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This is my rigging for buffing up crystals. Don't be fooled though, it is my experience that you can just get rid of the haze and put a bit of a sparkle back into an old crystal. Big scratches just aren't worth the time.
I got a bit of cerium oxide free from the glass shop and a couple old valves from a local car guy. If you do this try to avoid the valves with a depression in the centre as you can end up with a hazy bullseye.
I used spray glue to affix a piece of leather to the valve. Put the rough side out as it holds the cerium better and all you have to do is dip the crystal in water when it starts to pull. Moving against the rotation of the drill works best as there seems less of a tendency for the bezel to go flying. If there is no watch in the case use the whole case as it is less tiring on the hands. At worst just the bezel but the crystal alone is hard to hang on to.
The difference is too difficult (for me anyway) to photograph but you will certainly see it and soon get a sense of which crystals are pointless to try.
Actually I shouldn't say that as any old crystal can be improved but you soon get a sense of when you have done all you can. It's funny that if you get too much of a gloss on a crystal with deep scratches it looks kind of goofy.
I initially tried the drill press but the lowest speed was too fast and generated too much heat. A corded variable speed drill works best and don't forget the earplugs
A final coating with Renaissance Wax will fill up the scratches a bit as well, Pre-Lim/Renaissance Wax
Truth be told the wax does a pretty good job on it's own but I wanted to try this.
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