After about six months of constant shop work, digital photography and writing, I have finally completed a new book, HOW TO RESTORE TELEGRAPH KEYS, and copies are available for shipment directly from stock.
Although this book does not deal with clocks, it contains a wealth of workshop techniques not found in other clockmaking, clock repair books or machine shop texts. Thus it is an important source of workshop techniques and material sources.
The book is 8-1/2” x 11”, 107 pages and contains 254 high quality color photographs illustrating the various things being discussed. It offers a way to clean speed keys without doing the harm that results from washing one in the kitchen sink. Many “how to” things are offered, such as: how to dissolve broken steel screws in brass parts (in some cases, this could be worth many times the price of the book), make cylindrical and cubical key weights, shorting levers, bearing screws, rope knurled thumbscrews and thumbnuts, new dot contact assemblies, paddles, nickel plate key parts in the home shop, mix varnish and re-japan key bases, replace broken mainsprings, make shorting levers and their knobs, wind springs, heat-blue screws, remove rust from parts, coat parts to avoid future rust, remove or re-position dot bars on arbors (trundles), make dash levers, pendulum assemblies, thumbscrew posts, strip conductors and their insulators, where to order rubber feet, tools, materials, etc. The topics are simply too long to list.
The complete rebuilding of a couple of basket case telegraph speed keys and the total restoration of a large number of others are illustrated. Also included is a chapter describing the three vertical speed keys I have recently designed and built.
I have drawn on my 76 years of ham radio, 70 years of watchmaking/clockmaking and 40 years of mechanical engineering to offer what I believe will prove to be the bible of telegraph key work for owners and collectors for many years to come.
Praise for this book by Dr. Tom Perera, a doyen of key collectors (http://www.w1tp.com/mwr.htm)
“W.R.SMITH, W4PAL does the finest telegraph key restorations that I have ever seen. This is not surprising because he is a famous and world-class clockmaker and has published widely on the art and technology of building fine clocks. His new book makes all of his techniques available to any collector.
“WR’s New Book: WR has published an extraordinary book that details every important step in the restoration and repair of telegraph keys. WR’s book addresses the plating or japanning and pin striping of key bases, the making of needed key parts, the plating of small parts in the home shop, the replacement of mainsprings, the winding of coil springs, etc.”