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Rawr.

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More refill retrofits
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Patient number one was a chrome Swank pen, a blatant Cross Century wannabee, but well made and quite solid. The refill inside looks exactly like one from a Kreisler (suspcious?) with its internally-threaded butt end (vs. a Cross's externally-threaded one). A quick check revealed that the Swank refill would fit a Kreisler ballpoint, but not vice versa: the inside diameter of the Swank's tip is a bit smaller than that of the Kreisler *and* of the Cross refills.

Grab the calipers, check the reference charts, and five minutes with a #46 drill bit in a pin vise and the Swank's tip is now able to pass the tip of the Kreisler and Cross refills.

Lacking any spare Kreisler refills, I yanked the respective caps off the old Swank refill and a fresh Cross refill, only to find that the Cross refill (sans cap) is 1/8" shorter than the Swank. Rummage a bit, find an old plastic refill tube that's the right size, cut a piece and stuff it into the Swank refill's cap.

The Cross refill is a wee bit smaller in diameter than the Swank, but not small enough to allow wrapping it with something. A gentle squeeze with the pliers and it fits nicely into the Swank cap.

*Now* it all goes together nicely, and I have a shiny Swank pen (and matching pencil) with a Cross refill and the likelihood of being able to use this pen until I either lose it, break it, or die.

 



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Rawr.

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Patient number two was a near-new old Waterbury fat Jotter-clone, with "BELL SYSTEM PROPERTY" stamped into the black barrel (several of these were in a recent lot buy). That one was easy: a Fisher 1-For-All snapped down to the proper length and it's being used (probably) for the first time in its existence.


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Rawr.

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Patient number three is either a Victor pen made by Fieldston, or vice versa. The clip reads "Fieldston" while on the clicker cap it's marked with both "Fieldston" in script and "Victor" in block letters. The long, gold-washed or anodized aluminum barrel held a refill of a kind I've never seen before, with a brass flange soldered around the barrel to stop the spring, but the tip is exactly the same size as a common D1 mini-pen refill. With one of the latter, a piece about an inch long cut from another dead refill, and a piece of plastic tubing the right length to hold the two together *and* have one end in the right place for the spring to stop, it's in and working.

The click mechanism is very much like some of the old Waterman ballpoints, and is made entirely of brass with an aluminum outer shell to match the barrel. Assembled it looks much like a Sheaffer Stratowriter, apart from the clip.


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Rawr.

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And, just because, with a spring about half the length of the original from the pen, and a 5/16" piece of a stick refill tube dropped into the cap, a Parker-type refill will fit beautifully into a Bic Clic pen.

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Seasoned

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Mike,
Maybe you ought to list all of your retrofit directions into a reference document (with your excellent photos where possible). That might inspire others to try to customize their own refills for those older pens that have outlived their refill manufacturers.

Myself, i don't have the need or inclination to experiment as much, since almost all of my ballpoints still have a selection of refills available. The BIC Clic refill swap is one i may try. I do have one Clic with a broken barrel tip that I'd like to adjust a refill/spring so I can trim the barrel end down and still have the tip fully retract.

Its great to read of your successful experiments - keep it going, Sir!

WriteAway
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Rawr.

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Another easy one:

Take a piece of 6 mm OD plastic rod, 78 mm long, and bore a hole in one end 45 mm deep. The hole needs to be the same diameter as a common D1 mini-ballpoint refill, which is 0.93 inches, somewhere between 2.3 and 2.4 mm; a #43 American Wire Gauge drill works very nicely. A piece of tubing with an ID somewhat smaller than the D1 refill will also work, but still needs to be drilled to 45 depth.

Into that hole, push a D1 refill of your preferred color, and drop the whole thing into your ballpoint pen that uses Lamy M16 refills, using the original spring.


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Rawr.

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Ooh, here's a good one! Very early Sheaffer ballpoints used a cartridge made, at first, of aluminum that had an ink sac inside. Slightly later, those were replaced with a translucent plastic cartridge of about the same size. Both had a threaded bit around the tip and against the shoulder of the cartridge barrel, which was later produced separately as an adapter for modern Sheaffer cartridges to be used in these early pens. Pendemonium, for one, sells them as "widgets."

I recommend sticking with the "widget" for use in the retractable Stratowriter pens, but for the capped pens there's a simple DIY that will let you use the pen with a Parker-style refill. First, grab a dead Cross ballpoint refill. Pull the plastic threaded bit off, cut the closed (or almost closed) end off, leaving 1/2" including the threaded part. Drop the piece over the tip of any Parker-type ballpoint refill, with the threaded end pointed toward the tip. Drop the business end of the pen over this, and screw the barrel on.

This was a perfect fit in the little gold-plated ladies' pen (formerly owned by one Flo Cohen) I scored on eBay a few days ago. Unlike the "widget," which is brass and protrudes from the tip of the pen, this DIY adapter sits inside the pen invisibly, but keeps the refill centered neatly in the opening.

This may also work with modern Sheaffer refills, but I haven't tried one yet. And before anyone asks, a Pilot G2 refill won't fit into the pen far enough to work, even without an adapter.


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Rawr.

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If you trim a Pilot G2 refill down to 3-13/16" (97 mm) it will fit into a Retro 51 Tornado Snapper, which supposedly only works with a Parker-style ballpoint refill.

The pen will also accept, unmodified, Caran d'Ache Goliath ballpoint refills and Montblanc ballpoint refills.



-- Edited by Chthulhu on Friday 24th of April 2015 07:13:56 PM

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Rawr.

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With the addition of a piece of tubing ~3/16" OD and 3/4" long, a PaperMate PowerPoint or LubriGlide refill and spring will fit perfectly into an Eversharp/Kimberly Star Reporter capped ballpoint pen. The tubing needs to fit over the plastic rear end of the PM refill.



-- Edited by Chthulhu on Thursday 7th of May 2015 10:51:02 PM

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Rawr.

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I've been tinkering with what will and won't fit into a Sherpa. Some of the following was gleaned from the sparse information posted elsewhere; the entries with annotations ( - whatever ) are the results of my own tests.

Amsterdam Skylark II porous point - about 1/8 inch too long
Avant Style (Staples) - about 3/8 inch too long
Beifa Free Ink Pen - about 1/8 inch too long
Bic Crystal ballpoint - about 3/4 inch too long
Bic highlighter - about 1/8 inch too long
Bic Triumph 537R - perfect
Dollar 717 Qalam piston-fill fountain pen - needs a boost to fit barrel
Dollar 717i piston-fill fountain pen - needs a boost to fit barrel
Guanleming 2001 fountain pen - perfect
Hero 360 fountain pen - needs a boost to fit barrel
J. Herbin refillable rollerball - needs a big boost to fit barrel
Lyra Calypso rollerball - perfect
Monteverde Stilosfera Prototype - needs a boost to fit barrel
Morning Glory Mach 3 - about 1/4 inch too long - removing the end plug from the barrel lets it fit perfectly
Noodler's Creaper rollerball - needs a boost to fit barrel
Office Depot Ultra Fine rollerball - just a hair too long, but works
Paper Mate Flair - about 1/4 inch too long
Paper Mate Liquid Expresso (trimmed)
Paper Mate Liquid Flair (trimmed)
Paper Mate Metal Roller Micro - perfect
Parker Frontier rollerball - perfect
Parker Vector rollerball - needs a boost to fit barrel
Pentel EnerGel BLN15-A and BL17-A - about 1/8 inch too long
Pentel Hybrid Gel Grip DX - about 3/8 inch too long
Pentel Rolling Writer - about 1/4 inch too long
Pentel RSVP ballpoint - about 1 inch too long
Pentel Sliccie 04 - perfect
Pentel Sunburst Metallic - about 1 inch too long
Pentel Tradio Stylo/Pulaman refill cartridge - perfect
Pilot G-Tec-C4 - perfect
Pilot G-Tec refill
Pilot Hi-Tec-C - perfect
Pilot Hi-Tecpoint V5 Cartridge System - just a hair too long, but works
Pilot Metropolitan rollerball - about 1/4 inch too long
Pilot Multiball - about 1/2 inch too long
Pilot P-500
Pilot P-700
Pilot Precise Grip - about 1/16 inch too long, but will work
Pilot Precise V5 - perfect
Pilot V Razor
Pilot V-Ball Extra Fine - needs a boost to fit barrel
Pilot V-Ball Grip
Pilot Varsity fountain pen - needs a boost to fit barrel
Platinum Preppy fountain pen - fits, nib may get stuck
Platinum Preppy marker - perfect
Platinum Preppy Noodler's eyedropper rollerball conversion - perfect
Reform 1745 fountain pen - needs a boost to fit barrel
Staedtler Liquid Point
Sharpie Accent Liquid Highlighter
Sharpie Fine Point Permanent Marker
Sharpie Pen - fits barrel, won't cap
Sheaffer VFM rollerball - needs a boost ti fit barrel
Sherpa Fountain Pen
Sherpa Roller Ball Pen
uni-ball Deluxe
uni-ball Eye
uni-ball Fine - about 3/8 inch too long
uni-ball JetStrem - about 1/4 inch too long
uni-ball Micro - perfect
uni-ball Onyx - about 1/2 inch too long
uni-ball Signo UM-153 - about 1/2 inch too long
uni-ball Vision
uni-ball Vision Elite - perfect
uni-ball Vision Needle
Yasutomo Liquid Stylist
Zebra R-301 rollerball - needs a boost to fit the barrel
Zebra V-301 fountain pen - needs a boost to fit the barrel

"Needs a boost" means that the pen is too short to fit securely in the Sherpa's barrel, but can be "boosted" with a piece of filler material in the barrel.

Some of the "too long" pens could potentially be shortened to fit.

Other than the Preppy, all the fountain pens listed fit nicely into the Sherpa's section; the Preppy's nib fits through the opening, but drags a little on the sides.

I found several other unmarked Chinese and Indian fountain pens in my collection that also fit the section, generally those with hooded nibs. Most need boosting.

http://www.sherpapen.com/

 



-- Edited by Chthulhu on Friday 15th of May 2015 11:22:58 PM

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Wow Mike! Thanks for a great list!
Who knew all this fit into these Sherpa Shells!



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Rawr.

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I just added a few more.


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Rawr.

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Back to retrofitting! Using an old Parker rollerball refill and a bit of ingenuity, a uni JetStream refill can be made to fit a Parker rollerball pen (I tried this on a Vector, but it should work for other Parker RBs).

Pull the metal ball tip out of the old Parker refill, then remove the feed/wick bit that might not come out with the tip. Cut off just the very end tapered bit of the remaining plastic tip of the refill, about 1/4 inch long. Fit this over the metal tip of the JetStream refill until it stops against the plastic. It's a snug fit, so if it seems a little too long, trim it slightly at the tip end without removing it from the refill. It's a soft material, and easy to cut.

At the other end of the refill, pull out the end plug and trim off about 1/8 inch of the tube. Put the end plug back in and you *should* have an assembly that will fit nicely into your Parker rollerball pen, and that writes rather more smoothly than the Parker refills I've tried.


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Rawr.

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I recently acquired a brushed-stainless cap-click Inoxcrom ballpoint with a "Jumbo Refill" that was completely empty. That refill is almost exaclt the size of a Parker-type refill, which fit in every way except for the tip being a wee bit too fat to pass through the tip of the pen. I don't like to make permanent modifications to my pens, but in this case the difference was so slight that I popped a 7/64 (0.1094) inch (= 2.7781 mm) drill bit into my pin vise and in seconds had a pen that would now and forevermore accept Parker refills. A round needle file would also have done the job, but mine's at work.


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Rawr.

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I scored a pretty gold-filled Eversharp CA Retractable a couple of days ago, and took a look at Richard Binder's method of retrofitting a modern refill to the thing. I don't particularly like the plastic stick-type refills, Paper Mate or otherwise, and found a quick-and-dirty solution using a *plastic* Parker-type refill. Just cut the refill off to the same overall length as the original CA refill and use a shorter spring over the refill's business end.

That's it.

The grease plug inside the TWSBI refill I used was deep enough that cutting the refill's tube was not a problem, and let me use it without the refill's end plug.

I found the looseness of the refill in the tip of the pen a little annoying, though, and added a segment of brass tubing snapped from a Fisher 1-For-All refill to increase the refill's diameter at the tip. Tweaking the brass tubing a tad lets it grip the refill nicely without becoming a permanent part of it.

Oh, if the bushing inside the tip of the pen's barrel comes loose (as mine did), just put it back in with the refill; the spring will hold it in place.

20150822_100641a.jpg



-- Edited by Chthulhu on Saturday 22nd of August 2015 07:37:07 PM

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