Introduction: Not So Dramatic USSR Hair Clippers Restoration

We've got these clippers from my now long late granny when visiting her a whiiiile ago. They were made in USSR and it looks like they were used quite a bunch.

Mechanically the clippers are in perfect working condition (not considering a broken tooth on the bottom blade), so main issues I'm going to address here is accummulated layer of surface grime, some substential rust pitting on the chrome plating and noticable ammount of surface rust on the blades.

So, let's get started.

Step 1:

Firstly you'll got take the tning appart. The only tool needed is a flat screwdriver. So to begin with, I'm unscrewing the plug on the side that holds the inner spring.

Step 2:

Undoing the wingnut on the top allows to take the blades off.

Step 3:

And the moving handle now can be released, which completes the disassembly process.

Step 4:

So, now, when I have all my parts lying nicely in a food tray I'm going to give them a nice wash. I'm using this bathroom cleaner liquid which allegedly meant specially for chrome plated surfaces... and other stuff. But some soapy water would do it as well.

So I'm doing as the instruction says: applying the liquid, leaving it for few minutes and scrubbing everything with a tooth brush.

Step 5:

Afterwards I'm rincing everything with warm water, and... no surface grime anymore. Moreover it removed the residing old oil and grease so, yay!

Step 6:

From this point the restoration splits in two parallel paths, since chomed and not chrome plated detail require a different treatment. I'll start the chrome ones.

Using 500 grit sandpaper I'm going over the rust-pitted areas. You can not sand this rust down since this is not the surface rust on the chrome/nickel layer but the corrosion emerging from the underlaying metal (iron, steel...), so the goal here is just to flatten the bumps down to smmothen the surface but yet be carefull to not overdo since you can easily remove the plating. Unfortunatelly there's nothing you can do to avoid those remaining dark spots without completely replating the part with chrome/nickel/whatever.

So, after I'm done with the pitted areas, I'm lightly going all the surfaces with 800 and 1200 grit sanpaper.

Step 7:

Probably I'd recommend, maybe using some more delicate polishing compaunds and softer polishing wheels for dealing with plated parts than I did, but this is what I had, yet still I was caucious about ammount of polishing I was giving so it went well enough. Yeah, I polished the parts.

Step 8:

Then I rinced everything with the cleaner and water to remove the remains of the polishing paste (I've heard it can cause corrosion). And basically it was it for the chromed parts.

Step 9:

So, as I mentioned, the restoration went two ways, and while I was dealing with chrome-plated details I gave another treatment to the blades since those were made from bare steel, which was polished at some point, and now had a distinct spots of rust. So I had to derust it. White vinegar would do the same job but as usually I used some citric acid dissolved in water.

I submerged the details in the solution and left it ove night. (the tissue is to allow the solution to acces details from all sides).

Step 10:

The bubbes on the metal surface is the indicator of the reaction taking place, and after time the part get's covered in a layer of dark grey somewhat oily to touch substance that goes away after rubbing it off with sone scotch brite or steel wool (most of the rust should go with it).

After derusting it better to rince the parts in water (maybe even with addition of some baking soda) to neutralize the acid and stop further reaction.

Step 11:

Initially I tried to sand the parts by hand but very I had realized that I'm a lazy piece of potato and took more mechanized approach stepping up from 300 to 600 grit sandpaper (I gave some sanding with 800 and 1200 grit by hand afterwards though).

Notice that I'm only working down the "outer" surfaces of the detail. I'll deal with the inner ones a bit later.

Step 12:

After sanding I've polished the details and rinced them with cleaner as I did earlyer.

Step 13:

Now, since the "inner" surfaces of the blades have to be perfectly flat while resting agains each other in order to cut well, I used a pice of 500grit sanpaper on a ceramic tile to obtain a flat sanding surface. It didn't take me much to take the parts into reasonable condition.

Step 14:

So, now everything was ready for the reassembly and I started with applying some grease to the innards of the apparatus.

The spring goes in (and I didn't forget the little thingy that went out with it) and the plug is screwed down to secure it.

Step 15:

The handle rests on it's place and the upper blade goes ontop getting engaged with that little lever.

Step 16:

Then the lower blade sits down and with the bolt and the wingscrew you can secure it in place. Also that sprigy thing is there.

Step 17:

Aaaand yup, it's all done.The transformation is not very impressive in my opinion. A lot of pitting marks still ruin the look, but still lt's much, much better than it was before. But this is it for now, Thank you for your attention and check out my other restoration projects:

Restoring Old Soviet Hand Drill

Turning Old Space Heater Into Wall Lamp

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