Founded in 1912 by Iowa jeweller Walter A. Sheaffer, the W.A. Sheaffer company became a legendary maker of pens that have been popular for generations and are still popular today. Vintage Sheaffer fountain and ballpoint pens are avidly collected and can have investment value. Repairing them is a precise exercise that requires specific skills. You can do the work yourself, hire an experienced professional, or go directly to Sheaffer.
Be sure of your skills. Many vintage Sheaffer pens are valuable collectibles worth well beyond their original price. Before you decide to repair one yourself, assess your levels of experience and expertise. If in doubt, use the services of a reputable professional or go to Sheaffer.
Follow the book. The Bible of fountain pen repair is "Fountain Pens: The Complete Guide to Repair and Restoration," by Frank Dubiel. It's used as a definitive reference resources by professional pen repair specialists as well as serious hobbyists. It includes five chapters on Sheaffer pens. Although used copies cost about £115 at Amazon.com, the book is available for £13 from industry supplier Pendimonium.
Secure reputable suppliers of parts, supplies and tools. Buying authentic parts and supplies at reasonable prices will be an important part of your task. There are a number of reliable industry suppliers, including Pendimonium and Pentiques.
Be creative. For example, you can transform an early Shaeffer ballpen into a modern ballpoint pen, notes Pendimonium. It's just a matter of removing the old tube cartridge, screwing in a brass replacement widget and adding a spring. With just those simple steps, says Pendimonium, you can be writing with a vintage 1940s Sheaffer ballpoint pen.
Let Sheaffer do it. For a minimum fee of £32, plus £6 shipping and handling, Sheaffer will repair any of its pens. Payment is due in advance, upon estimate of the work required, and credit card payment is preferred. For more information, visit the Sheaffer web site.
Things you need
- Sheaffer pen
- Parts and supplies