Tools: Sac Removal

Most decayed sacs come out of the pen without any difficulty. Often, the sac is virtually whole, though ossified, and falls out of the barrel. Mostly, the sac has disintegrated into flakes and again, can be knocked out of the barrel. There are those, though, that have assumed the consistency of very tough chewing gum. It refuses to let go and if it moves at all, it goes deeper into the barrel. That’s where these handy forceps come in. They’re remarkably cheap and worth their weight in gold!

The other nasty situation is where the sac has virtually bonded to the inside of the barrel. Sometimes heat will help in dislodging this kind of debris, but other times it continues to stick like a thick coat of paint. A standard dental pick will help here, but it isn’t very efficient, and there are areas, especially around the pressure bar, that it doesn’t reach very well. Often the decayed sac is holding the pressure bar in place at this point. I found this set of picks:

which, because they have a range of shapes, will, with persistence, get every last bit of sac. They’re sold either as dental picks or as modelling tools and, again, they’re inexpensive. The one on the right is a standard dental pick.

These have a secondary use: because they come in a variety of shapes, they can be very useful in helping to burnish bent nibs back into shape.


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