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Experiments To 're-Blacken' Hard Rubber


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55 replies to this topic

#1 siamackz

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Posted 31 January 2018 - 17:43

There are a bunch of posts about this topic, but I thought I would share my experiments with three different techniques:

 

1. Micromesh to polish the layer of de-oxidized rubber off the pen and reveal the black rubber under. 

    Pros - not too messy; cheap materials; leaves pen with a beautiful shine, quick

    Cons - takes effort; should not be used with pens that have chasing

fpn_1517419626__screen_shot_2018-01-31_a

 

2. Using Mark Hoover's de-oxidizing chemical.

    Pros - can be used with pens that have chasing

    Cons - messy; very time consuming; is not completely successful with all pens (see first pic below - super success, but below it not so much)

fpn_1517420718__screen_shot_2018-01-31_a

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fpn_1517419819__screen_shot_2018-01-31_a

 

3. Using pensbury manor's pmnr9 dye.

    Pros - effects are reversible, useful for pens with chasing

    Cons - requires skill to apply evenly (I have made some pens look ugly!)

fpn_1517420127__screen_shot_2018-01-31_a

 

In conclusion, none can be called best. Each has its own uses. If the pen is smooth, then I tend to use micromesh. If the pen is chased, I use Hoover's de-oxidizing chemical. If I just need to work on cap crowns and blind caps, I will use pmnr9. And sometimes, I use a mix of more than one technique as below:

fpn_1517420530__screen_shot_2018-01-31_a

 

Please post any other techniques you might have used along with its pros and cons :)


Edited by siamackz, 31 January 2018 - 17:46.

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#2 sciumbasci

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Posted 31 January 2018 - 18:54

Ebonite is a material that I find quite fascinating, but had never the pleasure to feel. I might buy a Ranga just for the novelty.

I also really like the oxidised effect.

Now I wonder what happens with coloured hard rubber pens? Like blue and red ones, or even rippled, what colour do they turn into?

#3 Greenie

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Posted 31 January 2018 - 21:48

Fantastic review with pictures.  I have posted before about the same things, but you express it better, and the pictures are absolutely consistent with my experience (including the range of outcomes with the Hoover product).

 

Yes to everything you said based on personal experience from a major fan of old black hard rubber pens.



#4 siamackz

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Posted 01 February 2018 - 01:23

Ebonite is a material that I find quite fascinating, but had never the pleasure to feel. I might buy a Ranga just for the novelty.

I also really like the oxidised effect.

Now I wonder what happens with coloured hard rubber pens? Like blue and red ones, or even rippled, what colour do they turn into?

See below two pictures of rippled pens I restored. When they oxidize they lose depth of color. You will notice a sharp contrast between the color at the top of the barrel and section (that is protected under the cap) and the rest of the pen that was exposed to light. 

fpn_1517448147__screen_shot_2018-02-01_a

fpn_1517448217__screen_shot_2018-02-01_a


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#5 siamackz

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Posted 01 February 2018 - 01:24

Fantastic review with pictures.  I have posted before about the same things, but you express it better, and the pictures are absolutely consistent with my experience (including the range of outcomes with the Hoover product).

 

Yes to everything you said based on personal experience from a major fan of old black hard rubber pens.

:thumbup:


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#6 mitto

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Posted 01 February 2018 - 02:36

See below two pictures of rippled pens I restored. When they oxidize they lose depth of color. You will notice a sharp contrast between the color at the top of the barrel and section (that is protected under the cap) and the rest of the pen that was exposed to light. 
fpn_1517448147__screen_shot_2018-02-01_a
fpn_1517448217__screen_shot_2018-02-01_a


Fantastic results. Thanks for sharing.
Khan M. Ilyas

#7 Greenie

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Posted 01 February 2018 - 03:19

Here is how dramatic the results can be for micromesh on MHR. And a lot of time to work through all the grades of micromesh pads. The color of the pictures is a bit off, but you can still see the results.

 

fpn_1517455035__aa_mhr_5_pics.jpg



#8 siamackz

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Posted 01 February 2018 - 04:53

Here is how dramatic the results can be for micromesh on MHR. And a lot of time to work through all the grades of micromesh pads. The color of the pictures is a bit off, but you can still see the results.

 

fpn_1517455035__aa_mhr_5_pics.jpg

Ah, just beautiful work!

 

What do you do when a pen has such a large area with imprints? Do you polish over it, or tape it and avoid it? I taped it an avoided it on a Waterman's but then it looked odd with the rest of the pen having been polished. So, then I coated the imprinted area with repeated applications of Mark Hoover's product :) 

What did you do for the pen above?


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#9 Greenie

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Posted 01 February 2018 - 05:31

I was just lucky that the imprints were deep and I sanded right over them.  The pen was so bad I felt I had nothing to lose. 

 

It was not just faded and oxidized.  There is/was also a crack in the cap lip, barely seen on the top edge of the top pic, and post repair shown right on top of the 4th picture :)  I have found my own technique for fixing this type of crack on slip type caps only. But that is a different thread that has not happened yet.

 

fpn_1517462942__crack_aa_mhr.jpg



#10 da vinci

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Posted 01 February 2018 - 07:36

Thank you siamackz for this excellent topic, and Greenie for your contributions. Very interesting and helpful.

I have never used micromesh. How many different grades do you use and for how long to get the results shown above? Do you dip the micromesh in water and keep it constantly wet whilst working? TIA.

#11 Dr.X

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Posted 05 March 2020 - 20:46

Just did this the other day to a smooth BHR Waterman. Took me about 1hr (or a little more) to do just the barrel. I used all of the grades of micromesh I own (1500, 2400, 3200, 3600, 4000, 6000, 8000, 12000). This was a heavily oxidized pen so it took me a while with the coarser grades before I reached black rubber.

 

BUT, I taped off the imprint and, like Sia said, it looks terrible. I'm applying Mark Hoover's gel to the area over and over and it is slowly getting darker, but is nowhere near the surrounding black. I may post a pic when I get home.

 

I'm not affiliated with Mr. Hoover in any way, but am a satisfied customer of his product:

https://www.lbepen.c...ts/show/6766975

I don't use it the way he recommends, mainly because I don't want to remove hardware. So I just paint it on, leave it, then paint more on (because it dries and the only way to fully get the dry stuff off is to wet it with the gel again) and then rub it off with a cotton shirt. The first application is quite dramatic - sulfur-smelling light brown stuff comes off, but subsequent coats work very slowly, if at all. I have yet to get a pen fully black with it again, but it definitely makes a difference and the pens I choose to treat look much better.

 

Thinking it's the bleaching agent used for hair, I bought some "40 Volume Creme Developer" from a local beauty supply store yesterday and applied them to a scrap 52 barrel. This has 15% peroxide in it, but also a lot of other ingredients. It made the area I treated much worse (lighter). So it might be the other ingredients or Mark's product is something else altogether. I may try to find some pure peroxide gel (or make some).



#12 FredRydr

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Posted 05 March 2020 - 21:14

Sia, I have never used Syd's formula.  Is it a dye?  How does one reverse its effects?



#13 CS388

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Posted 05 March 2020 - 21:18

Thanks, Sia. Great post. Sheds a lot of light onto a confusing subject.

 

Have you (or anyone) tried any of the products on red/rippled hard rubber? Or is it specifically for black pens?

 

 

I also really like the oxidised effect.

 

Yes. Me, too. My favourite old Onoto is many shades of brown and olive - but was originally a black pen. However, I have grown to love it as it is, over the years. Wouldn't change it.

 

I have other BHR pens, though, which have oxidised unattractively and I may be interested in tackling them, some day.

 

Thanks. again.



#14 Dr.X

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Posted 05 March 2020 - 21:21

 

Have you (or anyone) tried any of the products on red/rippled hard rubber? Or is it specifically for black pens?

 

 

The PP9 is for black pens, obviously. I've tried the Mark Hoover's de-oxidizer on one of my Swan mottled red hard rubber pens and... I didn't see much of a difference either way. But, again, I did not "use as directed".

 

Nick



#15 FredRydr

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Posted 05 March 2020 - 21:31

Have you (or anyone) tried any of the products on red/rippled hard rubber? Or is it specifically for black pens?

Yes.  I find Mark Hoover's product enhances the appearance of red and black mottled hard rubber more so than it does for all-black.  It's not a shortcoming, but just a function of the contrast between colors after treatment.

 

Mark looked at a 1904 smooth black hard rubber Conklin that I treated, and he said I need to finish the job and bring out the blackness by following up with more "elbow grease," i.e., polish!  If I want to remove that last bit of dark chocolate color, my laziness doesn't cut it.


Edited by FredRydr, 05 March 2020 - 21:34.


#16 pen lady

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Posted 05 March 2020 - 22:05

Some time ago, there was a post about blackening faded HBR using Schwarzkopf black hair dye. I thought I might try it, but never did.  I guess the post is still out there floating around, worth a try? Maybe.



#17 nono50

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Posted 05 March 2020 - 22:30

Hello,

I did some experiments with a product that I created from simple products (alcohol, mineral oil, emulsifier, cleaning agent ...). you can see the first results on this thread:

 

http://www.stylo-plu...php?f=9&t=18644

 

Give me your opinion?



#18 Dr.X

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Posted 05 March 2020 - 22:43

Hello,

I did some experiments with a product that I created from simple products (alcohol, mineral oil, emulsifier, cleaning agent ...). you can see the first results on this thread:

 

http://www.stylo-plu...php?f=9&t=18644

 

Give me your opinion?

 

Tres intéressant!

 

I may try some sodium percarbonate in mineral oil (probably will not dissolve). Am worried about alcohol on oxidized ebonite.



#19 Bibliophage

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Posted 06 March 2020 - 03:52

Just did this the other day to a smooth BHR Waterman. Took me about 1hr (or a little more) to do just the barrel. I used all of the grades of micromesh I own (1500, 2400, 3200, 3600, 4000, 6000, 8000, 12000). This was a heavily oxidized pen so it took me a while with the coarser grades before I reached black rubber.

 

BUT, I taped off the imprint and, like Sia said, it looks terrible. I'm applying Mark Hoover's gel to the area over and over and it is slowly getting darker, but is nowhere near the surrounding black. I may post a pic when I get home.

 

I'm not affiliated with Mr. Hoover in any way, but am a satisfied customer of his product:

https://www.lbepen.c...ts/show/6766975

I don't use it the way he recommends, mainly because I don't want to remove hardware. So I just paint it on, leave it, then paint more on (because it dries and the only way to fully get the dry stuff off is to wet it with the gel again) and then rub it off with a cotton shirt. The first application is quite dramatic - sulfur-smelling light brown stuff comes off, but subsequent coats work very slowly, if at all. I have yet to get a pen fully black with it again, but it definitely makes a difference and the pens I choose to treat look much better.

 

Thinking it's the bleaching agent used for hair, I bought some "40 Volume Creme Developer" from a local beauty supply store yesterday and applied them to a scrap 52 barrel. This has 15% peroxide in it, but also a lot of other ingredients. It made the area I treated much worse (lighter). So it might be the other ingredients or Mark's product is something else altogether. I may try to find some pure peroxide gel (or make some).

I'd avoid peroxide.   It's definitely a lightening agent.  You want to de-oxidize, not oxidize even more.  O3, so the 'extra' oxygen molecule hunts for something with which to bond. 



#20 siamackz

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Posted 06 March 2020 - 05:41

Sia, I have never used Syd's formula.  Is it a dye?  How does one reverse its effects?


Yes it’s a dye. The maker - Syd - told me to use household ammonia to remove the dye. I never tried that. Instead, reversed its effects on a pen I recently acquired by using Hoover’s deoxidiser itself. See how this project turned out -> http://www.fountainp...essor-restored/

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