Sunday, December 25, 2011

Moving the blog on Christmas day!

Well, today's the day! This is the last post I'm doing on this blog, except to post a re-direct later perhaps.

This blog is basically moving over to Unfortunately, none of the posts will be transferred. So, over the next week or two, I'll be re-posting some posts from this blog onto the other one, and archiving them for future reference.

I'll leave this blog up for a good couple months, to let everyone transfer over.

If you were subscribed to this blog, and you still want my repair updates, you'll need to subscribe to this feed (if you haven't already). For those who prefer updates via email, go here for subscribing.

If you have any trouble subscribing, or any questions about the move, feel free to contact me and let me know. I'd be more than happy to help in any way I can.

Lastly I'd like to wish you all a Merry Christmas, and thank every one of you for following, reading, and participating in my blog! Have a great day folks!

Tyler Dahl

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Something big is happening here...

Well, with the recent discussion of what types of posts my readers would enjoy the most, I've come to another more important decision.

I am finally taking the big leap, and merging my two blogs back together.

For those who don't know, both this blog, and my other blog were once the same. I posted business, repairs, and reviews, all in one place. This got a tad confusing, so it was split three ways:

  1. All business was finally moved to a "real" website. That helped a lot. :)
  2. Repairs were moved to this site.
  3. My reviews and articles were moved to a new blog, with a different name.
But now I am merging 2 and 3 back together. Reasons for this are as follows (but not limited to):

  • Easier for my readers. It's just simpler to have one blog in your RSS reader (or whatever you use) instead of two different ones.
  • Prevents cross posting and comments. It's a bit awkward for both me, and some of my commenter's, when the same thing is posted on both blogs.
  • Easier for me to manage. Well, the easier it is for me to post - the greater quality of posts I'll be able to produce. Eliminating the second blog will give me more time to put into better posts.
Now don't take this the wrong way - You will not lose the repair side of my blogging. I will still be posting repair tips as much as usual, but on the same blog as my normal posts. The blog "of choice" will be

This site will contain all my new posts, and this blog will basically fall to disuse. :)

I'll keep posting here, just to urge people to transfer over before it's deleted.

So that's it guys! With that move, I'll be implementing a new "loose" blogging schedule - mostly longer more detailed posts, but with some good short ones thrown in for easy reading. I'll be posting randomly, whenever inspiration hits. :)

Oh yea - Merry Christmas everybody!

Tyler Dahl

Monday, December 19, 2011

Been out of the loop for a few days now...

I've been totally busy the last few days, and haven't had more than a few minutes total to be on the computer. I do apologize for not updating the blog, and to anyone who is awaiting an email response from me. I will make my best attempt to get to all your emails today.

Blogging will be a little less scheduled for the next week or two, being the holiday season. I don't want to get to busy with this, and miss other important things (not the the blog is unimportant).

I'm going to make a few changes to some things around here. First one is this:

I am closing my twitter account. I find that twitter is really not that useful for connecting with customers, and I have also gotten some very inappropriate spam from them, which I find rather offensive. Thus, I will be closing that, and probably won't be doing it ever again, unless twitter gets a better filter for blocking people.

Secondly, I am going to need all of your advice on something. I want to hear you opinions on this matter: On how often, and what type of content I should post to the blog.

Here's the two options:

1) Longer, more detailed posts to the blog. Reviews, articles, how-to's (with lots of pictures and videos), etc. All of this can be done, but will require me to post less often. Perhaps 2 times a week, depending on what I'm doing (videos take a long while to make).

2) Shorter, more "bite-sized" posts that can be read quickly on the go. These will typically be mini reviews, short articles, or other random stuff like that. With shorter less detailed articles, I should be able to post more often - about what I do now.

I want to know what you would like more. You can leave me a comment or email me with your preference. I'd really appreciate you input, because I need it. :)

Thirdly and lastly, I wanted to remind everyone that while I will be busier than normal during the Christmas season, I will still be taking in pens for repair all of December.

That's all for now guys. I'm looking forward to hearing your thoughts on the blog posts. Have a gret holiday season everyone!

Tyler Dahl

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Holiday Sale

The holiday season approaching so quickly, I thought it'd be appropriate to have a nice holiday sale for my monthly tray of restored pens!

Every remaining pen is 10% off till the 25th of December! Grab em' while they're cheap! :)

There aren't a whole lot left, so I recommend you go take a peek now, and see if there's anything that interests you. I'd like to move these out by the end of the month, because I want to clear my workshop space up a bit.

I'm planning on doing a little new years sale too, but the pens will be different than this month. :)

Have a good one folks!

Tyler Dahl

Monday, December 12, 2011

Drop that tool!

Here's a quick, but extremely useful repair tip for you all. It's one of the most important things I learned, and it's been said many times before. No matter - I'll say it again. One more time won't hurt. :)

Use your hands.

Yes, you heard that right. Use your hands for repairing pens. You're probably thinking "Well duh! Of course I use my hands". No, I mean use them more. What many of us don't realize is that out hands are the best tool in our repair-arsenal.

When I get a pen for work, and I going to remove the section or hood, I always try first with my hand. Think about it - Your hand is perfectly shaped for griping a pen. It has built in anti-slip material. It is sensitive, so you won't overdo anything, as you can feel what you're working with.

Your hand is perfect for tuning nibs too. I'd much rather align tines with my fingers than a pair of pliers.

The bottom line is  this - (New repairers listen up!) You'll be tempted to use your tools all the time, because they're cool and fun. I often times used section pliers on pens that didn't need it, when I was first restoring. But all your doing is risking the pen more than necessary. Only use your tools when you really need them! 

Your hands and fingers are your best tool. Don't forget it. :)

Tyler Dahl

Friday, December 9, 2011

How to: Getting a Snorkel sac unstuck...

My internet was down this morning, so that's why I'm late. One of the downfalls of satellite over dial-up. It's still 1000x better than dial-up though... :) On with the article!

If you've restored a few Sheaffer Snorkels, chances are you've seen this sight: The metal sac protector, with the old sac glued into it. You've tried scraping it, and maybe you've tried other things like drilling it out. Whatever you do, you can't get it out!

Lucky for you, I have finally found a method that is practically fool proof for removing those "glued" sacs!

It's worked every time for me, so I hopefully it will for you too. :)

The secret ingredient is:

This "PB blaster" stuff can be purchased from most Lowes or Home Depot hardware stores. Some local hardware stores might even carry it. Wherever you can find it, you need to get a hold of some. It's the true secret ingredient, and the whole method relies on this.

This spray stuff is like a super silicone spray. It is made for working on cars. It will actually break down rust, so that stiff bolts can be loosened. It's important to note however, that this should not be used for any plastics! It will melt them fast! Use only on metal, which is what is was made for.

Oh yea, one more reason to buy PB blaster:

Can't argue with that (well, I could)... ;)

Now, how I use it. Very simple:

Just put some in a cup, drop the sac protector in there, and let it sight for 24-48 hours. In that time, the sac will become soft, and less "glued" to the to the metal. Try every 24 hours to scrape the sac out. If it doesn't come out, drop it back into the cup, and let it go for another 24 before trying again. Repeat until the sac comes out 100%!

It will not harm the metal, no matter how long it's in there, so don't be afraid to soak for a week in necessary (I've never had to wait that long).

I hope this will be able to help someone who is stuck as I? sued to be, puzzling over how to get that bloody Snorkel Sac unstuck. :)

Happy holidays everybody!

Tyler Dahl

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Inky hands!

A rather short post today, about the state of my hands during repair. Well, mostly during nib grinding.

Ever thought your hands got inky when filling your pens? Check this one out. :)

That's about normal for me these days! I'm wondering, and hoping that this ink doesn't have any negative health affects. Andy chemists here that want to enlighten me? :)

Have a great day everyone.

Tyler Dahl

Monday, December 5, 2011

My new nib block!

Well, I finally invested in one of these little guys. Gosh they're expensive, but well worth the money.

For those who don't know: a nib block is a tool used in burnishing nibs. Burnishing nibs is basically the art of removing bends and kinks from them. So, when your pen takes a nose dive onto a tile floor, it will probably end up spending some time with a nib block. :)

This isn't exactly a review, but I do want to put the word out there: The folks who made this nib block did a outstanding job! I mean this thing is really well done. They're still selling them, so if you're in the market for one of these, buy one now before they sell out!

Here it is! Beautiful little piece of metal, isn't it. Comes with a burnisher (the tool with the green handle), and that's really well made too.

The parts used for burnishing the nib are polished/finished with extreme attention to detail. It's not a quick job - these folks knew what they were doing. The rest of the block was given a nice machine finish. Looks good.

Here's the convex part of the block. Fingerprint smudges abound. :P

Showing off the highly polished finish. This is top notch stuff!

Lastly, a size comparison. It's smaller than I thought, and that's a good thing. I was afraid it'd be this huge lunking block of metal.

Here it is, next to my iPod, and VP (they make a great pair, I know).

Overall  couldn't be more pleased with this block. The fit and finish is superb, and it's priced much lower than other nib blocks. Get yours here, before they're all gone!

Tyler Dahl

Friday, December 2, 2011

Sorry folks, a little busy today... :)

Well guys, I wasn't able to post to the blog today. I was working all day long installing the wood-stove on my house. Took a long time, and I honestly don't enjoy working up on top of my metal roof. :| A bit stressing, but it sure is great to have it done!

Have a great weekend everyone!

Tyler Dahl

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Monthly Update!

Well guys, today marks the first day of December! I've got snow on the ground at my house, and it's pretty chilly here too. Anyone else think it's beginning to look a  lot like Christmas? ;)

I'd like to just give you all an update on what's going on this month, and what you can expect from the website, and both blogs.

Firstly: I will be open for business all December long. I do not take a break for Christmas, so you may feel free to send me pens anytime during the holiday season. Don't be concerned about me being busy, because Christmas-time is not a busy time for me. :)

Let's start with the Website. I've got quite a few improvements that I think you'll enjoy!

1) First off, I've got a whole new tray of pens up for sale this month! Lots of really great ones too. These are for sale, but only for this month. Tis' the perfect season for buying a new FP, for yourself, or a friend. :) Some of my top picks of the month are:

Beautiful Blue EverSharp Skyline!

A lovely vintage Pelikan M400 with a semi-flex nib!

Conklin Crescent filler with a fabulous #2 flexible Toledo nib!

2) Next up, we've got a great new feature for those "visual minded" people. I decided that just listing a photo of all 12 pens at once just didn't cut it. You can't see enough of the pen. So, to remedy this, I've come to a good in-between place. The "tray picture" will remain the same, as it's good to see what's for sale at a glance.

The new feature is the "click the title to a large picture of the pen". Any pen that you're interested in - just click the title, or the magnifying glass icon. You will be taken to a new window (or tab), so you won't lose you place, and then you can see a full image of just the pen you want. I've made these images to show as much detail as possible. Try it out here and see for yourself!

3) The Mobile Website is almost ready to launch! I'll need another week or so to finish up the last details, but it's very close now!

A public thank-you to everyone who volunteered to help out with the mobile website! I couldn't have done it without you. You've been a huge help, and I really appreciate it!

4) This is very important, so please do read it. 
I have had to make a rather difficult decision this month, and I want you all to be aware of this, and have a good understanding of "what" and "why". I try to be honest, and keep stuff like this out in the open.

I have recently had a rise in my costs for repairing pens. Namely, new tools, to expand the possibilities of what I can accomplish. Many of these tools cost quite a "fortune", and thus I feel the need to make some small price change in accordance with this. As of today (12/1/2011) I have made some small price changes to my some of my services. I realize that this is not the kind of news that we always want to hear. I do dislike having to do this, but I feel it's the only way to keep my business running, and thus I decided to go for it. However, even with these small price changes, I can still safely say that my prices far undercut many others in the pen-repair field. I hope you all understand this, and please, let me know if you have questions. I am still determined to maintain low prices, and excellent customer service, forever.

Now for some blog updates:

Just a few quick ones, to keep you current.

1) I will be continuing to blog every other day on both blogs! I don't intend on stopping this anytime soon, as I don't see a reason to. :)

2) Hopefully you all read about my new review system here. That will continue to be used for all my future reviews. Seems very handy to me.

3) If you haven't checked it out yet, I'd love to have you participate in my Weekend Reads Q&A! I need folks to ask questions, or else I can't do it. Go ahead, don't be shy! Ask away about anything pen-related.

That's about it for the monthly updates. Have a great holiday season everyone, and enjoy the blog!

Tyler Dahl