DuraClick EDC Ballpoint to Rollerball Conversion

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dcameraman

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Apr 10, 2012
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I was surprised and a little bit interested when I laid the DuraClick EDC ballpoint refill and extension next to one of my rollerball refills. They are almost exactly the same length. I guess I shouldn't be surprised though. That little plastic extension is designed to allow the use of a ballpoint refill in a rollerball pen!

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Naturally, I tried using one of my rollerball refills in the DuraClick EDC . . . no go. It was too big in diameter, and the nose had a different profile. That caused other difficulties, which you'll hear about later.

I eventually figured out what steps needed to be done to make a rollerball refill fit in and work in the DuraClick EDC. Whether or not it's good practice to use a rollerball in a click pen is another topic entirely.

So . . . what modifications are required to use a rollerball in the DuraClick EDC?

1. Drill out the two knurled pieces all the way through with a 1/4" drill. This allows the refill to fit into these pieces. I didn't want to damage the pieces and I didn't have a collet the right size, so I made an adapter to go between a collet size that I do have, and the size I need for these parts.
Not required for the rollerball conversion, but something I do on all my pens . . . I trim off about .003" from the step where the knurled pieces insert into the brass tube. Remove just enough material to allow the brass tube to slide on smoothly, without any play. I epoxy all my fittings onto my pens. I learned the hard way that a press fit doesn't work for stone pens.

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2. Drill out the nose cone partway through with a 1/4" drill. Drill until you meet the first 'lip'. This allows the body of the refill to fit into the nose cone. The difficulty here, is that it's rather difficult to hold onto the nose cone and drill it. If you attach it to the knurled finger grip section and drill it out with a normal right hand bit, the nose cone will try to unscrew. I used a left hand drill bit so that the nose cone wouldn't unscrew. I then had to use a 3/8" ID piece of tubing and a pair of pliers to get the nose cone unscrewed from the knurled section.
3. Drill out the nose cone partway through with a 3/16" drill. You only have to drill an extra .1" in from where you stopped with the 1/4" bit. This allows the refill to extend farther out the tip. Without this the click action won't work.

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4. Chamfer the knurled piece on the clip end. This allows the refill to retract all the way. Sometimes the refill will catch on this edge when retracting. Chamfering this lip helps.

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5. Make and insert a plug in the end of the rollerball refill. The click mechanism is rather narrow and fits nicely into the hole on the end of the rollerball refill. This plug makes it so that the click mechanism has something to push against. Also, the rollerball refill is slightly shorter than the ballpoint. An extra .020" helps push the rollerball refill out the tip about the same as the ballpoint. I cheated and spent some time making a cutter that would cut each part in one pass, and then cut off the part in the next pass after I moved the cutter .245".

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6. Order new springs. The stock spring is long. When fully compressed, it doesn't allow the rollerball refill to extend far enough out the tip for the click mechanism to cycle. I purchased these from www.thespringstore.com Part # PC013-156-8000-MW-0630-C-N-IN Price was $1.10 / spring. Minimum order of $40

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Possible? Yes.
Practical? Not really.

On my last batch of ten pens, it took me about an hour and 40 minutes to do the conversion. Roughly 10 minutes per pen.

Doing this conversion allows me to offer my DuraClick EDC pens in either ballpoint OR rollerball!

Hope you enjoyed this.
If you have any questions, feel free to ask.
 
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magpens

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@dcameraman

Thanks for the info. . Few questions.

In your Step #1, you say you trim 0.003" off the step ... is that off the diameter or off the radius ?

In Step #2, can you please specify "how far in" to do the 1/4" drilling in the nose cone . . This seems to be quite a delicate operation if you are to avoid destroying the nose cone. . Also, there is more than one lip, and the top end of the nose cone already has a 0.293" hole (going in 0.49" to the "first lip", with the "second lip" being at about 0.69" from the top end ).

In Step #3; following the 1/4" drilling in the nose cone, I am a bit confused about the 3/16" drilling as this is also very delicate - there is only about 0.2" between the first lip and the second lip and you have already drilled in some unspecified distance with the 1/4" drilling.

In Step #5, you say to make a plug for the end of the RB refill ... should that be shaped like the head of a "rough construction" nail (as opposed to a finish nail) ? . And if so, how thick should the "flat head of the nail be" ? ( or is that the 0.020" that you refer to ? )

Do the modifications to accommodate a rollerball refill leave the pen so that a ballpoint refill still works ? (so then it's dual-refill)
And if so, do you still have to swap springs to change from one to the other ? ( I assume that you have to keep the kit-supplied refill extension handy in case you want to switch from RB refill back to BP refill. )

Just curious ... can you please estimate what percentage of DuraClick buyers who actually want rollerball ?
 
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dcameraman

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Apr 10, 2012
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Trail, OR
@dcameraman

Thanks for the info. . Few questions.

In your Step #1, you say you trim 0.003" off the step ... is that off the diameter or off the radius ?
That would be off of the radius, and seeing as you don't want to ruin anything, I'd start large and take off a little bit at a time. When I'm done there is still a bit of a step visible.

In Step #2, can you please specify "how far in" to do the 1/4" drilling in the nose cone . . This seems to be quite a delicate operation if you are to avoid destroying the nose cone. . Also, there is more than one lip, and the top end of the nose cone already has a 0.293" hole (going in 0.49" to the "first lip", with the "second lip" being at about 0.69" from the top end ).
I measured the one that I have completed. I measured .6" in from the end. All you are doing is taking the largest inside diameter and 'reaming' it out to .25".

In Step #3; following the 1/4" drilling in the nose cone, I am a bit confused about the 3/16" drilling as this is also very delicate - there is only about 0.2" between the first lip and the second lip and you have already drilled in some unspecified distance with the 1/4" drilling.
When you run the 3/16" drill into the nose cone, you won't be drilling anything until you get to the first step, where it transitions from .25" down to the smaller size. Run your drill in until you feel it touch that step. Then, from there, drill .1".

In Step #5, you say to make a plug for the end of the RB refill ... should that be shaped like the head of a "rough construction" nail (as opposed to a finish nail) ? . And if so, how thick should the "flat head of the nail be" ? ( or is that the 0.020" that you refer to ? )
Yes. If you look at my original post, you can see an example. The thickness of the head can be anything from .010" to .020".

Do the modifications to accommodate a rollerball refill leave the pen so that a ballpoint refill still works ? (so then it's dual-refill)
And if so, do you still have to swap springs to change from one to the other ? ( I assume that you have to keep the kit-supplied refill extension handy in case you want to switch from RB refill back to BP refill. )
The modifications make the pen a dual purpose pen. The only downside is that it requires 2 different springs.

Just curious ... can you please estimate what percentage of DuraClick buyers who actually want rollerball ?
Not sure on the percentage. It's probably fairly low. Ballpoints are more versatile than rollerballs, but rollerballs offer a much finer writing experience. It really depends on what kind of writing you do.

There ya be! I hope that I answered your questions, and didn't muddle it up more than necessary.
 

Brotherdale

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When I do these conversions I buy Pilot G2 pens. That way I have a refill and a spring. I can get them for $1 pen. I just remove the refill and spring and throw the body away.
 

Brotherdale

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When I do these conversions I buy Pilot G2 pens. That way I have a refill and a spring. I can get them for $1 pen. I just remove the refill and spring and throw the body away. And the G2 refills have plugs on the back.
 

magpens

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@Brotherdale
When I do these conversions I buy Pilot G2 pens. That way I have a refill and a spring. I can get them for $1 pen. I just remove the refill and spring and throw the body away. And the G2 refills have plugs on the back.
Sorry if this may be a naive question (I am not familiar with the Pilot G2), but where do you buy the Pilot G2 pens ?
Also, what makes the Pilot G2 so desirable ?
 

Brotherdale

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@Brotherdale

Sorry if this may be a naive question (I am not familiar with the Pilot G2), but where do you buy the Pilot G2 pens ?
Also, what makes the Pilot G2 so desirable ?
The Pilot G2 is a gel ink ballpoint pen. The refill is a drop in replacement in almost all rollerball pens. I have bought them at Costco and Amazon.
 

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Brotherdale

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Houston, TX
@Brotherdale

Sorry if this may be a naive question (I am not familiar with the Pilot G2), but where do you buy the Pilot G2 pens ?
Also, what makes the Pilot G2 so desirable ?
The Pilot G2 is a gel ink ballpoint pen. The refill is a drop in replacement in almost all rollerball pens. I have bought them at Costco and Amazon.
 

Brotherdale

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Apr 15, 2017
Messages
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Location
Houston, TX
@dcameraman

Thanks for the info. . Few questions.


In Step #2, can you please specify "how far in" to do the 1/4" drilling in the nose cone . . This seems to be quite a delicate operation if you are to avoid destroying the nose cone. . Also, there is more than one lip, and the top end of the nose cone already has a 0.293" hole (going in 0.49" to the "first lip", with the "second lip" being at about 0.69" from the top end ).

In Step #3; following the 1/4" drilling in the nose cone, I am a bit confused about the 3/16" drilling as this is also very delicate - there is only about 0.2" between the first lip and the second lip and you have already drilled in some unspecified distance with the 1/4" drilling.
Here is a pic of one I did last year. If you look closely at the nib you can see a radial line. I milled this one out with a 7/32 drill bit. Just a bit to deep. This was the only one I cracked through like that. But it is a narrow margin.
 

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magpens

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Here is a pic of one I did last year. If you look closely at the nib you can see a radial line. I milled this one out with a 7/32 drill bit. Just a bit to deep. This was the only one I cracked through like that. But it is a narrow margin.
I would not want that to happen. . The Duraclick is an expensive kit to take that risk.
 

magpens

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The Pilot G2 is a gel ink ballpoint pen. The refill is a drop in replacement in almost all rollerball pens. I have bought them at Costco and Amazon.
@Brotherdale

I don't, at the moment, understand the difference between the so-called "gel ink" in the G2, and the "whatever-ink" in a Parker-style refill.
The G2 is considerably cheaper, so that says one thing ... but it is obviously not the whole story.
 

Brotherdale

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@Brotherdale

I don't, at the moment, understand the difference between the so-called "gel ink" in the G2, and the "whatever-ink" in a Parker-style refill.
The G2 is considerably cheaper, so that says one thing ... but it is obviously not the whole story.
I had some friends request a pen with the G2. So that’s why I made them. Turns out they write as nice as the branded Parker gel refill. Which is what I use in kits I can’t convert.
So basically it’s a cheap nice writing refill that is fairly well known here.
 

budnder

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The G2 refill is the only refill my wife thinks is better than the easy flo 9000. I know they're not the same "kind", but she doesn't know that - all she cares about is the writing experience. The G2 is king of the hill. It's "wetter" than the 9000 and you have to be a little more cautious, I think, in making sure it doesn't touch anything when stored away, as it will wick ink. That's one caution when subbing them into a click pen... if you measure the retract on the store bought units that come with a G2, I think you'll find they retract more than you typically find in a click pen.

I've not had any problems with the G2 and the Schmidt mechanism I used in this kitless pen, and my wife has been using it a lot.
 
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