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  1. M'Bob

    M'Bob Mar 21, 2020

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    COVID-19 has put me on an extended vacation, and this has forced me to confront those watch projects that have been constantly bumped to the back burner...

    To wit: note the brushed, angled, Rolex-type finish that the top of these lugs have. I've seen this on many serviced Speedmasters, and of course, they never left the factory looking like this. The tops were a high-polish, and the sides were brushed, evidenced beautifully by MSN's pristine CK-2998, that we have all seen.

    EdWhite5.jpg ,
    So, I took out my sanding/buffing sticks, and got to work. They ranged from 1500 to 12,000 grit.The goal was to take off the least amount of material to achieve the desired result, and this was not going to be accomplished using any type of machine.

    Files.jpg

    I obviously wanted to use the least aggressive number that would do the job. So I tried 3200, it didn't work, and I progressively went all the way down to the 1500, doing about 50-100 strokes in a lengthwise pattern, until the angle finish was removed. Once that happened, I went back up in increments, from 1800, 2000, 2400, 3200, 3600, 4000, 6000, 8000 and finally 12000, checking with a loupe at each step of the way, insuring that the previous finish was removed. this took between 50 and 100 strokes per grit. About two hours per lug. Yup, I'm bored..

    Anyway, here's where we're at: there are very fine, hair-like scratches left that will hopefully be removed with a cream polish. The lugs have been masked awaiting this, which I hope to finish shortly.

    EdWhite3.jpg
    EdWhite4.jpg

    Will re-post after the final step. Thanks for looking.

    Bob
     
    Edited Mar 21, 2020
  2. kingsrider

    kingsrider Thank you Sir! May I have another? Mar 21, 2020

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    Are you going to adjust the brushed finish on the sides?.
     
  3. M'Bob

    M'Bob Mar 21, 2020

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    They were okay as is, so I'm going to leave them be. Good question.
     
  4. kingsrider

    kingsrider Thank you Sir! May I have another? Mar 21, 2020

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    The brushing on the sides of my 2998 have been polished and there is only the faintest brushing left. Would I be mad to think of restoring the brushing on the sides?. If the answer is no, how would you go about the restoration?.
     
  5. M'Bob

    M'Bob Mar 21, 2020

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    Here is my take, and I would enjoy hearing insights from others as well.

    First, there's the question of whether it's been polished, or worn down. If worn, and particularly if the wear is commensurate with the patina on the rest of the watch, the current trend, as you are already well aware, is to leave it. 30 years ago, that would be spiffed up without a hesitation, but apparently, those days are now gone.

    So, if it's been polished, which would be incorrect for this reference, then I believe getting it closer to original spec is fair game.

    Those that know much more about these things than I tell me that the original finish was applying with some sort of "lapping" machine. I don't know if this is accurate, or if you can find somebody who is skilled at applying that finish, but if you can, that would be my first choice, and I would not personally think twice about it. Particularly if the rest of the watch is in great shape, and the polished sides stick out like a fart in church.

    On the other hand, a potentially less successful, albeit more gratifying route, especially if you have a steady hand, is to try and apply it yourself. As an aside, I will add that even if it's not factory perfect, a watch you work on, and slave over becomes much more special to you in the long run.

    Anyway, how to do the sides...here's what I do: I buy automotive wet/dry sanding paper, 400, 600, and 800 grit. This seems to be the range closest to the original finish, you have to experiment as to which grit most closely matches the original finish, if there's any left as a reference.

    Next, I cut about a 4mm strip, and carefully wrap it around, and affix it to the end of a chop stick. Then, with short, horizontal strokes, slowly re-apply the finish. You have to remember that, viewed from the side, the lugs dip down, so the tendency is to follow that curve. Don't do it. The original finish is completely horizontal, so you have to keep the strokes in that plane even as the lug dips.

    I know many use Scotch-Bright pads with success, but for me, it's harder with them to navigate and control in tiny areas. Don't forget to mask all areas that can get scratched. Hope this helps.

    Bob
     
  6. S.H.

    S.H. Mar 21, 2020

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    It depends on the pushers. To do a good job they would have to be removed from the case. If they are original, and friction fitted, I'd leave them alone. (and if they are screwed in, and the screw attaching the cap does not want to give, well, that spells trouble). Working with old, crusty but original pushers without readily available replacements is :cautious:, sometimes even :eek:. My 2 cents...
     
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  7. M'Bob

    M'Bob Mar 21, 2020

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    Excellent point. Oddly, I often find on the pusher side, between them and the crown on each side, there is usually a remnant of the original brushed finish which one can use as a template...for the exact reason you mention - often the watchmaker that polished the sides did not want to remove the pushers.
     
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  8. S.H.

    S.H. Mar 21, 2020

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    On my Ed White, the finish was incorrectly done, the right way (pushers were removed to be able to polish the side). ::facepalm2:: :D I left the case finish alone, to do a really good job I would have to slightly recut the bevels, that is a rabbit hole I don't want to fall into. I learned to like this old thing, warts and all.
     
  9. M'Bob

    M'Bob Mar 21, 2020

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    Also true...much easier to effectuate this on a '64 case, with no bevels.
     
  10. M'Bob

    M'Bob Mar 21, 2020

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    For reference, here is a Ed '64 case whose sides I re-finished years ago; my trusty chop-stick tool below:

    EdWhite7.jpg
     
    Edited Mar 21, 2020
  11. M'Bob

    M'Bob Mar 21, 2020

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    Left lower lug mostly done; three to go:

    EdWhite8.jpg
    EdWhite9.jpg
     
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  12. Mark020

    Mark020 not the sharpest pencil in the ΩF drawer Mar 22, 2020

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    I like your sticks :) Where did you buy them?
     
  13. ahsposo

    ahsposo Most fun screen name at ΩF Mar 22, 2020

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    Question: Can this piece still be described as "an honest watch"? Or is it a lying piece of sh*t?
     
  14. mac_omega

    mac_omega Mar 22, 2020

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    :eek:
     
  15. Mauzer

    Mauzer Mar 22, 2020

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    Ok, haven’t seen this before! I think you’re very brave to do this. I’m looking foreword to the result! Good luck
     
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  16. M'Bob

    M'Bob Mar 22, 2020

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    Amazon. Not expensive. Don't still have the original packaging, but I think they're called "Micro-Mesh."
     
  17. M'Bob

    M'Bob Mar 22, 2020

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    I think with the incorrect, brushed lug tops, it was most dishonest. Now less so...
     
  18. ahsposo

    ahsposo Most fun screen name at ΩF Mar 22, 2020

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    Ah, Redemption; it's never too late to return to the path of righteousness.
     
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  19. M'Bob

    M'Bob Mar 26, 2020 6:15pm

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    Okay, getting close to where I want it:

    Before, for reference:

    EdWhite5.jpg EdWhite11.jpg
     
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  20. M'Bob

    M'Bob Mar 26, 2020 6:20pm

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    Side view:

    EdWhite6.jpg
    EdWhite10.jpg
     
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