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I know asking about polish sets up a lot of discussion but I recently found that me favorite polishes, Tarnite and Silvo, are no longer available, at least not where I live. I have to polish my wife's 1923 car that has German silver and a lot of nickel bright work. What is a good, or best, product for polishing nickel safely? 

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Depends upon the current finish and if it is the required level of shine. I use car paint polish on my German silver shell and brightwork (and glazing too as it helps the water bead away). When I had something that is not up to that yet I would use something more abrasive like autosol or a mag wheel polish. Or if completely neglected fine wet and dry sand paper on German silver that has gone brown. The problem with always using an abrasive like autosol is it wears the plating off, one of my cars had an owner that used something like it all the time and the chrome is through to the brass in a few places plus nickel plate is softer than chrome.

Matthew

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Nickel also has a porosity compared with chrome. The ph of the polish is critical. For example Simichrome Polish is too acidic. You must not set up a galvanic erosion between the dissimilar metals. Chrome , not being porous , is immune from this. I wonder if rouge would work ? Could it have galvanic consequences ?   - Carl

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I think it depends on the type of nickel plating.  There are different types, and the typical nickel that is a base for chrome is indeed much more porous.  My 1912 Triumph motorcycle was finished in 1984 with Nickle plating done in England.  The term used was British hard nickel.  As you can see, it's held up tremendously over the years and all I've ever done to it is use Semichrome.  At least once a year in late winter I have to take a lot of the motorcycle apart in order to clean and polish all the hard to reach places.  I've seen older nickle plating that seems to tarnish from beneath the finish, but in this case it looks almost as fresh as it was when first done back in the 80s. 

Terry

 

NATIONAL AWARDS Three Qtr front view PIC 1.jpg

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I am a Simichrome fan as well.  Tarnite was my favorite product for brass but it is not made anymore.  I have been told that the previous manufacturer refused to sell the formula. 

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The "British hard Nickle" term implies to me a more durable process ? Do you know how , it being done in 1984 , it may have differed from the plating done in the time of the "Nickle Era" cars , mid 'teens - late '20s ? I sometimes toy with the idea of re-plating the radiator shell of my 1927 Cadillac.  -  Carl

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Have used quite a few well known brands, some polish brass well but  I've found Simichrome to work best on my 1924 Lincoln's nickel

JAK

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Thank you for the information. I did find a half empty container of Tarnite in my shop but will leave that for brass. I have seen some Tarnite on Ebay for up to $100! I miss the stuff but I too have heard that the makers would not sell the formula. Too bad. I used some Simichrome and some Maas polish and got my wife's car (a 1923 Rolls-Royce Twenty Doctor's Coupe) shined enough to win a trophy at this years Milwaukee Concours d'Elegance (great show, try to attend next year).  I have lots of brass to polish (I was supposed to attend more shows this year including the Geneva, Il Concours) but all will have to wait until next year as I face another hip replacement surgery. No fun. Thank you again for the information. 

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