My Restoration

I’m more of a purist and minimalist when it comes to pen restoration. Personally, I would rather have a browning black hard rubber 100 year old pen than one sparkling like jet black shoe polish. I want an antique pen to remind me of all the writing that it has done. To me, the beauty in vintage pens is that they carry history in them. I don’t want to wipe out that history. I’d rather use that history in making something perhaps even more beautiful than the original. Nevertheless, pen restoration is more art than science, and it takes time, patience, and creativity to restore these lovely pieces. Almost all work is done fairly meticulously by hand. I’ve done hundreds and hundreds of restorations of just about every kind of pen. Here is the work I generally do unless otherwise noted:

Ink Filling System 

All pens are cleaned, thoroughly flushed, repaired, saced, fixed, parts replaced or whatever it takes to return it to working order.


I am not a professional nibmeister, but I can and do tackle most nib work myself. When I restore I will do adjustments and tuning of the nib when it requires it. I will also adjust nib and feed for optimal ink flow. Honestly, this is generally the most time consuming part. Tiny alterations to get the desired result. I will smooth out scratchiness if necessary, but if the pen has a “sweet spot” and I have to adjust my writing to accommodate, then I adjust my style. I like to leave as much iridium on the nibs as possible. If you are interested in what I consider a “flexible” nib or “wet noodle,” check here.

Body Work

Pens must be restored on a case by case basis, but in general I clean them thoroughly, buff out light scratches, and polish them to a shine.  I do not re-blacken hard rubber pens. Nor do I soak or polish them if I can at all help it. All gold and trim work is done carefully and with minimal abrasion.

Test Ride 

Every pen I sell has been inked and used by me for at least a week. At this time, I will generally tweak the nib and check for clogs, leaks, etc.  I don’t use them too long for fear that I won’t be able to bring myself to put them up for sale! I then thoroughly flush the pen, wipe my finger prints off it, and store in a dry dark place until it sells.


If you feel that I have not fulfilled the restoration process as described here and are unhappy with your purchases, I will refund your payment in full.  Buyer pays return shipping charges. I would remind everyone that these are very old writing instruments and should be handled with care.


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