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MODEL: 'Nelson No. 2' (Mechanical Stage)

c. 1895


Nelson-Curties microscope No 2 Mechanical Stage c. 1895

The image above illustrates the mechanical stage for the earlier version of the Nelson-Curties No 2, circa 1895. When I received the microscope the oxidized finish had been lost from much of the top of the stage and the slide-locating scales were not easy to read. Restoration started, as it always does, by dismantling the parts in need of restoration, and the small screws and other parts placed in little plastic bags, each labeled. The stage top plate parts were then degreased with boiling hot soapy water using Dawn diswashing detergent. Following this they were wiped clean and dried and then a final degreasing with acetone and cotton tipped swabs was done. The surface was then cleaned with a tarnish remover('Peek'). Like almost all other tarnish removers, this leaves a residue which must be removed. The tarnish remover was then removed with the same two step process, namely hot water and soap followed by acetone. The top was then sanded down with 2000 and then 3200 grit sandpaper until all the brass was bright. It was then cleaned again with acetone. A liquid oxidizing agent ('Brass Black' by Birchwood-Casey) was then applied in four long coats. Each coat was kept wet with the compound on cotton-tipped swabs and after a few minutes each coat washed off with cold water and dried with a paper towel until the next coat was applied. After final drying, a white Markal 'lacquer stik' was used to whiten the slide-locating scales and indicating arrows, as originally intended. The white compound was wiped away and re-applied until the correct appearance was obtained. The final coat was not as thoroughly removed as the earlier coats to make sure all of the marking remained white, yet did not cover the rest of the oxidized finish. Finally the stage was reassembled. Note that I did not attempt to make it look 'new' but rather simply restored its character.