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Replacement MB 149 Star in Mother of Pearl


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21 replies to this topic

#1 yachtsilverswan

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Posted 15 July 2008 - 02:22

Would one of our master craftmeisters like to try creating a custom replacement for the cheap plastic white star atop my MB 149?

We had a discussion in the Montblanc forum about the advisability of Montblanc itself offering this aftermarket replacement.

I think this simple aftermarket upgrade would really improve the looks of this classic pen.

How much for a shimmering, high quality, polished and finished MOP MB star for my 149?
Ray
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#2 Michael R.

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Posted 19 July 2008 - 10:48

QUOTE (yachtsilverswan @ Jul 14 2008, 07:22 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Would one of our master craftmeisters like to try creating a custom replacement for the cheap plastic white star atop my MB 149?

We had a discussion in the Montblanc forum about the advisability of Montblanc itself offering this aftermarket replacement.

I think this simple aftermarket upgrade would really improve the looks of this classic pen.

How much for a shimmering, high quality, polished and finished MOP MB star for my 149?



That is a great idea!

I might be interested as well.

Michael

#3 SMG

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Posted 22 July 2008 - 02:36

If it were not for the fact that MOP is severely toxic when inhaled as a dust, I would love to give it a try.

This is most likely why most artists do not work with this material any more. There is only one person who I am aware of who does this work, Lynn Sorgatz. You might want to email him directly and ask for pricing.

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#4 Chemyst

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Posted 30 August 2009 - 14:54

I too would be very interested in any such work.
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#5 fountainbel

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Posted 30 August 2009 - 20:37

Drawback on using a mother of pearl star is that the material is rather brittle & consquently will break/ crack easily when falling down on the cap top.
BTW, Is the actual plastic white star easily removed?
Are the star sizes identical on vintage & newer pens?
Francis

#6 Vintagepens

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Posted 01 September 2009 - 15:23

I've always preferred the old ivory-colored stars. They were made from casein, but celluloid would be a better bet for the long term.

#7 yachtsilverswan

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Posted 16 August 2011 - 11:33

I'm still searching for someone to craft and install a white mother of pearl star logo in the macaroon cap top of a new standard MB 149. With computer aided design and lathing, I guess I had expected this might be a simple project. But in three years I've had no one interested.

I'd also like to try the same project with black mother of pearl - replacing the white resin star logo on a new MB 149 with a black mother of pearl duplicate.

Surely someone knows how to do this.
Ray
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#8 ImolaS3

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Posted 16 August 2011 - 11:58

Don't think this is a computer aided task (as a design engineer), however, it could be done by hand by a woodworker used to inlaying material (e.g. marquetry expert) or a jewellery maker. With my own woodworking experience I could do the inlay, it is the excavation of the original that would be difficult

You might want to ask in a jewellery forum or woodworking forum (look for a marquetry expert in the woodwork forum)
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#9 mana

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Posted 16 August 2011 - 12:46

How big are the diameters & heights of the stars in 146/149? I found an online knife craft store that carries MOP & abalone slabs and buttons (diameter 6-8mm), they seem to be thick enough to be suitable candidates for making a solid MOP star. Should not be that hard to find it seems and the material itself is not that pricey, two 22x66x2.7mm slabs go for ~20 euros.

The biggest hurdle would be the shaping of the material to the form and tolerances required. CAD/CAM is pretty much of no use as the material and the dimensions of the parts are what they are. Hand tools, patience and willingness to experiment and learn the material are the keys (if one is going at it without previous experience of shaping MOP).

Would love to try it myself one of these days (just need to get a suitable Montblanc pen and a spare crown for experiments first. Oh, MOP slabs and some tools too).

What I have read of MOP indicates that the material - and the dust itself - should not be poisonous. Urushi dust is and I think some people might have confused the two. This said the dust should not be inhaled as any kind of organic or inorganic microparticles do not belong to the lungs as they can act as potential sources of irritation, lung diseases and cancer. Also, I think people allergic to seafood/fish might get a more immediate adverse reaction from MOP dust...

Anyway, I had actually been thinking of this myself before, the MOP star is the feature that drew me to the LE 75th Anniversary Meisterstucks. Such an adornment would look stunning in either the pinstripe sterling silver 146 or in the first gen stainless steel one... Or in a regular 146/149 too. It would add just the right kind of a finishing touch to an otherwise marvelous pen. Especially nice for those special occasions/nights.

Edited by mana, 16 August 2011 - 12:47.

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#10 fountainbel

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Posted 16 August 2011 - 17:18

I've made a MOP snow cap emblem on a vintage 144 lately
Main problem being one needs a white MOP thickness of minium 2.5mm - or even 3.0mm- and I can find only 2.0mm
Francis
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#11 APPLEMAN

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Posted 16 August 2011 - 18:09

I've made a MOP snow cap emblem on a vintage 144 lately
Main problem being one needs a white MOP thickness of minium 2.5mm - or even 3.0mm- and I can find only 2.0mm
Francis
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http://www.fountainp...__fromsearch__1

What about not drilled MOP coins that are used on jewelry kind of like these

http://www.stonesand...n-Coin-30x30-mm

Edited by APPLEMAN, 16 August 2011 - 18:10.

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#12 pricejh61

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Posted 16 August 2011 - 20:16

I've made a MOP snow cap emblem on a vintage 144 lately
Main problem being one needs a white MOP thickness of minium 2.5mm - or even 3.0mm- and I can find only 2.0mm
Francis
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http://www.fountainp...__fromsearch__1

What about not drilled MOP coins that are used on jewelry kind of like these

http://www.stonesand...n-Coin-30x30-mm



Just wondering if it might not be ppssiable to use a laser to cut the MOP and the basic shape in the cap. Tricky part would be keeping the MOP cool enough to not shatter. Just misc ramblings of an old man.

Edited by pricejh61, 16 August 2011 - 20:17.

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#13 mana

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Posted 16 August 2011 - 21:11

I've made a MOP snow cap emblem on a vintage 144 lately
Main problem being one needs a white MOP thickness of minium 2.5mm - or even 3.0mm- and I can find only 2.0mm
Francis


Found these > White MOP slabs 1/8" x 1" x 2 3/4"

1/8" or 3.175mm should be sufficient?

$38.00 per pair + s/h... A bit pricey but then again not that bad considering how many stars one could manufacture from those.

This is another place that sells MOP > http://www.knifehand...mother-of-pearl

That one is more pricey but has a better selection.... Hmmm...

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#14 yachtsilverswan

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Posted 17 August 2011 - 00:27

I've made a MOP snow cap emblem on a vintage 144 lately
Main problem being one needs a white MOP thickness of minium 2.5mm - or even 3.0mm- and I can find only 2.0mm
Francis
See:
http://www.fountainp...__fromsearch__1


That's very nice.

How did you disassemble / dislodge the original white plastic star? Was it glued in and needed to be punched out from inside? Was it screwed in from inside? How tight was the fit?

Progress! I love it!
Ray
Atlanta, Georgia

Pilot Namiki Vanishing Point with Richard Binder ItaliFine 0.9mm/F Nib
Faber Castell's Porsche Design with Gold & Stainless Mesh in Binderized CI Broad nib
Visconti LE Divina Proporzione in Gold with Binderized CI nib
David Oscarson Valhalla in gray (Thor) with Broad Binderized CI nib
Michel Perchin LE Blue Serpent (reviewed) with Binderized CI nib
Montblanc 149 in Medium Binderized CI nib
Montblanc Pope Julius II 888 Edition (reviewed) in Bold Binderized CI nib

#15 yachtsilverswan

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Posted 17 August 2011 - 00:44

I've made a MOP snow cap emblem on a vintage 144 lately
Main problem being one needs a white MOP thickness of minium 2.5mm - or even 3.0mm- and I can find only 2.0mm
Francis


Found these > White MOP slabs 1/8" x 1" x 2 3/4"

1/8" or 3.175mm should be sufficient?

$38.00 per pair + s/h... A bit pricey but then again not that bad considering how many stars one could manufacture from those.

This is another place that sells MOP > http://www.knifehand...mother-of-pearl

That one is more pricey but has a better selection.... Hmmm...


Some of the best quality samples on that second website are really stunning - great depth and glow. The blacklip MOP is similarly outstanding.

Of course, the price of the MOP is completely irrelevant compared to the price of the "canvas" (a new MB 149). MB does not sell parts, and MB would likely be unwilling to service this pen after it was modified. So if we plan on a new "practice" 149 to experiment with, plus a second new 149 in which to install the finished perfected star - well we're talking $1300 - $1700 just for the two "canvases." The two pens would both have to be new to assure there were no small differences in tolerances between the practice pen and the finished destination pen. If we're lucky, both pens can be fitted with MOP stars - one white MOP - one blacklip MOP - but likely the practice pen might be damaged in the process.

So the the cost of materials pales in comparison. If we can figure out how to do this, we will want the very best white MOP and the very best blacklip MOP we can find.

I'm planning to have one of these pens' furniture rhodium or platinum plated (the pen with the white MOP star); and to have a second pen's furniture ruthenium or black nickel plated (the pen with the blacklip MOP star). Of course, this project is not to re-sell, but for my own private use.

Edited by yachtsilverswan, 17 August 2011 - 00:52.

Ray
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Pilot Namiki Vanishing Point with Richard Binder ItaliFine 0.9mm/F Nib
Faber Castell's Porsche Design with Gold & Stainless Mesh in Binderized CI Broad nib
Visconti LE Divina Proporzione in Gold with Binderized CI nib
David Oscarson Valhalla in gray (Thor) with Broad Binderized CI nib
Michel Perchin LE Blue Serpent (reviewed) with Binderized CI nib
Montblanc 149 in Medium Binderized CI nib
Montblanc Pope Julius II 888 Edition (reviewed) in Bold Binderized CI nib

#16 Chemyst

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Posted 17 August 2011 - 02:20

I've been half-heartedly pursuing this for a few years as well. I'd be very interested in seeing this come together both for 149's and 146's.
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#17 skipwilliams

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Posted 17 August 2011 - 12:47

Someone should use your American Art Plastic ivory celluloid for a replacement star. It'd look equally good cut across the grain or with end grain, IMO.

Posted Image

Skip


I've always preferred the old ivory-colored stars. They were made from casein, but celluloid would be a better bet for the long term.


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www.skipwilliams.com/blog

#18 fountainbel

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Posted 17 August 2011 - 13:05

I've made a MOP snow cap emblem on a vintage 144 lately
Main problem being one needs a white MOP thickness of minium 2.5mm - or even 3.0mm- and I can find only 2.0mm
Francis
See:
http://www.fountainp...__fromsearch__1


That's very nice.

How did you disassemble / dislodge the original white plastic star? Was it glued in and needed to be punched out from inside? Was it screwed in from inside? How tight was the fit?

Progress! I love it!


Removal of the standard plastic snow cap impleis drilling a small central hole through the threaded side of the cap
enclosure, just not drilling in the snow cap insert. The snow cap emblem can then be pressed out.

Francis

#19 fountainbel

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Posted 17 August 2011 - 13:09

An AAP celluloid snowcap surely would be nice;
However I've experienced the material is hygroscopic, specially in the top grain.
Not sure, but I expect it would absorb sweat and skingrease and become yellowish after a while

Francis





Someone should use your American Art Plastic ivory celluloid for a replacement star. It'd look equally good cut across the grain or with end grain, IMO.

Posted Image

Skip


I've always preferred the old ivory-colored stars. They were made from casein, but celluloid would be a better bet for the long term.



#20 SnowLeopard

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Posted 28 August 2011 - 15:36

The only person I know, who has had the experience, is a dentist friend who used his high speed drill on a cracked 149's snow cap for perfect removal. He did the replacement like a tooth crown under microscopy....it was perfect & so cool. He will not do another cap....ever. Too labor intensive...too bad...too.

Edited by SnowLeopard, 28 August 2011 - 16:05.







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