• We invite you to join UKWorkshop.
    Members can turn off viewing Ads!

Advice on coating brass

UKworkshop.co.uk

Help Support UKworkshop.co.uk:

woodhutt

Established Member
Joined
25 Apr 2020
Messages
154
Reaction score
2
Location
upper hutt, new zealand
I've got a bunch of mostly brass Zippo lighters collected over the years and thought a good lock-down project would be to build a display case for them.
First though I decided to clean them and now I want to apply a coating that will slow down the oxidation process so that they only need 'reviving' every year or so. I'm trying to avoid too much polishing as the engraving on some of them is beginning to suffer (see photo).
IMG_2139 (1).JPG
IMG_2142.JPG

Is there a specific coating for brass that will do this or can I simply use a clear, spray-on, matt lacquer finish that can be periodically removed and re-applied without damaging the surface?
As a non-metalworker, any suggestions/advice would be much appreciated.
Cheers
Pete
 

Attachments

Rorschach

Wicker man.
Joined
6 Jan 2016
Messages
5,783
Reaction score
814
Location
Devon
What Phil said. Renaissance wax is the premier brand, I have used litres of the stuff but I am trying out Axminster's version and it seems every bit as good but a tiny bit harder to apply.
 

Droogs

Is that chisel shar ... Ow
Joined
14 Mar 2013
Messages
4,428
Reaction score
1,377
Location
Edinburgh
believe it or not but ordinary halfords car laquer in a can is fine. I use it a lot and have had many lighters and brass/bronze thingscoated in it if they are just going to sit there on display. I first used it on my trumpet, flugel horn and french horn at school as I couldn't stand the smell of Duraglit and hated polishing them


removal by acetone
 

woodhutt

Established Member
Joined
25 Apr 2020
Messages
154
Reaction score
2
Location
upper hutt, new zealand
Droogs. Thanks for that. I have done the same with an old brass ship's bell and it lasted well for a couple of years but I never knew if I was perhaps 'etching'the brass.
Sideways. I looked for the product you mentioned and can't find it locally so I would have to ship it in unless I can find an equivalent.
I can get the Renaissance Wax locally at about NZ$48 for 200 ml (about 25 GBP so not cheap) but SWMBO tells me it is also recommended for use on her long arm quilting machine for lubricating the tracks so I think I can persuade to go halves 8)
Pete
 

woodhutt

Established Member
Joined
25 Apr 2020
Messages
154
Reaction score
2
Location
upper hutt, new zealand
Just did a quick search for microcrystalline wax and found a local conservator company who sell it at NZ$13 (7 GBP) for 500 grammes. A heck of a lot cheaper than the Renaissance.
Thanks for the tips everyone.
Pete
 

Duncan A

Established Member
Joined
8 Nov 2007
Messages
605
Reaction score
50
Location
Northants
Phil, how do you make your own? I thought MC wax was high tech refinery stuff and beyond the reach of mere mortals.
Duncan
 

sunnybob

wysiwyg
Joined
11 Oct 2014
Messages
8,399
Reaction score
162
Location
cyprus
All commercial brass items are spray lacquered. Its much easier to spray than to apply wax polish to small fiddly items, trust me :shock: :shock: :roll: :roll: 8)
 

Phil Pascoe

Established Member
UKW Supporter
Joined
29 Jan 2012
Messages
20,926
Reaction score
1,379
Location
Shaft City, Mid Cornish Desert
Duncan A":3oobk9ls said:
Phil, how do you make your own? I thought MC wax was high tech refinery stuff and beyond the reach of mere mortals.
Duncan
I just buy the wax in blocks and melt it with turpentine. I use turpentine for the smell, but white spirit would do.
 

AESamuel

Established Member
Joined
15 Jan 2015
Messages
97
Reaction score
15
Location
Falmouth, Cornwall
How thick a coating should you use with MC wax? I know you're supposed to apply it "sparingly" but how sparingly is that? Particularly when applying to metal.
 

Droogs

Is that chisel shar ... Ow
Joined
14 Mar 2013
Messages
4,428
Reaction score
1,377
Location
Edinburgh
put a dab (5mm square) on your finger and rub it around and see how far you get and then ad a little more. If you see streaks on metal it's too much and means a lot more effort to work in and get a nice sheen
 

AESamuel

Established Member
Joined
15 Jan 2015
Messages
97
Reaction score
15
Location
Falmouth, Cornwall
Droogs":1lb64miq said:
put a dab (5mm square) on your finger and rub it around and see how far you get and then ad a little more. If you see streaks on metal it's too much and means a lot more effort to work in and get a nice sheen
So it really is a tiny amount. Thanks!
 
Top