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400 day clock metal stand cleaning

Raymond Gocken

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Aug 29, 2013
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I have seen some clock people who work on these clocks and have restored the metal frames, not the brass works, but the stands themselves. They look virtually new. How the heck do they do that? Looked for threads about this but haven't found much. I can get the works on these clocks refurbished and operating but how to make the rest of the clock look nice.... stumped.
 

KurtinSA

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Nov 24, 2014
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Raymond -

I'm trying to think of an example of a metal frame...I don't have any clock like that in my collection. Can you point to a thread where these frames are shown or do you have a picture of something you're currently working on?

Thanks...Kurt
 

etmb61

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Oct 25, 2010
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Hi Raymond,

It all comes down to what finish was applied to the clock when it was made. For the most part the bases (frames) of typical 400 day clocks are made from brass. For plain brass it's just a matter of polishing it. You can leave it at that or apply a protective coating. A lot of people apply a hard wax like "Renaissance."

A large number of later clocks are coated with a lacquer finish as well. Sometime these respond well to simple cleaning. For others you would may need to remove the lacquer, polish the parts, and then reapply the lacquer (or not).

Some clocks use brass plated steel parts which can present their own challenges with corrosion. The major problem here is when the steel rusts beneath the plating.

Heavy corrosion can make polishing a greater challenge. Sometimes the surface pitting is too deep to polish out. Other times so much zinc is lost that the brass is left with a copper color. The polishing product you use can affect the outcome.

Personally, I use Simichrome and polish by hand. It's a lot of work.

before_n_after.JPG

BandA.jpg

before_after.jpg
Some are more difficult than others.

Eric
 

KurtinSA

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Nov 24, 2014
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I guess I missed the initial mention of "metal" stands...I was thinking something non-brass. I agree with Eric...the base, columns, etc., can be hand polished...it's all part of "bonding" with your work!! :chuckling: My polish of choice has been the metal polish by Blue Magic but I've tried Simichrome as well. I use a series of micro fiber cloths - one to polish, one to wipe off, and another for a final buff.

Kurt
 

Wayne A

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Sep 24, 2019
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Yep polish and elbow grease and they can shine like a brass mirror. I like to take every thing apart when polishing. For screw heads and other tiny bits I use a rag polish wheel on a dremel.
 
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