After many delays because of my illness, and that of my helper, Dr. Robert Chapman, my latest DVD has finally been completed. It is two-hours long and shows the complete restoration of a very old basket case Vibroplex speed key.
During the removal of parts, it was discovered that someone had washed the key in the kitchen sink. This had allowed water to rise over the steel screws in the main bridge, causing them to rust and freeze in their holes. During removal, one of them twisted off. See how the steel screw was dissolved to save the key.
Learn how the asphaltum japanning was removed, the surface of the casting treated and five new asphaltum japanning coats were applied and baked. See the application of gold stripes and corner tic marks and their baking.
Watch the replacement of the badly rusted mainspring and the hand turning of the rivets to secure it to the pendulum and the weight rod.
See the making from scratch of rope-knurled thumb screws and thumb nuts. Watch a screw being held in a special split nut to protect the rope knurling while being drilled to receive a pressed-in silver contact. Watch the installation of the contact, which was purchased, though it could have been machined from a silver rod with a hand held graver, as were the brass rivets.
Watch the cleaning of the pendulum with an abrasive block, followed by plating in the shop.
Selected parts of the key were sent to the plating shop to be stripped and nickel plated.
Learn how to clean rusted screws to bright metal, and re-blue them with the heat from an alcohol bench lamp, and oil them to prevent further rust.
See how insulating strips were made by bonding layers of black paper stock with epoxy. These insulators are usually bad on old keys.
Learn how to make new brass or copper conductors to bond insulated key parts under the base of the key.