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Thread: dentition... ugh

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    Default dentition... ugh

    I picked up a neat old Waterman Commando at an estate sale for $8 this morning. It's got some brassing and plenty of scratches, but the real problem is a terrible case of teeth marks.

    It has a lovely and rather flexy 14k nib. I'm still waiting for the shellac on the new sac to dry, so I haven't written with it yet. But, I have a feeling that it's going to be nice!

    I wonder if anyone here has a black Commando barrel in their parts bucket? I sure would like to get rid of the dental record that some knucklehead left on it

    Has anyone used a filler like Bondo or somesuch to fill such things? (these are really really deep indentations) I'm thinking about filling it with bondo, chucking it in a drill press to sand it to shape, and spraying it black with a rattle can. It can't come out much worse than it is now...

    Oh well, just thinking out loud.

    Cheers! mike

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    FPG Donor ♕ Chrissy's Avatar
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    Default Re: dentition... ugh

    I have a clear, 2 part, epoxy resin adhesive, that I've used to fill teethmarks on the black tail of a Parker 45. Mixed the adhesives together, spread it on into the tail that was covered in teethmarks and let it dry. Then manually sanded it so that it looks perfect again. The original black of the tail shows through the clear resin. No spraying it black with a rattle can.....

    I've no idea what Bondo is. The epoxy resin adhesive I used was made by Araldite.

    Ron Zorn recommends that removal of teeth marks is best left to experts. Some people try heating the offending part in the hope that the material softens slightly and the teeth marks disappear. However, there's not much of a line between heating it so that it softens and it burning up in a puff of smoke. Also, Ron mentioned, you can sometimes end up with teeth marks looking like they are the other way around.
    Last edited by Chrissy; August 2nd, 2019 at 02:46 AM.
    Regards, Chrissy | My Blog: inkyfountainpens

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    Senior Member Deb's Avatar
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    Default Re: dentition... ugh

    I can't say I've ever had bite-marks looking like they are the other way round. I find heat the easiest, least troublesome method of reducing bitemarks, often making them disappear altogether. Yes, the material must get hot but applying it in short nursts avoids damage. Practice on something of no value, if you like. I've had no disasters with this method. It doesn't work with all plastics, just those that have "memory". Can't tell you which those are but if the bite-marks don't begin to respond quickly, you found one!
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    Default Re: dentition... ugh

    I've heard about the heating method. But, we aren't talking about little nibbles here. This barrel has been bitten nearly halfway through in several places.

    Bondo is a name brand for a plastic two-part epoxy based body filler that's used for repairing dents in cars. The only trouble is that it's usually a bright color like white or pink.

    I thought about clear epoxy. I think it would be a strong fix, but it would look pretty strange. Some of the holes are 5mm across and nearly as deep (it has deformed the overall shape of the end of the barrrel). I suppose I could give it a try... I've never seen Araldite brand in stores here, but I've heard that it's the good stuff. I might have to do some amazon shopping.

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    Senior Member Deb's Avatar
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    Default Re: dentition... ugh

    Nonetheless, I always use heat first to see what reduction can be acheived - often quite surprising - then go on to finish by these other methods.
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    Senior Member azkid's Avatar
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    Default Re: dentition... ugh

    If I had a pen that was chewed and deformed that badly, I would just find a better barrel from a parts pen.

    Admittedly, I don't have the skills in heating or epoxying or whatever else but even if I did in spades, is such a barrel actually salvageable? Can it be restored to a reasonable degree?

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    Senior Member Ray-VIgo's Avatar
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    Default Re: dentition... ugh

    If you've got a celluloid barrel, the line between softening and burning the material is a fine one and takes a good deal of care in getting right. Hard rubber is a bit more forgiving and it's sort of funny to watch hard rubber "pop" back into its original shape using heat. Celluloid is trickier though. My inclination with celluloid heating is to gradually work up the heat to the point that you either begin to see results or you reach max safe temperature with no result (and then give up and try another method if no result).

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    Senior Member Jon Szanto's Avatar
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    Default Re: dentition... ugh

    Here's the thing: if you can't raise the indentations by heat, you are pretty well hosed. ANY method that you use to fill the dents and then try to polish the area down to an even surface is going to look like crap. Surely you must realize that, based on how bad the damage is in your description. Nothing filling those marks and then being polished is going to be anything but an eye magnet - every time you look at the pen you'll be looking at those areas.

    Far better to source a new barrel, even if it takes a long time. I've got a couple of pen projects that took not months but years to complete, but I'm really glad I did. I just got a cap for a pen by purchasing another that had the barrel beat up, so after about 4 years I have a really nice complete pen. It was worth the hunt.

    Good luck.
    "When Men differ in Opinion, both Sides ought equally to have the Advantage of being heard by the Publick;
    and that when Truth and Error have fair Play, the former is always an overmatch for the latter."

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    azkid (August 3rd, 2019), Chrissy (August 2nd, 2019)

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    Default Re: dentition... ugh

    I would also be trying to source a replacement barrel for one that is so badly damaged.
    Regards, Chrissy | My Blog: inkyfountainpens

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    Default Re: dentition... ugh

    I totally agree with you guys. The final fix is a replacement barrel. But, like you say, that could take years.

    In the meantime. I feel like a partial fix would be an improvement. Polished out epoxy fill would be an eye magnet, but the gnawed bones of the pen is even worse. I could live with a partial fix until such time as I can source a replacement barrel. I've got it inked up now, and sure enough, the nib is great! It's a lovely writer. Such a shame about the damage...

    I will try a bit of heat, but I'm reasonably sure that this pen isn't hard rubber. I read that the early commandos were celluloid, I don't think this one is though.

    I'm actually working on another project (repairing cracked airplane interior panels) that involves melting ABS plastic with MEK and using it to weld up cracks in the ABS panels. The ABS melts in MEK, then when the MEK flashes off, it just becomes ABS plastic again... You can get it in black... Hmmm

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    Senior Member Jon Szanto's Avatar
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    Default Re: dentition... ugh

    Quote Originally Posted by although View Post
    I'm actually working on another project (repairing cracked airplane interior panels) that involves melting ABS plastic with MEK and using it to weld up cracks in the ABS panels. The ABS melts in MEK, then when the MEK flashes off, it just becomes ABS plastic again... You can get it in black... Hmmm
    Proper ventilation, m'kay? Losing brain cells is not a positive move.
    "When Men differ in Opinion, both Sides ought equally to have the Advantage of being heard by the Publick;
    and that when Truth and Error have fair Play, the former is always an overmatch for the latter."

    ~ Benjamin Franklin

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    Senior Member Ray-VIgo's Avatar
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    Default Re: dentition... ugh

    With injection molded plastic, things vary. Sometimes MEK works fine, sometimes you need modeler's solvent (there used to be a Tenax product that worked for this, I forget which number Tenax it was). If you can get donor material similar to your original pen plastic, you could make a paste/thick liquid filler and then fill, cure, and polish down. This is fairly advanced stuff in that you need to get the right solvent to weld the donor material to the original material, you need the right new material to closely match the original, and you need to get both the thickness of the mixture and the cure time right. Then on top of that you need to carefully work the repaired areas down and polish so they disappear into the surrounding original barrel.

    Certainly possible to do and to do well, but it's not an easy repair.

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