Prototype Vac Filler

All my pen friends know that I’m a filling system nerd. One of my first goals as a fledgling pen maker was to design and create my own piston filling mechanism. I find it very interesting how many different filling systems evolved in the early and “golden age” of fountain pens. Cartridge and converter filling pens are great, make no mistake about that; however I love to play around with filling systems that are more complex and integrated into the pen itself.

I have wanted to build a vac filler for some time. The vac filling system has always intrigued me. It appears to be so simple, yet there are so many little nuances about it that have to be taken into consideration, otherwise it will not function properly. The pen came together fairly quickly, however I spent a lot of time trying to tweak it and solve all the little problems that kept it from functioning properly. One of the big issues I had to deal with was finding the proper seal for the plunger rod. Finally I got everything all worked out, and was able to test-ink it. Success! It’s always a good feeling to be able to solve a problem that you have been working at for a long time. This pen holds about 3.5ml on a double fill, which is about  1.5ml more than most of my piston fillers.

The pen itself is made from one of my favorite acrylics for demonstrators: Cool mint water. It has my standard nickel silver accents and clip. I figured I might as well make it nice, since I was spending a lot of time on it! The plunger rod is made from titanium, and the other fill mechanism components from ebonite. Hopefully I will be able to offer vac fill systems as an option after I thoroughly test it!

–John

5 thoughts on “Prototype Vac Filler”

  1. This is great. Do you mind if I ask what the dimensions are? 3.5mL is more than a Kingsize Conid or a Visconti Watermark, so I assume it’s “oversized.”

    1. Hi Matt, the barrel is about 14.5mm in diameter at the widest, and about 110mm long from the end of the section to the end of the barrel if I can remember correctly. 3-3.5ml seemed to be the average volume I was getting on a double fill, according to an ink sample vial.

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