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Ebonite Pen Gets Sticky Under Fingers?


Throtttl
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Hello FPN!

 

I bought my first fountain pen a few months ago due to an intriguing review I saw on this forum. The pen is called the Gama Forever and is made from ebonite.

 

I enjoy using this pen very much, and have had no functional issues with it.

 

However, I find that that my fingers become sticky when using this pen even for a short while. To be more specific, the section of the pen seems to leave a rubbery residue on my thumb and index fingers.

 

I have been using this pen for quite a while now, and this issue has not resolved itself. My fingers do not sweat very much, although they are not completely dry either.

 

I would thus like to ask this forum if its members have encountered a similar situation before, and if there are any ways to resolve it. I really do enjoy using this pen otherwise, and thus look forward to your replies!

 

Thanking You,

Throtttl

 

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Hi Throtttl. In the first place, :W2FPN: If you love fountain pens, or use them, and want to talk about it, you've come to the right place.

I do not myself have a Gama Forever, but I have many other ebonite Gamas, and many other ebonite pens, and I've never experienced what you describe, with any of them. So if you bought the pen from Asapens you could contact them and ask about it. It seems almost as if something on your skin is reacting with the ebonite. If that's the case, maybe if you coat the pen with a thin layer of something, it might go away? But ask Asapens first, that can't hurt. Their aftersales support is top notch. (no affiliation, etc etc)

a fountain pen is physics in action... Proud member of the SuperPinks

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Thanks for the welcome and the reply mhguda!

 

It may be possible that my skin is reacting with the ebonite. However, I hope that this is not the case.

 

I thought about the situation last night and may have found the source of the stickyness - silicone grease.

 

To be more specific, the Gama Forever is an eyedropper. I thus grease the threads that attach the section to the barrel using silicone grease. Might it be possible that the silicone grease 'oozes' through the small gap between the section and the barrel and onto my fingers? I realize that I do put quite a lot of it. Moreover, in a case when I did not grease the threads, ink was present in this gap.

 

I'd like to hear what you think!

 

Thanks again.

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It might be, although that would feel not so much sticky as slick. And it is colorless - it does not dissolve the ebonite!

But you need only a little bit of it on the threads. You can wipe off the excess (with a tissue or paper towel) and see if the stickiness is less.

And yes, you do need to put silicone grease, or you get ink not only on the threads. but outside - on the grip section, where you don't want it.

Good luck, I hope you solve your problem and that these remarks provide some help. Let us know how it works out!

a fountain pen is physics in action... Proud member of the SuperPinks

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I certainly will update the thread, once I refill the pen. This may take a while - Indian eyedroppers hold a lot of ink!

 

My main takeaway from your advice is that ebonite should not become sticky the way it is for me.

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My very limited experience with ebonite is that it has a slight feel of tack, absent from acrylic or celluloid.

 

When you contact the folks at ASApens (or your vendor, if different), ask them if carnuba wax would be a safe surface treatment for your pen. It's pretty benign stuff, used in everything from high end auto detailing products to whitening toothpaste.

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I will say, I've noticed with pens that I've eyedroppered that the grease can slowly move out of the threads if you use too much and onto the section. I had a similar issue with a Kaweco Sport, where I noticed the section becoming slightly slick and leaving my fingers slightly sticky because I used just a little bit too much grease (and I do mean just a little bit too much).

 

I'd suggest unscrewing it, cleaning it off, and add less grease than you think you should. Hopefully you won't have this problem again!

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Thank you for your replies.

 

Interestingly, I have carnauba wax lying around. I did consider using some 'varnish' or powder to coat the pen, but did not want to add that aspect of maintenance to it. I will experiment a little and try to determine the minimal amount of silicone grease my pen requires. If the problem persists, I'll coat the pen!

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I have several vintage ebonite ( or hard rubber) pens and no, they don´t stick to my fingers.

 

Do NOT coat your pen with carnauba, renaissance or any other wax, they won´t do any good, and there is no way to remove it afterwards.

 

In case of doubt contact any of the top notch repair people we have in this forum for their opinion.

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I just finished the ink a couple of days ago on my Gama Forever, but did not experienced what you mentioned on your original post. Very nice eyedropper, inks last a long time, and an important thing for me is that it never burped the whole time I used, three weeks. But as the same as you I did apply some silicone grease because of fear that ink might go thru the threads, but that did not happened.

Jaime Castro

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Hi,

I own a Gama Forever and have not had issues with the pen. I would suggest you contact Mr Subramaniam of ASA Pens. His customer service is top notch and you should not have an issue getting a solution to your problem.

 

Regards

Srinivas

Regards

Srinivas

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Silicon grease sounds like the most likely culprit. I have not experienced sticky fingers from touching the ebonite on any of my ebonite pens, but I have experienced surplus grease getting squeezed out of the threads of an eyedropper pen and getting onto the section. And yes, once it gets on the section and then on your fingers it can be invisible and sticky-feeling. You should be able to wipe if off of the section with a clean, soft, non-scratching cloth and a bit of pressure.

I try to make a habit of wiping the little bit of surplus grease off the pen after I fill it, before my fingers can get into it.

ron

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Well, I refilled the pen and re-greased the threads (with much less grease), and the problem is gone! It was a disappointingly simple solution to a problem that had been plaguing me for months :wallbash:.

Moreover, I noticed that ebonite actually 'absorbs' sweat in a manner that resin pens do not, making it comfortable to use continuously.

 

Thank you all for your help!

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Glad the problem was easily resolved.

a fountain pen is physics in action... Proud member of the SuperPinks

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