Watch this loving restoration of a rusty old hammer to its former glory

Steve of Miller Knives found an extremely rusty old Estwing hammer at a flea market and restored it beautifully. The process is the product. Read the rest

The thinnest piece of paper in the world

Japanese specialist paper manufacturer Hidaka Washi Ltd makes the world's thinnest paper using 1,000-year-old methods.

The paper is then sent to museums and libraries around the world—including the British Museum and the Library of Congress—and is used to restore and protect books and works of art.

(Great Big Story) Read the rest

Incredibly satisfying video depicting the meticulous, miraculous restoration of a ruined vintage Hot Wheels car

BaremetalHW's narrated timelapse of his restoration of a completely trashed Hot Wheels 1971 "Bye-Focal" car is fantastically satisfying: watching him bang out the dings, zinc coat, polish, paint, decorate and re-fit this tiny car to near-perfection is a glorious defiance of entropy. (via Kottke) Read the rest

Impressive colorization of century-old photos

Mario Unger brings old photos to life through his colorization skills. Above is a 12-year-old Frida Kahlo taken in 1919. Below: Freud in 1920: Read the rest

Peter Jackson shares clips from his World War I film restoration

Imperial War Museums and 14-18 Now commissioned Peter Jackson to use the latest technology to restore archival footage of World War I, and the results are remarkable. Read the rest

This "restoration" of a 16th century statue at a Spanish church is really... something

In Estella, Spain, a local handicrafts teacher completed this incredible "restoration" of a 500-year-old painted wooden effigy of St. George at a local church. Apparently the parish authorities of the Church of St Michael requested the teacher do the work.

"The parish decided on its own to take action to restore the statue and gave the job to a local handicrafts teacher," Mayor Koldo Leoz told The Guardian. "The council wasn’t told and neither was the regional government of Navarre... It’s not been the kind of restoration that it should have been for this 16th-century statue. They’ve used plaster and the wrong kind of paint and it’s possible that the original layers of paint have been lost.”

At the least, the parish should have hired Cecilia Gimenenz to consult on the restoration. Read the rest

Lost 1924 film 'The City Without Jews' to get a timely re-release

Following a crowdfunded restoration, the film of Hugo Bettauer's eerily prescient novel will tour Europe again as anti-Semitism is on the rise. At the film's release, Bettauer was doxxed by local media and murdered by a young Nazi soon after. Read the rest

Guy restores a century-old letterpress to perfect condition

Jimmy DiResta kept passing by a 1911 Chandler & Price letterpress sitting out in the rain. After buying it from the neglectful owner, he spent several years lovingly restoring it, eventually learning how to print with it. Read the rest

303 Aerospace Protectant really preserves plastic and vinyl

I like classic motorcycles and cars. I live by the sea. 303 Aerospace Protectant keeps plastic and rubbery bits looking fresh and new.

I don't know what the hell is in this stuff. I don't know why it is different than Armor-All, but the results are unmistakeable. 303 Aerospace really works.

I spray a rag and apply the milky looking liquid to the surface that needs it. It seems adding a little sea air and some sun to the rubber grommets, caps and fastener covers on my old BMW airhead will cause things to disintegrate before my eyes. A light coating of 303 Aerospace every few months has stopped that completely.

I've seen old vinyl seats come back to life. 303 amazingly even restores some of the lost flexibility in that old Corinthian leather, cracking and peeling significantly slowed to stopped. I've used 303 to keep my plastic kayaks looking new for years, and the fiberglass top on my Volkswagen Westfalia camper. Most amazingly, 303 really does a wonderful job on the horrible plastic covered cardboard dash in that same VW. The bus doesn't look new, but the dash does.

I'd read a lot of complaints from people about Armor-All over hydrating surfaces and cracking them worse. I suspect that might be due to over application, but I find 303 gives me a better, longer lasting finish anyways.

303 (30313-CSR) Aerospace Protectant Trigger Sprayer, 32 Fl. oz. Read the rest

Lost 1950s mosaic mural uncovered in NY after decades behind facade

Allison Meier reports on the progress in uncovering a gorgeous Max Spivak midcentury stained-glass mosaic that was found in March hidden behind an aluminum facade. Read the rest

WATCH: Detroit ruin porn in reverse - David Whitney Building

The Detroit News has an uplifting story about the David Whitney Building, newly renovated in time for its centennial celebration. Think reverse ruin porn. Read the rest

How To: Regrow a coral reef

I'm totally fascinated by this photo that the R.J. Dunlap Marine Conservation Program posted to their Facebook page. It shows little branches of staghorn coral growing on a "tree" made of PVC pipes. Harvested from wild coral colonies when they're only 5 cm long, these samples will double in size every two months while attached to the tree. Once they've put on enough heft, they're transplanted to new homes on damaged coral reefs, where they grow into the surrounding environment and help to restore ecosystems that could otherwise be lost. I'd heard about coral restoration before, but had never seen pictures of the process. At the RJD website, you can see a series of photos that take you through it step-by-step. Perhaps unsurprisingly, it looks a lot like underwater gardening — similar to grafting fruit trees. Read the rest