UK Vintage Radio Repair and Restoration Powered By Google Custom Search Vintage Radio and TV Service Data

Go Back   UK Vintage Radio Repair and Restoration Discussion Forum > General Vintage Technology > Hints, Tips and Solutions (Do NOT post requests for help here)

Notices

Hints, Tips and Solutions (Do NOT post requests for help here) If you have any useful general hints and tips for vintage technology repair and restoration, please share them here. PLEASE DO NOT POST REQUESTS FOR HELP HERE!

Closed Thread
 
Thread Tools
Old 18th Jan 2008, 6:52 pm   #1
jbraes
Triode
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Ullapool, Scotland
Posts: 18
Default Cleaning brass etc

I am restoring a Marconiphone T14A which has a brass speaker grille.This was absolutely filthy and tarnished. I tried all the usual cleaners, Brasso, etc. without any success. I "Googled", brass cleaner and came up with Quiksilver, on eBay. This plate, when used with soda crystals, boiling water and Persil non bio, should clean brass. I was sceptical, but decided to give it a try. Much to my surprise, it worked. When I dropped the grille into the solution, the plate seemed to effervesce and lo and behold clean, shiny brass. I haven't tried it on other metals, but is supposed also to clean silver, copper, gold, bronze and stainless steel. Does anyone know how or why this system seems to work?
jbraes is offline  
Old 19th Jan 2008, 6:44 pm   #2
geofy
No Longer a Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 1,798
Post Re: Cleaning brass etc

Most of the muck is probably of a biological nature or oxidation of the brass so the Persil soap will remove the grime, and the soda acts as an agitator.

I have used Cillit Bang on raw brass, no hot water or soda needed, I don't know how it would work on other metals. And it shouldn't be used on plated surfaces, which could include silver.

Geof
geofy is offline  
Old 19th Jan 2008, 11:01 pm   #3
electroanorak
Hexode
 
electroanorak's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Tonyrefail, Rhondda, South Wales, UK.
Posts: 322
Default Re: Cleaning brass etc

Hi.

When I clean up brass or copper engine parts I use Nitric acid (just drop it in for 2 or 3 seconds) it is no good if you require a shiny finish and it is pretty nasty stuff (do not breathe in the fumes). It is great for cleaning stuff prior to welding.

Daniel.
electroanorak is offline  
Old 20th Jan 2008, 8:49 am   #4
Mike Phelan
Dekatron
 
Mike Phelan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Near Leeds, West Yorkshire, UK
Posts: 4,436
Default Re: Cleaning brass etc

Getting nitric acid might be a bit difficult! Clock cleaning fluid (google for Horolene or a clock material dealer like M&P or A G Thomas). This contains ammonia, detergent and oleic acid. It will brighten brass in an hour or two, but you will probably need to lacquer it afterwards.

Both vinegar (acetic acid) or lemon juice (citric acid) will brighten brass to some extent.

The matt brass finish you see on plug pins and the like is produced by a wash in nitric acid, then water, then chromic acid. All these are only for a few seconds.
__________________
Mike.
Mike Phelan is offline  
Old 20th Jan 2008, 9:31 am   #5
KEITHW
No Longer a Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Pocklington, East Yorkshire, UK.
Posts: 171
Default Re: Cleaning brass etc

The brass grills on Marconiphone and HMV sets were generally given an aged look to tone down the brightness. This was achieved by a coating of slightly toned cellulose lacquer.

I don't know the T14A specifically as I am mainly interested in pre-war sets, but I guess it would have had the same treatment.

Keith
KEITHW is offline  
Old 20th Jan 2008, 11:01 am   #6
Dickie
Octode
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: St. Albans, Hertfordshire, UK.
Posts: 1,174
Default Re: Cleaning brass etc

I have come across "Quiksilver" at antique fairs and it certainly seems to work. However, I have also heard that crumpled up aluminium foil in the same solution works just as well! (but not tested).
__________________
Regards,

Richard, BVWS member
Dickie is offline  
Old 20th Jan 2008, 2:22 pm   #7
Mike Phelan
Dekatron
 
Mike Phelan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Near Leeds, West Yorkshire, UK
Posts: 4,436
Default Re: Cleaning brass etc

Interesting, Richard, as washing soda (sodium carbonate) will do that as well. I have seen magic silver brighteners consisting of a sheet of aluminium with fancy holes in it being sold for s and demonstrated by sellers with a few tarnished silver spoons in a bowl of washing soda!
__________________
Mike.
Mike Phelan is offline  
Old 21st Jan 2008, 8:38 am   #8
chipp1968
Rest in Peace
 
chipp1968's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Somerset, UK.
Posts: 2,356
Default Re: Cleaning brass etc

I did somthing like this using tin foil many years ago to clean up a silver condement holder I found in a stream which was really crusty . it worked very well . fizzed away .and at the end there wasnt much left of the tin foil !
chipp1968 is offline  
Old 29th Feb 2008, 9:21 pm   #9
jbraes
Triode
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Ullapool, Scotland
Posts: 18
Default Re: Cleaning brass etc

Many thanks for your replies. I eventually gave up trying to clean the brass grille and sprayed it with 3 very light coats of Plasikote brass spray paint. The grille now looks as good as I would imagine it looked 60 years ago.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	Marconiphone grille 002 1 gif.gif
Views:	211
Size:	182.6 KB
ID:	15584  
jbraes is offline  
Old 29th Feb 2008, 9:44 pm   #10
Alan Stepney
Rest in Peace
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Dorset, UK.
Posts: 947
Default Re: Cleaning brass etc

Among the model engineering guys, one of the "standard" cleaners for brass, bronze, and copper, is a saturated mix of salt and vinegar. Works well.
Alan Stepney is offline  
Old 11th Mar 2008, 9:36 am   #11
howard
Nonode
 
howard's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Godalming, Surrey, UK.
Posts: 2,590
Default Re: Cleaning brass etc

Hello,

I restore a lot of brass trim. Almost all the brass I've encountered was originally lacquered but the lacquer has expired so tarnish has formed on the brass underneath it. Once the old lacquer has been removed using Nitromors or a solution of vinegar, hot water and washing up detergent, polishing the brass is easy, I just use Brasso. I always relacquer polished brass with Rustins cold metal varnish sometimes mixed with M&P dark gold lacquer to darken it slightly. I will try the quicksilver solution though cos vinegar takes a while to work.

Howard
howard is offline  
Old 29th Mar 2008, 9:46 pm   #12
geofy
No Longer a Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 1,798
Post Re: Cleaning brass etc

Raw brass like fixings, nuts, pillars etc; Cillit Bang works a treat.

Geof
geofy is offline  
Closed Thread

Thread Tools



All times are GMT. The time now is 1:30 pm.


All information and advice on this forum is subject to the WARNING AND DISCLAIMER located at https://www.vintage-radio.net/rules.html.
Failure to heed this warning may result in death or serious injury to yourself and/or others.


Powered by vBulletin®
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Copyright ©2002 - 2021, Paul Stenning.