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Reblackening Hard Rubber In Detailed Filligree Overlay Design



Guest Ray Cornett

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Guest Ray Cornett

I was given some old Tryphon pen products and the instructions said that the scratch remover can be used to get rid of hard rubber oxydation. I tried it on a spot of hard rubber in a filligree overlay on a hard rubber pen.

The problem? The only area that seems to go back to black is the center spot inside the filligree detail but not all the way to the edges. So, I have a spot of nice black surrounded by still oxydized hard leather. I tried Q-tips to get up to the edges but that didn't help.

Suggestions?

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Are you using the light blue solution?

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Guest Ray Cornett

Are you using the light blue solution?

I have the light green cleaner/protectant, light brown polish and white scratch remover. I wouldn't call it light blue at all.

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Edited by Ray Cornett
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If it's anything like the vulcanite used in pipe stems, the oxidation can be quite stubborn. We used a cloth buffing wheel, and sometimes still had some stems that remained slightly faded. The filigree won't help because it limits your ability to get to the material.

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The solution has a very mild abrasive in it. Soaking it in the solution will not yield the desired result.

San Francisco International Pen Show - The next great pen show is on schedule for August 27-28-29, 2021. If we all do what we need to do...you can Book your travel and tables and make SF 2021 the Return. 
 

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Most of us just live with the oxidation, which is why one that is truly black and original is priced so much more. There is no really effective way to remove the oxidation on a filigree pen. As noted, it's more than a surface issue - it goes down into the rubber. Even buffing can be difficult and rather ineffective. Applying Pensburry Manor (Sid Saperstein's stuff) or the blackening agent produced a couple of years has mixed results. Sid's comes off with alcohol and can scratch, the other is no longer available. Some agents can corrode and damage metal, even silver.

 

To be able to apply it to your pen you would have to remove the overlay. It's not something that would recommend that you try being new to collecting. The barrel is difficult enough to do without risk of damaging the overlay or the hard rubber. The cap is nearly impossible, and is impossible to do without removing the clip because the rivets go all of the way from the inside. That's another whole layer of issues that carry risk.

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I recall you had someone teaching you to repair pens. Ron's approach is the standard one. Any chance your mentor has a better or improved procedure?

San Francisco International Pen Show - The next great pen show is on schedule for August 27-28-29, 2021. If we all do what we need to do...you can Book your travel and tables and make SF 2021 the Return. 
 

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Guest Ray Cornett

To be able to apply it to your pen you would have to remove the overlay. It's not something that would recommend that you try being new to collecting. The barrel is difficult enough to do without risk of damaging the overlay or the hard rubber. The cap is nearly impossible, and is impossible to do without removing the clip because the rivets go all of the way from the inside. That's another whole layer of issues that carry risk.

I would never dream of that at this point with my level of skill. Thinking about it and how the pen could be ruined forever freaks me out, lol. Especially since it is a friends pen which I replaced the sac in for her. I talked with her about it and decided to leave it as is. She is happy as long as it is functional.

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Guest Ray Cornett

I recall you had someone teaching you to repair pens. Ron's approach is the standard one. Any chance your mentor has a better or improved procedure?

Well, he has not done much with hard rubber pens. I did use one suggestion on the butt of the pen and when I saw it the next day it had turned an almost tan color instead of darkening by removing the oxidation. I think I nearly fainted. Fortunately I remembered reading somewhere that skin oils from your own skin can darken the rubber. So through out the day I would rub it and over the next couple days it went back pretty much to the dark brown oxydized color. I also seem to recall reading on here something about a certain kind of oil being boiled then applies to hard rubber to make it black?

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The suggestion was most likely for boiled linseed oil. You don't have to boil it yourself..... Experiment on a scrap 52 barrel before you do anything with something like this one.

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Guest Ray Cornett

The suggestion was most likely for boiled linseed oil. You don't have to boil it yourself..... Experiment on a scrap 52 barrel before you do anything with something like this one.

I will be giving it back to her soon as it is but told her once I become more experienced at such things I would like to get it back to do it to this one later. She is fine with that but is just happen to know it works again. This and the 1917 512 1/2 which she gave me are the oldest pens I have ever held, let alone done anything to. Luckily they were fairly simple lever fillers. This experience was a crash course in getting me over being worried about working on other peoples pens.

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I'm not suggesting you try it on this pen, but I'm now curious how a soft cloth buffing attachment on a dremel (using low speeds) might work out for getting into the corners without removing the overlay.

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Guest Ray Cornett

I'm not suggesting you try it on this pen, but I'm now curious how a soft cloth buffing attachment on a dremel (using low speeds) might work out for getting into the corners without removing the overlay.

I thought about it. I also do have a table top buffer out in the garage with controllable speed.

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This experience was a crash course in getting me over being worried about working on other peoples pens.

 

I hope the people who work on my pens NEVER Stop with their worrying about the pens they work on...

 

Heck.

 

I worry about My Own pens when I work on them. The Exact reason I Don't do Much of it for others.

 

Bruce in Ocala, Fl

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Guest Ray Cornett

 

I hope the people who work on my pens NEVER Stop with their worrying about the pens they work on...

 

Heck.

 

I worry about My Own pens when I work on them. The Exact reason I Don't do Much of it for others.

 

Bruce in Ocala, Fl

Well I dont want you to think I dont worry. Perhaps I misspoke. I just dont fear working on others pens anymore like I did before. Believe me, I wont be getting cocky on this at all. I have to much respect for the craft and the pens. Had I been cocky I would have not asked for advice :)

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I don't know if they would be abrasive enough but what about using 'orange sticks' (as used by nail technicians for cuticle manipulation) dipped in the solution? They could easily go right to the inner edge of the filigree but, being made of a soft wood, will absolutely not damage the metal.

 

Other than that, a totally wild and plucked out of the air idea... Would India ink recolour a rubber bodied pen? If not that then how about black leather dye?

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Almost anything applied to the surface of the rubber is vulnerable and will wear off, scratch off, or can be removed with a solvent. Some might even damage or cause the breakdown of the rubber. Figuring out how to truly and effectively blacken a pen so that it is like it originally was in color and durability is the Holy Grail of pen restoration - and just as elusive.

 

Some of the materials available now are corrosive if left in contact with the metal of a pen. Trying to buff the surface of a pen so that the color is black has varying degrees of success, depending on when the pen was made and the formula of the rubber. You can spend all afternoon buffing a pen trying to get it black, and end up with a pen that has no imprint, and looks like it has a skin disease.

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Guest Ray Cornett

I don't know if they would be abrasive enough but what about using 'orange sticks' (as used by nail technicians for cuticle manipulation) dipped in the solution? They could easily go right to the inner edge of the filigree but, being made of a soft wood, will absolutely not damage the metal.

 

Other than that, a totally wild and plucked out of the air idea... Would India ink recolour a rubber bodied pen? If not that then how about black leather dye?

I have to say that is an interesting idea. The pen has already been returned to her and she is very happy with it as it is. She was more interested in it becoming functional again. Pretty again was just icing on the cake that she was not concerned about. But she did say that if I ever wanted to I could get the pen back if I figured out a way to get those tight spots black again. I would prefer not to add anything to the pen that was not there to begin with so polishes and such are not something I would necessarily be into for my own pens or for hers. But if someone asks me to work on their pen and does want it reblackened I know which the option I will choose.

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.

 

Most of us just live with the oxidation, which is why one that is truly black and original is priced so much more.

This afternoon I didn't purchase three very significant pens because they had been reblackened.

San Francisco International Pen Show - The next great pen show is on schedule for August 27-28-29, 2021. If we all do what we need to do...you can Book your travel and tables and make SF 2021 the Return. 
 

 My PM box is usually full. Just email me: my last name at the google mail address.

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