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Crack On Barrel Repair


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#1 seanruss

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Posted 13 January 2011 - 02:45

Has anyone tried to repair a crack in a barrel, on the threaded section? I thought about putting some epoxy on the inside and then filing it down. Any ideas?

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#2 FarmBoy

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Posted 13 January 2011 - 05:35

Has anyone tried to repair a crack in a barrel, on the threaded section? I thought about putting some epoxy on the inside and then filing it down. Any ideas?

Yes.

You want to solvent weld the crack not epoxy it. If the crack is wide due to shrinkage you may need to fill it to avoid a constriction at the barrel end. Adding back a placticizer can also help. Fill the gap with native barrel material.

If your crack is fresh, make sure it is clean and wick in an appropriate solvent. Make a band clamp from electrical tape and walk away so it has time to cure. When you put the section back do so with the barrel and section warm to hot.

I like a challenge so I do this from time to time but on a standard J it really isn't cost effective. You can usually find a barrel for around 10 skins. Now if this is a Visumaster fix the crack.

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#3 seanruss

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Posted 13 January 2011 - 05:51

Hi Farmboy, thanks for the reply. What kind of solvent do you use?

#4 tmenyc

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Posted 14 January 2011 - 01:21

yes -- ambroid weld does well, but be careful because toluene solvents will craze most plastics. I used a combination of cyanoacrylates recently on an old Wearever Deluxe 100 that was cracked over the threads. First hot to create the seal, holding it in a vise, then an hour later a thin layer of a slower one. This filled the crack and held it but didn't fill or damage the threads. I added two more layers on the crack above the threads, then sanded down the mound, polished, and had a new barrel!

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#5 Robert Hughes

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Posted 28 January 2011 - 18:09

I've successfully used acetone-based nail polish remover to repair cracked barrels.

Edited by Robert Hughes, 28 January 2011 - 18:10.

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#6 PenFisher

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Posted 28 January 2011 - 18:57

FWIW. I have a personal J in Copper that has been a daily user for several years. I loved the swirl pattern that was specific to this pen which came to me with a crack thru the threads. I restored it and used shellac when reinstalling the section. A rubber band held everything tight until the shellac set. The pen held up perfectly for years. One day I needed a good section for another restoration and simply heated the barrel to remove the section. No problem. I later found another section and reinstalled it in the same way as the first time. So in short... I would not repair the crack...I woulld just install the section and be careful to hold it (not the barrel) when changing nibs later on.

Edited by PenFisher, 28 January 2011 - 19:00.


#7 OcalaFlGuy

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Posted 28 January 2011 - 23:41

The correct solvent (with no adulterants like nail polish has) is MEK, available at Lowes.

For me, this has not be an easy or successful "correct" repair to accomplish.

Bruce in Ocala, FL

#8 seanruss

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Posted 31 January 2011 - 08:17

Thanks for all the good ideas!

#9 Lizzard

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Posted 01 February 2011 - 16:03

Thanks for all the good ideas!


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#10 Lizzard

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Posted 01 February 2011 - 16:06

Hey Sean,

Have you found a successful method? I use a mixture of the above with good results.

Best wishes,
Liz
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#11 Corvus77

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Posted 09 February 2011 - 05:24

Sorry for the late addition, but this is exactly the problem I discovered this weekend on the barrel threads of a nice old Wearever that I am willing to learn on. I have no experience using Mek or other solvents, so please excuse the ignorant questions. Do I simply apply a small amount to the inside (non-thread side) of the barrel, and clamp the barrel closed? If I need to use some additional material - I think Farmboy called it native barrel material, how do I get it - scrape a small amount from the inside of the barrel?

Thanks

#12 FarmBoy

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Posted 09 February 2011 - 06:21

Sorry for the late addition, but this is exactly the problem I discovered this weekend on the barrel threads of a nice old Wearever that I am willing to learn on. I have no experience using Mek or other solvents, so please excuse the ignorant questions. Do I simply apply a small amount to the inside (non-thread side) of the barrel, and clamp the barrel closed? If I need to use some additional material - I think Farmboy called it native barrel material, how do I get it - scrape a small amount from the inside of the barrel?

Thanks

Did I really us a big word like native? But you have it right. In the absence of a donor pen of the same make I carefully take some scrapings from inside the barrel as my material source. (Easier said than done but doable.)

You need to make sure the barrel is as clean as possible before you start. The easiest to obtain clamp I've found is 3M electrical tape. You specifically want Scotch Super 33.
you know the right solvent to use I wick the solvent into the crack from the back side using a small paint brush. I usually weld cracks and walk away for a few days (usually until the next weekend) so it can be a slow process if you need to fill a gap first.

Once you get this down go after repairing cap lips in purse pens.
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#13 Ron Z

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Posted 09 February 2011 - 15:03

MEK (better) or acetone are the solvents available to you that you should use on Esterbrooks. MEK in particular is quite toxic, so use gloves and a mask. Application is best from the inside, using an artist's brush (natural bristle, not synthetic). As mentioned, Scotch 33+ works very well as a clamp to hold the crack closed. Walk away from the repair for at least 24 hours, longer if possible. The longer you wait, the stronger the repair will be. Data from other solvent manufacturers suggest that it can take a week to reach 80%-90% strength, and that the repair gets stronger the farther out you go. So resist the urge to "test" your repair.

DO NOT use superglue. It won't hold, and will contaminate the area so that you won't be able to get a good repair when you try the appropriate solvent.

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#14 rhr2010

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Posted 09 February 2011 - 16:17

Excuse my ignorance, but if you want to buy MEK, do you just walk in Lowes and ask for MEK or there is a commercial brand name, or you ask for methyl ethyl ketone? I can already imagine the look of the Lowes guy when I ask "where is the methyl ethyl ketone?"question. Please, let me know how you buy MEK, I never did so far.

Also, is MEK appropriate for welding all "plastics"?
" I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious." -- Albert Einstein

#15 tmenyc

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Posted 09 February 2011 - 16:58

MEK (better) or acetone are the solvents available to you that you should use on Esterbrooks....DO NOT use superglue. It won't hold, and will contaminate the area so that you won't be able to get a good repair when you try the appropriate solvent.

thanks, Ron -- this is good to know. I had success with CA with the Wearevers, but haven't tried it with Esterbrooks.

appreciated.

Tim

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#16 FarmBoy

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Posted 09 February 2011 - 22:53

Excuse my ignorance, but if you want to buy MEK, do you just walk in Lowes and ask for MEK or there is a commercial brand name, or you ask for methyl ethyl ketone? I can already imagine the look of the Lowes guy when I ask "where is the methyl ethyl ketone?"question. Please, let me know how you buy MEK, I never did so far.

Also, is MEK appropriate for welding all "plastics"?

You can walk into most real hardware stores and purchase methyl ethyl ketone (MEK) in cans. There is no specific brand that is better than another. At the Orchard Supply in Millbrae they sell Jasco and it is labeled MEK in a 1 pint can. (I grab it from the lab so I've never actually had to purchase any.) A few ml will last a long long time.

MEK will not work on all plastics. Most of the other solvents used for welding plastic are not easily obtained from anyone other than a chemical supplier.

T
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#17 rhr2010

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Posted 09 February 2011 - 23:46

Thank you FarmBoy. I will buy some MEK. For which plastic specifically it is recommended? Or even more important, for which one is a no no no...
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#18 Corvus77

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Posted 11 February 2011 - 06:06

My thanks to FarmBoy and Ron Z for the advice - we'll see how I do. Since I already tried using superglue, I'll probably have to make the crack worse in order to make it better, but I'm excited to give it a try. Especially appreciate the advice about the toxicity. Too often I think people are too casual about this sort of stuff.

#19 Actor-out-on-loan

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Posted 10 April 2018 - 13:31

Very informative thread here. I do however have a question or two. This Waterman has a crack by the ring-top seen here.cracked.jpg It does not effect the functionality of the pen. However, once you see it you can't look away.

It's an older pen. So, my questions, your opinions really, would you attempt the repair, and if so, how? Or, would you just leave it be, and droll over how sweet the nibs puts to paper?

 

Regards

 

Sorry did not realize this was in the Esterbrook topic.


Edited by Actor-out-on-loan, 10 April 2018 - 15:48.


#20 Ron Z

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Posted 10 April 2018 - 16:19

Before you repair a crack, you have to think about why the material cracked.

 

In this case, the screw for the ring contributed to the crack.  The celluloid will have shrunk, and it is possible that there is corrosion on the threads of the screw that is pushing out as well.  I suspect that both may be involved  You can't simply solvent weld the crack without addressing the later, if that is the case.  You most likely will need to fill the crack, which takes the repair to another level of challenge. 


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