Fountain Pen Restoration

Janesville, Wisconsin Button Fill

The next pen up for repair is a Parker Junior Duofold, with a streamline cap. The exact date of the manufacture of this pen is imprecise, but it would have been produced in Janesville, WI by Parker sometime after 1929. Duofolds were produced in different sizes – Senior, Junior, and Lady being the most common. The Lady Duofolds of this time had a ring on the top of the cap, to attach to a chain that could be worn around the neck. The larger Senior models and the Lady versions will be covered at another time. This pen is approximately 4.5 inches long (capped). The most common colors of these pens were black, red and jade green. Other colors were produced such as mandarin yellow, blue and pearl/black.

All of the Parker Duofolds of this time were button fillers. Button fillers have a sac that is filled by pushing on a button at the end of the barrel which pushes a pressure bar inside of the barrel against the sac. When the button is released the pressure bar releases the sac, inflating it again, and allowing the ink to flow into the pen. These pens are quite easy to restore. In most cases, all that is needed is a new sac and pressure bar.

This is a picture of the pen after it has been reduced to it’s parts. I used gentle heat from a heat gun to remove the section from the barrel. Often, the section screws into the barrel, so care needs to be taken not to just pull the section out, but to screw it out gently. As you can see, the sac has hardened over the years, but the good news is that the pressure bar (at the bottom of the picture) can be used in the restored pen.

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The first task was to clean the gold pieces. I used a q-tip and simichrome to polish the nib, button and clip. After polishing, I put them in an ultrasonic cleaner for a couple of minutes to give them a clean shine. I next cleaned out the section and “christmas tree feed” with water and dried them with the gold pieces. Finally, I polished and waxed the barrel and cap. I selected a size 18 sac and attached this to the section with sac cement after the nib and feed were placed back in the section. Next the section and attached sac were pushed back into the barrel. Button fillers are a bit tricky at this point. I inserted the original pressure bar in the cap, through the hole in the top of the cap, being careful that it lined up next to the sac cleanly. When this was done, I placed the button over the protruding pressure bar end and pushed the button into the barrel end until the pressure bar resists.

After several hours to allow the sac cement to completely dry, I tested the pen by pushing down on the button while the nib was in a glass of water. The pressure bar and button did their job and the sac filled with water perfectly. Pushing the button again released a steady stream of water back into the glass. The filling system was successfully restored.

Here is a picture of the completed project, both capped and uncapped.

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Parker Duofolds were very popular pens in their day and many fine examples such as this one have survived due in part to the workmanship and materials used in their manufacture. They are once again being produced, though using a cartridge/converter system.

An excellent book on the history of the Parker Duofold is PARKER DUOFOLD, by David Shepherd and Dan Zazove.

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December 29, 2007 - Posted by | Duofold, Parker Pen Company | ,

1 Comment »

  1. Hello,

    Do you have Duofold Senior pens for sale?

    Thanks,

    Pat

    Comment by Pat Hughes | October 23, 2010 | Reply


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