Making a new paper dial/preserve an original one.

mr_byte

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Nov 25, 2009
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I have a Seth Thomas shelf/kitchen clock (see pics) with a dial that is disintegrating. It is paint on metal, and it flakes with the slightest disturbance.

I'm wondering if I should spray it with a clear matte/semi gloss finish to fix the paint (fix as in fixative) or go with a new paper dial.

I'm thinking the clear will glue down the old paint and preserve it.

If I want to scan it, I think it'd be smart to "glue" the paint down. I could then take the scan into Photoshop/GIMP and massage it into some semblance of originality, but I am then unsure as what to do after gluing it to a new dial-pan.

My laser printer will print on photo-paper, but the printing will be dull, so I'd have to spray a semi-gloss finish to make it match the original dial.

Am I on the right track? This is a customer's clock, and it runs wonderfully (I usually limit myself to cleaning/spring replacement) but the dial will be destroyed by the time he sells it.

If anyone has a digital copy of this dial I'd love to see it :D

If anyone has an original dial with less damage I'd love that too. eBay so far is nil.
 

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shutterbug

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You could have it restored by one of the dial painting businesses. If you're going with paper, you can get one like that from Timesavers. Perhaps you'll also need a dial cutter for the inner ring.
 

Len Lataille

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Regardless of the condition of the dial, if the current owner wants to sell the clock, covering the dial with a paper one will drop the value and may make the clock impossible to sell at a reasonable price.

Let the new owner decide if they want to recover the dial, have it repainted or left as is.

If it had a paper dial to begin with, a new one could be aged to look better than a "cover-up". But even that would be obvious to someone that knows what they are buying.
 

mr_byte

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I had actually planned on using a new dial pan, not the original, so it'd still be available.

After talking with the owner, he's leaning toward preserving the original. In digging, I've heard Soluvar mentioned as a good clear coat/varnish to use to keep the paint from flaking further. What's the thought on that?
 

mr_byte

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You could have it restored by one of the dial painting businesses. If you're going with paper, you can get one like that from Timesavers. Perhaps you'll also need a dial cutter for the inner ring.
I doubt the owner would go for it, as he's selling it. I'm thinking the Soluvar is the way to go, possibly make/get a new paper face that looks aged, and that way have both. Am I right in thinking that some Soluvar would make the paper look less paperlike? I have 1 or 2 auction buys that I liked well enough to buy, but hate the WHITE paper replacement dials that scream "I'M **NOT** ORIGINAL!" and eventually I will try to find/make more original looking dial(s) for them.
 

Thyme

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Sep 18, 2006
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I had actually planned on using a new dial pan, not the original, so it'd still be available.

After talking with the owner, he's leaning toward preserving the original. In digging, I've heard Soluvar mentioned as a good clear coat/varnish to use to keep the paint from flaking further. What's the thought on that?
Obviously it is an eyesore in its current condition. Preserving the dial means restoring it properly. Putting varnish over soiled, flaking paint would only preserve the mess. Unfortunately there is no quick or easy way to make it look like new.

You are welcome to view my site for information about dial restorations (click here).
 

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