Fountain Pen Restoration

1941 Vacumatic Maxima

In my post of October 13, 2008 I wrote about a 1942 Vacumatic Maxima that I restored and sent the nib to Greg Minuskin to be stubbed and repaired. This past weekend I restored a similar pen – a 1941 (2nd Qtr) Golden Pearl Vacumatic Maxima.

As you can see from the picture below, this one needed an extra dose of tender loving care. I am not sure why the nib is stained the way it is – perhaps it was stored in an almost-empty ink bottle for a while. When I took it apart, the diaphragm was nothing more than crumbs. These are the best pens to work on as they often (though not always) yield the biggest surprises and the most satisfaction. That is, if there are not further major problems under the surface.

Some problems that can arise with vacs are troublesome – broken diaphragms (which can be solved by searching through the parts bin ), or worse – a cracked barrel, which will prevent the vacumatic seal necessary to operate the filling system. Again, solvable, but not without a substitute part or resealing the crack or hole.

Fortunately, this grungy looking pen had nothing lurking to prevent a clean restoration.


I grabbed a diaphragm and installed it in the old speedline filler after taking out the old pellet. Pellet removal (covered in previous posts) can take several minutes if not drilled out. Fortunately, this took about 10 seconds as the old pellet was extremely brittle. So, the new diaphragm was installed on the filler. The nib / breather tube / section / feed all cleaned up easily with my new (yes I bought a new one) ultrasonic cleaner. The barrel cleaned up to the best transparency I have seen in an old vacumatic. The clip unit is in great shape and the blue diamond is clean.

After reassembly, here is the pen.


To complete the good news, the nib is a nice medium with lots of iridium left. Finally, I prefer this pen to the Vac in my October 13, 2008 post as it has a jeweled blind cap. Double Jewels just look better to me.



August 17, 2010 - Posted by | Parker Pen Company, Parker Vacumatic | ,


  1. Beautiful workmanship.

    Comment by Eric O. Costello | August 18, 2010 | Reply

  2. It takes a brave man to knock out the feed in a Vacumatic. It would take Ernest Hemingway to describe the effort it to me to get back in the last one I had to pull.

    Comment by ravensmarch | August 25, 2010 | Reply

  3. Estimado señor, he leido su comentario acerca de Parker Vacumatic y Art Ctraft Co. Arg. y tengo lapiceras de estas marcas. Quisiera saber si Ud. tendría interés en adquirir algunas de ellas. En caso afirmativo le enviaría imágenes.

    Comment by Eugenio Gil | September 11, 2010 | Reply

  4. I recently bought a green maxima very similar to this one. Would it be better to have it repaired or do it myself? If repaired, where?

    Comment by Joe Vanderbroek | April 16, 2012 | Reply

    • Joe, From a pure cost standpoint, the cost of tools and materials to restore a Vacumatic is much higher than sending it out to a repair person. I would only invest in the tools and supplies if you feel you are going to restore many of these for years. If not, I would send it to a repair person. Some are listed in the Blogroll on the right side of my blog. I have read good reviews of all listed. Good luck to you!

      Comment by PKM | April 16, 2012 | Reply

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