Fountain Pen Restoration

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

Hybrid Gold Bond Fountain Pen

This was a unique pen restoration and I am not certain that I followed the correct procedures, but it works and is worthy of discussion. I like Gold Bond pens. I have a few Gold Bond Stonite pens and they are very well made, solid, and are good writers. So, I jumped at the chance to purchase this one. What I found on the inside was a mystery to me. As you can see in the first picture below (of the pen after taking it apart) the section is a screw fit. This means that it screws in to the barrel. While this is not unique, what is unique is that there is no place to attach a sac to the section. Also, on the inside of the barrel there is a collar. The pen was easy to clean up and all of the parts were salvageable, except for the sac, which was dust, and provided no clues as to where it was attached. My first thought was that the section had an additional part to it, extending into the barrel. But it was not there and this did not explain the collar inside the barrel.

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I decided to put the pen down, think about it for a while, and I went to my Moleskine notebook to draw it out. The idea I came up with is shown below. I will apologize here for the poor artwork (especially the head scratching). What I decided to try was to attach a narrow (size 14 1/2 – usually used in Snorkels)sac to the collar. In doing so, I was creating a filling system that has two chambers: the sac / lever chamber and the chamber between the collar and the section/feed/nib. This is essentially an eyedropper section. The section is a clear (visualated) one, so the ink level will be entirely visible. The only areas for leakage would be the lever opening which will be protected by the sac, and the section, is a screw fit and can be sealed by silicone grease. I was not sure this was the correct solution, but was willing to give it a try.

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I cleaned all of the parts above, put the nib/feed/ section back together and inserted the sac to the collar, by carefully coating the collar and outside of the sac with sac cement. I let this dry for a day, before continuing, as it seem to me to be the weakest point in my plan. I tested this adherence by pushing the lever several times and checking my cement point. It seems to have held. I then coated the threads of the section with silicone grease to give a water tight seal and screwed it into the barrel. The finished pen is shown below. Now to try it out with water. I put the tip in a glass of water and moved the lever to deflate the sac. Water was sucked up into the pen. I let it sit for a day and then pushed the lever and water came back out of the nib. I then unscrewed the section and checked my sac, which was still solid against the collar. So, I have a working pen. I am still not sure if this is the way this pen was designed, if I am missing some original parts, or if my head scratching clouded my vision. But, I have a nice looking Gold Bond pen ready to write.

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Gold Bond pens were a Montgomery Ward Store brand – sold in Stores and through their catalogs. In my December 11, 2007 entry – Store Pens – I talked about another Montgomery Ward brand – Lakeside. Possible manufacturers / parts providers are speculated to be National Pen Products (Chicago) / C. E. Barrett.

Here is a close-up of the nib. As you can see, the iridium tip is still intact. As with all of my restorations, comments and questions are welcome. I would love to know the correct restore on this one and if I am missing any original parts.

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March 28, 2008 Posted by | Gold Bond Pens, Montgomery Ward | , | 2 Comments

   

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