Fountain Pen Restoration

Parker 61

Just a brief entry here on cleaning a Parker 61 Capillary-Filler. The Parker 61 was produced by Parker beginning in 1956. It began as a capillary filler and continued to be produced as one until the late 1960s. At that time, Parker switched the pen to a cartridge/converter fill due to the clogging issues that 61s experienced. The capillary filler was a simple filling system, accomplished by unscrewing the barrel and placing the end of the filler into a bottle of ink and allowing the filler to wick up the desired ink.

This worked well. The problem arose when the filler sat with ink for a period of time and became difficult to clean.

This Grey 61 with a Lustraloy cap came to me to see if I could get it to write. I acquired a 61 Jet Flighter three years ago with the same problem and had fashioned a tool to do the cleaning, so this was a snap.

To make your own tool, purchase an ear cleaning bulb and cut off the end until it fits securely over the end of the capillary filler.  Then place the nib end of the pen in water and squeeze, repeating until the changed water becomes clear.  You may also want to reverse the bulb to cover the nib end.   After you have cleared the filler, cover the nib with tissue and leave the pen upright to allow the remaining ink residue to drain out.  This process should clean out your filler and you are now ready to fill with your ink of choice.


Here is a photo of the completed 61.  I polished the barrel and used a qtip to polish the inlaid arrow design, unique to these pens.  Of special importance in working with these is not to attempt to clean the barrel and arrow insert with an ultrasonic cleaner, as they have been known to knock the inlaid arrow out of the pen.


Here is a photo of another Parker 61 – the Jet Flighter, an all stainless steel model that was produced beginning in 1959.  I crafted the above tool initially to clean this pen out after I purchased it a few years ago.  It came with the matching pencil.



April 15, 2009 Posted by | Parker 61, Parker Pen Company | , | 42 Comments


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