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Posted by - knoxrob
Post date - 02-04-2007, 04:40 AM
Do the brass cannons from AL remain shiny or do they dull in time? Should they be coated (I don't want to blacken them) or left as is?

Posted by - firstmate
Post date - 02-04-2007, 09:46 AM
Oh for sure Robert! Brass and Copper will discolor over time for various reasons. Simple oxidation form the surrounding air, oil from your hands, humidity etc.
If you want to keep your brass and or copper surfaces staying bright and shiny, you've got to - 1. Clean/Polish, 2. Neutralize, 3. Solvent Wipe, 4. Apply a Protective Coating.

An older method of coating was to use lacquers or even clear coat epoxies. But there are better products out today that will last longer and don't discolor the surface in the process.

I've used this product called Everbrite (http://everbrite.net/how_to_protect_metal_picture.htm) . Go to their site and browse around. It's sold just about every where.


Posted by - Calicoe
Post date - 02-05-2007, 01:48 AM
I've used Minwax polyurethane on brass and it worked well. I don't know how long it will last but it's lasted 10 or 15 years on some pieces of brass I found on a ship wreck.
I also use the poly satin on the hull and it comes out with an almost matte
luster that I liked.

Posted by - Calicoe
Post date - 02-05-2007, 08:39 AM
While we're on the subject of keeping brass shiny, were brass cannons on sailing ships common? I thought they were made of iron or steel and were black.

Posted by - TommyMeisel
Post date - 02-05-2007, 12:08 PM
I've restored a fair number of antique clocks, and they usually have very dulled and oxidized brass trim. I will polish the brass with a good brass polish (I like Noxon 7) and then, after a good solvent cleaning, give them a spray coat of clear lacquer, usually semi-gloss, since the gloss looks phony. This will last a fair number of years. The original owners of these clocks were expected by the manufacturer to polish the brass frequently. Of course, people do not polish brass anymore, and almost everything brass that you buy today has already been lacquered. (If you try to polish it you are polishing the lacquer. You need to strip the lacquer with paint remover first.)

Another alternative is to polish the brass, and then wax it. I like both Johnson Paste Wax and Minwax Paste Wax. This does not last as long as the lacquer, but it will keep the brass looking decent for several years.

Just as an aside, I often run into antique clock owners who cherish the oxidized brass, so I always ask before I polish. Of course they are mistaken, oxidized brass is not a symbol of antiquity, it is a symbol of sloppy housekeeping and lack of polishing. I usually lose the argument though...

Posted by - leecoate
Post date - 02-08-2007, 10:00 PM
Thanks for the Everbrite info, anxious to try this product as I have some older kits where the brass has dulled. Lee