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The Case Of The Sealed Section (Waterman 52 1/2V)


wayfairing
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Hello! I purchased a Gothic gold Waterman 52 1/2V from Ebay some time back. Upon opening the package, I was greeted with a strong smell similar to paint thinner. I sighed and immediately checked the section and barrel. Sure enough, I saw a clear ring of some sort of sealant between the two. The smell has not dissipated much a few months later, and I am still unsure whether it is the sealant or someone has tried to soak the section in a solvent. The hard rubber still has its black sheen, so it couldn't have been something that would cause it to go dull.

 

After reading a bit on this forum and some other pen restoration websites, I tried carefully heating the barrel with a hairdryer (I am fairly new to fountain pens and do not yet have a heat gun). The section still wouldn't pull out of the barrel. I do not know whether I am not applying enough heat or whether the sealant has a higher melting temp than the hard rubber.

 

Anyone have other ideas for what the sealant could be or what to do? Should I try again with heat and not be so skittish this time? Just send it to a professional?

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you may be correct with your comments about paint thinners, but from my days of D.I.Y. and car paint spraying, I don't think such products would be useful in terms of solidifying into a solid type of sealant, such as shellac, for example. Had it been shellac you would have recognized the smell I guess?

But cellulose thinners and white spirit type of liquids do not in my experience harden or solidify in any sense that they would be adequate for sealing sections to barrels.

On the other hand silicone sealant - the semi-clear or coloured elastic type of gap-filling substance - might have found its way into someone's arsenal of inappropriate kit - though usually it's not difficult to detect the stuff since it has a fairly strong vinegary sort of aroma.

 

As a personal comment, I've never found the need for a heat gun, though I'm aware others here do use them - I've been lucky perhaps in that a hair dryer has - ultimately - always worked for me. Your Gothic pen is a solid overlay and not a filigree job, so it might take a little more heating to give the necessary result, and the HR might take a slightly higher temp. than you imagine. Take a pin to the sealant and assess the hardness perhaps.

My suggestion is to continue with patience.

Edited by PaulS
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Hi, Paul. Thanks for the reply! I did not mean that a solvent, like paint thinner, had solidified into a seal but that a previous owner had dipped it in paint thinner or the like to attempt to get rid of whatever seal is on the section. Sorry for the confusion.

 

I will do some more research on silicone sealant and what I could use to get rid of it, if that is what I am dealing with. I just attempted to stick a pin in whatever it is and found that it is hard. I will continue heating it this afternoon and see what happens. Thanks again!

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not a problem :) - I lack experience of using such liquids on section nipples etc., but it is quite likely I suppose that shellac will dissolve in the presence of cellulose thinners.

With age, old sac material - and the underlying old shellac - will usually chip off the section nipple using a sharp point (compass points for example) - if not then a sharp craft knife, used with care, will do the same. Of course, this assumes you get that far.

 

If the substance that's been used to seal the pen is hard, it's almost certainly not going to be silicone sealant - that product tends to stay flexible for a long time - plus I don't think they had this product in the 1920s :D

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When I first started restoring pens I erred on the safe (rather than sorry) side - I didn’t use enough heat. I learned slowly how much heat is needed. So, it is possible that you are just not using enough of it. I use the insides of my fingers to keep checking how hot the area is getting - if it’s too hot to keep my finger there for a second even then it’s too hot in my experience - you need to stop just before that.

 

Also, section pliers and rubber grips are important to very carefully increase the torque applied while trying to open the pen. But be very careful - if it’s not hot enough then you can easily apply too much torque.

 

Finally, a trick I use for really stubborn sections is to take a super thin brass sheet like the ones used for nib slit cleaning, and carefully use it to clean the adhesive at the section/barrel joint. Then I apply heat and keep trying to open.

 

Remember if you do manage to make it budge, then don’t just go all out and use torque to open it fully. The moment you feel serious resistance go back to the heat and then try again, and so on.

 

For the smell because of the paint thinner applied, maybe apply and rub mineral oil to the hard rubber part repeatedly over days? We can’t use water on hard rubber so maybe this will help.

 

All the best!

My Vintage Montblanc Website--> link

My Instagram account --> link

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I'm on my at least my 30th 52, 0552, 452, 552, 521/2, etc. I use the heat gun as well, with the section pliers and the gripper plastic. An extra degree of confidence working with 52s and especially 52 1/2s and "V's" (famous for thin and easily broken sections) is from the band clamp from Pentooling. Add careful heat, put the band clamp around the thin and brittle barrel, tighten it just a little, and gently wiggle the section from the barrel. Since using slow heat and the band clamp, I've had NO cracked barrels, and thus no re-lining with brass, no setting with epoxy, etc. The clamp, though applied to the outside, tends to spread the pressure from the removal wiggling around the barrel. Pentooling has other wonderful stuff to sell you, as well.

 

Good luck and many happy restorations.

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I'm on my at least my 30th 52, 0552, 452, 552, 521/2, etc. I use the heat gun as well, with the section pliers and the gripper plastic. An extra degree of confidence working with 52s and especially 52 1/2s and "V's" (famous for thin and easily broken sections) is from the band clamp from Pentooling. Add careful heat, put the band clamp around the thin and brittle barrel, tighten it just a little, and gently wiggle the section from the barrel. Since using slow heat and the band clamp, I've had NO cracked barrels, and thus no re-lining with brass, no setting with epoxy, etc. The clamp, though applied to the outside, tends to spread the pressure from the removal wiggling around the barrel. Pentooling has other wonderful stuff to sell you, as well.

 

Good luck and many happy restorations.

 

That is a great idea! Thanks for sharing!

My Vintage Montblanc Website--> link

My Instagram account --> link

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