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    Re: F. Barker & Son Box Sextant
    From: Sean C
    Date: 2016 Apr 8, 15:02 -0700

    Brad,

    I actually did muster up the courage to remove the mirrors and clean them. I held them with a micro-fiber cloth and wiped them with some disposable lens cloths. Turns out that what I thought was the retaining clip was actually the mount and vice versa. Unfortunately, the cleaning had no effect on the distortion. I think perhaps the silvering on one or both of the mirrors has become too degraded over time. The backs of the mirrors were moderately corroded. When I look at reflections of nearby objects in each of the mirrors individually, the images appear nice and sharp. But I realize that when looking at objects that are several AU away, what would otherwise be imperceptable defects have an exponential effect.

    I am now considering having the mirrors resilvered, or having new mirrors made altogether. I'm just not entirely sure that my local glass shops are up to the task of making such small, precise mirrors. Especially ones that need to be silvered only in very specific areas. (Both mirrors lack silvering around the edges, where the glass contacts the mount/retaining clip.) But, maybe I'm underestimating them.

    I've also discovered that the square head of one of the side error adjusting screws is starting to become stripped. This might be an even bigger concern than the mirrors, because I have no idea where I would get such a tiny, unique new screw made. I'm going to try to ensure that this sextant doesn't become nothing more than a really fancy paper weight. But with limited funds and resources, it's going to be a challenge. :o

    Regards,

    Sean C.

       
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