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Restoring a Vibroplex champion.....

Discussion in 'Straight Keys - CW Enthusiasts' started by KB4MNG, Jun 14, 2019.

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  1. KB4MNG

    KB4MNG Ham Member QRZ Page

    Picked up a champion to work on off ebay for a pretty good deal. The chrome was actually in better shape than the pic showed so all that will need is buffing. the base has rust. Not all over, main spots. I want to keep the original paint and touch up the spots. Any one know the best shade of gray to use. There are a lot of light shades but this looks darker.


    WA7PRC likes this.
  2. KB4MNG

    KB4MNG Ham Member QRZ Page

    Also what is the best way to back the plate pins out.
  3. KE6EE

    KE6EE Ham Member QRZ Page

    Repainting the base will be much quicker and easier. Remove the old finish.

    I'd simply drill out the pins holding the plate.
  4. W5LZ

    W5LZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    I think one simple way would be to paint the 'empty' spots with a 'crinkle' finish paint. Then repaint the base. If you are very careful you could drill those plate pins and install new ones. Vibroplex does have parts they will sell to replace them. Or, if you -really- want it re-done, send it to Vibroplex. (You'd have to want it bad, 'cuz they ain't cheap!)
  5. KB4MNG

    KB4MNG Ham Member QRZ Page

    working on stuff like this is part of the hobby. Gosh, hate to strip the original paint but may do so.
  6. WR2E

    WR2E Ham Member QRZ Page

    If you do that, next thing you know you'll be sending the parts out for re-chrome / nickel plating.

    My vote would be to clean it up, touch up the paint if you must, but just get it to the point where it's 'presentable' and you can use it. Not like it's a priceless heirloom or anything...
  7. K8NB

    K8NB Ham Member QRZ Page

    If you look at the base from the bottom you will see the holes for the pins that hold the nameplate on. Using a small punch, or even a brad nail, you can tap the pins out from the bottom side. To re-install them use a punch but put a piece of plastic tubing over it so that it cannot slip off the head of the pin and mar the plate.
  8. KB4MNG

    KB4MNG Ham Member QRZ Page

    ok, tried that with no success but will give it another go in the morning.
  9. WA3LKN

    WA3LKN Ham Member QRZ Page

    Great project! The wrinkle paint might be a challenge.

    Good luck!
  10. W5KCC

    W5KCC Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Watch some restoration videos on YouTube. There are about three guys that do really great jobs of restoring old appliances and such that have the matte wrinkle paint finish.
    All of them totally disassemble the piece and remove the brass plaque nameplates. They also totally strip the paint off with stripper or wire brush and/or rust removers.
    Then they clean and buff them and apply a spray paint wrinkle type finish. It works!
    Use a buffer wheel on a bench grinder to buff the chrome parts or a Dremel tool with buffer attachment.

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