It is perhaps in the spirit of our anxious, rickety age that antique tool, machinery, and toy restoration videos are becoming increasingly popular. There is something oddly comforting and therapeutic about seeing the old, the forgotten, the previously reliable (now seized with rust and neglect) being lovingly restored to life.
These videos are simple, quiet (usually with no spoken narrative), and most of the restoration process is carefully shown, from disassembly to cleaning, sanding, repainting to re-assembly and testing. This is a world in which time, Evapo-Rust, a wire wheel, and some rattle-cans of enamel paint can repair the past to near show room luster.
I can't get enough. And for makers, there are lots of great repair and restoration tips embedded in these videos. Here are a few of my favorite channels.
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This 1950s era Wonder lamp was purchased at a flea market in France. It's fun to watch this guy restore it to sparkling condition, but now I really want a sandblaster.
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This is a fun video! A guy restores an old, broken Super Soaker and makes a stop motion video of the process so it looks like the Super Soaker is restoring itself.
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This video took me around 50 hours to make and just over 4000 photos. I have been wanting to get to this item for a while now. It's a 1990 Super Soaker made by Larami Corp.
This was the video I wanted to release on April 1st, but I ran out of time. This thing is almost entirely plastic and most parts are permanently glued together. Those features make it very hard to actually restore, but slightly easier to repair. I had to break off the orange plastic caps at the back of the Super Soaker in order to get it apart. Once apart, it was a simple glue up to fix the broken pieces. The HDPE plastic water containers cannot be revived to their original colour, so I just had to repaint them. I am "pumped" this works again as pressurized versions are not for sale anymore.