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Estie sanding/polishing


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7 replies to this topic

#1 eli

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Posted 15 February 2006 - 00:38

I have an Esterbrook J double jewel in a reddish black material that has a barrel that looks like someone sanded off a name. Besides the small, dull area that runs the length of the cylinder, there are a number of deeper scratches perpendicular to the barrel that need to go.

I have an assortment of 3M diamond abrasive cloth sheets/films going down to .5 micron and am wondering where to start at with these. I was thinking 9 micron would be about right but this is my first time and I’d like to get it right.

I don’t think I should remove so much material that the deeper marks are completely eliminated but I do think I can make them less of an issue without compromising the pen too much.

I have as well, the self-adhesive abrasive sheets that Veritas/Lee Valley sells for sharpening and honing..

I also have Semichrome polish on hand and would like to know where in the abrasive scale it belongs. If there are any other products to follow up with I’d like to hear about them. Basically I am trying to use what I have on hand.

One last resource I have is a Dremel and small cloth wheels for it. I gave the pen a light touch earlier and it did polish a bit without heating up.

One last question is, should the material of this pen be treated differently than what was used in dollar pen and the classic marbled pens.

Cheers

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Edited by eli, 15 February 2006 - 00:39.


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#2 Gerry

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Posted 15 February 2006 - 04:09

Eli,

Welcome to the wonderful world of Esties. You couldn't have chosen a better pen to develop your sanding/polishing techniques on. They are almost impossible to damage in a permanent way, and respond very well to polishing.

Polishing out scratches is a bit of a trial and error process, and I believe that there are many techniques that give quite satisfactory results. Because of this, the advice that follows will suggest a technique more than specific papers/grits etc.

From the picture, its clear that there are significant marks to be removed, as well as sanding marks from the initial effort at engraving removal. Because of that, why not try the 9 micron paper first. If progress in roughing out the scratches is not as fast as you'd like, change to progressively more aggressive papers until it is. This might even get you into automotive wet and dry paper of say 1000 grit or even 800. Use these papers wet, drying the pen body frequently to see the progress you are making.

If your choice is a grit that is too aggressive - it will just take you longer to remove the sanding marks, if it is too fine, you will find that you are not getting down to the existing scratches fast enough.

When you have dulled the surface surrounding the scratches, and removed the deepest of the ones you want to remove, its time to progress to a finer grit paper/material. This should be polished at 45 - 90 degrees to the first polishing direction, so it is easy to see your progress, and you can determine that the previous sanding marks have been removed.

Continue in this way jumping a couple of grades of paper each time until the surface has no visible scratches, and is just dull. At this point, you can move to a liquid polish, or buff using very fine abrasives or plastic polish. Both hand polishing or powered polishing are possible, and lead to great results (although you will hear diverse opinions about it from different sources).

The only real material to avoid is using a felt wheel on something like a motor tool, since the heat generated usually melts the plastic. The cloth wheels you have sound ok. They can be used with Simichrome, Novus or stick based polishing compounds. These can vary from a white diamond powder (lee Valley) to a special plastic polishing compound (even finer than the white diamond) which gives fabulous results.

Micromesh products are great, and kits are available that go from 1500 grit to 12,000 grit. The little fingernail type polishers work well, Novus plastic polishes work well, as do others.

Since you wish to try to use the materials you have on hand, give them a try. If they are waterproof, use them wet. If they are too fine, you'll see a shine soon, but the scratches will not be removed easily.

One final suggestion - since the engraving marks are deep, why not try filling them with Cyanoacrylate \ CA \ Super Glue. Apply a small amount to the scratch, let dry, overnight preferably, then sand down to the surrounding level of the pen barrel. You'll find that the CA will become indistinguishable from the celluloid of the pen, particularly after polishing.

Hope this gives you a good start, and please let us know how it goes.

Gerry

PS: You might try searching the FPN for 'polishing' to locate previous threads on the subject. There have been a few.

#3 ipse dixit

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Posted 15 February 2006 - 04:21

Gerry:

Would super glue work on a Parker Vacumatic with a gouge in it? I don't want use anything that will damage the pen.

Thanks.
Jim
One ink to find them, One ink to bring them all One ink to rule them all, and in the darkness bind them..

#4 Gerry

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Posted 15 February 2006 - 04:43

Jim,

It's worked for me.

It's a long story, but I ultimately ended up fixing my father's Vacumatic - after it was willed to me. It had real nasty teeth marks in the blind cap (when I got it - I remembered putting them there when I was a kid - trying to get the cap off :blush: ). Wished he could have seen it restored.

Epoxy works as well. The best is the purest epoxy - a dental mix. Other than friendly dentists or a dental supply house, Tryphon is the only other source I know of. It's expensive if you're only going to repair a pen or two though. Regular epoxy will work, but will deteriorate (discolour probably) after a few years - 5 perhaps. The purest ones might last 20 or more.

Gerry

#5 KevinGambrell

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Posted 15 February 2006 - 11:43

Hi
why not use Celulose from a redundent broken pen? CA when hard is much harder than the pen around it and as such will not sand as easily. But I must admit i have used it as a repair. Now all I ever use is scrap pen parts disolved in acetone and applied with a sharp tooth pick. Smells a bit but it is 100% invisible as long as you try for a reasonable colour mix.

Kevin

#6 KevinGambrell

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Posted 15 February 2006 - 11:52

Hi just as a follow up the Parker in the very bad photo was repaired using disolved broken pen bits. The barrel thread was made up to size using nail polish in 15 to 20 layers I then used the cap to recut th threads. sounds a terrible way to do it but I defy any one to find the repair. the section still has to be replaced its from a parker of some kind that I had in the bin.
When I bought the Parker all I got was a cap a barrel blind cap and a clip all chewed and in general buggered.


Kevin

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#7 eli

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Posted 15 February 2006 - 12:50

Thanks Gerry, the super glue filler sounds perfect for this pen. Correct me if I'm off base here, but I seem to remember reading within the forum that the Esterbrook material is resistant to acetone. If that’s correct then CA filler is reversible; should it be necessary somewhere down the road.

Cheers

#8 Gerry

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Posted 15 February 2006 - 13:25

Thanks Gerry, the super glue filler sounds perfect for this pen.  Correct me if I'm off base here, but I seem to remember reading within the forum that the Esterbrook material is resistant to acetone.  If that’s correct then CA filler is reversible; should it be necessary somewhere down the road.

Cheers

Yes, I've never had any success trying to dissolve the plastic in Acetone, although I did get a nice lift from the fumes... ;) (just kidding, just kidding).

Actually, I also had some difficulty with a Sheaffer plastic, which sort of melted, but never achived a liquid state (was at best soft like hard toffee and had to be applied with a spatula). Of course that didn't stick or match particularly well - but when the Acetone does work, it works like a champ.

Kevin notes that the CA is much harder than some pen materials, and he's right. I suggest you take care when sanding to ensure that the CA is levelled and feathered to blend perfectly. I use an abrasive mounted on a hard surface like a coffee stir stick - or use the sanding sticks sold by many - WoodBin has them for example - to take the bulk of the 'hardened drop' off before getting down to the general polishing in the area.

I've never used CA remover to correct a repair Eli, so I can't comment on the 'reversibility' of it from that aspect, but I did have an unfavorable reaction once when I tried to do wet sanding too soon and the water clouded up the CA :blush: . I removed it mechanically (spot sanding, picks etc.) reapplied the CA, and it finished wonderfully. Couldn't see a trace. So, although CA dries in a few minutes, and an hour should be plenty, for body work when I'm gonna be wet sanding, the pen gets an overnight drying schedule :lol:

Regards

Gerry






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