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  1. #1
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    Default best method for removing paint from brass

    I recently acquired an old Badische, the inexpensive 30 day torsion model that winds from the front. However, someone must have thought it would look better if the columns and base were painted a tacky looking gold instead of the brass I would like to get this off, of course, but don't want to harm the brass, which I am sure is not very thick. Would paint thinner be okay? What do you experts suggest?

    Also, since I bought this clock, I found out why my old Badische three ball pendulum never would adjust. On the new one I just got, I noticed a adjustment nut on the central shaft. Are these something easy to attain or do I need to call Horolovar?

    thanks

  2. #2
    Registered User lesbradley's Avatar
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    Default Re: best method for removing paint from brass (RE: whatgoesaround)

    Did you buy it off UK ebay, if so I saw it and thought about it, but decided it was a bit of a mess for the money it fetched. Paint thinner won't touch it, your only choice is a paint stripper(in Uk we use Nitromors), but don't let it sit on the brass too long. It will do the job in 10/15 mins and wash off with water ASAP. Re-treat if it doesn't get it all off first time.
    Les Bradley

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    Default Re: best method for removing paint from brass (RE: whatgoesaround)

    Depends on what the paint actually was; thinners will not work once the paint has dried. Stripper, then polish and maybe lacquer the brass.

    Paint stripper is usually based on sodium hydroxide - good for removing skin and flesh as well.
    Mike - banned member of the throwaway society.

  4. #4

    Default Re: best method for removing paint from brass (RE: whatgoesaround)

    You'll need good ventilation, and NO sparks or open flames ... but Acetone and 0000 steel wool works well. It will also remove the lacquer often found on the bases. Use a very light touch with the steel wool or you'll mar the brass.
    It's really the Acetone that does the work, so a softer rubbing medium would probably do fine. You'll probably have to completely disassemble the base, pillars, pendulum, etc. to really get all the paint off.

    A man with a clock always knows the time. A man with two clocks is never sure.

  5. #5

    Default Re: best method for removing paint from brass (RE: whatgoesaround)


    "Depends on what the paint actually was, thinners will not work once the paint has dried."

    As you say,I guess it depends on the paint but I have yet to find any paint/lacquer/varnish that won't respond to some degree to the method I use for removal.
    Wiping over with a saturated rag often has no effect.
    I put the item in a glass bowl, cover it with a piece of cloth. saturate the cloth with thinners and then cover with a piece of glass.

    The cloth keeps the thinners in contact with the item, and the glass stops evaporation.
    Check in a day or so.
    I have found this effective even with some of the old 400day clocks that seem to an everlasting coat of something on them.

    Ralph B.

    P.S. I took all the paint off my fibreglass car with thinners......

  6. #6
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    Default Re: best method for removing paint from brass (RE: whatgoesaround)

    Ralph
    That may be because of a different definition of 'thinners'; UK vs USA. Your 'thinners' probably refers to acetone which will indeed remove most paints.

    Here, that's called 'cellulose thinners'; the generic name for 'thinners' here is whatever was used to thin the paint originally; sometimes that could be white spirit or other solvents.
    Mike - banned member of the throwaway society.

  7. #7
    Registered User lesbradley's Avatar
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    Default Re: best method for removing paint from brass (RE: whatgoesaround)

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike
    Ralph
    That may be because of a different definition of 'thinners'; UK vs USA. Your 'thinners' probably refers to acetone which will indeed remove most paints.

    Here, that's called 'cellulose thinners'; the generic name for 'thinners' here is whatever was used to thin the paint originally; sometimes that could be white spirit or other solvents.
    UK definition of thinners is just the same as yours (whatever is used to thin the paint/lacquer for application). Acetone will remove most normal paint/lacquer finishes but not older two-pack or epoxy paints (most now banned in the UK due to toxicity).
    Les Bradley

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    Default Re: best method for removing paint from brass (RE: whatgoesaround)

    Thanks for all the replies; I knew that there was a world of experts on this forum. It looks like I might go with letting it soak in acetone, cleaning off the paint, then polishing with Maas, and probably a wax afterwards. Yes, I was the one who bought it from the Ebay UK. At the time I did not read the comment that it was an inexpensively made clock in the Horolovar guide. I had seen maybe three of these over the last few years and only ever in England. I liked the front wind and the look of it as a variation on the normal 400 day. Hopefully, when I am finished, it will look and work like it did in my imagination. I have another clock in line ahead of it so any other pointers or ideas are welcome. Thanks again to the members of this forum!

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