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deluxe to standard

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  • Trail Fox
    Nice job refinishing that bug. It has been my view that a telegrapher can do anything he wants to his bug, and that is just part of the history of it. But a
    Message 1 of 2 , Apr 1, 2007
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      Nice job refinishing that bug.  It has been my view that a telegrapher can do anything he wants to his bug, and that is just part of the history of it.  But a non-telegrapher who is collecting is a museum curator and that person's license is quite different.  The destruction imposed by one AZROADRUNNER on historic pieces which he then places for sale on eBay are just a shame.  But that is an opinion.
       
      Nearly all Vibroplex bugs that I have seen on FleaBay that were made between about 1947 and 1953 were pitted and rusting.  Chrome does not seem to deposit well on brass.  An intermediate layer of nickel is required to obtain a lasting result.  I suspect they tried to get away without the intervening step during those years.  Best thing is not to buy that vintage unless one is planning on refinishing it!
       
      the jeweled trunion screws from their introduction in 1939 until some point after the war, I don't knwo when, were made of garnet and shattered very easily.  The later ones were and are cultured ruby which is MUCH harder and MUCH less likely to shatter.  Garnet has a hardness of about 7 and often is found with invisible lines of cleavage from its natural birth.  Artificial rubies are cultured corundum with a hardness of 9 which is many orders of magnitude tougher, and has no initial internal cleavage lines from earth pressures.
       
      the World War II deluxe bugs with the so called battleship grey finish are all, regardless of model, famous for being especially fast.  they often won't slow below 30 wpm.  I think the cause is that the mainspring itself was chrome plated and I think that stiffened it up some.
       
      The main spring on ALL new bugs is being chromed.  This process is not only making them faster, but also seems to be dampening the action.  The present levers, before being chromed exhibit good action as demonstrated by a friend of mine when he visited the plant in Mobile.  But the new plated levers usually produce a very short (five to seven) dit series.  for this reason new Vibroplex bugs don't seem to work very well.  too bad.
       
      I tried once to explain this to them, but my suggestion of not plating the mainspring was ignored.
       
      73,  Fred - kt5x
       
       
       
       
    • David Ring
      Hello Fred, You re right about the mainspring and the plating. Plating the mainspring makes it thicker, thus stiffer, and thus faster. I agree about the
      Message 2 of 2 , Apr 1, 2007
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        Hello Fred,

        You're right about the mainspring and the plating.  Plating the mainspring makes it thicker, thus stiffer, and thus faster.  I agree about the non-plated mainsprings - then you'd have a uniform product.  In the 1950s you'd see U shaped and V shaped cuts in the mainspring to make them less stiff - which also made the mainspring prone to damage and breaking.  The only bug I've ever had shipped to me for repairs that broke had such a mainspring.  (It was insured.)

        The lever arm and pendulum rod should be plated separately, then the rivets should be put in.

        Trouble is that many of today's bug users want shiney rather than good working.

        73

        DR

        David N1EA

        On 4/1/07, Trail Fox <KT5X@...> wrote:

        Nice job refinishing that bug.  It has been my view that a telegrapher can do anything he wants to his bug, and that is just part of the history of it.  But a non-telegrapher who is collecting is a museum curator and that person's license is quite different.  The destruction imposed by one AZROADRUNNER on historic pieces which he then places for sale on eBay are just a shame.  But that is an opinion.
         
        Nearly all Vibroplex bugs that I have seen on FleaBay that were made between about 1947 and 1953 were pitted and rusting.  Chrome does not seem to deposit well on brass.  An intermediate layer of nickel is required to obtain a lasting result.  I suspect they tried to get away without the intervening step during those years.  Best thing is not to buy that vintage unless one is planning on refinishing it!
         
        the jeweled trunion screws from their introduction in 1939 until some point after the war, I don't knwo when, were made of garnet and shattered very easily.  The later ones were and are cultured ruby which is MUCH harder and MUCH less likely to shatter.  Garnet has a hardness of about 7 and often is found with invisible lines of cleavage from its natural birth.  Artificial rubies are cultured corundum with a hardness of 9 which is many orders of magnitude tougher, and has no initial internal cleavage lines from earth pressures.
         
        the World War II deluxe bugs with the so called battleship grey finish are all, regardless of model, famous for being especially fast.  they often won't slow below 30 wpm.  I think the cause is that the mainspring itself was chrome plated and I think that stiffened it up some.
         
        The main spring on ALL new bugs is being chromed.  This process is not only making them faster, but also seems to be dampening the action.  The present levers, before being chromed exhibit good action as demonstrated by a friend of mine when he visited the plant in Mobile.  But the new plated levers usually produce a very short (five to seven) dit series.  for this reason new Vibroplex bugs don't seem to work very well.  too bad.
         
        I tried once to explain this to them, but my suggestion of not plating the mainspring was ignored.
         
        73,  Fred - kt5x
         
         
         
         


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