EH Scott Radio Enthusiasts

The Fine Things are Always Hand Made

The dial bezel on my philly had tarnished to a dull brown, and the glass locking spring had rusted in position, this proved quite difficult to remove, after working at the old spring with a pick I managed to get the spring and dial glass out, unfortunately the spring did not come out in one piece,

the spring as removed

the spring was very rusty,

this left me with the bezel looking very sorry for itself,

realising that it wasn't gold plated, if it was the surface wouldn't tarnish, the bezel could be cleaned up.

this was easily done by a gentle pickle in weak acid, there is a lot of talk in the internet about using ketchup,

dont bother this doesn't work, I did try, just left me with a brown bezel covered in ketchup,

something a little stronger is required, so I used a 5% solution of muriatic acid,

the bezel was soaked in this for about a minute or so, the acid washed off,

the bezel then rubbed over with 0000 steel wool and given a quick buff with a rag.

this left me with a polished antique looking bezel, this was then given a thin coat of laquer.

The problem is what to use as a retaining spring, I have heard of a piano string being used, but these are very hard and difficult to cut,

so I thought what about a bass guitar string, these have a stainless steel core with either stainless steel or nickel wire wound on, and they come in different sizes, the string number is marked in thou's,

I measured the original spring at 1/8", luckily there is a 0.125 string,

allowing for any inaccurate measurement on my part I used a 0.120 string long series wound in nickel wire, smaller being better than bigger as the spring sits in the bezel groove.

this was easily cut with pliers,

the string was roughly cut to length, the cut ends were cleaned up and squared off with a rotary type tool

the length was found by trial and error working with the glass fitted,

as the spring has to be a snap fit, carefully grind down the extra length until it's a push fit into the bezel rim, remember that the wire will be difficult to get out once fitted, be careful with the domed glass.

The results are quite spectacular, a cleaned bezel and new retaining spring,

I did find that there is a bronze version of these strings, they are for an acoustic bass guitar, again available in thousandths of an inch sizes

maybe this would be a better choice as it is a close match to the original bezel color.


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Very resourceful Mike, as usual. 

The original spring was bronze. 

I have a set that someone previously used silicone to hold the glass in.   When I get around to restoring it, I will get some of those acoustic strings. 

Mike - Nice solution to use guitar string. 

If you can bend the guitar string about 1/4 th inch from one end, it can serve as a tab to grab in the event you need to remove the spring.


The piano wire ideas was from a local grandfather clock retail and clock repair shop. He advised the old spring type glass retainer Scott used has been unavailable for many years. Piano wire I used - 3 ft length #505, .078 inch diameter solid wire - which I bought from a local ACE Hardware does indeed require a cold chisel and mallet to cut. And difficult to bend into the a circle too. I was able to kink one end of the wire to serve as a tab to remove the spring. Had it in and out of the escutcheon a couple times to fine tune the length and tension before I installed the glass. Then I painted the spring with "gold" paint. Then installed the glass and spring.

My nice brass Philharmonic dial escutcheon seems to be lacquered brass. I used lacquer thinner then metal polish  before spray lacquer. Keeping appearance for several years now.

But If I need to do so again, I will try the guitar spring idea.

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