WES Pen Repair Classes - some information

  • Description

    If you would like to book a repair course or have any questions, please contact the Librarian on +44 (0)116 275 3310 or email librarian@wesonline.org.uk.

    The Writing Equipment Society includes in its Constitution, ’the use and conservation of writing instruments’. WES Pen Repair Classes ensure that repair skills are maintained into the future so that 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 pens to a good standard and, with additional practice, to take on repair for others. Each Class will be led by a WES approved repair specialist and a WES certificate will be provided to confirm attendance.

    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. 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.


    Face-to-Face Repair Classes are normally held at three venues between December and February. Venues are London (Harrow), Bristol (Coalpit Heath), Leicester (Narborough). Arrangements can be made for members in Scotland. International, other remote members and those unable to travel to the selected venues may like to consider the Webinar series that is described below. For the season 2019/20, there is a strong possibility of doubling up Bristol and Leicester dates to help meet requests. Dates currently scheduled are:

    Class B1 Location: Bristol (Coalpit Heath). Module 1 - SAT 30 Nov 2019, Module 2 – SAT 11 Jan 2020, Module 3 – SAT 29 Feb 2020

    Class B2 Location: Bristol (Coalpit Heath). Module 1 - SUN 1 Dec 2019, Module 2 – SUN 12 Jan 2020, Module 3 – SUN 1 Mar 2020

    Class N1 Location: Leicester (Narborough). Module 1 - SAT 4 Jan 2020, Module 2 – SAT 25 Jan 2020, Module 3 – SAT 22 Feb 2020

    Class N2 Location: Leicester (Narborough). Module 1 - SUN 5 Jan 2020, Module 2 – SUN 26 Jan 2020, Module 3 – SUN 23 Feb 2020

    London dates have yet to be decided.

    Administration and Scheduling

    Arrangements may vary to suit a particular venue.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.

    A normal maximum number for a Class is five to allow for sufficient personal attention. An administrative minimum is three.

    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.

    Both Face-to-Face and Webinar methods of delivery have their strengths and weaknesses but a natural first choice has to be the 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 a member in Vancouver or West Bromwich, depending only on basic home computer, a good internet link and willingness to participate. Participant feedback for both methods has been excellent.

    Even an iPad type of device has been successful for a Webinar participant. Do bear in mind internationally any time difference to GMT that might mean local hours being less social.

    Administration and Scheduling

    If you have the ability to use Skype with a 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 at 8pm 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 system.

    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 £40 per day Face-to-Face module including consumable spares and £5 for each Webinar session of approx. 1.5hrs.

    Participants should understand that some pens break 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.

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