Seeking information to help in restoring helmets

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Fotohi1
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Seeking information to help in restoring helmets

Post by Fotohi1 » Sat Sep 26, 2015 11:08 pm

Hello everyone,

I have been collecting Pickelhauben and other Imperial German militaria now for several years. Recently the items I have been getting have been in need of restoration more than I would like.

I am seeking information to help in restoring several of my pickelhauben. I am in need of some replacement parts (chin scales for a Prussian Train Bn Ofz helmet, silk head liners, and several sweat bands for officer's helmets. These are minor repairs that should be easy to accomplish. I also need to restore two of my three Prussian general's helmets that I acquired. I hope these images will help explain what I need to do with them.

Does anyone know of a company or individual that restores fire gilded bright work for the helmets? I know that because it used mercury in the process, it was discontinued by most. Are there any artisans still working with this process?

I also need to have one feather trichter cleaned and restored.

Both of the helmets need to have re-stitching done to them on one or the other visor.

I will try to add photos here to show the work needed on the two general's helmets.

Thanks for any information you can provide.

John

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Spiker
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Re: Seeking information to help in restoring helmets

Post by Spiker » Sun Sep 27, 2015 4:44 am

Nice generals! :thumb up:

Personally, I would never buy a regilded helmet ,stitching back up is the only thing I would do ,but that’s just my taste.
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ebeeby
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Re: Seeking information to help in restoring helmets

Post by ebeeby » Sun Sep 27, 2015 12:56 pm

For stitching, shaping and much more, I can personally and enthusiastically recommend b.loree on this board!

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Re: Seeking information to help in restoring helmets

Post by Fotohi1 » Mon Sep 28, 2015 2:01 am

Thank you for your input. I have been reading a lot of the postings here. He does seem to be quite well informed and willing to share his knowledge as well. I will see about contacting him soon.

John

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b.loree
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Re: Seeking information to help in restoring helmets

Post by b.loree » Tue Sep 29, 2015 12:01 am

John, I can restitch the visors on your helmets, I have done many of these feel free to contact me at [email protected]. From what I see in your pictures, all that is needed, is to have the fittings and helmet plate cleaned. This I have done on many Garde officer helmets without destroying the original mercury gilding. The gilding is still there, it just needs to have 100 years of tarnish cleaned off. Regards, Brian Loree
Remember, Pillage first THEN Burn ...

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Re: Seeking information to help in restoring helmets

Post by Fotohi1 » Wed Sep 30, 2015 10:17 am

Thank you Brian for your reply. I have sent you an e-mail directly.

Not having to re plate the bright work is very encouraging.

John

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Re: Seeking information to help in restoring helmets

Post by chinstrap » Wed Sep 30, 2015 11:31 am

Brian, you've probably covered this elsewhere, but how do you clean gilded plates? Some of my British Home Service helmets still have gilded plates, but all I've dared to do is to wash them with warm soapy water and dry carefully. Any tips would be very welcome.

Thanks

Patrick

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Re: Seeking information to help in restoring helmets

Post by b.loree » Wed Sep 30, 2015 2:46 pm

No problem Patrick. It is a 2 step process: I use a solution made for cleaning antique clock movements: Water 1 gallon, Ammonia 8 oz, Acetone 4 oz, Dawn dish soap 4 oz. I leave the parts in that solution for 24 hrs. Then I go at them with a product called Hagerty Silver Foam. This comes in a paste form, you use water and an old tooth brush to scrub the plate repeatedly washing off the plate between applications. It is a messy operation as the stuff sprays all over as you brush. Another trick which would be a first step and only used on OR's non gilded plates is to spray them with Easy Off oven cleaner. Leave it on for a couple of minutes and then wash off....repeat. Follow up with Hagerty. For fittings like spikes and spines I start with the clock solution and then go at them with a buffing wheel and jeweler's rouge. For a wappen with enamel like Jame's Garde officer, I just used Hagerty, I did not want to risk damage to the enamel.
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Re: Seeking information to help in restoring helmets

Post by chinstrap » Thu Oct 01, 2015 4:55 am

Brian

Thanks very much. Not sure how the wife is going to respond to a bucket of this brew in the kitchen but I'll try it some time when I have a bit I'm prepared to experiment with.

Patrick

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Re: Seeking information to help in restoring helmets

Post by Fotohi1 » Fri Oct 16, 2015 6:15 pm

Hi Brian,

I'm anxious to get the first helmet done. Will be sending it in about 2 weeks to you. Hope your other projects are just about finished so you will be able to start on it when it arrives.

Do you also restore chin scales? I have another helmet with a damaged set of chin scales. It is a Train Bn reserve officer's helmet. I have all the parts still to the chin strap, but the leather of the strap was ripped in 2 pieces. If you do not do that sort of work, do you know someone who does?

Between the 3 helmets, I am eager to get started on the restorations,

John

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