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Dull Finish on Older Black Ebonite Sailor KOP



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Marcwithac

This afternoon I decided to pull out a pen I hadn't used in a couple of years, a Sailor King of Pen in black ebonite.  I noticed that the pen had become quite dull.  While I recognize that this is normal, I preferred the look of the pen when it was shiny and new.  Thinking about my options (excluding doing nothing, which is always an option and most often the best one), I have several questions.  First, what is the best way to polish/shine this particular pen?  Someone in an old thread suggested applying olive oil.  I'd be reluctant to use olive oil on any pen, but I have successfully used mineral oil to rejuvenate other black rubber items, like the strap on my G-Shock Mudmaster.  Alternatively, would Simichrome or Wenol be safe to use as a polish?

 

Another thing I was thinking about was sending the pen off for an Urushi coating.  I would be interested in knowing whether anyone has done this, how it turned out and who does this kind of work on used pens.

 

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I think a gold/silver jewelry polishing cloth would work fine, but haven't done it myself.

 

I bet getting you KOP done in Urushi would be cool,  but not many people do the work.

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Just now, Driften said:

I think a gold/silver jewelry polishing cloth would work fine, but haven't done it myself.

 

I bet getting you KOP done in Urushi would be cool,  but not many people do the work.

 

Sorry I was thinking you were saying the nib was dull and based my suggestion on that! I don't think a polishing cloth would work on ebonite.... Sorry I don't have a suggestion for the ebonite. I think if it was me I would coat it in renaissance wax and buff the wax. I use ren wax to protect wooden pens I've made. It's good stuff.

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I've tried the olive oil and hand oils to various degrees of success. I don't mind the change on the KOP as long as it is fairly even. 

 

For urushi work, people have definitely gotten their pens worked on, and for less than Sailor charges for an urushi KOP. In the US there is District Urushi and Ernish Shin. In Europe Tamenuri Studio does nice work. In Japan Bokumondo does amazing work. Price depends a lot on what you want done. Jonathan Brooks in the US used to also do Urushi.  I am sure there are more folks but those are all I ow for taking customer pens.

If you want less blah, blah, blah and more pictures, follow me on Instagram!

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This has been discussed here several times, the recommendation by some well known pen restorers is not to use any kind of wax on an ebonite pen. Same goes for olive oil.

 

I would leave the pen as it is, but if you want to get it polished, I would send it to a professional.

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@Marcwithac: If it’s just black ebonite being dull, polishing it with Simichrome is sufficient. It will remove a tiny tiny layer of ebonite off and give it a good shine again. Be sure to cover metal trims and imprints with tape. You can also use Mark Hoover’s ebonite restoration gel/liquid. I don’t think it’s necessary at this point though.

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