Pen Repair Classes

Pen Repair Classes

If you would like to book a repair class or have any questions, please contact the Librarian on +44 (0)116 275 3310 or email

The Writing Equipment Society includes in its Constitution, ’the use and conservation of writing instruments’. WES Pen Repair Classes teach pen repair skills to maintain them into the future and so fountain pens can be kept in use.

The classes assume no prior knowledge. At the conclusion of the Class and, with normal manual dexterity, participants should be confident to repair their own popular style of pens to a good standard. With additional practice and gaining experience, they should be able to take on repair for others. Each Class will be led by a WES approved repair specialist and a WES certificate will be provided at the end to confirm attendance.

Intending participants are strongly advised to build up a supply of pens for repair in each of the categories as well as ensuring that they have basic tools since example pens for later modules are harder to source. Consumable spares such as seals and O Rings (but not spare parts such as clips or nibs) are included in the module price. Unfortunately, prices of sacs have recently increased but they will be provided at £1 per sac for use in class. Participants are expected to practice their new-found skills in the period between modules.

The standard text for the Class is Jim Marshall and Laurence Oldfield’s excellent book ‘Pen Repair’ and participants are encouraged to purchase one beforehand. It is now available in its fourth edition although an earlier version should be quite adequate if available. These are available at a WES Member discount via the WES Librarian – contact as above.

Face-to-Face Classes


Face-to-Face Repair Classes are normally held at three venues between December and February each year. These are London (Harrow), Bristol (Coalpit Heath), Leicester (Narborough). Arrangements can be made for members in Scotland. The 2021/22 season proved to be very popular.

International members, other remote members and those unable to travel to the selected venues may like to consider the Webinar series that is described below.

Administration and Scheduling

Arrangements will vary to suit a particular venue but dates are usually decided in the late Spring/early Summer. Each Class normally has three one day Modules, held on a Sunday with an interval typically of about one month between each so that attendees can practice their new-found skills. Starting time is 10.00am and finishing around 4.30pm. There is a break for lunch. Modules 2 and 3 may be scheduled over one weekend on a Saturday and Sunday to ease travel and Class setup. Participants will be advised if this is the case as dates are decided.

A normal maximum number for a Class is five to allow for sufficient personal interaction. An administrative minimum is three. Some Classes can be oversubscribed. When this happens, participants are offered places in the order that they first requested and with confirmation of a place by payment on request of the session fee.

Each attendee will be sent joining instructions that will advise arrangements for the particular venue approximately one month before the start.

The modules cover:

Module 1 - Lever and Button fill pens

Module 2 - Sheaffer Touchdowns, Snorkels and Parker Vacumatics including the 51 in Vac and Aero forms

Module 3 - Piston fill pens including Onoto, Conklin, Wahl and Montblanc

Repair class by webinar

A ‘Webinar’ is a training session, or seminar, delivered electronically over the internet. Our first webinar series was in 2012 although their use is now universal.

Both Face-to-Face and Webinar methods of delivery have their strengths and weaknesses but a natural first choice has to be direct, physical face-to-face contact. The webinar however removes distance as an issue and allows service to members wherever they are. The process has worked equally well for members in Vancouver, Hong Kong and West Bromwich, depending only on basic home computer, a good internet link and willingness to participate. Even an iPad type of device has been successful for a Webinar participant.

Participant feedback for both methods has been excellent.

Administration and Scheduling

If you have the ability to use Skype with a good broadband link you are likely to be able to connect to a webinar. A headset is an advantage.

The same content as a Face-to Face class is typically delivered in ten or eleven one and a half hour sessions (depending on progress) at 7.30pm London Time usually on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays through November. A technical set up session is usually held before the first session for participants to meet electronically and get used to the delivery process. Do bear in mind internationally any time difference to London that might mean local hours being less social.

Face-to Face & Webinar

Cost & reserving a place

All classes are a privilege of WES membership. Anyone who is not a member is expected to join the Society before starting. Prices are £180 for Face-to-Face including consumable spares as described and £75 overall for the Webinar series.

Regrettably, administration precludes participants selecting particular face-to-face modules since the content builds module by module as well as precluding someone who wants to take all three. Members who have previously taken the Repair Class may, on request and at the discretion of the administrator, be permitted to join individual webinar sessions.

Participants should understand that some pens fail in the process of repair and that some repairs may need soaking for longer than the time available. They will be wise to build skills on lower value pens. WES cannot take responsibility for any pens that break in the process of repair.

Here are a few items of participant feedback:

Face to Face:

Excellent “must attend” class for those who want to work on pens with best results (and breaking fewest parts in the process). FA, Doncaster.

Everything was explained clearly with reasons given for why a thing should or shouldn't be done, in which order, what the aim of each particular process was and the most effective way to achieve it. HG, Nottingham.

We both thoroughly enjoyed the class, and learnt a great deal from it. We thought that it was well delivered and delivered at a pace that seemed to suit the whole class … we both learnt a great deal and benefited a lot. KH, Coventry

I have just completed the third module. It has been a most enjoyable experience expertly tutored by David. Made some new pen friends and would highly recommend to any future pen repair enthusiasts. JS, Enfield.

It was a very informative session. Ray is obviously very experienced and knowledgeable about his subject and is a good teacher. The small size of the class was ideal as it meant we all had the opportunity to receive good instruction and help where appropriate. The facilities were also very good. I came away enthused and am looking forward to the next session which will be more relevant for me due to the subject matter.

Thanks again for a great afternoon and many thanks to Ray for his time and expertise (and the chocolate biscuits). RK, Middlesex.


The sessions are extremely well prepared, the structure is crystal clear and all moments is easy to follow - regarding both the "visional" aspect and the verbal instructions. We are given many useful tips - both on how-to-do as well as the not-how-to-do. The participants are given time for questions and there is also time for small discussions, which both are of great importance. I´m not a beginner in pen repair but I´ve learnt many things during Module 1. II, Sweden.

Procedures explained in a simple and clear manner. Picked up many tips which will save time and produce a more professional restored pen. It’s always better to see something being demonstrated rather than reading a manual. MD West Bromwich

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