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    Re: Don't do this to a sextant
    From: Henry Halboth
    Date: 2006 Nov 7, 14:52 -0500

    Hi Alex,
    I have, in the past, successfully re silvered mirrors in accordance with
    the directions in the 1909 Edition of Bowditch which do require the use
    of Hg. The later editions of this publication do not contain these
    directions, but I feel sure that some of the other earlier ones must
    include them. Until recently, I had some Hg in stock but frankly do not
    know where to buy it commercially these days; perhaps the lab at Perdue
    could supply you. At one time all the nautical instrument houses were
    able to handle mirror re silvering, the last I know of being New York
    Nautical Instrument, on Hudson Street in NYC. I recently spoke with the
    proprietor of a glass shop that also supplies mirrors commercially, who
    offered to cut mirrors for me to any size desired, but that, of course,
    did not include the split mirror generally employed as a horizon glass in
    the average instrument, but cannot speak to the optical quality of
    commercially made general purpose mirrors or their suitability for use in
    our instruments - this later might be a subject for ongoing discussion,
    as I would like to explore the use of mirrors as an alternative to Hg or
    oil as an artificial horizon reflecting surface. If you do not have
    access to a pub containing Hg re silvering instructions, I will be
    pleased to post them, as they are not lengthy.
    On Mon, 6 Nov 2006 21:05:58 -0500 (EST) Alexandre E Eremenko
    > Dear Henry,
    > On Mon, 6 Nov 2006, Henry C. Halboth wrote:
    > > As long as there is no deformation, I believe restoraton to a
    > condition
    > > of serviceability is entirely possible. I have done so with
    > several old
    > > sextants/octants that have been missing a variety of parts
    > Do you make/resilver mirrors yourself?
    > I am currently shopping for an old vernier sextant,
    > mostly paying attention on the state of the arc,
    > frame, vernier and filters.
    > The requirement that mirrors should be also in good condition
    > substantially narrows my choice. So I thought of trying to
    > learn how to resilver mirrors myself.
    > Can you give any advise on this?
    > I have in mind a recipe from an old navigation book
    > which requires mercury and tin foil.
    > Alex.
    > >
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