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Thursday, June 16, 2011

Watch out for bad Parker Vacumatic Diaphragms!

Here's a pen that belongs to a very good friend of mine. It's lovely Cedar Blue Parker 51 Vacumatic.

Sadly, this lovely pen suddenly stopped working for its owner. It wasn't taking up any ink or water. As soon as I got it in "the-shop" I checked the breather tube for a clog. This seemed the obvious solution for a pen that just stopped working suddenly. After checking - nope, not the breather tube. So, I took a peek at the diaphragm.

Looking down the barrel it looked pretty bad in there. After I removed the filler-unit things looked even worse. Then after about an hour of scraping and cleaning this is what I finally got out...

Check this out! A completely melted and twisted Vacumatic Diaphragm!

It's disgusting looking... and it certainly won't be taking ink up ever again...

So, the real question is: "what caused this?"

After speaking with someone more familiar with Parker and the company history than I was I discovered the reason. Apparently there was a small time where a short run of bad diaphragms were produced and put into pens. I don't know when this was and who produced them but they got into the Vacumatics. These diaphragms were made of such inferior materials that they were likely to melt even in water! So, this diaphragm was no match for the ink that was constantly soaking it.

Luckily this pens diaphragm has been replaced with a proper fresh one and is now ready to serve for many more years to come!

I truly enjoyed working on this pen! It's a gorgeous, and in fact picture-perfect example of the iconic Parker 51.

Do you have a non-functional Parker Vacumatic? Why not send it in and get that awesome pen working again! Have questions? Just send me an email. I'm more than happy to answer as many questions as you can ask!

777 - Tyler Dahl

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