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Thread: Inner Pen Cap question -- shellac or sealant?

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    Default Inner Pen Cap question -- shellac or sealant?

    My husband has a brand new Levenger carbon fiber pen that has an inner cap and cap band problem; they have both separated from the cap and from each other. The pen is discontinued and Levenger doesn't currently have a replacement so he can't send it back. The inner cap and cap band have adhesive residue on them so they weren't just pressure fit when they were installed. I've been reading about shellac and thread sealant but can't decide which would be the best choice for the repair and can't find anything about inner caps being shellaced/sealed in place. Everything I've read so far indicates that most inner caps are pressure fit. I think that the repair should be permanent so am leaning toward shellac but I can see why you might want to dismantle the cap for cleaning in the distant future so maybe sealant is a better choice? Does anyone have any thoughts or advice?

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    Last edited by Bunk2019; February 19th, 2020 at 09:47 AM. Reason: To correct spacing

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    Default Re: Inner Pen Cap question -- shellac or sealant?

    I would also want it to be permanent so I would use an epoxy adhesive. The last thing you would want to happen would be for the pen to fall out with the bottom of the cap giving way. Although shellac sounds nice because it's reversible, i don't think it would have a strong enough hold.
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    Default Re: Inner Pen Cap question -- shellac or sealant?

    Trying to understand how a brand new pen is also discontinued, perhaps it was new old stock? If it is a recent purchase I would ask for a refund personally.


    eta, typo now to new.
    Last edited by Fermata; February 19th, 2020 at 09:33 PM.

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    Default Re: Inner Pen Cap question -- shellac or sealant?

    Why the adhesive let go would only be a guess. But I would assume that the manufacturer really didn't expect it to be taken apart again if they glued it together.

    That being the case, shellac could work, but you would want to walk away from the pen for a couple of days,maybe more, to let the shellac harden completely. But I would be inclined to go for a stronger adhesive, so would chose a good epoxy cement. Scuff up the outside of the inner cap, and the inside of the barrel to give the epoxy something to grab onto. Apply to the inner cap, not the inside of the cap, so that the excess gets pushed out] instead of into the cap. Put farther forward so that most of it stays inside. If there is stamping on the cap band, center it under the clip. The biggest thing that I see when this is done by amateurs is that they don't clean up well when they're done. Use a soft cloth dampened with denatured alcohol when you're done. Let it cure 24 hours at about 70F for full strength before you use it. Get it up to 120 (no more) and it'll cure in under 4 hours. The epoxy I recommend is PCSuperepoxy. Its much better than Devcon.

    Don't use superglue.

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    Default Re: Inner Pen Cap question -- shellac or sealant?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ron Z View Post
    Don't use superglue.
    Definitely not.
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    Default Re: Inner Pen Cap question -- shellac or sealant?

    Thanks Chrissy and Ron! I'm glad you suggested epoxy because I was concerned that neither sealant nor shellac would be strong enough for this particular part in its' particular location. I've been reading Frank Dubiel's book and Richard Binder's book (still haven't sprung for the Marshall/Oldfield book) and knew not to use super glue but thought the only other options were sealant and shellac. I have gorilla glue epoxy (https://www.gorillatough.com/product/gorilla-epoxy/), will that work as well or should I get the PC Super Epoxy?

    Thank you both!

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    Default Re: Inner Pen Cap question -- shellac or sealant?

    Hmmm, won't forget that in a hurry.

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    Default Re: Inner Pen Cap question -- shellac or sealant?

    I'm in Britain so we get different brands over here. I have a specialist 2-part epoxy made by Araldite called 2020 because it's something I used when I restored ceramics.

    We can get Devcon, and that also comes as a 2 part epoxy, but our go to epoxy would also be made by Araldite and would come as regular or rapid. You don't need a rapid set.

    People generally think that the more adhesive you use the better but actually the reverse is true. Don't use very much.

    If Ron says PC Super Epoxy is the one to use, then that's gospel. He's the expert.
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    Default Re: Inner Pen Cap question -- shellac or sealant?

    The Gorilla brand epoxy is a high strength, clear curing epoxy, but it definitely *isn't* 5 minute set, no matter what the packaging says... the good thing about that is you get more working time and cleanup time over "regular" hardware store brands, in a glue that's stronger than the rest of the "5 minute" products, but *does* set faster than the usual 30 minute set time of other high strength epoxy formulas.

    It'll work well, just make sure to let it cure for a full day or longer at room temperature before using it.
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    Default Re: Inner Pen Cap question -- shellac or sealant?

    I'm curious. Why not CA superglue for a permanent repair?
    Thanks.

    Sg

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    Default Re: Inner Pen Cap question -- shellac or sealant?

    Quote Originally Posted by sgphoto View Post
    I'm curious. Why not CA superglue for a permanent repair?
    Thanks.

    Sg
    Unless a hardened cyanoacrylate glue, it will break down in the presence of moisture and heat. I've seen it fail in many different applications. There are exceptions, but in general I avoid it. It also works best in situations where the stress is in tension, its shear strength isn't especially good, and it doesn't fill well. It isn't supposed to - it polymerizes (cures) with pressure or the application of an activator which is an oxygen deprivator.

    I find that a good two part epoxy forms a stronger and much more reliable bond. If you scuff up the surfaces before you put the pieces together, it holds even better. Epoxy fills well (though its best if not needed), cures best when warm, has a stronger shear strength, and because it is two part does not require pressure to cure. Some of the epoxies are very strong, and even stronger when they care cured at about 120F. Its useful to look at the manufacturer's technical data sheets for such information. You can usually find it on line.

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    Default Re: Inner Pen Cap question -- shellac or sealant?

    I have tried shellac in a similar situation and it did not hold. Curiously it was also a Levenger carbon fiber pen but not the exact model pictured by the OP. The cap band spins but does not completely come out with the inner cap so I have let it be for now.
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    Default Re: Inner Pen Cap question -- shellac or sealant?

    "Super glue" is actually ill suited for most uses, what it does, it does amazingly well though.

    The problem is that those Crazy glue TV ads managed to convince a huge number of people that it's a magical substance, akin to the Patent remedies of the past, just sticky
    David-

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    Default Re: Inner Pen Cap question -- shellac or sealant?

    I had a similar issue, and I can definitely say that sealant is the best option in this situation. I remember when everything just happened, and I really had to find a solution, but the problem was that I had a minimum amount of knowledge. I asked around, and everyone recommended silicone sealant, and after that, I had another issue. I didnít know how to use it correctly, and that is why I went on the internet and started to search for a tutorial or any information. After some searching, I found a really good website with an article about the correct procedure for applying silicone sealant. I read everything, and afterward, I was able to fix the issue.
    Last edited by EkisGrios; September 3rd, 2021 at 11:20 AM.

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    Default Re: Inner Pen Cap question -- shellac or sealant?

    Quote Originally Posted by EkisGrios View Post
    Super glue is the one to use?
    No. Read my post(s) above. An epoxy adhesive works best in this application. You just have to give it sufficient time to cure. Full strength is usually achieved in 24 hours. Hold the temperature at 120F (not higher) and most epoxies cure to full strength in 2 hours.

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