Uh Oh, I Found My Grail Pen, But It's Broken!Published 21 Apr 2016 by Dan Hoizner
I am finally recovering from this past weekend’s adventures at the Atlanta Pen Show, and wanted to relay the story of one of the most memorable purchases I have ever made.
As I was wandering the show halls on Friday, bleary-eyed from lack of sleep, out of the corner of my eye I caught sight of a pen. A pen that has long been out of production; a pen that almost never comes up for sale. It just so happens that this is a pen that my friend, Thomas Hall, has been talking to me about for months. The OMAS T2 Paragon.
The T2 was released in two editions: a Milord-sized non-limited edition fitted with a titanium nib, and the Paragon-sized limited 75th anniversary edition that I found at the show, fitted with an 18 karat gold nib.
In talking to Thomas before the show, I learned that he had just sent off his T2 Milord to OMAS for repair before they shut down the repair center for good. The issue? The piston knob had come disconnected from the main assembly, and would no longer stay on the pen.
Back at the show, I talked to the seller, he gave me a reasonable price, and I walked away to mull over the purchase. The rest of the day passed in a blur, Saturday joined it, and it was suddenly the last day of the show. Thomas had continued to
prod encourage me, and when she arrived on Saturday afternoon, Leigh Reyes joined his efforts. On Sunday morning, finally having convinced myself to go for it, I walked back to the vendor’s table, wondering all along whether the beautiful pen would still be available. As luck would have it, it was. I asked the seller for his best price, money exchanged hands, and I walked away, for the time being, a happy man.
I had taken a few seconds to process what had just happened and wanted to make sure that everything was okay with my purchase (hint: wrong part of the transaction to do this), so I walked over to Kenro Industries (distributors of OMAS in North America) who directed me to Ed Capizzi. Ed proceeded to go over the pen, and the verdict? A cosmetically excellent pen with a piston knob that won’t stop turning. Yes, this Paragon was affected by the same issue as Thomas’s Milord.
At this point, my guts are turning, my heart has dropped to my stomach, and I have no idea what to do. Thomas and Leigh succeeded in calming me down, and I resigned myself to the need for sending the pen out for repair. After all, what is spending a bit more money on restoring a no-longer-available pen to a fully-functional state?
I continued making my way around the show, and mentioned the situation to a friend with a good amount of pen repair experience. His diagnosis? The piston mechanism is fully functional…all you need to do is reattach the piston knob with a slow-drying super glue. Out comes the glue, and the repair begins! The only tricky part of the process is that you need to make sure not to get any glue down the center of the piston assembly, as that will cause the entire mechanism to seize up. Twenty-four hours later, the glue had completely settled, the T2 Paragon was healthy once again, and I, for the second time this show, was a very happy man!
As it turns out, this is a common problem with the T2 series of pens: the glue connecting the piston knob to the main assembly dries out over the years. So if this happens to you, remember to stay calm, pull out a bottle of slow-drying glue, be patient while it dries, and enjoy many more happy years with your lovely writing companion.