(Bullet) Cartridge pen plating issue - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 01-19-2012, 01:31 PM Thread Starter
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(Bullet) Cartridge pen plating issue

I made this pen and sold it to a friend about 3-4 months ago. He is a waiter and uses it always. The plating is wearing off. There have been no abrasives or chemicals in contact with the pen. I guess it's expected and the company Berea Hardwoods claims that he could be putting 10x or maybe even 15x the normal use on the pen.

They also claim that it's normal wear for the extreme use involved. I kind of agree on that point. This is not a thread to bash Berea because they have been helpful on several things and as I said I agree for the most part. I just wanted others opinions and to get the info out for others to be knowledgeable.

This is the 24k gold plating which I think 14K would be better because its a harder gold. However I'm no expert on that.

The Chrome plating is much more durable according to Berea. The problem with that is the gold one looks more realistic and just plain better IMO.

Then there's the Titanium gold finish which is the hardest most durable plating but also could triple or quad ripple the cost of the kit and therefore would out price the kit.

Here are 2 pictures one is adjusted with photo editing software to make the wear more visible.

As usual comment and opinions appreciated.
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post #2 of 7 Old 01-19-2012, 01:45 PM
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When I have done plating in the past the Karat rating on plating solution 24K 14K 10K etc. often denotes the color of the plating solution no the actual hardness of the finish. That's the way it worked with the suppliers I used.

The short story is that pretty much any plating is going to wear or show "brassing" over time. Gold plating (any gold plating) is very prone to wear with much use. even if the pen is not used a lot it can still get brassing which is a migration of copper molecules from the under plating or brass base into the gold plated finish layer. About the only way to avoid this is to use gold filled parts which will really drive up the cost. Over time even the gold filled p[arts can suffer the same fate but the will hold up a lot longer.

What you are seeing is just the nature of the beast when dealing with plated parts.

Just as a side note: As a shooter and hunter I would be happy with a bullet pen with a brass case. To me the bare brass would be much more authentic. Lapua doesn't even gold plate their brass although it cost like they do. LOL



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post #3 of 7 Old 01-19-2012, 04:12 PM
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For cartridge pens I have switched to the real cartridges from Bear Tooth Woods. More $$ but they sure look good.

Lignum Vitae on a 300 Winchester mag cartridge.
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post #4 of 7 Old 01-19-2012, 04:28 PM
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TO me that looks much more authentic and I really like the way that belted magnum looks.


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post #5 of 7 Old 01-19-2012, 04:41 PM
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Well it is funny how some things work out. The cartridge pen became very popular when many people started using real shells and real bullets. Then a pen making company came along and thought they would join in and have this replicated and doing so made a kit. Any plating will wear but Titanium gold would be the most durable. You get what you pay for as they say. That is why that kit is not overly expensive. Massed produced and cheap platings.

I have never used those kits because I make mine from the real things and they sell well enough. I know people who sell at gun and hunting shows and clean up with these things.

I go a step further with the brass casings and bullet and that is I powdercoat clear so that there is no tarnishing which will happen with the oils from the hands and air. Some people love that look. Some people just use some brass polish and it is back to new again. The thing about the scratch made ones is they take alot more time and are a bit tricky to make. As far as the warrenty on that kit it probably has lived up to its expectation. Good luck.

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post #6 of 7 Old 01-19-2012, 05:25 PM
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Have a 24K upgrade gold pen been using for more than seven years with no signs of plating failure. I do not make 10K, 24K or even upgrade gold pens anymore. Only gun pen have made, civil war pen kits made with gun metal plating. Not sure how well holding up.
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post #7 of 7 Old 01-22-2012, 06:17 PM
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I buy mine (10k) from CSUSA and haven't had any problems yet.
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