Brass dials requiring
re-silvering should be cleaned back to the brass with fine abrasive
paper. If a 'spun' effect is required, put a nail in a piece of old board
and rotate the dial around it while holding fine emery paper on the surface.
Fill numerals in etched dials with black engravers wax. If the old wax is
just cracked, hold the dial over a spirit lamp to heat the wax just
enough for the cracks to disappear. If the wax is missing or insufficient, add a
few flakes of it to the numerals and heat gently.
Rub the surface back down
again if necessary to be level with the dial. Rinse under hot water and rub
silvering powder into the surface with a clean cloth or tissue. Rinse
again and apply finishing powder. Rinse once more and when dry apply
colourless lacquer. Only use lacquer formulated for this purpose, as many
lacquers will dissolve the shellac in engravers wax spoiling the work. Only
lacquer once and do it quickly and confidently. Too much friction on the wax
will make it smear. Insufficient or surplus lacquer can cause 'rainbow' effects.
of paramount importance when silvering and almost all problems
encountered are due to finger marks on the metal between cleaning and applying
the powder. Silvering powder acts by chemical reaction with the metal, and if
this cannot take place evenly, an uneven colouring occurs