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Author Topic: Keep brass key clean?  (Read 3318 times)
AB0ES
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Posts: 3




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« on: January 24, 2011, 07:03:58 PM »

If anyone has a good way of keeping brass keys clean and shiny please let us know.After about two years my brass keys (KENT) become
dull and corroded.I usually disassemble them and run them through my rifle brass tumbler and they come out like new but would like to prolong the cleaning intervals,every eight years would be nice. Wink
Thank you, Scott
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KB3TXH
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Posts: 44




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« Reply #1 on: January 26, 2011, 05:49:08 AM »

..brass key becomes dull and corroded...
Darn, that's not what I wanted to read.
I too have a Kent straight key. I like it better than my speed-x, or navy flameproof, but I wondered if it would remain
as pretty as it was when new. I guess not.
Reading your post raised 2 questions for me. How do you disassemble the key to polish it ?, and doesn't the polishing media get into the ball bearings ?

...Jim KB3TXH
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NI0C
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« Reply #2 on: January 26, 2011, 10:43:17 AM »

N3ZN uses a "special lacquer" on his brass keys to keep them from tarnishing.  He recommends only using a special brush to clean them.  See FAQ on his website. 

My key is 2 years old and shows no signs of tarnishing whatsoever.

73,
Chuck  NI0C
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AB0ES
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« Reply #3 on: January 26, 2011, 05:10:06 PM »

Corroded is a exaggeration,tarnished with dark spots is what I should have said.Maybe it has to do with humidity,my radio room is in the basement and in the summer it gets humid down there.I totally disassemble the key (remove bearings)and only polish the brass parts.I love the Kent paddle key,it is my favorite of all my keys.I will look in to the lacquer clear coat sounds like a good idea.
 Thanks,Scott
« Last Edit: January 26, 2011, 06:56:16 PM by AB0ES » Logged
NI0C
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Posts: 2383




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« Reply #4 on: January 27, 2011, 06:04:09 AM »

Scott,
I think the key (pardon the pun) to keeping brass shiny is to make sure the lacquer seals it everywhere; otherwise tarnishing will eventually set in. 

I learned this about twenty years ago when I purchased a brass bed.  I was offered a choice between raw (unfinished brass) and a lacquered finish. The tradeoff was the raw brass requires polishing frequently to keep it shiny; while the lacquered finish would also eventually tarnish after a period of some years and then require refinishing. I chose the raw brass.  Every few years I have to disassemble it and take it outside where I remove the tarnish and polish it with copious quantities of a product called Brasso.

73,
Chuck  NI0C 
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9V1VV
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Posts: 31




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« Reply #5 on: January 30, 2011, 11:29:04 PM »

I too have a few brass keys...my Kent is dark brown now, and my N3ZN single paddles are starting to tarnish after 2 years of ownership (even though these keys are laquered). I live in the tropics where oxidisation speeds up a lot. I decided long ago to live with it... just let them get discoloured. Only  make sure the moving parts and contacts are clean... if I wanted to sell them I would take them apart and Brasso them all.
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NI0C
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« Reply #6 on: January 31, 2011, 05:43:27 AM »

Just to be clear-- I was not advising anyone to use brass polishing products such as Brasso on any key.  The directions on the Brasso bottle specifically state: "Not for use on lacquered metals."

73,
Chuck  NI0C

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K6CPO
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Posts: 128




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« Reply #7 on: January 31, 2011, 08:58:33 AM »

Just to be clear-- I was not advising anyone to use brass polishing products such as Brasso on any key.  The directions on the Brasso bottle specifically state: "Not for use on lacquered metals."

73,
Chuck  NI0C



The only reason that disclaimer is on the bottle is it strips the lacquer off, requiring you to polish more often. The military issues brass belt buckles with a coating on them.  The first thing they teach in boot camp is how to remove the coating to be able to polish the brass to a high shine.  About the only way to prevent brass from tarnishing is to paint it...

I did my share of brass polishing in the Navy and of all the products I used, the one I like best is Nevr-Dull.  This product combines the polish and the wadding in one can and is less messy and more convenient than using a liquid like Brasso or a paste like Simichrome. 

http://www.nevrdull.com/
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NN4RH
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« Reply #8 on: February 02, 2011, 02:14:40 PM »

It's probably not "corroded" but just tarnished (oxidized). That's just the natural state of the brass surface. Brass isn't supposed to be shiny.

I would just use it. I have Kent single paddle. They're very functional. They're meant to be used, not sit around being pretty. I would not coat it or paint it or varnish it or otherwise put gunk on it. It's fine the way it is.

If you must have shiny, buy a gold or palladium plated Begali.

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N9DRY
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« Reply #9 on: February 06, 2011, 09:20:54 AM »

Both Brasso and Silvo polish are availible as wadding as well as liquid.  The Silvo wadding is not as agressive as the Brasso and can be used safely on silver plate without the worry of polishing thru the silver plate and exposing the copper below.

I am restoring (more like a vigorous cleaning and polishing with replacement of a few parts) a 1953 vintage Vibroplex Presentation model bug.  A friend steered me to the wadding products but they were hard to find and are overpriced on eBay (almost double compared to local prices plus shipping).  I mentioned this to another friend who noted that the Silvo wadding was very popular for polishing the (thinly) silver plated decorations on harness used in horse shows.  A quick trip to one of the equestrian supply shops found both waddings at about $6.00 per can. If you can't find them locally the very nice folks at Horse Emporium in Waukesha WI will happily ship to you.  After discovering wadding, no more liquids or pastes for me.

http://www.horseemporium.com/

Hope you like these products as much as I do.
73  Todd N9DRY
« Last Edit: February 06, 2011, 09:51:23 AM by N9DRY » Logged
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