dial cracks

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  • #48014
    samspade
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    • Topics Started: 4
    • Total Posts: 15

    Hi all. I can’t resist the ‘Junk’ watch/clock at a boot/yard sale. I guess it’s the hope that a slightly dirty yet perfectly running 18k E. Howard might turn up for a few quid 😆
    Some of the watches turn out to be good buys while most end up as practice dummy’s and or spares. One of the things I noticed early on was the number of enamel/porcelain dials that had the now famous hairline cracks. Over the years I have tried many ways to reduce/disguise the black lines including: Dropping dial in denture cleaner AKA Steradent over here. I’ve also used Hydrogen peroxide applied lightly with a cotton bud. And I once suspended a dial over an…Alka Seltzer :D It works too!
    I once dropped a really badly damaged PW dial into a sonic cleaner and was amazed to see the dial float right off the brass backing plate (albeit in 3 bits) so sonic ‘Affectionado’s’ beware! If that little hairline goes right through to the dial plate and those little bubbles get under the enamel/porcelain 😮
    Now I settle for dropping the dial in a denture cleaner and then leave well alone if the crack is not too obvious. If it is then out comes the ‘Enamel repair’ paint and a 0000000000Windsor Newton brush.

    Well that what I do. But how about you guys? Come on, share those pearls of wisdom :)

    All the best.

    Scott.

    #50436
    pkamargo
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    • Topics Started: 14
    • Total Posts: 62

    Hmmm… Cleaning the enamel to disguise hairlines may be some sort of use if you don’t care about item value. The hairlines will still be there and will get visible again as time goes by.
    If you search the net you’ll find some good enamel restorers for the most valuable clock dials. They know how to prepare the dial and put it in the very hot stove. The enamel melts again and cracks and hairlines disappear completely.

    #50437
    samspade
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 4
    • Total Posts: 15

    @pkamargo wrote:

    Hmmm… Cleaning the enamel to disguise hairlines may be some sort of use if you don’t care about item value. The hairlines will still be there and will get visible again as time goes by.
    If you search the net you’ll find some good enamel restorers for the most valuable clock dials. They know how to prepare the dial and put it in the very hot stove. The enamel melts again and cracks and hairlines disappear completely.

    Hi pkamargo. It’s all about experimenting. The enjoyment of trying different ways to solve an age old problem. And I as I said, I only do it with ‘junk’ dials that I find at the markets. I have a few 1915/17 Trench watches with dials that are of good quality and yes, I would send them for professional repair if I needed to though for what I collect I think it would be a little too expensive. Though finding a good dial restorer is not that easy these days as all the old trades are dying off and if anyone out there knows of a ‘Good’ dial restorer in the UK I’d be much obliged for the info as I have a 1940’s Helvetia and a 1950’s Wittnauer that I would love to see in all their glory.

    All the best.
    Scott.

    #50438
    pkamargo
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 14
    • Total Posts: 62

    samspade, have you ever visited this?
    http://www.mflynn-restorations.com/default.html

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