I bought a Mabie Todd Swan Minor 2-57 with a missing clip. Luckily, there was no damage done to the cap when the old clip failed, and luckily also, I had a spare clip. These are superbly beautiful pens with a chunky pattern in muted colours – a perfect example of Swan’s understatement! This one was well worth the painstaking business of replacing the clip.
First the cap gets a good session in the ultrasonic cleaner to remove encrusted ink and get the water to penetrate behind the inner cap. Then heat is applied. Another ultrasonic bath and yet more heat. Then the inner cap puller is brought into play, with continual heat playing on the cap. With this preparation, it takes little effort to remove the inner cap – always preferable. You can apply a lot of pull with these things comparatively safely, but the less effort needed the safer the process is.
I love working on Swans because the quality is so good, and the hand-finished inner cap is just another example of that. To ensure proper clearance of the inside of the clip assembly, the craftsman has filed away a few strokes more, and you can see the file-marks there on the flat of the inner cap.
The part of the clip that goes inside the cap has shallow lips, and the little metal tab you see there is forced between them to lock the clip in place. That’s a tricky job, a bit like threading a needle while wearing mittens. And doing it through the keyhole. It gets done (eventually) and all that’s left to do is to refit the inner cap, so it’s back to heating the cap again, and tapping it in to the correct depth with an appropriately-sized piece of dowelling.
I’ll maybe get a picture of the restored and cleaned up pen tomorrow.