Vibroplex restoration

Discussion in 'Straight Keys - CW Enthusiasts' started by NS8H, Jun 27, 2019.

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  1. NS8H

    NS8H Ham Member QRZ Page

    I have an old, old Vibroplex Bug. It is complete but I would like to have it restored. I bought the WR Smith book, but the equipment needed is beyond restoring a single key. A clock maker would have the tools, but the clock makers I contacted locally were not interested.

    Does anyone know someone who restores these old Vibroplex keys? It is a 1918 with chromed base.

    Thanks and 73 -
    Dennis - NS8H
  2. WR2E

    WR2E Ham Member QRZ Page

    How bad is it?

    If it's a functional survivor I would leave it be and just use it.

    I've got a 1924 here and wouldn't dream of restoring the patina out of it.
    W5ESE, WA1GXC and K8AI like this.
  3. KB4MNG

    KB4MNG Ham Member QRZ Page

    Ditto, if functional, clean it up and have fun. I'm all about keeping it original as possible. If you modify, re paint, etc... comes to a point it is no longer what it started out.

    I'm currently working on a champion. I have it disassemble, going to scrub the nicotine off with ammonia, re assemble and have fun. It could really use a repaint on the base but just going to clean it up the best I can and leave it alone.
    W5ESE and WA1GXC like this.
  4. NS8H

    NS8H Ham Member QRZ Page

  5. NS8H

    NS8H Ham Member QRZ Page

    So based on the above picture, what would you recommend to clean and how? Toothbrush? Metal polish?

    Thanks all
  6. WB4BIN

    WB4BIN Ham Member QRZ Page

    I disassemble a key, and clean it with plain old dish soap and water. If there is rust present, I use a product like Krud Kutter to neutralize it. And finally, I use Flitz to shine up the metal parts. But be careful with the polishing, as it is easy to go too far, even with a "non-abrasive" polish like Flitz. I almost overdid it on my 1958 Original Deluxe bug.

    Before and after on my J-38.

    Last edited: Jun 28, 2019
    K8AI likes this.
  7. KB4MNG

    KB4MNG Ham Member QRZ Page

    Today, I applied metal polish and hit the chrome with a $2 harbor freight buffing wheel. Came out beautiful
  8. DL2AAA

    DL2AAA Ham Member QRZ Page

    Dennis ,
    you can ask HB9JCP. Fred has a very nice shop with spareparts for vibroplex keys. He is an expert.
    Please pass my greetings to him.-
  9. K7MEM

    K7MEM Ham Member QRZ Page

    I have a 1916 Blue Racer. I wouldn't think of cleaning it up, any more than it is. You might polish up the base, but the rest should just be cleaned. Mine works fine, just the way it is.

  10. KB4MNG

    KB4MNG Ham Member QRZ Page

    I love the patina look.

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