January 2023 – Zoom meeting minutes

Fifteen folks joined us by zoom to see Joe J change a couple of sacs on an Esterbrook and a Majestic, live!

Our check-ins with folks continued the welcome of newer folks, we are happy to have you!  We also saw a phone-view for zoom using a stand that we might try for a future hybrid meeting as it’s pretty portable.  There was a new Benu pomegranate & inkvent Noel, a new Neon green pen, a new desk set with a watch holder, a Platinum pocket pen, an Namesu M2 (Scottish pen), Moonman Q1 & C4 (which had a surprisingly great nib).  A Pilot parallel nib fit into an Opus 88 but not the Moonman C4.  A Platinum President (which apparently is being discontinued).  A Shaeffer PFM (Pen For Men, a name that hasn’t aged well and we got a bit of a chuckle over).

Other notes:  Vanessa showed her magnifier (30x, 10x illuminated). The link is here.

Joe K. bought five cordless led lamps for the PDX Pen shows. He used the remaining funds from the hub door prizes.

Quick check in on the PDX Pen Show progress (July 8/9) – reminder if you want updates to sign up for their email list, and we have a report that the prices and sign-ups will be available soon.  We’ll share with the group when you can buy tickets.  And remember if you want to get on the volunteer email list, scroll to the bottom

Joe J’s process (errors are from the minute-taker!) on his vintage Esterbrook

  • Soak the nib in warm water.
  • Using a sticky gripper of some kind (like used in the kitchen for tough jar lids), twist the section off from the body.  This may take some patience – it is a friction fit, not threaded
    • NOTE:  see how far up the sac adhered – one hump or two?
    • NOTE:  can you tell how long the new sac will need to be?  Grab a measurement in case you need to shorten a sac
    • HOT TIP:  Specialized tools to help with this can include pricey ones you can buy at pen shows, or a spark plug boot puller from an auto store for much less).
  • The sac usually comes out with the nib unit, but if it doesn’t
  • If the sac is really petrified you may feel more resistance when operating the lever.  Be careful – you don’t want to damage the lever by really cranking down on it.
  • Gently scrape off remaining sac and shellac from the section
  • 320 sandpaper next to just get rid of any remaining sac / residue – not trying to smooth / polish it
  • Using tweezers, work the new sac (which you have cut to size if needed) onto the section.  Once you have it started and stretched over the section, get ready to apply adhesives
    • Adhesive options:
      • shellac, which is organic (used to coat ICE CREAM SANDWICHES, by the way, a tidbit that I think may have scarred many of the club members).  Joe J also uses shellac for furniture refinishing and buys them as flakes and soaks in 80% alcohol for a day before using it.  It does eventually go bad.
      • Clear nail polish (regular would also work, but my guess is clear is best)
    • Adhesive application:  a microbrush disposable applicator – a quick search on Amazon shows a variety used for eyelash extensions.  Or, you can get a tiny bit of cotton from a Q-tip and use your tweezer. 
  • And…Bob’s your Uncle – that’s it.  Typically let it dry for a day before using.
  • Joe also replaced a J-bar which fits into the pen and pushes against the length of the sac.  He got replacement J-bars from Anderson Pens for $5/each.
  • Where to get sacs – for example – Pensac company has a collector’s assortment
    • Sacs can be trimmed to size if needed
    • Size 15 & 17 seem to be the most common.
    • Sources:,, and anderson will also have sacs.

Wandering vintage pen discussions also noted that hard rubber pens soaked in water will discolor, but there is apparently a product out there now that will chemically reverse that discoloration (I have no more notes on this).  And also that something called “celluloid rot” exists and it releases gasses from the plastic.  Apparently there is debate on whether it really spreads, here is a link I found after the meeting:

SEEKING:  Folks willing to do demos / lead topics.  Ideas here (more are welcome):  May would probably be the first meeting for one of these topics.

1. pencil collecting would be an eye opening topic to members.

2. Clip adjustment/replacement

3. Polishing pens for show or sale (should be a few pdx merchants that know about this)

4. Repair of Shaeffer snorkels

5. Repair Parker vacation

6. Repair dented/broken caps and barrels

7. What new/used/classic/commemorative pens are destined for value increase

8. What pens will be worth less than their cost

Next zoom:   3-6 min talk on how to set up digests in google groups since some people aren’t receiving emails when something is posted and they may not be on Facebook. 

As always, the best way to keep up to date (especially if the webmaster has been slacking) is to join the Google Groups email and our private Facebook group (PDX Pen) to know what’s coming up!

To join, click on the links for the Facebook group PDXPen or join our Google Groups email list (also PDXPen) – please make sure to indicate that you’re local, ideally by referencing the neighborhood, as this will help us quickly add you to the distributions.