Thursday, 18 June 2015

Solid Brass Morse Key Renovation

      Yet another Morse Key Refurb... this one was a joy to do.... When I saw it on Ebay, I thought the base was made of rose pink bakelite, and assumed the key was of the 1920`s era......

 However, when it arrived, I was a mighty weighty piece... and I was very surprised to find it was made of solid brass.  Before I started to consider how to refurb it... I just had to hook it up, and give it a test transmission... Some slight adjustments to get it to work properly, and I was away... Very pleased with the reaction...

        Before starting the work, I decided that I needed to replace the wooden knob as it was slightly wonky on the rocker arm, and to use another one of my stock of black plastic discs to make a "spark guard"... ( you will notice that I use the "spark guard" to send with )..
      As usual, the replacement knob was a wooden drawer knob from the local hardware store, and spray painted black, to fit in with the other keys..

      Because it is made of solid brass, and because of the high quality finish of the engineering side of the construction, I decided the only way to refurbish it was to get some Brasso brass polish, some soft cloth and then dismantle it to it`s component parts.... This was easy to do, and I laid the parts out so I would remember their locations, when I put it all back together again...

Compare this to the original as shown on ebay above.

Looking smart with the new Knob and Spark Guard in place.

This will be a key to be treasured................

................................... like Gold.....  !!
Edit March 31st 2017.    Today I decided that the key needed to be cleaned and shined again, so out came the tools to dismantle it, and also the brasso and polishing cloths...  This time I managed to undo the tiny screws holding down the small plate on the base... it transpires that someone had replaced it "upside down" because there was some interesting engraving on that plate...

S/N 044   (UA) 2003

Checking on the internet, it now gives me the information that this key was made by a company  CT ASIA in UKRAINE...  and not , as I originally thought by LLAVES TELEGRAFICAS, SPAIN.  although the design is very similar to the Spanish key.

After cleaning, all the parts were laid out, and given a coat of clear anti-tarnish lacquer spray.. Hopefully I won`t have to polish it again... It is a lovely key to operate and a beauty to look at ! ! ..

For comparison with my two Refurbished Admiralty Pattern 7681 keys

       After about 2 hours polishing all the bits, I had re-fitted them, and time for the final photographs and a video to show it working.

Don`t forget to click on the square at the bottom left of video for full screen........

      I am very pleased with this acquisiton to my collection,  I now have NINE keys, and all connected to my laptop, ready for use in QSO`s on CWCOM.