Fixing Clogged Sheaffer Balance Feeds

Every once in a while you will come across a Sheaffer Balance that you just cannot get ink, water or even air to flow through the feed.  It doesn't matter how long you soak the feed, how much flush you use or how many cycles in the ultra sonic cleaner it sits, you just cannot get it to flow.  Well there is a relatively simple fix for this.  Take a piece of piano wire that is 0.020" in diameter and about five inches long.  Find a piece of scrap dowel rod and drill a hole in the end with a #76 drill bit 1/2" deep.  Epoxy the piano wire into the dowel.  Now take the feed and locate the slit in the tail of the feed.  Next lay the wire end of your new tool along the slit with the tip going into the back of the feed.  While slightly pushing the wire into the back of the feed, twist the dowel between your thumb and index finger giving the wire a drilling action.  This will work the clog out and the wire should go into the feed about 1/2".  While you are at it, take a brass shim and work it through the slit in the back of the feed that the nib lays over.  Now you should have no problem with ink flow on your Balance.  This tool can also be used on several different breather tubes as well as Sheaffer Snorkel tubes.