I can't see that geek move anywhere fast. :P
I am in that stage where I'm obsessively watching Ebay without any money to bid. Next pen purchase will be some new sacs for pens in need of them and getting a few dip pen nibs-- Esterbrook Probate 313, the same nib favored by Shelby Foote.
I had calligraphy pens in high school but did not associate them with writing or fountain pens, though that's what they were. My first "writing" fountain pen was a disposable Pilot Varsity. After it ran out, and I couldn't find replacements, I got the only pen readily carried by office big boxes: The Waterman Phileas. I used those for a few years and knew little else.
I was mostly looking for different-colored ink when I discovered fountain pen boards on the internet, and it's been a nice long slide into madness ever since. I discovered German school pens-- the Pelikan Junior-- did more to correct my pen holding than any of the triangular devices tried in grade school, and lo: my hand no longer cramped up after writing awhile.
I've always loved antique things that can be made useful again with a little bit of study, work and ingenuity. The sheer number of old pens out there amazes me.
I mostly approach pens as tools to write with first and art objects secondly. I'd never get something I couldn't write with. Nonetheless, it's nice that they will look nice, and last a long time.
Pendemonium.com is probably where you want to go for sacs, they're cheap cheap cheap. They made me a whole custom pen repair kit with tools and grip sheets for like $10.
Pendemonium is exactly where I go. I got my section pliers and shellac there. I just try to order in batches so I don't spend more on shipping than I do on the sac.
I wish they would carry silicone sacs, because the green Balance I got has pretty good color and the rubber sac may discolor it in many decades. Only Tryphon sells the silicone, I think.
Pendemonium also has a ton of old dip pen nibs, and I'm going to get a few of them to even out the shipping.
You can make a grip sheet out of the mesh-style shelf liners.
they sent me a sac-sampler pack, probably 20 sacs, im probably set for life.
Once upon a time I thought I was going to do a lot of Snorkel restoration, so I bought the appropriate sacs in whatever bulk bargain size Pendemonium has. Also, the size that fits the Sheaffer that immediately preceded it, the "Thin Model" Touchdown. I also bought the point gaskets and o-rings in bulk.
Now it turns out I like the feel of the "First Year" Touchdowns a bit more. They are the next sac size up and take a different o-ring. Though I am set up for any Snorkel that crosses my path.
That's where Pendemonium gets their sacs. I have a slightly easier time ordering from Pendemonium, and would love if the the Pen Sac company was local to me.
I am El Mocho on the FPN board, and learned most of what I know there-- except the hard-won experience of actually working on the pens.
It's where EVERYBODY gets their rubber sacs. Like the White Rubber Company before them (whose equipment they bought), they're pretty much the only guys making them. Even though they're local-ish, it just means my postage delivery time is lower. :) I still fill in the PDF form and snail mail it to them, but it's easier to order everything all at once and at need when you start working on the pens that need weirder sacs like the Ink-Vues or Parker Vacumatics.
I got into the vintage pen thing a few years before FPN started, so I was reading posts on USENET when Frank Dubiel (author of "Da Book") was around as the fountain pen group curmudgeon with The Knowledge. I bought most of my non-homemade tools from him and Fr. Terry Koch when they were still around and on the pen show circuit. FPN is much more far-reaching and has a better and bigger knowledge base, but I still miss those two guys who were patient with this newbie who had a gazillion questions.
I have no luck fixing Snorkels, but did fix a beat-up PFM I found in an antique store and a half dozen or so touchdown fillers, including a nice little Tucky. But my real love are Parker 51s, anything with a Waterman 2 flex nib in it, Inkograph stylos, and Parker Vacumatics. Kyle helped me take a decent picture of a blue vac at one of his workshops, and I got so excited I accidentally blasted him full in the face with the flash a couple times (he was adjusting the power/zoom on my flashes for me), for which I profusely apologize (Sorry, Kyle!).
I still need to get Dubiel's book.
You would be about a generation back from me, then. I notice Nathan Tardif of Noodler's Ink does sometimes post a "how to" video-- one long one showed how to make an esoteric part for a safety filler.
I far prefer Touchdowns to Snorkels. The "section removal tool" that Tryphon has looks like a cup hook. I guess back in the day they would just yank the Snorkel tube out, screw in the screw, and pull out that black rubber section with it. Now most repairs say not to mess with the snorkel tube at all, if possible. I suspect the original repairmen could just get another one of the sections, pop a correctly-aligned snorkel tube and go.
Those tiny rubber plugs in those sac protectors have given me no end of trouble.
I like the look of Vacs, but I'm trying to focus on Sheaffer right now. A relative of my wife's gave me a Duofold Centennial, but it's not quite the same, now is it?
I do have a Sheaffer Lifetime Balance with a flex nibs
on it. I still want one of those old Watermans, though.
Only one pic, for an avatar, using my mother's 75k gold Parker. But your picture - it blows me away. I strive to take those.
I just gave a nephew a fountain pen for his birthday this past weekend (a Sheaffer 300), in my ongoing effort to corrupt the youth of America (my favorite niece has several fountain pens from me, as does my favorite nephew). I have more pens than I am using now, and am considering culling them again.