Large Brass Dial - need advise & recommendations please

Discussion in 'Clock Case Restoration and Repair' started by Royce, Jul 10, 2019.

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  1. Royce

    Royce Registered User

    Oct 8, 2018
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    HWN GF-9.JPG
    This is a 30 cm dial from a HWN Grandfather Clock that I am restoring. Previously someone attempted to polish the dial as can be seen by the swirl marks (probably don't show up in the picture) and also removed the black coating off the numbers. The numbers have been glued on with hide glue so I anticipate removing the numbers by warming the hide glue with hot water on the back where the pins do or use to stick through the brass dial and then painting them black. I'm not sure what I should use in trying to polish the brass dial after I remove the numbers; simichrome, or :???:. Please recommend as I don't want to mess the dial up. I thought I would use Renaissance wax after polishing. What should I use to coat the numbers black before reattaching? I would certainly appreciate your advise and recommendations. Thanks. Royce
     
  2. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

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    Is it supposed to be polished brass or silvered?
     
  3. shutterbug

    shutterbug Moderator
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    The big concern here is the black borders for the minute marks. If they come off (and they might even in your water bath) you'll be in bigger trouble. This whole job might best be turned over to a dial restoration business, but you might be able to improve the other parts of the dial. Test a small portion of the ink with water to be sure it's stable before using water as your heating method. Then a rotating base (like a clay forming set-up) would be best for working out the swirls. You'd probably be using finer and finer grades of emery sheets to smooth and then something like a non-abrasive brass cleaner for the rest. I like Maas cleaner, but there are others that work well too.
    For the numbers, a gloss black paint would work...but you only want the tops of the numbers painted. Brushing might leave marks there too.
     
  4. Le Roi a Paris

    Le Roi a Paris Registered User

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  5. Royce

    Royce Registered User

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    Novicetimekeeper, having looked at similar HWN GF clocks, I am certain that it is supposed to be brass in lieu of silvered.

    Shutterbug, thanks for the insight!! I certainly do not want to damage the black borders for the minute marks or other portions of the dial and should probably heed your advise of turning over to a professional dial restoration company and may do so. If I decide to attempt on my own, I wonder if I would be better served to form a heat sink on the back around the glued pins of a number and use a blow dryer as the heat mechanism instead of risking using hot water. Thoughts?
     
  6. shutterbug

    shutterbug Moderator
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    I think that would be safer ;) You could also form a thin paper ring and tape it over the minute marks so you don't accidentally hit them with the emery. The tape wouldn't stick to the paint that way.
     

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