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.

Photobucket

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.

Photobucket

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.

Photobucket

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.

Photobucket

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.

Advertisement

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

Store Pens

Not storing pens – that will be the subject of another post at another time – but Store Pens. Many “department” stores, or “drug” stores, had their own brand of pens that were only available at their stores (or through mail order from them). In the introductory post of this blog, I showed an Eaton Pen, available through the Canadian Eaton Stores. Many US stores also had their own brands of Fountain Pens. I will highlight a few that I have restored with a bit of their history.

Lakeside

Lakeside pens were made for Montgomery Ward Stores to sell both in-store and through catalogs. Here is a discolored green flat-top lever filler that I have had for quite some time. I picked up the box and instructions at a later date, thus they are not original to the pen. The discoloration is due to the sac and ink inside deteriorating over time and reacting to the celluloid exterior.

lakeside-1.jpg

The nib is a nice Warranted Number 8, and this pen is ready to write.

Webster

Webster is one of the Sears pens. They sold more than Webster’s, and I will get to some of those brands in later posts, but I will show a couple of examples of Webster Pens here. The first is a BCHR (black chased hard rubber) pen that probably dates to the 1920s. Sears contracted with Chicago area manufacturers to make their pens and their are several theories as to who manufactured these pens.

webster.jpg

As you can see, the chasing of the black hard rubber is excellent on this pen. I have not yet restored this pen. It is in my repair queue and I hope to get to it shortly. It will need a new sac and pressure bar, but the rest of the pen is spotless, as you can see. The nib is a Warranted No. 4.

Here is another Webster, dating to the 1930s which looks very similar to a few Parker pens of the time period. There is speculation that Parker Pens made some of these for Sears at their Janesville, Wisconsin location. This is a button filler and I installed a new pressure bar and sac, as well as cleaning up the nib, feed and button. It writes well and has a Webster 14k No. 4 nib. I really like this pen due to the similarities it shares with the Parker Parkette and Challenger, which are of the same era.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

These pens are just the tip of the iceberg, when discussing store-brand pens. Future posts will discuss Rexall, Thompson, and other Sears brands.

December 11, 2007 Posted by | Lakeside Pens, Montgomery Ward, Parker Pen Company, Sears, Webster Pen | , , , , | Leave a comment

   

%d bloggers like this: