Wednesday, August 24, 2016

That One Bugged Me

The top example in the last picture from yesterday’s article bugged me:

I’ve had that one for more than a decade; even though the clip has broken away, the unusual plastic has made it worth keeping as a placeholder until a better example comes along:

Nothing better has come along.  Some time ago I picked up a duplicate green one, missing the cap and with a few issues - a crack at the top of the barrel and a tip that was a little goofed up.  Now and then I wrestle with it a bit to see if I can’t get it apart, I get frustrated, and I give up.  After I finished that last article, however, I thought it was time to get serious.  I wrestled the tip off, and what I found is that the nose of that heavy plastic is itself threaded, so the tip simply screws into the plastic:

Since there wasn’t anything holding things in from the front end, I figured everything must be press fit in from the back.  The top knob pried off easily, and I was able to use a knockout block to start banging the mechanism out from the nose – sounds harsh but believe it or not, these mechanisms are robust enough to take it.  Once I had forced the mechanism back enough for that bushing to come out, I could see into the barrel where the clip was attached, and there was no way the lower bushing was going to clear it on its trip out:

To put these together, Conklin pressed the mechanism in first, then installed the clip, then pressed in the upper bushing and mounted the top knob.  Once they were assembled, they were never meant to be taken apart again.  So how did I do it?

I had to remove the barrel down to a point below the clip.  This poor Conklin has been sacrificed in the name of science – and one man’s desire to simply replace a frickin’ clip.   An examination of the clip reveals how hard it is to break one of these from the barrel:

The wings of the clip were inserted through small slits in the barrel, then folded over into a death grip on the material between them.  And I DO mean a death grip - there was no getting a knife blade or anything else under those tabs to pry them loose!  I ended up using my lead drill to drill small holes through the plastic:

Then, I used my flat pliers to gently pry those prongs apart and fish out the rest of that green material:

My first thought was to insert the clip through the hole with the ears bent straight up, then bend them outward to grip the outsides of that hole, but by the time I’d pried things apart it was clear that the metal had had enough, and much more manipulation would break them off.  However, with the flaps bent out, there was more surface area to which glue could be applied:

It isn’t a perfect solution and I won’t be clipping this into a shirt pocket, but at least it is a much nicer display piece!

1 comment:

Dave Silber said...

Looks pretty good to me.