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Restoring a WE Dial Plate?

Started by RDPipes, June 03, 2022, 01:02:34 PM

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I think it's great that you want to try to resolve this issue.

It would probably be best to start a new topic in the "restoration techniques" board detailing you step by step "trial and error" exploration of materials out there, how you used them and what were the results.

I tried a fine tip bride and hobby store ceramic paint (to then be baked on) with terrible results. Getting the wet ceramic paint onto the porcelain surface was tedious, getting the letters to look original (straight and clean) was impossible. Maybe you can figure it out.

I'll try to find the repro topic later.


Here is the reproduction number plate topic:

Forgot they are only for #2 dials. Needs a notch for #4, #5
& #6 dials.

The person offering them in 2014 for $50 plus shipping is still an active member, last log in was last month.

The topic linked above includes a product review from Sargeguy and a few other members who got them.

Can they be made for the newer dials? Don't know. Willing to pay $50+ each? Seems like a reasonable price for an excellent reproduction given restoring originals is so difficult.

Send a PM to tom128 asking if he is still able to make them.


I did see that topic but, after seeing the Laminates I didn't really care for them. I'm a bit of a perfectionist with somethings even though I personally have never reached it. I had the same problems with the pipes I use to make. Never liking much of what I made because they weren't perfect in my eyes. 


Quote from: RDPipes on June 03, 2022, 01:02:34 PMI'm thinking is there's gotta be a way to paint them back on with a stencil or by hand, etc. so that it not only looks original but will adhere to the porcelain/baked Enamel at least as good as it did originally.

If the dial plate is completely flat then it could be done with screen printing, which would also give the numbers a slightly raised edge, because screen printing is a stenciling process. I don't know what type of ink would be best for porcelain though. I know that durable inks for screen printing on glass definitely exist though. For example, if you've ever seen an old drinking glass with something printed on it, like a sports team logo or whatever, it was screen printed. I don't know about inks or post-printing steps for glass, ceramic, or porcelain because I've only ever screen printed on cloth and paper.

Also, if the original numbers aren't completely worn off, that would be a problem for any method of adding new numbers, unless you want to use bolder numbers than the original ones, which wouldn't look right. If using numbers that look the same as the originals, it would practically take a miracle for them to match so precisely, and be so perfectly aligned, that they completely cover the old worn numbers without a "ghosting" effect from being just a hair off in any way.


Well, I Pulled out a worn WE number plate and remembered I had Dry Transfer letters tucked away from
my model railroad days. Granted they weren't red but, just as an experiment it tried it, it worked
great and wasn't has hard to do as one would think because the faint outline/ ghost of the original number "1"
was still there to go by. Now it's not raised like the original but, I think if were not replacing all the numbers
and or letters it's not so noticeable. Ah, you say well that'll just rub off quicker then the original. You're
probably right although I rubbed it a bit and it didn't affect it at all but, one can certainly put a bit of clear coat even nail polish over the number and or letter and I think this will protect well enough, I mean as long as one doesn't use a dialer or wolf man like claws to dial with. Oh and if you noticed the font is the same, this is what Woodland Scenics calls Gothic and you can get them in red and the same size, numbers being 3/16" I believe.


Quote from: RDPipes on June 03, 2022, 02:32:08 PMI've seen people hand paint items specially signs of all sizes with the skill of a printing machine.
Anything can be done if you have the skill and determination sir.

There are people who could do it, the question is, would you be willing to pay them what they want?



Quote from: MMikeJBenN27 on September 02, 2022, 06:05:53 PMThere are people who could do it, the question is, would you be willing to pay them what they want?


Mike, I don't think you understand my point. First off no, I would not want to hire someone to do it.
What my point was is that it can be done and with patience and skill one can do it.
Now as far as the dry transfer method I don't think we need to hand paint them, so now we're off in
a different direction that I feel may really work, it just needs some testing.