Author Topic: Plastic Dial Repair  (Read 1058 times)

Duncan

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Plastic Dial Repair
« on: September 02, 2018, 03:37:41 PM »
Last spring I bought a 5H64 Lorraine at a flea market for a very reasonable price.  The clock is very needy and has a lot of problems to fix.  However, the one problem that is the most difficult is a crack between 9 and 10 on the plastic dial.  I will try to post a photo, but it would appear my photos are bigger than allowed by the web site...maybe I can use my old camera instead of my cell phone, so photos to follow.

Anyway...I have some questions for those on the forum who might be wise in the ways of restoration!  These are:

1.  What glue/adhesive should I use to seal the crack?  Devcon epoxy?  Other?  I assume I would apply this from the back to avoid smear on the clear part of the plastic dial?

2.  To clean the dial, should I wash it in detergent (Dawn)?  Could I dip it in an ultrasonic cleaner...or is that too aggressive?  I'm concerned about water/cleaner getting between the clear plastic and the embossed dial face.  Anyone done this before?

3.  Just to give you all a laugh...anyone out there have an intact dial face they would part with?  (I know...you can stop laughing now!).

I am looking foward to the suggestions from the forum!

Much thanks!

Larry

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Re: Plastic Dial Repair
« Reply #1 on: September 02, 2018, 03:46:57 PM »
I think that one needs to be very careful cleaning these dials.  It is probably very easy to wash the numbers and logo off the dial.  Also, the dial is celluloid which absorbs water.  I would therefore strongly advise against washing.  Some gentle cleaning with a tiny amount of liquid and a soft cotton cloth or a melamine foam sponge should work, but avoid the numbers and logo, etc..  Some careful polishing with Novus polish or Scratch-X should shine up the dial after it is cleaned. 

As far as closing the crack, I would use cyanoacrylate super glue in tiny amounts from the back side.

Good Luck and be Careful!


Larry

Duncan

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Re: Plastic Dial Repair
« Reply #2 on: September 02, 2018, 04:28:15 PM »
OK...here are the photos!

Duncan

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Re: Plastic Dial Repair
« Reply #3 on: September 02, 2018, 04:40:46 PM »
Larry,

Thanks!  I have been properly cautioned!  Novus it will be!!!

Anyone else with opinions about the use of Superglu vs. Devcon...or other?


cable ulysses

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Re: Plastic Dial Repair
« Reply #4 on: September 02, 2018, 04:43:34 PM »
Also, be aware that these are extremely brittle.  It's already cracked halfway.  Any substantial pressure on the dial during cleaning is likely to break it in half...that's what I'd worry about.  As suggested, a thick CA from the rear may stabilize the existing crack and get it quite presentable.  Less is more on this one.  Hold your breath and don't start breathing until the clock is re-assembled and the dial is back where it belongs.

Kid Clock

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Re: Plastic Dial Repair
« Reply #5 on: September 02, 2018, 06:24:52 PM »
Don't touch it...

I had a Luxor plastic face of similar design/manufacturing process.  I fiddled with it until it was garbage and I replaced it with a metal face.   (The Luxor came in both versions...)  I also remember Pappy bemoaning the cracking of a Warburton face of similar design while trying to "improve" it...


Enjoy what you got, that face is super cool.   @@*

Duncan

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Re: Plastic Dial Repair
« Reply #6 on: September 02, 2018, 09:20:42 PM »
Guys,

Thanks for the advice.  I think the material on this dial is different than the Luxor style dial.  Surprisingly, the plastic is still reasonably flexible, and does not appear to want to crack further.  I've tried to figure out what happened here...it looks like the initial point of cracking started right at the point where the set knob sits in the front plate of the movement.  So, the set knob may have been the initial cause.  When I get the movement apart, I will make sure this is flush and not protruding.

On the Cyanoacrylate (CA), I think I will go carefully with small drops as suggested by Larry, at first.  If the CA is compatible with the dial plastic...from the rear...I will move to a thicker coat to stabilize the crack.  Does this sound like a plan?

cable ulysses

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Re: Plastic Dial Repair
« Reply #7 on: September 02, 2018, 10:18:43 PM »
On the thin CA, I'd worry that the thin stuff will wick to the front and dry in a (possibly cloudy) mess.  Personally, I'd only use the thick version which is more viscous.  Yeah, try it on an unobtrusive portion first...

I've seen before where a clock with a metal face had been dropped on the time set knob (if I recall right) and it pushed through and actually dented the face from the rear.  So your analysis sounds credible to me.

Duncan

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Re: Plastic Dial Repair
« Reply #8 on: September 03, 2018, 12:11:09 PM »
Cable Ulysses,

Thanks!!  I did not understand thin vs thick...but you have explained it well.  I will look for the thick mixture.


Larry

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Re: Plastic Dial Repair
« Reply #9 on: September 03, 2018, 03:48:57 PM »
The Dollar Tree stores here sell both liquid and gel Super Glue brand CA, and, of course, it is only a dollar, making it quite economical.

Larry

Pappy

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Re: Plastic Dial Repair
« Reply #10 on: September 05, 2018, 05:44:59 AM »
All I'd do is use some good packing tape (1 piece only, on the rear) so it doesn't get any worse.
What this country needs is a good $5 parts clock.

outtatime

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Re: Plastic Dial Repair
« Reply #11 on: September 23, 2018, 11:43:36 AM »
I have had some plastic repair experience in my other hobbies. The C/A type glues can leave a haze or fog over time. Long ago I remember using a glue specially designed for R/C airplane windshields (which are fuel proof) that doesnt fog or haze. Might be a Carl Goldberg product. I also use MEK type glues for some ABS plastics although it melts them a bit, but good for clears as the cracks disappear with the thin glue. There is a place in Boston Mass called Freeman Plastics- they are also online. They would gladly give good advice if you contacted them Im sure. greg
"Wind up clocks, Nah. That's what electricity is for..." said to friend, over a beer, discussing of what we like to collect.

Mrbill5

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Re: Plastic Dial Repair
« Reply #12 on: March 25, 2020, 01:46:55 PM »
Just picked up a 5H64, Lorraine on Ebay.  I knew the clock had issues, the face has cracks and the blue mirror is kind of crappy like 1 other GE blue mirror clock I have.   I need advice.

1.  Blue mirror, the paint for the engraved stars appears to be ivory.  Correct?

2. The face has a lot of cracks.  It is very fragile, almost cracked it in half trying to remove the hour hand even with utmost caution. I have cleaned the front and back sides of the face with water based cleaners.  That part is OK.  The issue is the cracks.  There was debate as to whether CA glue was the right thing to use.  I have also read from the model plane folks that a water based adhesive like GS Hypo works well, dries clear.  Looking at the face and the multiple cracks this clock has it will never be great looking, will end up being a fill the collection purchase.  It is near impossible to pick out the cracks from the painted rear of the face.  Any advice as to how to proceed would be appreviated

Mrbill5

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Re: Plastic Dial Repair
« Reply #13 on: March 27, 2020, 08:23:44 AM »
Some success, lot of disaster.  Used GS Hypo on the face cracks.  Went on fine, dries clear.  24 hours later the glue lines had set up.  I was just putting the clock face hands on and disaster.  With the center ring holding the face to the movement I got the hour hand on.  Lifted on the edge of the movement to rotate it slightly but must have lifted on the face edge.  CRACK..  the face cracked in half and was only held together by an earlier glue repair.  Damn.
So I left the face in place, center ring and hour hand in place and glued the rest of the crack.  24 hours from now I will try again.  If I get this together without screwing it up more I will post a picture or 2. 

Pappy

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Re: Plastic Dial Repair
« Reply #14 on: March 27, 2020, 04:05:31 PM »
We're learning off your dime.  Sorry, I don't have one.
What this country needs is a good $5 parts clock.

 

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