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 a caveat: this is not...

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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 Four of fountain pens’ golden...

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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 manufacturing and marketing methods. Manufacturing...

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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, is now able to handle many more pens, display their content and photos in a much more user-friendly manner, and...

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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 comes to me with Google’s...

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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 manufacturing materials. With most of...

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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 listing, that the growing volume...

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July 2017

51 and 88

This month I restored three 1950’s Aurora 88s and several Parker 51’s in succession. This combination is interesting because Aurora designed the 88 to emulate the Parker 51’s carried by the American soldiers in their return to Italy under the Marshall Plan. Yes, both have gold caps and black barrels, and both have hooded nibs, and both are, not accidentally,...

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June 2017

French pens and Build Your Own Esterbrook

With a traveling friend’s recent delivery from France in hand, I recently found myself staring at a large handful of pre- and post-WWII French projects and realizing that I have developed a particular fondness for them that is quite unlike my taste for other pens. I’m hoping, when I’ve restored the Edacotos, Unics, French Matador, StyloChap, Parker La Plume and...

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April 2017

JJ Lax Pen Co

I won’t do this often, but my Thought with this update is a plug for JJ Lax Pen Co. Joshua Lax, a friend here in New York, and I started doing pen work around the same time, each in his own direction. Happily for me, Joshua’s main interest grew into nib repair and customization. He has studied under Richard Binder,...

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