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Please share your Mother-of-All Polishing Regimes


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25 replies to this topic

#21 mmcaleer

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Posted 22 August 2012 - 02:39

Bruce, have you ever used the Beall buffing system? I have used it for wood pens I turn on the lathe but was wondering how it might work for restoring an Esterbrook.

Beall Buffing System

Mike

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#22 OcalaFlGuy

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Posted 22 August 2012 - 14:51

Mike, the short answer is no I've never used it and I'd be unlikely to ever do so with pens for several reasons.

I prefer to do my polishing by hand. While some would say I over polish, at least doing it by hand allows me to carefully appraise the polish job step by step and polish only as much as is needed. I also mask off pen's trim and imprints so they aren't adversely affected. This masking off works fine for hand polishing and I suspect not near so well with "machine" polishing.

Then there is the cost.

I worked up my polish regimen specifically to use items either already on hand or readily available economically locally. It costs less than $10 to use my suggested materials for probably at least 20-30 pens. For the cost of just One of the Beall systems, about 8-9 members here could set themselves up with polish media for the foreseeable future.

I've refined my process to the point that I think it's as good as it's going to get and I know exactly how to use it to eliminate any scratch that Can be polished out safely. Honestly, I just don't see any reason to "fix" something that isn't broken.

I can certainly understand how the Beall system would be beneficial to those turning pens from raw materials on a lathe. That is a much more demanding set of circumstances than the usual pen polishing I'm going to do.

Bruce in Ocala, FL

#23 pajaro

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Posted 22 August 2012 - 16:40

I agree with Bruce in Ocala, FL that hand polishing plastic pens is best. A mechanical buffer is great on wooded pens, briar pipes and the like, but those materials won't melt from the heat of the buffing. I don't polish pens much, but I hand clean and polish them to get disgusting stuff off of an acquired pen. Many pens acquired on ebay or thrift sales seem to have some crud on them. I use Scrubbing Bubbles or Lysol foaming bath cleaners on them to get rid of germs. I does no harm, and who wants a germy pen? Then I have used some for-plastic buffing compound on them, impregnating a rag with it and hand polishing the pen, slowly. After reading Bruce's methods, I will eventually change to that when I have the materials. It's a great method.

I once used a bench-mounted buffer on a Montblanc, and I took a piece out of it, even though I tried to be really careful. I hadn't meant to break a $135 pen (1980s), but it happened anyway. It's now a frankenpen. The buffers are fast, but it's better to be late . . .

"Don't hurry, don't worry. It's better to be late at the Golden Gate than to arrive in Hell on time."
--Sign in a bar and grill, Ormond Beach, Florida, 1960.

 

They took the blue from the skies and the pretty girls' eyes and a touch of Old Glory too . . .


#24 mmcaleer

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Posted 22 August 2012 - 19:13

Bruce and Pajaro,

Good answers. Thanks for the reply. Once I get my first Esterbrook I will go with Bruce's method.

Mike

#25 makas

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Posted 31 August 2012 - 23:01

Hello

I had a question about using automotive wax on pens. I looked at the back of the can and it said formulated with Pure Carnauba wax so I wanted to know what was in it. I work on helicopters so when I want to know what is in something I look up the Material Safety Data Sheet on it. I pulled up Meguiar's Wax. In the Deep Crystal Carnauba Wax I found it has 10 to 25% Naphtha petroleum, heavy hydrotreated and a 5 to 10% polymer blend a few other things at 1 to 5%. In the Car Cleaner Wax-Paste the big one was 30 to 60% Petroleum Distillates HFP, 7 to 13% Polydimethylsiloxane, with a bunch of other things in very small %.
I looked up Carnauba wax and found it was a hard wax that needs to be blended with other things to be a paste. I picked up some flakes from a wood shop just to play with but I think I will look at it more before I use a wax.
I just think you may want to know what is in what you use on your pens. I don’t want to sound like I know what will or won't harm them, it's just I would worry about what to put on a good pen. I have broken, melted, and done other things to pens before I looked at what I was doing. It's one thing when you are working with a pen that would be trash and you are bringing back from the dead but if you are finished and just want to make it shine it may be at the cost of the pen in the long run. If you want to know more just search for MSDS and the name of the product.

Enjoy your pens for a long time!

Mark

#26 mmcaleer

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Posted 01 September 2012 - 01:46

I purchased a Bell System pen and it was pretty dull. I put it to my Beall Buffing System using the white diamond polish and it turned out beautiful. Both of the pens in the photo were polished on the same system.

Here is a pic.
Posted Image

Mike






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