I bought a set of eight dental picks. This is the only one I use often. It’s the perfect shape for scraping sacs out of barrels.
This pocket knife is around 60 years old and is my husband’s. It has three blades but it is limited to one job: scraping the remains of old sacs off the sac peg. This is never difficult but can take longer when the bits of old sac retain some elasticity and stretch rather than come off. I’m happier with entirely desiccated sacs which can be scraped and snapped off.
This piece of wire with the ends filed smooth acts as a depth gauge when it’s needed or as a means of pushing a large Leverless sac into the barrel. A valuable tool which was once part of a wire coat hanger. Those coat hangers had a million uses and it is a pity that they have been replaced by plastic.
The knock-out block is an essential for vintage pen restoration. There are some commercial kinds offered but it’s much better to make your own, to suit your own way of working. That said, I inherited this one as part of a large set of tools and spare parts, from a restorer who was retiring. He made it to his requirements and it suits me so well that I never needed another.
I bought this set of nib straightening tools from Laurence Oldfield. He makes them using old pen parts when he can. They are both beautiful and essential tools. I tackle many more bent nibs than I would have done without them.
Another real essential is the section pliers. As its name suggests its main purpose is removing sections from barrels but it can also be used to remove recalcitrant clip screws among other jobs. I prefer this type to sparkplug removal pliers. I can replace the part that grips the pen with a length of fuel line when it shows wear and the angle with which the pliers is used suits me better than the sparkplug type. I bought these but it is the work of a moment to grind the gripping points flat and attach fuel line.
My sac spreader is obviously an old pair of dividers. I snapped off the sharp points and used a fine file to smooth the points. It becomes smeared with shellac and I scrape it off from time to time. Works a treat.
A pen may seem simple but there are many measurements needed to ensure correct spare parts are used. This caliper is inexpensive and does a great job.
There is almost an infinity of tools that can be used to make life easier when working on pens. These are probably those I use and appreciate most.