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Brass polishing high corroded lights


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What polish is best on brass trim and  brass lights and brass that highly corroded and tarnished

Brasso -  ok but still alot discoloration 

Wrights brass polish- doing better but same

Tried several off the self metal polishs

My buffing wheel and ruze not doing it either 

Any other suggestions to try

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Could you post a picture so we can see what amount of corrosion you are dealing with?  You may need ot use some very fine emery cloth to smooth it out if it is not overly pitted.

Al

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Use some DILUTED  mereatic   acid  and a acid brush in all the nooks and crannies, hard to get places. It cleans it up fast. Then polish. Make sure you flush it well with water  after acid treating. 

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Use Alum i brite (synthetic  / make sure because many knock offs try to look alike but are acids) available thru Amazon.

 

Will not hurt paint, BUT will put holes in your jeans.

 

Brush on several times then wipe clean and follow with Wenol polish, also available on eBay or Amazon.

 

Will take care of just about any tarnish....

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Buzz68, If you can,post a picture of the worst of your brass areas that are being annoying and hard to polish/buff out.  Good advice above but I like ot be very careful using anything harsh on fragile brass lamps.  I go for the less evasive means to clean and polish brass.

Al

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Boy 1000 is kind of coarse.  I would use 2000 or 1500 if you don't have 2000 wet then buff.  1000 grit is pretty coarse scratches when hand polishing. I have also used a little dab of mothers mag and aluminum polish on the sandpaper.  

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On this polishing question.  What causes brass lamps to deteriorate and show red copper when polished.  These are solid brass lamps not copper flashed.  If I can get a picture of the offending lamp, I will post.

Al

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Al.

Brass is a mix of copper and zinc (bronze being a mix of copper and tin). If an acid corrodes out the zinc it will leave the copper which shows red. Mouse urine is the most common culprit. 

Can be very difficult to do anything about it. Sand down the area to brass if not too deep.

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Here is a couple of pictures of a large Rushmore headlamp from my 1913 American-LaFrance fire truck.  Note the side of the bonnet that has some serious issues and does not even show tarnished brass.  I plan to do a couple of follow-up postings.  One posting will be to show how simple cleaning with pedestal buffer and polishing rouge.  If needed, I will post again after following the advice shared by Layden to lightly sand and see if I can get below the degenerated area and still have enough brass thickness to polish.  I hope my additions will be of help to the original poster of this thread.

Al

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Ok....today was a busy day but I did find time to go into the shop and crank up my pedestal buffer.  I used red rouge polishing stick for my first attempt.  Look closely at the two first pictures of the Rushmore headlamp then look at what happened after just a bit of effort with the pedestal buffer.  Even I was impressed, with my efforts, as the surface did have some degradation.  The next three pictures show my end results in the worst spot on the lamp.  I only did the bad spot as I want you to be able to see a comparison.  The second image shows a spot on the body where some degradation has taken place that is worse than even serious tarnish over time.  Share your thoughts.

Al

 

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Hello Phil, Do you see any down sides to your "poltus" of flour, salt and vinegar?  The salt probably chemically reacted with the vinegar with the flour being a carrier.  I think I will try your Poltus on my next serious brass tarnish project.   I was concerned with degradation of brass as shown on the Rushmore lamps above and not so much with tarnish.  It makes me wonder if a previous owner of the Rushmore lamps may have polished with a harsher acid based concoction that resulted in the degradation visible in my first couple of Rushmore pictures.  What are your thoughts?

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A second note on the Rushmore lamps and brass degradation.  I think I was able to purchase those lamps as the owner may have thought they were too bad with brass degradation to be restored.  It is good to learn about other tricks from other home restorers.

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For heavy brass tarnish a friend who used to restore brass lamps here on long island advised me to use Naval Jelly. Not leave it on to long, but the acid in it did break down the tarnish. You can use a semi stiff bristle brush to move it around once it has started to break through the harsher surface layer of tarnish. Most important to thoroughly wash off the naval jelly once it has done its job. I used to squirt it off with water from a hose with a pressure nozzle. Once washed off completely with water, use a air hose to blow all the water out from the areas you can not wipe off easily with a rag. I never had an issue doing this and good results, got the lamp to the state it could  be polished or as shown used on a buffing wheel. Biggest factor was to NOT get to enthusiastic with the water pressure nor the compressed air.

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