Jump to content

The Fountain Pen Network uses (functional) cookies. Read the FPN Privacy Policy for more info.  To remove this message, please click here to accept the use of cookies


Registration on the Fountain Pen Network

Dearest Visitor of the little Fountain Pen Nut house on the digital prairie,

Due to the enormous influx of spammers, it is no longer possible to handle valditions in the traditional way. For registrations we therefore kindly and respectfully request you to send an email with your request to our especially created email address. This email address is register at fountainpennetwork dot com. Please include your desired user name, and after validation we will send you a return email containing the validation key, normally wiithin a week.

Thank you very much in advance!
The FPN Admin Team






Photo

Precautions Against Heat And Cold

celluloid heat cold shipping

  • Please log in to reply
11 replies to this topic

#1 SilverPearlVacumatic

SilverPearlVacumatic

    Near Mint

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPip
  • 31 posts
  • Flag:

Posted 10 April 2020 - 16:49

Is it common for fountain pens to be severely damaged by heat or cold when being shipped? If so, what are the most common forms of damage? Can anything be done to reduce this risk, such as using packages that can breathe or paying for faster shipping?

The reason I ask this is because the first fountain pen I bought online was a gorgeous Parker vacumatic maxima. When it had arrived, the celluloid lacked shine, the cap band was loose (as if the plastic had shrunk), and the iridium on one tine was gone and on the other side it jarred sideways, as if a new piece had been soldered on. I suspected that it had been baked in the mail. Ever since then I have never purchased pens online in the winter or summer. Since Im from Minnesota, that is about eleven months of the year.

Ive also noticed the smell of camphor when buying celluloid fountain pens. Does the amount of camphor that is baked out of the pen weaken it substantially or is it too small to make a difference?

Thanks

Edited by SilverPearlVacumatic, 10 April 2020 - 16:53.


Sponsored Content

#2 Ron Z

Ron Z

    Museum Piece

  • FPN Super Moderators

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 9,787 posts

Posted 10 April 2020 - 17:17

I doubt that any of the problems you describe are the result of temperature extremes in shipping.  We ship all over the world year round, and have for years. We have never had any problems, and certainly never the ones you describe.   Cap bands do come loose from celluloid shrinkage, but not that fast!  The iridium weld (not solder!) does not fail at the temperatures the pen would encounter. The pen would be a flambe' before that could happen.  It sounds more like the got dropped.  I think that the seller didn't accurately describe things, and cheated you.


banner200.jpg
Visit Main Street Pens
A full service pen shop providing professional, thoughtful vintage pen repair...

Please use email, not a PM for repair and pen purchase inquiries.


#3 SilverPearlVacumatic

SilverPearlVacumatic

    Near Mint

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPip
  • 31 posts
  • Flag:

Posted 10 April 2020 - 17:40

Perhaps. I returned the pen in the end. It was definitely the same pen and nib as was shown in the photos, but had been severely damaged since the photos had been taken. Why would someone take carefully staged photos of a pen, allow it to be severely damaged in numerous ways and then sell it? The seller also had a good reputation, but it wouldnt be the only time I purchased a pen on eBay and then received it with damaged parts substituted for the ones shown in the pictures. I bought a pen once which clearly showed intact iridium in the photos, but came with a nib that not only lacked iridium, but had been carefully polished at the end after the iridium broke off.

Edited by SilverPearlVacumatic, 10 April 2020 - 17:41.


#4 Parker51

Parker51

    Old dog

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,654 posts
  • Location:North America, U.S.A., Ohio, Delaware Cty
  • Flag:

Posted 10 April 2020 - 17:55

Some people take careful photos of their pens for other purposes, such as insurance and may have them in digital storage for many years. It is possible the person simply used photos of the pen from several years earlier. At this point, people could use photos taken using digital photography 20 years ago, which means a pen may have suffered much use and abuse in the mean time. I expect this may become more of a problem in the future.

Edited by Parker51, 10 April 2020 - 17:56.


#5 Parker51

Parker51

    Old dog

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,654 posts
  • Location:North America, U.S.A., Ohio, Delaware Cty
  • Flag:

Posted 10 April 2020 - 18:17

Now, back to the origonal quest in, heat and cold damage.

Yes, heat will damage fountain pens. Typical damage is a change of shape, such that the pen looks bent in the manner of a banana. This has never happened to a pen I have owned while I owned it, but I have both been given pens that were misshapen in this manner and I have purchased pens that were misshapen in this manner for parts as the nibs in both cases were undamaged and in good condition.

Yes, cold will damage fountain pens. I have had this happen to a fountain pen I have owned, a Parker 45. I left it in my car for a few weeks in very cold weather, well below freezing, and the upper barrel, the part which fit under the cap became misshapen such that there is an indentation completely around part of the barrel which matches where the cap constricted the plastic. I have seen this on several other Parker 45s. The pen otherwise is fine. I have not attempted this with other pens.

I have also had one pen start to fall apart while in a climate controlled environment, an early Sheaffer balance in a color known to do this. Thankfully it didn't effect any of the other pens in the case it was in and the damage was limited to the cap edge, which may have also been subject to stress repeatedly for years prior to my getting it and led to it literally starting to crumble while not under stress, simply siting in a case. Other pens are also known for having this problem, including some Sheaffer balance 2s in some colors, so it may be a design flaw long standing which coupled to certain inferior materials results in that failure. There are many other pens made by other manufacturers in many different eras which are known to fail in this manner. I don't know if heat and cold makes it worse. Storage in a non breathable environment which does not allow for out gassing supposedly does.

Edited by Parker51, 10 April 2020 - 18:22.


#6 Ron Z

Ron Z

    Museum Piece

  • FPN Super Moderators

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 9,787 posts

Posted 10 April 2020 - 19:16

But the OP is talking about heat/cold damage during shipping.   We mail pen all over the world, hundreds of pens a year between repairs and sales, year round.  We have never had any pens damaged by heat or cold, either coming in our outgoing  since the business was started in 2004.  Come to think of it, the only pen damage thus far was caused by improper packaging by the owner when they sent it to us.


banner200.jpg
Visit Main Street Pens
A full service pen shop providing professional, thoughtful vintage pen repair...

Please use email, not a PM for repair and pen purchase inquiries.


#7 PenStand

PenStand

    Extremely Rare

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 250 posts
  • Location:Korea
  • Flag:

Posted 10 April 2020 - 20:03

Yeah it seems remarkably strange to me to attribute this to damage incurred during shipping.

 

Occams razor suggests a far more likely explanation is a less than trustworthy seller



#8 SilverPearlVacumatic

SilverPearlVacumatic

    Near Mint

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPip
  • 31 posts
  • Flag:

Posted 10 April 2020 - 20:54

Perhaps I’m being rather neurotic when I’m concerned about the shipping. I just don’t like the idea of pens made out of fragile plastic to sit in delivery trucks and mailboxes for hours in extreme temperatures. I’m also somewhat concerned when I can smell camphor when I open the packages. I’m glad to hear that temperature damage is rarely a problem with shipping.

#9 Parker51

Parker51

    Old dog

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,654 posts
  • Location:North America, U.S.A., Ohio, Delaware Cty
  • Flag:

Posted 10 April 2020 - 22:36

In regard to shipping, I was concerned about cold in winter in winters past as we routinely experienced subzero temperatures and items such as pens sometimes were delivered to our mailbox by a postal carrier or placed on our open unheated front porch. Metal parts can and will contract as they cool faster than plastic. In the time between when mail is delivered to our home, typically 10:00 a.m. and when I would get home from work, in winter, often around 6:00 p.m. the mail would get quite cold. And if the delivery was made by ups or fedex I would have no way to predict when they might be delivered. Add the wind blowing off the open fields near where we live the temperatures in winter sometimes has been -20 degrees Fahrenheit for a high and even in relatively warm winters we typically have temperatures of 0 to 10 degrees Fahrenheit as a high for some days. Our daughters elementary school had outside recess as long as the temperature was 20 degrees Fahrenheit or above at noon, so cold weather can be a constant conditions here for days at a time. For someone in Minnesota it can be weeks at a time and 10 degrees colder.

It is a small risk, but one which depending on where you live based on climate, local weather at the time of the delivery and what the mail receptacle is like, I believe cold is a legitimate concern. For many people this is not an issue, such as those who live in condos and apartments where mail is kept inside, those that have everything shipped to postal boxes, also inside, those who have pens shipped to their offices, and of course those who live in warm areas. I suspect that people who mail in pens for repair and know when based on reported repair time lines when to expect a pen returned refrain from sending in a pen for repair if they know that a repaired pen would arrive at a time on the calendar when it is very cold where they live, so it is unlikely that there would be any pens that arrived damaged after repair because very few people living with those conditions send them in at the time of year damage could happen. Thus drawing a definitive conclusion from a lack of occurance is inappropriate. As example, I have never been pulled over for a DUI, nor have any of my family members, or extended family members, not because there are no police doing sobriety checks, but because none of us drink alchol and drive afterwards, in fact most of us don't drink at all, so it can't happen to most of us ever.

Edited by Parker51, 10 April 2020 - 22:38.


#10 Estycollector

Estycollector

    Vintage

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 797 posts
  • Location:USA Tennessee
  • Flag:

Posted 11 April 2020 - 12:40

In regard to shipping, I was concerned about cold in winter in winters past as we routinely experienced subzero temperatures and items such as pens sometimes were delivered to our mailbox by a postal carrier or placed on our open unheated front porch. Metal parts can and will contract as they cool faster than plastic. In the time between when mail is delivered to our home, typically 10:00 a.m. and when I would get home from work, in winter, often around 6:00 p.m. the mail would get quite cold. And if the delivery was made by ups or fedex I would have no way to predict when they might be delivered. Add the wind blowing off the open fields near where we live the temperatures in winter sometimes has been -20 degrees Fahrenheit for a high and even in relatively warm winters we typically have temperatures of 0 to 10 degrees Fahrenheit as a high for some days. Our daughters elementary school had outside recess as long as the temperature was 20 degrees Fahrenheit or above at noon, so cold weather can be a constant conditions here for days at a time. For someone in Minnesota it can be weeks at a time and 10 degrees colder.

It is a small risk, but one which depending on where you live based on climate, local weather at the time of the delivery and what the mail receptacle is like, I believe cold is a legitimate concern. For many people this is not an issue, such as those who live in condos and apartments where mail is kept inside, those that have everything shipped to postal boxes, also inside, those who have pens shipped to their offices, and of course those who live in warm areas. I suspect that people who mail in pens for repair and know when based on reported repair time lines when to expect a pen returned refrain from sending in a pen for repair if they know that a repaired pen would arrive at a time on the calendar when it is very cold where they live, so it is unlikely that there would be any pens that arrived damaged after repair because very few people living with those conditions send them in at the time of year damage could happen. Thus drawing a definitive conclusion from a lack of occurance is inappropriate. As example, I have never been pulled over for a DUI, nor have any of my family members, or extended family members, not because there are no police doing sobriety checks, but because none of us drink alchol and drive afterwards, in fact most of us don't drink at all, so it can't happen to most of us ever.

 

Unless someone is on a sedating medication. 

 

I don't think the OP's pen was damaged be cold or heat, but that it was not in good condition when shipped.  Not because I know anything about shipping effect in pens, but because I know something about how long celluloid takes to out gas and crumble. 

 

BTW, if the same Parker51, I sent a supposedly restored Parker 51 to your man in Utah. I hope to get it back next week. 


"Respect science, respect nature, respect all people (s),"


#11 KBeezie

KBeezie

    Gerbil Charmer

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,716 posts
  • Location:Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • Flag:

Posted 11 April 2020 - 15:58

Is it common for fountain pens to be severely damaged by heat or cold when being shipped? If so, what are the most common forms of damage? Can anything be done to reduce this risk, such as using packages that can breathe or paying for faster shipping?

The reason I ask this is because the first fountain pen I bought online was a gorgeous Parker vacumatic maxima. When it had arrived, the celluloid lacked shine, the cap band was loose (as if the plastic had shrunk), and the iridium on one tine was gone and on the other side it jarred sideways, as if a new piece had been soldered on. I suspected that it had been baked in the mail. Ever since then I have never purchased pens online in the winter or summer. Since Im from Minnesota, that is about eleven months of the year.

Ive also noticed the smell of camphor when buying celluloid fountain pens. Does the amount of camphor that is baked out of the pen weaken it substantially or is it too small to make a difference?

Thanks

 

The mail is never going to get hot enough or cold enough (nor even leaving it out in the sun is ever going to do the bold). 

 

Also a heat gun is often used for old work on celluloid pens, which on average can get around 140F to 160F to make shellac let go of a section threading/etc. Which I doubt the mail would ever actually get up to. 

 

I'm sure nearly all of the conditions of the Vacumatic were in that state before it even got packed for shipping, and if it was not as advertised it needs to be dealt with the seller. (it's also not uncommon for the celluloid to warp/shrink over the years depending on storage conditions), the smell and whatever sac was used, that's all aging symptoms. 

 

The main thing you may have to worry about is very old pens (1920s or earlier hard rubber for example)  with the large straight ebonite feeds. Shipping in sub  zero temperature can cause some shrinkage to where the feed is no longer hugging the nib, this can course be easily fixed heat setting the feed back to the nib (shipping without the nib/feed attached in such condition *might* cause the grip to crack as it shrinks). Far as heat... it doesn't get hot enough it seems during transit. 

 

I worry more about ink bottles more so than most pens (unless the seller wasn't very bright, and sent a pen half full of water during the freezing winter). 



#12 fabri00

fabri00

    Collectors Item

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,223 posts
  • Location:Italy
  • Flag:

Posted 11 April 2020 - 21:28

I collect pens since 1990 and I never had one single pen damaged because of tempefature.
The only inconvenience could have been a pen lost, but not a pen damaged .....!





Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: celluloid, heat, cold, shipping



Sponsored Content




|