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Hard Rubber Pens


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#1 gweimer1

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Posted 26 November 2017 - 15:17

I've watched all the discussions on restoring the color to oxidized hard rubber pens.  The easy solutions seem to be centered around restoring some sort of oil or ketone content to the surface of the pen.  I've seen suggestions on using things like olive oil or parrafin lamp oil.

 

My question is this - does regular use of a hard rubber pen help keep the color fresh?  It seems that most pens we discuss have been sitting in a drawer and not being used for years.  Would the oils of our hands actually help delay the oxidation process?

 

 



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#2 pen2paper

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Posted 26 November 2017 - 15:49

Good question.

 

As long as daily use is not in constant light, it will be interesting to hear from those with science medical understanding of human body chemistry, differing with individuals perspiration, salts, and so on.  How these might balance breakdown of the chains. 

 

Location climate factors too, as does handling storage before they come to us in modern times. 

That Goodyear himself went bust from manufacturing issues is a part of what we're still dealing with today.  There are Loads of US Civil war era HR objects in pristine condition, some not, for all the same reasons we see in HR writing instruments. 



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#3 FarmBoy

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Posted 26 November 2017 - 17:09

Ketone?
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#4 siamackz

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Posted 26 November 2017 - 17:40

Are you talking about restoring oxidized pens or preventing oxidisation? Because oils are not going to restore to black. Oils might slow down the oxidisation and protect the pen, but not restore its original colour. That requires either polishing the top layer off, or using a deoxidising chemical, or simply dyeing the pen black.

#5 gweimer1

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Posted 26 November 2017 - 17:51

I guess my question is more the relationship between oils and oxidation of rubber, in general (maybe ketones was the wrong component, too).   I know that use probably won't revive the color and luster to a pen, but would a pen in good shape benefit from regular use, and would a pen like that be more likely to oxidize when left in a case somewhere?



#6 inkstainedruth

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Posted 26 November 2017 - 18:14

I asked that of an eBay seller who had a (previously, according to the listing) badly discolored BHR Morrison with a filigree overlay.  The seller made general had waving noises about some product (I forget what but I think it's been mentioned on here -- unfortunately I can'f find the response the seller sent me in my email at the moment) that reblackens the hard rubber but is removable with rubbing alcohol (? maybe).  But it isn't clear whether the seller removed the overlay first (which is probably actually unlikely) or just tried to work around it as best as possible with a small brush or Q-tip.  

Sorry I can't be of more help at the moment.  I'd have to log into eBay and see if I kept the correspondence there....

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#7 fountainbel

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Posted 26 November 2017 - 19:24

I have good experiences by rubbing the hard rubber pens from time to time with linseed oil.

In the old days a small percentage of line seed oil was used in the production process of hard rubber.

Francis 



#8 PaulS

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Posted 26 November 2017 - 21:58

given that we are told it's daylight (is it the uv part?) that causes the oxidation, then a pen in good shape might not benefit from regular use, as this would mean it would be subject to more exposure to light than if it remained in a box, and darkness in the box we have to assume, would inhibit oxidation.          Those BHR pens that surface occasionally - in pristine black - must surely have spent their lives in a box? 

On the other hand if a BHR pen is used occasionally, then is there some suggestion being made that the oils or acids from the skin might slow down the surface deterioration  -  I'm a numbskull in chemistry but wouldn't have thought so  -  at the very least those chemicals from the pores might make for a matte or less than shiny appearance.

A BHR pen lacking a chased pattern, might be rubbed down occasionally without damage to any pattern, thus preventing a build up of oxidation.

 

Do fountainbel's comments refer to boiled linseed oil?? :)  


Edited by PaulS, 26 November 2017 - 21:59.


#9 siamackz

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Posted 27 November 2017 - 00:52

[font=georgia] that reblackens the hard rubber but is removable with rubbing alcohol (? maybe).  


Sounds like pensbury manor potion 9

#10 inkstainedruth

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Posted 27 November 2017 - 01:56

Sounds like pensbury manor potion 9

 

Yeah, that sounds right.  The seller was a little vague, like it was a deep dark secret, but I looked it up because it sounded familiar, and thought I remembered a discussion in some thread a while back.

Does that stuff actually work?  And does removing it with alcohol cause more damage to the rubber?

Ruth Morrisson aka inkstainedruth


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#11 kestrel

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Posted 27 November 2017 - 02:57

I guess my question is more the relationship between oils and oxidation of rubber, in general (maybe ketones was the wrong component, too).   I know that use probably won't revive the color and luster to a pen, but would a pen in good shape benefit from regular use, and would a pen like that be more likely to oxidize when left in a case somewhere?

Ketones are a product of metabolizing sugars or alcohol and are found in blood and/or urine, usually when the individual is having metabolic issues.  There are some anecdotal (i.e. not generally accepted) comments that they may occur in sweat.

 

Sooo, unless someone is bleeding on a pen or...ketones are probably not an issue. 

 

UV light, on the other hand, has higher energy than the visual spectrum and can change the chemistry of the rubber as well as alter DNA.  UV is a major component of sunlight and fluorescent lights (including CFLs). 

 

It is unlikely that incandescent or LCD lighting would affect pens.


Dave Campbell
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#12 FarmBoy

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Posted 27 November 2017 - 03:10

Acetone and MEK are Ketones.


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#13 BrassRatt

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Posted 27 November 2017 - 07:14

In handling a pen normally, some areas of its surface are in contact with skin far more than other areas.  So if skin oils have an effect, either protective or deleterious, on BHR, one would expect to find a pattern corresponding to normal handling contact variation on much-used pens. 

 

Would those who have examined many old BHR pens please share their observations of whether this pattern occurs?  And if it does, are the more-touched areas in better or worse condition than the less-touched? 



#14 praxim

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Posted 27 November 2017 - 10:07

Good question. I have several hard rubber pens from Waterman and Onoto, two of the Watermans being red rather than black. My use is insufficient to make any difference. However, they should expose any patterns from former use.

Almost always, there is a clean break in shade separating the capped zone from the rest. On one of the Onotos (but not most) the plunger knob is more oxidised which may reflect a difference in materials or a barrel replacement fairly early in life. There are no differences without distinct and simple linear demarcation lines which one can relate to light exposure or materials. I conclude that in my sample handling (finger oils or contaminants) made no significant difference either way.

Other experience?
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#15 Ron Z

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Posted 27 November 2017 - 11:10

Mark Hoover is selling a product and process that apparently works well, but it takes a couple of weeks.  I haven't had the time to invest in playing with it.  If it really takes that much time, I don't really want to get into it either - I have enough time consuming repair procedures as it is!  :headsmack:

 

But if you are inclined to invest the time, I hear it works pretty well.  It does involve soaking the barrel for an extended period in mineral oil.  Details are on Mark's website - I don't have the link handy. 


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#16 EMQG

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Posted 27 November 2017 - 11:52

Mark Hoover is selling a product and process that apparently works well, but it takes a couple of weeks.  I haven't had the time to invest in playing with it.  If it really takes that much time, I don't really want to get into it either - I have enough time consuming repair procedures as it is!  :headsmack:

 

But if you are inclined to invest the time, I hear it works pretty well.  It does involve soaking the barrel for an extended period in mineral oil.  Details are on Mark's website - I don't have the link handy. 

http://www.lbepen.co...er-instructions

 

This the one you're talking about, Ron? Short process - takes less than a day



#17 Ron Z

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Posted 27 November 2017 - 12:08

From what I hear from other pen mechanics, not for the effects to last.


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#18 EMQG

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Posted 27 November 2017 - 12:18

From what I hear from other pen mechanics, not for the effects to last.

Good to know, thanks! 



#19 siamackz

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Posted 27 November 2017 - 12:49

 
Does that stuff actually work?  
Ruth Morrisson aka inkstainedruth


It does. It did very well on one pen for me and bad on others. It requires skill, which I clearly do not possess. But its a good option for smaller jobs like cap crowns or blind caps that have oxidized

#20 siamackz

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Posted 27 November 2017 - 12:52

Mark Hoover is selling a product and process that apparently works well, but it takes a couple of weeks.  I haven't had the time to invest in playing with it.  If it really takes that much time, I don't really want to get into it either - I have enough time consuming repair procedures as it is!  :headsmack:
 
But if you are inclined to invest the time, I hear it works pretty well.  It does involve soaking the barrel for an extended period in mineral oil.  Details are on Mark's website - I don't have the link handy. 


I just did a batch of 20 Pens in this. It works pretty well for Pens with chasing. Takes a lot of time because the cleaning process is super duper messy. God! Hours and hours! It doesnt need to soak in mineral oil really, even just a few applications help. The dexidization is pretty much complete once you take the pen out of the liquid and wipe it thoroughly with mineral oil.

It will be my go to Product for chased Pens. But its laborious! For non chased Pens Im just going to use micromesh!






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