Fountain Pen Restoration


I like Sheaffer Tuckaways. Especially the late 1940s Sentinel Touchdowns. I have had a green and silver one for several years and added a black and silver earlier this year. Due to their size and that they can cease functioning quite easily, one can often find them for a song. I found a blue and silver one recently and set out to restore it this evening. I really like touchdowns and snorkels as they fill quite easily and are kind of fun to restore. Granted, snorkels are a little more difficult, but once you have done a few, it is rather easy – though a bit time consuming.

Here is a picture of the Tuckaway Sentinel, after I have taken it apart. All that is necessary is a regular screwdriver to take off the blind cap and a scraping tool (I use a dental pick) to scrape out the old sac from the sac protector. I then took the nib section and thoroughly cleaned it using an ultrasonic cleaner. Cleaning the sac protector is the most tedious job as old touchdown and snorkel sacs can get bonded to the protector and take quite a bit of work to be completely removed. Complete removal is necessary to make sure the pen fills properly when a new sac is inserted.


After all of the parts were cleaned, I removed the old O ring which had hardened and replaced it with a new one. A little silicone grease was applied around the new ring. A new sac was cut to size (they are very short for this pen) and secured to the nipple of the nib unit. Pure talc was lightly coated to the sac before it was placed in the sac protector. This helps keep it from adhering to the insides of the sac protector and allows for a smooth loading of ink. All of the pieces were put back together and this is the final product.

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These are nice little writers with a rather rigid triumph nib. They can be easily slipped in a backpack, purse, pocket, glove box, or briefcase. After, of course, a fill of your favorite bottled ink. Given the blue exterior, I would chose Waterman Florida Blue. These date to around 1949 and came in five solid colors: Persian Blue (shown here), Black, Evergreen Green, Burgundy, and Burnt Umber Brown. I am still looking for the burgundy and brown.


December 8, 2007 Posted by | Sheaffer, Sheaffer Tuckaway | , | 7 Comments


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