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Ebonite Pen Staining Hand



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I have a FPR Himalaya ebonite pen that stains the hand whenever it is picked up, unless it is wiped down first. It isn't the ink that's leaking, it's the ebonite itself. Almost like putting your hand on a wall without seeing the "wet paint" sign.

 

I have a few other ebonite pens and have never seen this. Is there any remedy for this? Is some protective coating missing from this pen that should be there?

 

Thanks all!

 

- Carl

 

Oh, I know this of myself

I assume as much for other people

We’ve listened more to life’s end gong

Than the sound of life’s sweet bells

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regret I don't know the pen in question, but assume that the ebonite we're speaking of is what most pen collectors call vulcanite - I think ebonite is a trade name, but not sure. Is your pen black?

The most common surface problem with BHR (Vulcanite) is the oxidation - the pen body/cap slowly turns brown, and this then requires cleaning to remove the oxidation to bring back the original black - apparently it's prolonged exposure to the uv part of daylight (visible light) that is certainly one of the contributory causes of oxidation.

I've had a few oxidised BHR pens with varying degrees of brown surface coating, but never one that 'leaked' so to speak, though I can imagine that in extreme circumstances the oxidation could stain the fingers, the more so perhaps in very damp or humid conditions - does the pen give off a sulphurous smell?

Believe there is some linseed oil used in the production, might just be some leeching of this from the pen.

 

Depending on the value of the pen, you might perhaps coat the surface with shellac to help prevent anything exuding from the rubber, though no idea if this would work.

 

Sorry this isn't very helpful.

Edited by PaulS
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Usually any oxidation on vulcanite doesn't come off easily. I have dozens of vulcanite pipe stems that require a lot of work to give up the oxidation on them, like scraping and sanding.

"Don't hurry, don't worry. It's better to be late at the Golden Gate than to arrive in Hell on time."
--Sign in a bar and grill, Ormond Beach, Florida, 1960.

 

 

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I would get in touch with Kevin at FPR asap and let him know there is a problem. Ebonite pens do not leak or weep or whatever that is, assuming it is coming from the body of the pen itself and not the contents. FPR has outstanding customer service and I'm sure they will remedy any problem that you have with the pen.

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I take it then that the o.ps. pen is modern, and unlikely therefore to be suffering from what is, usually, an age related surface oxidation, and the suggestion from bugsydog55 - who obviously has some knowledge of this pen - sounds good advice.

Hope there is a good outcome to the problem - keep us informed if you will.

 

Agree - surface oxidation on older BHR f.ps. can be time consuming, dirty and smelly to remove - assuming done in the old fashioned way and not Mark H's chemical method - and isn't something that can be simply wiped away. Please send all your oxidised pens to me, and I will give then a loving home in their old age :lticaptd:

 

Might we see a picture of the pen please.

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Is it dyed ebonite? Some color other than black?

If not the ink seeping through some unseen crack or hole, my best guess is that whatever is used to color the ebonite is coming off, similar to the way a new pair of jeans turn your legs blue the first time you wear them.

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Scrub it down with Ajax and steel wool and then apply three coats of marine varnish? :yikes:

"Simplicate and add Lightness."

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I'll get a pic up, but it is a green pen. KellyMcJ's comment sounds right with what I'm seeing. I've just never seen it with any other pen, including 2 other FPR Himalayas.

Oh, I know this of myself

I assume as much for other people

We’ve listened more to life’s end gong

Than the sound of life’s sweet bells

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I'll get a pic up, but it is a green pen. KellyMcJ's comment sounds right with what I'm seeing. I've just never seen it with any other pen, including 2 other FPR Himalayas.

 

It could be they got a bad batch of ebonite. I've never had it happen either, with any pen material, and it *shouldn't* happen. I'd contact them and let them know, they'll probably send you a replacement.

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Yes. A yellowish green.

Oh, I know this of myself

I assume as much for other people

We’ve listened more to life’s end gong

Than the sound of life’s sweet bells

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