Fountain Pen Restoration

Waterman Taperite Crusader

Back in January of 2011, I restored a  Waterman Crusader, with an open nib. Last week, while heading home through the wilds of Iowa, I stopped at an Antique Mall and happened upon another Crusader, this time a Pen and Pencil set, with the Taperite style hidden nib.

Here is a photo of the pen, after I took it apart for restoration.  You will note that it is in very good shape.  The sac was in pretty good shape, though beginning to harden, and showing signs of wear.  It is better to be safe and go ahead and change it out.  There was absolutely no sign of any usage.

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I replaced the old sac with a trimmed size 16 sac.  As with other Waterman pens of the era, I decided to leave the nib/section/feed assembly alone, as any attempt to separate them for cleaning will probably invite cracking of the brittle plastic.  Better to just give it a quick bath in an ultrasonic cleaner.   After allowing the sac to dry overnight, I reattached  the section (friction fit) to the barrel.  Water testing proved that the pen was leak free and ready to write.

As you can see, the Pencil required no work – just an insertion of 0.9 mm lead.  The lead is fed in through the tip, then advanced by pusing down the cap.  Very nice and easy.

Below are photos of the completed pen and pencil.

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The Fountain Pen measures 5 1/4 inches closed and 6 1/16 inches posted.

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From my post of January of this year, Waterman Early Crusader, I discovered that this model of the Crusader, which is the Second Generation, was produced in and after 1948.

Following are photos of the pen next to an open nib model, the Crusader that I wrote about in January of 2011 and referred to in paragraph one above.  This hooded nib was part of the hooded nib craze fueled in part by the Parker 51 and other models of the time.

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Finally, a 1953 advertisement from my collection, showing this pen in red, as well as Pencil and Ball Point options. This model is the gray version.  It was available in Black, Red, Gray, Blue, Green, and Tan.  By far, the most plentiful are the Black, Gray, and Blue versions.

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When people ask me what pens to start a collection with, I often point them in the direction of the Waterman pens of the late 40s and early 50s.  They are still vintage collectibles, yet not too hard to find and fairly easy to restore.  There are enough models and colors to occupy a collector for quite some time, and (most importantly) they are a pleasure to write with!


November 7, 2013 Posted by | Waterman Crusader, Waterman Pen Company, Waterman Taperite | , , | 2 Comments

Waterman Early Crusader

In a post on January 24, 2011, I wrote about the restoration of a 1948 or later Waterman Crusader. Waterman introduced their Taperite pens in the mid 1940s, partly in response to the success of the Parker 51 and other streamline pen designs.  The pen restored here is also a Waterman Crusader, however an earlier model, pre-1948.

Following is an advertisement from my collection that dates to 1947, showing that this is, of course, the Pen That Pleases Everyone!  Priced at $5.00, it was aggressively priced compared to its competitors, which would have included the Parker 51, and the Sheaffer Triumphs / Touchdowns.


Below is a photo of the pen (and matching pencil) after I took them apart.  As you can see, it was lightly used, as the sac is still pliable and everything is fairly clean.   As I have mentioned before – unless there is a perceived problem with the nib or section, it is better to leave the section/feed/nib intact.  The plastic used on these late 40s Waterman’s is not sturdy and prone to cracking, even when great care is taken.  There was some dried ink on the nib, so I gave the assembly a bath in an ultrasonic cleaner, which cleaned out the ink and polished up the hooded nib.  The sac size is 16 and I attached a new one to the section, attaching the clutch ring to the barrel before reassembly.

The inner cap of the pencil had become disengaged from the cap, so I coated it with a thin layer of super glue and let it sit over night after reattaching it to the inside of the cap.  This allows the cap to grip the metal portion of the pencil and turn it to move the lead in and out.


Below is the completed pen and pencil set.  The pen measures 5 3/16 inches closed and 6 1/8 inches posted.  The pencil measures 5 3/8 inches. Taperites were available in several colors.  This pen is a dark blue.  I have also seen it in black.


A photo of the Taperite “hooded” nib and the eraser assembly.  The 0.9mm leads are stored underneath the eraser for easy access.


Below is a photo of the two generations of Crusader, albeit both short lived a very close together.  From my experience, the later pen is easier to find today, though its cap is often difficult to find in good condition.


Finally, a close up of a correct time period ink bottle from Waterman, also depicted in the advertisement above.


Sold as a value pen in its day, it can still be found at relatively low prices compared to some of its contemporaries.  Not a bad pen to add to your collection or to your pocket…

January 7, 2013 Posted by | Waterman Crusader, Waterman Taperite | , | 2 Comments

Waterman Crusader

This week I was fortunate to work on a pen that came to me in a trade.  I have never ventured into the Waterman Taperite world of fountain pens and I selected this pen, as I have always admired its styling.  I had never written with one, repaired one, or really researched their history, so this was a good learning experience.

Below is a photo of the pen after I took it apart.  You can see the remains of the semi-hard sac that I was able to pull out in pieces.  The silver ring is the clutch that sits between the section and the barrel – allowing the inner cap to firmly grasp the pen.  Finally, the section is a friction fit to the barrel.


I opted to leave the section / feed / nib together and not attempt to knock out the feed and nib.  The opening at the front of the section looks too small and the section is fairly thin – both lead me to think that attempting to knock out the feed would damage the section.  In lieu of this, I cleaned the section, scraping off the old sac.  I then subjected it to many baths in the ultrasonic cleaner, removing an traces of the old purple ink that had been used.  I also tested the channel to make sure it was clear and no ink was left.  Below are two photos of the cleaned section / feed /nib after a thorough cleaning – the lower photo showing the smooth feed.



Here is the completed section with the size 16 sac (trimmed to fit into the barrel).


I also polished the barrel and section to clean up a few surface scratches and to shine it up a bit.  I read that the caps are prone to scratching and wear, so I did not touch the cap with any polish or cleaner for fear of damaging the gold color.


The pen measures 5 1/4″ closed and 6 1/16″ posted.


Here is a close up of the imprint which is nice and crisp.  This was made in the US, sometime in 1948, or after.


The nib is a Waterman Ideal 14K “Rigid”.  Writing with it confirms it is quite firm and a medium.


A little background I have accumulated on Waterman Taperites ~

The Taperite Line of pens commenced in 1945 with two models – the Stateleigh and the Citation. In part, it was Waterman’s answer to the extremely popular Parker 51 and its hooded nib.  My pen is an open nib, but many Taperites were hooded nibs that also came in an open nib version.  After that, changes occurred as they added models and sizes to the line as the 40s progressed.  The particular pen in this post is a Crusader that appeared around 1948 and thereafter.  There was a previous version of the Crusader that did not have the gold striped cap.  It also appeared in a smaller version and as a set, with pencil, and/or ballpoint (ugh).  In the advertisement from November of 1953 (below) you can see the Crusader set(s) available and their prices.  Note that they came in gold and silver caps for some color combinations.

(note that a comment below from a Waterman expert points out my mistake – “Waterman’s seems to have reserved “Taperite” for the semi-hooded pens (see, e.g., the 1953 ad copy: “Points in Taperite or Standard model”). So your pen here is a Crusader, but not a Taperite.” )  Thank you to the reader for pointing out my error.  I am glad I continue to learn about these pens….


Some other models were the Medalist, Dauntless, and Corinth – all introduced in the late 1940s.  The three advertisements in this post are from my collection and show some of these models which were produced in both the United States and in Canada.

Saturday Evening Post – December 16 1949 (showing several different models and the open nibbed Crusader in Red)

SEP Dec 16 1949

And from a year later ~ the Crusader with matching pencil.


Colors were Black, Blue, Green, Red, Tan, and Gray.  I have not followed these pens very closely, but it seems to me that I have seen many more Black, Blue and Gray pens.

January 24, 2011 Posted by | Waterman Crusader, Waterman Pen Company, Waterman Taperite | , , | 6 Comments


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