Polishing Brass to a mirror finish

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Postby bill.read » Tue Mar 21, 2017 1:11 pm

Rolf...the Turtle Wax product you selected is for polishing paint not metal cleaning. I used Turtle Wax Chrome Polish & Rust Removal. You will want to clean all the metal surfaces with acetone before applying the brass lacquer. It was not on your list. It was purchased at the local hardware store.This step will remove any residual dust and oil remaining from the Chrome Polish & Rust Removal. Take the time to apply the lacquer to the individual pieces and let dry thoroughly before reassembly. The rest of the items on your list should do the job for you. Let us know how the progress goes. Good luck...
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Postby rolf » Tue Mar 21, 2017 2:10 pm

Great, got it, order placed with Amazon and I'll let you know how it goes. Thanks so much for your advice!
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Postby rolf » Sun Apr 23, 2017 3:16 pm

Project has started and I've made it through the layer. I find that saturating the tip of the rotary tool and applying it directly to the lamp is the most efficient way. I could get nowhere with a cloth and old school hand action, that's for sure. At this pace I'll have to put in 5-10 hours per lamp which is acceptable given the cause - a labour of love afterall! :) I'll post pictures when I'm done but already now a big thanks to bill.read and other posters for the advice - this is going to be great! :)
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Postby bill.read » Sun Apr 23, 2017 8:30 pm

That is some serious corrosion on your pictured lamp. It must be the worst one as it is not the one you originally posted unless it is now in a more advanced state of corrosion. It looks like you've made the first leap of faith and will be successful. Are you going to completely disassemble to the individual pieces? I spent 5+ hours cleaning on each lamp before application of the lacquer. Upon completion, it was a task providing a fair amount of satisfaction. Good luck and keep us up to date...
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Postby rolf » Wed Apr 26, 2017 10:08 pm

First lamp is now completed. The result is nice but what the picture perhaps doesn't reveal is that it's imperfect. There are remaining spots of corrosion that I simply couldn't get off or that would have taken me much longer to do away with too. Also, due to the somewhat heavy-handed action needed with the rotary tool because of the heavy corrosion, the brass is left with polish marks that reveal themselves when looking at the lamp from specific angles. After running it by the interior minister the ruling was that the result was nice but that we are not convinced the end result is actually a lot prettier than the corroded brass that after all spell "original"... :) So we've decided to wrap up the project here but thanks again for all the advice! If someone else ever gives this a shot hopefully this thread will offer valuable tips and tricks.
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Postby bill.read » Wed Apr 26, 2017 10:46 pm

Rolf...I'm sorry the process did not work out for you. The original GB supplier has the same lamp for sale without the GB label. Check out the following web site: http://www.toplicht.de/de/hersteller/CABIN

The manufacturer is Cabin Denmark and they also provide overhaul and refinishing.

Note: changing the second de in the address to en, presents the site in english.
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Re: Polishing Brass to a mirror finish

Postby MONAB » Sat Nov 24, 2018 7:37 am

BRASS POLISHING LEARNING CURVE. Just removed 2 forward cabin lights - heavily tarnished and trawler lamp - not too bad. First thought was to paint cabin lights white or replace with s/s. Then saw nice GB logo and read this thread. Using drill and loose cotton wheel ex local hardware store and Brasso applied to disassembled fixture – first light cleaned up to bright like new finish in ½ hour. Second light required some application of maroon 320 grit abrasive pad (green 600 grit may have been better?) but cotton wheel/Brasso removed all scratches to a bright like new finish in 2 hours. Lamp took about 6 hours, first Brasso with now worn cotton wheel worked on some parts, then abrasive pad. Now had to follow with black, then brown, then white compound on 4/6” spiral sewn wheels (still on a drill). Sometimes easier to clamp work vs clamping drill. Used Dremel on some details but caution needed as sometimes difficult to blend in Dremeled areas. Being now on fresh water am going to try once a year hand polish with Brasso/NeverDull vs lacquering. Caswellplating.com has a free AN INTRODUCTION TO BUFFING & POLISHING downloadable booklet.
1989 GB 32 IRONSIDE #821
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Re: Polishing Brass to a mirror finish

Postby bill.read » Sat Nov 24, 2018 12:02 pm

[attachment=0]Webp.net-compress-image.jpg[/attachment]Nice job...Being in a fresh water area should make it easier to maintain the finish. We maintain the wheel (no lacquer finish) in our saltwater environment with Flitz Metal Polish with good success. Basso/NeverDull did not seem to last very long for us.
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