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How to Adapt a Converter for a Morison or Platinum Pocket Pen

Reference Info Index | Glossopedia  ]

Fountain pen
Fountain pen

The primary problem facing the would-be user of a 1960s or 1970s Japanese long/short pocket pen is finding an appropriate converter. A few of these pens can use existing converters; e.g., the Pilot MYU and Elite accept either a CON-20 squeeze converter or a CON-40 piston converter. Most other pocket pens are not so accommodating. This article describes how to modify a Platinum converter so that it will work in a Morison or Platinum pocket pen and will also yield the maximum possible ink capacity. A converter modified as described here will of course still work in full-length Morison and Platinum pens as well as in pocket pens.

Tools Required

Parts Required

Supplies Required

The Procedure

Start by disassembling the converter. Remove the bullet-shaped metal collar that holds the back end of the assembly together by unscrewing it. If any other parts came out of the clear plastic barrel when you removed the collar, push the knob into the collar from the back to separate them. If they stayed with the barrel, just pull the piston shaft to separate them. The parts are shown in this photo:

Parts, disassembled

Using a sharp X-acto knife, make a mark on the knob 0.689" (17.5 mm) from the flange at the front of the knob. Use a sharp razor saw to cut the knob to that length, as shown in the photo below.

Cut length for the knob

Use the knife to make a mark on the piston shaft 1.024" (26.0 mm) from the back surface of the soft plastic piston seal. Use the razor saw to cut the shaft to that length, as shown in the photo below.

Cut length for the piston shaft

Using a needle file or 600- or 1000-grit sandpaper, file or sand just enough to make the two cut ends flat and smooth. If you’re using sandpaper, you can do this most easily by laying the sandpaper on the work surface and rubbing the cut surface of the piston or knob on the sandpaper while holding the part with its other end pointed straight up.

Smooth and buff the sanded surfaces with the gray side of a pink-white-gray or black-white-gray MicroMesh buff stick. This step is not mandatory, but you will be happier when you fill the pen and see the professional-quality work you did.

Reassemble the comverter. Insert the piston partway into the barrel, fit the small black plastic collar onto the shaft, screw the knob onto the shaft until it rests against the small collar, and screw the bullet-shaped metal collar firmly back into place on the barrel.

The Result

When you’re done, you will have a converter that looks like the upper one in the photo here. The part of the piston that is visible in the barrel shows that the piston has been adjusted so that the shaft does not protrude past the back end of the knob:

Platinum converters

Your modified converter should fit into a Morison or Platinum pocket pen as shown by the Morison in the image below.

Fountain pen

When you fill the pen, fill it all the way and then turn the knob back until the protruding end of the piston shaft is flush with the end of the knob.

  1. If you don’t have a razor saw, buy a Zona or X-acto razor saw yesterday. Don’t try to fake it with an X-acto knife, the blood from your fingers would make a terrible mess.

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