Polishing Plates

Nicko

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May 11, 2007
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How do you tell if a plate is lacquered or not. If it is and the plate is in a poor state how do you remove the laquer to repolish it. If it is not lacquered, what's the best polishing technique. For parts that are lacquered and need polishing, can I use simichrome or similar.
Thanks
 

shutterbug

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Acetone is great for removing lacquer. A little rubbing with 0000 steel wool might help some too. If nothing comes off with Acetone, it's not lacquered.
 

sjaffe

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If you use a low abrasive metal polish and a light amount of pressure and there is no change in the color of the brass, that is one indication that it is coated with lacquer. Lacquer can be removed with a commercial paint/lacquer remover available at any home center. Acetone also works but may take a little longer. If a part is lacquered, you won't be able to "polish" it because the brass surface is sealed. The best you can do is clean off any accumulated dirt. Simichrome, Maas or similar metal polish for brass will only work on the brass surface. If the lacquer finish is in poor condition, remove it, then polish the brass and seal with a coat of wax (assuming you don't want to put a new coat of lacquer on).
Stan
 

Nicko

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Thanks for the replies. What would you recommend to protect the plates with once they have been polished? I have used Brasso as the 1st polish and then Simichrome as the second. Not all of the Brasso polishing marks polish out with Simichrome. Any fixes for that?
Thanks
 

THTanner

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The fix is more elbow grease with finer and finer polish and sometimes finishing with just a plain soft cloth. When I remove the lacquer and polish plates, I then give them a quick rinse in Muriatic acid (very dilute hydrochloric acid), then a rinse in water and a final rinse in alcohol to make sure all oils are gone and the plates are totally clean and dry. Then I generally use a spray lacquer in a paint booth with filtered air to prevent dust spots. Sometimes on smaller pieces I will use a wipe on lacquer instead. After you lacquer the plates you have to really make sure all the pivot holes are thoroughly cleaned and have no lacquer in them. When I polish brash I like to use Wizard's Metal Renew. It is a low grit polish that you put on the plates and let sit for a few minutes then rinse off and rub under running water. It also takes a bit of Dawn liquid to totally remove the Wizards. This minimizes the scratching and requires less time to get the final finish. On really tough, dark spots, it takes several applications and more sitting time, but it removes the tarnish chemically without a lot of abrasive scrubbing.

I would love to hear from others regarding my method or how they polish and relacquer. I know there are many methods and different techniques.

Thanks for the replies. What would you recommend to protect the plates with once they have been polished? I have used Brasso as the 1st polish and then Simichrome as the second. Not all of the Brasso polishing marks polish out with Simichrome. Any fixes for that?
Thanks
 

Nicko

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Hi THTanner.
That is more like the blow by blow description that I was looking for. I can get all of the required chemicals and finishing materials, but I will have to send away for Wizard's Metal Renew.
Cheers
 

shutterbug

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Maas is a non-abrasive cleaner that works very well. If your brass is in good condition, that would be a good choice to keep it that way.
 

TQ60

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Never - dull is a cotton product with magic juice in a can that works miracles and is available in most auto parts stores.
 

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