Fountain Pen Restoration

Parker 51 Nib Change

The Parker 51 is a highly collected pen, revered by pen enthusiasts around the world. First introduced formally in 1941, it continued in production into the 1970s. Over the years it had different filling systems (Vacumatic and Aerometric), was produced in many different countries (USA, Canada, Great Britain, Argentina..), and in varying sizes, colors and styles. The history is rich and for further research there is a very comprehensive book titled Parker 51, by David and Mark Shepherd.

I have several Parker 51s and have always enjoyed them. My only complaint, if I ever had one, was that most of the nibs were very similar – fine or medium. These pens did come with other nibs, but they are uncommon on pens that one finds in the wild.

I finally took the plunge and purchased a broad stub nib for a Parker 51, produced by Greg Minuskin. His website can be found here and he specializes in re tipping fountain pen nibs. I had read about his work and seen an example on one occasion.

I thought it would be a good opportunity to take some pictures of a 51 / Aerometric opened up as I changed out the old fine nib for my newly purchased broad stub.

Below, you can see the components. The sac assembly was working well, so I did not take it apart. As you can see, there is a lustraloy cap, blue barrel, matching blue hood, badly stained collector, nib, feed and attached breather tube.

I took the opportunity to clean the collector, feed, breather tube, and old nib (which I can use on another pen). The hood unscrews from the aero assembly. If it is difficult to unseat, gentle heat is a good solution. Be certain to unscrew as it is not a friction fit. The breather tube can be cleaned with a fine wire, if it is clogged. The collector and feed are easily cleaned in and ultrasonic cleaner.


Here is a picture of the new nib – a juicy broad stub. It simply fits over the old feed and the breather tube attaches back to the feed in the hole at the end of the feed. The feed is reattached into the collector which is reinserted into the sac assembly.

Here it can get a bit tricky. When the hood is screwed back on to the pen, it may not align perfectly with the nib. You may have to pull the feed and nib out of the collector to move the alignment to the hood.


Here is a picture of the nib after it has been fully set in the pen. The broad stub lines are a treat to use.



July 1, 2008 - Posted by | Minuskin Nibs, Parker 51, Parker Pen Company | , ,


  1. Hi,

    I’m new to fountain pens – I found one of my dad’s old pens – I think it’s a Parker 51. It looks a lot like the dismantled pen you posted, except I don’t know what the interior parts look like because I can’t open it. The cap, barrel, hood, nib are all identical (except silver cap/barrel). I don’t want to break it and I’m not currently aware of any pen places in Dallas that have knowledgeable staff. Where does the pen unscrew to reveal the ink filling parts? Thank you!

    Comment by Erin | July 13, 2008 | Reply

  2. Erin, My email bounced back from your address. Here is a copy-The pictures do not translate outside of email, but if you could comment again with another email address I will try to email the pictures again.

    HI Erin,

    I am writing this in response to your comment to my Fountain Pen Restoration Site today.

    As with many vintage pens, they are often difficult to take apart to clean and repair. The pen unscrews at the band on the barrel. On the picture below, this would be just to the left of the silver band. Actually, both the plastic sections, the hood (on the left) and the barrel (on the right) unscrew counterclockwise from the band. The barrel side will reveal the aero filler ( if their is not a plastic button on the end) and the hood will unscrew to reveal the parts shown on the second picture below.

    Here is the picture from my Fountain Pen Restoration Site.

    The part shown on the bottom left is the aero filler section after the hood and barrel have been successfully removed. If the parts are hard to unscrew, this is common. Don’t try to force them as a shellac or cement may have been applied to the threads. Gentle heat from a heat gun or hair dryer may help loosen things up.

    Erin, one more thing dawned on me. There are two pens that look like a 51 – a Parker 21 or 61, or even a Parker 51 Vacumatic. The procedures would be different for these pens. Could you send a picture of the pen with the cap off. This would help me be sure I am giving you the right information.



    Comment by all of us | July 13, 2008 | Reply

  3. Hello.
    First, let me say thank-you to you for sharing precious information about fountain pens on the web.
    Recently I have acquired my first Parker51(Aerometric)
    at a local antique shop.
    The barrel side was unscrewed fairly easily.
    The hood side seems very tight so I used hair dryer for
    5 minutes and another 10 minutes but it didn’t work.
    Could you tell me usually how long I should heat to loosen up?
    Unfortunately I see the pen is leaking from the filler
    so I think I should unscrew the hood to fix that problem.
    I would appreciate it if you could give me any advise
    when you have time.

    Comment by emi | September 12, 2008 | Reply

  4. Hello,

    I wonder if you can help.

    I have found a desk set and it is advertised as Parker 51. I cannot find the same type of pens anywhere on the internet though.
    It is two pens, one fountain, aerometric, marked parker, one ballpoint, with magnetic holders, on a black marble base with a clock.

    I wonder if you have seen anything similar? Is it real? Currently it is £10 pound, is it worth bidding on or do you have anything similar?

    Boxed Parker Volumatic Magnetix Desk set pen set with

    …is what it is on the site as, so you know what I am talking about.

    thank you for any help.

    Best wishes


    Comment by Pete Burke | August 24, 2009 | Reply

  5. Good morning,

    My compliments for your articles and detailed explanations!

    I have always appreciated Parker pens, and went through my university accompanied by a 51, and I daily use a beautiful 51 special edition.

    Even if not a collector (and even less an expert), when recently offered a vacumatic, double jewel 51, I immediately bought it.

    The CAP presents vertical parallel lines, with a 34 mm short, blu diamond golden clip, with an incision PARKER “51” MADE IN U.S.A. STERLING SILVER.

    The BARREL presents a gray jewel at the top, has a taper to meet the screwable filling cap, and has a clear transparent piston. The bottom of the barrel has PARKER “51” MADE IN USA, followed by a single dot (no T near it).

    It is in nearly perfect condition, filling well, etc., but has a broken nib.

    Could you give any indication on the date of this pen?

    Could you replace the nib (medium)?

    Thanks and my compliments again for your passion.


    Comment by angelo | March 1, 2010 | Reply

  6. Hello,

    I’d like to chance the hood on a Parker “61” Flighter DL cartridge/converter type. Is this very difficult? Do I need any special equipment and how do I go about it. Is there any difference between capiliery and cartridge hoods/ The parts I’ve found on line don’t indicate that there are.

    Thank you for your time, Roy

    Comment by Roy Dixon | June 3, 2010 | Reply

  7. when using hair dryers, it would be better to use those low wattage types because they are not very damaging to the hair *~’

    Comment by Pine Cupboard | November 16, 2010 | Reply

  8. ~`” that seems to be a great topic, i really love it `;~

    Comment by Sleeper Sofa | February 6, 2011 | Reply

  9. Good Day

    I recently aquired a parker 51 at a second hand shop in a small country town for just R5. It is in beautifull condition and I love writing with it. Do any of you know where I can get replacement nibs that or more on the italic side.

    Best Regards
    Damian Wrigley
    Cape Town

    Comment by Damian | November 10, 2012 | Reply

    • Damian,

      Italic nibs are difficult to come by for Parker 51s. I am going to include a couple of links below to website vendors who have them in stock occasionally. I would contact them directly to determine cost and availability.

      Thank you for reading Fountain Pen Restoration, and I wish you luck in your search for a P51 italic nib.


      Phil Munson

      Comment by PKM | November 10, 2012 | Reply

  10. Is there anywhere in cape town south africa for repair of parker pen 51?

    Comment by mike sandler | January 26, 2015 | Reply

    • Mike,

      I am not aware of any Pen Restorers in South Africa. You might go to and write a message there in the repair section, asking this question. There is a large membership and someone may be able to direct you to pen repair services in Cape Town, or near.

      Good Luck, and thank you for reading.

      Phil – “Fountain Pen Restoration”

      Comment by PKM | January 27, 2015 | Reply

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