Replacing Antique Hardware With Epoxy

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Introduction: Replacing Antique Hardware With Epoxy

About: I like to make things. Art, inventions, tools, ukuleles, etc...

We have this antique secretary that was missing a piece of hardware, the keyhole plate. I looked at all kinds of antique places and realized there is no way I would ever find a match. So I made my own…as you will see.

Supplies

5 minute epoxy

modeling clay

baby powder

paint

Step 1: Roll Some Clay

Roll some clay so it is flat on top. Sprinkle with baby powder. Brush lightly.

Step 2: Press Original Part Into the Clay

Use a small board or something flat to press it in evenly. Tap with a hammer.

Step 3: Carefully Lift the Original Out of the Clay

Use a small screwdriver or pick

Step 4: Repair Any Damage to the Mold, and Add Overflow Vents

Step 5: Mix the Epoxy

Step 6: Fill the Clay Mold

Lay on some waxed paper, and press with a small board. And wait…at least an hour.

Step 7: Dig Out Your New Part

Step 8: Cut Off the Flash and Vents

Clean up edges with a knife and/or clippers.

Step 9: Faux Paint to Match the Original

No one will ever notice. Unless you tell them.

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    32 Comments

    0
    Pernickety Jon
    Pernickety Jon

    Tip 1 year ago on Step 9

    Great idea and brilliant paintjob as well. If the tiny air bubbles on the surface bother you, passing a small flame (from a propane torch for example) over the epoxy before it hardens will get rid of them. (As the 'top' of your object is its rear the bubbles probably wont be an issue.)

    0
    scotto
    scotto

    Reply 1 year ago

    thanks

    0
    cspann560
    cspann560

    1 year ago

    This is so cool! I wish I'd thought of this years ago when I worked as a restorer and cabinetmaker in an upscale antique shop. Once in a while we would have a piece with a missing bail or escutcheon and I would think about building a brass foundry to replicate rare antique fittings. The epoxy may not have gone over well with some purists but it sure would have worked in a lot of cases and been a whole lot easier.

    0
    hollispublic
    hollispublic

    1 year ago

    This is so clever. Thanks for sharing. Any particular brands of modeling clay or paint that you used?

    0
    scotto
    scotto

    Reply 1 year ago

    I used Plastilina, but I think water based clay would work, too. Acrylic paints work well. Cheers.

    0
    rnickolson
    rnickolson

    1 year ago

    Brilliant! I have an old wash cabinet that I picked up at an auction for $5 (it was missing a top and it was basically in pieces) I replied all of the joints and put it back together, and even found an old key that fit and locks/unlocks the door lock...but one of the decorative pulls is missing from one of the doors. I’m going to use your idea to replace it. It is double sided though so I guess I will make two, one mold of each side, and then glue the two parts together. Thank you for the inspiration bud. Nice idea and Inscrutable.

    0
    rnickolson
    rnickolson

    Reply 1 year ago

    Will do and thank you again sir.

    0
    bwong24
    bwong24

    1 year ago

    Impressive. How well does the paint adhere?

    0
    scotto
    scotto

    Reply 1 year ago

    I've never tested it. The piece doesn't get touched much, tho, so it's fine.

    GREAT IDEA! I've got two to make for my mother in laws long chest of drawers. Been looking. No success.

    0
    scotto
    scotto

    Reply 1 year ago

    thanks

    0
    lekoepfler
    lekoepfler

    1 year ago

    Honestly, so clever and simple.

    0
    scotto
    scotto

    Reply 1 year ago

    thanks

    0
    GeorgeCase1980
    GeorgeCase1980

    1 year ago on Step 9

    This is awesome! Great job! Along the same lines as your replacement piece I have a question for you. How could you go about doing this if the piece you needed had to be the mirror image of the detailed piece you have? Much like this piece, my Mom has an old grandfather clock with a piece of the wooden detail on the outside of it missing.I would love to fix it with kind of detail! Ideas?!?!

    0
    scotto
    scotto

    Reply 1 year ago

    It won't be easy. I think you'll have to carve or sculpt it. Maybe in Sculpey. Take a rubbing on tracing paper. Then flip the paper over and lay it on some Sculpey and poke through the paper to map out where the details are. Then try to recreate them as best you can. It won't be perfect, but you might be able to make it less obvious. Or a skilled wood carver could use the same technique on a piece of wood. A lot of work depending on how big the piece is.

    0
    ChrisWx
    ChrisWx

    Tip 1 year ago

    To assist in removal, if the back of the original part is fairly flat, place the original on a long piece of "duck tape". Flip the ends of the tape over onto itself to give you some 'handles' for later, leaving some sticky space between the end and the part, then powder the tape (as well as the part) so it won't stick to anything else. When the clay is all pressed in and ready, use the tape to carefully lift the part out of the clay.

    0
    scotto
    scotto

    Reply 1 year ago

    yeah. tape might have worked better. thanks

    0
    caitd3
    caitd3

    1 year ago

    Brilliant idea! I often use Sculpey or Fimo polymer clay to make my pieces, but this would give me something clear too, and would eliminate baking in the dedicated oven required by the clay. Is the finished piece hard or flexible?

    0
    scotto
    scotto

    Reply 1 year ago

    It's soft until about 24 hours, then it gets hard and brittle.