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Restoring the original finish on an English chronometer "Click" to Login or Register
 
posted
I have a 19th century English Chronometer that is in good working order; however, the finish on the rose wood box is dull and cloudy. I don't want to polish it or harm the original finish, just clean off any grim that may have built up over the years. Does anyone have any suggestions or guidelines they could share?

Thanks in advance,
Mason

Rose wood box
 
Posts: 88 | Location: Brunswick, Georgia in the USA | Registered: February 13, 2011
IHC Member 1090
Picture of Edward Kitner
posted
Walter,
I would use Renaissance Wax, it is made especially for antiques. I cleans and preserves the finish on just about anything.
 
Posts: 1489 | Location: New York State in the USA | Registered: March 04, 2008
posted
Thank! Is it sold nationally, or on the Internet?
 
Posts: 88 | Location: Brunswick, Georgia in the USA | Registered: February 13, 2011
IHC Member 1335
Picture of Tom Brunton
posted
Hi walter- yes it works great and you can buy it on eBay. Smile There is also another brand of microcrystaline wax used by the British
Museum that is great. I have a can laying around somewhere and if I find it I'll let you know the name. Confused There is another little trick I discovered in many years of clock and musical instrument cleaning and restoring , and that is Versalan and Permatex hand cleaners with lanolin and aloe available at your local auto parts store for about $6!!! Used with ultra fine steel wool it will remove dirt , grime, resin,finger gum and grease etc. Smile I have cleaned the worst crud buildup on old clocks and violins with it and it removes the gunk but leaves the old alligatored finish on the varnish. Big Grin I use #0000 super-fine steel wool .!! Rub with a soft cloth when done and it's like magic, and VERY INEXPENSIVE too !!!! Wink Big Grin
 
Posts: 1756 | Location: Aylmer, Ontario in Canada | Registered: December 15, 2009
posted
Outstanding! Thanks for the info.
I have restored several 20th century rifle stocks, but I want to be very careful with this chronometer and box, because I think it (if not a really well made conterfit)is an exceptionally nice example of 19th century art & technology coming together to produce a beautiful testimony of contemporary state-of-the-art engineering capability.

Please let me know the comercial name of the product if you can find the can.

I appreciate any ideas or suggestions,

Mason
 
Posts: 88 | Location: Brunswick, Georgia in the USA | Registered: February 13, 2011
IHC Member 1335
Picture of Tom Brunton
posted
Conservator's Wax Big Grin geez,the old guy found it Wonder of wonders !!!! Eek But first I would try the hand cleaner even with just a soft cloth,it should loosen up the gunk and then polishes nicely when rubbed down with the soft cloth. I used it on many expensive clocks and violins and guitars with no problems Wink I can't imagine the hand cleaner not doing a lovely job. As for the dull and cloudy, most chronometers that I have seen did not have a mirror glossy finish , so just cleaning might accomplish all you want to do !! The Conservator's Wax is available from Lee Valley Tools,Canada and Ogdensburg NY and probably a zillion more places. I somehow think the one is a copy of the other and that they are more or less the same thing !!

 
Posts: 1756 | Location: Aylmer, Ontario in Canada | Registered: December 15, 2009
IHC Member 1335
Picture of Tom Brunton
posted
$9.50 a can
Contact information:

Telephone: 973.927.4855
Fax: 973.927.4855
Postal address: Conservator's Products Company
P.O Box 601
Flanders, New Jersey 07836
U.S.A
Electronic mail:
Sales: sales@conservators-products.com
 
Posts: 1756 | Location: Aylmer, Ontario in Canada | Registered: December 15, 2009
IHC Member 1335
Picture of Tom Brunton
posted
I've had my 125ml can for 10-15 years and it is still as fresh as new , and a great product. they also recommend it as a blued metal parts cleaner finish for antique guns and I hear it works and looks great !!!
 
Posts: 1756 | Location: Aylmer, Ontario in Canada | Registered: December 15, 2009
posted
Thanks Tom, I just ordered a can of Conservator's wax from their web site! Now I'm off to find some Versalon or Permatex. I'll let you know how the project turns out.

Thanks again,

Mason
 
Posts: 88 | Location: Brunswick, Georgia in the USA | Registered: February 13, 2011
IHC Member 1335
Picture of Tom Brunton
posted
that's "VERSALAN" though I don't know if it's still made,it was a wonderful product but the Permatex works fine too,it's just mechanic's hand cleaner

 
Posts: 1756 | Location: Aylmer, Ontario in Canada | Registered: December 15, 2009
IHC Member 1335
Picture of Tom Brunton
posted
I found this post which appears to be the original "Whish Versalan" hand cleaner formula. Apparently it is still being made in Brantford Ontario Smile

http://www.hawcoproducts.com/retail.aspx
 
Posts: 1756 | Location: Aylmer, Ontario in Canada | Registered: December 15, 2009
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