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Black Monteverde Tool – Paint Problem, Etc.

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Hello all!


I want to tell you all about an issue with the Black (specifically) Monteverde Tool, and pass along a few tips.


First, to be fair, I want to say Monteverde USA quickly shipped a replacement when I described the problem to them. Excellent customer service!


Now, the problem. A couple of weeks after I got it, the pen's matte black paint began to disintigrate. When it got too bad to ignore, I found I could easily scrape it off with a fingernail. I've attached a picture.




Clue: The clip side's paint remained as hard as ever.

Clue: It's a tool. I keep it clipped to the inside of my T-shirt collar.


This is when I contacted Monteverde and they sent the new pen. The service rep said "This occurred
on part of a shipment." OK. Still, before taking the new pen out of its box (except briefly to admire), I decided to try wearing the old pen the other way 'round (clipped to a lanyard around my neck).


Clue: After two days against my skin, the clip-side paint was soft too, except under the clip.


Conclusion: The matte black paint can soften after prolonged skin contact!


(For the record, the glossy black parts seem entirely unaffected.)


Possible factor: I'm a type II diabetic and I try to limit my carbohydrate intake, so my sweat probably contains more acetone than is normal. (A little is normal, I gather, if you're burning fat.) If the acetone really is to blame, your mileage will almost certainly vary.


It's worth wondering if the softening factor applied by brief skin contact is volatile enough to disperse over time. Maybe the paint, once softened, will harden again if not damaged first. I wouldn't count on it.


I've asked the service rep if the new pen's paint is a different type that won't soften. It certainly seems the same. I'll tell you all what she says when she replies. But even then, I'm probably going to handle the new pen with kid (or rubber) gloves.


Fortunately I still have my ratty old pen, which is, after all, a tool, and doesn't look bad stripped down to bare metal:




Someday maybe I'll strip out the white paint and antique the engraving.


Quick Tips:


  • (Seen elsewhere on FPN) Slide the cap under the clip to avoid losing it. Yes it marks the paint (on mine at least), but the mark is hidden.
  • Don't overtighten the cap. If you're too strong, it's possible to turn the section, distorting the interference grooves that hold its angle.
  • The screwdriver can hit the inside of the stylus dome if it's not secure. I worry it'll cause wear, so if the pen rattles, I immediately open the back and secure the screwdriver (push it in till it clicks).
  • I will probably cut a couple of strategic grooves on the screwdriver, to give my thumbnail purchase to pull it out. My fingers are too big.
  • Fill your Tool with Noodler's Blackerase Watererase ink. Then it'll mark plastics and metal (all those I've tried, more or less adequately). Try the back of the nib (low angle) to mark soft things.
  • Someone mentioned you can't use the pen and straightedge/ruler at the same time. Yes you can. Pull out the pen section. It works well enough for making a mark.
  • Cool: take out the screwdriver and shine your Noodler's UV light into the hole. The level lights up like a Green Lantern.


    (This works almost as well if you leave the back cap on and just shine UV into the level's slot. If you insist on being prosaic.)

Thanks for reading!


[mwb: Sorry for all the small edits. I like to refine, but I'm new here and I thought I might lose work if I didn't save a draft quickly.]

Edited by mwbrooks
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  • 3 weeks later...

For what it's worth, I like the way my bare-brass Tool's patina is maturing. I dug out my good digicam (Olympus Stylus, appropriately) to take a close-up.


Full frame:



Full resolution:



I've noticed the engraving looks light in a spot where the white has come off, so I'm not going to risk trying to remove the rest of it. I can't tell if the white came off because of light engraving just there, or maybe the engraving is shallow everywhere. I suppose I'll be able to tell when more of the white wears off, but I'm not going to push it. I'm very happy with the pen's appearance as it is now.

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