The Pen Repair Fitness Plan

You might well imagine that pen repair is a sedentary occupation but that’s far from the truth. I’m sure there are people in training for the London Olympics whose regime is less rigorous than mine.

Some tasks need to be carried out at the bench where there’s very strong light and lots of magnification available. That’s where each pens starts as I assess its condition and what needs to be done to it. Then it’s over to the work area next to the sink where all the tools I might need for disassembly are laid out. A little further away from the sink I have the hair drier plugged in to help me release uncooperative sections and clip screws. I find it’s quite beneficial to separate electrics and water. The occasional good shock does keep one alert but it does nothing for the coiffure.

But you do need water. A lot of it. I’m glad our water isn’t metered because I’d have a hefty bill. Ink is great on the page. Elsewhere it’s a major nuisance, and it’s amazing how much ink is contained in a little pen that hasn’t been used in my lifetime! As well as removing the ink, water is useful in loosening the nib and feed in the section. I don’t soak things, but I encourage a little water to get through the section. If it doesn’t become free-flowing, then I encourage a lot of water to pass through the section. Then, if necessary, it’s over to another work surface to drift out the nib and feed. Does the nib need work? Back to the bench to work under the strong light and the magnification stand.

That done, it’s over to the shelves to select an appropriate sac, and back to my first work area to fit it. Then back to the bench for final assembly and detailing.

That’s one pen done. Multiply that by however many I can get through in a good, long day – maybe twelve or fifteen – and I must have covered quite a few miles. Add in the cooking and the cleaning and the laundry…


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