Jump to content


Aditkamath26

Recommended Posts

Aditkamath26

So my grandad back in India got me a few vintages out of which some are celluloid and others, some sort of plastic. I haven't had the chance of seeing them due to the COVID pandemic.

 

Now many of them are in a poor state. The main reason he got them was for me to try restoration. They aren't expensive or anything, but I wouldn't want to destroy any of them so I thought of asking here some tips to polish them. I have a buffing machine back home but I'm not willing to let these vintages come close to it at all (would you recommend it, anyway?), so hand polishing is the way to go for me. I have sandpaper up to 7000 grit and after successively wet sanding up to that, I get a nice finish but not all that polished.

 

Would stuff like Autosol, Meguiar's PlastX or a jeweler's cloth work to gloss these pens without any short or long term effects? These are the only things I have access to in the UAE and buying anything from the west would be cumbersome due to expensive shipping rates 😔

 

I'll be grateful for any help.

 

(I should also add that I can polish ebonite to a mirror like gloss on the buffing wheel so I do know how to operate that thing. Just wondering if it would mess up any of the vintage stuff)

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 15
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

  • Aditkamath26

    6

  • eachan

    2

  • Estycollector

    2

  • Conradandhispens

    2

There are those who polish vintage pens to a gloss that they never had when new. I'm a little more conservative than that. I use Novus, which comes in three grades and does a fine job. Simichrome is good for metal trim.

Regards,

Eachan

Link to post
Share on other sites
Aditkamath26

There are those who polish vintage pens to a gloss that they never had when new. I'm a little more conservative than that. I use Novus, which comes in three grades and does a fine job. Simichrome is good for metal trim.

 

Thank you! I'm guilty of liking that sort of ultra gloss .

I have used Novus previously and I don't know if it was error on my part but I didn't get much polish out of it. The second step left micro scratches whereas the third step left a haze on my pens.

Link to post
Share on other sites

If a pen is badly enough worn and scratched to need the third Novus, that should be followed by polishing with the second and first. Works well for me but I suppose it depends what finish you want. It's a process.

Edited by eachan

Regards,

Eachan

Link to post
Share on other sites
Aditkamath26

If a pen is badly enough worn and scratched to need the third Novus, that should be followed by polishing with the second and first. Works well for me but I suppose it depends what finish you want. It's a process.

Okay I may have messed up the numbering in my comment. I first sand upto 7000 grit sandpaper, use the white Novus paste, then the brown one, and then the watery one.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Estycollector

I use Mothers Mag and Aluminum Polish.

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

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...
Conradandhispens

Hi, i know you said that you cant order from overseas, but i would strongly suggest you do not use any metal polish/automotive polish such as autosol or mothers, as it may cause the celluloid to decay because of harsh solvents (key word is MAY, many folk have luck with it, but the possibility is there) If you can find it i would recommend a product called micro gloss, which I believe is just a aluminum oxide abrasive suspended in water, so no harsh chemicals, solvents waxes ect. IMO it is the safest polish to use on pens and i have had great success with it,you can get it in a 2 step process, one for deep scratches and one for polishing. other than that id use a jewelers cloth to polish the trim and nib. I would recomend you dont wax the pens as these may harm the materials over time and they do not let celluloid let out natural gasses and can cuase breakdown of the material.

 

Of course it is your pen and you can polish it with a metal polish or auto polish if that is all you can get, but if you can id get some micro gloss., it is just a much safer product all around.

 

stay safe and well all.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Aditkamath26

Hi, i know you said that you cant order from overseas, but i would strongly suggest you do not use any metal polish/automotive polish such as autosol or mothers, as it may cause the celluloid to decay because of harsh solvents (key word is MAY, many folk have luck with it, but the possibility is there) If you can find it i would recommend a product called micro gloss, which I believe is just a aluminum oxide abrasive suspended in water, so no harsh chemicals, solvents waxes ect. IMO it is the safest polish to use on pens and i have had great success with it,you can get it in a 2 step process, one for deep scratches and one for polishing. other than that id use a jewelers cloth to polish the trim and nib. I would recomend you dont wax the pens as these may harm the materials over time and they do not let celluloid let out natural gasses and can cuase breakdown of the material.

 

Of course it is your pen and you can polish it with a metal polish or auto polish if that is all you can get, but if you can id get some micro gloss., it is just a much safer product all around.

 

stay safe and well all.

 

Thank you! I will see if I can get micro-gloss and some micro mesh too. Of course, due to this pandemic, its even tougher for me to get it, but if it won't cause any harm to my pens, I think I will go that route. I wouldn't wax my pens either :)

Link to post
Share on other sites

Another vote for a set of Micro Mesh pads and Micro-Gloss. Work a treat and when used right they are not destructive.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Estycollector

If one is going to restore vintage pens, especiallly those where the quality of plastic varies, it is good to have more than one way to remove unwanted damage of decades of use a abuse. I use the same products I've used for restoring 100 year old straight razor scales and the metal. I progression is better than one size fits all. A trip to the auto supply store for 0000 steal wool, 1000, 2000, and even 2500 grit wet/dry sand paper is available.

 

For me, I want a 90 year old pen to look 90 years old where less is more.

 

I would not ever be concerned about using Mothers. Any pen 90 years old has seen more chemicals from handing than anything I can do.

 

As with any cleanup of repair, go slow and be conservative the amount of pressure used.

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

Link to post
Share on other sites

I use small buffing wheels for jewelers and watch makers together with polish suitable for plastics. The original makers of vintage pens used industrial buffing wheels to polish their pens, so, why shouldn't I do the same? This stuff is available pretty much in every country around the globe and it's cheap. I wouldn't use car or household products because you never know what solvents may be in there that could harm the plastics.

 

The one warning is: know what you're doing and be very careful. If you never used a buffing wheel to polish plastics before, go practice before you ruin a vintage pen. You could take any freebe ballpoint thrown at you, scratch it up with sanding paper, and then learn how to polish it on the wheel. It's pretty simple once you learned how to avoid the material heating up too much.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Be careful with Simichrome on metal. It can easily take the plating off. To be on the conservative side, a jewelry cloth is preferred. If you must use Simichrome, use little and watch carefully. Also careful when polishing black lacquered celluloid (on these vintage Montblancs from the 50s, for example). If you over polish it, the lacquer will be gone and you are left with an amber coloured "demonstrator" barrel.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Conradandhispens

I use small buffing wheels for jewelers and watch makers together with polish suitable for plastics. The original makers of vintage pens used industrial buffing wheels to polish their pens, so, why shouldn't I do the same? This stuff is available pretty much in every country around the globe and it's cheap. I wouldn't use car or household products because you never know what solvents may be in there that could harm the plastics.

 

The one warning is: know what you're doing and be very careful. If you never used a buffing wheel to polish plastics before, go practice before you ruin a vintage pen. You could take any freebe ballpoint thrown at you, scratch it up with sanding paper, and then learn how to polish it on the wheel. It's pretty simple once you learned how to avoid the material heating up too much.

I would avoid this, as it can take off plating very easy, and one wrong move and your precious pen is ruined, i like hand polishing better, i either start with micro mesh and then move to micro gloss, or if the pen isn't to bad just the micro gloss alone. if it works for you great, but i wouldn't recommend it to a newbie who may not have 10 pens to practice on beforehand.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Aditkamath26

I use small buffing wheels for jewelers and watch makers together with polish suitable for plastics. The original makers of vintage pens used industrial buffing wheels to polish their pens, so, why shouldn't I do the same? This stuff is available pretty much in every country around the globe and it's cheap. I wouldn't use car or household products because you never know what solvents may be in there that could harm the plastics.

 

The one warning is: know what you're doing and be very careful. If you never used a buffing wheel to polish plastics before, go practice before you ruin a vintage pen. You could take any freebe ballpoint thrown at you, scratch it up with sanding paper, and then learn how to polish it on the wheel. It's pretty simple once you learned how to avoid the material heating up too much.

 

I do have a buffing machine and three compounds to go with. I have successfully polished many ebonite and plastic with it. I may try this on one of the really inexpensive ones. I was concerned using a buffing wheel on vintages as I thought the materials were much more fragile and maybe could even start a celluloid fire the heat builds up too much.

Edited by Aditkamath26
Link to post
Share on other sites

Good judgement and being very careful are key to success of course. If the material is brittle or in doubt, you better leave it alone. Critical areas are the imprints (taping them provides protection) or fragile things like cap lips. I use 1" felt wheels at low speed on a "dremel" for good precision. Make sure that the material doesn't heat up too much by using only little pressure and constantly moving over the body. And yes, practicing first is always a good idea.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now


  • Most Contributions

    1. amberleadavis
      amberleadavis
      37512
    2. PAKMAN
      PAKMAN
      30233
    3. Ghost Plane
      Ghost Plane
      28220
    4. jar
      jar
      26101
    5. wimg
      wimg
      25570
  • Upcoming Events

  • Blog Comments

    • A Smug Dill
      Even so, you'd end up with a fragmented list, and it becomes an O(N²) process for each prospective requestor to check what is available: effectively recreate the list of currently active servers (without any reliable up-to-date info upfront about the inks and number of samples on offer in the thread) from the sequential list of posts, which may be spread over two or even more pages, and then query each server independently to check what is currently on offer.   It comes down to not hav
    • LizEF
      If one wanted to do this, one could just use the "About Me" field which appears to be unlimited in size.  And if a bunch of people wanted to cooperate, the Member Title field (or signature) could be used to this end - "Ink Giver" (or some such) could be used by those with inks to give...  No software edits required.
    • Arkanabar
      I suppose the update issue could be mitigated.  One would post a link in signature, to the particular part of your profile where you list the inks that you're willing to post samples to others, gratis.  But looking at profiles, I suspect that would require an edit to the board's software, potentially a nontrivial task.
    • A Smug Dill
      I read your idea as getting willing givers to publicly register as members of a set of heterogenous servers, in a system in which a client would explicitly select an available server from a list, to which he/she will then send a request privately and asynchronously. Request handling in the system is unmanaged, and individual requests are handled by the targeted servers completely independently on each other. I think the model is fine, although there are some operational concerns you may want to
    • Daneaxe
      First thought on the method/system of ink sharing: Think the best way, to begin with, is to follow the way of the US thread: offer up a (small) list of inks you are willing to PIF, to whoever expresses interest. Write clearly in the "mission statement" how it works, with a tiny "quid pro quo" that even a struggling student can comply with, i.e. post your opinion and a writing sample, with option of a full review if desired.   So yours truly might say: "I'm offering up samples of D
  • Chatbox

    You don't have permission to chat.
    Load More
  • Expiring Soon

    • By benbot517
      51 years and 5 months
    • By benbot517
      51 years and 5 months
    • By benbot517
      51 years and 5 months
    • By Okami
      51 years and 5 months
    • By Okami
      51 years and 5 months
  • Random Adverts

  • Files

  • Today's Birthdays

    1. ajdini
      ajdini
      (32 years old)
    2. baringel1
      baringel1
      (56 years old)
    3. burritosdaily
      burritosdaily
      (44 years old)
    4. bushellk
      bushellk
      (58 years old)
    5. csfontenot
      csfontenot
      (42 years old)





×
×
  • Create New...