Fountain Pen Restoration

Parker Vacumatic Lockdown Filler

In a previous post, I detailed the restoration of a Parker Vacumatic. The filler unit on that pen was a 1940s Speedline with a plastic plunger. The pen that I just completed is also a Parker Vacumatic, but with a 1930s Lockdown Filler Unit. The restoration is very much the same as described in the Parker Vacumatic post, with minor differences.

The first picture below shows a Vacumatic tool used to extract the filler unit (and reinstall) from the end of the pen. It also shows the lockdown unit next to the old diaphragm after the sac and pellet have been extracted. With Lockdown fillers, be careful to extend the filler before unscrewing the unit to prevent possible irreversible damage to the unit. The new diaphragm is at the bottom. The larger diaphragm is the appropriate replacement for this pen – a 1935 Vacumatic Junior.


This was a relatively easy restoration. I removed the nib/section/feed from the barrel and cleaned the barrel out with q-tips and water. There was a lot of dried ink in the barrel as Vacumatics store the ink in the barrel, not in a sac. After cleaning, the barrel retains its original transparency. The breather tube was cleared and cleaned. The cap also had to be scrubbed to free its dried ink. I also polished the nib, clip, and two cap bands. The filler needed to have the new diaphragm attached. As with the speedline fillers, I inverted the sac and pushed the pellet into the filler, followed by attachment of the sac to the filler. I checked the suction and then carefully put the filler back into the barrel, making sure that the diaphragm did not get twisted in the barrel as the filler was screwed back in. After re-insertion of the filler unit I once again checked the suction of the unit before putting the section/feed/nib back into the barrel.

The next photo shows the Lockdown Filler extended. To fill the pen, the filler is depressed and held down, then turned slightly to lock it before covering with the blind cap.


And finally, the completed pen, posted – a 1935 (date code on barrel) Parker Vacumatic Junior, Double Jewel, Lockdown Filler. I water tested this pen and it fills well. The clarity of the barrel is very good and I will be reluctant to fill it to preserve this.


A nice aspect of these pens is the large amount of ink that they hold in their barrels. They can be found in numerous variations of sizes and colors – too many to keep track of. Both of these make them fun to collect and restore.


June 20, 2008 - Posted by | Parker Pen Company, Parker Vacumatic | , ,


  1. Cerco il clip per la mia Parker 51 Vacumatic, cocoa. E’ possibile averlo spedito pagando il prezzo all’arrivo del clip al mio indirizzo

    Rosario Daidone, via Nassaiuoli, 7 90133 Palermo

    Comment by rosario daidone | November 21, 2008 | Reply

  2. […] Pencil, that matches the Burgundy Marble Vacumatic Junior that I restored in my post titled Parker Vacumatic Lockdown Filler, dated June 20, […]

    Pingback by Did He Say Pencil? : Penpedia | April 7, 2009 | Reply

  3. Hi there,

    I have an old fountain pen I recently inherited that belonged to my grandfather and I after many, many searches on the internet to try and identify it, thanks to your helpful blog, I believe it is a Parker Vacumatic. I am wondering if you could help me confirm this to help me decide on my restoring steps…?

    It has no branding or cap clip on it but looks similar to the picture above of but with a leaver on the side. It is small, 4.25″ when closed, and Bakelite tortoise shell/marble look of black/blown/bronze. I believe my grandfather, who was from France, purchased it in the 1920’s. It has an 18 CT nib that says “Warranted 18 CT” on it.

    Would you be able to help me or direct me to someone who could? I have pictures of it and the gold nip as well.

    Thanks so much!

    Comment by Serra | March 27, 2010 | Reply

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