Beaten up U.S. Army lensatic compass restoration - Restoring militaria
520,674
Odd Tinkering
Reddit
I restored this old U.S. Army lensatic tritium compass, which is very worn and the lenses are so dirty and scratched it is a bit hard to see through. The magnifying glass was completely impossible to use. It is also missing the lanyard. This is a quite simple restoration and service project.

I started the project with a disassembly. I had to drill out the rivet from one of the other hinge had a spring pin which I hammered out. Other than that the whole compass was held together with 4 screws and a sort of a lock ring (I hate putting those back in by the way). This one was not an actual ring but the idea was the same.

After the disassembly I used paint stripper to remove the old paint. I thought That is probably the least abrasive method as the body is made of aluminium. Also one of the pieces had a rubber gasket and other one had delicate pieces of tritium and wire which I was not able to remove without causing any damage. Paint tripper allowed me to remove the paint without damaging those parts.

After removing the paint I put on a coat of primer and military grade paint. It has great NIR (near infra red) reflecting values. That means it will be much harder to detect with night vision. It will look the same color as leaves etc. Normal paint is usually only hard to detect in daylight but with night vision it stands out because it reflect NIR light differently.

After painting I cleaned the lenses. I thought all of them were very scratched but only the magnifying glass was scratched. I Used car polish compound and resin polish to remove the scratches and make it usable again.

After assembly I used paracord to make a new cord for it. I could have gone with something fancy with complex knots etc. but I decided to make just a simple cord, similar to what it used to have back in the day.

Thank you for watching!

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