Advice and guidance on repair and restoration techniques.
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gameswat
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Location: perth, australia

Mirror desilvering to replicate original graphics

Postby gameswat » Sun Apr 03, 2016 2:28 pm

Thought this might be of interest to somebody about how I made a replacement mirrored glass on the cheap with simple tools. The glass on this late 30's French Roulette called Grand Prix was badly damaged. The paper artwork had buckled over time and someone reglued and later when it re-buckled that pulled the silvering off. The owner wasn't happy with how it looked but had invested far too much into the machine before I ever saw it so I had to keep costs down. The hand drawn paper artwork was badly faded and we decided that should be brightened along with much needed rebuilding of cabinet which had been broken apart and badly rebuilt. On removal from the machine the glass was very poorly cut in the first place with chipping around the edge. The cost to have a local glass company mask and resilver the mirror was prohibitive, plus I thought it would end up looking too new for the machine. So after a little thought decided I could easily make the replacement from scratch using vintage mirror glass with small chips and stains. I've never cut circles before and the cost of a special compass cutter was high for just one job right now, so made this one from scrap. (The lock/release suction cup is from an old ice crusher base, which was used to stop it sliding around as you turned the handle.) This first time circle cutting was a test and while not perfect was far better then the original glass so decided to use it. Then I marked out on the back the areas of silver that needed to be removed and once happy lightly scribed through the paint on the back with a paper cutting compass. Then carefully scraped off the paint with a scalpel that I de-sharpened slightly. Though since this was a good quality mirror there was also a layer of copper on top of the silver so not easy to scratch the glass anyway. Then a quick burnish with fine #00 grade steel wool to remove any tiny spots of paint. A quick tip, the next finer steel wool is #000 but costs 3 x the price over here for very little difference! While the #00 sells for the same price as all the other thicker grades. I use it all the time so keep in stock #3 - coarse, #1 - medium, #00 - fine. I then went outside to remove the copper and silver layers, wiping it off with a rag and a little Ferric Chloride, commonly used to etch circuit boards. The acid had no effect on the remaining paint which worked as a resist. I forgot to photograph this after completion but my buddy was very excited to add it to his collection and at some time soon I'll be over there to get some pics of it.
grand prix.jpg
grand prix glass old.jpg
grand prix glass cut.jpg
This is actually a photo of a later cutting of a piece of scrap glass so I could improve my technique removing the circle from the sheet. Did work much better!
grand prix desilver.jpg
grand prix glass new back.jpg
grand prix mirror new and old.jpg
Last edited by gameswat on Sun Apr 03, 2016 9:11 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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badpenny
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Re: Mirror desilvering to replicate original graphics

Postby badpenny » Sun Apr 03, 2016 4:05 pm

Most truly a superb job.
Often our (my) idea of repairing a machine is to flatten a baked bean tin into the approximate shape required and then hold it in place with mole grips until the Super Glue sets.

However you insist on showing us all the way home. :-(

BP

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gameswat
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Joined: Sat May 30, 2009 5:17 am
Location: perth, australia

Re: Mirror desilvering to replicate original graphics

Postby gameswat » Sun Apr 03, 2016 5:24 pm

Thanks BP. I try and do a better job each time, which I suppose most people do. And the more I can do in my own workshop the lower I keep costs down and the more harmonious the finished product will be.

john t peterson
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Re: Mirror desilvering to replicate original graphics

Postby john t peterson » Sun Apr 03, 2016 8:32 pm

Hey Gameswat; how about coming to my place to work a little harmony on my poor Auto Talkie?? We could shoot guns, drink whiskey and chase women (well, at least you could) in your off hours. !BUNNY!

J Peterson
Semi-harmonious in America

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gameswat
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Re: Mirror desilvering to replicate original graphics

Postby gameswat » Sun Apr 03, 2016 9:06 pm

Would if I could JP! Sadly though these days there seems to be little chance of travelling like I used to. And a complete lack of much spare cash doesn't help anything. :NBG:

youngerap
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Re: Mirror desilvering to replicate original graphics

Postby youngerap » Tue Apr 05, 2016 9:11 pm

"shoot guns, drink whiskey and chase women"?

Somehow that does not sound like the new socialist US of A that President Sanders stands for... !SHOOT!

But it sounds like fun to me !!USA!!

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ddstoys
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Re: Mirror desilvering to replicate original graphics

Postby ddstoys » Tue Apr 05, 2016 10:39 pm

Brilliant mate


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