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Oh, doesn't that look nasty! Not to worry, your pen can often be fixed.

For nib repairs, our favorite go-to guy is at www.mikeitwork.com. Mike can usually salvage your damaged nib. You will have a bit of a wait, but the money you save by going through Mike will make it worth your while. Mike can also adjust the amount of flow or grind your nib to your specs.

If your fountain pen isn't flowing, the usual problem is that the nib/feed section is dirty. Rinsing the nib is not enough to clean it. You must force water through the nib/feed section. This is easily done using the converter, if you have one, or by blowing water through the section (do not inhale, blow!). If you pen has a built -in filling mechanism, use that to flush clean water back and forth through the system until the water runs clear. Just regular tap water works fine. If the clog is stubborn, soak the entire nib/feed section in water overnight, then try the procedure above.

For other repairs your best bet is to go through the manufacturers or the distributors for those manufacturers:

Acme Studio: 1-808-878-2541 on Maui, HI

Ball-O-Graph: 1-763-383-1118 in Minnesota. These carry a limited lifetime guarantee.

Aurora, Montegrappa: www.kenroinc.com. 1-516-741-0011 on Long Island, NY.

Caran d'Ache: www.creativeartmaterials.com 1-866-833-7797 in North Carolina.

Cross, Sheaffer: www.cross.com. Cross pens have a limited lifetime guarantee.

Conklin, Marlen, Monteverde, On-Line, Parafernalia, Pineider, Stipula: www.yafa.com.

Delta: out of business

Diplomat: distributed by Points of Distinction in Staunton, VA. www.mydiplomatpen.com (888-736-6465)

Faber-Castell: 1-216-643-4680 in Cleveland, OH. www.fabercastell.com

KarasKustoms: 1-480-969-1930 in Mesa, AZ. Limited lifetime guarantee.

Lamy: www.universal-luxury-brands.com. Lamy pens have a limited lifetime guarantee.

Omas: out of business

Parker/Waterman: e-mail them at SAS.US@newellco.com. Parker pens have a two-year guarantee, Waterman a three-year.

Pelikan: penrepair@chartpak.com

Pilot/Namiki: 1-904-645-9999 in Jacksonville, FL

Platinum/Noodlers/Stifflexible/Mazzuoli: www.luxurybrandsusa.com in Frisco, TX 1-469-888-4229

Retro 1951: www.retro51.com 1-972-479-1405 in Richardson, TX

Sailor and Taccia: distributed by ITOYA, Carson, CA 1-800-628-4811

Tactile Turn: 1-972-523-7252 in Richardson, TX (but not related to Retro 51)

Tuff-Writer Pens: 1-480-329-6105 in Phoenix, AZ. Limited lifetime guarantee.

Visconti: distributed by Cole's of London in North Carolina. 1-561-620-3022

Waterford: distributed by Hampton-Haddon in Philadelphia, PA. 1-215-438-1200

Vintage pen repairs are a whole other ballgame and there are numerous people around the country who can fix your older pen. Our local favorite is www.pentiques.com. Talk to Aaron at 1-330-507-7367 in Goodyear, AZ.

If you are looking for knife repairs, you pretty much follow the same procedure as with pens. Each of the major brands has a guarantee and a point of contact. Here are some of them:

www.almarknives.com in Tualatin, OR info@almarknives.com

www.benchmade.com in Beaverton, OR 1-800-800-7427

www.buckknives.com (800) 326-2825 ext. 2 in Post Falls, ID

www.wrcase.com/index_en.php 1-800-523-6350 in Bradford, PA

www.coldsteel.com in Ventura, CA 1-800-255-4716

www.crkt.com Columbia River Knife and Tool in Tualatin, OR 1-800-891-3100

www.kaiusaltd.com for Kershaw, Shun, or Zero Tolerance (ZT) In Tualatin, OR

www.gerbergear.com in Portland, OR 1-800-950-6161

www.microtechknives.com in Fletcher, NC at 1-828-684-4355

www.sogknives.com 1-888-40-KNIFE (405-6433) in Lynnwood, WA

www.spyderco.com/service-support/warranty-repair/ In Golden, CO 1-800-525-7770

www.williamhenry.com/customer-service/ 1-888-563-4500 in McMinnville, OR