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stretch cab

How to protect brass?

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I'm getting to the point on my build where the brass items are getting buffed.  It is a lot of work and after I'm done I'm wondering what is the best way to protect the shine.  Do I polish it from time to time or clear coat?  What have you done?

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Clear coat will eventually have to be removed to polish any tarnish that appears, so my personal choice is just to keep polishing. I keep mine covered when not in use and it does extend the life of a good shine. For me, Simichrome polish seems to work best and the shine seems to last longer. I polish fingerprints out as soon as I get home from a car show. 

Terry

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My car had the brass professionally clear coated by the previous owner.  It looks good but not in the same class as recently polished brass.  Its been on for about 15 years now and there are a few spots where the coating is failing.  Maybe time to get it done again or stripped.  In either case I suspect it won't be cheap.  I have also seen gold plating and would not have known had it not been pointed out.  I thought it looked great.  I did not ask about the cost.

 

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I have had some experience with professional high dollar clear coat on brass, amateur quality but still not cheap clear coat on brass, and keeping brass polished. If not paying one of the well known brass guys to do the clear, I wouldn’t recommend coating as getting the clear off is a chore. Keeping brass polished is easier than letting it tarnish and then bringing back the shine but myself, I have come to appreciate the look of slightly tarnished brass on a car covered in road dust. 

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No wrong answer here.  If you enjoy polishing then that is certainly the way to go.  However, all my brass cars were cleared by a very well known brass restorer in Michigan and decades later they are like the day I got them.  

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5 hours ago, DavidMc said:

... I have also seen gold plating and would not have known had it not been pointed out.  I thought it looked great.  I did not ask about the cost.

 

The gold in gold plating is very thin.  In fact, electroplated gold

(about the cheapest kind) is only two MILLIONTHS of an inch thick.

 

Remember the negligible gold content the next time you see

some gold-plated collectibles for sale!

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Steve - Do your cars get driven much, or only kept inside except for the occasional show?  I imagine there would be a huge difference to the longevity of clear-coated brass, no matter how professionally done.

 

Gil Fitzhugh

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Gil, good point.  Several cars have not seen much road time but a few have over the years.  I have also seen a lot of work done out of Rick Britten's shop that in fact have been driven and  have withstood the test of time.  No authority on the subject, just an observation of the cars I have seen.  I would imagine that a lot of use in touring could affect the product but no facts to back it up either way. 

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1 hour ago, Roger Walling said:

There is a saying in the Navy that you must follow religiously,

 If it shines, polish it. If it doesn't shine, paint it!

 

Check with the ruler of the King's Navy. On the HMS Pinafore he earned his position polishing brass.

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5 minutes ago, 60FlatTop said:

Check with the ruler of the King's Navy. On the HMS Pinafore he earned his position polishing brass.

That is one of the most insightful and delightful ditties ever written!  Thanks for the reminder to dust off and play my G&S tapes!

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14 hours ago, jan arnett (2) said:

I protect mine with auto wax.  I can always clean the wax off and repolish.

Car wax is cheap and easy to apply and remove.  I protect all my brass cars this way, and it usually lasts two years or more. 

That's a good return on the investment here in the wet Northwest where I regularly tour all of my cars.

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Thank you very much for all the good responses. With my budget I think I will just keep on polishing. I’m sure that the car will look good with any shine to the bling. Can’t wait to get it all together!

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   I spent 40 years on yachts sailing and motoring several oceans. I learned a long time ago about coating brass that gets splashed with salt almost every day. Polish the brass , my favorite was Never Dull. Wipe it with alcohol to make sure it’s clean, then brush on one layer of Johnson & Johnson’s acrylic floor wax using only one stroke in one direction over an area (as in don’t over work it!). That one coat would last 3-4 months being coated with salt several days a week and then rinsed and wiped every night.

 I now live on land and my trim is chrome plated!

 

Capt. Wayne Elsworth

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