The care and feeding of Old Brass

Discussion in 'Military History and Militaria' started by Cat_Funt, Aug 17, 2005.

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  1. This is probably a truly bone question , but I am looking for some suggestions for the cleaning and feeding of a WWII Brass cartridge to get it clean and and keep it shiny . The cart in question has been fashioned into an ashtray and has an artillery cap badge soldered to the front. My Grandfather made the ashtray whilst he was recovering from being bombed off two boats and bobbing around Dunkirk harbour soaked in diesel for 8 hrs.
    The surface is in reasonably good nick altough there are a few corrsion spots on the back.I am aware of the existance of Brasso, before anyone mentions it, but am concerned that I may cause more harm than good ,as it is relatively abrasive, and obviously despite its simple nature said ashtray has quite a deal of sentimental, although little to no monetary value.
     
  2. C-F try Cillitt Bang!!!!!. In the advert it cleaned that old penny quite well.?????????????
     
  3. Coca-Cola? I wouldn't drink that particular phosphoric acid solution, but it has its uses.
     
  4. Cillit Bang does work (on copper, too) but make sure that it is only on for a VERY short time or you are left with a very thin shell indeed. Spray on, watch it bubble for a second or two, immediately clean off with plenty of water, then buff with favourite (gentle) brass polish.

    I can recommend Maas Metal polishing cream, available from Lakeland:
    http://www.lakelandlimited.com/is-bin/INTERSHOP.enfinity/eCS/Store/en/-/GBP/DisplayProductInformation-Start;sid=X9p0dZUnt9albNYluOR_cz3nk78NlXKLCeQ=?ProductID=Zj_Cy5OSmrcAAADoGfGqiEz7

    This announcement was brought to you by Fraulein and Mr F, who has polished more brass in the last 20 years than anyone should. :D
     
  5. I'm not a chemist, but I believe that the tarnishing of brass is due to chemical processes, including oxidation. To me it seems you have two alternatives to getting it off: some other chemical process, such as the CocaCola/CillitBang route, or abrasion - I think Brasso combines both. Either approach, chemical or abrasive, could be mild or extreme or somewhere inbetween. Just take your pick.

    I quite like brown sauce as a chemical cleaner- I used it on my Grandfather's WW1 circular bronze KIA disc with good results.
     
  6. I'm not a chemist, but I believe that the tarnishing of brass is due to chemical processes, including oxidation. To me it seems you have two alternatives to getting it off: some other chemical process, such as the CocaCola/CillitBang route, or abrasion - I think Brasso combines both. Either approach, chemical or abrasive, could be mild or extreme or somewhere inbetween. Just take your pick.

    I quite like brown sauce as a chemical cleaner- I used it on my Grandfather's WW1 circular bronze KIA disc with good results.
     
  7. I'm not a chemist, but I believe that the tarnishing of brass is due to chemical processes, including oxidation. To me it seems you have two alternatives to getting it off: some other chemical process, such as the CocaCola/CillitBang route, or abrasion - I think Brasso combines both. Either approach, chemical or abrasive, could be mild or extreme or somewhere inbetween. Just take your pick.

    I quite like brown sauce as a chemical cleaner- I used it on my Grandfather's WW1 bronze KIA disc with good results.
     
  8. I'm not a chemist, but I believe that the tarnishing of brass is due to chemical processes, including oxidation. To me it seems you have two alternatives to getting it off: some other chemical process, such as the CocaCola/CillitBang route, or abrasion - I think Brasso combines both. Either approach, chemical or abrasive, could be mild or extreme or somewhere inbetween. Just take your pick.

    I quite like brown sauce as a chemical cleaner- I used it on my Grandfather's WW1 bronze KIA disc with good results.