Friday, February 10, 2012

Refinishing Hamilton 917 dial

So I finally got some pictures going, here is the Hamilton 917 that I have been working on in it's original condition when I received it, you can see the badly painted on mush of a sacred heart that I was describing in an earlier post;

I used a fine tipped small screw driver, sharpened to an uber fine point and I was able to pry off the numbers from the dial with relative ease. I then used 0000 steel wool to take the original graphic off of the dial. Once it was removed, dremel with a buffing wheel and a whole lot of rouge to get it up to a high gloss polish. Pic below is before the polishing step.

In the interim of the dial polishing, I mock up the dial in Autodesk 123D, which if you do not have a CAD program yet, is free and very awesome. Once I get the dial sized, I export and load vector to photoshop and there, I create the dial face design. I scan the cleaned up dial and change the transparency on the photoshop design so that I can see through to where everything will line up once printed. After several minute changes later and satisfied with the design, I print out the dial design on normal paper first to see how it all lines up....everything looks awesome! I switch out the printer paper to laser printer version of a Waterslide decal paper and print a whole bunch of the same dial design repeated since every time I print, it typically streaks because of the slick surface the the Waterslide decal paper and have to salvage the best examples within a printed sheet.

You can see in the pic of the sheet I printed, I would say that I lost 60% of the printed dials but that's OK, they will be used foe testing later,

Before moving on to placing it on the dial, use a hole punch and create the hand holes now, the material is so thin that it is rather difficult to cut it after the fact. Now to place it on the dial! I use my pin vise to hold the dial since it has feet; speaking of pin vise, another awesome tool to have; get it cheap at Harbor Freight ( I had to immerse the Waterslide for around 30 seconds at this size to slip from the backing paper and using #1 tweezers, I carefully slide it on to the dial, than place it so that the sub-dial in the design matches up correctly to the sub-dial it's self.

Remember those smudged ones that I can't really use? I will be using them next to compile data since no source I can find has any empirical knowledge regarding various lacquer composition against the Waterslide decal printed on a laser printed, affixed to a mixed allow plate. I will duplicate the dial with a sheet of various alloys and place the Waterslide decal on, than use various lacquers applied in various ways (aerosol, natural hair brush, artificial hair brush, sponge brush, other misc brush) and collect the following data

1) opacity
2) how smooth a given method applies the lacquer
3) does it yellow and under what conditions, and how long

Be back on another post and thanks for reading

1 comment:

  1. Dear Ken K,

    You really inspireert me with this blog. I had a long existing wish to reuse the original Hamilton Dials white converting to a wrist watch. Until now I bought the dials for my Hamiltons and Unitasses. Super! Could you bring me some more 'on the way' with cadcam designing and decalpaper? I would like to share some more experiences, could we come in contact?
    Greetings from The Netherlands, Peter Homan