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Caring For and Maintaining Ebonite Pens


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12 replies to this topic

#1 sjldaniel

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Posted 24 March 2008 - 21:41

I've gotten into ebonite pens and recently purchased a few. I know it is a good idea to keep these pens from direct sunlight for fear of discoloration. But is there a way to bring the luster back on an ebonite pen that has already suffered some oxidation and/or is starting to lose its sheen? Is there a polish of some kind for ebonite pens? I would also appreciate any tips you may have for maintaining and caring for such pens. Thank you.

Daniel

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#2 bgray

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Posted 25 March 2008 - 01:04

I recommend Renaissance Wax.

Google it if you haven't heard of it.

#3 CharlieB

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Posted 25 March 2008 - 02:13

QUOTE(bgray @ Mar 24 2008, 09:04 PM) View Post
I recommend Renaissance Wax.

Google it if you haven't heard of it.


Will it restore old ebonite, or just protect new ebonite?
CharlieB

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#4 a2z

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Posted 21 May 2008 - 20:48

QUOTE(sjldaniel @ Mar 24 2008, 02:41 PM) View Post
I've gotten into ebonite pens and recently purchased a few. I know it is a good idea to keep these pens from direct sunlight for fear of discoloration. But is there a way to bring the luster back on an ebonite pen that has already suffered some oxidation and/or is starting to lose its sheen? Is there a polish of some kind for ebonite pens? I would also appreciate any tips you may have for maintaining and caring for such pens. Thank you.

Daniel

I recently tried the Renaissance Wax on a faded ebonite pen. It didn't work for me, at least not by itself. I then tried some black "Meltonian" brand "Shoe Cream." After a couple applications of the shoe cream followed by a couple of applications of the Renaissance Wax, I got much of the original black color back. (I have no idea of the long term effects of the shoe cream on the ebonite.) Good luck!


#5 OldGriz

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Posted 21 May 2008 - 21:13

The most efficient and safest way to restore oxidized ebonite (Black Hard Rubber) is the G10 system that Richard Binder uses...
Shoe Polish, and the other 'systems' just put a coating on the existing rubber and can cover any chasing....
The G10 system actually enters the HR and restores the color.
Go down about half the page on Richard's Repair and Restoration for more information on the process.
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#6 Ray-Vigo

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Posted 22 May 2008 - 20:37

Has anyone here studied the impact of shoe polish on ebonite? I'm curious as to what kind of interaction they would have. Shoe polish has a number of chemicals in it, though it is supposed to be safe to decent quality shoes too. Has anyone used shoe polish on ebonite here? What was the result? I'm curious as to how they'd interact is all.

#7 a2z

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Posted 22 May 2008 - 21:02

"Has anyone used shoe polish on ebonite here? What was the result?" ....I have! See my post of yesterday. The "Shoe Cream" worked well to restore the black color, but I have no idea of the long term effects.

#8 Titivillus

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Posted 23 May 2008 - 13:24

QUOTE(OldGriz @ May 21 2008, 04:13 PM) View Post
The most efficient and safest way to restore oxidized ebonite (Black Hard Rubber) is the G10 system that Richard Binder uses...



How about just a regular wax for polishing not restoring.

Kurt

#9 bgray

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Posted 23 May 2008 - 14:12

QUOTE((bleep) @ May 23 2008, 01:24 PM) View Post
QUOTE(OldGriz @ May 21 2008, 04:13 PM) View Post
The most efficient and safest way to restore oxidized ebonite (Black Hard Rubber) is the G10 system that Richard Binder uses...



How about just a regular wax for polishing not restoring.

Kurt


That's what I recommend Renaissance Wax for...it won't bring any color back, but it will protect.

I've never tried the shoe polish, but sounds like a good idea.

But as Tom says, the best treatment is probably the G10. No personal experience with it, but I've heard that it's great.

Edited by bgray, 23 May 2008 - 14:13.


#10 hardyb

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Posted 23 May 2008 - 16:35

To read about Renaissance Wax and the institutions that use it:
http://www.restorationproduct.com/
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#11 Wahlnut

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Posted 24 May 2008 - 22:41

First, I do not recommend reblackening BHR pens even with my own product, unless the pen is so ordinary and so embarassingly discolored that restoring it would not be a loss to the pen collecting community. Having said that, for those sick pens that might get some use if re-blacked rather than sit is a drawer unused, I think re-blackening may be acceptable.

Second, I usually do not speak up on this topic because we went through so much discussion over the years past, that just about everyone had heard it all. But it has been some time and there are many new pen folks out there and on this list. You can all be directed to the pro and con debates on the topic here and on Lion and Pen if you want to see all the hgistory.

But to answer your questions about shoe polish...

Shoe polishes contain oils and other petroleum solvents that are harmful to and break down hard rubber or ebonite. They also hasten the drying out of the surface when they become old. They do not provide UV protection which is one of the original causes for fading of BHR, either.

In the days when I was researching ways to restore black to faded BHR sports car knobs and switches, we tried all kinds of things. The result was the GREAT KNOBS! product. Back then and a little later on on the Zoss list folks asked what to do about restoring the black color to pens and I went at trying various modifications to the original formula to be better suited for pens. Both GIO and I eventually went in 2 different directions, although I know that in the beginning, he tried a lot of different things including shoe polishes and other items including some italian thing called Venetian Cream stuff, but he finally settled on the use of strong checmical dyes that the EPA or the FDA or some such does not like too well, and decided to license the process to just one restorer who would maintain tight control so as to limit liability on G10 . I went after a different reversible approach that the restorers demanded and came up with Pensbury Manor Black Har Rubber Pen Potion No.9.

You can ask around and you will find happy users of both methds. G10 treatment is supposed to be permanent and is available from Richard Binder as a service, PMBHRPPNo.9 is available as a product for do it yourselfers. Neither one covers up the chasing or indeces or inditia or whatever we are calling them, or other fine details of the pen. Best of all there are no oils or silicones involved in PMBHRPPNo.9 . I don't know how many G10 pens have been done, but PMBHRPPNo.9 has been shipped to over 350 users over the past 5 years.

Maybe some folks who are useres of each will chime in here, but you should avoid shoe polish, in my opinion. I will and I think Gio will, provide a guarantee that I will replace any pen that was ruined by use of the product. To date there have been zero claims.

I am biased of course. so consider the source.
Syd

Edited by Wahlnut, 25 May 2008 - 03:56.

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#12 Ray-Vigo

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Posted 24 May 2008 - 22:45

QUOTE(Wahlnut @ May 24 2008, 06:41 PM) View Post
First, I do not recommend reblackening BHR pens even with my own product, unless the pen is so ordinary and so embarassingly discolored that restoring it would not be a loss to the pen collecting community. Having said that, for those sick pens that might get some use if re-blacked rather than sit is a drawer unused, I think re-blackening may be acceptable.

Second, I usually do not speak up on this topic because we went through so much discussion over the years past, that just about everyone had heard it all. But it has been some time and there are many new pen folks out there and on this list. You can all be directed to the pro and con debates on the topic here and on Lion and Pen if you want to see all the hgistory.

But to answer your questions about shoe polish...

Shoe polishes contain oils and other petroleum solvents that are harmful to and break down hard rubber or ebonite. They also hasten the drying out of the surface when they become old. They do not provide UV protection which is one of the original causes for fading of BHR, either.

In the days when I was researching ways to restore black to faded BHR sports car knobs and switches, we tried all kinds of things. Back then and a little later on on the Zoss list folks asked what to do about restoring the black color to pens and I went at it more seriously. Both GIO and I eventually went in 2 different directions, although I know that in the beginning, he tried a lot of different things including shoe polishes and other items including some italian Venetian Cream stuff, but he finally settled on the use of strong checmicals that the EPA does not like too well, and licensed the process to just one restorer who would maintain tight control so as to limit liability on G10 . I went after a different reversible approach that the restorers demanded and came up with Pensbury Manor Black Har Rubber Pen Potion No.9.

You can ask around and you will find happy users of both methds. G10 treatment is available from Richard Binder as a service, PMBHRPPNo.9 is available as a product for do it yourself. Neither one covers up the chasing or indeces or other fine details of the pen. Best of all there are no oils or silicones involved in PMBHRPPNo.9 . I don't know how many G10 pens have been done, but PMBHRPPNo.9 has been shipped to over 350 users over the past 5 years.

Maybe some folks who are useres of each will chime in here, but you should avoid shoe polish, in my opinion. I will and I think Gio will too, provide a guarantee that I will replace any pen that was ruined by use of the product. To date there have never been any claims.I have never had a single claim.

I am biased of course. so consider the source.
Syd



I tried some shoe polish on a black hard rubber beater pen I have here and it really didn't help a whole lot. It did shine it up, but it didn't give it any color really. The #9 is the far better option than shoe polish for sure- my experience sure showed that.

#13 burmeseboyz

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Posted 02 June 2008 - 01:13

Be careful about shoe polish. It's potentially carcinogenic and it's okay on shoes since we don't touch them all the time, but might not be so good on pens since we touch it all the time, at least some of us do rolleyes.gif . Here's a link to the MSDS of Kiwi shoe polish. The doses we get from pens are probably minimal but better safe than sorry.
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