Some Dial Restorations - Examples and Techniques

Discussion in 'Reverse Glass and Dial Painting' started by gleber, Oct 27, 2019.

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  1. gleber

    gleber Registered User

    Jun 15, 2015
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    Dial restorations came up in another thread (Anglo American Short Drop Facelift), and there was mention of some of my work on my website. In the interest of keeping the images as part of this archive, here are some before, during and after shots.

    I also thought this could be a place to share techniques and tips. Please contribute.

    Example 1 - C Jerome. New Haven.

    Paint flaked off to the dial pan around the arbors. It took a lot of layers to get the surface to the correct thickness. Without matching the thickness, the shadow around the edge stands out from across the room. I then used some varnish to get the sheen to match. The color is still just a little off (too much green - Yes, I couldn't get the color to match using whites and tans without adding some green). But, from a few feet away it is not too noticeable. I do think that if the color is close, the sheen is more important. You can pick up flat vs glossy from across the room even if the color is identical. Try it, paint something with flat, and then add some varnish to half. I need to experiment with how to recreate the crazing. I tried using a single hair, but it didn't go well. I may look like I painted the whole dial, but I just did the touch up around the arbors. The lighting was different in the photos, which accounts for the marked difference in the shades. I also fixed the lower right nub, which was broken and missing when I got the clock.

    original.jpg primary.jpg 20170521_200952.jpg 20170530_201028.jpg 20191027_073957.jpg

    Tom
     
  2. gleber

    gleber Registered User

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    #2 gleber, Oct 27, 2019
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2019
    Example 2 - Morbier Dial Patching

    At first, I thought this dial only needed a cleaning, but it turned out to be a much bigger project. The central area was dented and the porcelain/enamel had broken out. I removed all of the patchwork, straightened the dial and used layers of JB Weld to recreate the smooth convex contour.

    I then masked off the inner chapter ring and numbers (fortunately the damage did not extend into these areas). Rather than just paint within the masked area, I added a second mask slightly raised above the surface. I then painted it with high gloss white spray paint (appliance white) and allowed some over spray through the raised mask. This prevented a sharp edge at the edge of the mask on the dial and blended the new coat nicely into the surrounding area. After letting it dry for at least a week, I used 1600 wet sand to complete the blending and smooth out any orange peel.

    original.jpg primary.jpg

    Tom
     
  3. gleber

    gleber Registered User

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    Example 3 - Gilbert 3027 with Numbers Partially Scraped Off

    This one was relatively easy. It was a paper dial, so I used a fine tipped permanent marker. I carefully traced the missing outlines of the numbers and then went back and did the fill in. In some areas, the scrapes were deep into the paper and it required extra care and a light touch while coloring to prevent the damp ink from bleeding into the thinner paper and making it mushy. I took my time using only a little ink and letting it dry in between coats. I left the rest of the dial alone since it showed an acceptable amount of aging.


    original.jpg primary.jpg

    Once again, the lighting for these photos was different. I did not refinish the case although it does look like I might have.

    Tom
     
  4. gleber

    gleber Registered User

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    #4 gleber, Oct 27, 2019
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2019
    Example 4 - Black Forest Shield Clock Renumbering

    In this example, most of the dial artwork was worn away and the numbers were redone by an unsteady hand. I didn't like how dark the original number looked compared to the rest of the faded artwork, in addition to their poorly drawn waviness. I was able to completely and successfully remove the numbers using alcohol, leaving a very crisp outline of the original numbers (3rd photo). I then used a straight edge and outlined the numbers using a ball point pen. And then filled them in with a hatch pattern. I also tried going back over the hatch with a number 2 pencil hoping to even the color tone, but ended up abandoning that idea. I think it looks better, but I still would like to get a more even tone. I'm afraid that if I continue to add more hatch lines with the pen, it will get too dark again. I also added the 15, 30, 45 and 60 numbers as best I could from what I could see from the original.

    Finally, I wish I had an example of the original artwork. Most of it is too faded to figure out what was depicted other than it being a general cornucopia design with flowers and flags. Is that broccoli on the left?

    Tom

    primary.jpg 20160705_104825.jpg 20160621_182228.jpg 20160710_115720.jpg 12.jpg 20160622_080245.jpg 2.jpg
     
  5. shutterbug

    shutterbug Moderator
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  6. woodlawndon

    woodlawndon Registered User
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    Nice work Tom. I am missing the art gene and as such have difficulty getting straight lines when I try to redraw numbers. I need to learn, I very much dislike paper replacement dials unless absolutely necessary.
    Don
     
  7. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

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    Great work Tom. I agree getting the levels right is a major part of the work, otherwise it is just an obvious repaint.
     

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