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Hard Rubber Pens


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#21 eachan

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Posted 27 November 2017 - 13:07

 

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

In my experience (I don't use it but have seen pens stained with it) it's not convincing.  It looks like what it is, a painted layer on the pen.  It can be removed with polish or even water, but it leaves residue in chasing or scratches on the surface of the pen which are very hard to remove.  Best left alone, in my opinion.


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#22 inkstainedruth

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Posted 27 November 2017 - 17:20

In my experience (I don't use it but have seen pens stained with it) it's not convincing.  It looks like what it is, a painted layer on the pen.  It can be removed with polish or even water, but it leaves residue in chasing or scratches on the surface of the pen which are very hard to remove.  Best left alone, in my opinion.

 

Thanks for the information.  Much as I would love to get another filigree overlay Morrison, especially a sterling silver one, that listing and the seller's response did not inspire a lot of confidence (i.e., my "spidey senses" started tingling).  If I ever track down a sterling filigree overlay for a reasonable price, I probably won't care if the rubber has turned brown.  Just like I don't care if a couple of my pens have engravings on them -- I think that adds character (and suggests that the pens were actually USED, not just stuck in a desk drawer).

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#23 gweimer1

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Posted 27 November 2017 - 18:21

Thanks for all the input.  It helps my understanding of all this better.



#24 FarmBoy

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Posted 27 November 2017 - 23:32

Any other old timers out there remember G-10?

So the Hoover goop requires a soak to remove the oxidation (deoxidized makes no sense) then rubbing with mineral oil. Correct?

What does the mineral oil do?
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#25 Ron Z

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Posted 28 November 2017 - 00:20

Any other old timers out there remember G-10?

So the Hoover goop requires a soak to remove the oxidation (deoxidized makes no sense) then rubbing with mineral oil. Correct?

What does the mineral oil do?

 

Old timer?  ME?  That was only 10 or 12 years ago.  G-10 apparently turned some interesting colors as it reacted over time with stuff from the owners hands. 

 

From what I have been told, the mineral oil replaces some of the oil originally in the rubber.  Don't quote me though.  The conversation was at the DC show in 2016, and you know what a madhouse the shows can be - especially with the other stuff we had going on.


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#26 siamackz

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Posted 28 November 2017 - 00:20

So the Hoover goop requires a soak to remove the oxidation (deoxidized makes no sense) then rubbing with mineral oil. Correct?

What does the mineral oil do?


Correct, soak in the goop and then the mineral oil is used to clean out the goop (but Mark recommends soaking in the mineral oil too if you have the time)

#27 RayMan

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Posted 28 November 2017 - 04:16

Unfortunately, this is one of the unavoidable problems associated with products made from hard rubber (aka vulcanite or ebonite), including tobacco pipe stems and saxophone bits. If you do a search for vulcanite pipe stems, you will see pipe smokers suggesting many of the solutions suggested here, as well as others. Most of the remedies are superficial, i.e., they do not remove the oxidation, but only temporarily change the objects appearance. One of the products that many pipe smokers use is called Obsidian Oil, which smells suspiciously like mineral oil to me, but it also has something added that gives it a blackish tint. Again, it's my impression that the effects of this product are only temporary.
Regards,

Ray

#28 Wahl

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Posted 29 November 2017 - 15:54

Dunhill sells a pipe mouthpiece polish, they claim it removes oxidisation.



#29 PaulS

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Posted 29 November 2017 - 16:41

sorry, is that from the mouth, or the pipe stem? :lticaptd:   New to me was the fact that some moths back there was an item in an antiques programme where some late C19 jewellery (necklace type pieces) were shown, and these were made of Vulcanite.         You'd imagine that wearing such things in daylight would lead to much oxidation, but they looked nice and black  -   perhaps never worn.        In the U.K. (possibly elsewhere too), in the second half of the Victorian period, and due mostly to the death of Prince Albert (Victoria's husband), it became fashionable to follow the monarch's lead and wear black as  sign of mourning - often in the form of jewellery.           I think mostly those pieces were made from jet, but obviously BHR also got a look in.


Edited by PaulS, 29 November 2017 - 16:42.


#30 Tweel

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Posted 29 November 2017 - 21:19

And then there was the "jet" necklace pendent that my wife bought from someone on Etsy that proved to be some sort of dead-cheap thermoplastic, with the pieces warping and coming unglued from each other. Pinning down the seller in their lie and prising loose a refund wasn't a pleasant task.

I think that the way hard rubber degradation works isn't actually oxidation. I think actinic light breaks the sulphur cross-links between rubber molecules, which releases the trapped lampblack particles. It can then still look pretty okay... until the object is washed with water, at which point the debris is flushed off the surface and reveals the depigmented rubber.

I think.

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#31 RayMan

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Posted 29 November 2017 - 21:19

Dunhill sells a pipe mouthpiece polish, they claim it removes oxidisation.


I've tried it on my pipes. It doesn't work.
Regards,

Ray

#32 RayMan

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Posted 29 November 2017 - 21:37

I think that the way hard rubber degradation works isn't actually oxidation. I think actinic light breaks the sulphur cross-links between rubber molecules, which releases the trapped lampblack particles.


Yes, I think it definitely has something to do with a sulphur reaction. The most dramatic reaction I've had has been with a new Dunhill pipe I purchased. It had an attractive vulcanite stem (the material was actually called Cumberland, but still vulcanite). As soon as I put the stem in my mouth, I had a bitter burning sensation on my tongue. When I removed it from my mouth, I saw that the portion in my mouth had discolored. I later learned that this was a common reaction with vulcanite, which led me to wonder why a maker of high end pipes would use this material, instead of acrylic. I was surprised when I found out that the material was also used to make pens. I know that the material has some advantages, but the manufacturers pretty much leave purchasers to their own devices when it comes to removing the discoloration.
Regards,

Ray

#33 Vintagepens

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Posted 30 November 2017 - 00:22

Bingo.

 

I think that the way hard rubber degradation works isn't actually oxidation. I think actinic light breaks the sulphur cross-links between rubber molecules, which releases the trapped lampblack particles. It can then still look pretty okay... until the object is washed with water, at which point the debris is flushed off the surface and reveals the depigmented rubber.

I think.



#34 gweimer1

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Posted 30 November 2017 - 01:06

I have an old Atlas Appliance desk pen that I found in a box at a flea market.  It looked fine (still does) but when I did the resac, I saw the section go dull in an instant the minute water touched it as I flushed the feed out.  It was my first lesson in how fragile some of this old stuff really is.  It's still a cool pen, too.



#35 Ron Z

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Posted 30 November 2017 - 02:21

Bingo.

 

 

So what does Mark's stuff do to the rubber that makes it (apparently) so effective?  Why does it need the mineral oil?  Its it long lasting, or something that will go away after a period of time, and if so, how long?


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#36 pen2paper

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Posted 30 November 2017 - 02:45

Yes, I think it definitely has something to do with a sulphur reaction. The most dramatic reaction I've had has been with a new Dunhill pipe I purchased. It had an attractive vulcanite stem (the material was actually called Cumberland, but still vulcanite). As soon as I put the stem in my mouth, I had a bitter burning sensation on my tongue. When I removed it from my mouth, I saw that the portion in my mouth had discolored. I later learned that this was a common reaction with vulcanite, which led me to wonder why a maker of high end pipes would use this material, instead of acrylic. I was surprised when I found out that the material was also used to make pens. I know that the material has some advantages, but the manufacturers pretty much leave purchasers to their own devices when it comes to removing the discoloration.

since this include mention of pipe stems, an early phenolic was considered desirable for its lack of taste, transparent cherry amber Redmanol  by LV Redman, usually found in a nice leather case with his name, who after the lawsuit was absorbed into Baekeland's Co as chief research chemist & VP. Connection to autopoint too.

 

So I'm hoping the Hoover product is natural enough it acts also as an inert fill, stabilizing, not contributing to opening up.If it's more of a bond/fill time and handling, may experiment on other old objects,



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#37 Tweel

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Posted 30 November 2017 - 05:02

So what does Mark's stuff do to the rubber that makes it (apparently) so effective?  Why does it need the mineral oil?  Its it long lasting, or something that will go away after a period of time, and if so, how long?


I guess this is obvious, but I suppose his system softens up and cleans off the degraded rubber from the surface to expose the sound hard rubber underneath. Wouldn't de-vulcanized hard rubber be sort of a dirty latex, and I think mineral oil will dissolve latex, but not hard rubber?

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#38 Vintagepens

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Posted 30 November 2017 - 15:37

Unfortunately there hasn't been a lot of detail and transparency. One thing that is of concern is the use of enzymes in the mix, which for at least some users has led to rashes. What it might do to the environment downstream is another matter.

 

From what I've seen, the stuff doesn't remove all the degraded surface. I've seen other chemical agents used that do precisely that, and the difference is marked. My impression is that there is a degree of surface removal, but chiefly accomplished by rubbing after the goo softens the outermost layer. The rest of the darkening appears to be accomplished by impregnation of the degraded surface that remains -- something akin to what happens when oil, for example, is rubbed into faded hard rubber, but longer-lasting. When one examines a treated surface under bright light, this is apparent, as it is clearly different in color from pristine black. A full stripping of degraded surface rubber would also leave a surface impervious to the action of water, ammonia, alcohol, and other solvents, which is manifestly not the case. Hence the oil finish, and the recommended use of wax -- for me, not a very satisfactory package.



#39 PaulS

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Posted 30 November 2017 - 19:25

looking back more at the second part of gweimer's original question re handling, colour freshness and survival re sitting in the dark etc.    ...........  thought the attached picture of passing interest, showing unusual proportions of oxidation/fading of black etc.

A very knackered British M.T./Swan model 3261 from somewhere mid to late 1940s I think - I've a feeling someone said this four digit numbering is post WW II, but could be wrong.

Anyway, fresh black on the section and first half inch of barrel is commonplace, where the cap has protected the BHR - but don't remember seeing the other end quite so black, when four fifths of the barrel, and cap, heavily oxidised.

Perhaps this owner left the pen, on their desk, with equal duration of posted and capped.  

In the absence of any chasing, this one has the potential of coming back to life as it can be sanded/polished etc.  

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#40 siamackz

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Posted 01 December 2017 - 00:45

 
From what I've seen, the stuff doesn't remove all the degraded surface. I've seen other chemical agents used that do precisely that, and the difference is marked. My impression is that there is a degree of surface removal, but chiefly accomplished by rubbing after the goo softens the outermost layer. The rest of the darkening appears to be accomplished by impregnation of the degraded surface that remains -- something akin to what happens when oil, for example, is rubbed into faded hard rubber, but longer-lasting. When one examines a treated surface under bright light, this is apparent, as it is clearly different in color from pristine black.


I have used the solution last week, and the pens are definitely not jet black. There are some pens that I soaked repeatedly over days, and they have changed quite a lot but still only in shades of brown.

What are other non-dye solutions for pens that have chasing?






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