How to spot a fake "restoration" video

Originally published at: How to spot a fake "restoration" video | Boing Boing


I’ve seen some knife restoration videos where it is so rusty, I wonder what the point is? I guess the clicks.

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Man, people loooove their guns. What a pitiful indictment of society that these are so much more popular than something like book restorations. On the other hand, I’m all for more destroyed guns, so… keep it up scammers!


As someone with a fascination with mechanisms, there’s something to be said for the variety of gun restorations since there are so many variants. Book restorations are largely going to be very similar. Books vary in dimensions and, to some extent, materials, but that’s about it.

(I don’t actually watch gun or book restoration videos, but I’ll admit some interest in guns as machines and shooting as a skill/dexterity challenge. I’ve bound a notebook by hand, myself, so book restorations are cool too :grin:)


Most knives have points, but only the switchblades have clicks.


I don’t disagree that guns probably have a wider variety of construction than books, but that said it’s not quite as clear cut as you make it look. There is definitely a difference between a 17th century hardback-bound book with cords and vellum on boards versus a 19th century quarter bound trade binding with calfskin and marbled papers sewn on tapes vs an oversewn or perfect bound book of the 20th century.


Yeah, I was definitely simplifying. The variety and condition of materials in books is pretty huge, but most of the visually-obvious process variations will have more to do with the type of binding used; everything else is chemistry. It’s still interesting stuff, but probably doesn’t make for very entertaining videos (gotta get that engagement).

It’s probably also a lot harder for the average youtuber to get a book with interestingly-esoteric materials than finding different variations of rusty guns. I’m kind of ok with this, glad there aren’t a lot of human-skin-bound books… (though fewer guns would be nice, too)


Butterflys have click-clacks, but the internet hasn’t found away to monetize a clack… yet…


I’ll just leave this here. :grimacing:


This thread reminds me of fake treasure hunting videos. I do a little metal detecting and rock hounding and some of the “finds” are just laughably bad. :confused:


A lot of these have been suspect for quite some time which is a shame because a genuine restoration is satisfying. I’d be happy with just the my mechanics guy if he put out vids more frequently.


I’ve been watching asmr videos of wrist watch repair on the Red Dead Restoration channel. The watches are obviously fucked up at the beginning. No bogus tomfoolery.

Baumgartner is legit too, though I think he’s struggling for novelty lately, since there are only so many ways to show how to restore and clean a painting.

And then there’s Hand Tool Rescue.


Tldr (from the video)

Treat ANY Video as fake until proven otherwise

Inb4 Godel reference

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@dfaris - if you like wristwatch repair videos, can I recommend He’s got a particularly relaxing manner that’s quite nice.

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Unfortunately guns make a certain amount of sense algorithmically. The fact that it’s a gun draws in ammosexuals, of course. But if you’re looking for videos about restoring mechanisms in general (either just because you enjoy it or to learn things), guns are a good candidate. They’re mostly but typically not entirely metal, they have close fitting tolerances, and the moving parts need to move freely to work properly. That means they may be of interest to someone working on a project entirely unrelated to guns.

I restore old power tools, and it’s not unusual for information about a given item to be hard to find, and a detailed restoration process even harder. That means that you end up focusing on techniques used on other items (ideally as close to what you’re working on as possible) and adapting them to what you find as you work. The best example is probably “gun bluing”, which is a decent way to protect bare metal from rust, depending on the method used. And given the name, you’ll find a lot more content about doing it to guns than doing it on any other item.

Now, all that goes out the window when you’re talking about this fake shit, but you can see why a scammer would go that route for a wider audience.

The fact that the RedDead Restoration guy doesn’t talk is definitely a bonus in my book. Now that I think of it, Handtool Rescue doesn’t speak much either. But I’ll check your guy out. Thanks.

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