Fountain Pen Restoration

1942 Parker Vacumatic Maxima (?) see note below

Note:  3-30-11 – It has come to my attention that this may, in fact, not be a Maxima.  I will be the first to admit that I am far from a Vacumatic expert, and I appreciate those with much more knowledge than I, pointing this out.  Back in 2008, when this was written, I used measurements from another site to make this determination, but it seems I was in error.   Thank you, once again to those of you who have corrected this.  As mentioned in my original disclaimer of 2007, I do make mistakes :).   Your attention is much appreciated….Phil

I seem to have done several Parker Vacumatic Pen repairs recently. All have been different in their own way. First I did a Speedline Filler and then a Lockdown Filler. This restoration is also a speedline filler from 1942, but has two unique characteristics. First, it is a larger size Maxima (though a single jewel), and it came with a badly damaged nib. As you can see from the first picture below, the pen came in quite dirty condition with a badly damaged nib with no tipping material. The nib has the same 1942 code as the imprint, so I am thinking it is the original nib. However, it sat too far out of the section (as did the feed) and this caused the damage as the cap was screwed onto the barrel. The positive of this is that the pen was in such negative condition that it came at a very cheap price.

Here is a picture of the nib after I knocked it out of the section. As you can see it still has its two-tone finish but is severely bent inwards.


I do not have the tools or expertise to re tip nibs, so I sent this out to Greg Minuskin, who I also mention in the post entitled Parker 51 Nib Change.
I requested that he repair the damage done to the nib, and restore to a fine stub.  The repaired nib, as received in one week’s time, is below.


As you can see from the top photo, this is a Vacumatic Speedline Filler.  As it is the Maxima size, it required a standard sized diaphragm, as opposed to the debutante size, used in most Vacumatic repairs.  The breather tube and all other parts were salvageable, though they needed cleaning.  As with most Vacumatic repairs, take extra time to make sure the barrel and cap are cleaned out completely.  I use many q-tips to clean after making sure the old diaphragm material is completely removed.  Be careful not to scrape the inside of the barrel as this will compromise the barrel transparency.

After removing the old pellet from the filler, I trimmed the diaphragm and proceeded to work the sac back over the filler after the new pellet was inserted in the filler.  The filler was then screwed back into the barrel with the vac tool (see previous posts) and tested to make sure it was seated properly in the barrel and had not  twisted.  Once this was done and tested for suction, I polished up all of the parts, including the clip, jewel, band and barrel/cap.  I then inserted the nib and feed into the section and inserted the breather tube into the feed hole.  Make sure that the breather tube is completely cleaned and clear of obstructions.  This can be done with an ultrasonic cleaner and fine wire.  This unit is then screwed back into the barrel and tested with water to make sure the vacumatic filling system works.

The finished product is below – s 1942 Single Jewel Golden Pearl Vacumatic Maxima with a fine stub nib.  I am currently using it, filled with Waterman Florida Blue Ink, and enjoying the feel and creativity of the fine stub nib.



October 13, 2008 - Posted by | Minuskin Nibs, Parker Pen Company, Parker Vacumatic | ,


  1. Hey Phil,

    Did you ever determine what the technical name for your Vac is? I just bought one almost identical to yours, except it’s green rather than golden brown. The date code is worn off, but I’m assuming early 40s as it has the plastic filler like yours, and no jewel on the blind cap. I’d love to find more info out about it, but alas I have no date code on the nib either (that I can see, maybe behind the section/collar?)


    Comment by ThirdeYe | May 31, 2012 | Reply

  2. I forgot to mention that the one I got is longer and chunkier than my Vac Major that I already had.

    Comment by ThirdeYe | May 31, 2012 | Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: