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SCOUT REGIMENT and SIGNALLING TELESCOPES


philsr
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The interesting thing is that years ago someone tried to polish off the 'Tel Sig MkII also GS' inscription, you can still just make it out.

Legitimate disposals had the Government Arrow cancelled or nothing done at all.

Could this one have be souveneered or fallen off the back of an Army lorry?

I had a Scout Reg once that showed the BC & Co logo and the 'TEL. SCT. REGT. MK. IIs',

but the OS no., the Broad Arrow and the serial no. had been filed off, then the marks polished so smooth that it was only on very close inspection I could see it'd been done.

It has to be a possibility that the 'acquisition' from the services had not been strictly according to protocol, and that the perp - if that's what they were - became anxious that traceability was better than it actually was, and sought to cover their tracks. However, in the 50s, 60s and 70s, the quantities of surplus tools and equipment that were being disposed of were so huge that the difficulties and costs of proving theft would have far exceeded - in most cases - the value of the goods. It's only recently that such items have begun to acquire real monetary value, and the trails will be pretty damn cold by now.

Regards,

MikB

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Gents,

Having started to clean the filth off of the 1902 Watson I noticed that the tapered portion that was normally leather covered appeared to have been painted red.

The leather probably vanished years ago and I assumed that someone had slapped some red paint on.

Having checked another one that had lost its leather I noticed the same red finish.

Could this be a layer on 'Red Lead' put on before the leather cover to prevent the brass reacting with the leather and getting a layer of verdigris?

Philsr

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Could this be a layer on 'Red Lead' put on before the leather cover to prevent the brass reacting with the leather and getting a layer of verdigris?

Philsr

Well, I'm not cutting the leather off my 1915 Ross Mk.III just to prove you wrong :D , but the couple of sq.mm. of the barrel surface that I can see near the seam is scurfed brass, not red lead.

I haven't heard of red lead being used on non-ferrous surfaces - I thought the first thin layer of oxide prevents further corrosive action, iron and steel being the special cases where it doesn't and red lead treatment pays off.

Regards,

MikB

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  • 2 weeks later...

Gents,

I did an update recently on the Tel Sigs so here is an update on the Tel Sct Reg Mk IIs.

Broadhurst Clarkson, highest number 26959

H. C. Ryland, highest number 28524

Houghton Butcher, highest number 5467

Kodak Eastman, highest number 22150

Comparing with the list for the Tel Sigs, Sct Reg Mk II production is about a third, presumably because there were lots of Tel Sigs still in stores when WW2 broke out.

Despite being produced in approximately the same numbers as BC and HCR, KEC scopes are much rarer in this country.

In the last year 34 BC, 23 HCR, 4 HBM and 6 KEC scopes appearing on various web sites.

I am still doubtful about KEC being Kodak Eastman, they usually use the initials E. K. Co as do E. K. Cole who made radios.

However, I can't offer a viable alternative.

As usual, if anyone can add data for Tel Sigs or Tel Sct Regs, please post it.

I am still trying to get back before 1902 and find any data at all on the Tel Sig Mk I.

Philsr

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  • 5 weeks later...

Renovating a Tel. Sig. type telescope

Can anyone give me some advice ref’ renovating a WW1 signalling type telescope? I have a non military marked model Broadhurst and Clarkson 2 ¼” three draw + pancratic telescope with leather casework that appears to be identical to this firm’s military tel. sig. model but without the eyepiece filter. I guess it must be of post Great War manufacture.

The forum has already been helpful. I thought this was an undistinguished ‘scope because it is not shiny but dull with blue/gray colour tubes that I took for a cheap metal brass substitute. After seeing mention of ‘blacked’ tubes on the forum I looked closely at the tubes and saw specks of natural brass showing – so it is a better instrument than I thought! I would like to try and renovate this as a d.i.y. project as the optics appear flawless and it is in basically very fine condition except for a couple of problems. I am a very skilled woodworker and metalworker and this would be something new for me to tackle.

The big problem I face is the sun shade which will only extend ¼”. In times past someone has tried to force this so fiercely that they have pushed dents into the tapered body. The dents clearly fall where thumb and fingers would grip the body. I would like to free the sun shade and also I think I may be able to push the dents out if I can remove the object lens for access.

Would it help to lubricate the shade with penetrating oil or WD 40?

Will the shade on this type of ‘scope slide cleanly off if I can free it or will it be retained by the lens assembly at full extension? In this case I would somehow have to remove the lens assembly first to remove and work on the shade - this looks a tough prospect with the shade in place. I am confident I can make a ‘pulling’ jig to move the shade. The body of the ‘scope under the shade does not look deformed from what I can see of it, so it should be possible to shift it with an ‘in line’ pull.

If I can fix the shade and dents I will go on to restitch a small section of the leather case that has come adrift and also clean up the metalwork and leatherwork. I would welcome any advice in this area also.

Steve

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Steve,

If it's a Broadhurst Clarkson, then it's a good one!

The eyepiece filter did not come in until the Tel Sig MkIV** or MkVI, so it's quite common to find plain brass covers without the filter.

I frequently use penetrating oil to unstick jammed parts, just be patient and give it plenty of time to work.

There is a ring at the front of the tube on which the sun shade slides which stops it from sliding all the way off.

You may also find that with a bit of care and some penetrating oil you can unscrew the tube on which the sun shade slides from the tapered section.

You can then slide the sun shade off to the rear.

The objective lens assembly will unscrew from the tube, I use a rubber pad in the palm of my hand held flat.

You can also unscrew the sliding draws, in fact with a bit of care the whole lot comes apart.

As for the dents to the tapered portion, I was toying with making a tapered mandrel to dress out the dents in a couple of Tel Sigs that I have.

I am sure that Mikb will have further advice.

Philsr

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Thanks for this Philsr,

I think this telescope is probably post war because of the good condition and the red/brown colour of the leather - not tan and chestnut brown like the WW1 and earlier ones I have seen photos of.

There seems no way with the limited access available to unscrew the objective lens ass'y with the shade in place, so from your info' it seems the only way to proceed is to unscrew the body of the 'scope with the shade from the tapered section. Can you advise whether the brass flange that divides these two sections is fixed to the sunshade body section or to the tapered section? If it is fixed to the former then I won't be able to use easing oil without potentially marring the leatherwork.

I guess that to attempt to unscrew these sections I will first have to extend the sticking shade to gain access to the barrel underneath in order to obtain the purchase to unscrew the sections.

Steve

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The parallel OG tube the ray shade slides over screws into a threaded ring that is part of the tapered barrel. You might be able to unscrew the flange on the other (smaller) end of the taper, that also carries the bush for the largest drawtube. Having removed that, if you're lucky the leather cover will slide off, giving you the opportunity to:-

i) improve your grip on the barrel to unscrew it from the OG tube, and

ii) apply a little penetrating oil, and maybe a little judicious heat to the barrel/OG tube screw joint without risk to the leather.

If you have a lathe, once you've got the rayshade apart, a 3-jaw chuck carefully opened from the inside, can be useful in restoring roundness to the screwed rings - though be careful to protect the threads.

Be interesting to know how the rayshade came to be jammed so thoroughly - I've never come across one that wouldn't shift by heavy hand pressure.

Regards,

MikB

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Thanks for this MicB.

I have been able to unscrew the flange at the end of the small taper but the leather does not want to move without a fight. Does the central dividing 'flange' fix to the shade or taper section with an oil tight soldered joint or does it screw fit into both, acting like a connector bush?

As to why the shade is so tight, I think the 'scope was probably unused for a considerable period at some stage before it came to me and 'siezed up' a bit. Following the advice I have just been given I have looked very closely at the junction between the tapered and sun shade body section. I have just noticed that there is clear evidence that at some time someone has jammed a small screwdriver between the shade and the body flange to lever the shade free! The shade was obvously very tight because the flange has bent a little as a result of this. I don't suppose this kind of treatment was very good for the instrument. Now I have noticed this it is very tempting to tap the bent flange straight - but I fear making matters worse.

Using a lathe to correct tube deformity is a good idea. I don't have one but know someone who does.

Steve

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Gents,

The large parallel section on which the sun shade slides should unscrew out of the large end of the tapered section.

The ring at the joint is soldered into the tapered section and the parallel screws into it.

I recently dressed a deformed sun shade beck to circular using a baseball bat as a mandrel, it's just about the right diameter.

Gently tapping either side of the flattened area with a hide mallet did the business.

The telescope had been dropped with the sun shade extended and it had a flat on it and would not close.

Philsr

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Gently tapping either side of the flattened area with a hide mallet did the business.

Providing you can clamp your mandrel rigidly enough to bear a good deal of weight, and it's relieved or undercut to make space for the internal threaded rings, a rolling-pin can also work well here!

Regards,

MikB

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Thanks once again for all the telescope info' and renovation tips philsr and MikB, I should have enough info' now to make a start on the project and if I have success I will post the results.

Steve

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...but the leather does not want to move without a fight.

Sometimes it sticks as if glued by contact-adhesive, from the oils in the leather and wax polishes hardening over time. Sometimes you can shift it with a thin strip of plastic or spring steel - a flexible 6" steel rule is quite good - slid underneath the leather and waggled about from side to side to free it off. Again, be careful - sharp corners can do damage, and it maybe isn't worth having to replace the leather in order to free the rayshade... :rolleyes:

Regards,

MikB

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Further to my last post, my 1902 Tel Sig is the oldest that I have seen.

Does anyone have any older Tel Sig?

Philsr

Hi Phil,

Just found this looking for something else:-

http://gs19.inmotionhosting.com/~milita8/c...rames;read=1352

Poster says the Tel Sig Mk.II was introduced 1902, so you'd only find Mk.Is earlier - another poster comments plausibly that the original Tel Sig may've had no Mk. no., these being applied once the design had been varied.

Regards,

MikB

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Ref recent post about telescope renovation.

I can report great sucess in taking the telescope apart. The shade was so tight I could grip it to turn out the shade section from the taper section after a couple of days penetration with the easing oil. I could then back the shade free as advised.

As to why the shade was so tight - I can now see that it is dented in the centre effectively 'trapping' the shade between the lens ass'y flange and the taper body. This dent is under the leather stitch line which is why I did not spot it before. The dent is rubbed so I guess in times past it must have been repeatedly forced over the lens flange into extended mode by someone a lot stronger than me.

However, I don't think this is the full story. The shade slides on a thin free floating metal collar which I guess is designed as a spring collar to lightly 'grip' the body of the 'scope to stop it slopping about. This collar has a couple of 'flatted' sections on the circumference where it is pulled away a little more from the wall of the shade, these have rubbed noticably. Can someone advise if these flatted sections on the collar are a design feature to enhance the grip on the body of the 'scope or a fault to be addressed. I guess I could file them down a little if it would ease the shade action.

Another success was with the rattling object lens. All this took to fix was testing the threads for future reference. I unscrewed the lens ass'y then unscrewed the retaining ring and put it back. I did not even need to touch the glass.

Taking the telescope apart is very interesting and reveals what fine pieces of brass engineering these instruments are - you would never guess from the outside appearance. This Tel. Sig. type was obviously made to last - the downside I guess is the weight, my specimen weighs 1.3kg with case.

Steve

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Ref recent post about telescope renovation.

I can report great sucess in taking the telescope apart. The shade was so tight I could grip it to turn out the shade section from the taper section after a couple of days penetration with the easing oil. I could then back the shade free as advised.

Another success was with the rattling object lens. All this took to fix was testing the threads for future reference. I unscrewed the lens ass'y then unscrewed the retaining ring and put it back. I did not even need to touch the glass.

Taking the telescope apart is very interesting and reveals what fine pieces of brass engineering these instruments are - you would never guess from the outside appearance. This Tel. Sig. type was obviously made to last - the downside I guess is the weight, my specimen weighs 1.3kg with case.

Steve

Glad you got a good result. If the retaining ring for the objective lens was loose, it's possible someone has had the thing to bits before you, and if so it's at least an even chance it's gone back together wrong - certainly from the time I started collecting telescopes I've become wearily familiar with the misassembled OG.

Look down into the OG from its front with a lamp above you - often a single-bulb lamp is easiest, at least the first time you use this technique. If it's a normal doublet you'll see 3 reflections, 2 smallish and distinct, 1 large and diffuse. This last is the reflection off the flat back of the flint glass plano-concave element, the other 2 are from the front convex face and the boundary. If you move the lens about, and notice that one of the reflections splits in two as the image goes towards the edge, chances are that the front, crown glass element's in back-to-front - the curvature's usually not the same both sides. If one of the two smaller reflections is dimmer, you have a cemented doublet and this risk won't exist - though I don't think I've ever seen a Broadhurst Clarkson with a cemented OG.

On some Tel Sigs there's a vee ground in the edge of the lens elements which lines up with a small register inside the cell, but in my experience this wouldn't stop you from putting the bi-convex element in ar$e-about-face.

The full Tel Sig set with second eyepiece, eyepiece carrier, endcaps and straps weighs about 1.9 Kg, so the pancratic draw's letting you off lightly there! :D

Regards,

MikB

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Thanks for this MikB,

I never noticed the loose OG before I started on the renovation and I think I might be responsible for loosening it with my battle with the sticking shade - despite trying really hard not to handle the glass.

I followed your instructions in inspecting the OG and got the result for a correct normal doublet arrangement. It is nice to know that the telescope is 'right' in this regard.

Now I have got the telescope apart, in the next few weeks am going to try to rig up some sort of mandrel or 'anvil' to try and work out the dents.

Steve

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Progress report with telescope renovation.

I have had great success removing the dents from the shade and body of the telescope. I tried first to push the dents out with a hand mandrel but got nowhere. This surprised me. However, I am fortunate to know a brass working craftsman who explained that the more brass is worked the harder and less malleable it gets and that industrially processed brass tubework is likely to be very hard. He advised using a clamp to press the dents out.

For anyone interested in this method this is how it is done. Using my woodworking skills I made softwood cradles for the outside of the tubes conforming to the tube o.d. and smaller hard wood (ebony) mandrels for the inside conforming to the i.d. Two of each were close enough to fit both the shade and all the variable taper section length. I then used a woodworking clamp to press the dents between the mandrel and the cradles. This way I could leave the leather in place - which was cushioned by the softwood cradles. This method does not get the dents completely out because there is a little residual spring in the metal tube but did enough to allow the shade to move freely and also leave the dents in the taper tube invisible on the outside as the slight residual denting is masked to the naked eye by the leather work. I was fortunate that most of the dents on the taper section were away from the strap loops – this would have been an additional complication. Another disadvantage of this method is that it needs pattern making skills and is labour intensive. The advantage is that the leather can stay in place and the safety – it delivers massive pressure in a precise incremental controlled way.

I am now working on the draws which were so loose that if the ‘scope was held eyepiece down the three smallest draws would slide out under their own weight. I have pressed between the slots in the screw collars to tighten the draws and now have the focusing draw looser than the two big ones - which I understand to be the correct way for ease of operation. However, the loose pancratic has me defeated. The collar for this is not slotted so I don’t know what to do here – any suggestions MikB and philsr.

Steve

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However, the loose pancratic has me defeated. The collar for this is not slotted so I don’t know what to do here – any suggestions MikB and philsr.

Have to say I've never come across a pancratic that wasn't considerably tighter than the other tubes. If the bush thickness is not great, I'd suggest using a 3-jaw chuck to squeeze it inwards. Another possibility is to make a wooden mandrel that's a snug fit inside, then create stab crimps at 120 degrees with something broad like a blunted screwdriver blade and a soft mallet. Or slot it yourself transversely with a thin hacksaw - you're going to have to deform the bush somehow, unless you've room for a sleeve made from a flanelette patch or suchlike.

Regards,

MikB

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Thanks once again MikB for the advice.

You have confirmed what I thought likely, that the pancratic should be tight (and should be the tightest of all the tubes for ease of operation). This makes it all the more puzzling that the maker did not make obvious provision for adjustment.

I tried squeezing the tube into a slight ellipse with finger pressure, which I asumed must be the way to tighten the draw, but this had no effect. I think it is best now to work through the least intrusive to most intrusive methods. To start I am considering removing the cloth and then putting it back with d.sided tape hoping that the additional small thickness of the tape will do the job. Can you advise if I try this - will the old sleeve cloth tear off cleanly in one piece in your experience?

Steve

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To start I am considering removing the cloth and then putting it back with d.sided tape hoping that the additional small thickness of the tape will do the job. Can you advise if I try this - will the old sleeve cloth tear off cleanly in one piece in your experience?

So the pancratic slide bush is packed with fabric?

Where I've seen this before in Broadhurst Clarksons, the fabric was like a very short-piled velvet with a stiff backing (if anyone knows a source for this I'd be interested). It was not bonded into the bush in any way, but lay in a bored recess most of the length of the bush, retained by 1/16" wide lands at each end that were still a little in clearance to the inside tube, but wouldn't allow the fabric out whilst the tube was in place. So provided the fabric's not in terminal condition, I'd expect you to be able to lift it out with a penknife blade, dental pick or any similar tool without harming it.

Then you'll need to make an assessment of whether it's in good enough nick to be worth putting back.

If there's enough pile on it to provide a bit of friction without forcing grit and dirt against the tube, you should be able to apply doublestick to the back (I used carpet tape when I last did it), clean and degrease the bore with meths or similar, then put it in with a wooden spoon handle.

Often I've found the fabric worn into holes and with so much embedded grit it resembled old emery cloth - in those cases I found I couldn't get any felt thin enough, and I used flannelette cut from 4x2 rifle-cleaning patches, similarly backed by carpet tape. This worked as good as new so far as I could tell, and lasted years.

Regards,

MikB

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Thanks for this MikB.

I have tested the cloth and it is as you described a thin felted velvety type cloth on a stiff backing. It is stuck down but I have pried up a corner. I think it could come away cleanly with the stiff backing holding it together.

The cloth is in very good condition on all the draws and it would be a shame to lose original components. However they seem black with oil. I think someone in times past might have lubricated the draws with oil! Or they might have cleaned the tubes with oil. Also, all the cloths on this 'scope are a bit narrower than the rebated section that takes them (about 1/4" o/a), not the the kind of fit that you describe, I guess this feature is sacrificing a bit of potential friction - which might possibly encourage looseness.

I have nothing to compare with but maybe it is this oiling that has made the draws so loose. If this is the case then I guess the cloth will need replacing because the draws are likely to slide easily no matter how tight the collars.However, I am tempted first to try cleaning with a soft brush and some washing up liquid to see if I can remove some of the oil - what do you think?

Steve

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I am tempted first to try cleaning with a soft brush and some washing up liquid to see if I can remove some of the oil - what do you think?

Steve

I'd certainly have a go if you think it's drenched in oil - but I think the stuff was black when new; I've had minty telescopes where the bush packing was black. I can't really see that oil drenching would make a tight fit too easy - if there's sideplay and waggle I'd expect it to need some mechanical tightening whatever the state of lubrication. I don't think there's anything wrong with oiling the tubes so long as the oil and the surfaces are clean beforehand, and the oil is used as lightly as possible.

Regards,

MikB

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