Polishing small or very detailed metal parts - the easy way ;) Answered
I should not get hoocked on the cummunity side here again but well, I am bored today...
If you have a vintage car, some old steam engine models or even really old clocks then you know my pain.
Copper, brass and sometimes aluminium was used and if not cared for in time they nice shine goes first.
Dirt and dust come next.
And with more time passed we start to consider leaving it as the polishing would take forever.
Take one of my "hobbies": old mantle clocks...
Literally everything inside is brass.
Now polishing a bass backing plate with some holes is quite easy if you have an ultrasonic cleaner to clean the debris out of the tiny holes when done.
Even tried to polish a sprocket or fine spring mechanism?
If spoked then this is a really painful job.
But the same is true if you have old copper and brass ware, like these old stenciled pictures on copper sheets.
No matter what you try these jobs end up to take more time than what you imagined and in many cases fine details are left oxidised or filled with the polishing compount.
Now imagine you could get rid of these tarnishes and discolorations without cramps in your hand and bying all sorts of polishing products?
Sure there are the well known brands that polish a lot of metal with ease by simply wiping over them.
But they use harmful and often toxic chemicals and are still no good for really fine details like grooves or emossed stuff.
Wearing gloves and protection is often a must and at least I can't stand the stink of them.
We all know how to clean our dishes, even how to get the dried on lasagne from last night off the dinner plates.
So why not do the same with our brass, copper or aluminium parts?
Just use a spongue, rub and wipe a bit, rinse off and let dry.
Ok, those who tried before reding the rest might be a bit angry now as it does not work that easy.
Well, actually it does, just don't use dishwashing liquid :)
Let me give you two of the worst cleaning problems I encountered first:
You did some very fine brazing to create something nice from brass or bronze.
The flux you can wash off, but polishing the discoloration from the heat and resulting oxidisation will take longe than the brazing job.
The other ecounter was the restauration of a petromax style blow torch of alomst 60 years of age - but thankfully it was never used for more than decoration.
All brass and a lot parts impossible to polish due to size and being quite delicate.
Now we all have ways to spend a lot of time and being creative to use normal ways of polishing.
And, yes I did so myself for many years and kick can myself now too.
Since we can't do any advertising here and I clearly don't want to promote any brands or harm other brands by rendering their costly products useless I need a way out that helps everyone.
So, again, I am not trying to promote anything here!
However I noticed someone in my favourite restaurants kitchen polishing some dark copper pot to a mirrow shine in less than 5 minutes!
I was shocked and asked the manager to explain what I just saw.
He was confused to say the least...
"We clean our pots every day, sometimes more depending on what we cooked in them."
Sure but what do you use to do what I need several hours for in minutes and with better results?
"Just water and soapy powder to shine the metal sir. All natural product."
Omg god or Kali! What makes it shine so quickly?
"Shining powder sir!" - mind you the poor guy was now totally confused and worried, while I started to loose my insanity.
He noticed the look on my face and went into the kitchen.
Gave me a fance looking bag that apart from a lot of Indian writing I could not make any sense of stated "Shining powder" on the pack.
When the manager saw the look on face this time he laughed and asked "How do you clean your copper pots sir?"
I was speechless and just said with much more time and elbow grease...
He packed about thimble worth of powder for me to try and said it would be enough for a medium sizde pot, just use a wet spongue and put a little bit of powder on it.
And guess what the stuff worked as good as in the restaurant :(
I can't even count how many hours I wasted polishing copper or brass parts with fine details.
Or engine parts from aluminium with brass parts inside....
With this stuff you just wipe and tough cases rub a bit harder and all is done in literally seconds.
In tight areas or those with fine details you use a fine brush like those for painting in water colors.
And with that and a spongue you clean even the finest details with ease.
In an ultrasonic cleaner it even works on areas you can't reach, just wipe what you can reach and see somehow and it shines.
Now if you want this magic stuff and check if the guy here is just pulling your leg then be prepared to pay a lot of money.
200 grams of this powder will set you back between 5 and 15 bucks depending on where you shop.
That is enough clean about 300 midsized copper pots or a few hundret meters of copper piping....
Just ask for shining powder in your Indian grocery store ;)
We all waste money or stuff we don't need, so if you have coper, brass or aluminium to polish then try washing it the Indian way - just for fun of testing something else.
And if after that test you think the few bucks and information was well worth it than please post your experience with the powder in the comments below.
I hope all those members here working with these metals will read this too, so if not help me to spread the word please ;)
I am struggling to upload some pics I have taken from the blow torch but will try again alter once I reduced their size.
If in doubt I will upload them to a hoster and link them.
I don't advertise, I don't promote!
However I am so pleased with this dirt cheap product that I use it now as my prefered and natural option.
For this reason I think it is worth sharing.
It is not a magic cure! If you have pitted areas, solder marks or brazin coming out of joints it will not help.
Same for scratches, they still require abrasive polishing to be removed.
But normal dirt from being displayed for years, oxidisation and even slight discoloration from corrosion will vanish.
And if the surface has a good polish underneath all this than it will come back with ease ;)