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Esterbrook Ebonite Section Soaking


Driphtwood
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First of all, I've tried searching for more information on this topic, and didn't find what I was looking for. Forgive me if this subject has already been flushed out.

 

I recently purchased an Esterbrook J on a whim, and set to work on restoring my first pen to working order. I was able to pull the section off and remove the disintegrating sac, but found my first roadblock in removing the nib unit from the section. Long story short, I soaked the pen in a solution of ammonia, water, and dish soap and was able to clean out all the old ink and successfully unscrew the nib unit. Now however, I think I may have damaged the pen!

 

Apparently you're not supposed to soak ebonite in water right, and I could be wrong but the whole section is ebonite. I can't imagine soaking in ammonia did anything to help either. The section is now a different color than the barrel, slightly greenish very dark grey instead of black, and is more matte than glossy, again unlike the barrel.

 

My questions are as follows.

 

  1. If you're not supposed to soak ebonite, how would i have cleaned out the ink from the section?
  2. I'm considering attempting to restore the old finish by buffing away the damaged surface of the section. Should I go ahead and give this a try?

 

I've attached a photo of the pen. As a final note, it's possible that it already looked like this. I honestly can't tell.

 

post-132573-0-39937600-1481142221.jpg

 

This is a photo from the original ebay listing. It looks like it might already have been even less slightly discolored?

 

post-132573-0-58909800-1481142269_thumb.jpg

 

Edited by Driphtwood

Stay unposted, friends.

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How long did you leave it in? I've done a lot of Esterbrooks, and while I know the risk of dropping the section in water and ammonia, I haven't really had any issues with a quick 10 minute soak. Sometimes, the ink has done a nice job of fusing the nib into the section.

 

Unless your section is one of the older ones, like on the Dollar pens, I wouldn't have expected a drastic change.

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How long did you leave it in? I've done a lot of Esterbrooks, and while I know the risk of dropping the section in water and ammonia, I haven't really had any issues with a quick 10 minute soak. Sometimes, the ink has done a nice job of fusing the nib into the section.

 

Unless your section is one of the older ones, like on the Dollar pens, I wouldn't have expected a drastic change.

 

Yes, it was perhaps a couple of hours. I checked it often to see if the nib unit would budge. As soon as I got it out I rinsed it off with distilled water and let it dry. As such I don't think I've affected the color drastically, as you said.

 

Would it still be worth it to give it a good polish to bring out the shiny blackness again?

Stay unposted, friends.

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