mardi 5 mai 2009

Trim restoration

Now I offer (in collaboration with Penandco) a full range of re-plating services for your pens (cap, clip, ring.....).
To give you more informations about our know how, here is some elements given by our french specialist.

If you want to give us your pen for surgery...please contact us on:
csanchezalamo@yahoo.fr or contact@penandco.com

People often think that you only need to re-plate a cap or a clip to give it back its beauty of yesteryear … Unfortunately, plating a tarnished and stained ring will only result in getting a tarnished and stained gilded ring in the end …

The crucial and essential stage of renovation lies in preparation, masking and polishing. This is where arts craft and experience get their real meaning because the ring or cap ready for plating must be absolutely free from stains, already having its final sheen… The 24k gold (or silver) plating is nothing but the final touch and it makes no miracle : if you plate on a scratch you only get a plated scratch !!!

For us, polishing is the most stressful part because it’s a matter of a tenth of a second ; choosing the right polishing pads and polishing pastes is thus of prime importance. We use top-of-the-range equipment : a very strong sisal fibre pad for pre-polishing, a sewn cotton pad to complete the polishing and an un-sewn calico pad for sheen polishing ; all this with Menzerna polishing pastes of different colours. Add to these processes the tools and techniques that we developed all along our experience on collectors pens, a know how that we keep jealously …

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Then comes the plating stage …
We are the holder of a technique of selective electrolysis (also called electroplating) set up for the renovation of fragile and luxury items. We thus don’t have to fully damp the item in a bath, like ordinary platers do. We use the same electrical wiring system and the same chemical products, but we apply the products directly on the item to be plated.
This technique derives from a method solely used in high-tech industries and it’s fully adapted to our needs. The chemical products are neutralized and do not affect the pens’ ebonite or celluloid bodies; on average, they are 30 times more concentrated than the usual products …
Usually, a standard plating is made as follows :

Manual cleaning in order to remove any remaining polishing paste,
Electro-chemical cleaning,
Nickel’s chemical activation,
Copper-plating,
Nickel-plating,
Then only, 24k gold-plating or 925 silver-plating (all these products and layers are conform to jewellery standards),
Application of polishing, anti-scratch, anti-oxidation products …
This work sequence is adapted to the various alloys that are usually used in top-of-the-range pens :

Stainless steel clips that are directly plated with gold,
Stainless steel or sometimes brass nickel-plated rings that are later plated with gold.
For the most common pens :
- Clip and ring in "Spring Steel", a kind of steel with a very low carbon content that gives the metal a higher elasticity than standard steels, thus allowing extensive handling and twisting without risks.

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Why plating with 24k gold ?
It’s pure gold with a deep and strong colour worthy of a jewel …
But we also finish with 18k, 14k and 9k gold, therefore ranging from a warm colour to a more and more pale yellow gold.
We also finish with 18k white gold, green gold, pink gold, silver, copper, antique copper, triple layer chromium, and very soon platinum.

The sophistication of our plating process also enables us to finish any item in 2 shades. For instance a simple steel nib (or cap) can be finished with 24k gold or 18k white gold, whatever you imagine …
Any metallic surface can be plated, except aluminium …As for corrosion, it is due to fingers sweating, increased by the salt contained in this sudation … Add to this the ambient and ink’s moisture, you then have all ingredients for an oxidation to start …

With this wealth of know-how, we also work on other luxury and collectors items such as lighters, jewels, watches and any metallic item that needs a meticulous re-plating…

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© Jean-Elie Sobolevicius from www.Penandco.com