Fountain Pen Restoration

Parker Button Fill Striped Duofold

Last night I worked on a set. I usually do not come across sets, but it seems I have stumbled on a few lately. The matching pencils make a nice contrast to the fountain pens, if they are salvageable.

This is a Striped Duofold Button Filler. I have previously covered two restorations of Striped Duofolds ~

1941 Blue Striped Duofold – November 11, 2008
Striped Duofold – September 10, 2008

The above two linked posts covered Vacumatic Duofolds, one Blue Striped and one Dusty Red.  This pen is the third Striped option, Gold and Green.

The picture below shows the internals, including petrified sac and still usable two part pressure bar.  It is nice to find one of these pressure bars  in solid condition as they have a ridge that sits on the cap-hole perfectly, and no trimming and smoothing of a new bar are necessary.  Also note that the section is friction fit, not a screw in.

As usual, the gold cap band, clip, button, and nib are quite tarnished.  The only new part needed to restore this pen is a size 16 sac.  I gave the section, feed, button, and nib a bath in the ultrasonic cleaner and the nib and button an extra scrub with metal polish and a dremel.  The cap band has an engraving (J.W.B) and is very dirty.  Continual cleaning with metal polish ( I am now using Pentiques’) brought it back to a nice shine with a small amount of staining.  The clip polished up nicely and is as good as new.

The cap was cleaned on the inside to remove all of the old ink residue.  Then the section was scraped to remove all of the old sac remnants.  The nib and feed were fit back into the section and the size 16 sac was trimmed to fit just below the cap end button hole.  After the sac was cemented to the section/feed/nib with sac cement it was allowed to dry.  Then it was fit back into the barrel.  The original pressure bar was fit into the barrel and seated against top of the button hole.  The polished button was then placed over the pressure bar in the button hole.  Testing of the bar by pressing on the button revealed a perfect fit.  The button pressed down and came back up when released.  Water testing revealed a nice flow of water after the sac was filled and released.    Finally, I cleaned the blind cap threads and put a bit of silicon grease on them to assure a smooth  twist.

I did not post a photo of the pencil prior to restoration as it was clean and relatively unused.  I polished the barrel and cap at the same time I polished the pen barrel and cap and that was all that was necessary.  The lead was still in the pencil as well.  The mechanism is a twist of the cap to release the lead.


The finished product(s) are below.  The date code on the pen is the first quarter of 1941, in Janesville, Wisconsin.  Striped Duofolds were produced by Parker from 1940 to 1948.  They were produced in both Vacumatic Filler and Button Filler options.  The two major cosmetic differences between the two are the black blind cap and visulated section (seen in the bottom picture below).


As I have mentioned before, these Striped Duofolds are not as widely collected as Parker Vacumatics, or early Duofolds, but are very well built pens that are a nice addition to any collection.



February 1, 2009 Posted by | Duofold, Parker Pen Company, Striped Duofold | , | 1 Comment

1941 Blue Striped Duofold

In my post of September 10, Striped Duofold, I restored a 1942 Dusty Red Striped Duofold.  It was a single jewel Junior, measuring in at 5 1/16 inches capped. I mentioned at the end of that post that I would be on the lookout for a blue striped model.  Well, I found one!  This is a 1941 Blue Striped Duofold Debutante Double Jewel at 4 5/8 inches.

As you can see from the picture below, this model still has the metal speedline filler and came in fairly good shape except that the filling system was shot and the nib quite dirty.


I won’t go into great detail on the restore of this as a review of several previous vacumatic repairs in earlier posts covers the details.  There was nothing exceptional about this process.  The diaphragm is a debutante size and the nib required a bit of work on both sides.


A couple of items stand out on this pen.  First, the double jewels are more attractive to me.  I think they make the Parker 51, Vacumatic, and Striped Duofolds look much better than the single jewel models and the prices usually reflect this.

Secondly, the cap band is a bit different than the standard Striped Duofold.  I have posted  a close up of the cap band in the final photo below.

Striped Duofolds were produced from 1940 through 1948.  World War II caused the filling units to be switched to plastic.  Button fillers are also found, though not as plentiful as vacumatics.



I have mentioned this in the past, but it bears repeating.  The Striped Duofolds present a nice opportunity to restore vacumatic filling systems and are often found at reasonable prices when compared to Vacumatics.

Good Luck in your searches!

November 11, 2008 Posted by | Duofold, Parker Pen Company, Striped Duofold | , | 1 Comment

Striped Duofold

Parker introduced a “new” Duofold line in 1940 which utilized the Vacumatic filling system. This line continued on until 1948. These Duofolds, often called Striped Duofolds to separate them from the previous Duofold lines, came in the following colors: Blue, Green, Red, Black (rare), and Shadow Wave (rare). The pen that I found below is an example of the red, or Dusty Red, color. It’s size if 5 1/16″ capped, which makes it a Junior Size. It was produced in the 1st quarter of 1942, and you can see it is a Speedline Filler by the filling unit in the upper left hand corner of the picture below. This Speedline Filler continued until sometime after the start of WWII and was replaced by a plastic filler unit. At some point a button filler was also produced.


As you can see above, the pen was quite dirty and the gold parts were tarnished when I picked this pen up. The repair of the filling unit is the same as with the Vacumatics that I have previously covered:

Parker Vacumatic Lockdown Filler
Parker Vacumatic

I used a debutante diaphragm on this pen, which is the correct size. As with this filler, the most time consuming job is getting the pellet out of the unit and then inverting the diaphragm and getting the new pellet in the unit. After this was complete, I cleaned up the cap, barrel, clip (after twisting out the top jewel), feed, nib, and section. The filler unit was screwed back into the top of the barrel using the filler tool shown in previous posts. I then tested the filler by making sure it was in straight by shining my small light into the barrel and then tested the suction by putting my finger over the open barrel and working the filler. There was a lot of suction, so I inserted the section/tube/feed/nib back into the barrel and tested the pen with clean water. All performed well. I now put the cap back together and the resulting pen is pictured below.


Much of the Dusty Red now shines after it was polished and the inside of the barrel was cleaned. As with the Vacumatic line of pens, these hold a lot of ink.

Often overlooked as the “other” Duofold line and not as popular or well known as the Duofolds of the 20s and 30s, these are very nice pens that are often more reasonably priced. I am now on the lookout for a blue stripe to compliment this one.

September 10, 2008 Posted by | Duofold, Parker Pen Company, Striped Duofold | , , | Leave a comment


%d bloggers like this: