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Thread: Best way to polish older pens

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    Default Best way to polish older pens

    I have several 1940's and 1950's Conway Stewart and Parker pens, and they look less bright and shiny as I think they could look. Anyone have products they have used with success?

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    Senior Member Runnin_Ute's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best way to polish older pens

    If I do anything I just wipe with a soft clean cloth. Maybe microfiber. I don't polish or wax. No need.

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    Ole Juul (April 23rd, 2021)

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    Senior Member Ole Juul's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best way to polish older pens

    I like non shiny old pens. I like to see them as their true selves proudly presenting their age. Sure, give them a good clean and a bit of a rub, but don't insult them with the equivalent of a forced facelift for your old grandmother. See them for what they are and appreciate the beauty of age.

    It pains me when I see old pens advertised and the seller has obviously polished them to "look like new". When in fact what they've done is hastened the pen's eventual demise and devalued it's antique value. My recommendation for a shiny pen is to buy a new one.

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    Senior Member guyy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best way to polish older pens

    Another non-polisher here. Unless they’re NOS, shiny old pens look weird to me. I also agree with Ol Juul that polishing is destructive and from a preservationist perspective, best avoided.

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    Senior Member fountainpenkid's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best way to polish older pens

    There’s some gray zone, as I’ve understood it. A light polish for a pen with lots of drawer wear upon restoration doesn’t seem criminal, but over-polishing does cheapen the finish of a pen and distort its history. If done sloppily it can also remove plating from the trim and even distort the shape of the pen itself.
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    Senior Member mizgeorge's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best way to polish older pens

    If they're really grubby or have had to have structural repairs, I'll give celluloid/plastic pens a light polish with microgloss (water based). Casein gets a rub over with a jewellery cloth. I don't polish hard rubber at all to speak of - I'm not a fan of too much restoration - I'd rather my pens were Brigitte Bardot than Joan Collins.

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    Senior Member eachan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best way to polish older pens

    I'm in agreement with the comments above. A quick rub with a sunshine cloth is enough unless there is actual damage to deal with. I think we have got past the period of the over-polished pen, when "restorers" were investing in polishing wheels and sending out pens glittering in a way they never did when new.

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    Default Re: Best way to polish older pens

    Thanks everyone for your advice! Sounds like polishing a pen is like spending time with your mother in law, less is better! 😷

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    Default Re: Best way to polish older pens

    When I was restoring old Esterbrooks I used Mother's Mag Polish. However, for pens which are now restored, I don't think about them the same. I just use them and maintain the function over the form.

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    FPG Donor ♕ KrazyIvan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best way to polish older pens

    I have a document that was shared with me by someone on the other board. It goes into great detail on their polishing process. I think the document is four pages long. This person used to sell pens on the other board but I cannot seem to find any posts so I am not sure what happened (edit: NVM, I was misspelling their username. They are still active on that board). I know eachan would not approve of the process but I particularly enjoy the results.
    Last edited by KrazyIvan; April 26th, 2021 at 09:35 AM.
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    Senior Member Scrawler's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best way to polish older pens

    If you absolutely must polish your pens then cut a piece of sellotape to fit the imprint and cover it so that you don't reduce it with polishing.

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    Senior Member Cyril's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best way to polish older pens

    I like to see a dead looking pen a bit shiny or free of micro scratch, or even free of yellow oxidised dead old look on a pen.
    For me it is giving back The original previous life it had. Also I completely agree that you have to work meticulously to preserve all originality marks and embossing and plating that carries.
    In many cases if you can't do it that way it is better to leave it for someone who could do it or use the pen as it is.
    There are a lot of techniques in preserving polishing Bake light Plastic, Hard rubber which could be adapted to use on old Vintage pens.
    It is very enjoyable see a" before and after results. But this a choice whether or not to POLISH VINTAGE - OR MODERN PENS.
    I HAVE THREE Mont Blanc. PENS AND THEY ARE OLDER VERSIONS.. NEARLY 35-40 YEARS OLD. THEY NEED TO BE FREE OF MOCRO SCRATCHES and I am going to clean and polish them soon.

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    Senior Member FredRydr's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best way to polish older pens

    One vender at pen shows has a display that is well known for wonderfully polished pens. I asked him about it, and his last step is hand-polishing with jewelers' rouge. I just don't have the patience!

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