Fountain Pen Restoration

Sheaffer Hunting Dog

I do not collect desk sets, though I have stumbled into a few from time to time. Previous restorations and articles over the last five years are as follows ~

Rube Goldberg Ink Delivery Machine – December 21, 2007

Fishing For A Desk Base – January 19, 2008

Gold Bond Stonite Desk Pen – December 17, 2008

Atlas Appliance Desk Pen  –  March 10, 2010

As you can see, the last time I restored one of note was almost two years ago.  For some reason (my guess is storage requirements) these are often overlooked in fountain pen collecting.  This one was found on a table at an antique mall for a pittance.   I had read about Sheaffer desk bases, which often featured animals, over the past few years and decided to bring this one home.  Unfortunately, no pen was available – probably snatched many years earlier by someone only interested in pens.  Imagine that…..more on a matching pen for this base later.

Anyway, there was little to do on this one, other than polishing the gold and cleaning the marbled base.  I left the dog alone, as the aging befits him(or her).  All that remained was to find out when this was manufactured and what type of pen would be a match.


Fortunately, I did not have to look very far.  Just recently I discovered two threads  by Roger Wooten – Sheaffer Desk Set Expert – at the Fountain Pen Board and at Fountain Pen Network that discuss various Dog bases.  These place this Hunting Dog base in the area of 1930.  Mention is made that these smaller bases do not often appear in Sheaffer Catalogs, but occasionally in advertisements.

As for a matching pen, it appears from the writing that a Sheaffer Lever Filling Desk pen from the same time period would be appropriate.  Several photos of these pens accompany the Fountain Pen Network thread.  I will now have to keep an eye open for a nice one (black)  to restore.

For much more information on these Sheaffer Sets, I would encourage you to check out this site.

Keep an eye out for these bases.  They often show up more than the pens!

Snapbucket,Filter: Quadrant,Frame: Round White


February 14, 2012 Posted by | Desk Pens, Sheaffer, Sheaffer Hunting Dog | , , | 2 Comments

Atlas Appliance Desk Pen

A recent family vacation unearthed this Desk Set.  We were traveling through Eastern Iowa and Western Illinois and a rainy day brought us to an antique store in rural northwestern Illinois.  When I saw this one, I assumed it was a Sheaffer.  After all, we were only a hundred or so miles from Fort Madison and they were famous for producing a myriad of desk sets.  So, for $9.00, I snatched it up and we were on our way.  Not until I got home and unwrapped it on my work bench did I realize that it was not a Sheaffer set.

I have written about a few other desk sets in the past ~

Rube Goldberg Ink Delivery Machine – December 21, 2007

Fishing For A Desk Base – January 19, 2008

Gold Bond Stonite Desk Pen – December 17, 2008

I am not certain who made the pen or the desk hardware.  I only know that the clock was made in Germany from its markings.

However, I do know that it was probably put together for the Atlas Appliance Corporation in Brooklyn, NY.

Below, is the exploded view of the desk pen after I took it apart.  Nothing special here and a very underused pen as there were very few traces of ink.  I only needed to replace the size 14 sac and the jbar.  The bar was still intact, as you can see, but it was brittle and broke after a few pulls.  I polished the ornamental band and lever, but left the nib alone, as it is gold plate and I wanted to retain as much of the gold as possible.

As with many desk pens of this type, the sac has to be trimmed quite short, as the barrel is smaller to allow the taper to screw in.  I also used a smaller size j-bar to accommodate this.

Here is a photo of the completed pen, ready to write.

And the completed set.  The clock is a wind-up model (remember those?) with a wind up alarm and alarm volume control on the reverse.  I found that it works for about 1.5 days after being completely wound.  The familiar tick-tick-tick brought back some childhood memories that battery or electric clocks have taken away.  Orbros was a Clock and Barometer manufacturer in Germany and several of their products are still sold in the antique marketplace.  I have no evidence that they still exist.

The underside of the handsome marble base bears this label from Lachman and Company.  They still exist in the Detroit area and as you can see by the link, still very active in these types of promotional products, among many other products and services.

The lever filling desk pen bears this imprint.  I don’t have any information on the Company, but my guess is that they used these as promotional pieces or awards.

The coolest part of the set is the nib.  It actually bears the Company Name and what I believe is their logo as well.

Lachman may have contracted these pieces and then sold them to Atlas for their use.  It would be interesting to find other desk bases made for Lachman that they sold to other corporate clients.  The imprinted gold plate nib is what makes this set to me.

It now resides in my office at work.  Now I just have to remember to wind it each day…..

March 10, 2010 Posted by | Atlas Appliance Fountain Pen, Desk Pens | | 3 Comments

Gold Bond Stonite Desk Pen

I have previously covered desk pen restoration in my posts of December 21, 2007 and January 19, 2008, titled Rube Goldberg Ink Delivery Machine and Fishing For A Desk Base.  Both of those were Sheaffer Desk pens. This week I worked on a Gold Bond Stonite Desk Pen.

After taking the pen apart, a couple of items stand out.  First, there is quite a bit of discoloration at the end of the barrel, where the section was seated.  I am not certain what caused this, but suspect it was the hard rubber of the section bleeding into the plastic of the green barrel.  There was no sign of an old sac or pressure bar inside the pen.  This leads me to believe that someone had taken the pen apart at some point to attempt to clean or repair it.  They may have just decided to use it as a dip pen as the nib and inside of the base were caked with ink.

I, unfortunately, did not take a picture of the base before restoration, but the black marble material was quite clean.  The “trumpet”, or black holder for the tip of the pen, was coated with dried blue ink.  The gold swivel base between the trumpet and the base was tarnished and stained.


I removed the section, which was friction fit, from the barrel and had a bit of trouble removing the nib and feed from the section.  I finally soaked it in the ultrasonic cleaner for 3 minutes and then was able to knock it out.  I cleaned these out and polished the nib.  One thing to remember on desk pens – the feed needs to be thoroughly cleaned as it is often much dirtier and caked with ink than in a regular capped pen.  The nib and feed have often been sitting in the base for years and the ink has pooled in the base.  This feed was a good example as the dried ink had filled all of the channels.  So, I gave it a long swim in the cleaner and then used dental floss to clean out these channels.  It worked surprisingly well and there was no risk of damaging the rubber.  Thanks to my local dental hygienist!

The barrel needed to be cleaned and I wanted to try and remove the stained area near the section as much as possible.  The stain seemed to extend through the plastic, but I used a small piece of 1000 grit sandpaper to work on a 1/2 inch strip near the section end.  After about 10 minutes of careful sanding, I polished the entire barrel using scratch remover, then polish, and them carnuba wax and a buffing wheel.  The results were very good and the brown staining has disappeared.

I needed to place a new j-bar into the barrel which is quite narrow.  I had to bend the j part of the barrel inwards a bit to allow it to seat properly into the barrel and align with the lever.  Then I attached a thin sac (size 15 1/2) to the section/feed/nib assembly.  After allowing the sac cement to dry I reinserted it into the barrel.

The base was the next project.  As I mentioned, the black marble base was clean.  It no longer had a felt cushion underneath to prevent it from scratching the desk, so I went out to the local craft store and purchase some green felt, cut it to the right size, and glued it to the bottom.

Next, I polished the black trumpet and then the gold swivel.  Special attention needs to be paid to the trumpet because, as with the feeds, they are often filled with caked on ink.  This was no exception, and I sat it upside down in the ultrasonic cleaner (before attaching the felt) for a while to help dislodge more blue ink.

Below is the finished product.


Here is a close-up photo of the Warranted No. 4 Nib.  I have seen Gold Bond pens with Gold Bond nibs and with Warranted Nibs.


As I have mentioned in previous posts, Gold Bond Pens were produced in Chicago, probably by National Pen Products. They were marketed by Montgomery Ward Stores, both in stores and through catalogs. I do not know the exact year that this pen was produced, but given the green marble plastic and its popularity with other pens of the time (Parker Duofolds / Sheaffer Flat Tops ….) I would speculate it was sold in the late 1920s.

I also do not know if the base is original to the pen.  I purchase it with the pen, and the pen seats well in the trumpet, but the only way to be certain would be to see advertising from the period, which I have been unable to locate thus far.  I will put this forward as a research project and add to this post at a later date should I find further information.


I am not a desk pen user, except for a simple Esterbrook set on my workbench that I use to write in my repair journal, so I will probably not use this one.  It will occupy a proud spot on top of my pen case however, as the green plastic really shines.

December 17, 2008 Posted by | Desk Pens, Gold Bond Pens, Montgomery Ward | , , | 2 Comments

Fishing for a Desk Base

In my post of December 21, 2007, I restored two Sheaffer Snorkel Desk pens and placed one in a nice green marble base. I mentioned in the last line of the post that I would have to be on the lookout for a base for the second snorkel. Two weeks ago I spotted the base below for $10.00 and I am very pleased with it. The base stone is very heavy and the attached fish is simple enough and unobtrusive. Some bases that I have seen overpower the pen and take up too much desk space for my tastes. This base is probably as large as I would want to have on my desk. This one will be traveling with me to work next week and sit on the credenza behind my desk. This is where I keep my phone and the pen will be easy to grab and write a quick note while on the phone.

Here is a picture of the base after I cleaned it up and replaced the felt pad on the underside.


January 19, 2008 Posted by | Desk Pens, Sheaffer | , | Leave a comment

Rube Goldberg Ink Delivery Machine

Rube Goldberg was famous for making machines that were complex, performing a relatively simple task. The Sheaffer Snorkel filling system was produced starting in 1952 and ending when the Pen For Men (PFM) was phased out in 1963. It followed the Touchdown filling system and has many similarities. However, it has many more parts and it is highlighted by a tube that extends out of a slit in the nib section that allows for ink to be sucked into the pen pen/sac . Thus, the pen itself does not have to be immersed in the ink. After the pen is filled, the tube is pulled back into the pen by turning the blind cap and touchdown tube back into the pen.

I jest when I compare it to a Rube Goldberg machine, but it is the most complicated filling system I have run across in a mass-produced pen. At one time I was intimidated by the apparent complexity of these pens and shied away from repair. But, after doing a few very slowly and deliberately, I have learned that they are actually fairly easy to restore – though a little more time consuming than other pens. Parts are easy to come by. As with the touchdown fillers (see previous posts), smaller sacs are needed as well as “O” rings (sized to the type of pen), and seals. Though each pen is different, the most time consuming part is removal of the small rubber section from the sac protector and the removal of the old sac. Special care needs to be given to all the seals to make sure that they are tight and unworn to allow for optimum performance of the restored pen.

Last evening, I had time to attack two Snorkel Desk pens. I had never restored a Snorkel desk pen before and picked up two for a total of $10.00. Sheaffer made a wide variety of desk bases over the years, from very ornate to very plain. I am not a huge fan of desk pens, but I ran across a simple green base at an antique store about a year ago, and had been on the lookout for a compatible pen. Here is a picture of the black Lifetime Snorkel after it has been taken apart. I have already installed the sac at the time the picture was taken.


You can see the old “O” ring and point seal. These were replaced. the sac protector was cleaned and the section/sac and tube were fitted back into the sac protector. The spring goes over the sac protector and the pen is reassembled, with caution to make sure the seals are tight and all moving parts are lubricated with silicone grease. The finished product is here. Obviously there is no cap as it fits nicely in the green base. The picture shows the touchdown tube and snorkel tube extended. The pen would now be placed in ink and the touchdown tube would be pushed back in to the pen to fill. No muss, no fuss.


Here is the pen and base.


As with regular snorkels, desk pens came in a variety of colors with black being by far the most common found by collectors today. Now that I have restored two of these, I will have to be on the lookout for another base.

December 21, 2007 Posted by | Desk Pens, Sheaffer | , , | 3 Comments


%d bloggers like this: