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Silicone Grease Alternative?

eyedropper pilot parallel silicone grease converter ink pen

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108 replies to this topic

#81 DavidCampen

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Posted 13 February 2017 - 20:21

 

I think I once read that rubber grease was around a long time beforehand, but as far as I understand it, true hard rubber eyedroppers did not require greased threads for an inktight seal, back in the day.

Yes rubber grease but not silicone grease. Silicone grease did not exist until after World War II:

https://en.wikipedia..._rubber#History

 

Using silicone grease on a fountain pen seems to me to be a bit like using the butt of a loaded pistol to hammer nails. Why take the, in my opinion enormous, risk when there is a perfectly good hammer nearby?


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#82 matteob

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Posted 13 February 2017 - 20:24

Any plumbers or hardware store should see you ok for silicone grease or you can buy small tins on ebay or from these guys maybe I would not use anything else tbh.

http://www.indy-pen-...one-Grease.html

Edited by matteob, 13 February 2017 - 20:24.


#83 Flounder

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Posted 13 February 2017 - 20:29

Yes rubber grease but not silicone grease. Silicone grease did not exist until after World War II:

https://en.wikipedia..._rubber#History

 

Using silicone grease on a fountain pen seems to me to be a bit like using the butt of a loaded pistol to hammer nails. Why take the, in my opinion enormous, risk when there is a perfectly good hammer nearby?

 

I meant in answer to your question "What did people use in the old days, pre WWII, before silicone grease existed?", they used rubber grease. I still use rubber grease myself in some applications; for example slathered over my brake caliper bleed nipple threads, and under and over their rubber caps. Keeps them from rusting, preserves the rubber cap, dissolves compatibly with brake fluid if I were ever clumsy enough to introduce it in the hydraulics.


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#84 DavidCampen

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Posted 13 February 2017 - 20:50

Yes, Castrol Red Rubber Grease is what I think that I would use around a fountain pen if I felt the need for grease.

 

https://smile.amazon...d rubber grease


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#85 Ron Z

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Posted 13 February 2017 - 21:52

Yes rubber grease but not silicone grease. Silicone grease did not exist until after World War II:

https://en.wikipedia..._rubber#History

 

Using silicone grease on a fountain pen seems to me to be a bit like using the butt of a loaded pistol to hammer nails. Why take the, in my opinion enormous, risk when there is a perfectly good hammer nearby?

 

In reference to what?  There are applications where silicone is the preferred lubricant, not rubber grease because more pens are not rubber than are.  On eyedropper or safety threads?  I don't know that either is needed.  There isn't enormous risk with silicone grease if used carefully.  Red rubber grease is a vegetable oil based product that has hydrophobic properties (application data says "water exclusion") as does silicone grease.  The hydrophobic property is why you want to avoid contact with your feed.  Doesn't seem to be much difference to me.


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#86 DavidCampen

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Posted 13 February 2017 - 22:10

In reference to what?  There are applications where silicone is the preferred lubricant, not rubber grease because more pens are not rubber than are. 

 

You would still _not_ want to use silicone grease because even the smallest, invisible amounts of silicone on a feed will destroy its ability to be wetted by and conduct ink. It does not matter if the fountain pen has any rubber components or not; if someone feels the need to use grease they should most definitely not use silicone grease. 

 

 The hydrophobic property is why you want to avoid contact with your feed.  Doesn't seem to be much difference to me.

Yes, there is a huge difference. Silicone grease will destroy the ability of ink to wet a surface far far beyond the effect of non-silicone greases. 


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#87 Flounder

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Posted 13 February 2017 - 22:54

David, if your concern is migration, we certainly agree that it's not something you want in the feed.

 

There are a great many silicone greases, some very much more viscous than others. The pure silicone grease Ron refers to, rubbed on rather than slathered, is very unlikely to get where it hasn't been applied. I can point you to cheap silicone greases that will *pour* (no exaggeration) out of the tube. I wouldn't have them anywhere near my pens.


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#88 DavidCampen

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Posted 13 February 2017 - 23:15

David, if your concern is migration, we certainly agree that it's not something you want in the feed.

 

There are a great many silicone greases, some very much more viscous than others. The pure silicone grease Ron refers to, rubbed on rather than slathered, is very unlikely to get where it hasn't been applied. I can point you to cheap silicone greases that will *pour* (no exaggeration) out of the tube. I wouldn't have them anywhere near my pens.

The viscosity of the silicone grease has nothing to do with purity or cost. To make a silicone grease you start with a silicone oil and adjust the viscosity using fumed silica to obtain whatever viscosity is desired.

 

And yes, I can use the butt of a loaded pistol as a hammer and it may be unlikely that it would discharge and kill me but why would I do that when there is a perfectly good hammer nearby? Similarly, if you feel the need to use grease on a fountain pen why would you use a silicone grease (a loaded pistol) when there are other greases that do not entail the risk of ruining the feed.


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#89 Flounder

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Posted 13 February 2017 - 23:34

If only our founding member, Floristan Fountainpennetwork, were here to guide us.


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#90 Ron Z

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Posted 13 February 2017 - 23:49

I'm sorry David. I disagree.  I have  thousands of pens repaired  over a couple of decades to back up what I say.  I  use silicone grease on all of the Sheaffer and Wahl plunger fillers to lubricate the piston rod.  I can safely say I've done well over a thousand of them, including my own, so I see the long term effects of the materials and techniques that I use.  ...and yes, I've had a chance to see the pens I've repaired 5 or more years after they were restored, and they work and write jsut fine.    I have yet to experience any problems with contamination from silicone grease in the feed or in the ink when properly applied.  None.  Ever.  The same for the snorkel tubes on Sheaffers, and piston seals in Pelikans and other piston fill pens. 

 

I agree that using it where it is close to the feed as on section threads could be a problem because it could get displaced and come in direct contact with the feed.  I have for years argued that it is inappropriate because silicone grease is a lubricant, not a sealant.  But I think that your argument is rather a broad brush.


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#91 ParkerDuofold

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Posted 13 February 2017 - 23:50

Hi Ron,

Thanks for the beeswax recommendation. :)

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#92 TheOtherBart

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Posted 14 February 2017 - 00:10

Sometime back in this thread I had mentioned using "dielectric grease", which is essentially just silicone grease, to seal the threads on an eyedropper conversion.  It worked really well for quite a few refills (with the grease re-applied each time)...until it didn't.  The pen started leaking, so I took it apart, gave it a good cleaning, and tried it again...leaked again.  I'll try beeswax next, I appreciate the suggestion.



#93 Flounder

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Posted 14 February 2017 - 01:27

The viscosity of the silicone grease has nothing to do with purity or cost. To make a silicone grease you start with a silicone oil and adjust the viscosity using fumed silica to obtain whatever viscosity is desired.

 

 

"Eppur si muove".


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#94 Ron Z

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Posted 14 February 2017 - 01:40

Eppur si muove

 

For Italian* speaking philistines like me, that translates "And yet it moves."

 

* according to Google translate.


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#95 praxim

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Posted 14 February 2017 - 05:42

And for further explanation it is said to be the phrase whispered by Galileo even as he recanted Copernican theory under threat of torture, hence Flounder's use here. However, last I read about it, there was no evidence Galileo actually did say it at the time. Mythical origin does not remove utility of the phrase.


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#96 FarmBoy

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Posted 14 February 2017 - 05:44

As new materials become available we sometimes change our techniques and procedures to take advantage of improvements in technology.

What <censored> me off is I can't easily find white gas for my lamp and alcohol doesn't burn as hot.

Edited by FarmBoy, 14 February 2017 - 05:45.

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#97 ParkerDuofold

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Posted 14 February 2017 - 08:06

Post deleted by author. :)

Edited by ParkerDuofold, 14 February 2017 - 08:09.

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#98 Ron Z

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Posted 14 February 2017 - 21:00

And for further explanation it is said to be the phrase whispered by Galileo even as he recanted Copernican theory under threat of torture, hence Flounder's use here. However, last I read about it, there was no evidence Galileo actually did say it at the time. Mythical origin does not remove utility of the phrase.

 

I forgot about that. 


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#99 Bo Bo Olson

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Posted 15 February 2017 - 00:56

I've read that plumbers silicon grease is Not 100% pure. And 100% pure is what is wanted.

Dive shops.....I've not found any in camera shops. Used where food is prepared also.

 

A tiny bit last normal Pelikan, Geha, or other twist out nibbed piston pens for years....if you are not repairing.

 

When making cork seals after boiling the cork in paraffin&bees wax, smearing 100% pure silicon grease on is good to go. Paraffin is a British thicker mineral oil. 

 

Do not use cheap O rings in the pens are not made to be pulled apart every year to regrease the O ring. Unless it's an Ahab or Twisbi.


Edited by Bo Bo Olson, 15 February 2017 - 01:01.

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#100 Ink Stained Wretch

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Posted 15 February 2017 - 10:31

Hmmm, maybe it would have been better if I'd read this thread before I used some silicone grease on the threads of the collar that holds the nib and feed and which screws into the section of my Parker 45  :huh: . I'd been getting some nib creep past those threads from some of the saturated ink I was using.

 

Paraffin is a British thicker mineral oil.

 

It's also the American word for a form of wax, used a lot in cheap candles.

 

AFAIK what the British are referring to when they say paraffin is what we in America call kerosene. I wouldn't want to rub any of that on a fountain pen :headsmack: .


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