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Re: Speculum Metal Mirros ( I Must Be Mad.)

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Posted by Robert May on August 3, 1998 19:26:58 UTC

Ian, As one that has started down the same insane path (making antique instruments) as you for the curiousness of it all, I would suggest that you find out what Herschel, et al, used to gring and polish thier mirrors. I think that you will find that something like india ink (read about using that for polishing metal in one of the ATM books - new versions which are organized and indexed much better than the originals and available from Willmann-Bell) would be used for the actual polishing. The process used for glass isn't the same as that for metals. I would also use either the same material or check out what tile tools do to the process. Sorry that I can't be more helpfull but have fun with the process and do a bit of reading before getting very deep into the process. It would also be nice if when you get a mirror made, you get an article made up for the ATMJ (on the net) so others can reproduce your results - nothing like doing something and nobody else knows how you did it which is why knowledge was slow to propagate until people realized that sharing knowledge made for much more knowledge faster. Please also note that softer materials don't always seem to be logical. Look at what happens to a steel shaft in a dry bronze bearing - the steel shaft wears much faster than the bronze. Have Fun and Keep Looking Up! Bob May

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