Fountain Pen Books – Marshall & Oldfield: Pen Repair

People quite often say to me that they would never attempt pen repair because they fear they would break a valuable pen. Fair enough. Pen repair’s not for everyone, but in truth, fountain pens – all fountain pens – are low-tech and routine repair of the simpler types should be within the reach of us all. That said, it’s important to know before you begin what difficulties you might face, what tools and spares you will need and what method of working is most likely to ensure success.

That’s where this book comes in. Marshall and Oldfield’s Pen Repair will give you all that and a lot more. In the opening general section, all the parts of a pen are discussed, potential problems are listed and repairs are explained. The second part covers the various pen brands and models, giving methods of repair for each type. The final section deals with the more advanced repairs like replacing cap bands and cutting threads. Everything is carefully explained and well illustrated with photographs and drawings. The tools you will need are listed and discussed and there’s quite a bit of pen history here as well.

Numerous pen repairers’ and manufacturers’ service manuals are listed in the bibliography, so this book is the distillation of the work of many skilled professionals. It builds on the work of Arthur Twydle and Frank Dubiel, and surpasses the latter’s work with all the additional knowledge and techniques that have accrued since that was published.

The book is spiral-backed, which makes it easy to keep it open at the page you want on your workbench. It’s now in a second edition with additional information and costs £30.00 plus postage. If you repair two lever-fillers that you would otherwise have sent away, the book will have more than paid for itself. Even if you never repair a pen, the additional understanding of fountain pens that you will gain from this book will greatly increase your enjoyment of them. It’s a must for the bookshelf, and probably the most important fountain pen book to have been published in twenty years.

It’s out of stock at Amazon for the moment, but various fountain pen retail sites have copies. A Google search will quickly find you one.


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