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Screw Cap Stuck


ThePrecursor
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Hey, I cleaned the barrel and outer cap of my pen with rubbing alcohol (70% isopropyl alcohol which I read was safe) and may have gone over the threading on the body of the pen. Now my pen is clean and shiny but after screwing the cap on I cannot unscrew it! I didn't try using force because I was uneasy about possibly breaking the threads. Any suggestions? A few searches around the forum have advice ranging from soaking in warm water to heating up the pen with a blow dryer. Are there any tried-and-true methods that I should use?

 

Also forgot to mention its a 3776 Century (a screw cap), if that makes any difference.

Edited by ThePrecursor

Son of Zeus. Brother of Hercules. Father of SWAG.

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Can you tell me where you read that it was safe to clean your pen with alcohol?

 

--Daniel

"The greatest mental derangement is to believe things because we want them to be true, not because we observe that they are in effect." --Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet

Daniel Kirchheimer
Specialty Pen Restoration
Authorized Sheaffer/Parker/Waterman Vintage Repair Center
Purveyor of the iCroScope digital loupe

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Here in this thread:

 

https://www.fountainpennetwork.com/forum/index.php/topic/250028-using-rubbing-alcoholacetone-to-remove-oil-from-nib/

 

And by the way, I only used the alcohol on the plastic parts aka cap+barrel, it didn't touch the inner cap, feed or nib.

 

I did some more digging and saw that alcohol generally is bad for plastic pens, but isopropyl is relatively safe (does not interact with most plastics). My pen is made from AS resin Styrene acrylonitrile resin but don't know how it reacts. Right now I'm soaking the pen in warm water as per some suggestions in other threads.

Edited by ThePrecursor

Son of Zeus. Brother of Hercules. Father of SWAG.

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Only use the warm water on the cap, so that it'll expand. Don't immerse the whole pen in warm water or there'll be no difference.

Flex Away :D

 

post-118150-0-23786200-1420009888.png

 

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Here in this thread:

 

https://www.fountainpennetwork.com/forum/index.php/topic/250028-using-rubbing-alcoholacetone-to-remove-oil-from-nib/

 

And by the way, I only used the alcohol on the plastic parts aka cap+barrel, it didn't touch the inner cap, feed or nib.

 

I did some more digging and saw that alcohol generally is bad for plastic pens, but isopropyl is relatively safe (does not interact with most plastics). My pen is made from AS resin Styrene acrylonitrile resin but don't know how it reacts. Right now I'm soaking the pen in warm water as per some suggestions in other threads.

 

 

PLease keep us posted as we , I, would like to know what method worked for you?

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Here in this thread:

 

https://www.fountainpennetwork.com/forum/index.php/topic/250028-using-rubbing-alcoholacetone-to-remove-oil-from-nib/

 

And by the way, I only used the alcohol on the plastic parts aka cap+barrel, it didn't touch the inner cap, feed or nib.

 

I did some more digging and saw that alcohol generally is bad for plastic pens, but isopropyl is relatively safe (does not interact with most plastics). My pen is made from AS resin Styrene acrylonitrile resin but don't know how it reacts. Right now I'm soaking the pen in warm water as per some suggestions in other threads.

I don't see anything in that thread saying isopropyl alcohol is safe for use on the outside of a plastic pen. Can you quote the post to which you are referring?

 

--Daniel

"The greatest mental derangement is to believe things because we want them to be true, not because we observe that they are in effect." --Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet

Daniel Kirchheimer
Specialty Pen Restoration
Authorized Sheaffer/Parker/Waterman Vintage Repair Center
Purveyor of the iCroScope digital loupe

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Soaking the cap in warm water for about an hour did the trick, but after using it I screwed it back on too tight (again!) and now its stuck again. I did examine the pen under a 12x loupe to check for scratches/melting but nothing there, so I guess the alcohol swab didn't do any damage (it was only a quick wipe after all).

Son of Zeus. Brother of Hercules. Father of SWAG.

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I guess the alcohol swab didn't do any damage (it was only a quick wipe after all).

If so, you were lucky

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To answer your question, I wouldn't heat it up too much, but soaking it in warm water might help. It's possible that there's some alcohol residue or something dried up in there and is blocking the threads from unscrewing. Good luck :)

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Soaking the cap in warm water for about an hour did the trick, but after using it I screwed it back on too tight (again!) and now its stuck again. I did examine the pen under a 12x loupe to check for scratches/melting but nothing there, so I guess the alcohol swab didn't do any damage (it was only a quick wipe after all).

You won't see the softening of the plastic due to the solvent action of alcohol. A quick wipe is more than enough to damage the pen; the solvent acts upon contact. And, of course, if the alcohol didn't do damage, why does your cap suddenly get stuck?

 

--Daniel

"The greatest mental derangement is to believe things because we want them to be true, not because we observe that they are in effect." --Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet

Daniel Kirchheimer
Specialty Pen Restoration
Authorized Sheaffer/Parker/Waterman Vintage Repair Center
Purveyor of the iCroScope digital loupe

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You won't see the softening of the plastic due to the solvent action of alcohol. A quick wipe is more than enough to damage the pen; the solvent acts upon contact. And, of course, if the alcohol didn't do damage, why does your cap suddenly get stuck?

 

--Daniel

I think only the threading on the barrel was damaged, because the outer cap and barrel looks fine. But yeah I wouldn't do this again. The information/instructions that come with these pens should really tell the dos and don'ts (such as not using alcohol on plastic pens) for new owners such as myself, especially since they aren't cheap.

One bit of advice:

NEVER EVER EEEEVEEERRR use alcohol with pens. :D

Yeah I kinda get that now. NEVER AGAIN. I have used cleaning alcohol swabs before on my other stuff- iphone, headphones, water bottle, mouse, etc and haven't had any problems and I was only aware that alcohol damaged rubber.

 

Also, should I apply some sort of lubricant to the threading to keep it smooth? I've got it out now by soaking the cap section in warm water and using rubber bands around the pen to keep a grip while slowly unscrewing it.

Edited by ThePrecursor

Son of Zeus. Brother of Hercules. Father of SWAG.

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