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Are Estie Js' Injection Molded?


AL01
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Hello guys n' gals of FPN!!!

 

I have bought my J under the assumption that it would the the first machined pen that I have ever bought, (July of '14) , and recently I have been hearing that Esterbrook had some sort of injection molding system that is futuristic! I have heard that the Js' were either made on such a machine or were molded, welded, then machines.

 

Any ideas? Are Esties Injection Molded or Machined??

 

Thanks!!

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I'd bet "machined". I doubt the wonderful "mackerel sky" patterns could be achieved with injection moulding. Later solid colour pens, well, not so sure.

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I heard that 'if' the pens were injection molded then they used some machines that resemble meat grinders....

May be some alien tech??? :-)

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I heard that 'if' the pens were injection molded then they used some machines that resemble meat grinders....

May be some alien tech??? :-)

 

You mean extruded.

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Thank you! This is gonna be fascinating once more people join....

WE WILL GET TO THE BOTTOM OF THIS.........

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Reference books are your friend....Paul Hoban's book states that Esterbrook was among the early adapters of newly developed injection molding processes for plastics as a means of making low cost pens. It's been discussed here before that the process, being new, was an ongoing learning curve. Esterbrook may have marketed only six colors, but once you start seeing more and more pens, you realize how unique each one came out, and how many variations of each of those six colors exist. I've seen lots of 36 pens (listed as six of each) that had such visible differences that there were 36 different colors. I even had one that looked as though two different colors of plastic somehow merged, and what I got wasn't green, wasn't gray, but more of an olive color. The book also states that Esterbrook used Pyralin as their base material.

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So Estie Js were injection molded/extruded?? If so, then I am unimpressed by the fact that companies today can't make an injection molded pen like a second tier company did in the late 40s to 60s....

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I kind of find it hard to believe that Esterbrook Js were injection molded. Maybe the celluloid was extruded as a tube, rather than rolled from a sheet, and then worked from there in various ways. For example, I've read a couple of times that the taper in the end of barrel was heat-formed, and that if you re-heat it, it will re-expand into a straight cylinder. I could believe parts, such as jewels, were injection molded.

fpn_1375035941__postcard_swap.png * * * "Don't neglect to write me several times from different places when you may."
-- John Purdue (1863)

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I kind of find it hard to believe that Esterbrook Js were injection molded. Maybe the celluloid was extruded as a tube, rather than rolled from a sheet, and then worked from there in various ways. For example, I've read a couple of times that the taper in the end of barrel was heat-formed, and that if you re-heat it, it will re-expand into a straight cylinder. I could believe parts, such as jewels, were injection molded.

Makes sense... I know for sure that the Jewels, nib collars, and the section are obviously injection molded. (My section even has the molding marks...)

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Reread gweimer's post... Paul Hoban wrote a scholarly book about Esterbrook pens.

Baptiste knew how to make a short job long

For love of it. And yet not waste time either.

Robert Frost

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Yes, and I'll admit I haven't read it, and don't know his sources. But

 

Paul Hoban's book states that Esterbrook was among the early adapters of newly developed injection molding processes for plastics as a means of making low cost pens.

 

 

is an ambiguous sentence. Adopted when, for what pens, and in what way? Is the part of gweimer1's post regarding colors extrapolative musing, or based on solid knowledge of Esterbrook's production processes?

 

I'm skeptical, but also curious, and certainly willing to accept that J barrels and caps were injection molded if that's where the best current information lies.

Edited by Tweel

fpn_1375035941__postcard_swap.png * * * "Don't neglect to write me several times from different places when you may."
-- John Purdue (1863)

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Yes, and I'll admit I haven't read it, and don't know his sources. But

 

 

is an ambiguous sentence. Adopted when, for what pens, and in what way? Is the part of gweimer1's post regarding colors extrapolative musing, or based on solid knowledge of Esterbrook's production processes?

 

I'm skeptical, but also curious, and certainly willing to accept that J barrels and caps were injection molded if that's where the best current information lies.

"Using the newly developed injection molding process for making plastic products (Esterbrook being one of the first), the firm brought the cost of making colored barrels and caps down to a point where $1.00 pens could be offered in colors other than black. This occured (sic) sometime around 1938." Hoban, Paul, The Fountain Pens of Esterbrook (BDH Productions, San Dimas, California, USA. 1992) page 5.

 

" . . . the injection molding process, now mastered, was cheaper than the old way of handling plastic, enabling the company to offer five bright colors (and black) for a dollar; while a higher price had to be charged for the pens in the more exotic colors, which were still made the old way. In addition to the known advertised colors, five others have been found in pens which were produced during this period: a solid white, solid green, solid bronze, a white-on-white find grained pearl, and a yellow fine grained pearl. The model designations for fountain pens of this period (as well as the entire line of Esterbrook writing products) are shown in the (ca.) 1938-1939 catalog reproduction appearing later in this book." Hoban, Paul, The Fountain Pens of Esterbrook (BDH Productions, San Dimas, California, USA. 1992) page 12.

 

"The fancy colors (Morocco Red, Foliage Green and Pearl Gray) were also dropped from the line during the war years." Hoban, Paul, The Fountain Pens of Esterbrook (BDH Productions, San Dimas, California, USA. 1992) page 13.

 

The pens "in more exotic colors" referred to in the second and third quotes were known by the name "Dollar Pens" and had clips that had one large hole or two small holes in them and without "Esterbrook" on the clips. These predate the J which had a solid clip with three vertical lines in it and, in 1948-49 onward had "Esterbrook" stamped on them.

 

As gweimer1 stated the Esterbrook J's were injection molded. The Esterbrook J did not come in any of those "more exotic colors". The colors and patterns of the Esterbrook J the product of their injection molding process despite that some may "find it hard to believe" or feel "skeptical".

 

Tweel, I hope I have given you sufficient sources and adequate documentation. If not, you should feel free to research the subject yourself. You might start by doing a search on the Fountain Pen Network.

 

 

 

So Estie Js were injection molded/extruded?? If so, then I am unimpressed by the fact that companies today can't make an injection molded pen like a second tier company did in the late 40s to 60s....

I don't blame you. Why haven't companies today made such a quality pen? Also, if you read Hogan's excellent book, you will learn about a twist fill fountain pen Esterbrook made for two years during the war that, at the time of his writing the book (1992) showed "no sign of deterioration after 48 years. In fact, it fills and works fine." Don't you know I would love to have one of those!

 

-David (Estie).

No matter how much you push the envelope, it will still be stationery. -Anon.

A backward poet writes inverse. -Anon.

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Thanks for those quotes, David.

Baptiste knew how to make a short job long

For love of it. And yet not waste time either.

Robert Frost

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Hmmm... Mighty interesting. Thanks for all of the help!

It's amazing, I really wish the 'Nu Esterbrook' company uses these cool shenanigans too...

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Estie1948, thanks for the quotes from the book.

fpn_1375035941__postcard_swap.png * * * "Don't neglect to write me several times from different places when you may."
-- John Purdue (1863)

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Extruded tubes were formed then the threads cut likely with a screw lathe.

 

Sections of hard rubber were made from rod or tube on an engine lathe.

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