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 Post subject: Dragoner Regt 16 Restoration
PostPosted: Mon Dec 04, 2017 7:51 pm 
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2 Hanover Dragoner Regt Nr 16 just arrived here for a bit of work. Here are the "before restoration" pictures:

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The spike is missing but Scout 17 who owns the helmet tells me there is one on the way from Germany.

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The typical Dragoner cruciform base which has sunk in a bit over time. There is no large Hessen style support disc nor the Bavarian cruciform support sometimes seen on their helmets.

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The helmet although private purchase/officer,
comes with OR's kokarden and wappen. This might indicate a OYV helmet.

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A shot of the rear showing the typical Dragoner spine with the extra dome split brads.

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The interior showing the officer liner but the visors lack the usual red and green linen coverings. This is the second time I have seen this on a Dragoner helmet. I have a neusilber Baden Dragoner (My own) which is in pieces right now, it has the officer liner and wappen chin scales but no pearl ring. Kokarden despite the chin scales are OR M91's.

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Here we see the main issue with this restoration...a split in both shell and left side reinforcement. The right reinforcement has also got to be restitched because the thread has rotted.
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Other tasks...restitch rear visor, clean all fittings, smooth out marks in visors and stabilize tears in sweatband.

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The wappen before cleaning today.

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After cleaning, all that 100+ years of black grunge disappeared! To be continued.....

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 Post subject: Re: Dragoner Regt 16 Restoration
PostPosted: Tue Dec 05, 2017 9:23 am 
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Looking forward to seeing how you repair that tear in the leather at the visor brad junction. I have a tschapka with the same issue I would like to repair.


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 Post subject: Re: Dragoner Regt 16 Restoration
PostPosted: Tue Dec 05, 2017 12:06 pm 
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Another nice job! Love the Wappen!!

27th August 1907: King Albert I of Belgium became Regimentschef to this Regiment!

This is his helmet: Kokarden and Wappen are covered with a thin black fabric (silk?) mourning veil. (picture taken in the Brussels Army Museum 2014)

Francis

viewtopic.php?f=45&t=11054&p=77806&hilit=Veil#p77806


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 Post subject: Re: Dragoner Regt 16 Restoration
PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2017 6:14 pm 
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Thanks for the link and information Francis. Here are some before and after pics of the fittings which have now been cleaned.
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Things to note here....screw post spike base brads which usually indicates an older helmet plus another Dragoner characteristic.....the post for the arm that goes over the spine is longer than the rest. This brad is on the upper right top in the picture.

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The fittings cleaned up very well. The spike base bolts trim brads are not shown but they cleaned up just as nicely. The chin scales have not been done yet.

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The brass convex scales which are part of this Regiment's hauben. The brass will show up better once they are cleaned.

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Here is a shot of the underside of the special Dragoner rear spine. I doubt few collectors have ever seen this....one of the advantages of being forced to take these helmets apart for restoration. This picture shows that the bottom domed brad prongs are simply soldered on. Next, soldered prongs which do go through the shell and last, a hole where the top brad fits and it also goes through the shell to secure the spine.

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 Post subject: Re: Dragoner Regt 16 Restoration
PostPosted: Fri Dec 08, 2017 5:58 pm 
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I had to take out the cloth liner on this piece as it was partially loose but more importantly, I could not get at the areas which need restoration with it in the way. You have to realise that restoration "beats up" a helmet and places stress on the old materials. This can't be helped as hands and fingers have to go into the shell and fittings have to be removed. For example, on this piece there are a few substantial tears to the sweatband, these have to be patched from the inside so that the tear does not get longer. This has to be done before dealing with the split in the side of the shell. However, back to the liner...In removing it, I discovered, that one side of the silk had been glued to the sweatband! :x Fortunately, the glue was not modern and with a bit of persuasion, I got the cloth removed. Some pictures as usual:
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With the trim removed you can really see the damage to the shell. Part of the problem here was caused by manufacture...the stitching is so fine and there were so many stitch holes, that it weakened the shell in the process.

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A shot of the area that was glued on. In the first picture, you can also see the tears in the sweatband that must be stabilized before we go any further.

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Fortunately, I was able to remove the entire liner without destroying it. Some areas of it had also been crudely restitched.

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 Post subject: Re: Dragoner Regt 16 Restoration
PostPosted: Sat Dec 09, 2017 4:25 am 
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Interesting project, good luck!

Regards,

Edwin


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 Post subject: Re: Dragoner Regt 16 Restoration
PostPosted: Sat Dec 09, 2017 6:17 am 
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Oh dear, oh dear! It's a good thing I don't have to do something like that! With me, the sequence of the pictures would be the other way around: "before" would probably look better than "after" :D!

Brian, hat off to you, and lots of success with the present project!

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 Post subject: Re: Dragoner Regt 16 Restoration
PostPosted: Wed Dec 13, 2017 5:26 pm 
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Brian ;
That D R 16 eagle looked to me just like
it was made of steel until you cleaned it up .
Great job .
I love the front plates with battle honors .

Also note that Leopold II of Belgium was
Chef of Dragoon Regt. 14
I have his pair of shoulder straps
as General d. Cavalry to D R 14 .
Black velvet underlay .

Steve


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 Post subject: Re: Dragoner Regt 16 Restoration
PostPosted: Thu Dec 14, 2017 5:03 am 
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Indeed great patina!!
Thank you Steve for this info on King Leopold II.
Would you mind to post some pics of these shoulder boards?
Thank you!
Francis


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 Post subject: Re: Dragoner Regt 16 Restoration
PostPosted: Thu Dec 14, 2017 11:26 am 
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Nice step by step !


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 Post subject: Re: Dragoner Regt 16 Restoration
PostPosted: Thu Dec 14, 2017 6:15 pm 
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The step by step explanation of the restoration process continues :)
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The convex chin scales cleaned up nicely.

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In preparation for the patches which are going to be applied along the broken stitch line, the edges of the split are glued together using contact cement.

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Next a dremel tool and small sanding drum are used to clear the finish from around the stitch line. As can be seen, I took it right down to the leather in order to have a great bond between the shell and patches.

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The thin leather patches have been glued to the broken part of the stitch line.

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This is approximately what the end result will look... my thumb is holding the side piece in place. The edge of the patch will be coloured in with a black marker so it blends in. The crack at the visor trim brad hole will be filled in. A small patch was also glued in around the brad hole on the inside to make sure the shell will not split when the brad is put back in.
Image
To be continued....

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 Post subject: Re: Dragoner Regt 16 Restoration
PostPosted: Fri Dec 15, 2017 8:06 am 
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A heroic endeavour! I wish I was as good and as brave as you, Brian... then I wouldn't have to make improvisations like "glue rivets" as described in my thread about the recently acquired Wappen for the old Prussian lady! :D

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 Post subject: Re: Dragoner Regt 16 Restoration
PostPosted: Fri Dec 15, 2017 9:57 am 
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Great job!
Back then: the sewing machine was more like a chainsaw...
Return it to the factory: money back!!
Francis


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 Post subject: Re: Dragoner Regt 16 Restoration
PostPosted: Fri Dec 15, 2017 9:59 am 
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Absolutely fantastic idea for patching. Thank you.


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 Post subject: Re: Dragoner Regt 16 Restoration
PostPosted: Fri Dec 15, 2017 6:21 pm 
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My thanks to everyone for their encouraging comments. The side reinforcement was glued back in place today. I had to clean out the last stitch holes where the rear visor is stitched and make certain that these were not filled in with glue. The crack seen in the picture will be filled in and I am going to stabilize that last rip in the sweatband. Next, the other side reinforcement will be stitched back on. The rear visor will be smoothed out before being re stitched to the shell. This is going to require a fine needle and thread.
Image

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 Post subject: Re: Dragoner Regt 16 Restoration
PostPosted: Fri Dec 15, 2017 7:00 pm 
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Remarkable and admirable, to say the least! :bravo:

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 Post subject: Re: Dragoner Regt 16 Restoration
PostPosted: Fri Dec 15, 2017 9:47 pm 
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Yes Jaap this Bad Boy is coming back to life! :)

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 Post subject: Re: Dragoner Regt 16 Restoration
PostPosted: Sat Dec 16, 2017 10:26 am 
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Awesome result, I have never thought that it will look that good :bravo:

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 Post subject: Re: Dragoner Regt 16 Restoration
PostPosted: Tue Jan 16, 2018 7:45 pm 
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So I completed the restitch of the rear visor on this helmet today, I was rather nervous about this despite having done probably 100 of these so far. The stitching on this helmet is so fine....1/32 or 1 mm between holes. Fortunately, all went well and it was not the nightmare that I thought might happen.
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I like to stitch only in natural light on sunny days, because, you can turn the helmet so that the light falls directly on the stitch line. The above pic shows how you know that all the old thread has been cleaned out of the holes....light shines through them. Note also, the tack stitches along the shell rim which attaches the sweatband to the shell. In haube construction, they began with the shell perfectly formed and given a water proofing of shellac finish. Officer shells are stitched up the back as seen here. The side reinforcements for M91 posts or chin scale bosses are stitched on. Next the sweat band (officer helme) or the liner (OR"s) was stitched to the rim. Officer is tack stitched while OR is stitched right round the rim. Then, the visors are stitched onto the shell and all metal fittings are locked on the shell using split brads or screw posts which have been soldered onto the fittings. Wappen of course can be either applied with loops or screw posts. The majority of officer wappen have screw posts however, war time models can have soldered split brads. This also applies to officer stars...war time production can have split brads as well. As to the cloth part of the officer liner, I can not be certain as to when it was tack stitched but I would think that it was the last piece of the puzzle to be put on in order to avoid soiling it during production. The edge of the sweat band is scalloped and the small tack threads are always located between the scallops.

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The finished restitch. The lines in the finished caused by the rear spine are very helpful in checking to see whether the stitch holes in visor and shell are actually lined up.

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The thread used (100% cotton) was waxed with beeswax during stitching but an application of black shoe polish will be applied along the stitch line in order to seal it/protect it and to fill in any minute areas of missing shellac. One last word of advice.....wax the thread frequently as you stitch and change the position of your needle along the thread as you stitch. A great deal of stress is placed on the thread where it passes through the eye of the needle and it can break if you do not move your needle.

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 Post subject: Re: Dragoner Regt 16 Restoration
PostPosted: Tue Jan 16, 2018 8:14 pm 
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Quote:
One last word of advice.....wax the thread frequently as you stitch and change the position of your needle along the thread as you stitch. A great deal of stress is placed on the thread where it passes through the eye of the needle and it can break if you do not move your needle.

Now you tell me. I recently restitched the visors on an enlisted M'15 helmet (inspired by your work), took about 6 months. Only took me two months to figure out about the wax and moving the needle.
Keep the write up coming, your work is wonderful and inspirational.


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 Post subject: Re: Dragoner Regt 16 Restoration
PostPosted: Tue Jan 16, 2018 9:27 pm 
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Sorry about that :) I believe I have mentioned this before but of course, many posts of mine have lost their pictures. On this stitch, my thread, which was finer than what is used on OR's, did break near the end of the second pass but I still had enough thread between the break and the stitches to finish the job. I can not stress too highly, the absolute necessity of making sure that your holes in visor and shell are lined up and pinned into position. Fail in this and you are into a frustrating angry world of hurt!! :x Because of the ultra fine stitching here I had to use regular sewing needles to pin the visor in place as my usual T quilter pins were too thick. Here is a pic of the finished stitch line but you can also see, how you can maneuver the helmet so you can use sunlight to light up the stitch holes.

Image
Good to hear that you started on an M15.

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 Post subject: Re: Dragoner Regt 16 Restoration
PostPosted: Wed Jan 17, 2018 9:51 am 
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What a massive workload and wonderful result =D> :)
May I ask what kind of Tools do you use? Do you have a special Tool to make the small drillings through the hard Leather? Or is it possible to stich the complete Material with a Needle?
Thank you again for these very instructive Posts, which I really enjoy :bravo:

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 Post subject: Re: Dragoner Regt 16 Restoration
PostPosted: Wed Jan 17, 2018 2:19 pm 
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As requested by Sandy:
Image
From left to right:
Sharp nosed tweezers, which are used to pluck the old thread out of the stitch holes.
Hand vise and drill bit which are used to clean out the old thread.
Curved needle nosed pliers which are used to pull the needle through when stitching....when you can't do it by hand.
Rubber finger which is placed on your second finger and helps to grip the needle when pulling it through the leather. It also protects you from getting stabbed by the needle, sort of like a rubber thimble.
Beeswax and stitch needle.
The hand vise is available at hobby stores or on the net. Beeswax...Walmart. The rubber finger is available in office supply stores like Staples.

Image
The small bits for the hand vise, various sizes and available at hobby stores and the internet.
One last thing...the pliers are smooth, they do not have any grip lines cut into them. This prevents them from marking/lacerating metal fittings when used in that way
Great to hear also, that members enjoy these restoration posts and I am glad that in a small way, they have inspired people to try things on their own. :thumb up:

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 Post subject: Re: Dragoner Regt 16 Restoration
PostPosted: Wed Jan 17, 2018 2:34 pm 
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Spectacular, Brian! :bravo:

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 Post subject: Re: Dragoner Regt 16 Restoration
PostPosted: Wed Jan 17, 2018 2:39 pm 
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Thank you Brian :bravo:

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 Post subject: Re: Dragoner Regt 16 Restoration
PostPosted: Wed Jan 17, 2018 2:53 pm 
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In working on this helmet, I have discovered that there is a last name and a first name written in pencil on the underside of the rear visor. These are on both sides of the spine. The last name "Schulze" is written (cursive) on the left and "Luke" on the right. The first name "Luke" is a bit of a guess on my part as the top of the "k" is not clear and the loop on the "e" is very small. it might be a "c". I do not know whether the name" Luke" is used in Germany or how it is spelled. It is used in English but rarely. Any help in getting an identification would be welcomed. The helme came with both large size Prussian and Reichs kokarden (OR's), The wappen is OR's, the helmet is private purchase with officer liner and spike but no stars. My feeling about this helme, is that it was an "economy" piece originally...no red or green lining on the visors. There are 2 sets of wappen holes and 2 double holes in the top for the cruciform spike base. All holes have been cleanly machine punched, so I believe them to be "period done". The helme could have been repurposed or refitted to fit the needs of Herr Schulze at a lesser cost to him. In my experience, the Germans unlike collectors, did not care about extra holes providing they were hidden by a wappen or spike base.

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 Post subject: Re: Dragoner Regt 16 Restoration
PostPosted: Thu Jan 18, 2018 2:40 pm 
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Do you have a picture of it, please?
In Germany „Lukas“ is mainly used. „Luke“ may be used nearby the Netherlands or Belgium or in England, so it may be also possible.
But maybe it is written in old german handwriting. I just saw a postcard with a mixed handwriting of Latain and Kanzlei-Script.

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 Post subject: Re: Dragoner Regt 16 Restoration
PostPosted: Thu Jan 18, 2018 7:19 pm 
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At one point I owned three helmets with the same name (both first and last) written in them, two were M'15 spikes and the third was a M'15 Tschapka. The name being very French I doubted that it was name of a soldier. I believe that the name belonged to either an early collector or a costumer. I got them as part of a collection I purchased.


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