Some "purists" are going to nail me for this one, but here's an example of what can be done to repair (or finish) a damaged (or unfinished) lip. This method works well on bottles with sheared, rolled, and/or fire-polished lips, but can also be used to remove small flea-bites, etc., on other types of tops, as long as the damage isn't too great and the result of the repair doesn't drastically change the symmetry of the original lip.
Basically, this is a "grind, sand, and polish" method and I'm sure I'm not the first to use it.
Materials needed (aside from Safety Glasses):
1) A Dremel Tool with a fine grinding stone and sandpaper attachment.
First, put on your safety glasses and using the Dremel with the fine grinding stone, carefully and slowly grind off the offending chips, protrusions, etc. Go slow, and stop frequently to check your work. Do your best to keep the grinding to a minimum, and try and keep the general shape of the lip intact. The Dremel should be set to half of full-speed (No. 3 on mine).
Next, change to the "fine" sandpaper attachment on your Dremel and sand out any other imperfections in the lip, making sure to include the areas you cleaned up with the grinding stone attachment.
When you've finished with these steps, check your work and make sure you're ready to sand and polish. The lip should be smooth and have the finished shape you desire. Now comes the "elbow grease".
Starting with the 240 grit sandpaper, go over the entire lip. Next use the 400 grit, then the 600 grit, and finally, the 800 grit. I've found that I get the polish and sheen I'm looking for after using the 800 grit dry, but a little water couldn't hurt in the final polishing step, nor could going all the way with 1200 grit (available a Kragen's or any other major auto parts store).
Here's the lip that I wasn't happy with on one of my bottles:
And here it is again after about 2 hours of "Lip Repair 101":
Go Slow, be Careful, and I think you'll be surprised at your results! And, of course, you could practice on some junk bottles before you tackle the real thing.
Hey Rick, Thats a really good job you did there. [;)] I don't think that kind of repair is any more or less wrong than tumbling to remove scratches. You didn't glue or epoxy any parts on or plug any holes and you just told the world you did it. If you inform people that a bottle has been repaired then they know what their getting. In some cases that may be the only way you can own certian ultra rare bottles.
Fine job there boogers. I have got to say it really doesnt matter what people say when you can do that to a bottle.
great job. there is a special calling for this, but not to many are willing to get it done because of pricing.