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RyMoeller

Francis Barker Mk III Compass

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Excellent, truly excellent, got a lume shot?

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I'll try and get one tonight.  The Europium paint is pretty darn bright but it does diminish over time.  The tritium stays bright enough to illuminate the card even when the Europium has warn off.

I haven't completed assembly of the entire compass just yet as there just may be a small leak in the bowl. If you look at the screw hole at four o'clock below you'll note that it's slightly larger than the rest. It seems these threads are stripped out and not allowing the screw to secure the lid as tight or as evenly as possible. Although fluid isn't running out of the bowl, a small bubble has developed and I'm just not happy with how well that screw is gripping. Sadly none of my taps or dies go above 1.8m so I've had to order a larger set. Once they arrive I'll re-thread the hole an cut a matching screw to fit. :)IMG_3268.thumb.JPG.c765c63592150a7f780b4c16c3f072ce.JPG

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I haven't completed assembly of the entire compass just yet as there just may be a small leak in the bowl. If you look at the screw hole at four o'clock below you'll note that it's slightly larger than the rest. It seems these threads are stripped out and not allowing the screw to secure the lid as tight or as evenly as possible. Although fluid isn't running out of the bowl, a small bubble has developed and I'm just not happy with how well that screw is gripping. Sadly none of my taps or dies go above 1.8m so I've had to order a larger set. Once they arrive I'll re-thread the hole an cut a matching screw to fit.
[/Quote]

Could you use a longer bolt and washers with a but in that hole?



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Could you use a longer bolt and washers with a but in that hole?

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Yes, in fact this may have been the repair that was done before as one of the screws is a bit longer than the rest.  What became of the nut, I don't know.  Unfortunately I don't have a tap large enough to fabricate a new nut (yet).  I've ordered a set though so I should have this sorted out soon. 

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While waiting for the tap and die set I went about replacing the crystal for the case lid. The original crystal was chipped and didn't survive being pushed out during the cleaning process.  I The replacement is a 33.6x2.0mm flat mineral crystal. The sighting line runs from 12 to 6 on the crystal.  In order to replace this line I first etched the crystal using a bit of etching paste I picked up online.  The dimensions of the line were marked off with a bit of packing tape and the paste applied to area between each piece (of tape).

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After about five minutes the etching paste was removed with a dampened cloth and the tape removed. I near perfect line running the diameter of the crystal remained. This was filled with a bit of black enamel and left to cure.

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Twenty-four hours later the excess black enamel was removed using a felt pad and the Dremel tool.  What remains is a very fine black sighting line.

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Now, I somehow managed to misplace one of the mounting screws for the crystal so I'll need to turn a replacement in the lathe.  This is also an m2.0 thread so it will have to wait until my tools arrive. ^_^

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On July 12, 2017 at 0:01 AM, Bill_Lewsey said:

Excellent, truly excellent, got a lume shot?

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Here's that lame shot Bill.  I used a bit of UV light to charge the paint which makes the tritium look a little dull but after a few hours it will be glowing a lot brighter than the luminous paint.

IMG_3351.thumb.JPG.2e8e9e5064baa11d01be8737f118ba9a.JPG

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Here's that lame shot Bill.  I used a bit of UV light to charge the paint which makes the tritium look a little dull but after a few hours it will be glowing a lot brighter than the luminous paint.
IMG_3351.thumb.JPG.2e8e9e5064baa11d01be8737f118ba9a.JPG

That looks really good, a very professional job!

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On 7/16/2017 at 11:33 PM, Bill_Lewsey said:


That looks really good, a very professional job!

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Thanks Bill!

I just noticed my earlier post called out the "Lame shot" which of course should be "Lume shot".  My fingers fail me again!  No, I don't think the project is lame either.  <_<

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Today I received in the post my new set of taps and dies. This of course meant that I could finish the compass project!

I set up the lathe and cut a new screw for the compass bowl from some 5mm diameter brass rod and threaded it 2.5mm.

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The screw head was then whittled down to 3.6mm diameter and cut off 1.6mm from the thread. I cut a slot with a slot file then cleaned and plated the screw silver.

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The damaged threads in the bowl were then run with a 2.5mm tap and the screw installed.  I re-torqued all the screws on the bowl and re-filled it with kerosene.  After setting the bowl on end and observing no leaks my patience wore out and I had to complete assembly.

A bit of lacquer flaked off here and there and will need touching up but otherwise there isn't much to complain about.  I checked the accuracy of the compass against my iPhone and am satisfied that it's doing its job.

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It's quite a sensitive instrument.  Putting my mobilel phone too close will result in deviation.  I can't wait to see how it responds to a slightly magnetized watch. ^_^

 

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16 hours ago, RyMoeller said:

I can't wait to see how it responds to a slightly magnetized watch. ^_^

 

At least you'll know which way to proceed! :D

Seriously though, that's a truly excellent piece of restoration.  Many thanks for sharing your journey with us.

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Thanks for the kind words guys! :)

Last night I took it out to see if you really could get your bearings in the dark of night and now I know why these compasses are so favored. The prism makes reading the compass card while sighting a breeze and the tritium does a fine job of illuminating the degree markers through the mother of pearl.  Really a wonderful design.

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Giday All,

I am just starting this venue of collecting, so I am after a far bit of assistance. I am trying to restore an old "Francis Baker Mk 3 AUST" compass.

So before I pull it apart, I am wondering if anyone knows of a source of spare parts, that I can purchase from, once I figure out which parts I need.

I look forward to any help I can get.

Paul Craddock

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Hello Paul,

I was very much a "spectator" on this interesting article, I suggest you PM Ry himself.  In general the older anything is the harder spares would be and unfortunately you could be looking at butchering an old item to get parts.

Cheers,

Vich

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