Fountain Pen Restoration

Duocraft Fountain Pens

Fountain Pen Restoration Article Number 100!  It is hard to believe that this is the 100th post here since November of 2007.  I hope that the readers have found a few that they have enjoyed.  Thank you for your comments, suggestions, corrections, and additions to many of these.  Hopefully the next 100 will be worth the read.  On to this week’s fountain pen.

Not a lot of information seems to be available to me on this Vintage Pen Company – Duocraft.  An exploded view of this large fountain pen is below and you can see the expected lever fill remnants of years of sitting are evident.  The sac has hardened and the jbar was corroded beyond use.  The most interesting part of this pen is the nib.  It is a three tined nib, more often referred to as a Music Nib.  More on that later…

As you can see, the pen needs a new j bar (large size) and sac (size 20), as well a general cleaning.

Below is a photo of the nib, a Warranted 14K No. 5.  The main problem with the nib is that it is very bent, and the tipping material is gone from the left tine.  This is work that is beyond my scope and as this is a unique nib, I decided to go ahead and get it re-tipped in lieu of replacing it with a spare regular nib.  You may recall that I have done this with another pen, a Parker Vacumatic in an article from October 13, 2008 ~ 1942 Parker Vacumatic Maxima. Greg Minuskin does exceptional work, and his turnaround times, and communication, are outstanding.

Below is a photo of the newly re-tipped Music Nib, which I received back in one week’s time.  The photo is complements of Greg Minuskin.

Music Nibs, so named as they are very useful in forming the characters necessary to compose music on music sheets, are available on a a few current pens.  However, they were rarely offered on vintage pens and this is the the first vintage music nib that I have run across.   Duocraft pens are often found with these nibs and it makes me wonder if they were aiming this product at the music community.  The design of the nib allows for fine horizontal lines and wide verticals and well as a very flexible flow.

I cleaned the old sac off of the section – cleaned the section and feed and inserted the retipped nib and feed back into the section. I reinserted a large jbar back into the barrel, checking for a firm fit.  The barrel and cap, including the gold furniture were thoroughly cleaned and polished.  Remember to take the time to clean the inside of the cap, as years of dried ink is usually lurking there.  As I mentioned  earlier, a size 20 sac was used and attached to the section/nib/feed unit before fitting back into the barrel.

Below is are two photos of the completed restoration.  The pen measures a large 5 9/16 inches capped and 6 1/2 inches posted.

The imprint is still crisp and did not need to be highlighted with white to be seen.  As you can see, Duocraft was in Brooklyn, NY.

My talents are not in calligraphy, but here is a quick writing sample showing the line variation that this nib permits.

These pens do pop up from time to time and at reasonable prices.  Should the nib be in good shape, they are an excellent way to show off your writing flair, and maybe compose a symphony or two!

Edit (10-14-09) ~ Please refer to this excellent article on another Duocraft Fountain Pen (with far more pleasing use of the pen and ink) that was kindly forwarded to me by the author. Thank you…


October 13, 2009 - Posted by | Duocraft Fountain Pens, Minuskin Nibs, Music Nib | ,


  1. Congratulations on your 100th post and for those 100 restorations of great pens that you added to your collection. That Duocraft is a very nice find. I’ve been looking for a vintage pen with a music nib and I’ll keep an eye out for a Duocraft.

    Comment by Jon | October 13, 2009 | Reply

    • Great website. Great pen 🙂

      Here is my Duocraft:

      Comment by AZ | October 14, 2009 | Reply

  2. My grandfather owned this company. I am a university instructor and a student was doing a presentation on the evolution of writing and happened to use one of the photos of the Duocraft Company from one of the blogs. I had no idea that any pens existed any longer! My mother is 89 and told me about the business, as she married my dad, who would assemble them in their home. I will find out more.
    I am so excited and happy there are collectors!

    Comment by Noel Belinski | May 3, 2015 | Reply

  3. Lovely. I am itching to get my hands on one of these pens as I do do music notation and know how to use one. You actually use it sideways so the fine lines are vertical and then adjust to do the flags and whole and half notes, rests, etc. I couldn’t afford a proper pen when I was in college and so used a calligraphy nib and a dip pen. With practice you can do a single quarter note head with just a slash of the pen. Here it is years later and I still can’t afford a proper music pen. There’s one on eBay for $220 and the nib looks bent. Still out of my reach.

    Comment by mlaiuppa | April 22, 2018 | Reply

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