January 2, 2007

FP’s- The Sheaffer Tuckaway

Posted in Uncategorized at 2:51 pm by a11en

Sheaffer's Tuckaway

I wanted to share with you a recent find. I happened across this Sheaffer Tuckaway “in the wild” at a local antique store. Its golden-brown stripes were beckoning to me for a while. The reason I didn’t jump on it immediately is that Sheaffer has made some of the most complex fountain-pens in the world, and fixing them often means you’re up to your elbows in parts and frustration (and/or out $30-40).

Sheaffer is a brand that many have ignored for a long time, but is quickly growing in popularity in the fountain-pen circles; a brands that is mentioned as being often undervalued for its complex and wonderful pens. The Sheaffer Touchdown and Snorkel are extremely complex and not for a novice tinkerer.  When they work, they work wonderfully.  The Snorkel system even allows for no nib-cleaning- wonderful invention.

Luckily the little “Tucky” I have is fairly simple (Vacuum-Fill) and after some careful cleaning and polishing it’s already taking and holding ink very well. Wonderful little pen. According to info I gleaned from Richard’s Pen Info Pages, it appears the pen may be anywhere from 1940-1949 in age.  I need to dig more and see if it perhaps may be a WWII era pen.  Which would be wonderful.  One thing is for sure, the pen is old enough to have been around while my Grandfather was still alive.  That’s pretty darned cool.

I’m sorry I don’t have my usual slew of links to go along with this one- I’ll likely update this post when I have more time and info to share with you.

One thought did pop into my head today- I found that I was looking for excuses to use the pen just to write with it.  🙂  My mind flipped over to productivity- and I realized that when you really enjoy your tools, you’re going to want to use them… and they’ll spurr you onward to do so.

May all of you have an amazing New Year filled with accomplishments and happiness!  It’s hard to believe another one is already gone.  Time to look forward, however!  Lots to accomplish, and many changes to experience this year!


  1. Jason Echols said,


    That is a really nice fountain pen. It is stirring up my pen lust. Hope the new year finds you well and happy.


  2. a11en said,

    Hey Jason! Thanks for the comment and the well-wishes for the New Year! I wish the same for you! I’m looking forward to a New Year, and New experiences and keying up for some good hard work. 🙂 Hope I can rise to the challenge and accomplish all I hope to this year. 🙂

    Pen Lust is a bad thing. 🙂 That’s why I’m trying to limit how I spend my money on these beauties. This one is sort of the original pocket “space pen” – of course without the advantages of the ink and pressure cartridge. When the cap is on the pen, it’s only 4.5″ long. Quite short. I’m noticing a little trouble keeping the cap posted so the pen is full-length in the hand (maybe due to my polishing frenzy)- but it’s very enjoyable so far.

    I completely lucked out that the pen is holding ink well. I’m sure one day it’ll go in all its glory- in a shirt-pocket full of black ink or something… 🙂 But, for now, it seems to be doing quite well.

    So, I got a great pen at a steal of a price- couldn’t have had a happier find during this holiday season. 🙂

    This little pen has spurred me on to a good number of hours of work and writing this evening. Now, if only I could turn all the work into a Thesis…. 😉

    My very best to you and yours, Jason! May this New Year be a ton of fun for you!!

  3. pooks said,

    That’s a beautiful pen. I’m glad it works!

  4. a11en said,

    🙂 Thanks Pooks! 🙂

    It just goes to show that if you’re careful and do a bit of digging and looking and patient waiting, you’ll eventually find a great little pen. Sheaffers can cost a bit more in repairs, so this doesn’t always hold true- but in general, you can get a vintage pen repaired to working condition for $30 or less. With an old lever-filler, it’s as simple as pie most of the time (I repair these regularly). You may find some unique flexy tips in old vintage pens. Those nasty looking black sticks with a fountain-pen nib are often worth a serious amount of dough (esp. if labelled Waterman). To see what I mean, check out Waterman Ideal pens from the 30’s and earlier. With a little bit of reading, you can spot little diamonds in the rough.

    Of course, this Tucky is not a diamond in the rough… it’s a great little pen, in great condition, and a great price. I’ve heard tales of Parker “51” gold capped pens going for $10 at garage-sales. (ugh- it almost hurts to say it) A pen like that is worth $90-130+ in working condition and type of cap.

    Ultimately, a pen is there to be written with- and to be enjoyed. If you do both of these things, the pen has fulfilled its purpose. 🙂 For me, I still can’t find enough stuff to write with it. Alas, I have to edit on the computer today. 😦 But, I’ll survive. Perhaps I’ll work on my Italic penmanship during breaks.

    My very best to you, Pooks, and a very Happy New Year! May it be filled with fun and productive work! [And may your writing flow effortlessly!]


  5. DigitalAlan said,

    Wow – I have to admit that you found a wonderfully looking pen. I just love smaller pens and that Tuckaway looks so classy. I love the colors of the pen as you describe it The Golden Brown Hues. I could only be so lucky to find something as nice as that.

    By The Way – Happy New Year – Good Luck and Prosperity in all that you do this year.

  6. a11en said,

    Hey Alan!

    Thanks so much for the well-wishes! Here’s a quick update on the pen:
    1) so far hasn’t needed anything other than polishing!
    2) It is quite small- perhaps a bit too small for everyday writing- but I’m slowly getting used to it.
    3) The Sheaffer Triumph nib is taking a bit of time to get used to.
    4) The cap has the tendency to drop off the end when writing (which makes it *super* dinky)
    5) The nib is a bit scratch, but quite a wet writer.

    So, there are some negatives in there as well as positives. 😉

    I wish you a Happy New Year and a ton of Fun and Prosperity as well, Alan! Thanks for the well wishes!

  7. Stew said,

    That’s quite a beauty you found there. I’m glad you were able to get it up and running without too much hassle. I recently obtained a Parker “51” Special from my mother (which, oddly enough has a Parker 21 cap – I suppose it gives it character), and just getting the nib back into proper alignment has been a frustration. Ah, the joys of fountain pen collection!
    I must say that I truly look forward to reading your blog – pens, pipes, GTD, and wet-shaves – all the things that seem to be creeping into my own post-college life in recent years.
    Hope your studies are going well.


  8. a11en said,

    Stew! Wonderful to meet you! I’m sorry my posting has been so long in coming. Truth is that I have about 4-10 posts in various completion that I have not yet published. Sometimes I hold them back because they are too ranty, and sometimes I hold them back because they need more links or checking of info etc.

    It’s now been quite some time since I first inked up the Tuckaway, and it’s still holding ink beautifully. I have to admit that the nib has taken a bit of time to get used to- that upturn in the Sheaffer nibs is a bit strange at first. It does allow for a finer line when written with upside down, so I’m happy to have it… but it is sometimes strange in the hand.

    Ha, a “51” with a “21” cap, eh? It’s not too strange, I guess… you know there are a ton of caps out there for “51’s” and if the date-code is still good on the barrel, you’ll likely be able to find a cap for it. If it’s a black body, then likely you could get a cheaper Lustraloy cap and have it all together again. 🙂 Offer the 21 cap in trade, perhaps. A WTB post at FountainPenNetwork.com would likely get a bunch of replies.

    I have to take my hat off to ya- for opening that hood… I’ve been avoiding it, but I feel I could improve ink flow, etc., if I did. I’m getting some section-sealant from Tryphon sometime soon and hope to try my hand at it in the coming months. If I do, I’m sure I’ll post here.

    Thank you as well for your kind thoughts on my blog, Stew! It makes me happy to know that some people enjoy reading my posts. Please don’t hesitate to stop by anytime and talk about any of the items you love.

    BTW, I purchased a Lavender Taylor of Bond Street shave-soap container (wooden cup with lid), and it’s still going strong. So, that’s at least a half-year’s worth of foam and still can’t see the bottom. 🙂 The Badger brush from Vulfix is fantastic, and still going strong as well. The only problem I’ve noticed is the little plastic holder for the Vulfix brush has a bit of a tilt to it, and at weird times the brush will drop off the holder into the sink because of that tilt. [I think it’s made for wall-mounting.] So, I’ve taken to turning it around, so it hits the mirror if it slides off instead of dropping a few feet.

    I still have yet to purchase a straight-razor. 😉 I’m a bit of a panzy… scared I’ll slice my throat I guess. 😉 ha ha ha.

    Cheers, Stew!

    ps- Stew- tell me more about your pipes!! Wonderful to meet another pipe-smoker these days. 🙂 [I haven’t talked about it much, as it’s not the “in-thing” these days… what with the crucifying of smokers in the streets and all… oh wait, it’s not quite that bad yet…] 😉 What types of blends do you enjoy? If you have any questions about pipes at all, don’t hesitate to ask!

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