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Pen Filling Instructions

Filling Instructions For:

Parker Vacumatic Filling Pen
Sheaffer Vac-Fil Pen
Sheaffer Touchdown Filling Pen
Sheaffer Snorkel Filling Pen
Lever Filling Pen
Button Filling Pen
Aerometric Filling Pen
Safety Pen
Twist Filler
Blow Filler Pen
Bulb Filler Pen
Eyedropper Filling Pen
European Style Piston Filling Pen
Cartridge or Converter Pen

Parker Vacumatic
For Vacumatic and Parker 51 Vacumatic Pens

    1. Unscrew and remove the small cap at the end of the barrel, thus exposing the plunger button.
    2. Lockdown fillers only: Release the filler plunger by pressing it in and turning it slightly to the left. Plunger will extend.
    3. Immerse the pen point in ink, being sure to submerge the whole nib and feed in the ink, and depress the filler plunger. Pause for a second at the end of the downward stroke to permit all the air inside the barrel to be expelled.
    4. Release the filler plunger by removing the thumb, and pause again for a second to allow the vacuum created inside the barrel to drink in the full swallow of ink, before making the next downward stroke.
    5. Repeat the strokes (down and up) until the pen is filled. About 7 strokes are required for the standard model—12 strokes for the over-size model.
    6. Some people report they can “feel” when the pen is filled, as it is then harder to work the plunger as the ink provides some resistance.
    7. Lockdown fillers only: Before removing pen from bottle, depress the filler plunger and re-engage it by turning the button to the right.
    8. Replace the small cap. Wipe excess ink from the section using a damp paper towel. Don’t be too fastidious about wiping ink from the nib and feed-- while the first strokes will be wet, priming the pen’s parts will help to encourage good initial ink flow.

 

Sheaffer Vac-Fil
For Some Sheaffer 1940s Pens (aka Wire or Plunger Filler)

    1. The first time you fill your vac-fill pen, do so four or five times. This moistens all the fissures in the fluid control, enabling it to function perfectly.
    2. Hold pen within neck of open ink bottle. Pull out plunger the full distance.
    3. Immerse the point completely in the ink; push plunger down as far as it will go. If you wish to flush the pen thoroughly and remove any dried fluid from the feed channel, repeat this operation several times. After pushing plunger down the last time, allow pen to remain in ink for a few seconds while it fills full.
    4. Important—Drain the fluid control by holding a blotter, cloth or tissue to the writing tip for a few seconds. Expansion fissures inside the point must be cleared of fluid after filling. Wipe point clean and replace cap with a short turn.

 

Sheaffer Touchdown
For Many Sheaffer Pens after 1949

    1. Unscrew the cap at the top of the barrel (in case of desk pens unscrew the quill) and hold point within ink bottle. Pull plunger out full distance.
    2. Immerse entire point in ink. Count to ten after down-stroke of cap permitting pneumatic action to fill.
    3. The pen fills at the completion of the down stroke. After allowing point to remain in ink for count of ten, tighten plunger cap or quill and drain surplus fluid with a blotter or absorbent cloth with point held up.
    4. Occasionally it is desirable to flush pen in water by pumping plunger several times and emptying completely.

 

Sheaffer Snorkel
For Sheaffer Snorkel Pens including the PFM

    1. Unscrew plunger knob using gentle forward pressure on the know while turning. Unscrew until definite click is felt. Filling tube is now fully extended.
    2. Hold filling tube over ink bottle and pull plunger out as far as it will go.
    3. Immerse only the filling tube in ink. It is not necessary to dunk the pen point. However, on the filling of new pen the first time, the tip of the point should be moistened in ink.
    4. Now push plunger all the way down just once. Keep the tube in the ink a few seconds as your Snorkel Pen drinks the ink.
    5. Screw plunger knob to right and watch filling tube retract. Because the point and barrel never touch ink, there is no wiping needed—you're ready to write!

 

Lever Filler
The Most Common Vintage Filling System

    1. Immerse pen point and a bit of the section in ink.
    2. Raise the lever until it is at a right angle to the barrel, then flip the lever back to original position while keeping the pen point in the ink. Wait a few seconds to allow the bladder to expand and suck in the ink. You can repeat this a few times to ensure full filling. Then move the lever back into place.
    3. Wipe the pen point before replacing the cap.

 

Button Filler
For Many 1920-40s Pens

    1. To fill the pen, take off the blind cap to expose the button.
    2. Press and hold the button down and then place the nib in ink until the section is partially submerged.
    3. Release the button to allow the sac to expand and pull in the ink.
    4. Allow ten seconds before removing it from the ink.
    5. If you hear a sucking gurgling sound after you have pulled the nib out of the nib, you didn't leave it in the ink long enough and that's the sound of your pen drinking air. This is not bad for the pen, but it means it probably didn't fill all the way.

 

Aerometric
For Many 1950-70s Pens

    1. Unscrew barrel from nib section to expose the filling system.
    2. Holding pen vertically, immerse nib into ink.
    3. Squeeze and release pressure bar or bars on the side of filling system several times to fill.
    4. Remove nib from ink, wipe with soft tissue and screw nib section back into barrel.
    5. The same process is used whether the pen has a fixed, built-in aerometric system (such as the Parker 51s) or a removable aerometric converter.

 

Safety Pen
For Many 1910-30s Pens

    1. Hold the pen nib–upward and carefully unscrew the cap.
    2. Using an eyedropper or syringe, fill the barrel of the pen with ink directly over the retracted nib until you can see the ink line inside the barrel.
    3. To extend the nib, twist the piece at the very bottom of the barrel clockwise. Stop when you feel resistance and see the nib fully extended.
    4. Once the nib is extended you can turn the pen to writing position and begin use.
    5. When you're ready to put the cap back on, turn the pen nib–up once more and carefully screw the piece at the end of the barrel counter–clockwise to retract the nib. A bubble of ink will often develop at the opening as you retract the nib.
    6. While the pen is still pointed with the nib opening up, screw on the cap snuggly.

 

 Twist Filler 
Seen in Vintage Swan Pens and other Vintage Pens

    1. Put the nib in ink to the point where the nib is completely submerged and a bit of the section is also in the ink.
    2. Turn the end knob in the direction indicated by the arrow. Most pens' knobs turn clockwise, but if you encounter any resistance you might have one that turns counterclockwise. Use gentle force only. Only a partial turn is required, don't expect the knob to turn a lot.
    3. Let the end knob release and return to the original position. Swan Leverless pens have knobs that need to be manually returned to the starting position
    4. Leave the nib in the ink for 10 seconds to allow the sac to expand, and the pen should be filled. 
    5. Repeat this process again to get extra ink into the sac.

 

 Blow Filler 
Seen in some vintage pens and some PSP models

    1. Put the nib in ink to the point where the nib is completely submerged and a bit of the section is also in the ink.
    2. Blow gently in the small hole at the end of the barrel. You will see bubbles appear in the ink.
    3. Leave the nib in the ink for 10 seconds to allow the sac to expand, and the pen should be filled. 
 

 Bulb Filler 
Seen in Vintage Travellers Pens and other Vintage Pens

    1. Put the nib in ink to the point where the nib is completely submerged and a bit of the section is also in the ink.
    2. Remove the sac-bulb cover on the end of the barrel.
    3. Squeeze the sac-bulb a few times
    4. Leave the nib in the ink for 10 seconds to allow the sac to expand, and the pen should be filled. 
    5. Repeat this process again to get extra ink into the sac.

Eyedropper System
The Earliest Reservoir System, also used in Some Modern Pens

    1. Lubricate the section threads with silicone grease every time you fill the pen.
    2. Using an eyedropper or syringe, fill the barrel of the pen with ink till it almost reaches the bottom of the threads inside the barrel. Screw on the section, but only halfway.
    3. With the still-open ink bottle at the ready, turn the pen nib down over the open ink bottle and finish screwing on the section. Approximately 5 or 6 ink drops will fall back into the bottle.
    4. Gently wick away any excess ink from the tip with a paper towel, but don't take away too much ink from the nib, because it is now primed and ready to write. (We've found this method gets the pen writing right away and forestalls the almost inevitable drip of ink that comes when the pen starts to run low.)

 

European Style Piston Filling
Common In European Pens

    1. Unscrew barrel from nib section to expose filling system.
    2. Holding pen above the ink bottle, turn the end of the piston system counter–clockwise, expelling the air from the filling system.
    3. Immerse the nib into ink and turn the end of the piston filler clockwise to draw ink into the pen.
    4. Remove nib from ink, wipe with soft tissue and screw nib section into barrel.

 

Cartridge or Converter
Common In Pens after the 1960s

To Replace Sheaffer Fountain Pen Cartridge:

  1. Unscrew barrel from nib section.
  2. Insert cartridge into barrel.
  3. Screw nib section and barrel back together, which will pierce cartridge, starting ink flow.
  4. If ink does not begin immediately, tap side of pen gently above paper. Do not tap nib on writing surface.

To Refill Sheaffer Squeeze Converter:

  1. Unscrew barrel from nib section and insert converter securely.
  2. Holding pen vertically, immerse nib approximately 1/2 inch into ink.
  3. Squeeze and release pressure bar on side of converter several times to fill.
  4. Remove nib from ink, wipe with soft tissue and screw nib section into barrel.

To Refill Piston Converter:

  1. Unscrew barrel from nib section and insert converter securely.
  2. Make sure that the piston position is all the way forward (towards the nib) and immerse nib approximately 1/2 inch into ink.
  3. Holding the base of the converter, turn its end clockwise to draw ink into the pen.
  4. Remove nib from ink, wipe with soft tissue and screw nib section into barrel.
For an image of the original Sheaffer cartridge and squeeze converter instructions in English, French, Spanish, Italian, German, and Japanese see this link