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.

Mike

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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.

Mike - Guess I forgot about your thread.

I like it. Easier process and closer to original look. Thanks.

Do you need to have the two guitar spring ends butt tightly once fitted in the brass dial ring?

Part of it staying in place to tightly apply pressure to keep the glass in place?

 

Dave;

The guitar string is cut with pliers and sanded with a dremel type tool, the ends being sanded square to provide a snug fit, the strings are soft in comparison to piano wire, and much easier to work with

Mike

Mike Thanks. If I ever need to secure glass again, I will try it. 

(No way I want imbed in caulk, silicone or otherwise.)

Very resourceful! I will have to source some...my AM Philharmonic has a strip of black rubber holding in the glass...looks awful. But I bought it like that...

After having to order glass for my dial twice, because some people don't know how to use a ruler, I took Mike's lead and I ordered a 0.125" phosphor bronze string, and it doesn't fit.  They must have made a version of this escutcheon that took that size, and a version that used a smaller size.

Of the 6 escutcheons I have at my disposal, one of them is 0.125".  You can see in the picture that it is the same size as this one, but obviously I don't need it for this escutcheon. 

This is what my other ones look like.  As you can see the original is quite a bit smaller.  I am going to have to try to figure out a size that works. 

Here is another one: 

Interesting how this one is black, as is the inside of the escutcheon.  It was obviously painted black from the factory:

More EH Scott Craziness.  Merry Christmas to all. 

Sorry to read that a 125 thou string didn't fit your bezel, looks like the custom building of EH Scott has struck again.

Guitar strings are made in 5 thousandth of an inch increments although I have never found a 115 thou one,

but there is a 110.

I think that as the original spring is sitting in a shallow groove, there is room for more than one size, earlier in this post I did use the smaller 120 thou string, perhaps you could measure the size of your original spring retainer and add it here,

Christmas wishes to all, and a very happy new year.

Mike

Part of the trick has to be to get the length just right?

I envision a tight fit where the two ends meet, so it snaps into position, hereby producing outward pressure all around to keep it in position in the groove. 

I did a second bezel since this original posting, and I have found that if you place a piece of ribbon between the groove and spring it will aid getting the spring out of the groove durin fitting,

yes Dave, the trick is to get the spring the right length so as it snaps into position, but guitar strings are a lot softer than piano wire, can be cut easily and sanded so as the ends are flat, a small gap of about 1mm is ok

Mike, I don't think this is Scott's custom building.  I am sure that he just purchased these and they were not made in house. And yes, more than one size retainer will fit- within limits.  It is obvious to me now that there were at least 2 different basic sizes.  There is no way that the larger one (0.125") is going to fit in the escutcheon I have that needs one.  It just doesn't make it down into the groove.

So I popped the retainer out of one of my other escutcheons and measured it at 0.093". 

You can see that it is notably smaller than the larger size retainer:

Interesting also is that it looks like there was some sort of wax applied between the glass and the escutcheon.  I initially thought it was dirt, but it is waxy and it is around the whole perimeter.

So now I need to find a smaller diameter phosphor bronze guitar string.....

Scott,

Thanks for measuring your glass retaining spring, luckily the difference between springs is quite obvious,

looking at the measurement, I would go for a 90 thou one rather than a 95 because the smaller string would fit in the groove better

thanks for pointing out the difference for me.

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