Put a bro­ken crys­tal vase back to­gether

The Washington Post - - HOME - BY JEANNE HUBER

QI have a cut-crys­tal vase that broke. It is of sig­nif­i­cant sen­ti­men­tal value, so I would like to get it re­paired. I be­lieve I have all of the shards. I am not look­ing for a wa­ter­tight re­pair, as I would sim­ply dis­play the vase, not put flow­ers in it. The vase’s de­sign should hide a lot of the seams where shards are glued to­gether. Is there some­one in this area who can do this re­pair?

If it makes more sense to do it my­self, what kind of glue should I use, and is there any other ad­vice you can give me? Po­tomac A For pro­fes­sional re­pairs, two pos­si­bil­i­ties are Gio­vanni Na­son, owner of Gio­vanni Na­son Glass and Crys­tal Restora­tion Cen­ter in Po­tomac (301-340-2624, gna­son@com­cast.net), and Cha­tree’s Restora­tion in Alexan­dria (703-548-0168; www.cha­trees.com).

If you de­cide to at­tempt the re­pair your­self, use an ad­he­sive specif­i­cally made for bond­ing glass. Epox­ies sold at hard­ware stores cure quickly but tend to yel­low over time, es­pe­cially if the glass is ex­posed to di­rect sun­light. Many con­ser­va­tors use Araldite 2020 or Hx­tal NYL-1 Epoxy Ad­he­sive, avail­able from Con­ser­va­tion Re­sources In­ter­na­tional in Spring­field. (800-634-6932; www.con­ser­va­tion­re­sources.com). Th­ese prod­ucts come as two-part kits and re­quire care­ful mix­ing, ap­pli­ca­tion and clamp­ing. Hx­tal works best if the glass is gen­tly warmed to about 120 de­grees, per­haps with a hair dryer. The ad­he­sives cure slowly, so you will need some­thing other than your hands to keep the pieces in place while this hap­pens. For clamp­ing ideas, type “re­pair glass and china” into the search box at www.how­stuff­works.com.

The pro­fes­sional-cal­iber epoxy kits cost $65 to $85. That’s pricey but still a lot less ex­pen­sive than a pro­fes­sional re­pair, which starts at $120 for a sim­ple job and es­ca­lates if mul­ti­ple parts need to be pieced to­gether.

In the Jan. 31 edi­tion of Lo­cal Liv­ing, you an­swered a ques­tion con­cern­ing hard-wired smoke de­tec­tors. You noted a de­tec­tor could be “chirp­ing” be­cause a bat­tery needed re­place­ment or the de­tec­tor was old. We have de­tec­tors made by Firex that are more than 10 years old in our home. What is the nor­mal life ex­pectancy of one? Bethesda

Kidde pur­chased Firex in 2007 and main­tains a Web site with con­sumer in­for­ma­tion about Firex prod­ucts. It cites the Na­tional Fire Pro­tec­tion As­so­ci­a­tion’s ad­vice that all smoke de­tec­tors be re­placed af­ter 10 years be­cause aged ones don’t op­er­ate re­li­ably and are likely to sound false alarms.

In Mont­gomery County, homeowners are al­lowed to dis­pose of house­hold de­tec­tors in house­hold trash, even though ion­iza­tion models (not pho­to­elec­tric ones) con­tain a very small amount of a weak ra­dioac­tive ma­te­rial. Smoke de­tec­tors are not ac­cepted at elec­tronic waste re­cy­cling events held by the Mont­gomery County De­part­ment of Solid Waste be­cause the com­pany that runs th­ese events doesn’t han­dle ra­dioac­tive waste.

Some man­u­fac­tur­ers used to take back old de­tec­tors, pre­sum­ably to re­cy­cle the ra­dioac­tive ma­te­rial and keep it out of land­fills. But Kidde has not done that for years, and a com­pany spokes­woman , Heather Cald­well, said that she knows of no man­u­fac­turer that still does. If you’re cu­ri­ous what type of de­tec­tors you have, check by model num­ber through the “prod­ucts” sec­tion of the Firex Web site, www.firexsafety.com.

A reader would like to re­store this cutcrys­tal vase that has sen­ti­men­tal value.

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