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Does It Dissolve Celluloid?


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Their have been a number of topics recently about what is safe to use on celluloid.


I have no idea, as I have never owned a celluloid pen.


However, according to Wikipedia, it is not only pens that have been made out of celluloid, but (until a year a two ago) it was used for table tennis balls.


So, rather than testing your 'solvents' on your beloved celluloid pen, why not test them on table tennis balls instead. (OK, you may laugh now and call me daft, but please tell me why). If this is nothing new to you, the phrase "stop teaching Granny to suck eggs" might be appropriate and I'll go crawl under a rock.


The 'approved' (tournament) balls to look for are those that have the imprint "44", but not "44+" as these are made of a newer plastic. I have no idea about any others.

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Or old junker pens.

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I have a sheet of celluloid (Chinese stuff meant for guitar picks) I'll send to anybody anywhere in the world if they want to do some experiments and post their results here. :)

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Oh yes, if anyone is experimenting, please post the results.

I've heard that you shouldn't use alkaline inks in celluloid pens, but I don't know if that's true or not (I sure hope not, because at the moment I've got Iroshihzuku Yama-budo in the Green Shadow Wave Vac, and have heard that Japanese inks are sometimes fairly alkaline.... (But oh, my, does that magenta/red violet ink look good coming out of the nib on that green pen....)

Ruth Morrisson aka inkstainedruth

"It's very nice, but frankly, when I signed that list for a P-51, what I had in mind was a fountain pen."

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Not all celluloid will behave the same toward solvents.

San Francisco International Pen Show - The next “Funnest Pen Show” is on schedule for August 23-24-25, 2024.  Watch the show website for registration details. 

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From my experience with vintage British celluloids I use on daily basis I can only add that they suffer from hand gel sanitisers. It seems that alcohols melt the surface pretty efficiently. I have already lost almost all chasing on two pens.

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Not all celluloid will behave the same toward solvents.

Good point. I'll offer to throw in slices from some modern and vintage celluloid that I have in the shop with the Chinese stuff to get better results. :)

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