The Pensmith
Repairs & Restoration

Please allow a minimum of four weeks (up to six weeks in busy periods) for repair completion after our receipt of your pen/s.

We repair and restore all makes and models of fountain pens.  Whilst we also restore mechanical pencils and ballpoints, most pencils and ballpoints we see are beyond repair or restoration or, uneconomical to repair.

We are the appointed repairers of the current and past Australian distributors of Sheaffer pens.  We were an authorised, world-wide repairer for Conway Stewart (UK) before its unfortunate closure and were re-appointed as authorised repairers recently by Conway Stewart's new owner, British Bespoke Pens.  We repair for and supply repair tools to most of Australia's pen retailers.  Sadly, Parker pens no longer repair pens in Australia and all of Parker's factory repairs are now dealt with in Hong Kong usually, by parts replacement.  Where possible, we do Parker repairs but, do not source Parker parts if required.

Please note that we do not source parts for repairs for our clients.  In many cases, this can be a time consuming task often involving many hours which for us is unproductive and for our clients, unfair to charge them for. We point our clients to sources where we believe appropriate parts may be available.

We repair and restore all vintage pens including the most difficult and complex repairs and restorations.  Most of the time, if repairs according to plan and typically, our basic repair costs are as set out below.  However, there are rare occasions when seemingly basic repairs become complex and involve much more work than we envisaged. Where the complexity or novelty of a repair or restoration demands, we charge an hourly rate of $120.00 per hour plus GST.

Importantly, we warrant our repairs for six months after your pen leaves us, misuse and accidental damage in your hands excluded.  We cannot and do not warrant pen components made by original manufacturers which in some cases, may be some 100 years old.  Our warranty policy does not affect your statutory rights as a consumer.

Basic Repair Costs
Basic examination and assessment fee if repair is not carried out.  Waived if we do repair the pen. $25
Lever fill and sac variation pens - re-sac only $55
Lever fill and sac variation pens - clean and re-sac $70
Sheaffer Touchdown and Snorkel - replacement of sac, seals and clean $80
Onoto plunger fillers - clean and replacement of top and bottom seals $85
Sheaffer PFM - clean and replacement of seals and sac $85
Sheaffer vac fill pens - including new piston seal, replacement of rear seal capsule (if necessary) and clean $100
Parker Vacs including 51- clean (including collector) and diaphragm replacement $80
Pelikan - clean and piston replacement (if necessary) $80
Plating of clips and other parts - per part $40
Nib straightening - (based on an hourly labour rate of $120.00), average at $90
Nib grinding - minimum charge (based on hourly labour rate) $90
Nib soldering of cracks, average at $80
Parker 61 Capillary - including removal, disassembly and cleaning of capillary and collector $80
Repairs (excluding re-sac only) include re-setting of nib and feed (where appropriate) and light polish of pen
NOTE:  Surcharge applied to ink filled pens received for repair $35

All prices are plus GST for Australian residents.

Other repairs including nib cracks and replacement or fabrication of parts are quoted on request.

More complex repairs or restorations, may in fairness (to you and us) require us to see the pen or have a discussion with you about what can be done and at what cost.

Restoration is a complex, time-consuming and often difficult process where many hours can be spent in virtual re-creation of a writing instrument.  Restoration often involves total disassembly of a pen, fabricating new parts to the specifications of the original, applying new surface finishes and sometimes, re-creating basic parts of a pen (such as a cap or barrel) from hard rubber or precious metal stocks.  We employ many techniques in restoration and use our own sophisticated lathes, micro-milling machines and electroplating equipment to carry out many repair and restoration tasks.

Complex restorations of vintage pens are our specialty.  Our principal repairer is a qualified silversmith by trade and has had over 40 years experience in sympathetic and accurate restoration of pens and other fine writing equipment and works of precious metal.  Using original fabrication methods, we have been restoring old English silver and gold pens for many years including the delicate chatelaines and overlays of the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries for United Kingdom collectors, galleries and precious metal dealers.  We undertake complex restorations of many very old English and French silver and gold pens as well as all vintage pens from the 19th and 20th centuries.

Where possible, we fabricate new parts to replace those which are old, damaged beyond repair or perished beyond their working life.  In terms of restoration, we aim to give vintage writing equipment a chance to be enjoyed for yet another generation.

Please note that when we are requested to fully restore a pen we will on request, re-plate those parts of a pen that require it. Usually, this will be the cap clip and often, levers (where fitted).  Where practicable, we will remove cap bands and re-plate them if required. However, many cap bands cannot be removed and re-fitted without damage to the band or the cap. Where a cap band cannot be safely removed, we will not remove and re-plate it.

Have a look at a recent Onoto pen restoration shown on a step-by-step basis.

An  interesting pen cap restoration -  follow this link - pen cap restoration

And, the restoration of a vintage Swan 140/52 pen - Swan Restoration

Please look at some recent testimonials of our work from our clients.

Nib Work

We do re-grind, straighten and adjust nibs within sensible limits.  We do not re-tip nibs but recommend Greg Minuskin in California.  See

Most nibs will repair well but there are limits to what can be straightened and what the final result will look like. As a general rule, a nib which has been straightened will carry signs of having been repaired for the rest of its day. Often such residual marks are impossible to remove, particularly on harder gold nibs such as 9 carat.

Quotes for Repair and Nib Work

We welcome advising or quoting on your repairs and restorations on the basis of images you send to us.  But, please ensure that your images are less than 250 kb per image.  If a single image emailed to us exceeds that size, it is automatically rejected by our email system.  Modern phones and cameras produce very good quality images but usually at an enormous file size.  We receive so many of them which are excessive in size as many senders don't bother to edit them or, reduce their file size.  Please understand the problem and be aware that if you send us images which exceed our file size limit, we will not be able to respond to you.

Packing Instructions - Pens for Repair or Restoration

  • properly empty your pen and flush it out with water - see the surcharge note above; and
  • do not send original packaging or boxes, which you want returned.  We always return pens in our own packaging which in our view is safe and secure.
Again, if you want the packaging returned, please do NOT send it to us.  We return your pen to you in our tried and tested packaging, not your's.

Please include in the packaging:
  • your postal address;
  • your telephone number;
  • your email address; and
  • specific instructions as to what we are to do with your pen or pens.
When we have finished your repair or restoration, we will invoice you by email.  Our invoice will outline a number of payment methods including direct credit to our account and PayPal.


Pens should be wrapped in bubble wrap or similar (and if more than one pen is sent, wrap them individually) and ensure that the bubble wrap is sandwiched between something which will not bend easily. Please, don't over-pack with layers and layers of bubble wrap and cardboard.  It is unnecessary.  Use either a small box or padded post bag and send pens by Signature on Delivery.

We return pens by Australia Post Signature On Delivery.  Whilst Australia Post increases its charges twice yearly, sadly its service levels decline with every price increase.  Allow five to 10 days for delivery, depending on how far your destination is from our local Post Office.

When you receive your pen from us after repair, please remove it immediately from our packaging and do not be tempted to store your pen in our packaging in which, condensation may develop after time.


We urge you to consider insurance of your pens by using Australia Post's "Extra Cover" Service which is available at charge from Australia Post outlets.  In the last few years we have seen an increasing trend in Australia Post "losing" parcels.  As a matter of fact (and our experience), when a parcel is lost, Australia Post takes very little interest in finding it and now uses an external firm to "deal with" claims against it. No one wants to lose a vintage pen which most likely, has great sentimental value and in many cases, significant market value. No one insures for sentimental value but, Australia Post's Extra Cover service may offer (subject to its terms and conditions), some protection in the event of loss or damage.  You need to read and understand Australia Post's terms and conditions of its Extra Cover service.

If you require insurance for your pens, please make sure that you insure your pens for full replacement value when shipping to us.  If you expect us to insure them on their return  journey, please advise us and understand that we will ask you to reimburse us for those insurance charges.  

We take no responsibility for loss or damage (howsoever arising) from damage to or loss of pens whether on their journey to us or, on their return to you regardless of whether you insure them or, instruct us to insure them on return to you.  If you elect to insure pens using the Extra Cover service of Australia Post or, instruct us to effect such insurance on return to you, indemnity for any loss and damage you may suffer, rests entirely with Australia Post.

When returning pens to you, we use Signature on Delivery.  Please remember, unless you specifically request, we do not insure pens on their return journey to you.

Address articles by post to:

The Pensmith
P.O. Box 177
Berwick 3806

Each pen we repair or restore is returned with a comprehensive Repair Report telling you the condition of the pen when we received it, what we did to it and what (if anything) may still need doing to it.

Repair turnaround time:

Wherever possible, we aim to turnaround repairs within four to six weeks of receipt.  There are often peak periods or times when we attend overseas pen shows when it will be impossible to adhere to our usual turnaround time.  If for any reason, your repair is likely to take longer than four to six weeks, we will let you know by email.  Once we finish your repair, we will email a Repair Invoice to you.

Duties and Taxes on Repairs:

Duties and taxes may be charged by customs authorities on repairs in certain circumstances and vary by country. Please understand that duties and taxes are your responsibility.  If you are unsure as to whether duties and taxes will apply to items delivered to your country, visit the World Customs Organisation at

This is the working heart of our Myford ML 7 lathe which we use to make various pen parts in both precious and semi-precious metals and for various hard rubber and acrylic components.  In addition, it is used extensively in conjunction with an English Cowells Vertical Mill to make many pen repair tools either for our own use, or for sale. The lathe was made in 1973 by Myford of Nottingham (UK).  It was exported to Australia in that year and remained in its packing crate, unassembled and covered in grease until we purchased it in 2016.  We assembled the lathe in 2017 and found that on assembly, it exceeded factory test specifications and tolerances.  It is a superbly accurate machine and a rarity to find. In 2018 we were lucky enough to find an (Imperial) Myford screw cutting gearbox in the UK, which we have now fitted to the lathe. Nothing about our lathe is "high-tech" but it is an absolute joy to use on a virtual daily basis.

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