Thursday, June 7, 2012

One out of Two Ain't Bad

The Espey appears at page 53 of The Catalogue:


Or, I should say, half of an Espey.  Although it was the only one I had seen up until that time, it was in pretty rough shape, with the top missing, the barrel cracked, and not working.  Since I'd never seen another one and didn't want to risk further damage, I chose to leave it alone until I found another one.

The moment finally came a couple of weeks ago, when this one surfaced on ebay:


Although that cap looks like a mismatch at first glance, a close look at the clip reveals that it was once plated (notice the area around the rivets):


So the new example is complete and the barrel isn't cracked, but unfortunately this one wasn't working, either.  I was determined -- particularly since I had a cadaver to dissect and inspect -- to fix it.  So I started pulling and prodding. 

When I got my beater apart, here's what it looked like:


A simple spring welded to a tube is screwed into the top, so that turning the top knob advances the lead carrier.  However, on the other end, someone had jammed what looks like the end of a Parkette mechanism in (which is what cracked the barrel), and there wasn't any lead carrier.  No wonder it didn't work!

The new example had a tip that screwed into the end of the barrel, and while the lead carrier was in there, the tab had sheared off.  With a bit of creative plier work, I reformed the end of the carrier into a makeshift tab:


Reinstalled with a bit of wiggling around, and there you have it -- one of two Espeys I know of, and the only one that works!

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