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 Post subject: Preparing Brass Trim for Spray Lacquer
PostPosted: Jan Tue 03, 2017 9:24 pm 
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Posts: 28
Hi,
I have an old ~1942 Ward Tombstone Radio. The Rectangular Brass Trim around the dial was badly tarnished with spots of corrosion. I wiped the Trim with some lacquer thinner to remove any of the original lacquer. It didn't do anything. I'm guessing all the original lacquer "bit the dust". I then used Brasso Brass Polish and cleaned up the brass. I still have a few "nooks and crannies" on the trim to clean up.

I could leave the brass trim as is. However, its rather shiny and I'm guessing it would be a fingerprint magnet. Thus, I would like to spray the brass trim with some light brown Mohawk Spray Toner. This would darken the brass a little and provide protection.

Question 1: Should I use Mohawk Classic Toner or Mohawk Toner Finish Toner? I have cans of both.

Question 2: What should I clean the Brass with before spraying it? I'm guessing the Brasso Polish leaves a film of "something" on the brass even after wiping.

Thanks

Ken
KB3MDT


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 Post subject: Re: Preparing Brass Trim for Spray Lacquer
PostPosted: Jan Tue 03, 2017 9:34 pm 
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Brasso works fine. You can follow it with acetone or lacquer thinner. Mohawk makes a nice Lacquer For Brass spray. It is probably formulated to resist tarnishing better than the clear lacquer for wood.

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 Post subject: Re: Preparing Brass Trim for Spray Lacquer
PostPosted: Jan Tue 03, 2017 11:14 pm 
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Joined: Dec Tue 23, 2014 6:51 pm
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Location: N. Palm Bch, Fl.
I have also wondered about Brasso leaving a film, so I wipe mine down with an alcohol soaked rag with blue gloves. Let it dry in the sun and then hit it with clear lacquer or acrylic. I can't speak to your toner question, but if it doesn't look good to you. Backup and go to plan B. Post pictures when your done. I'd like to see how it comes out.

Freeman

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 Post subject: Re: Preparing Brass Trim for Spray Lacquer
PostPosted: Jan Tue 03, 2017 11:26 pm 
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I cleaned up this old Arrow radio escutcheon, but it too looked too shiny. So I "aged" it by spraying a little green spray paint and a touch of gray.
Then I buffed most of that away with steel wool except in the nooks and crevices. That made it look more normal. Then I sprayed it with a coat of satin lacquer.
Image

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 Post subject: Re: Preparing Brass Trim for Spray Lacquer
PostPosted: Jan Wed 04, 2017 3:14 am 
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Joined: May Sun 25, 2008 6:49 am
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Location: San Pedro, Ca.
You did a beautiful job Peter. Fred


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 Post subject: Re: Preparing Brass Trim for Spray Lacquer
PostPosted: Jan Wed 04, 2017 10:44 am 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
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Location: England
You need Mohawk Classis toner and a light shade.

I have always cleaned the brass well first and then washed copiously with cellulose thinners. When well dry and somewhere warm give it a spray with your toner of choice, just lightly. It may have a specky look so immediately spray over it with Mohawk clear lacquer, a fairly "wet coat". It floods any specks out and dries fine. This 60 bezel was done 15 years ago and is still exactly as done.

Attachment:
Philco 60 WEB.jpg
Philco 60 WEB.jpg [ 93.15 KiB | Viewed 697 times ]


If its not how you want first time drop it in thinners and start over.

Here's a big grill:

Attachment:
HMV 650 Web.jpg
HMV 650 Web.jpg [ 136.49 KiB | Viewed 697 times ]


This was laboriously scrubbed clean with an old toothbrush in a thinner mix. When dry another brush and Solvol Autosol chrome polish were used before a final clean in thinners. It needed to be “Antique Bronze”, according to the Service Manual, and several Mohawk Classis toners of the brown and golden variety were tried. All came out too brown, or with uneven shading or with a speckled look. Eventually I tried Amber, that is more copper than bronze but it came out with a near perfect finish. A few days later I over-sprayed it with semi-gloss clear lacquer.

At least 10 years ago and still perfect

Gary


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 Post subject: Re: Preparing Brass Trim for Spray Lacquer
PostPosted: Jan Wed 04, 2017 1:02 pm 
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Location: The Old Dominion
ferd wrote:
You did a beautiful job Peter. Fred


+1

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"Capacitor Cosmetologist since 1979"
When fuses go to work, they quit forever.


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 Post subject: Re: Preparing Brass Trim for Spray Lacquer
PostPosted: Jan Wed 04, 2017 6:58 pm 
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Location: Oakland, CA
I don't use commercial polishes on brass. What works best for me is to take a couple of tablespoons of lemon juice and dissolve into that as much salt as possible. Then I just use a rag, dip it in the mixture, and rub it over the brass. Works fast and does a terrific job.

After the tarnish is gone I then rinse the pieces in clear water and dry then with clean paper towels. It's important to not touch the surface at this point, as the oils from your fingers can cause failure of the new lacquer coat over time.

I place the pieces in direct sun on a warm day. This allows the metal to expand before applying a single coat of clear gloss lacquer to the brass. Because the metal had expanded in the sun, future warming of the metal won't cause the lacquer to crack.


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 Post subject: Re: Preparing Brass Trim for Spray Lacquer
PostPosted: Jan Wed 04, 2017 10:30 pm 
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Location: Haledon, NJ, usa
Findm-Keepm wrote:
ferd wrote:
You did a beautiful job Peter. Fred


+1

Thank you very much.

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To be a man, Be a non-conformist, Nothing's sacred as the integrity of your own mind.
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 Post subject: Re: Preparing Brass Trim for Spray Lacquer
PostPosted: Jan Fri 06, 2017 9:59 pm 
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Joined: Jun Sun 15, 2014 11:04 pm
Posts: 640
Location: Coos Bay, Oregon
Rarely were early radio bezels polished to high brass lustre, and equally rarely were they coated in lacquer or varnish. Mostly, they were chemically treated. You can do the same treatment at home with a product that is available from stained glass outlets. It is called Novacan. It comes in black or brown and is available in zinc or lead treatments, but all of them work on most metals with varying degrees of darkness.

It works very well on brass, almost too well. To slow down the oxidization process, I dilute it 4 parts water to 1 part Novacan. Dilute with even more water if you want a mild brown look. This process coats the brass with a layer of oxidization which slows down further oxidization to a decades long process.

You can stain (oxidize) the first time, then polish certain areas (or the highlights) then stain again with a more diluted mix. That will duplicate the look as the one that Peter did, above.

If you like, you can seal it by rubbing on an even, but thin, layer of Watco oil. That will stop the natural oxidization process indefinitely. Allow it to sit for a couple of weeks, or until the oil has set up completely, before installing it.

Be sure to experiment on scraps of brass until you get the color right, and familiarity with the process.


Last edited by startgroove on Jan Tue 10, 2017 1:01 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Preparing Brass Trim for Spray Lacquer
PostPosted: Jan Sat 07, 2017 4:42 pm 
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Location: Mission Viejo, southern California
We must remember the various images of radios in ads and factores which show bright trim. Not all, but also not rare.

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 Post subject: Re: Preparing Brass Trim for Spray Lacquer
PostPosted: Jan Sun 08, 2017 2:11 am 
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Location: NJ, 07645
That looks so nice Peter, that it almost looks fake.


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 Post subject: Re: Preparing Brass Trim for Spray Lacquer
PostPosted: Jan Sun 08, 2017 3:18 am 
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Scott wrote:
That looks so nice Peter, that it almost looks fake.

Thaks Scott!
Fake? Which.. The escutcheon or the whole radio?

or do you just mean the patina ageing looks fake?
Or do you mean the close up image makes it look bigger than life?

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 Post subject: Re: Preparing Brass Trim for Spray Lacquer
PostPosted: Jan Sun 08, 2017 11:25 pm 
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Joined: Jun Sun 15, 2014 11:04 pm
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Location: Coos Bay, Oregon
Peter, what you did on the Arrow bezel looks very good. It is appropriate to the level of restoration and I like the highlighted look. To me it looks like that is the way it is supposed to be. Did you do that with fine steel wool?


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 Post subject: Re: Preparing Brass Trim for Spray Lacquer
PostPosted: Jan Mon 09, 2017 12:23 am 
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startgroove wrote:
Peter, what you did on the Arrow bezel looks very good. It is appropriate to the level of restoration and I like the highlighted look. To me it looks like that is the way it is supposed to be. Did you do that with fine steel wool?

Thank you! Yes... I probably used 0000 wool. But anything else might work just to rub off the excess.

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To be a man, Be a non-conformist, Nothing's sacred as the integrity of your own mind.
-Emerson


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 Post subject: Re: Preparing Brass Trim for Spray Lacquer
PostPosted: Jan Mon 09, 2017 8:31 pm 
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Joined: Jun Sun 15, 2014 11:04 pm
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Location: Coos Bay, Oregon
Here's a tip: If you acquire a radio with a brass bezel, and you want to verify what the bezel finish originally was, remove the bezel and look at the back side. Regardless of how shiny, or dull, the front side is, the back side will show what the finish looked like when the set left the factory. Due to the bezel being somewhat sealed from the environment, the back side of the bezel will have changed little over the years.

I have always used this as an indicator for accuracy in the restoration process. From that experience, I estimate that less than 5% of the radio sets I've restored since 1972 had a bright shiny brass bezel from the factory, if the set was made prior to 1948.


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