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Thread: Silicone oil as a disassembly aid

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    Senior Member awa54's Avatar
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    Default Silicone oil as a disassembly aid

    I have several older (1960s) Japanese pens that use a thick rubber gasket between the coupler ring or cartridge nipple and the feed, unlike newer pens, these often have enough "stick" from their thickness and being compressed in the section for decades, that they don't just push out the back of the section when released. I had previously just ultrasonic cleaned these for hours on end, in order to get the feed diffusors clean of old ink and written ones that needed nib work off as unrepairable. Then I got to thinking about thin bodied silicone and the possibilities of using it as a release lubricant. Applying a drop from the back (gasket) side of the section releases, or greatly reduces the grip from that rubber gasket and in the two pens I've tried it on makes disassembly possible. It also washes off with soap, or an ultrasonic cleaning. I used Super Lube brand 100% silicone with a 100 cst. (centistoke) thickness, it's very cheap ($6/4oz.), readily available and like any 100% silicone product, it's chemically inert and shouldn't damage any materials, with the possible exception of silicone based polymers.

    Of course YMMV.
    David-

    So many restoration projects...

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    Senior Member awa54's Avatar
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    Default Re: Silicone oil as a disassembly aid

    I just followed up my initial trials, which were on an (early?) 1960s Platinum design (two of the same model pen), with using the silicone oil on a Pilot E300 section assembly. These have a thick rubber gasket at the back of the feed and that gasket is under compression from the section/barrel coupler (unlike E 200s or 250s, which are a strict friction fit), so it's been pressed into the threaded inner wall of the section since the late 1960s! A drop of silicone oil didn't release it enough to press out from the front, since inserting a correctly sized punch through the hole in the front of the section pushes against the center, hard rubber part of the feed only... so that hard rubber stick just pushed back in the plastic feed collector, but using a pick on the gasket got it out in one easy pull, where my previous pick attempt (on a different parts-donor E300) took ten minutes and left the gasket full of holes.

    I'd call it a success. The extracted parts are in the ultrasonic cleaning up as I type this. My next step is to try several different plastic solvents on a badly broken section to determine what works, then I'll take the section from this pen and try solvent welding the crack in it that made disassembly necessary.
    David-

    So many restoration projects...

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