Repairs & Restoration
We repair and restore all makes and models of fountain pens. Whilst we also restore mechanical pencils and ballpoints, most pencils and ballpoints we see are beyond repair or restoration or, uneconomical to repair.
We are the appointed repairers of the current and past Australian distributors of Sheaffer pens. We were an authorised, world-wide repairer for Conway Stewart (UK) before its unfortunate closure. We repair for and supply repair tools to most of Australia's pen retailers. Sadly, Parker pens no longer repair in Australia and all of Parker's factory repairs are now dealt with in Hong Kong usually, by parts replacement. Where possible, we do Parker repairs but, do not source Parker parts if required.
Please note that we do not source parts for repairs for our clients. In many cases, this can be a time consuming task often involving many hours which for us is unproductive and for our clients, unfair to charge them for. We point our clients to sources where we believe appropriate parts may be available.
We repair and restore all vintage pens including the most difficult and complex repairs and restorations.
Importantly, we warrant our repairs for six months after your pen leaves us, misuse and accidental damage in your hands excluded. We cannot and do not warrant pen components made by original manufacturers which in some cases, may be some 100 years old. Our warranty policy does not affect your statutory rights as a consumer.
Basic Repair Costs
All prices are plus GST for Australian residents.
Other repairs including nib cracks and replacement or fabrication of parts are quoted on request.
More complex repairs or restorations, may in fairness (to you and us) require us to see the pen or have a discussion with you about what can be done and at what cost.
Restoration is a complex, time-consuming and often difficult process where many hours can be spent in virtual re-creation of a writing instrument. Restoration often involves total disassembly of a pen, fabricating new parts to the specifications of the original, applying new surface finishes and sometimes, re-creating basic parts of a pen (such as a cap or barrel) from hard rubber or precious metal stocks. We employ many techniques in restoration and use our own sophisticated lathes, micro-milling machines and electroplating equipment to carry out many repair and restoration tasks.
Complex restorations of vintage pens are our specialty. Our principal repairer is a qualified silversmith by trade and has had over 35 years experience in sympathetic and accurate restoration of pens and other fine writing equipment and works of precious metal. Using original fabrication methods, we have been restoring old English silver and gold pens for many years including the delicate chatelaines and overlays of the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries for United Kingdom collectors, galleries and precious metal dealers. We undertake complex restorations of many very old English and French silver and gold pens as well as all vintage pens from the 19th and 20th centuries.
Where possible, we fabricate new parts to replace those which are old, damaged beyond repair or perished beyond their working life. In terms of restoration, we aim to give vintage writing equipment a chance to be enjoyed for yet another generation.
Please note that when we are requested to fully restore a pen we will on request, re-plate those parts of a pen that require it. Usually, this will be the cap clip and often, levers (where fitted). Where practicable, we will remove cap bands and re-plate them if required. However, many cap bands cannot be removed and re-fitted without damage to the band or the cap. Where a cap band cannot be safely removed, we will not remove and re-plate it.
Have a look at a recent Onoto pen restoration shown on a step-by-step basis.
An interesting pen cap restoration - follow this link - pen cap restoration
And, the restoration of a vintage Swan 140/52 pen - Swan Restoration
Please look at some recent testimonials of our work from our clients.
We do re-grind, straighten and adjust nibs within sensible limits. We do not re-tip nibs but recommend Greg Minuskin in California. See www.gregminuskin.com
Most nibs will repair well but there are limits to what can be straightened and what the final result will look like. As a general rule, a nib which has been straightened will carry signs of having been repaired for the rest of its day. Often such residual marks are impossible to remove, particularly on harder gold nibs such as 9 carat.
Quotes for Repair and Nib Work
We welcome advising or quoting on your repairs and restorations on the basis of images you send to us. But, please ensure that your images are less than 250 kb per image. If a single image emailed to us exceeds that size, it is automatically rejected by our email system. Modern phones and cameras produce very good quality images but usually at an enormous file size. We receive so many of them which are excessive in size as many senders don't bother to edit them or, reduce their file size. Please understand the problem and be aware that if you send us images which exceed our file size limit, we will not be able to respond to you.
Packing Instructions - Pens for Repair or Restoration
Address articles by post to:
Please include in the packaging:
Pens should be wrapped in bubble wrap (and if more than one pen is sent, wrap them individually) and ensure that the bubble wrap is sandwiched between something which will not bend easily - thick cardboard for instance. Please, don't over-pack with layers and layers of bubble wrap and cardboard. It is unnecessary. Use either a small box or padded post bag and send pens by Signature on Delivery.
We return pens by Australia Post Signature On Delivery. Whilst Australia Post increases its charges twice yearly, sadly its service levels decline with every price increase. Allow five to 10 days for delivery, depending on how far your destination is from our local Post Office.
When you receive your pen from us after repair, please remove it immediately from our packaging and do not be tempted to store your pen in our packaging in which, condensation may develop after time.
We urge you to consider insurance of your pens by using Australia Post's "Extra Cover" Service which is available at charge from Australia Post outlets. In the last few years we have seen an increasing trend in Australia Post "losing" parcels. As a matter of fact (and our experience), when a parcel is lost, Australia Post takes very little interest in finding it and now uses an external firm to "deal with" claims against it. No one wants to lose a vintage pen which most likely, has great sentimental value and in many cases, significant market value. No one insures for sentimental value but, Australia Post's Extra Cover service may offer (subject to its terms and conditions), some protection in the event of loss or damage. You need to read and understand Australia Post's terms and conditions of its Extra Cover service.
If you require insurance for your pens, please make sure that you insure your pens for full replacement value when shipping to us. If you expect us to insure them on their return journey, please advise us and understand that we will ask you to reimburse us for those insurance charges.
We take no responsibility for loss or damage (howsoever arising) from damage to or loss of pens whether on their journey to us or, on their return to you regardless of whether you insure them or, instruct us to insure them on return to you. If you elect to insure pens using the Extra Cover service of Australia Post or, instruct us to effect such insurance on return to you, indemnity for any loss and damage you may suffer, rests entirely with Australia Post.
When returning pens to you, we use Signature on Delivery. Please remember, unless you specifically request, we do not insure pens on their return journey to you.
P.O. Box 177
Each pen we repair or restore is returned with a comprehensive Repair Report telling you the condition of the pen when we received it, what we did to it and what (if anything) may still need doing to it.
Repair turnaround time:
Wherever possible, we aim to turnaround repairs within two to three weeks of receipt. There are often peak periods or times when we attend overseas pen shows when it will be impossible to adhere to our usual turnaround time. If for any reason, your repair is likely to take longer than two to three weeks, we will let you know by email. Once we finish your repair, we will email a Repair Invoice to you.
Duties and Taxes on Repairs:
Duties and taxes may be charged by customs authorities on repairs in certain circumstances and vary by country. Please understand that duties and taxes are your responsibility. If you are unsure as to whether duties and taxes will apply to items delivered to your country, visit the World Customs Organisation at www.wcoomd.org
This is the working heart of our Myford ML 7 lathe which we use to make various pen parts in both precious and semi-precious metals and for various hard rubber and acrylic components. In addition, it is used extensively in conjunction with an English Cowells Vertical Mill to make many pen repair tools either for our own use, or for sale. The lathe was made in 1973 by Myford of Nottingham (UK). It was exported to Australia in that year and remained in its packing crate, unassembled and covered in grease until we purchased it in 2016. We assembled the lathe in 2017 and found that on assembly, it exceeded factory test specifications and tolerances. It is a superbly accurate machine and a rarity to find after using an older Myford ML 10 machine and a Chinese machine, both of which have now been sold. In 2018 we were lucky enough to find an (Imperial) Myford screw cutting gearbox in the UK, which we have now fitted to the lathe. Nothing about our lathe is "high-tech" but it is an absolute joy to use on a virtual daily basis.