This is a Wahl Eversharp Personal Point (aka Deco Band) pen with a Gold Seal flexible nib and the rollerball clip (that rotates as you put the pen in your pocket or holder). I’ve posed it here with a page from “Fountain Pens: Vintage and Modern” by Andreas Lambrou, that shows an advertisement for the same pen from 1929.
The Personal Point concept was that the nib and feeder were held in a collar that screwed into the section (similar to the Esterbrook system which was introduced later) – so you could choose your nib independently of the pen you preferred. The pen itself was available in a range of colours and styles – and the pen was assembled for you when you purchased it.
If you’re interested, the pocket watch is a Georges Favre-Jacot 24-hour watch, probably made before 1911 when the company changed its name to Zenith. I love 24-hour mechanical watches, mostly because I can’t read them quickly – so looking at the time puts just a little pause in the day…
Total weight: 22.6 g
Body weight 13.2 g
Total length (not posted):128.1 mm
Total length(with cap): 138.5 mm
Barrel max diameter: 13.8 mm
Cap max diameter: 15.2 mm
A little repair history
This pen started out in pretty rough shape. As you can see below, the top of the barrel was cracked across the threads where the cap is screwed on.
This also meant that I had to be extremely careful when removing the section. Heat and patience were the two most useful tools here…
Once I got the section off, I could see the cause of the crack.
The Personal Point Gold Seal pens had an aluminium lining, in this case, inside the black ebonite. Over the past 90 or so years, the aluminimum in this one has oxidized to the point where it has pushed out on the barrel and split it.
After a lot of debating, I took the following steps to fix the problem… Step 1 was to carve out the lining to down below the crack. I did this with a combination of drill bits, turned by hand, followed by a small gouge carving chisel when the aluminium got thin enough. In order to prevent myself from nicking the top of the barrel, I held it in an ER32 collet – so when the gouge slipped, it hit the collet instead of the ebonite.
Once the aluminium was all carved out, I closed up the crack by winding the top of the barrel with waxed dental floss, wrapped in painters tape, as can be seen above.
The next step was to create a new liner from raw aluminium. I first turned down the outside diameter so that it fit the barrel, then I drilled out the middle with a 10.0 mm drill bit (more on that later…). I left the outside and the inside of this liner rough from the tool marks, to help the adhesive I’m about to put on…
The next step was to epoxy the new liner into the barrel (using Loctite Power Epoxy). I did this while the aluminium was still in the lathe, using the tailstock as a guide for centring. Note that the end of the barrel is not actually touching anything in the tailstock.
Once the epoxy had set (overnight – despite the fact that it’s supposed to be ready in 5 minutes…) I used a parting tool to cut the aluminium with plenty of clearance – just in case…
The new interior now looks like this.
Then, the pen was put into a collet on my wood lathe, and I carved off the excess aluminium by hand.
The aluminium was cut and sanded down to be flush with the ebonite. In order to clean up the edge a little, I took off about 1 mm from the original ebonite as well. This left a small nick, but I didn’t want to cut it down too much.
The next thing was to fit the section. The liner that I made was intentionally a little thicker than the original, in order to ensure that I had as much strength as possible in the sidewall. This meant that I needed to make a small change to the section. The original diameter of the portion that fits into the barrel was 10.3 mm, so I cut this down to 10.0 mm to fit the hole that I drilled in the new insert.
There were some small toolmarks left in the exterior part of the section after this, so I wet-sanded it to remove those, starting with 3000 grit sandpaper and going up to 12000 grit. This was done with the section placed in the barrel.
From there on, the rest of the job was the usual work. I straighted and flossed the nib, as well as roughing up the underside to get a better ink flow, I fitted a new ink sac, polished up the gold bands and clip, gave the ebonite barrel and cap a light wet sanding to get it a little closer to the original black – but not so much as to remove the chasing. Then the problem was to clean the ebonite dust out of the chasing, which I did with a dental pick, one line at a time (a relaxing afternoon’s work…). I also cleaned up the threads with the dental pick, smoothing out the area where the crack was. A little epoxy squeezed through there (which I expected – hence the waxed dental floss) so it took a little scraping to get the threads back to smooth….
and that’s it!
Of course, this pen is no longer an “original”, due to the somewhat extensive modifications I’ve done. However, it’s usable again – and I’m the kind of person who doesn’t understand people who collect pens and never write with them…