Blemishes in kit finishes

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sorcerertd

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Not sure if this is the right place for this, but it's mostly related to PSI kits so...

I seem to get quite a few pen kits from PSI with bad spots in the finish. This is mostly with the antiqued finishes. Either they are scratched/chipped or there is a piece of fuzz or something like that pretty much got baked into the clear enamel finish. Apparently they don't keep their finishing area clean enough. Geez, you don't do your varnish/poly with the sawdust still floating around from a project, right? Anyway, as far as the other finishes, I've noticed scratches in them frequently. I can see this once in a while, but I just see it too often. Even if the flaws are not super noticeable to the naked eye, they really show up in pictures. Here's a few for examples.

So, I would think that they will end up getting blemishes after being used for a while, but anyone purchasing a pen for $50, $100, or even more isn't going to want them to show up that way already. PSI is good about replacing the parts, but sometimes the replacement parts they send me are just as bad or worse. Is it just me? Am I being too picky? How many kits do you guys typically have to ask for replacements parts for? Are other brands more reliable/consistent with good finishes?

scratches1.jpg
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Kenny Durrant

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Your not too picky. Maybe just too young. I would’ve never noticed but now that you’ve brought it up I’ll look closer. I agree 100% that if someone buys a pen regardless of price they’re going to want it flawless. I don’t sell many but I’ve never had any complaints. Thanks for bringing this up to the ones that have eyes that’s not what they used to be.
 

DavidD

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I've been having absolutely terrible luck with PSI kit platings recently - not sure if that's a coincidence, or if there's something going on with their various manufacturers. My issues have been with bolt-action antique brass, squire chrome and gold, and vertex black titanium. Hope things improve!
 

sorcerertd

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Your not too picky. Maybe just too young. I would’ve never noticed but now that you’ve brought it up I’ll look closer. I agree 100% that if someone buys a pen regardless of price they’re going to want it flawless. I don’t sell many but I’ve never had any complaints. Thanks for bringing this up to the ones that have eyes that’s not what they used to be.

I tend to notice the flaws a LOT more in the pictures, even if I check them out with 2x readers (Normal everyday is 1.75, so probably not too young. ;) )

I've been having absolutely terrible luck with PSI kit platings recently - not sure if that's a coincidence, or if there's something going on with their various manufacturers. My issues have been with bolt-action antique brass, squire chrome and gold, and vertex black titanium. Hope things improve!

So, yeah... I guess they'll be hearing from me again. Too bad their "technical" department is only there until like 4 pm EST or something.

Maybe @ed4copies won't mind telling us what kits he gets more complaints about? I'm sure you guys go through a ton of pen kits at EB. I hope the manufacturers are good about working with you on them.
 

sorcerertd

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For what it's worth, I have tried buffing them with a jewelry polishing cloth, but it didn't make a difference that I can tell. I'm sure anything more aggressive than that would just to more damage.
 

ed4copies

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Penn State is quite good about replacement parts--every other vendor gives us no support for their manufacturing flaws, unless it is dozens of kits.

Since you asked, "Parts" are a pain for a very simple reason--we have to get them to you!!
What makes an "antique" plating look antique?? SHOULD it be scratch-free?? An antique pen will certainly have scratches, so what SHOULD be the expectation? I am very interested in your community opinion on this!!

When we send you a replacement part, it comes out of a kit--ONLY Penn State will replace it for us, the rest expect us to eat that cost along with the cost of sending the part (minimum $4 USPS including padded envelope and protective box) as well as the 20 minutes to get it all in the mail.
So, you think YOU hate bad parts, sit down--- I can vent for a few hours on this topic!!!

We sell a TON of PSI pen kits!! And we replace a lot of parts. BUT, as a percentage I am sure it is far less than 0.1% of the kits sold. (One in a thousand) PSI is very cooperative to us in replacing the parts we need--I wish all the vendors were similarly responsible for correcting their manufacturing mistakes.
 

sorcerertd

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Ed, I expected you would have some experience with this. For me, a few minor, shallow scuffs aren't really a problem to me, but nicks and gouges that go through the finish bother me, along with (maybe more so?) debris under the finish. It's probably pieces of partially cured finish in the finish.

In this pic, I expect the part with the musical notes to look like it does, but the "chips" on the nib bother me. After getting a replacement, I deliberately dropped this already nicked one on the concrete floor of my shop a few times from about 5 feet to test it out. It didn't show any new flaws, telling me that the finish is pretty durable. Wonder what the heck happened to it to cause those?
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