Saturday, April 28, 2012
Tool Report: Pilot Parallel Pen Hack
The Pilot Parallel Pen is one of my favorite lettering and drawing tools, but the length and the design of the barrel are absurd. You can't post the cap! So I decide to chop it down. Which is when I discovered that thimble-shaped object.
The advantages of this hack are that the cap can be posted and that the whole thing is shorter, more compact, and so more portable. Not to worry: the cartridges or the stealth converter both fit inside the shorter barrel.
A possible disadvantage is that the nib may dry out and clog more quickly because it is deprived of its protective thimble-shaped cocoon up there in the top of the cap. It's possible that the cocoon is also meant to contain leakage. I'm not sure. I have been using Pilots hacked this way for a few years now and have encountered neither leakage nor excessive drying/clogging.
The major disadvantage for me is that it's not very sleek, that black knob there on the end. But oh well.
1- Using a hacksaw, saw the end of the barrel off where that little indentation is in the plastic.
2- Lightly buff off any major burrs using a piece of sandpaper. (Leave the cut end a bit raggedy. That will help it grab the thimble-shaped object.)
3- Jam the cut-open end of the barrel up into the pen's cap, where it wedges itself into a black thimble-shaped semi-rubberized object that lives up in there. Pull the barrel out. The thimble-shaped object comes out of the cap with it. The thimble is wedged onto the end of the barrel.
4- If you are intending to try an eyedropper conversion or if you are a Nervous Norton, pull the black thimble object off, add some silicone glue, and then jam it back on again. Let it set up. And then go for it!
Method for shortening Rotring ArtPen