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Lacquering

lesbradley

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When restoring 400 day clocks what is the expert view on re-lacquering the brass, after full strip down and rebuild?
 

oldticker

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I would do it because it preserves the finish.

Some people like a 'patina' look.

others would leave them unlacquered.

personal preference.
 

Kevin W.

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Les , wax with high carnuba content works not bad too.I have one anniversary clock done that way and 6 months later still looks not bad.:thumb:
 

John Hubby

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veritas said:
Les , wax with high carnuba content works not bad too.I have one anniversary clock done that way and 6 months later still looks not bad.:thumb:
I have clocks going on 10 years with the high carnauba wax finish that still look very good. All of these have three coats of wax, well dried and buffed between coats.

John Hubby
>>>>
 

lesbradley

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Carnuba sounds like a lot less hassle than lacquering. Do you do front and backplates as well as stand and base? Does it stop all patina development?
 

Jeff C

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I use Butcher's Bowling Alley Wax. I apply it three coats dried and buffed. Just need to make sure before the first coat the brass is completely clean of contaminants including any oils from your hand. I use clean cotton gloves.

Jeff
 
C

clockdaddy

Paste waxing is a very good way to seal the brass. If you choose to use lacquer, not just any lacquer will work. You must specifically use lacquer for sealing brass, bronze or copper. Regular lacquer will not bond properly and will separate and peal off in strips. Brass lacquer has additives that allow it to bond to the metal.
Personally, I prefer to lacquer a piece when duing a total restoration. Lacquering will tolerate a lot more handling and is less time consuming when applying than polish. I'm also pretty messy with polish and can't seem to get it out of all the crevices. With lacquer, I thoroughly clean the brass, wipe down with alcohol, allow the brass to come back to room temperature (alcohol cools the metal) and spray all of the backsides and, when dry, spray all of the exterior with two coats. Allow this to dry and reassemble.
But, to each his own!!
CD

By the way, proper lacquering will last, depending on the handling, from ten to twenty years.
 

Timm

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Nov 19, 2005
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Harold,

Where do you get that special lacquer that bonds to brass? Is it also possible to brush it on and still have the same long lasting protection?
What about the wheels/barrel... same treatment?

Tim
 

oldticker

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Tim said:
Harold,

Where do you get that special lacquer that bonds to brass? Is it also possible to brush it on and still have the same long lasting protection?
What about the wheels/barrel... same treatment?

Tim
Not many clocks have wheels lacquered. New carriage clocks have barrels lacquered.

I'll try and find my lacquer and tell you the make. It will cover metals by wiping on with lint free cloth. Was taught to do it with cotton wool but if your not quick enough it leaves a bit of wool on the surface.

Quick drying and so a fast steady stroke is a must. I've done quite a few dials after silvering too. Preparation is the key - clean the surface as many times as you can to get it grease free. Otherwise you will get a bluey rainbow tinge to the finish. If you make a mistake you can clean it off again with methylated spirits.
 

oldticker

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pastimes said:
veritas said:
Les , wax with high carnuba content works not bad too.I have one anniversary clock done that way and 6 months later still looks not bad.:thumb:
I have clocks going on 10 years with the high carnauba wax finish that still look very good. All of these have three coats of wax, well dried and buffed between coats.

John Hubby
>>>>
Never tried wax to be honest - Does it keep the shine like lacquer ?

Assume this like car wax - keeps a lustre?
 

John Hubby

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oldticker said:
Never tried wax to be honest - Does it keep the shine like lacquer ?

Assume this like car wax - keeps a lustre?
The finish using wax is initially very slightly "softer" than when using lacquer, like a very slight matte finish. However, after sitting on the shelf a couple of months it is difficult to see the difference. In my experience dust doesn't stick to the wax finish as tight as it does on lacquer. Aside from that, when you dust with a soft cotton cloth the wax tends to shine up some.

Regarding what wax to use, here are what's generally available, from best (and most expensive) to OK and cheapest:

Renaissance Wax
Used by just about every major museum in the world for protection of both metal and wood finishes.

Mother's Ultimate Wax System
Used by the "top end" custom and show car exhibitors.

Butcher's Bowling Alley Wax
Used as stated in the name for a super-hard wax finish for bowling alley lanes.

Turtle Paste Wax for automobiles.

Actually can use any commercial high carnauba content wax, should be more than 50% (Mother's and Renaissance are both over 90%, Butcher's is 80+%, Turtle wax is 60%). Higher carnauba = harder finish but takes a little more care to apply because the higher content waxes aren't as soft to apply.

John Hubby
>>>>

 
C

clockdaddy

Tim said:
Harold,

Where do you get that special lacquer that bonds to brass? Is it also possible to brush it on and still have the same long lasting protection?
What about the wheels/barrel... same treatment?

Tim
Tim T,
I don't know where you're located, so I don't know what kind of hardware stores are available. If there is a "Do it Best" hardware in your area, check for a brass spray from PARKS. If you're familiar with Mohawk Finishing Supplies, the have the lacquer. I'm sure there's ither's out there.
There is an additive to brass lacquer (I've been told it oxalic acid) that allows a much better bond.
Regarding the wheels and barrels, A few of the manufacturers do seal everything. Do this the same way as the plates, however, all the plate holes must be pegged and the pivots must be cleaned before assembly.
To prevent lacquer fro getting in the pivot holes, I put a toothpick in all the holes.
Yes, the finish can be brushed on BUT you don't get the quality of finish compared to dipping or spraying the finish. To dip the finish, thin about 25% with a good quality thinner.the cheap brands has too much acetone and will cause flash drying which will cause the finish to be foggy.

CD

 

Ingulphus

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May 29, 2006
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As a side note, I've restored a few of the lacquered, machined dials Kundo used in the 1930s (which are often found with the original lacquer faded and flaking), and found that a Krylon "stained glass" spray works very well - it's translucent, so allows the "ray" effect of the dial to show beautifully. I've had best results with the red and green, which are a close match to the original color seen under the edge of the dial where the bezel had protected it. I'm trying the yellow, but while it's very attractive on the dial, it doesn't show well on the polished brass columns, so I'm going to experiment with a "frosted glass" spray as either an under- or over-coat.

BTW, Merritt's carries a brass lacquer (Click Here) which sprays evenly and imparts a subtle gold color to highly polished brass. I've just received an early JUF with pendulum #20, and once I've polished the pendulum, I'm going to use the spray, because it's going to take a lot of patience to polish it, and I only want to do it once!
 

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