Clock Dial Finishing and Clear Coating

Discussion in 'General Clock Discussions' started by caddwg, Nov 27, 2019.

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  1. caddwg

    caddwg Registered User

    Jul 4, 2012
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    I'm not sure where I should post my question, so it's not in the correct location please excuse my mishap. I'm currently constructing some clock dials and have run into a slight problem. I developed the dial metal blank and then did the necessary engraving. I then filled the engraved lines with Engravers Wax/ Shellac Stick. I now want to clear coat the dial, but have found that lacquer based products cause the Engravers was to bleed. I've tried several similar products such as lacquer and acrylic clear coats and both have rendered the same unfortunate results. I'm wondering now if Shellac maybe the solution I'm looking for. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Best Regards: Larry
     
  2. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

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    I've started using the microcrystalline conservation wax instead of lacquer. I saw it at a talk given for a BHI meeting.
     
  3. caddwg

    caddwg Registered User

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    NoviceTimeKeeper:: Yes, I've also considered using wax, of which I have on hand in the shop. It's Museum grade wax and is quite good. I once used it on exposed polished brass surfaces, but found that they still tarnished badly. I'll look into the wax you've mentioned. thanks for your response.
    P.S.: I see that that's the exact wax that I have in the shop....
     
  4. JTD

    JTD Registered User

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    I agree. I've had good results with this too, (I use 'Renaissance' but there are probably others available), and museums use it also. And a little goes a very long way

    JTD
     
  5. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

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    That's the stuff, couldn't remember the name.
     
  6. Uhralt

    Uhralt Registered User
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    How did you apply the lacquer? I found that when I spray it on very thinly, let dry and the follow with a couple of coats, I could avoid the bleeding.

    Uhralt
     
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  7. caddwg

    caddwg Registered User

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    Uhralt: I have been spraying it on, and probably to thick. Once the bleeding starts I dump the dial in lacquer thinner and remove everything down to clean metal and engraving. It easy to fill the engraving again, but hard to remove the excess, so I'm trying to avoid redoing things and try and find something that really works. Probably if the lacquer was applied by hand rather than spray the results might be better. They have clear non yellowing shellacs these days in a spray, and I'm thinking that the solvent vehicle may not bother the engravers fill material, which mostly a shellac base. Regards: Larry
     
  8. Uhralt

    Uhralt Registered User
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    To test this you could just scrape off a bit of your wax and spray it on a piece of paper. If the paper gets stained, the wax is dissolved and might bleed. Actually, I think my stick of black "wax" is actually shellac, so likely it will dissolve in ethanol, which is the solvent for shellac.

    Uhralt
     
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  9. caddwg

    caddwg Registered User

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    Uhralt: That's a great idea concerning the use of a piece of paper. I tried the same on a piece of brass with good results, but the exact circumstances weren't the same, since the lacquer settles in the engraved groove somewhat and maybe has more time to react. I realize that the word "Wax" is a misnomer and the stick is actually a shellac base. I purchase via "CousinUK". There are some replicas out there, but I've always avoided them. A spray can of Shellac is about $8.00 U.S.D., and is available at a brick and mortar store down the street, so I may purchase and try the piece of paper test. Thanks for your thoughts, and Best Regards: Larry
     
  10. Uhralt

    Uhralt Registered User
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    Let us know what you find!

    Uhralt
     
  11. caddwg

    caddwg Registered User

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    Uhralt: I will try your paper test first with the two types of lacquer I have on hand and then try the same test using the shellac. Thanks for your help and thoughts concerning this subject. Best Regards: Larry
     
  12. Uhralt

    Uhralt Registered User
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    Good idea!
    Uhralt
     
  13. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

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    It's called wax because it is sealing wax.
     
  14. caddwg

    caddwg Registered User

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    Uhralt: I just wasted an $8 and the shellac had the same results, if not worse than the lacquers. I'm now convinced that a Whisper Coat to begin with might be the answer. A bit tricky to say the least. I guess if I spoil things again, it's not the end of the World. I'm thinking the only way to get real answers is to try the real thing. I will say one thing; My inventory of clear coat spray cans has now overrun my shelf space. Regards: Larry
     
  15. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

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    What have you got against renaissance wax? Try it, you might like it.
     
  16. caddwg

    caddwg Registered User

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    Novicetimekeeper: I actually have nothing against it, however I've used it for different purposes over the years and it has failed my expectations. Of course, maybe my expectations have been to great. I think through trial and error I'll get lacquer to successfully work. If then, another type of product to protect the dials brushed finish and make it easily cleanable. Regards: Larry
     
  17. Uhralt

    Uhralt Registered User
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    I had the best results using nitrocellulose lacquer which dries very quickly. It is used mainly for musical instruments, like guitars. Therefore it is often sold as "guitar lacquer". A very thin spray layer initially, then let it dry completely to no stickiness to the touch at all. Subsequently another thin layer and finally a slightly heavier layer to achieve a flat surface. You may want to add another spray can of clear lacquer to your growing collection....

    Uhralt
     
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  18. JTD

    JTD Registered User

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    Uhralt is right, if you want to use lacquer rather than wax, then you must put on the first coat really thinly (in German there is a nice word 'hauchduenn'. you could translate 'as thin as a breath') and let it dry completely before another coat(s). But you must apply really thin (stand further away from the dial than normal spraying distance, so just a 'breath' of spray falls on it), and when it is dry the wax is sealed over and the subsequent coats are easier.

    I would not recommend using a brush, at least not for the first couple of coats.

    JTD
     
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  19. caddwg

    caddwg Registered User

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    Uhralt and JTD: Thanks very much for your input. I've decided that you both have the solution to my problem. Very thin and fast drying. I'm convinced that you have the solution. Thanks again and Best Regards: Larry
     
  20. claussclocks

    claussclocks Registered User
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    Just to add my 2 cents worth. I fought with spray lacquer for some time until I began using this one made specifically for brass. I am sure there are others but Mohawk is a great source for stains and finishes. If you don't have a dealer near you the Big "A" sells it.
    I have found that it helps if the item to be lacquered is not cold. Room temp to slightly above the lacquer spreads and sets very fast. The lacquer should also have been stored at room temperature.

    I use the Gloss for most things but the options are

    Mohawk Lacquer for Brass - Gloss M103-0500
    Mohawk Lacquer for Brass - Satin M103-0540
    Mohawk Lacquer for Brass - Matte M-103-0520

    Works very well for me and does not haze or run. As stated above, "Very Thin Coats"
    I start spraying a little before the item and continue a little past keeping an even motion.

    DPC

    Lacquer for Brass.jpg
     
  21. caddwg

    caddwg Registered User

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    DPC: Yes, others recommended Mohawk Guitar Lacquer. For my purposes, I think the answer is; super thin multiple coats to keep the engravers wax from bleeding into the rest of the finish. Thanks for your 2 cents, always appreciated. Thanks and Best Regards: Larry
     

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