Hales Grenade Cleaning and preparation / My ANH Obi-Wan Kenobi Saber progress

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onderon

Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Hi,

As many of us I would like to document my Hales Grenade restoration as well. Since I have to work a lot nowadays I don't have enough time to take care of my grenade so I keep postponing it. But I'm still reading about different methods, trying to figure out what to do. Among all of the many tips and videos I saw I would like to use what I saw at newmagrathea 's thread. I really enjoyed his videos and I love the results of his work so I will try to achieve the same results on my grenade as well.

Right now I'm in the tools and ingredients collecting phase. I have a small Dremel-like rotary tool (made by Extol) at home but I'm not satisfied with it so I ordered the more industrial type flex shaft tool that Dustin recommended oh his blog. Now I need to wait for it to be delivered, which I think going to take around a month. Meanwhile I'm looking for metal brushes and wire wheels.

The other process I would like to make happen on the grenade is the electrolysis, so I gotta buy and prepare the tools for that as well.

This is where I'm starting from:

IMG_1836.jpg This is the state how I got my grenade delivered.

IMG_1834.jpg Thankfully I could take it apart without much hustle, I used some WD40 and thats all.

I tried to clean it a little, it didn't seem very rusty so I tried to de-rust it with vinegar first, but it didn't seem to work. So I used my rotary tool on it, but the tool itself is not strong enough for proper work so I stopped.

This is where I am right now:

IMG_2098.JPG

This is after I washed it clean with Acetone then well sprayed with WD40, hopefully it keeps it safe from rusting until my tools arrive. I already got my super blue and wax for later treatment.

I'm not a native English speaker so I'm pretty sure I made a lot of grammar mistakes, sorry for that. Also I'm not an expert in any of these processes so please tell me if I'm doing something really stupid :D Hopefully I can continue the work soon, then I'll be back with the updates.
 
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newmagrathea

Sr Member
Hi,

As many of us I would like to document my Hales Grenade restoration as well. Since I have to work a lot nowadays I don't have enough time to take care of my grenade so I keep postponing it. But I'm still reading about different methods, trying to figure out what to do. Among all of the many tips and videos I saw I would like to use what I saw at newmagrathea 's thread. I really enjoyed his videos and I love the results of his work so I will try to achieve the same results on my grenade as well.

Right now I'm in the tools and ingredients collecting phase. I have a small Dremel-like rotary tool at home but I'm not satisfied with it so I ordered the more industrial type flex shaft tool that Dustin recommended oh his blog. Now I need to wait for it to be delivered, which I think going to take around a month. Meanwhile I'm looking for metal brushes and wire wheels.

The other process I would like to make happen on the grenade is the electrolysis, so I gotta buy and prepare the tools for that as well.

This is where I'm starting from:

View attachment 1054860 This is the state how I got my grenade delivered.

View attachment 1054858 Thankfully I could take it apart without much hustle, I used some WD40 and thats all.

I tried to clean it a little, it didn't seem very rusty so I tried to de-rust it with vinegar first, but it didn't seem to work. So I used my rotary tool on it, but the tool itself is not strong enough for proper work so I stopped.

This is where I am right now:

View attachment 1054861

This is after I washed it clean with Acetone then well sprayed with WD40, hopefully it keeps it safe from rusting until my tools arrive. I already got my super blue and wax for later treatment.

I'm not a native English speaker so I'm sorry for my grammar mistakes. Also I'm not an expert in any of these processes so please tell me if I'm doing something really stupid :D Hopefully I can continue the work soon, then I'll be back with the updates.
Honestly I don't think you'll need to do electrolysis, there isn't much build up on it. The wire wheels will remove whatever is on the surface pretty aggressively. I highly recommend a full face shield. It's a very nice Hales, good score.
 

The Ninja

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Dustin did amazing work on my Hales commission, following looking forward to seeing your progress (y)
 

onderon

Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Honestly I don't think you'll need to do electrolysis, there isn't much build up on it. The wire wheels will remove whatever is on the surface pretty aggressively. I highly recommend a full face shield. It's a very nice Hales, good score.
I was thinking those black marks(?) are left from a previous bluing and there might be rust under it :unsure: I really loved how clean the Hales 3 became and you used electrolysis on it so I felt like I should give it a go :D But then I will wire wheel it first and see how far I can go to achieve Hales 3 shininess :) Thanks!

For shielding I'm planning to use the micro-crystalline wax recommended by the British Museum :p

Dustin did amazing work on my Hales commission, following looking forward to seeing your progress (y)
Thank you!
 

Ridire Firean

Sr Member
Hey onderon ! That's a very nice looking Hale's Grenade you have there!

I wouldn't think you need anything more than a little patience, and another go at it with a bit of vinegar and an old toothbrush. Those little tiny bumps on the surface of your cubes will come right off if you pick at them a little bit. Some will probably come off with your fingernail, some may need a plastic scraper, and maybe a few will need a dental pick, but a wire wheel seems a bit like overkill on a grenade that well preserved. You don't want to blur out the character of the original machining by burnishing everything smooth and rounding all the corners. If you use metal picks on it, be certain to apply pressure parallel to the surface planes, and follow the direction of the original machining marks. That way only the dirt and oxydized grime will pop off and it should reveal the good metal beneath it. Think of it kind of like picking at a scab, if you lightly tease its edges you'll get a little of the crusty scab to break free. But if you really dig at the scab you'll reopen the wound. Also if you accidentally apply too much pressure, you'll be less likely to create a noticeable gouge running across the machining marks on the grenade's surface. Remember too, anything that appears to bump out from the surface is likely to be dirt, and anything that appears to dip into the surface is likely to be a rust spot/pockmark. If you pick at the pockmarks, you may well get all the rust out, but you may also get a bigger hole than you bargained for! I'd let your bluing cover those. If you seal it after bluing, you probably won't have anything to worry about concerning those little spots you chose to leave alone.

Good Luck! And don't rush through your restoration; you can't really put the original marks back on once you've polished them off.
 

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newmagrathea

Sr Member
I was thinking those black marks(?) are left from a previous bluing and there might be rust under it :unsure: I really loved how clean the Hales 3 became and you used electrolysis on it so I felt like I should give it a go :D But then I will wire wheel it first and see how far I can go to achieve Hales 3 shininess :) Thanks!

For shielding I'm planning to use the micro-crystalline wax recommended by the British Museum :p



Thank you!
I agree with Ridire Firean vinegar and picking will be enough to get those crevices clean. Overall I think you have a pretty clean frag body and neck. I'm interested to see how the wax finish turns out.
 

Ridire Firean

Sr Member

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onderon

Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
I'd love to know what they used, wax or otherwise, on the Flat Sided Hale's Grenade at The Imperial War Museum, the patina on it is so pretty...



... it almost looks like burl wood! It has all sorts of wonderful little smokey smutch thinly layered on the metal.
Write an email to them and ask :) I'm almost sure if they know they will tell you how is it preserved.
 

Ridire Firean

Sr Member
Write an email to them and ask :) I'm almost sure if they know they will tell you how is it preserved.
Hey onderon ! I did just that! Unfortunately they brushed off the inquiry. :(

Someone in London will have to go to their musuem and pick their brains for me in person. So if anyone across the pond wants to go check out a beauty of a Hale's grenade... please let me know what they tell you about it!
 

thd9791

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
I have renaissance wax here, and I've used it on everything from rusty graflexes to meteorite pieces. You'll have to re-apply it from time to time but it's quite nice

It comes with e Pre-Lim.. basically a cleaning paste and I made the mistake of using it and not wiping it all off. Now some of my props look like they were on hoth, based on the little bits of white stuff stuck in crevices

the Wax is invisible though, comes in a tiny can and you just wipe a little bit on and it hardens. I have not seen it remove any finish at all - johnsons and Bri paste wax will do that
 

onderon

Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Getting there

Almost everything have arrived for the work (I'm still waiting for the applicators) so I couldn't wait more and started to work on the grenade. First I wanted to do the electrolysis. Mostly because I was curious about the process. I prepared everything as it could be seen on many videos we can find on Youtube, except I did not use a car battery charger, I used a 12V 3A DC adaptor. I cut its cable, attached two clamps on it and clamped them as it should be. Somehow it wasn't as effective as on the videos, maybe the adaptor is not strong enough maybe the clamp that I used as a hanger was too thick, I'm not sure. It was slightly bubbling, no foam or big ugly mess anywhere :D I left it like that for 3 days, then I removed the grenade and brushed it.

This was the result:
IMG_2294.JPEGIMG_2295.JPEGIMG_2296.JPEG

I was not happy about the it at all. But luckilly my "Foredom" Machine have arrived so I could put it to work.
IMG_2210.JPG

This machine is great. So much better than my Extol tool. Totally different league. The wire brush wheel bits have arrived as well. It was quite a lot of work to clean it I used up 3 wheels already. If you look at the previous photos of the grenade you can see those dark/blackish spots all over it. I expected the electrolysis will remove them more but nothing really happened. So I thought the wire brush wheeling will pop them off. But it did not except it polished them shiny. They still bothered me so I put this bit into the flex shaft:
s-l1600.jpg

And gently started to work on the black spots/bumps. And I was very surprised those bumps happened to be RUST! As soon as I could "open" them with the diamond head bit they immediately became redish-blackish dust. Much softer than the steel itself so it was kinda fun to remove them one by one. I felt like a dentist :D I spent like an hour trying to remove as much as possible trying not to "drill" into the steel itself. This is how the grenade ended up after.
IMG_2297.JPEGIMG_2298.JPEGIMG_2299.JPGIMG_2300.JPGIMG_2302.JPEG

There are still black marks but I couldnt remove those further and I really did not want to scrape the metal but I could remove the bumps and reveal whats under them. So I decided it is time to start bluing. I made swabs of cotton pads. This is how it looked after the first layer and before the steel wooling.
IMG_2303.JPEGIMG_2304.JPEGIMG_2305.JPEGIMG_2306.JPEG

This is the second layer and after steel wooling
IMG_2307.JPEGIMG_2308.JPGIMG_2309.JPEGIMG_2310.JPEGIMG_2311.JPEG

I was surprised how fast it starts to rust (my is guess that those yellowish stains are rust).

Third layer after steel wooling:
IMG_2313.JPEGIMG_2314.JPEG

Fourth and final layer, no wooling this time:
IMG_2315.JPEGIMG_2316.JPEGIMG_2317.JPEGIMG_2318.JPEG

Right after waxing:
IMG_2319.JPEGIMG_2320.JPEG

Hours after waxing. I put together the parts that are needed for the saber:
IMG_2321.JPGIMG_2322.JPGIMG_2323.JPG

When I took these photos I realized the first time that the brass part is bent slightly like the Tower of Pisa. I need to figure out a way to make it straight again. But later.

I missed some places here and there so in the near future I will remove the wax with hot water and put another bluing layer on the granade. I can really recommend the flexshaft tool. The bluing liquid works like charm, but gotta get more familiar with it so I think I will do some experiments on a rusty metal rod. And the wax is amazing. I am very happy of the result altogether :)
 
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newmagrathea

Sr Member
Nice work. When electrolysis has not worked well for me it usually comes down to not enough current is going from the object through the water to the sacrificial metal. The things that I've done to fix this have been to make a hanger that makes more contact with the surface of the object, and add a lot more washing soda to the water (enough to make the water cloudy).
 

Halliwax

Legendary Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Nice work. When electrolysis has not worked well for me it usually comes down to not enough current is going from the object through the water to the sacrificial metal. The things that I've done to fix this have been to make a hanger that makes more contact with the surface of the object, and add a lot more washing soda to the water (enough to make the water cloudy).
Thanks for sharing those secrets! ;)
 

onderon

Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
After the 1 week long hustle with my local customs office I could finally make my childhood dream come through. First of all let me thank Roman for his amazing work. It is hard to describe how perfect these artworks are. Thank you very much!

I bought the machine finish version from Roman because I wanted to do the bluing myself. It was the same method over and over with both the grenade and the booster:

1.) Degreasing it with Nitro paint thinner or Acetone
2.) Apply bluing solution. When I was keeping it on the metal for too long it started to leave some white residue on them. My guess it might be some salts resulted by the reaction it makes, so I tried to be as fast as possible with the dauber balls to cover all areas. It wasn't easy, specially with the grenade.
3.) Rinsing/Washing it with cold water using a soft toothbrush
4.) Dry it thoroughly with paper towel
5.) Buff it with 0000 (superfine) steel wool
6.) Clean it with a soft shoe brush
Steps 2-6 until I reached the desired darkness. Then before the final layer I didn't buff it with the steel wool just did steps 2-3-4-6 once more.
7.) Apply Renaissance wax polish

These are the results on the grenades after letting the wax on for 24 hours (<-Roman's/Hales->):
IMG_2633.jpg

I really love this Renaissance Wax. I applied it on the Hales before, but then on Roman's the bluing result were much darker black so I decided to put one more layer on the Hales, and I tried to wash off the wax with hot water and dishwasher soap but the water just run off of it like it was treated with some kind of Gore-Tex waterproof protection :)

Let me put the clamps here maybe someone is not aware how perfect Roman's work are (<-Roman's/Graflex->):
IMG_2634.jpg
Which reminds me I have to move the lock to the other side on the Graflex :D

I waited 24 hours after waxing to put together the Obi-Wan Saber, then I put together the stands and this is the result:
IMG_2636.jpgIMG_2635.jpgIMG_2659.jpgIMG_2658.jpgIMG_2660.jpg

I am simply amazed and I think I will be for a long time when I will look at these beauties everytime. I need to find a way to attach the AS handwheel on the booster.

I put together Roman's grenade with the leftover Hales parts :) :
IMG_2661.jpg

The rod is shiny black because I used a solution named Korant on it, which won't tell much for you guys since it is a local product and I don't know what are the components or what is the equivalent in English. It is a milky white paint like thick liquid and it has to be used as it would be a paint. They use it for fences and it can be used on a rusty surface and as it dries it makes a thick black shiny surface on the rusty metal. Quite interesting. But since I didn't want to make my grenade and booster shiny I choose bluing but it can be a nice protective solution for those who would like to see them shiny:
IMG_2662.jpg

Next step would be to make the sound and blade to happen. Hopefully in the near future. Until then I keep hunting for the 2 missing parts, the Booster and the Balance Pipe :) And maybe one day I will put together a real vintage Graflex saber as well.

Thank you for all the advices guys! Please feel free to add any more comments/suggestions or ask any questions.

Tools and products I used:
-Birchwood Casey SUPER BLUE
-Renaissance Wax
-Steel Wool
-Wire Brush 25mm
-Wire Brush 35mm
-Wool Dauber Balls
-Flex Shaft Tool
-Welding Shield Helmet
-Wire Brass Brush
-Grinding Bits (I used them from my Extol tool, but you can find them anyhwere)

-Display Case
-Saber Stands
 
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