October 29, 2015

Another ‘Big Red’ Frankenpen

  , and a “Little Red” frankenpen.

        Do you all remember the “Big Red” frankenpen in this post, ‘Frankenpens’ and ‘Squeezacs’?  Well, here’s a Parker “Big Red” ballpoint frankenpen with a gel refill from a Pilot G2, or Juice adapted to fit the pen.
        The “Big Red” Was originally released as a felt pen.  There’s a famous scene at the end of the film The Paper Chase where the professor is marking final exams, and he goes back to change the mark on one paper, and he uses a beautiful orange pen, and it’s still the felt pen version.  Then Fahrney’s adapted the pen to take Parker Jotter ball point refills.  But I thought it would be nice to use my favorite gel refill, the Pilot G2, or Juice refill, in the pen.  This is how I adapted it.
        Here’s a
picture of a regular G2 refill at the bottom, my adapted refill in the middle, and above them is one of the two parts that Fahrney’s created in order to allow the pen to take the Parker Jotter refills.  You’ll need to remanufacture this part, but the other part that Fahrney’s made is no longer required, so retire it to your parts bin.  “Never throw any parts away”, the Lourdman said.
picture shows the frankenrefill with the Fahrney’s part just above the spot on the refill where this part is required in order to adapt the G2 refill to fit into the section.  The black tip on the refill is all that is left of this Fahrney’s part after it has been drilled out and shortened.  I also placed a sleeve, in the form of a brass tube, over the refill to help bring up the weight of the whole pen, and improve its balance in the hand while writing.  The plastic tube on the end of the refill brings it up the correct length to fit the pen in the same way that the second discarded Fahrney’s black plastic part did in the original “Big Red” ballpoint.  I used the plastic tube from a cartridge from a Waterman’s cartridge fountain pen, the old-style cartridge with the metal tip.  It just happens to fit snuggly over the G2 refill.
        The black part needs to be shortened just enough to fit over the refill so that the metal tip can stick out sufficiently for writing, and to look aesthetically pleasing to the eye.  The interior bore of the black part does, however, require some machining so that it can sleeve over the G2 refill.  You will need at least 2 drill bits, and possibly a third.  You might need a 1/16" drill bit to ream out the tip of the black part to accommodate the metal tip of the refill, but only if the metal tip won’t fit.  The fit on some is more snug than others.  The first step of grey plastic is a tapering piece that requires a drill bit of 1/8".  The second step of grey plastic requires a drill bit of 11/64".  This is the tricky part because this is where you control how much of the metal tip is exposed, but don’t go too far because the bore of the hole you are creating comes very close to the surface of the black part.  The 3rd step of grey plastic and the refill tube are about 1/4", but they butt up against the black part, so you won’t need to drill it out.  This is what the completed frankenrefill looks like.

  George Kovalenko.

Addendum, Dec 4, 2015.
        And how about a “Little Red” frankenpen?  Here is a picture of my “Little Red” alongside my “Big Red”.  This is the short
ladies pen with the ringtop cap with chain, which I replaced with a clip cap.  Then I removed the cap band and shortened the cap lip further about a millimeter.  The difference in total length is almost the same as that between a Duofold Jr. and a Duofold Special.


Addendum, Aug 6, 2020.
        And h
ere is my Ma Carter, Mrs. Inx, but with a penhead.  I turned an ink pot into a pen pot.