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Substances that are safe to soak urushi in?



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seven4times

 

I heard castor oil may have been used long ago in Japan, but I'm not sure if that's accurate. Assuming heat is out of the question, I'm not sure where else to turn.

 

Does anyone have advice or experience on soaking urushi sections or backthreads? 

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Contact Martin Pauli at 

https://www.manupropria-pens.ch/

 

He is also a FPN member but do not know his handle.

stan

Formerly Ryojusen Pens
The oldest and largest buyer and seller of vintage Japanese pens in America.


Member: Pen Collectors of America & Fuente, THE Japanese Pen Collectors Club

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MartinPauli

It is important to know what quality of urushi is used and this is mostly the problem. On high quality items high quality urusi is used in general.

 

In the industry cheap urushi products are often sprayed with a compount of 20% Urushi and 80% Chemicals. Better quality is called "Double Urushi", 40% Urushi to 60% Chemicals

 

Pure urushi is resistant to all known acids and alkalis and withstands temperatures of up to 300 degrees celsius. Cleaning and soaking a Ebonite pen with pure urushi in Acetone or turpentine oil even with ultrasonic is no problem.

 

Shûai urushi to which oil is mixed is more delicate. If you are not sure what uruhi quality is used I would recommend warm water and soap, maybe with ultrasonic.

 

By the way, Kukident tablets used for cleaning third teeth are very helpful. The effect is similar to ultrasonic bath and suitablee for Maki-e works

 

I don't think castor oil is useful

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seven4times

Thank you both, Stan and Martin.

 

I heard that only a single coat of urushi was applied to some old Japanese pens. The pen in question has less of an intense 'urushi' look and feel compared to a '50s urushi pen I own. I'll proceed cautiously with soap and water like you reccomended. 

 

Additionally, your Kukident tip is greatly appreciated. I will be deploying this technique in the future!

Edited by seven4times
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On 1/12/2021 at 10:14 AM, MartinPauli said:

It is important to know what quality of urushi is used and this is mostly the problem. On high quality items high quality urusi is used in general.

 

In the industry cheap urushi products are often sprayed with a compount of 20% Urushi and 80% Chemicals. Better quality is called "Double Urushi", 40% Urushi to 60% Chemicals

 

Pure urushi is resistant to all known acids and alkalis and withstands temperatures of up to 300 degrees celsius. Cleaning and soaking a Ebonite pen with pure urushi in Acetone or turpentine oil even with ultrasonic is no problem.

 

Shûai urushi to which oil is mixed is more delicate. If you are not sure what uruhi quality is used I would recommend warm water and soap, maybe with ultrasonic.

 

By the way, Kukident tablets used for cleaning third teeth are very helpful. The effect is similar to ultrasonic bath and suitablee for Maki-e works

 

I don't think castor oil is useful

@MartinPauli: Thank you very much for the knowledge sharing. Coming from the man himself, I know I can trust it!

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MartinPauli

It's my pleasure. Whenever you have a question on Urushi don't hesitate to ask

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On 1/18/2021 at 1:08 PM, MartinPauli said:

It's my pleasure. Whenever you have a question on Urushi don't hesitate to ask

@MartinPauliThat’s very kind of you, thank you!

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