Tim’s Thoughts

April 2019

The Pen From Hell

Every so often a restorer has to experience a Pen From Hell. I must say, by way of preface, that since Timsvintagepens is not a repair service, Pens From Hell are relatively rare. But, when a friend passes me a nice looking Sheaffer Snorkel Crest and says “I got it at a flea market, can […]

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February 2019

My Best Tools, the Official Ones

Two Thoughts ago, I listed the eight tools I use all the time in fountain pen restoration that are not officially Pen Tools. Although the distinction is viewed by some as narrow, with this Thought I’ll address my most important official pen tools. None of these are secret, so I’ll also note good places to […]

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December 2018

Upping My Game

I know I said that this Thought would be my most important tools list, but that Thought got pre-empted by this Thought.  Next time… In recent weeks my shop experienced a major change: I acted on years of frustration with my inability to restore pens that needed replacement parts, and bought a vintage machinist’s lathe. […]

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September 2018

My Best Tools That Aren’t Tools

A fountain pen restorer uses a lot of tools. There are tools one uses often and for many purposes, tools used for one purpose and only when needed, and a wide range of household items that become tools. Considering this during a recent evening at the bench, this Thought’s subject suddenly became apparent, but with […]

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May 2018

Third Tier Pens Deserve Love, Too

Generally speaking, “third tier” in the world of fountain pens is not a complimentary term. It is home to the many brands of vintage pens that were made of cheap materials, in mass quantity, with limited quality control. These are usually differentiated from the first tier, those by Sheaffer, Parker, Waterman’s, and Wahl-Eversharp, the Big […]

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March 2018

Italian Vintage!

As noted with the March website update, timsvintagepens has started listing the dozen fine vintage Italian fountain pens purchased from a collector in Italy. Learning about these pens has been quite an adventure for me, both because there is so little information available and because it has been an awakening to a different culture’s historical […]

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January 2018

Website 2.0

For months I’ve been telling friends that a new website is coming…and it has arrived!  With thanks to Jesse, the brilliant developer who understood my vision of a real database driving a site that looked like my 1.0 site, timsvintagepens.com is now able to handle many more pens, display their content and photos in a […]

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November 2017


It’s Thanksgiving, a time to be thankful. Indeed, I’m plenty thankful for my new friendship with A, in Italy. A is a retired architect who is selling his collection, bit by bit. We met each other on eBay, where I had purchased his lovely ’60’s Columbus Extra that was missing a nib. A’s Italian always […]

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October 2017


I’ve recently received an oversize Plexor pen, the first I’ve seen. Plexors are interesting curiosities, perhaps the only Parkers to not carry the Parker name in some form. Their history’s documentation is not unequivocal, but the gist of it is that during World War II, French industry was only allowed to use French or Germany-allied […]

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August 2017

Two years in

It is a little hard to believe, but timsvintagepens has been operating for two years, as of early September. Although I had been restoring and selling pens for some years, during the summer of 2015 I realized that I was completing more projects than I could sell by word of mouth or Fountain Pen Network […]

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