Saturday, April 28, 2012

Tool Report: Pilot Parallel Pen Hack

Here are the directions for my 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.

The Directions:
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!


Related: Method for shortening Rotring ArtPen

1 comment:

Joe Blow said...

I'm glad I'm not the only one that does this. I'm sure you came up with this before I did although I did come up with this independently.

In my case it was a matter of fitting the pens into a pencil case that was the deciding factor.

As far as the black thimble thing I believe that the intent is to seal the pen when closed so that the ink does not dry out as fast and I've simply been replacing it each time that I've used the pen although I probably will use your idea of gluing it into the cap to keep it from coming out.

One downside of this that you didn't mention is that if you leave the body of the pen as it comes you can actually use it without a cartridge and put the ink right into the body of the pen.

The other thing that I do is I like to have a pen for each color and nib so in fact I have 48 of these pens and I indicate the color by using colored electrical tape over the hole and trim using a pair of scissors to trim. Then I place them in a Global brand pencil case. I can only get two pens per slot instead of the 4 pencils it normally takes but 2 48 pen cases hold my entire set.

Anyway thank you for posting this as it's excellent information.