Cleaning brass

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Cleaning brass

Post by Frenchy on Sun Jul 05, 2009 7:32 pm

Hi all,

This question is for all or aimed at Polly directly. I remember reading on the old board that after cleaning the old brass knobs and plates that one could put a small layer of transparent fingernail polish to give it extra protection... Is this still the way to go? I just spent Hrs polishing these thing and would like to know if this really works?....

P.

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Re: Cleaning brass

Post by Guest on Mon Jul 06, 2009 5:21 am

Good morning Pierre, Smile

Well, you are half right there but I use a clear lacquer specifically intended for use on metal. You can buy small cans of clear car lacquer which work really well. I've got a photo somewhere of one of my bridges in the process of being sprayed and I will post it here for you to see. I also have a nifty little method for holding the saddles whilst spraying so I will explain that to you as well - give me a little bit of time to wake up properly and I'll get it sorted!
Sleep

Polly
:queen: :flower:

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Re: Cleaning brass

Post by Guest on Mon Jul 06, 2009 6:18 am

Hello Pierre,

This is the photo of a bridge taken from a Thunder I which was prepared ready for spraying. As you can see I use a plastic microwave meal carton and some cotton buds! Make some holes in the side of the carton and poke the cotton buds through after removing the cotton wool from one end. Take six more cotton buds and cut them in half and poke through the holes on the saddles
after removing the adjusting screws, to form little legs. Once one side has been sprayed and allowed to dry, the whole saddle can be easily rotated by turning the cotton bud through the carton (a bit like a spit roaster!).
The bridge plate can be propped up by using a further two cotton buds in the upper most holes (not shown here). I have also used the same method to spray the knobs by inserting a cotton bud which has been bent in half to form a 'V' shaped stand for the knob. This is a bit more tricky though as the weight of the knobs make it difficult to get the balance right.



Happy spraying! cheers

Polly
:queen: :flower:

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Re: Cleaning brass

Post by Frenchy on Mon Jul 06, 2009 8:37 am

Thank you for the prompt response Polly.....

I really appreciate the help and picture... Were the hell did I get the nailpolish Idea..... Oh well, will have to change tactics now... I actually did one with the nailpolish....(plenty in the house...) Will let you know how that turns out after a while....

I have plenty of clear lacquer since getting ready to spray 4 guitar/bass that I finished redoing... I am at the Spraying stage...

This brass hardware is a Bit@() to clean Evil or Very Mad ... Spent my evenings rubbing them while watching the news or when the houshold was watching Chick Flics...... Crying or Very sad I used a product called Brasso, its made from brass... Is it normal to take 1/2 hr or more to clean a nut... Plus a roll of paper towels per instrument...... everything was black..... I must be doing something wrong or really right... everything is nice and gold..... king


Again Thanks Polly, you are a great help afro

P.

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Re: Cleaning brass

Post by Guest on Mon Jul 06, 2009 8:50 am

Glad to have been of help Pierre! Smile

I'm laughing my socks off here at the mental image of you wiping your brass with one hand and the tears from your eyes after watching the chick flicks, with the other! No the wonder you used loads of kitchen roll!
Laughing Laughing Laughing

Yes, I'm afraid to say that the Brasso does make everything black - there's a method I use which I think I have written in my book. (Did I send you a copy of it?) Wash the Brasso off with warm soapy water and rub it dry until all the black goes away!

I actually think that somebody did once mention using clear nail varnish to touch up chips in the lacquer with, so you aren't going as doolally-tap as you thought you were!
Rolling Eyes

Polly :queen: :flower:

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Re: Cleaning brass

Post by DuoFuzz on Mon Jul 06, 2009 9:31 am

I agree with Queen Polly on this one and I used pretty much the same method.

After you have set your parts up ready for spraying, to stop any paint reactions wipe off any polish, finger prints and grease from the brass using some alcohol or lighter fluid.

Make sure your happy your components are clean and dust free, you will be kicking yourself later when you find finger prints under the lacquer ! Mad

When I restored my Thunder I bridge I sprayed it using an acrylic based clear lacquer car aerosol (Halfords for anyone in the UK). 3 months down the line and my bridge is starting to show some signs of wear but nothing to bad.

I'm not sure how well this paint would stick to highly polished brass in the long term, but if anyone out there is afflicted with really acidic hand sweat this is definitely going to help keep it looking clean.

DAN.

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Re: Cleaning brass

Post by corsair on Mon Jul 06, 2009 4:47 pm

Something else to bear in mind is that Brasso is meant for final polishing; I've used 1200 and 2400 grit Wet and Dry sandpaper as well as steel wool in all it's differing grades to get the donkey work done before setting -to with the polish.

The suggestion about white spirits to clean before the clear coats is very important, too - you do not want fingerprints, or parts thereof, showing on the finished product!!


Ask me how I know this...... Mad Laughing

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Re: Cleaning brass

Post by Bunyip on Tue Jul 07, 2009 5:20 am

I tried the old trick of leaving my Thunder 1 brass knobs in a cup of Coca Cola overnight. Didn't work all that well, certainly not like the way that pennies would come up shiny. I guess they don't make coke like they used to. But nevermind, I have decided that my knobs are relics, and thus very now, with serious mojo? or is that hobo?

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Re: Cleaning brass

Post by Barry on Wed Jul 08, 2009 4:35 pm

Bunyip wrote:...knobs in a cup of Coca Cola overnight...
Yes-s-s, the ole knobs in Coca Cola trick!
Haven't done that since the 70's...then again, I haven't done a lot of things since the 70's!
Woo Hoo! afro

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Re: Cleaning brass

Post by Dee on Mon Sep 07, 2009 4:18 pm

I usually leave my bridges bare, no lacquer. Recently I've cleaned an Aria SB bass bridge and also a Thunder II bass bridge. Both look like new, whereas before they looked quite crapity. Like Corsair, I used 0000 grade steel wool and Brasso. This gets through the lacquer in no time. I don't mind keeping brass parts clean, they just need an occasional polish, but I might go ahead and try some lacquer. Can anyone recommend a particular brand? I'm in the UK.

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Re: Cleaning brass

Post by DuoFuzz on Mon Sep 07, 2009 7:29 pm

Hi Dee.

When I did my first Thunder 1 project 6 months ago, I sprayed the brass parts in Hycote's 'Double Acrylic Concentrated Paint' clear lacquer. This stuff went on pretty thick and most of it is still OK, but 2 months after it was done, one of the knobs started to react and tiny little pin holes have appeared on the surface. I'm not sure what caused this but I guess it might be cutting fluid in the brass, whatever it is the lacquer hasn't chipped or flaked off. Other than that, the edge of the bridge plate has worn through on the corner, this is just playing wear and not much can stop it.

I did my second Thunder rebuild last month and this time I used Halfords clear acrylic lacquer which sprays on much thinner than Hycote. It's early days with this one but it seems to be holding up well. The only problem I've had spraying the Halfords stuff is it turns milky on contact with the components, this was down to moisture getting trapped in the lacquer because I sprayed it on a cold, damp day (or a normal day up north!). The only way I got rid of it was to hold the wet parts under a hot light bulb (a proper one, not an energy saver!), this seemed to clear up the milkiness in the lacquer this time round, but Halfords tends to do this to me a lot.

One brand I haven't tried yet is Plasti-kote, I've seen this in Wilkinson's stores but I don't know much about it.
Whatever you choose to use, make sure the parts are clean and free from dust,oil and finger prints, I had to set all my parts up on sticks so I could hold them, then clean them with white spirits before spraying and not touch them again with my bare skin, not easy!.
All my components were rubbed down with 800 wet'n'dry so the lacquer had a key, I'm not sure how well these paints would last on a highly polished surface.

Hope this is of some help to you.

DAN.

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Re: Cleaning brass

Post by Dee on Mon Sep 07, 2009 9:27 pm

Very helpful, Dan. Thanks. Smile

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