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Best way to polish brass

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Best way to polish brass

Post  pennydreadful on Sun Oct 19, 2008 8:07 pm

I have a couple of things with brass hardware that need a good cleaning. The hardware on a vintage briefcase, hardware on a purse and the brass outer workings of the piano we are restoring.

Dr. Dreadful suggested brasso. I have had mixed results using brasso. Is there something better others would suggest?
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Re: Best way to polish brass

Post  JingleJoe on Sun Oct 19, 2008 10:27 pm

Copious amounts of brasso. Polish it on with one peice of kitchen roll untill desired shinyness is reached, then off with another before it dries on.
Try not to get it on surround things I find it makes wood go white and funny looking sometimes and I dont know what it might do to leather!
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Re: Best way to polish brass

Post  Zwack on Sun Oct 19, 2008 10:40 pm

I use brasso too.

I put a squirt of it on a kitchen towel (I think it's Kleenex Viva, but it is more like a cloth than paper) and rub that in... When It's rubbed in I take a second piece and rub it off.

Does a good job with enough elbow grease.

Z.

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Re: Best way to polish brass

Post  andygates on Mon Oct 20, 2008 2:59 am

Brasso is like violence. If it's not working, use more, and really mean it. Smile
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Re: Best way to polish brass

Post  Gazongola on Mon Oct 20, 2008 3:10 am

Yup, Brasso.
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Re: Best way to polish brass

Post  Gazongola on Mon Oct 20, 2008 3:12 am

Oh and use a yellow duster rather than paper towel. Doesn't fall apart.
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Re: Best way to polish brass

Post  stormfeather on Mon Oct 20, 2008 12:31 pm

I was going to tell ye to get a tin of Elbow Grease, but even the blessed Navy uses Brasso.

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Re: Best way to polish brass

Post  Captain Lyerly on Mon Oct 20, 2008 2:30 pm

I find leather to be more difficult, especially vintage leather. I would suggest treating the leather first with whatever restorative you find to be the most effective, then (assuming you can't remove the hardware itself) try to slide some card-stock under the edges of the hardware to protect further. Then Brasso, and if some smears onto the card-stock, simply replace it and continue.

Best of luck!

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Re: Best way to polish brass

Post  JingleJoe on Mon Oct 20, 2008 3:10 pm

Perhaps you could masking tape the surrounding area? From my experience if you dont press masking tape down too much it leaves absolutely no marks or anything, but try it on a non-visible part first just in case, if you do decide to do that
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Re: Best way to polish brass

Post  The Kernel on Mon Oct 20, 2008 3:45 pm

The British Army used to use a "Housewife" - ie a metal (usually brass but sometimes aluminium) plate with cartoon style keyholes in it, the different sizes taking the differing standard button sizes..
The button would be inserted through a keyhole which would then be slid down the stem of the keyhole, covering/protecting the cloth.
Large amounts of "Brasso" could then be used in safety.
These went out of fashion when "Staybrite" buttons started to be used, but they can still be found in use and in military type shops.
They couldn't be used with the leather/brass work on a Sam Browne belt - so you had to improvise with card/paper
They also make a wonderful accessory.
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Re: Best way to polish brass

Post  Ms. K.D.R. Tempus on Mon Oct 20, 2008 7:49 pm

Hmm, I've never actually used Brasso; I find toothpaste gives a fine polish to every metal I've used it on. There is residue to remove, but it's not toxic (unless you get Chinese toothpaste, now with more lead and melamine!), and doesn't smell up the place. IMHO.
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Re: Best way to polish brass

Post  The Kernel on Mon Oct 20, 2008 10:10 pm

I've used toothpaste on "Staybrite" but found the residue troublesome especially if there is a crest on it- great on diving masks though!
Prefer "Brasso" on brass though (now say that out loud!)
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Re: Best way to polish brass

Post  JingleJoe on Mon Oct 20, 2008 11:43 pm

K.D.R. Tempus wrote:and doesn't smell up the place.
I love the smell of Brasso in the morning. Twisted Evil
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Re: Best way to polish brass

Post  The Kernel on Mon Oct 20, 2008 11:48 pm

Ah, the smell of "Brasso" and "Parade Gloss Boot Polish"

Such evocative memories

It almost makes me nostagic

(unlike the smell of freshly ironed spray starch - euch!)
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Re: Best way to polish brass

Post  Dusza Beben on Tue Oct 21, 2008 12:04 am

one word.

Flitz

DB
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Re: Best way to polish brass

Post  Karl Heinz on Tue Oct 21, 2008 9:25 am

Brick dust was used before Brasso was invented, although that was mainly on brass/bronze cannon and the ammount of elbow grease required would be enough to sink a small steam-sloop.
-Matt
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Re: Best way to polish brass

Post  cryptolucien on Mon Nov 08, 2010 9:40 pm

I would recommend "Saddle Soap" for the leather. It cleans and helps to protect leather.

For the brass, if you wish to go an inexpensive route, I would recommend catsup (aka: ketchup) or some sort of "hot sauce" (tobasco, etc.). Raw tomatoes also work, but you have more of a mess to clean up afterwards. The hot sauce or catsup also do less damage to the leather.

Sincerely,

Phin

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Re: Best way to polish brass

Post  Major Wolfram Quicksilver on Mon Nov 08, 2010 10:36 pm

Use 'Duraglit', basically wadding impregnated with Brasso. Easier than slopping liquid Brasso around.
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Re: Best way to polish brass

Post  maduncle on Mon Nov 08, 2010 11:36 pm

And to preserve your polished brass longer - spray it with hair spray.

This will keep it glossy for a few months and the hair spray will polish off next time you clean the brass, so you can easily re-apply it.

(Old firemans trick).
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