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Experiments To 're-Blacken' Hard Rubber



siamackz

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Sia, Your posts have been a real inspiration to me, and convinced me to try my hand at pen repair.

My first victim, excuse me, I mean patient is an old Inkograph that I've had in my parts box for a couple of years.

I first used a hair dryer to warm up the section, and it pulled right off. No threads. The sac was dry, and easy to remove.

The lever and j-bar are fine.

Knowing that alcohol is a good solvent for shellac, I soaked and cleaned the section in it until I got the wire loose, again, no problems. It moves freely now.

Then I tried to restore the hard rubber finish. My photos aren't so good, but the pen was a brownish, greenish mess. I don't know if you can tell from the photos. What I used to clean it is my #1 go to for polishing pens. It's very gentle and didn't bother the engraving.

You said that you use some kind of chalk to fill the engraving? Will any old chalk do?

Anyway here are some photos of my work so far. All I need is a sac and that chalk.

Thanks so much!

Doug

 

Stylopen1.JPG

 

Stylo3.JPG

 

Stylopen2.JPG

 

 

Well done! Ill PM you about the chalk so we dont move off topic. So glad you tried restoring this yourself and were successful! Great stuff!

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Hello,

I put new tests in the discussion thread which I give you the link:

 

http://www.stylo-plume.org/viewtopic.php?f=9&p=292990#p292990

 

My mixture has 40 days since its creation and it is still active, as you can see with the Waterman's 52 1 / 2v that I have deoxidized.

 

3 hours and no sanding or polishing except that of the paper towel to dry.

Very nice! So whats in the mixture?

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The mixture I'm testing is based on sodium percarbonate. The combination of alcohol, emulsifier, water and cleaning agent with a high proportion of oil (here mineral) .

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  • 1 month later...
Conradandhispens

I was just lucky that the imprints were deep and I sanded right over them. The pen was so bad I felt I had nothing to lose.

 

It was not just faded and oxidized. There is/was also a crack in the cap lip, barely seen on the top edge of the top pic, and post repair shown right on top of the 4th picture :) I have found my own technique for fixing this type of crack on slip type caps only. But that is a different thread that has not happened yet.

 

fpn_1517462942__crack_aa_mhr.jpg

Hi, would you care to share how you repaired this?

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Nothing can be done to prevent ebonite oxidizing other than keeping the pen in it’s original box, sealed and unopened, permanently. Exposure to moisture and fluorescent lighting will accelerate oxidation, so avoid these as much as possible. There is a nice product called obsidian oil, developed for pipe stems, which you can use periodically on the ebonite to keep it shiny and slow the oxidation - it helps but it does not prevent oxidation.

 

And nothing can be done to fully repair oxidized ebonite. You can polish the surface and obtain partially satisfactory results, but it will never have the blackness and deep shine that it had originally, and eventually the material will wear away through polishing. The more you attempt to remove the brown/green oxidation, the faster you will wear away the material. If it is badly discoloured it may be better to aim for a shiny brown pen than try to make it black again.

 

It’s just the nature of the material.

Edited by MoriartyR
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  • 1 month later...
Honeybadgers

I have a pretty chocolatey waterman 12 full size that I want to use, but the ebonite feels really awful. I ordered some Pensbury manor number 9 solution, but would you guys still recommend I pre-sand it with some high grit micro mesh?

 

After that I need to see if the section can come out (it was put in with some of that tacky sealant, I'm guessing it was a bit loose) so I can inspect the sac - it flings ink at the merest tap and flows uncontrollably. The nib is an outstanding full flex though, but it's a medium, so it's gonna get sent to Gena for a needlepoint grind.

Selling a boatload of restored, fairly rare, vintage Japanese gold nib pens, click here to see (more added as I finish restoring them)

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I have a pretty chocolatey waterman 12 full size that I want to use, but the ebonite feels really awful. I ordered some Pensbury manor number 9 solution, but would you guys still recommend I pre-sand it with some high grit micro mesh?

 

After that I need to see if the section can come out (it was put in with some of that tacky sealant, I'm guessing it was a bit loose) so I can inspect the sac - it flings ink at the merest tap and flows uncontrollably. The nib is an outstanding full flex though, but it's a medium, so it's gonna get sent to Gena for a needlepoint grind.

Ive always applied without sanding. You want to make sure the pen is clean though - no oils or any dirt. Maybe also gently heat the pen with dry heat before. Just a little. I would take the section out before rather than after this procedure. Finally, I always benefitted from two layers - one at night and then after drying one more the next night. You really want to apply it as evenly and in one go while its still wet otherwise it will be patchy. Plan how you will keep it aside for drying beforehand.

All the best!

My Vintage Montblanc Website--> link

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I'll quite happily stand out if I am wrong, the discolouration on hard rubber pens is caused by oxidation of the surface material, like the rust on metal ? To return the material to it's original splendour, various processes will rejuvenate the material ? Working on colouring (UK spelling) or hiding the rust The inherent problem is still there, degradation of the prime material ?

Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge (Charles Darwin)

http://www.wesonline.org.uk/

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Hello,
My last tests of my mixture after several weeks of storage without special precautions.
It is always active and the result is done without damaging the drawings or inscriptions ...
Its here:

 

 

C'est un bon résultat.

 

Est-ce que on doit retirer le levier pour utiliser ce bain (corrosion, rouille, etc.?)?

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Estycollector

I've notice the two Dollar Esterbrook pens, 1932, '38 respectively, have darkened by simply being handled.

"Respect science, respect nature, respect all people (s),"

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C'est un bon résultat.

 

Est-ce que on doit retirer le levier pour utiliser ce bain (corrosion, rouille, etc.?)?

It's Oxiclean bleach.

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I saw the bleach part of it but then he said something about other mix-ins - mineral oil, emulsifier, and some other stuff. I'm curious about this mix and whether it prevent the "pebbling" that you get with a bleach restoration. My experience has been you get these low spots in the pen with an amber-ish color and the texture comes out a little rough. I wonder if the mix-ins somehow prevent that.

 

I'd probably be inclined to mask or remove the metal if it's sitting in bleach. I'd be concerned about rust on steel parts and corrosion on copper or brass ones.

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  • 1 month later...
Hello, as I described in the thread which is on the other forum, this product is not bleach (which also works with ebonite but more aggressive by my opinion (requiring to dismantle the metals, which is frankly restrictive) and bleach is dangerous.


My recipe is an emulsion based on several products such as a detergent (sodium percarbonate found in Oxyclean), mineral oil, alcohol, an emulsifier and a little water.

This product does not attack metals. I tried gold, chrome, plated, silver (...) and no abnormal reaction.


I soak a few hours, I activate a rotating movement of the fluid. A wipe of paper towel and magic sponge.

I let it dry for a few days and then nothing moves. I cover with carnauba wax in the final phase.


I handle this product without special protection and I still have my fingers after several months;)

However, nothing prevents you from being careful when using gloves (which I did at the beginning).


Voici ma dernière expérimentation du jour:



note: What has been "oxidized" is definitively so. My mixture only allows to remove the brown color and give a little luster to the material. If the fountain pen allows it, you can also use micromesh, cape cod or Simichrome or other ...

Edited by nono50
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  • 1 month later...
Some news about my mixture:


The product is still effective several months after mixing.


You will find below a link on my last tests, in particular on ripple and woodgrain ebonite with some nuances on this type of material:


Indeed, the duration of the bath must be different between black ebonite and marbled ebonite because, in the latter case, a too long bath modifies the characteristics between red and black (black reacts more strongly and retracts more than red) and this gives an effect of relief between these two materials (visible in grazing light).

To avoid this, it just need change the bath times duration.


For those who are interested in knowing more:



Edited by nono50
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  • 4 months later...
  • 2 weeks later...

Just writing to say that I'm keeping up with your posts. My French is a bit rusty and imperfect, but I appreciate the experiments and I enjoy seeing the pen color brought back. I appreciate your work with this stuff.

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