Cork Seals for pistonfillers

How to fit them on a Montblanc 332 pen.

Here is a short series of pictures, showing the simple steps of fitting a cork seal.

The Disclaimer first - this is just a very rough outline, of how to execute e repair -
I do not assume any responsibility for pens cracked or otherwise ruined by some dear reader of this manual.
Always be aware, that every pen is an "individual", an aged and possibly fragile individual.
Be careful and always aware of the risk of cracking.

Most Montblanc pens need to be opened from the front, you need to unscrew the sections of
MB 234, MB 334, MB 144, MB 644 pens - and of course of all relating models.

Montblanc 134 systems can be repaired either by unscrewing the section or the piston mechanism.
Same applies for some variations of the 234 pens.

Please advised - a 134 barrel - I always unscrew the piston -
Its always better to take out the piston, if possible
and give the telescopic piston a little care - a cleaning and some vaseline.

To unscrew the section, you need to heat the threadings. Almost always, there is a sealing used, that smell a bit like tar of a pine tree - this needs to me carefully heated to soften it.
Make sure to cover the ink window so this does not melt away.

I use a digitally controlled heat gun for this operation.

You should be able to unscrew the section by hand, using a piece of rubber.
You can also use a set of parallel pliers combined with a piece of rubber.

Once the section moves a little bit, sometimes its usefull to apply some oil like WD40 or Caramba to dissolve the sealing tar.
The heat gunningApply WD 40 or similar into the seam. Screw out piston, take off the old cork.

Cork Seals Part II

Once disassembled, make sure to clean nib and feeder as well.
You should use a knockout block - and make sure to use tools adapted to the diameter of the feeder. By using a tool too thin you might crack the feeder.

Having separated nib, feeder and section, give it a throrough cleaning.

Now search for a proper cork - you should trim a bigger cork to rough shape, drill the center hole,
fit it onto the holder, and fine tune it with fine sand paper.

You can cut the hole in a manner, that it loosely sits onto the holder - This larger inner diameter should correspond to a slightly larger than needed outside diameter.
Now, when fitting the cork into the barrel, it will be compressed, and snugly sit on the holder.

You can test the fit of the cork by mounting it on the holder and pushing it into the barrel. Don´t force,
it might either crack the barrel or ruin the cork.
The Knockout block in action. The section disassembled. Old Cork and new cork - still a little bit too large. Fine Tuning of the Cork diameter

Cork Seals III

You can now seal the cork - there are various techniques for this,
some give it a bath in silicone oil, I cook the for a short period, some 30 seconds max, in hot stearin - simple white wax obtained from candles.

Cook the cork, take it off the bath, cool off.

With a 332 you now have to bring back the piston - without cork - into the barrel.
A 234 or a 144 you do not need this, the piston always remains in the barrel.
But also a metal piston of a 244 has to be taken out and brought back into the barrel. Quite a nasty operation, it sometimes takes quite long.
Be patient, don´t force it.

Now you can push the cork in place, with the piston a little bit retracted.
Done that, move the piston upward, so the screw passes the cork - be carefull, not to move outside too far.
You can now screw on the smal hard rubber screw that holds the cork in place.

Brush off the excessive wax,
and give the piston a first try.
Pull it back into the barrel,
and if all seems OK, screw on the section.
Section threads need to be sealed again. You can use silicone e.g.
Make sure, no wax and no sealant enters the inside of the section or touched nib and feed.

Test of the cork diameter. Cook the cork in wax. The piston back in the barrel, waiting for the cork. Thepiston, cautiously moved through the cork. The screw holding the cork being fit with a key - strong fingernails will do as well. Screw back the section.

Cork Seals IV

Now its time to fit the nib -
align feed and nib and position them in the section.
You have to find the right position of the feed/nib in the hole of the section.
Time has created a "bed" there for the nib - by turning the section, you feel there is
only one position, in which nib/feed easyly enter the section.

Found this place, with gentle force, press the nib/feed in place.
Align nib and feed in your fingers. Find the nib´s bed in the section, then push. OK, here we are, nib is snugly fit.

Cork Seals V Tools needed

The tools needed.... Here is a picture, showing the small assortment of tools needed.

1. The heat gun - get a good one, digitally controlled. Take a cheap one and the first pen you melted away will cost more than the $s you saved.

2. The knockout block and 2a a range of sticks in various diameters.

3. This is a most comfortable key to fit the smal screw holding the key, its nice, but not essential.

4. corks, either precut, or 4a in bigger pieces to be cut into shape.

5. WAX  and a metal jar to cook the cork.

6. an alcohol lamp

7. a sheet of rubber to hold the section. 

8. piece of rubber, cut from a water pipe.

9. Pliers - best are those with parallel action.

Sources  -  - Giovanni Abrate  
or Martin Smith,
or David Nishimura,
or my little assortment of parts For Sale,