.

Please stay tuned.  I won't disappoint.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

The Groupie Story- Continued

Here is Part Two for your enjoyment.

Please feel free to comment.  I started this blog to share with you and hear from you.  Opinions are always appreciated.

Friday, February 1, 2013

The Groupie Story

Technically this story is untitled and has been for several years now, since it was conceived in the spring of 2009.  Since its completion it has been simply known as The Groupie Story, or October 1969, which is was published under on my old Myspace page.  While only a short story, it set the stage for the novel that I am currently writing.

Without further ado, part one of The Groupie Story: