Tools

The more tools you have, the more relaxing pen repair and restoration becomes. Having been at this for a long time, I think I have all the tools I need though every now and again I’ll see something that I suddenly must have. And I get it. There’s no point in not acquiring something that will allow you to do the job better.

My most commonly used tools are contained in a large wine box. Less frequently used but still essential tools are distributed in various drawers and on shelves. They are all easily accessible and I more or less know where everything is. Some things like glues, shellac, abrasives and polishes might be regarded by some as materials or consumables. To me they’re all tools.

My most commonly used tools are shellac and a sac spreader of my own devising, two pairs of section pliers, needle nose, parallel and round nose pliers, forceps, a couple of suitably-shaped dental picks, nitrile gloves, a dowel for pushing sacs into Leverless pens, a short section of bicycle inner tube to provide grip, a pocket knife, a tiny container of silicone grease, cotton thread and probably a few other things that escape my mind for the moment (I am not writing this at home.)

Other essentials are too many to list but here are a few: knockout block, polishing materials, various adhesives, small steel and brass wire brushes, cotton buds, various abrasives, camera – a tool like any other, needle files, a magnifying headset, loupes, an ultrasonic cleaner which I don’t really use that often, ear bulbs, nib straightening tools and a selection of small hammers. There are many, many other things, useless until they become vital.

I’ve probably forgotten some essentials, but things like sacs, pure talc, new spares such as pressure bars and old spares sorted by brand make the process easier. I have a small jar of mixed gold nibs which I rarely have to call upon if I handle purchasing of pens for restoration well.

There are a dozen drawers to hold pens for sale, lists to keep track of everything, a huge spreadsheet and other essential software to ensure that the correct pens go to the correct customer. And a couple of websites.

I could go on and make this the longest post ever but my hand is getting tired so that will do.

3 thoughts on “Tools

  1. I think most of us who tinker probably have all the tools you mention Deborah – but, no doubt since I don’t write, re-sacing is something I do only rarely. When necessary I assess the sac size needed – fold back 5 – 7 mm of the sac opening – shellac the nipple – offer up the sac and hope I can unfurl the neck of the sac onto the nipple before the shellac dries. It’s a tad Heath Robinson, and can result in sticky fingers quite easily.
    Do you wish to divulge your secret sac spreading invention – or is it hush hush :-):-)

    1. That does sound a bit messy but whatever works! My sac spreader, which I have yet to patent, is a pair of dividers with the points ground down and buffed smooth. I wouldn’t like to tell you how long I’ve had it.

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