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Bchr Shellac Removal

bchr shellac removal

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#1 shadesdragon

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Posted 13 October 2017 - 01:54

I am in the process of restoring an old webster chicago fountain pen. I do not know what year it was made in but it is a black chased hard rubber pen with the number 2 on the end of the barrel. To my surprise it had a 14k #3 warranted nib on it. I was able to remove the feed and nib and parts of the dried up sac with some alligator forceps but for the life of me I am unable to remove the grip section to replace the sac. Assuming that the grip section is shellacked in place... what has been the best method for removal of the grip section without damaging the pen?

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#2 pen lady

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Posted 13 October 2017 - 02:17

I believe that shellac softens at 140 degrees, so you'll need some kind of dry heat source. However, you should re-insert the feed and nib into the section before you try to remove it.  Less chance of the section cracking if you apply too much pressure with section pliers.  Best of luck.  I'm always learning, so I'll be interested to read what more experienced members have to say.



#3 EMQG

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Posted 13 October 2017 - 03:53

I am in the process of restoring an old webster chicago fountain pen. I do not know what year it was made in but it is a black chased hard rubber pen with the number 2 on the end of the barrel. To my surprise it had a 14k #3 warranted nib on it. I was able to remove the feed and nib and parts of the dried up sac with some alligator forceps but for the life of me I am unable to remove the grip section to replace the sac. Assuming that the grip section is shellacked in place... what has been the best method for removal of the grip section without damaging the pen?

 

First repair?

 

Okay, so first things first, reinsert the nib and feed. You never want to pull a section without a nib and feed. Old hard rubber, celluloid, and even acrylic are all fragile and easy to break if you don't have them supported by a nib and feed.

 

Make sure they're a good fit wherever you put them back in. Over the years, a section can kinda form to the nib and feed, so they only fit right in one certain way. You should always mark where the top of the nib was on the section before you remove them, so that you can put them back in properly. This time you might have to experiment.

 

Mind if I ask how come you removed them in the first place?

 

Once the nib and feed are back in, grab a hairdryer. Slowly heat up the joint between the section and barrel. Shellac softens at about 140. Hard rubber is pretty tolerant of heat (it's got some really cool properties with heat that I'll tell you about if you're interested!), celluloid is not (it'll literally burst into flames if you overheat it, and it'll soften and deform before that). Spin the pen around in your hand as you're heating it, so the heat gets evenly applied all the way around the joint, and not just to one side.

 

Then, using rubber potholders for grip (or grippy sheets - pentooling.com sells some GREAT ones that I love. $10 for two of em, and it's totally worth it. It'll save you a lot of pain to buy em) slowly try to pull the section out. Don't grip too hard on the barrel, it's fragile.  Don't wiggle the section out, only pull/twist gently.

 

Before you do ANY of this, do some research and try to find out if the section is screwed in or pushed in. If it's just friction fit then pulling is good, but if it's screwed... well, unscrew it. It's simple. Make sure you know which direction it's screwed on in too, so you don't go the wrong way.

 

When you put it back in, heat the end of the barrel to make sure it doesn't crack.

 

Good luck! Ask me any questions you've got! :)

 

 

I believe that shellac softens at 140 degrees, so you'll need some kind of dry heat source. However, you should re-insert the feed and nib into the section before you try to remove it.  Less chance of the section cracking if you apply too much pressure with section pliers.  Best of luck.  I'm always learning, so I'll be interested to read what more experienced members have to say.

Good advice. Everything you said was correct!



#4 pen lady

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Posted 13 October 2017 - 12:38

Thanks EMQG.  My learning curve has been sooooo steep, it's good to read that my advice was spot on this time.  Good luck to the OP as I've recently had the same experience with an ivory and black Laughlin. No amount of heating, twisting or pulling would get the section out.  In the end, I just harvested the nib which was a wonderful flexie, and the feed and trashed the rest of the pen.  :(



#5 PaulS

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Posted 13 October 2017 - 14:13

wish the op every success with this renovation.            Although of course the feed and nib do eventually have to be re-assembled into the section, it suddenly occurred to me to wonder if anyone has tried using a shortish wooden dowel of suitable diameter to insert into the section, such that a firm grip won't deform or crack the section.             Only necessary if a situation occurs, as with this pen, where the nib and feed have been removed prior to the section, and this would avoid the need to push the nib and feed back, temporarily, in their correct original position.

Assuming the hair dryer aids removal of the section, the wooden dowel can then be removed and the internal walls of the section cleaned which might help with re-seating of nib and feed.


Edited by PaulS, 13 October 2017 - 14:14.


#6 shadesdragon

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Posted 15 October 2017 - 16:41

Thank you for the advice. I removed the nib and feed because they had to be cleaned of dried ink and I was unable to remove the section. This pen was from the 1920-30s and since this pen had solidified ink and the lever was not functioning I wanted to make sure that the lever had a bar on the inside and reviewed the condition of any accumulated rust to see how much more work I had ahead of me. The + side to this was, since I had them out, gradually removing the dried hardened sac.  One new update to this:  I took the nib under a microscope... The tines are fine but there is a hairline crack coming from the back of the nib down to the middle of the breather hole. Glad I haven't attempted to flex the tines on my thumb without the nib being in the section. Going to have to find a micro-soldering tool and go from there. Will keep folks posted.  



#7 PaulS

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Posted 16 October 2017 - 12:22

you may well be up to speed on the methodology for soldering cracks in nibs, but just to mention that there is some good instruction in the Marshall & OIdfield  pen repair manual should you need guidance and information on equipment needed.            A very useful book in any event, and which a lot of people here find indispensable if you're into pen repair generally.        Best of luck.



#8 shadesdragon

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Posted 17 October 2017 - 06:06

Thanks Paul S. I am always looking to compare what I have learned with other sources. Any idea where I can find this book? Amazon doesn't seem to be an option.



#9 EMQG

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Posted 17 October 2017 - 06:30

Pentooling.com has it, I believe. I think penpractice.com does too.

 

It's rather expensive for a book, but necessary for extensive repairs like this.



#10 PaulS

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Posted 17 October 2017 - 08:03

am sure EMQG is correct with suggestion of sources for this book.         I seem to recall it cost me something like Sterling £30/£32, about two years back  -  but am I correct in believing there is going to be a fourth edition out soon?  -  seem to recall seeing something to this effect very recently somewhere, but don't recall where.

Apart from a v.g. read, the manual is very useful  -  assuming of course that it's your intention to renovate some pens.

Apart from the purchase price, shadesdragon, you will of course have to pay shipping to the States, which will increase the above cost.


Edited by PaulS, 17 October 2017 - 08:05.


#11 EMQG

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Posted 17 October 2017 - 09:23

am sure EMQG is correct with suggestion of sources for this book.         I seem to recall it cost me something like Sterling £30/£32, about two years back  -  but am I correct in believing there is going to be a fourth edition out soon?  -  seem to recall seeing something to this effect very recently somewhere, but don't recall where.

Apart from a v.g. read, the manual is very useful  -  assuming of course that it's your intention to renovate some pens.

Apart from the purchase price, shadesdragon, you will of course have to pay shipping to the States, which will increase the above cost.

It's about $60 for the 4th edition. Pen Tooling is a US site that sells it



#12 PaulS

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Posted 17 October 2017 - 10:41

thanks.    Do you know the extent of new material in the 4th edition compared to the 3rd?            there were 278 pages in the latter.



#13 shadesdragon

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Posted 19 November 2017 - 04:53

Unfortunately there was nothing I could do to save the nib. It is cheaper to purchase another one than to attempt to repair it.  So I might just do that. At this time I've cleaned the pen inside and out, removed the oxidation on the metal band,and added a new sac... just waiting on a new nib. Thank you all of your help.







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