Fountain Pen Restoration

Sheaffer “Rejected” 350/250 Set

This was a fun project – mostly due to the paperwork that accompanied the pen and pencil set.

I came across this late 30s “350” Balance style pen set that was enclosed in the following envelope. The message on the one side is the disappointing ” This pen has NOT been serviced”


On the reverse is the date of December 22, 1952 and the detailed message stating that the pen can not be repaired due to lack of parts.  As I document in my repair below, the only new parts needed were a size 16 sac and j bar.  They did, however, offer a gold allowance to the owner towards the purchase of new black pen.  Obviously, this was not accepted as I acquired this 56 years later with the un-returned envelope.


The repair was very simple.  You can see below the pen after I took the section and nib unit out of the barrel.  The old sac and j bar crumbled out of the pen.  I cleaned the section and nib unit in an ultrasonic cleaner.  As is typical, the cap was filled with old dry ink and I had to clean this up with a qtips and water.  The barrel and cap were buffed out with polish and carnuba wax.  The pencil presented no problems other than the eraser is missing.  I placed a 0.9 mm lead in the tip and reversed it until if held in the pencil.  The “valuable”  gold parts also cleaned up easily, and this is a nice set.


The imprint on the pen is that it was made in Fort Madison, Iowa and is a 350. This apparently referred to the fact that the pen sold for $3.50. The pencil has the same imprint but the number 250. I have seen other 350 Sheaffers that come in a set and the pencil is also marked 250, so I will assume this was sold as a set and that the pencil was sold for $2.50. Maybe Sheaffer gave a discount for both?


The pen measures 4 7/8″ closed and the pencil just a bit shorter at 4 13/16″. I do not know the exact date of production (ah for the Parker dating system), but these were produced from the mid 30s to mid 40s. We can see that Sheaffer was not interested, or unable to repair them by late 1952.



January 6, 2009 - Posted by | Sheaffer |


  1. This is great! All your work is great! You do beautiful restorations, great photography and clear and to the point writings! You make the entire restoration process seem very appealing.

    So, how about an article on the tools you use? Perhaps a review of restoration books you recommend? And how about one on where and how you run across these “finds”! And please keep restoring and posting!


    Comment by Rick | January 6, 2009 | Reply

  2. Hi, excellent job. I am interested in a sheaffer mechanical pencil. I couldn’t find any in the shops. sellers told me that they no more sell mechanical pencils coz it is barely requested by clients. Do you usually sell any pencil after restoration? Can i buy one from you? Mmmm is this a wierd question?

    Thanks anyways

    Comment by Nada | September 21, 2010 | Reply

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