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Thread: 12" 200psi Antique Brass Pressure Gauge Repair

  1. #1

    Default 12" 200psi Antique Brass Pressure Gauge Repair

    While searching ebay for a larger pressure gauge for my mig gas regulator, I came across this antique 12" 200psi all brass ashcroft pressure gauge. $186 later it's out in my shop and I decided to repair it tonight.
    Someone had cut the inlet fitting off the back so I drilled it as deep as I dare with a 7/16" bit and tapped it 1/4"npt. I started the threads with a standard tap and finished with one that I've ground to make a bottoming tap.
    The male qc is only in there for testing, I'll replace it later with a push lock fitting. The pics are fairly high res so if you want a closer look, click/click/zoom (hold alt key and roll the mouse wheel forward)

    Click image for larger version. 

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    After I finish the interior of my shop this spring, I'll install this gauge on the wall and plumb it into my airlines. I can't decide whether to restore the faceplate and polish the housing or just leave it like it is. What would you do ?
    Last edited by zoama; 02-12-2013 at 02:46 AM.
    2013 250EX : SSC Pedal : I-MIG 250P 20' Profax gun : Power Plasma 60 p80 torch : 3M Speedglas 9100XX : Evolution Rage 3 DB cold saw

  2. #2

    Default

    Very cool

    How's the accuracy check out? I'd assume something like that, especially from that era, can be calibrated? Is there ever a need to? So much stuff these days is disposable and/or generally cheap (I have a pressure gage on a bike pump that every time I bump it over the the garage, the needle 'zeroes' out to a different pressure. Right now, 32psi means zero ... ugh)
    Everlast PowerArc 140ST

  3. #3

    Default

    It's very close on the pressure and returns to zero. There are adjustments inside if needed.
    2013 250EX : SSC Pedal : I-MIG 250P 20' Profax gun : Power Plasma 60 p80 torch : 3M Speedglas 9100XX : Evolution Rage 3 DB cold saw

  4. #4
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    Default

    That is too cool. I kinda like the old patina. Are the white speckles, missing ink or something else? I guess you could re-silkscreen the dial. Or maybe just do some retouching, to keep the old look. Either way it's a great find, and at 12" I bet even I could read it from across the shop.
    Long arc, short arc, heliarc and in-the-dark!

  5. #5

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Rambozo View Post
    That is too cool. I kinda like the old patina. Are the white speckles, missing ink or something else? I guess you could re-silkscreen the dial. Or maybe just do some retouching, to keep the old look. Either way it's a great find, and at 12" I bet even I could read it from across the shop.
    The speckles are a combination of corrosion and missing paint/ink. The face is steel and has some rust at the bottom on the back side, three screws in the back are the only other steel parts in it.
    2013 250EX : SSC Pedal : I-MIG 250P 20' Profax gun : Power Plasma 60 p80 torch : 3M Speedglas 9100XX : Evolution Rage 3 DB cold saw

  6. #6
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by zoama585 View Post
    While searching ebay for a larger pressure gauge for my mig gas regulator, I came across this antique 12" 200psi all brass ashcroft pressure gauge. $186 later it's out in my shop and I decided to repair it tonight.
    Someone had cut the inlet fitting off the back so I drilled it as deep as I dare with a 7/16" bit and tapped it 1/4"npt. I started the threads with a standard tap and finished with one that I've ground to make a bottoming tap.
    The male qc is only in there for testing, I'll replace it later with a push lock fitting. The pics are fairly high res so if you want a closer look, click/click/zoom (hold alt key and roll the mouse wheel forward)

    Click image for larger version. 

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    After I finish the interior of my shop this spring, I'll install this gauge on the wall and plumb it into my airlines. I can't decide whether to restore the faceplate and polish the housing or just leave it like it is. What would you do ?
    That thing just screams "cool"! I would leave it as is and simply calibrate it (if need be). It's a "classic" at this point, so messing with the face might make it worth less in the long run! Maybe put a light coat of wax over the top to keep it from getting worse? Rub lightly so you don't burn through the paint!
    Andy
    New Everlast PowerTig 250EX that is begging for me to come up with a few welding projects so it can stretch it's legs. Did someone say aluminum???

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  7. #7

    Default

    Wow, that really is a nice find. If you decide to wax, definitely do so lightly as youngnstudly suggested but maybe only use one that is 100% wax as opposed to a wax / polish.

  8. #8

    Default

    As it is, I can't touch the face because the paint lets go in tiny flakes. I'm not concerned with the value of it at all so I may get a new face plate that matches the original.
    2013 250EX : SSC Pedal : I-MIG 250P 20' Profax gun : Power Plasma 60 p80 torch : 3M Speedglas 9100XX : Evolution Rage 3 DB cold saw

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by zoama585 View Post
    As it is, I can't touch the face because the paint lets go in tiny flakes. I'm not concerned with the value of it at all so I may get a new face plate that matches the original.
    You can always hit it with some artists' fixative spray to keep it from deteriorating any more.
    Long arc, short arc, heliarc and in-the-dark!

  10. #10

    Default

    +1 on the fixative. that will keep any flaking paint in place and give a uniform matte finish (assuming matte fixative, sometimes 'fixatif'). Personally, I'd clean up the outside with 1200 grit or so, but I like shiny things and I know being brass and in a shop setting that it will patina again soon enough. I like watching the change, personally. I occasionally buy old dial indicators on fleabay just to play with
    McGuire Irvine
    Crow Motor Co.

    Lincoln powermig 225 (work)

  11. #11

    Default

    Cool.

    If you need to adjust it, in teh 5th picture, the screw on the bottom, with teh circumferential slot under it should adjust the zero point.
    the screw (s) on the left, on the arm of the bellcrank with the sector gear on it should adjust the ratio.

    The bourdon tube will expand with added pressure and Pull the left side "down" in pic 5. that will then cause lever arm on the sector gear to pivot the assembly on the pin on the left, turning the gear and shaft attached to the pointer.
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  12. Default Gauge re-build

    I'm a gauge engineer for Ashcroft Inc, and restore these all the time. It appears as thought you had the bourdon tube/movement assy bright dipped in nitric acid. The only concern here is degradation of the bronze hairspring. Hope it's OK. I would suggest lubricating the gearing interface, and journal points of the movement with a light silicone based fluid. This will extend the life of the movement, and add a little resistance to any vibration or pulsation effects on application. As for the brass case/ring, I always buff them to a high luster. Spraying with a non-yellowing clear acrylic is also recommended. Calibration of these is a little tricky. You have to adjust for both span (0 to full scale accuracy), as well as linerarity (points in between).
    The amazing thing about pressure gauge design is that it hasn't really changed since Mr. Ashcroft issued the first US patent back in 1852.

    As an aside, we offer free restoration to any Ashcroft pressure gauge. Contact Ashcroft Inc, Stratford Ct (203) 385-0474

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by gaugemaster View Post
    I'm a gauge engineer for Ashcroft Inc, and restore these all the time. It appears as thought you had the bourdon tube/movement assy bright dipped in nitric acid. The only concern here is degradation of the bronze hairspring. Hope it's OK. I would suggest lubricating the gearing interface, and journal points of the movement with a light silicone based fluid. This will extend the life of the movement, and add a little resistance to any vibration or pulsation effects on application. As for the brass case/ring, I always buff them to a high luster. Spraying with a non-yellowing clear acrylic is also recommended. Calibration of these is a little tricky. You have to adjust for both span (0 to full scale accuracy), as well as linerarity (points in between).
    The amazing thing about pressure gauge design is that it hasn't really changed since Mr. Ashcroft issued the first US patent back in 1852.

    As an aside, we offer free restoration to any Ashcroft pressure gauge. Contact Ashcroft Inc, Stratford Ct (203) 385-0474
    I haven't touched the bourdon tube/movement assy, I only drilled and tapped the air inlet. I'll be calling about the restoration. Thank you for the information.
    2013 250EX : SSC Pedal : I-MIG 250P 20' Profax gun : Power Plasma 60 p80 torch : 3M Speedglas 9100XX : Evolution Rage 3 DB cold saw

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