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Re: antique National Cash Register

Posted By: James Schooley (0-1pool246-60.nas2.sioux-city1.ia.us.da.qwest.net)
Date: 6/6/4 23:24

In Response To: antique National Cash Register (Ken Shepherd)

We do a lot of brass burnishing in our shop, it is not too hard but it is time consuming. We remove the finish with a paint stripper and the tarnish with Tarnex, try not to use anything abrasive like steel wool. The best thing to use is a soft cotton buffing wheel on a high speed buffer and jewelers rouge. A hobby drill will do but on big projects it will seem like scrubbing the floor with a tooth brush. An electric drill can produce fair results in a pinch, but 35,000 rpm is best. Once a piece is getting close to done put on some clean cotton gloves, this will avoid finger prints. Clean off all the rouge with paint thinner, wipe off all residue with a soft cotton rag. Make sure all the polish has been removed, it will show up later and spoil the job. Wrap all the finished pieces in unused news print paper, ink today comes off, tape up the edges so air can't get to the brass and cause it to tarnish. Once all parts are polished you can finish with a brass lacquer, good paint and hardware stores sell it, regular lacquer dries to fast and may look cloudy. Some Deft laid on in thin coats may work, but isn't the best thing to use. An aged effect can be abtained with an amonia fumeing process, place each item into a closed space, upside down fish tank, use a measured ammount each time and clock it so each item gets the same effect. Allow the fumes to flow all over the item evenly, warm each piece, before fumeing with a flood light to help circulate the air onto the cooling brass as it fumes in the tank. Be careful with amonia, goggles are suggested, a small fan in the window and avoid the industrial stregnth stuff, it's faster but can put you out, Bopeep cleaner will do fine. Once you have the rich antique color you want, rinse with distilled water and dry with a clean cotton rag. If some highlights are desired, use a piece of burlap to buff some of the darkness back off the high surfaces, then finish as I have outlined previously. Good luck, James S.

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