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Pencast: 1950’s Esterbrook J “Double Jewel” Fountain Pen

1950's Esterbrook J "Double Jewel" Fountain Pen. Found in a $1.99 bag of miscellaneous office supplies at Goodwill last year.

1950’s Esterbrook J “Double Jewel” Fountain Pen. Found in a $1.99 bag of miscellaneous office supplies at Goodwill last year.

2014-02-09-a IMG_5779 2014-02-09-b IMG_5776 2014-02-09-c

little tendrills of ink started coming out of it pretty quickly

little tendrills of ink started coming out of it pretty quickly

and soon, a pool of ink was gathering at the bottom of the glass. It was at this point I decided to try to write with it. The bladder lever doesn't move much, and I didn't want to force it. More soaking may help.

and soon, a pool of ink was gathering at the bottom of the glass. It was at this point I decided to try to write with it. The bladder lever doesn’t move much, and I didn’t want to force it. More soaking may help.

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http://www.esterbrook.net/j3.shtml2014-02-09-e

http://www.richardspens.com/ref/repair/sac_replacement.htm
http://www.fountainpennetwork.com/forum/index.php/topic/84932-how-to-clean-a-fountain-pen-fully/2014-02-09-f

Fitted with a 1551 nib with some damage evident. tip seems not too badly worn, though.

Fitted with a 1551 nib with some damage evident. tip seems not too badly worn, though.

Updated: February 9, 2014 — 4:57 pm

7 Comments

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  1. That’s a nice looking pen. I’ve never bought a used fountain pen (I have hardly been into them long enough to have XD) but I’d highly recommend after the pump lever starts working again to flush the pen with filtered water with just a drop of dish soap by filling and unfilling it a few times, then just use plain water after.

    Obviously that means no ink left. If you don’t have any ink, I have a little 2ml sample of Noodler’s black ink (it’s good stuff but I’m going to be buying some permanent black) I’d be glad to send to you for free. :)

    1. Heh, dirty enabler! I have some old dip pen ink in my craftboxes that’ll do for testing, I think – assuming I can get it working again. I’m attempting Teeritz’s Vaseline trick right now. It’s moving a little bit, but I think the soaking will continue for the rest of the night.

      1. Being an enabler is so fun though!

        Dip pen ink is ok for testing, but be sure to empty it and clean it after you’re done. It can clog the pen, and over time, damage it due to being pigment based rather than dye based.

  2. Neat. An Esterbrook. I do not have any of that brand. I do have some bladder Waterman pens. I check them by working the fill lever and if it works I soak the pen and clean the nib as good as I can and then gently fill the bladder with water and let it soak. Then I empty it and repeat the cycle several times over a few days. Generally if the bladder is hard it will not fill. Soaking the pen with the nib fully in water and cleaning the nib usually will clean enough so even if the fill tube is partly blocked water can get in the bladder when the fill lever is worked. I have never broken a bladder in an old pen. All I know is if the bladder is hard the lever will not work or if the bladder has a hole or split in it the pen will not fill. I seldom use my lever fill pens because the old pens for some unknown reason have a breather hole in the cap and the nibs tend to dry out in short time even when capped.

    1. Hmmn, may have a hard bladder in this one, I was hoping that the momentary fresh ink flow would mean that the bladder was still ok.

  3. Try a dab of Vaseline on the lever near its hinge, if you can get to it. Work it gently back and forth and see if it begins to move. Replacement bladders can be found on eBay (I think), if it comes to that. I would only rinse pens out with cold water. I used to use a 5 to 1 ratio of water and cloudy ammonia, but that was overkill. Water can tend to be all that’s required. If there’s dried out ink all over the nib, use hot, but not scalding water. Just make sure it’s hot enough to be able to put your finger in it without scalding yourself. So basically, above lukewarm, but not hot. Swish the nib around for a minute or so, then let it sit for 30 mins.

  4. That’s very slick. I love how they come to life.

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